Are you addicted to "instant connection"? Do you believe that you should only date men who immediately "get you" on the first date?
Today’s post was prompted by a question from one of my subscribers. But first, here is a pop quiz. Which of these two first-date guys is clearly a self-centered dud you should turn down for date #2:
David—Who talked so much during the date that you couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. You heard all about his job, his favorite sports team, and his recent vacation. You’re pretty sure that he learned nothing about you, and has no sense of your personality. You are disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to share this really crazy story your co-worker just texted you.
Josh—Who asked you lots of questions, laughed at your jokes, and really worked to draw you out. You found yourself telling him all kinds of personal stories from your childhood that you rarely share with anyone.
Based only on the information above, NEITHER date is clearly a self-absorbed dud. BOTH David and Josh are still contenders. Here is one way to look at this common dating experience:
When a man is really attracted to you he gets nervous (David). Those nerves make some guys clam up, their minds go blank, and they can’t think of anything to say—then you have to carry the conversation until he regains composure. Other men, however, start talking a mile a minute to hide their nervousness. They feel this rush of adrenaline and they channel that energy in a socially-acceptable way—talking—which might hit you like a never-ending monologue. He may also feel pressure to entertain you and hold your interest; he is worried that you'll feel bored or lapse into awkward silence. A guy like David is in selling mode.
BOTTOM LINE: David probably talked a lot because he likes you, not because he's not interested in learning all about you. If he asks you out again, it's reasonable to give him a second chance.
Now consider the flip side:
When a man isn’t wowed by you he isn’t nervous at all (Josh). He’s like, I’ve got this. He may enjoy the ego boost of being able to charm you and make you giggle. He may be attracted enough to enjoy creating a little connection. But he doesn’t have stars in his eyes or fear in the pit of his stomach that he’s got to work to impress you. He’s not a panicked motor-mouth or scared speechless.
BOTTOM LINE: It's awesome when a date turns out to be fun and you feel a little connection. But don't assume Josh is The One simply because the conversation flowed. Going forward, pay attention to his actions and make sure he's bringing some hustle and effort to his game, not just entertaining banter.
What if “Josh” really is smitten?
Isn’t it possible that Josh is a socially gifted guy, capable of being “into” a woman but also a smooth conversationalist at the same time? Maybe he really is wowed by you, but is skillful enough to play Communications Director at the same time. Of course! There are men like this. But not a lot of them. And sometimes there are trade-offs worth considering. Maybe Josh has been single a long time and has been on lots and lots of first and second dates; he is really good at starting things up but not so interested in the follow-through. Or maybe he is a “feminine energy” kind of guy—the type that evolves into a platonic friend because he just isn't masculine enough to actively pursue you. We don’t know, this early on. If he asks, agree to see him again and just see where it goes.
TIP: Are you addicted to "instant connection"? Do you believe that you should only date men who immediately "get you" on the first date? This type of thinking can leave you vulnerable to men who are experts at seduction, but not long-term commitment. True emotional connection can't be rushed, and builds over many months of shared experiences.
Is it ever o.k. to interrupt a chatty date?
What my subscriber really wanted to know was related to dating etiquette: What do I do when I’m on a date with a super chatty guy? How do I politely interrupt him or get his attention so that I have a chance to tell him about myself? The answer is: Nothing. Don’t do anything. Don’t interrupt him or talk over him. Assume he likes you or he wouldn’t be so talkative. Trust that he has enough of a sense of you to know whether he wants see you again. You don’t need to sell yourself or launch into amusing stories for a "David" to decide if he is attracted to you. Either he is or he isn’t, and if he is he will ask you out for a second date. There's no need to compete with him for airtime. What if he really is self-absorbed—not just nervous? No worries, you'll find out the truth soon enough. But it's worth a second try, if your only complaint is that he over-shared on the first date.
TIP: Women often believe that great conversation = great emotional connection. But that's not necessarily how it works with men. Instead, focus on his actions: Does he ask for a second date, have a plan, and follow through on his hints and suggestions? A man becomes emotionally connected through his actions—spending time with you and sharing experiences—not through talking.
Here’s an additional tip:
Men don’t fall in love with your crazy stories, your sense of humor, or your many accomplishments. They fall in love with your essence—who you are underneath all that superficial stuff. So never feel that you need to bombard a man with tons of information about yourself in that first date. Truthfully, the less you say, the more he can soak up your essence. He will learn all about you and appreciate all those accomplishments later. For now, your attitude should be “Let the best man win.” Get your zen on and just go with the flow.