SpeedDating® Tip #3: Inappropriate Date Topics
Not all topics are appropriate to discuss in the first few dates.
Have you ever ended a date wondering, "Did I say too much?" or "Why did I tell him that?"
For dating purposes your goal should be to choose topics that will create as accurate an impression of yourself as possible and vice versa for your date. This certainly includes not revealing everything you ever did in your life that you regret, all the negative attributes you believe about yourself or detailed accounts of your past failed dating experiences.
As funny and obvious as this may sound, it's exactly what many MMS's do -- and quite a few manage to accomplish all this communication by the end of their first or second date!
Are their words verbally accurate? Absolutely. Are those words creating a true impression of who they are? Almost always no.
When these MMS's are asked why they feel the need to communicate so freely so soon in the dating process, they typically respond that they want to be honest with their dates and help their dates get to know "the real" them. But the reality is that these MMS's are more likely creating the opposite effect. Revealing very personal and/or negative information early on in dating experience risks giving your date the wrong impression of you because that information is out of context.
The information you choose to reveal on a date should be relevant and appropriate to the dating-stage you are at. Meaning some information is relevant/appropriate on a first date, other information isn't until much further along in the process.
If you're reading this tip thinking, "This isn't me -- I don't fall into this pitfall," think again! We find many well-intentioned MMS's completely unaware of the poor impressions they are making simply because they choose to talk about issues that are not appropriate in the early dating stages.
Below is a short list of topics that are almost always inappropriate on a first date -- and typically inappropriate until you and your date are serious marriage-candidates:
- Do not talk about past failed dating experiences unless they are practically relevant to your life today, (examples of practically relevant issues include having a child from a previous marriage, receiving alimony, paying alimony, etc,) and never dwell on the details. If your date asks you about this area of your life be vague.
Even if you are divorced, don't dwell on it. "Yes, I was married for a while but we divorced two years ago. I learned from that experience and have moved forward." If your date wants more details, you can always say very nicely, "It's not that I have anything to hide -- but I don't feel comfortable sharing that personal information so early in the dating process." Not discussing past dates is such an important topic an entire tip will be devoted to it later in the SpeedDating Tips series.
- Deep regrets you have about your past behavior that are no longer relevant to your life. Many singles have done things they wish they had not. However, they wouldn't do them again and they feel awful for or embarrassed by the mistake. Don't feel compelled to confess these incidents to your date -- especially when you are just getting to know him or her.
- Your negative character traits. Surprisingly, we have found many MMS believe it is their responsibility to confess to their dates what they believe are their negative traits.
- The bad day you had today. You had an awful day -- you got to work late, had a disagreement with your mom and lost your wallet. Now you have a date tonight. Blow off the steam with a good friend or family member. Don't put yourself in a situation where you feel compelled to vent during your date.
- Details of your family dynamics. Without question family dynamics will be an important discussion with any serious marriage-candidate. However, absolutely not on a first date -- you risk giving (or hearing) information out of context.
In general, think about what you will talk about with your date before the date. Consider: is this topic appropriate for the dating stage we are at, and will it create an accurate impression of who I am?
And keep in mind tip #3: Not all topics are appropriate to discuss on the first few dates.
The entire SpeedDating for Marriage system can be found in the book "SpeedDating - A Timesaving Guide to Finding Your Lifelong Love"