I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I’ve been single and dating for the last 10 years and never know what to say when my date starts talking about all the other dates he’s been on. Is it because he’s not interested? Nervous? I don’t get it.
I want to sign up for JDate again, but need help. For some reason I come off as a shy doormat, and it’s totally not me.
Dear Totally Not Me,
Dating for ten years is a long time. I’m glad to hear you’re ready to get back on JDate and you just need some guidance about how to be your true self.
First of all, when your dates speak about the other dates that they’ve had, it can mean a number of things:
- Sometimes it could mean they are not interested.
- They also may not have a good filter or great social skills.
- There’s anxiety on both ends in dating so your date may be nervous and bumbling too. He may not know what else to talk about. You can guide the conversation to another topic.
- They also might feel that the topic’s pertinent, since you’re both dating online! I’ve had single clients who feel that it’s fun to exchange stories of strange dates they’ve had, or to share that they’ve been on JDate for two months as a conversation starter with someone new.
So, depending on their tone and the context, sharing something about one’s dating experiences may not be unusual. Don’t assume that this means he doesn’t like you. If he speaks for 30 minutes describing past dates in detail, be assertive and say, ‘Why don’t we focus on getting to know each other now?’ Then, if he asks you out later, you’ll know he likes you. Try not to take things personally on dates because most people will act out of who they are, and remember, they don’t even really know you yet.
In terms of feeling like a shy doormat, it would be good to get to a place where you’re friendly, out-going and feeling confident. Ask yourself what needs to shift for you to feel more forthcoming and in control on your dates. Is it your self-talk, self-esteem or shyness that needs work? It might help to see a dating coach or a therapist. It may also be helpful to buy my first book, Dating from the Inside Out, which will give you some insight into your dating psychology, how it affects your relationships and who you’re being as a date.
As for the other, ‘help’ part, here are 7 tips to help you be your true self on your first JDates:
- Do some positive self-talk regularly so you’ll feel confident on your dates and you’ll know why they’d be so lucky to have you.
- Have fun on dates! Don’t overanalyze things in the first month or so. Take the pressure off and just think of it as a chance to meet someone new and try a new bar or restaurant.
- Practice talking and sharing who you are until you feel comfortable with it. Remember only your opinion about yourself matters.
- The right match will like you as you are and will give you a few chances (barring any red flags). So don’t play games, just be yourself.
- Date multiple people until you know someone well enough to become exclusive. This will help you stay objective, busy and you’ll be less needy and attached to outcomes.
- Do something to relax before your dates if you get anxious. Try a guided meditation, a self-esteem affirmation tape or visualize your date going really well.
- Practice being assertive if you feel like a doormat. This means politely saying no or suggesting alternatives on dates. It means guiding your experience as much as he does. You can practice sharing your true opinion about things.
I hope this helps!
My Best in Love,