We’ve all found ourselves on dates where the other person is talking incessantly about themselves while we’re strategizing about the quickest exit. It could be that your date is a certifiable narcissist but in most cases, they may not even realize that they’re monopolizing the conversation as their chances of a second date are steadily evaporating.
I hear this a lot from my eH+ clients, they’re on a date and it’s as if the other person has prepared a two hour long monologue about their life and experiences.
Balancing personal disclosures is a critical component to successful dating. As you get to know your date and build intimacy, it’s important not to talk about yourself too much.
You already know about yourself! So why do talkers appear to be so egocentric? A lot of times people feel that they must sell themselves by bragging or prove that they’re worthy of love and approval. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, nor do you want to oversell yourself and then under-deliver.
I encourage my eH+ clients to put some thought into their intentions of dating and getting to know someone. Act interested in your date and what they have to say, too. It’s not an audition, it’s a date and by not listening enough you’re failing to draw the other person out.
Have you developed a genuine curiosity in your date? Show your interest by asking thoughtful questions to get to know him/her, but also remember you’re not interviewing or interrogating them.
1. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
2. What kinds of things really make you laugh?
3. What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
4. Who is your best friend? What do you like about him/her?
5. Favorite movie of all time? Why so?
Do you often find yourself on the receiving end of a talker’s non-stop personal soliloquy? With every passing minute and every additional word, your contempt for their disinterest grows. As a listener you’re in a great position to learn more about your date but don’t just passively receive, it’s important to also engage in the conversation. Working closely with my eH+ clients, I advise them to ask the right questions to subtly steer the conversation in their direction. You don’t need to wait for an invitation to talk and share about yourself.
For listeners, it’s important to remember that part of building a meaningful relationship is having an emotional connection with someone. To be able to do this you must express your thoughts, feelings, wants and needs.
Through my matchmaking experience I’ve found that many people approach dating with their defenses up; they don’t ever want to get hurt and they’re apprehensive about being vulnerable. I encourage my eH+ clients to push themselves out of their comfort zone a bit. If you want a different result than you’ve had before, you need to be authentic when you talk about yourself.
It takes two people to have a conversation and whether you’re a talker or listener it’s important to be engaged, show interest and share things. The goal is a reciprocal conversation and exchange of ideas. You can’t possibly get to know someone without asking about them, their interests and passions but also allow your date the chance to get to know you as well.
Have you been out with someone who talked way too much? How did you handle it?