First dates are all about getting to know each other better, but what happens if you take it too far? Sometimes small talk is forgotten on dates when somebody starts dominating the conversation by talking about personal issues that are important to them. In other words, they are oversharing. You can find the conversation slides into deep and serious issues, or the other person seems intent in sharing their entire past relationship history with you. Oversharing can be problematic because it can easily make the wrong sort of impression. Date conversation can be a tricky line to tread, where on the one hand you’re trying to be authentic but without sharing so much personal information that you overwhelm the other person. So how do you judge what’s up for discussion and the deeper topics you should leave until you know this person much better?
It can take some effort to have boundaries with somebody you’ve just met, especially if you are an open person who likes to share in-depth thoughts and feelings with the important people in your life. However, there can be plenty of enjoyment in keeping topics light-hearted and fun, which is usually the safest course of action because you are sharing an evening with somebody who is ultimately a stranger. Otherwise, you risk things going awry as oversharing can ambush even the most promising first date.
While oversharing can be a result of nerves getting the better of you, this sort of behaviour can come across as self-centred because it appears the person is set on dominating the conversation. No matter the topic they’re discussing, it can be annoying if somebody isn’t allowing the conversation to naturally flow back and forth. It can also be a red flag if your date is intent on sharing details of their messy divorce, work woes or health issues, as it can show they have poor boundaries and are coming across as uninterested in the date and discovering more about you. You can risk disagreeing with somebody’s beliefs if you tackle the big topics too early, which can make you come across as critical.
Here are our top tips for dealing with the issue, whether you’ve found yourself oversharing on past dates or you come a chronic oversharer on a date:
- Remember there is a time and a place for more meatier topics. Invest the time in those early dates to get to know somebody better and to judge whether you want to see them again. Once you’ve established a connection and have got to know each other better, that’s the time for discussing the bigger topics.
- Deflect any attempts by your date to dig into your past by saying you are happy to share more once you had the chance to get to know them a bit better. You can also try and change the topic or interject with your own experiences if you feel they’ve been dominating the conversation for too long.
- Make sure you stay firmly in the present. Discussing the past too much, especially concerning exes and failed relationships, makes it seem like you are hung up on past situations or haven’t properly moved on.
- Try to recognise when you have been speaking for a few minutes and give your date a chance to chat by asking them a question.
- Being too candid can get in the way of discovering more about your date. Remember, the aim is to learn more about them so you can decide if you want to move things forward to date two.
- Consider whether your oversharing date is nervous. If you’re seeing plenty of romance potential with this person, it can be worth giving them the benefit of the doubt for now, as their anxiety might be fuelling their excessive talking.
- Judge your date’s reaction. If they are not reciprocating or looking uncomfortable with what you’re discussing, then it’s time to change the topic.
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