When you’re dating and trying to get to know one another, there’s a good chance he’s going to ask you all kinds of questions. How do you answer his question that seems rude, or that gives you that jolt because you have no idea how to answer.
Men can ask some pretty tough and dumb questions, right? And they can make some moves leaving us wondering ‘what the heck was he thinking?”
Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping he doesn’t ask that scary question or go in for the kiss, take a little time to prepare the grownup way in which you want to respond.
Why did you get divorced?
Why have you lived in so many places?
What you do for a living? (And you’re between gigs.)
And my personal favorite:
Why haven’t you ever been married???
Arrggh! Almost every date I had over the 30-ish years I was single asked me that freaking question! And every time, what I heard was: What is WRONG with you???” Pissed me right off.
Oh…and how about when he makes that unexpected move?
He goes in for a kiss and you are SO not ready for that.
How do you answer his question, or respond to something he does that knocks you off-balance?
Honestly, if he’s just an all-around rude jerk asking you a bunch of personal questions, I really don’t care how you react. Tell him he’s a creep and leave.
But if you actually LIKE the guy, how you react to something that surprises you could make the difference between you staying single…or finding grownup love.
You see, if all else is going well…he’s been respectful, he’s nice enough looking and maybe you laughed a little…you don’t want to let one moment define you…or define him!
Let’s face it: sh%t happens when two people are trying to get to know each other. You don’t want to respond in a way that totally turns off an otherwise good guy, right?
If he goes in for a kiss and you jump back in horror…that guy is going to feel embarrassed. He’s been emasculated. He’s not going to call you again.
If he asks about your past relationships and you answer with some snippy, defensive response…he’s going to assume you are a snippy and defensive woman. He’s not going to call you again.
What if he’s a good guy with partner potential who just went off (your) script for a moment?
I’ve learned that most these men really aren’t idiots. They are asking reasonable questions…perhaps indelicately. (Don’t you want to know why a 50-year old man has never married? Or why he’s been divorced twice?)
And maybe he’s trying to touch or kiss you because he’s attracted to you and has misinterpreted your signals? That doesn’t make him a horrible man that you should run from. Maybe it means you just need to have a grownup conversation.
The truth is that there are a few questions or man-moves that you can anticipate…yet you’re continuing to be caught off-guard.
Or maybe you’re not putting yourself out there, trying to avoid the questions or moves?
Dump Your Fear AND Save His Manhood
You think about what you’re going to wear on a date. You may think of questions you might ask him. Why not also think in advance about how you want to respond if one of these challenging situations come up?
When you are armed with honest and positive responses, you can avoid stopping a potential great date in it’s tracks. Then, steer your conversation to topics that help two good people get to know one another.
Here’s how my Prepared Statements work:
Example #1: Why did you get divorced?
You could answer: He cheated on me so I left his sorry ass.
OR you can use a Prepared Statement like this:
I’ve been divorced X years. It was a challenging marriage in a lot of ways. Maybe once we get to know each other better we can share more. For now I will say that I learned a lot, especially about how important it is that both people are willing and able to communicate feelings. I’m curious…what are your big lessons from your previous relationships?
Example #2: What haven’t you ever married?
You could answer: I just haven’t found the right guy. (And, if you’re like I was for so long, accompany that with a look that says ‘if you ask me anything else about that I’ll get up and walk out, you jerk.’)
OR you can use the Prepared Statement I finally started using:
I’ve had an enjoyable and successful career, enjoy my [hobbies] and have lovely, loving relationships with my family and friends. Now I am SO looking forward to finding a partner to share the wonderful lives we’ve created. How about you? What are you looking forward to in your future?
Have you figured out how my Prepared Statements work?
- You tell him some truth, within your boundaries. (He deserves that. He’s trying to get to know you. On first dates, though, he doesn’t need details.)
- You tell him the positives about your life and/or about the experience.
- You segue into a related. meaningful question that helps you get to know him and start a grownup conversation.
How about when he goes in for the unwanted kiss? (He isn’t grossing you out, but you definitely aren’t ready.)
You could jump back and say NOOOO WAYYYY!
OR you could take a breath, look him in the eye and say:
Bob, I’m enjoying getting to know you and would like to know more…but I’m not ready for that yet. I hope that works for you.
You tell him the truth. You set your boundary. You do it kindly, without him feeling kicked in the balls.
You check in with him and learn some very important about him. And if he’s a grownup, maybe you’ll start a grownup conversation about physicality in a relationship. (And if he’s not and keeps trying, run for the hills after calling him whatever you’d like.)
I’m guessing you’ve fumbled for the answer to some gnarly questions before.
One of two things happen:
He made you feel uncomfortable, damnit!! Your fight or flight instinct kicks in. You shut down. You decide he’s a jerk. You want to punch him!
NOOO. Don’t do this!
Or you go the TMI route; sharing way too much. This almost always devolves into a bitch fest about your exes or tells him something about yourself that he ought not yet know.
Both responses are first date killers, girlfriend.
Important: You do not need to anticipate everything he might ask or might do. I’m not saying that. But you probably have those few things that give you that “Crap. I feel icky and out of control” feeling when asked or when done to you.
For me it was the ‘why haven’t you been married yet’ question. (Still makes me cringe!)
I’ve talked to scores of super smart women who have told me how much they regretted their response to a guy they wanted to see again.
Unfortunately they realize this after the date. Then it’s too late.
So, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping he doesn’t ask that scary question or go in for the kiss, take a little time to prepare the grownup way in which you want to respond.
When you do, you’ll be able to strike one more thing off your list of Why Dating Sucks. Because you see…you will be prepared with skills and information that allow you to approach dates with confidence. You can get to know the men you meet much better. You can have more fun!!
That is how set yourself up for second, third and endless dates with the right man!
So tell me…what are the questions you hate to get asked? How are you answering them or, better yet, how will you answer them now that you know how to use prepared statements?
I am 47 y.o. and I was married 3 times . How to talk about this on a first date?
The first time we are very young and we find out we want different lifes.
My second husband died after 2 years marriage. (BTW He was 3 times divorced and amazing man)
The third was 3 years not drinking and all of a sudden I find out an alcoholic home, I didn’t know about his problems with alcohol in the passed and we couldn’t manage it, it ended in a disaster, the divorced was the only way for me to come back to normal life.
There is nothing to hide but I do not feel kean to open all my exs-files on a first or second date.
How to frame it nicely?