How to Enjoy Small(er) Talk on Dates

When you’re dating, do you want to know as much as possible about a man, as quickly as possible? Especially for those of us “of a certain age;” life is too damn short to be dilly dallying around. Either the guy is for you, or he’s not. And with the right information, you (think you) can tell darn quickly. You can figure people out quite quickly, right?

You figure you can feel out the chemistry, spend 10 minutes talking about the weather, and then move on to the real stuff. Why did his marriage break up? Is he close to his Mother and children? What’s up with his career? Does he share your political/religious/moral views? Does he put the toilet seat down? (Really…I always wanted to know that.)

But, whoa woman! There are so many reasons why you should just chill. Here are a couple:

1. Light and balanced conversation makes that next date far more likely. Contrary to most women’s opinion, questioning him earnestly and then letting him talk endlessly is not a way to attract a man.

While grown-up men certainly look for deep connection in a partner, “someone who will hear my deepest thoughts” is far from first on their list. He’s not looking for a mother or sister. And if he is…you don’t want him.

Leaving a man feeling like he revealed too much is a recipe for disaster. Unlike us, being able to spill his guts isn’t a positive. If he gets home feeling like he told you more than he’s ever told his oldest friend, you’re not getting a call for that next date.

Men are smart. (Yes! They really are!) He enjoy yapping about himself in the moment, but looking back he’ll know you were gathering information. Rather than think you’re a fabulous great listener, he’ll think…no he’ll know…that you were digging for details and, more to the point, his flaws. (And honestly, weren’t you?)?

2. Context is huuuuge. Think of knowing someone as having a bucket of information. Each email, call, and date fills your bucket just a little more? Say you find out about his illness or his bankruptcy on the first date; this will most likely send you fleeing. After all, if that’s all you have in your bucket, he doesn’t look like any kind of catch.

But what if you found that out after learning he was kind, confident, funny, and cried at chick flicks? What if all that was rumbling around in your bucket? Wouldn’t the bad news look different to you?

And this goes both ways girlfriend. Hush until it’s right. It’s not being inauthentic to lead with your best qualities. You can wait to tell him the details of your crappy divorce until he knows you’re smart, sexy, and just a bit intriguing.

Gathering information slowly allows you to develop some perspective. This has huge value when you’re dating. I get that you want to rush through the jerks and boring guys.  But don’t you think it’s worth spending 5 or 6 hours quietly gathering information when the payoff is finding that one man who is going to rock your world?

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