Yesterday, my girl and I watched an episode of Wedding Central’s “Single in the City.” The show documents the misadventures of unattached women trying to find Mr. Right so they can invariably become “Bridezillas” and keep the whole reality TV circle of life going. Unsurprising, shenanigans transpired. Unfortunately, hilarity did not ensue.
A 28-year-old sister was featured as she plowed through one unpromising date after another. At one point, she reconnected with a fellow who she had dated a few years prior. In the confessionals, she gushed over what a great guy he was and how excited she was to reconnect. She wasn’t lying; on their first televised encounter, she asked “So, when are we gonna get married and have some kids?”
The rest of the show was a train wreck. She continuously talked about how awesome he was and the potential she saw for love. He told the audience about how he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but really enjoyed kicking it with her with “no pressure, no expectations.” Fail. Oh, and did I mention that on date number two, she discussed her tumultuous relationship with her father, how they just reconnected after 10 years? On date number two? Aw naw, sis. It’s too big. It’s too wide. It wont fit.
To be fair, we take reality TV with a grain of salt. And because we didn’t see the date in it’s entirety, I don’t know if he ever told her what he told the cameraman in regards to not wanting a relationship. However, the young lady’s over sharing was not so different than some of what I have observed or heard about off-screen. Not only was she giving him a whole lot more info than he needed about her in their first encounters…she was already putting it out there that she thought they had a future together. Oh no, no, no, NO!
Let me be upfront about something: I think it’s important that we feel empowered to be honest and open in our relationships, even from the jump. However, putting all our cards and our bags on the table before we even know a potential mate’s middle name is a recipe for getting your name listed as “Do Not Answer” in someone’s phone. There is a time and place for everything and if you go too fast, you might not find a place for yourself in your desired life. And two dates in…do you really know if you want a place there?
I don’t want to gender this, but I am inclined to say that women seem to be a little bit more likely to commit this crime of ‘too much, too soon’. (Note: I said “seem” and “more likely”. Lower your guns, sistren.) Over and over, I’ve heard stories similar to what transpired on that show that somehow left the woman in question shaking her head and asking “What did I do wrong?” I reckon if a man or a friend never tells you about your fumble, it’s easy to start on the “He was just afraid of how strong his feelings for me could be” train instead of sitting back and reflecting on how your mistakes and/or your incompatibility with this particular man could have found you sitting alone.
An hour after the show went off, I was still frustrated by the display of silliness. “I just don’t ever want to sound like those other women!” I exclaimed to my homegirl. She agreed: “Me neither. Not them or Drake.” I LMAO’d at the Drizzy reference, but she had a point. It’s certainly not a woman or man thing, it’s a ‘bad at dating’ thing.
Remember the movie Two Can Play That Game, the moral of which was ‘playing too many games with love can cost you dearly’? However, true as that may be, dating IS a game to some extent and you do need to have a level of self-awareness and some self-preservation instincts to win. Don’t put all your cards on the table too fast. Keep it honest, but reveal yourself over time. If I’m not letting a dude find out about my awesome head game on date number one or two, why does he need to know about how many kids I want or how my great relationship with my dad has set the bar high for suitors?
While oversharing is bad, you DON’T want to become too guarded. Your capacity to love and to be loved are beautiful gifts. Beyond that, remaining silent on things that matter to you or acting like you can accept things you can’t isn’t healthy either. If you know you want enough kids for a basketball team, don’t go silent when a date declares he/she wants to be childless forever. You both deserve to know where you may be mismatched. Some things will prove worth dealing with. Others…not so much. And you know what? That’s okay.
Finding the line between being upfront and not being overwhelming, needlessly intense and a habitual oversharer is not easy for some of us. But on everything I know and love, I wager that learning how to do it is one of the most valuable skills a soldier of love can learn.