You go out to meet a man for the first time who you connected with online. This is "date zero" and is really a chemistry check to see if there is potential with this new person. Hopefully, things will go well, he'll like you (and you'll like him), and you'll get a second date.
Since date zero is all about first impressions and you only get one chance to make a good one, I have a question to ask. As a dating coach for women, I want to know why single women dating after 40 feel compelled to discuss their ex and past relationships with men immediately? I find this compulsion puzzling since it's such a massive dating mistake that can easily prevent you from finding the love you want.
How do I know so many single women make this devastating faux pas? Even though most of my clients are women over 40, occasionally a man will hire me as his dating coach. This provides amazing insights as I get to witness the dating process from the other side of the fence. Right now, I have a client, Rick, who is 54, divorced and a very eligible man. He shares with me his experiences and reactions to the women he meets online. What an eye-opener!
Rick has met eight women in the last three weeks. Seven of them have discussed their romantic history in the first few emails, the first phone call or the first date! Initially, Rick followed suit, telling his own tales. But it didn't take him long to figure out what a damper this put on his interactions with women.
We talked about why this is such a problem for an entire coaching session. Here's what I helped Rick to understand and what I hope will encourage you to stop sharing your love war stores too quickly.
- A first date is like a job interview. If you went on an interview, would you immediately start talking trash about your past boss or company? Not if you wanted the job! The exact same logic applies to dating. If you air your dirty laundry, you will not portray yourself in a positive light. Instead, you will sound like a woman who can't maintain attraction, a decent relationship and has been rejected several times by other men. That's not so pretty.
- Offer details on a "Need to Know" basis. There is a place and time to share your failed love tales. Everyone does this. But the first two to three dates are for establishing rapport and trust. How do you know these men are worthy of knowing the intimate details of your love life? Hold your past close to the vest until you know the man is someone you want to spend time with.
- After 40, you have a history, but he doesn't want to know about it. Most men realize that if you're 40, you probably have a romantic past. But most often they don't want to know, especially right away. They prefer some mystery and to think about you in terms of their own experience. They don't want to think about you with other men. Seriously, I mean it.
- When you speak ill of men, your date will feel criticized. On a first date, you want to show your best side. So, if you are bashing your ex or complaining about other men and dating, your date will feel like you are criticizing all men and him personally. Wouldn't you rather show him that you admire and appreciate men, instead of hating or distrusting them? Of course you would! Men choose women who make them feel good, not those they feel sorry for. Zip it up girlfriend!
- Talking about your ex is like bringing him on your date. If you want to get to know a new man, leave your ex out of it. When you bring him up, he might as well be sitting next to you. How does that increase your date's attraction to you? Trust me, it doesn't and can have the opposite effect. Then if you ask him about his ex, now you have enough people for a bridge game, which is far from romantic.
- Uncovering his past will not make the date fun. Many women feel they need to find out about a man's romantic past and his ex as quickly as possible. This could be why you choose to discuss your own situation. But this approach can backfire if you understand men. If a man doesn't want to discuss his past, he won't offer much detail. One thing I guarantee — this topic will not make for an enjoyable conversation. Reopening his emotional wounds will not entice him to see you again soon.
- Have fun first, get serious later. To get a second date, make the first date fun. There will be plenty of time to get into the nitty gritty of why you are currently single. Leave that for later and instead see if you can relate to him, get his sense of humor and enjoy his company. If the conversation flows and you have fun with each other, that's a far superior first date experience that could lead to a second date and beyond. A fun personality and light-hearted conversation will make you highly attractive.
- Talking about your ex could mean you aren't ready to date. The same thing is true for him. I tell my dating coaching clients not to date a guy who spends a lot of time discussing his ex — whether he says good things or bad. Bringing her up means he's still attached in some way and he might not be emotionally available. To make sure he doesn't think that about you, don't talk about your past loves.
- Why talk about the past when you live in the present? You are no longer with your ex or dating that jerk. Let it go. Stop carrying around your past like it defines you. Drop your baggage and clean house emotionally to be open to the right man now. Every time you revisit the past, you reconnect to the pain and suffering. Right now you can begin again. Face the future and be positive about your chances to find love.
You can never lose by being the kind of woman men want to date. Show him the best of who you really are. Share your good points and make him feel comfortable. Have fun with him. You'll learn a lot more about him this way than you will prying into his personal life too soon or airing your own dirty laundry before it's appropriate.
Are you a single woman over 40 who is ready to start dating or dating but not meeting the right men? Get the proven dating advice you need from a dating coach who specializes in helping women over 40 with loads of success stories. Download my free book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes Single Women Make That Keep You Single so you can avoid heartbreaking missteps on your way to finding the magic of love.