Reveal or Hold Back?
You met on an online dating site. You’re excited. You think he has potential. You want to make a lasting impression, so you talk about your life. What do you reveal, and what do you hold back?
You’ve made a connection through an online dating site. Just when you thought all the good ones were gone, this person shows up in your inbox. There is interest, excitement, potential. Now what? How do you get to know each other? How many emails are too many? How many texts make him think you’re desperate? How much do you reveal about yourself at the start of a potential relationship?Cassy had given up on meeting any so-called ‘normal’ men. She had enrolled in a new online dating site two months earlier, and most of the emails she received were from men from either foreign countries or across the United States. Either way, it was the long distance guys who seemed interested. She wanted to be open to the possibility of a long distance relationship, and communicated with a few of these men. Nothing panned out, and the next emails were from men who seemed mentally unstable.
This woman was not passive, and she had also emailed men whom she thought had potential. It seemed that most of those men were no longer active members of the site, but had their profiles up nonetheless. How did she know this? Her emails remained unopened.
And then, she returned home late one night to find an email from a guy she had contacted a month earlier! He had just signed back in to the site after a year’s hiatus. He loved her profile and included his home phone number in the first email contact! She called him right away, and they had a great phone conversation. He asked her out that night for a date a few weeks away, as he would be traveling.
Things seemed to be on a roll. How exciting! “Finally, a live one, someone with potential”, thought Cassy. She emailed him at his private email and didn’t hear back from him. And then began the self-doubt. Did my email go into his spam folder? Is he ignoring me? Did he google me and find out something from my past that he is judging me about?
She decided to send a light text message a few days later. He immediately responded, and added “You owe me an email address.” There was her answer. No, he never got her email. No, he wasn’t judging her ‘sordid’ past. The excitement grew. Texts were exchanged. They arranged to speak at a set time the next day.
He called an hour and a half late, apologetic. Said he didn’t have much time to talk, but would she call him when she was free the next night? When she called him, his phone went straight to voice mail. Self-doubt began to creep back in. “He asked me to call. Where is he?” she thought.
He texted that he was out with a friend who needed a buddy that night. She was angry. She felt stood up. She wasn’t mad that he was helping a friend. Quite the contrary. She was glad he could form good healthy relationships. That was a good sign. But she was upset that he hadn’t been considerate enough to send an email or voice mail to let her know that something important came up, and to make alternate arrangements for a better time to connect by phone.
Here’s the rub: they are not in a relationship yet. They have only made initial contact. Should she speak her mind and tell him how she feels? Or should she grin and bare it, hold back her feelings and thoughts and only reveal them if they enter a relationship? Or maybe not even then?
What do you think? I share my answer in my next blog entry here.