Sunday, September 5, 2010
They Reveal Too Much Too Soon
My friend Jennifer is known for her long-winded stories. She will talk and talk and talk and give every single detail to her audience. She is entertaining and guys are drawn to her, so she is asked out on many dates. However, after the first few dates, Jennifer felt completely in love with Mr. Amazing and Mr. Amazing had suddenly lost interest in her. Why? She always revealed too much, too soon.
We have seen too many girls reveal their entire life stories complete with their hopes and dreams (and chosen baby names!) during their first conversation with an eligible bachelor. At the end of her monologue, the guy typically thinks to himself, “Thank you, Lord, for letting that conversation be OVER.”
Men enjoy a challenge. They are internally wired by God to enjoy competition. They love sports, video games, war movies and wrestling matches. Even men who do not obviously follow this stereotype can be found competing with others over who works the hardest, tells the funniest jokes or who has the longest nose hair. And then there are the guys who simply compete against themselves. This love of a challenge does not disappear when men enter the dating realm. It intensifies. So be a challenge for him. Don’t hand him your heart on a platter. Instead make him dig for pieces of you over a long period of time. Many sweet, caring and very OPEN girls have had their hearts broken by revealing too much about themselves too soon in the relationship.
I always followed one basic biblical principle when being pursued by a man. “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” (Philippians 2:2-4, NLT) Here is how to practically apply this principle in the context of dating.
• On Dates: Make it your goal to find out as much information as you can about him without revealing much about yourself! Go to the date with an arsenal full of questions that you can ask him. (See Appendix B for ideas.) If you don’t think you will be able to remember all of the questions then write them down and keep them in your purse to look over when you go to the restroom. When he asks you a question, answer it with an honest, SHORT answer and ask him another question. Really LISTEN to the answers he gives and ask more questions about his response. As he talks, nod your head, smile and make eye contact so that he knows you are interested and that you want to know who he truly is. At the end of the date you want him to be thinking, “Wow, she’s amazing! She even showed interest in my love for Star Trek! But, wait, I don’t know anything about her. I’ll call her tomorrow to find out more!” (Note: If you are over 21, we recommend you drink ONLY ONE alcoholic beverage per date. Alcohol can make you comfortable. More than one drink can make you TOO comfortable revealing your deepest darkest secrets, your most embarrassing moments, and your hopes and dreams about a beautiful future with him and your seven children all on the first date. If you don't believe us, watch The Bachelor.)
• On the Phone or Skype: Screen your cell phone calls. Do not answer the phone or text him if you are with other people. Enjoy your friends and family and the event you are at instead of entering into a conversation with him. If you are not busy, keep your phone conversations down to 10 minutes or less. This will keep you from revealing too much too soon and he will soon figure out that he needs to ask you on a date if he wants to spend quality time getting to know you. The same principles apply during phone conversations. Ask more questions than he asks. Answer his questions with honest, short and cute answers. If he leaves a message, only return calls if he specifically asks you to call him back.
• Email, Texting, IM-ing: This can be very dangerous. As women we often feel very free to express ourselves when we are sitting in front of a keyboard. We start typing and suddenly we have typed a 10 page email that is humorous, emotional and perfectly describes everything we are feeling and thinking, but it is way too revealing. Use the Mirror Rule in all of these cases. If he sends a 5 line e-mail, respond with a 5 line or less email. If he sends a 10 word text to you, don’t exceed 10 words when you respond. Use these communication modes to your advantage. Be witty and playful in your responses. Follow the 10 minute rule with texting and IM-ing conversations. You are a busy, in demand woman. He needs to ask for a date to spend some significant time getting to know you.
Remember, your goal is to be an intriguing mystery he wants to solve. Always leave him wanting more at the end of every date, phone call, email or text.