For most of us, meeting someone new is a somewhat stressful experience: will they like me? Will I have something interesting to say? Will I feel included? Raise the stakes to a date and now it is: will they think I’m sexy? Can they see my flaws? Do I have something interesting to say? There is no way around that fact that dating can be stressful and first dates can even reveal a new side of yourself you didn’t even know you had.
If your first dates are not going all that well, one thing you may want to look at is how much time you are taking up talking. Do you find yourself over-sharing? Telling story after story? Possibly divulging more information than a person who just met you needs to know? Do you ask the person on the date with you about themselves?
If you think back on your most recent dates, what percentage of the time were you talking versus your date?
It’s unreasonable to assume that all first dates will be 50/50 shared talking time. Some people are more or less open or share at different levels – but if you find yourself talking 75 percent of the time you really need to ask yourself if you are leaving room for your date. I would say if you are talking more than 60 percent of the time you will better long-term success if you scale back your talking.
Not only do people share on different levels but people also talk at different speeds. Some people take time to get out sentences and if you are moving too quickly you might miss what they have to say and potentially a great connection.
Perhaps even more important is that a sexual connection is built in those moments of tension and slight awkwardness. If you suck all the air out of the conversation or take up all the time being a Chatty Cathy, it’s really difficult for the sexual energy to build.
Sometimes people dominate the conversation because they are uncomfortable with building sexual energy or will use excessive chatting as a way to deflect and not get too close to the other person. This could be a sign that they are not ready for a deeper connection, and are consciously or unconsciously sabotaging the possibility of that happening.
If you find yourself talking too much, you probably will want to spend some time reflecting on intimacy and what aspects make you feel uncomfortable. Ask yourself if you are really ready to be close to someone and whether or not you are putting yourself forward in a honest and approachable way that allows people to relate with you. If you notice a lot of resistance to this idea, write it out or talk through it with a friend or therapist.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who said something was off with a guy she had been on three dates with. As we talked she shared that more and more she felt like this guy talked so much about this, that and the other thing that she was unable to get a word in about herself. This left her feeling isolated and like he was showing off and not trying to connect. Needless to say this is not an attractive quality.
For first dates, I really encourage my clients to gear conversations towards finding mutual interest. Meaning you would both need to talk about things you feel passionate about. This creates a positive and bonding experience, a foundation to build on, that also leads to potential second dates.