Can you see it now?
You’re on a first date sitting in front of the fire, having a glass of wine while getting to know this fabulous person you’ve been interested in forever and ever – and here they are, right in front of you.
There’s cute banter and sexy smiles exchanged.
Each of you is coy in your own way. Clever one-liners and snippets go flying back and forth faster than forehands between the Venus sisters. The synergy building is filled with chemistry and seduction and all the good things you’d want any first date to encompass.
Can you see it?
One sip of that delicious vino turns to two sips and two sips suddenly turn into four and three glasses later, while slurring, you’re talking about your bipolar ex, or your father in prison, or that $300k debt.
You get the drift.
It’s too much information way too soon and you wind up, for lack of a better term, blowing your pleasantries way too early.
Thus, the term I’m proud to have coined: Premature Revelation.
Premature Revelation: During a first date or at the very beginning of a relationship or date, too much information is shared, too fast, too quickly leading to an unsatisfactory night for one or both partners.
How is this fictitious condition diagnosed?
Your therapist or close friend, parent, sibling, cousin, anyone who has the nerve, may need to sit down and chat with you about over-sharing. After all, this isn’t the second -grade show and tell. It may be rooted in physical, psychological or emotional issues. Who knows? But if you find that there isn’t one first date that leads to a second, you just may have it.
How is it treated?
In many cases, premature revelation gets better after realizing you actually have it. Practicing relaxation techniques or using distraction methods may help delay idle chatter and too much personal information from being overshared. Cutting down on alcohol may improve how well premature revelation can be controlled. You can try bringing a friend on the date, or destressing before maybe even chewing your food for longer intervals. Counseling or behavioral therapy may help reduce anxiety related to Premature Revelation.
One technique: After you start to talk, stop after about a minute, then start up again only after you feel that you have regained control.
Or better yet … how about just stop talking.
Seriously, this first date is just what it sounds like. It’s a first date. First impressions cannot be redone and no one is entitled to know your entire life story on a first meeting.
As time goes on and trust is built, revealing information is a delicate, forward-moving initiative that rises with the increase of time and consistency in the relationship. This is where the little voice in your head rings that magic buzzer that tells you intrinsically what to share and when it’s time.
It is also essential to understand the difference between secrets and privacy. Sometimes we get confused and can mix up the idea between oversharing and being authentic.
Somewhere along the way, several aspects of authenticity seem to have become twisted. Some people have adopted the idea that “being honest” and “owning your story” means sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with the world.
This isn’t always true.
In fact, you might put yourself in physical danger by revealing too much to the wrong person. You could alienate people who feel uncomfortable by the amount of personal information you share. And recounting your problems to people who don’t have your best interests in mind may lead them to take advantage of you.
People forget that there needs to be a shred of mystery and some holes unfilled in the Swiss cheese during the dating/courting period of any new friendship or relationship.
I’m certainly not suggesting hiding your past or keeping secrets, but emotional intimacy is earned, and it’s earned after time, consistency and continuum of the relationship.
I like to think of emotional intimacy as being just as respected as physical intimacy. Just like a woman should not jump into bed with every Tom, Dick and Harry, she should not tell them her most intimate thoughts and secrets right off the bat.
Is Tom, Dick and Harry even still a thing?
Let me ask you something: Would you even walk into a house that announced every leaky faucet, running toilet or creaky floor on the listing?
Um, Houston that would be a no.
Ask any Realtor, and they’ll tell you that house listings tout all the pros — You know, the hardwood floors and the Viking appliances, not the roof that needs replacing or the wet crawl space growing mold.
But once we fall in love with the house, all bets are off. We slowly learn the flaws of the house as time passes, and by the time they are really revealed, we love the house too much to care.
We’re even willing to FIX the house! (Most of the time).
Just as a small sidebar, sometimes the house has too many problems, and after a wee bit of time, we wind up not buying it because the actual foundation is cracked and bat sh*t crazy. (Metaphor people!!)
In the end, if you just want to be heard … do yourself a favor and call a close friend, or your mother or some random 800 number, but don’t spill your “E! True Hollywood Story” quite so fast.
And by the way, if you do suddenly start to emotionally hemorrhage on a date and you can’t stop the idle verbiage that’s flowing out of your mouth like a milk chocolate fountain…
Quite frankly, stick a burger in it and just call it a night.
Until next time,
Born and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Karin has a BA in sociology, with a minor in psychology earning honors at Michigan State University. Along with certification in relationship coaching, Karin is an international blogger and past columnist. She is currently accepting clients and advertisers and can be reached @firstname.lastname@example.org.