One of my mentors once told me that disclosure is the first step to transparency, and a lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity. While I agree wholeheartedly, I also believe disclosure should be served in pieces, especially in the early stages of building a relationship. Sadly, we must face the reality that there are a significant number of psychopaths, abusers and bullies on the dating scene, all of whom prey on information. Therefore, an early disclosure could directly harm you or your loved ones. My suggestion: Ladies, do NOT let him know everything about you right away. In particular, stay away from disclosing these things too early on.
I’ve heard contentious debate over whether or not the number of sexual partners you’ve had should be disclosed, ever. I’m on the side of transparency on this one, however, not when you first meet someone. On a first or second date, the person is just getting to know you, and quite frankly, your number is none of their business at that point.
From what I’ve gathered, living on this planet, each of us has at least one insane or questionable friend, so let’s all just accept that. But beware of guilt by wide association. If you paint a picture that “most” of your friends are a particular way (let’s say most of your friends have had tough embattled relationships or are going through rocky break ups), he will assume that same thing about you.
There’s not a week that goes by without a client telling me about a date they were on and the person they went out with brought their kids. This is 200 percent wrong. It is psychologically damaging to continually introduce your kids to a series of people you’re casually dating. Additionally, it’s simply not safe to provide any information about your children (such as where they attend school).
I’ve literally had clients stalked at home or work by men they no longer wanted to be in a relationship with. NEVER let them see or know where you live or work early in the dating process.
We’ve all had to walk through the fire at some point in our lives; some of us more than others. Each of those journeys had a unique context, with it’s own circumstances and reasons, always too complex to simply sum up with a statement like “I’m a recovering alcoholic.” So why even go there? Keep those moments private until you know you’re with someone who is going to be around longer than a season.
Flaunting money and/or material possessions in the dating process is a direct sign of insecurity. Interestingly enough, conveying how much you owe or how impoverished you are is also a sign of insecurity.
This will scare away a significant number of men – even marriage-minded ones. It’s completely fine to express interest in both of these long-term (think: 2yrs+), but when you mention your biological clock is ticking and you’d like to be knocked up and jumping a broom in less than a year, that’s um…yeah, not good.
Let’s continue the conversation about love. You can find me on Twitter or Facebook any time. Look out for my new book, It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be) A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love, in stores this October.