How Much is Too Much to tell a Prospective Online Date?
Despite the prominence of online dating today, there are still some aspects of it that can be a bit complicated. Even for people who are pros when it comes to meeting people, the online dating world is sometimes tricky to navigate.
When we meet someone new in person, it’s often intuitive how much to tell them about yourself. We’ve probably all had in-person friendships begin before. The experience of getting to know someone romantically in person is often pretty similar.
But when it comes to getting to know a potential date online, there can be an entirely different dynamic.
Just how much should you tell a prospective date about yourself before you meet them in person?
Here are three areas to look at and some ideas to help you find the right balance.
1. Don’t be shy about basic info
One area you probably don’t have to be too cautious about is the basic information about your personality and what makes you unique.
If you were getting to know someone in person, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to tell them what you do for a living or your favorite past-times.
When it comes to things like this, you should try to treat an online interaction much like you’d treat meeting someone in person. This is probably the best way to make sure they can really get to know you and can get a feel for the kind of person you are.
That’s the nice thing about online dating – you can essentially start a friendship with someone at a distance by getting to know them and letting them get to know you, before you have to decide whether the two of you might make a good match.
The one caveat here is to make sure to use common sense as well. Sharing basic info doesn’t necessarily mean personal info – you don’t need to tell them your social security number for them to get to know you!
2. Past relationship details might be relevant, but not always
If you meet someone online and begin cultivating a light relationship based on the things you get to know about one another, there might come a time when it’s relevant to share some details of your past dating life.
As you get ready to move forward and get a bit more serious about pursing a relationship, it could be a good time to talk about what your dating experience has been this far.
If the other person is an experienced dater and you’ve hardly ever dated before, it might be good idea to help them understand what to expect. The opposite is true as well.
But at the same time, there’s probably not a need to tell them the nitty-gritty ins and outs of all your past relationships.
Talking about your exes is not usually a thrilling topic, after all.
The key when it comes to past relationship details is to tell them only the details that might matter.
When in doubt, try to put yourself in their shoes. Would you find this detail important at this point in time, if they were to tell it to you about their own past relationships? If not, hold off on sharing about it for now.
3. Use caution with the deep, dark details
Sometimes, after you’ve been talking to someone online for quite some time, you might feel like you know them very well. You might feel like it’s a good idea to share your deepest, darkest secrets that almost no one else knows about.
Most likely, now is not the time to share those things with them. It’s great if the two of you are building trust. But it’s hard to truly know someone fully before you’ve met them in person.
Even if this deep dark stuff seems to be relevant to a relationship with them, it still might be wise to hold off until you’ve met in person.
For example, take the case of past abuse. If the two of you end up getting married, the other person should know that you’d been abused in the past. Things like this can have a big impact on a marital relationship.
But this isn’t a detail you need to disclose to someone right away.
You don’t owe them this personal information about yourself before either of you are at all certain that you want to consider a marriage together.
Deep, personal information about yourself should only be shared with someone you trust. While you can trust someone you’ve met online to a degree, meeting them in person might change things in ways you don’t expect.
Don’t be afraid to share the things that will really help build a solid foundation for a possible relationship. But you owe it to yourself to hold off on telling the things that are deeply personal until the foundation of trust between you is as solid as it can be.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.