June 22, 2014 / Stop Volunteering Negative Information About Yourself
There's honesty, and then there's TMI.
A question I get asked a lot is whether or not guys should reveal XYZ negative piece of information about themselves to a woman they’re dating. Specific examples include:
- "Should I tell her I am not looking for more than a quick fling?"
- "Should I tell her I don’t have a job?"
- "Should I tell her I have an embarrassing medical condition?"
At some point in the courtship or dating process, these pieces of information are going to come out, but guys, stop volunteering this information right off the bat!
Honesty versus telling the whole truth
For starters, let’s discuss why anyone would volunteer negative information that could potentially disqualify them or reduce their chances of getting the girl they are talking to. There is one reason: honesty. But honesty and volunteering information you weren’t asked about are two different things.
Your first date with a woman is much like a job interview. So let’s say you were on a job interview, and your resume had a gap of one year because you struggled to find a job and were unemployed. And say the interviewer asks you, "is there anything you can think of that would make you a poor fit for this role?" Which response would you choose?
- "Well, I was unemployed for a full year. Clearly many other employers were hesitant to hire me then, so you should be too. I’m just being totally honest with you."
Is the second answer dishonest? No. So then why, when it comes to dating, would you feel compelled to jump up and volunteer that you sometimes have eczema outbreaks on your arms?
She may already know
In the interview analogy, your one year job gap is right there on your resume. It’s in plain sight of the interviewer. And when it comes to dating, your negative traits are often more visible than you may think. Your own presence already discloses them, so there’s no reason to call additional attention to them.
Women aren’t stupid. If you’re in your mid- or late-20s and still live with your parents, it’s going to be fairly obvious even if you don’t explicitly tell her. If you’re not looking for an exclusive relationship, it’s going to show by the way you act and the kinds of dates you take her out on. If she’s fine with it, she’ll keep seeing you. If she’s not, she won’t. It’s really that simple.
What if it’s a Deal-Breaker to Her?
Some guys feel it’s necessary to volunteer negative information because they’re essentially worried they’ll meet a girl, so on several dates, things will be going great, and then she’ll find out he’s lactose intolerant and dump them immediately.
This almost never happens.
There are some women that have finely-tuned checklists of things that will automatically disqualify a guy as a dating partner. If she cares enough about them, she’ll explicitly ask you about them well before things progress past the first date or two.
Otherwise, chances are any "hard and fast" deal-breakers she has aren’t as hard and fast as you, or even she, may think. I know a lot of women who have said, "I’d never date a guy with tattoos." Chances are, she’s really saying "I don’t like guys that look like trashy bikers or surfer dudes." So if you’re a clean-cut guy but happen to have a tattoo, will that automatically disqualify you when she finds out? Will she really say, "despite the fact that we’re getting along great and have been on several fun dates, you have two inches of ink on your back, and therefore have been invalidated at a romantic partner?"
No, probably not. Your tattoo isn’t a deal-breaker. But telling her early on means instead of demonstrating high value so she can focus on your positive traits, she’s focus on your negative traits. Which leads me to ask:
Why Focus on the Negative So Early?
Your negative traits will come to light eventually. Overall, you should think your positive traits outweigh your negative traits. If that’s the case, then wouldn’t you want her to evaluate you in your entirety? So when you volunteer negative information right off the bat, you’re basically forcing her to evaluate you based on that trait in isolation. Why would you want to do this?
One major point of negative information that I am constantly asked about is volunteering that you just want a "friends with benefits" situation. This is one of the worst pieces of information to ever volunteer if you actually want a friends with benefits situation. The reason is that telling a woman you only want her for casual sex often ruins her interest in having casual sex with you,
EVEN IF THAT’S ALL SHE WANTS AS WELL!
Do you really expect the conversation to go this way?
- You: "I like you, but I’m not looking for anything serious. So I hope you don’t have any expectations of a long-term relationship."
- Her: "Me too! Now, let’s have casual sex."
A woman’s enjoyment of sex will still have a strong emotional component, even if they are not interested in an exclusive relationship. So when you tell a woman that you are only interested in her for the physical act of sex, it makes it much harder for her to feel any emotional connection and get any emotional pleasure out of it. This will make her less interested in wanting to have sex with you and could very well ruin the situation you want to have.
It’s dating, not court
At the end of the day, just remember, you are not dishonest if you don’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This is dating, not federal court.
If it’s truly a deal-breaker for her, she won’t hesitate to ask you about it anyway. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of value in revealing negative information about yourself before you’ve gotten a chance to emphasize the positive. Chances are she already knows the negative information, or it’s not as important to her as you think it is.