Oversharing is Not Uncommon

Meeting new people can be very intimidating. Often dating anxiety leads men and women to overshare on a first date or at the beginning of a possible relationship. While it may seem like a great way to build a quick connection or get difficult topics out of the way, it isn’t building a solid foundation for a stable relationship.

“Using vulnerability is not the same thing as being vulnerable; it’s the opposite—it’s armor.” –Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

Daters who share way too much information are often doing so out of anxiety. Everyone is worried about how they look, act, dress, etc. Oversharing can relieve that anxiety, but it can very quickly turn into a therapy session. 

Oversharing often occurs despite the best of intentions. They may share something embarrassing to overshadow someone else’s shame, or try to fill an awkward silence to make their date more comfortable. Unfortunately, it can often backfire and actually make everyone that much more uncomfortable. 

Avoid discussing things like previous relationships, financials, estranged family members, and medical history. A good rule of thumb is to steer clear of any topics that bring up negative emotions.

Prepare for your date the same way you would prepare for an interview, review appropriate topics beforehand so you won’t panic anytime there is a slight pause in the flow of conversation

Do I Share Too Much?

Let’s do a quick self-assessment; ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Do I know as much about the lives of my friends, family, and acquaintances as they know about me?
  • Do I talk a lot when I get nervous?
  • How often do I catch myself saying things like, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but…?
  • How often look back on conversations with regrets?
  • Do I often share intimate details about my life with strangers or acquaintances?
  • Do I fill lulls in conversation by any means necessary?
  • Have I ever shared something about myself to:
    • Cultivate a connection with someone?
    • Make someone else feel comfortable?
    • Take the focus off of someone else?
    • Gain someone’s sympathy?
    • Get someone’s attention?

Conversations should be reciprocal;  be sure to practice active listening. Pay attention to your date’s body language. Are they sitting back, looking away, or playing on their phone? TMI means you run the risk of making your date uncomfortable and alienating them before they even get a chance to know you.

Building connections through vulnerability is one of the best parts about dating and new relationships. Getting to know a person on a deep, personal level is a beautiful, challenging experience. Do you find yourself sharing too much because you crave interpersonal connections? 

Unfortunately, when you overshare early on, it doesn’t speed up the relationship process like you might hope. The early stages of a relationship where couples keep things light while they get to know one another is key to building a solid foundation. Sharing your personal story can be empowering—at the right time, in the right place, with the right people.