I’ve talked about this before in Why He Disappeared.
But it’s such an important topic that I thought I’d revisit it in case you missed my previous article (which you can read here.)
I’d like to talk about how you can sabotage a promising relationship before it even gets off the ground. And it usually happens on the first or second date.
It’s what I call the Bonding Trap.
It’s an easy trap to fall into and you have to be aware of it.
As a dating and relationship coach for women over 35 I see this quite often with single women who are dating in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and older and looking for a relationship.
The Bonding Trap is where you share “information” about yourself to bond and get closer to the guy you’ve just met.
We all have some sort of relationship baggage. It could be divorce, abuse, a sexually transmitted disease, a broken heart, or cheating, for example.
After all, by the time you reach 35 you’ve had a fair amount of life experience.
You’ve broken up with men.
You might have been married and divorced.
You might have had difficult or abusive relationships.
You might have children.
And when you meet a promising new man, you want him to know the real you.
There’s the mistaken belief that by sharing your relationship baggage, you’re “bonding” with the guy and getting closer to him. (And it’s not just women who fall into this trap. Men fall into it as well.)
Problem is, it scares him off.
It’s too early. And it’s too much information.
When he asks a question like, “When was your last relationship?” or “What happened in your marriage?” or “How come you’re single, you’re so beautiful?” or “Do you date a lot?” many women feel it’s the opportunity to “tell the truth” and reveal every sordid detail (that usually stems from bitterness, hurt, anger, or disappointment) about their past relationship or divorce or dating experiences.
Don’t be surprised if he asks you about your past relationship – it’s one of the most common questions asked.
And be prepared with an answer that doesn’t turn him off or scare him away.
Of course, you’re not just restricted to relationship baggage.
Your life plays a role, too.
I call it your life baggage.
> Your financial problems like debt or bankruptcy.
> Your health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure or a chronic illness or therapy sessions with your psychologist.
> Your sexual issues like low libido or, alternatively, a high libido.
> Your family issues such as divorced parents, an alcoholic father or mother, a family member in prison, or estrangement from your children.
> Your self-image and low self-esteem issues like thinking you’re not attractive enough, or you’re not sexy enough, or you’re too fat or too skinny or your boobs aren’t big enough.
> Your overall personality and demeanor including your sense of humor, your nature, and your honesty.
> Your addictions like drugs or alcoholism which you’re struggling with or have overcome.
> Your career problems like being fired or being unable to hold onto jobs.
> Your minor or major brushes with the law including speeding tickets or driving under the influence.
> Your beliefs about men, dating, and relationships because they can hide unresolved anger issues from past failed relationships.
For example, you might believe – based on your personal experience or what has happened to one of your close friends – that all men are liars or cheaters.
And during the date you make a comment that you’re willing to bet that the new guy you’ve just met is like all other men and that he lies or cheats.
Can you guess his reaction when he hears that? And can you guess who won’t get asked out on a second date after making a statement like that?
When you open up about your past too soon, you’re making a grave error.
It’s not sexy. It’s very unflattering. And it’s definitely a turn off.
Instead of bonding and bringing you and your new guy closer, it becomes alarming to him.
It sets off alarm bells and changes the upbeat mood of the date.
The mood and the date become much too serious way too soon.
He wonders what he’s gotten himself into…or what he could be getting himself into.
He wonders if he wants to be involved in your life with its unique set of problems and issues when he has his own to contend with too.
He begins to think…
> Does he want to meet your parents if one of them is an alcoholic?
> Does he want a sex kitten with a high libido when he’s slowing down and needs prescription medication to satisfy a woman?
> Does he want to help you through your debt or bankruptcy problems when he has his own money and an impeccable financial track record?
> Does he want a woman who is needy, clingy, sarcastic, and dishonest when what he is looking for is a woman who is confident, assured, sweet, and honest?
> Does he want to be involved with you when you share custody of your children and your ex shows up at the door every week with them so you can spend a few hours or have an overnight visit with them?
> Does he want to take the chance that you’ll get hooked on drugs again or fall off the wagon and be inebriated when he comes home from work every day?
Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m not saying to lie or mislead someone.
What I’m suggesting is that you pick the right time to tell someone about certain details about your life that are private.
Let him get to know you a little. And give yourself a chance to get to know him.
Don’t flood him with all the bad news right at the beginning.
If there is a connection then he’s more likely to accept your “baggage.”
After all, he has baggage too.
And he can probably relate to some of your issues.
But when he meets you, he’s looking for someone who is fun to be with, not someone who dumps all of her problems on him like it’s a therapy session.
As the relationship progresses and you go on more dates, these things will usually become more apparent as you talk about various parts of your life.
When you meet someone new, you’re looking for similarities and common interests or experiences to establish a bond. That’s normal.
Don’t be in a rush to share your baggage and dump it all on him on the first date or two – it can turn a guy off quickly and ruin a promising relationship.
If you find the conversation moving into dangerous “baggage territory” then steer things in another direction and keep the conversation upbeat and fun.
Blaine Barrington is a Dating and Relationship coach who helps single women find their Mr. Right. He’s the author of the Girl Gets Great Guy System – The System That Cracks The “Guy Code” And Helps You Find The Man Of Your Dreams.
The Girl Gets Great Guy System is for the woman who wants to find her one true love.
It’s for the woman who:
– Is longing for a loving relationship
– Never seems to be able to keep a good man for long
– Always seems to pick losers and deadbeats
– Wants to have more dates with quality men
Click the following link to find out more about the Girl Gets Great Guy System
GirlGetsGreatGuy.com – the site that gives dating advice to women and shows them how to find their Mr. Right – wishes to thank Stephanie Berghaeuser for the beautiful photo used in this article. Image credit: Hearts (c) Stephanie Berghaeuser Image #1040179 freeimages.com