You may have heard that giving a good impression is a valuable thing to remember when going on a date. However, it is important that your good image is founded on facts – you definitely need your date to know all about you without turning them off. So how do you balance the dating equation so that your date has a pleasant time but still gets to know “the real you” in the process? Simple – you rely on self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is a process. This means that you don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind – that can be embarrassing for you and your date. You should think carefully about which aspects of your life you are ready to disclose to your date. If this is a first date, you probably won’t need to bring up heavy topics, like your need to have children soon or your personal timetable for getting married. But on subsequent dates, it is normal and possibly very acceptable to bring up such topics. The awkward part may be who does the self-disclosure first. You will have to gauge the mood of your date to see if he or she is ready for some facts about you first – if they seem open enough, you can test the waters by giving a few basic facts. This is also useful for opening the door to conversation.
We all have secrets, but it can be a delicate situation to determine when and how to disclose the more private matters of your life to the person you’re dating. If your date seems like a kind, caring and understanding individual then they might be ready for your self-disclosure. Otherwise, you may have to save these conversations for a time in the future when you feel adequate trust and respect has been built.
Some people get really anxious on dates because they are over-eager to give a favorable impression – but the problem with becoming that anxious is that your date may perceive that as being too enthusiastic. Check yourself periodically to see if you are behaving in a relaxed and friendly manner. You can probably gain fair warning that you are broadcasting your anxiety based on the expression on your date’s face or body language. They might not say out loud, “I think you’re too nervous,” but they may already be thinking it. So do make it a point to behave in a relaxed manner as much as possible. The weight of the world doesn’t rest on one date, so it’s best to gauge your behavior accordingly.
Self-disclosure can be considered a double-edged sword because it can either work for you or against you. The way you disclose information can also influence how your date perceives you. If you are really nervous or anxious during your date, you may need help from an expert to figure out the causes of your nervousness or anxiety so that you don’t carry it with you during successive dates.