Men START Listening!
Remember Joey on Friends saying, “How are you doing?” It was his classic line that supposedly made all the women swoon. After venturing back into the dating pool, I now get it. A man asking about me?! Now the double whammy would be a man asking and listening, but let’s not jump the shark here. What I have been seeing a lot of in the past year of off and off again dating is men looking for a captive and attractive audience.
The more successful the man, the more he talks about himself – but it’s not limited to just guys on dates. I remember my first Uber ride feeling like I was held conversationally captive by the driver who talked non-stop about himself, his interests and his conspiracy theories about aliens in the White House. The dates – are becoming a little bit similar. Held conversationally captive by stories about…..them! Now, I want to be fair and say most of these men are decent guys- they just have a penchant for discussing….themselves! The commonalities- they are successful, interesting and seemingly have their stuff together. Were they talking about themselves out of nervousness? I’ve been there- I totally get that one- but alas that is not what I perceived to be the reason.
We’ve all had that friend or friends who are takers. They only talk about themselves and then towards the end of the conversation, throw in, ‘so how are you?”. I don’t know about you- but I call these people emotional vampires and really try and limit my time with them. What I’m unsure of is how to navigate this in the dating world? Usually you set up to meet for coffee or drinks for the first meeting. You don’t know a lot about each other and in best case scenarios you have a real conversation. It’s a volley of questions, answers and listening. What I’m not understanding is why so many men aren’t getting this concept? Why put the effort into meeting someone if you’re not going to take the time to actually get to know them? Is it loneliness? Is it selfishness?
I’ve been out where the guy talked for a bit and you could tell it was nerves. Then he finally acknowledged that he was doing all the talking and admitted to being nervous. I get it and so appreciate the honestly! Then it moves to a conversation vs. a soliloquy. We have all been there and I’m sure I’ve done the same thing when nervous. What I’m referring to in this blog is someone who really, really wants to talk about themselves, their interests and have you JUST listen. There is no room for feedback or conversation- you are supposed to listen and maybe even be impressed? Or sometimes they talk about themselves, their ex, the divorce and you feel more like a shrink. In fact one of my first online dates, the guy ‘dumped’ all his life on me, started crying and then an hour plus later told me how much better he felt and thanks. That was his bad and mine for not having a boundary around that one. Lesson learned.
I honestly thought maybe this was me and that my picking skills were off. I was picking men who seemed to have their life together on all fronts. Some had very successful careers and yet, they were lacking some basic listening skills. I am actually relieved that it’s not just me and that women of all ages have told me they’re experiencing the same thing. If you asked me the why behind men doing this, I don’t know. If you’re a guy and want to honestly fill me in- I’m all ears. What I can say if that if you’re a single man and looking for a real relationship- listen, ask questions and be curious about the person you’re meeting. I’m curious by nature, so I truly enjoy learning about someone new – even when I know there is no love connection. What I struggle with is not feeling like they are also curious to get to know me. My aha moment was learning this and finally saying to myself if they don’t ask me anything I’m not going to force it. Hence the one and done dates/meets and the ever handy delete feature.