Dear Ronnie – The Dating Coach,
What if you’re a successful, capable, woman in your early 40’s and you’ve never been married (for all the various reasons: haven’t met the right person, dated the wrong men, demanding career, etc.). You’ve achieved a lot, have plenty to offer and have every reason to feel proud.
However, you go on a date and and the guy asks why you’re not married or if you’ve ever been close. The he gets stuck on this topic.
This is a very sensitive and invasive question and it’s easy for me to feel judged and defensive. It’s like I have to prove there’s nothing wrong with me. So, its very tricky answering in a graceful manner that confidently sends the message there is nothing wrong with me. If I answer this question wrong, I almost guarantee never hearing from the guy again.
What does it mean when a guy asks this question and then repeats the question? Should a woman feel insulted? Is this an invasion of privacy and far too personal to ask at a first meeting? How should I answer?
Looking forward to your reply!
Perplexed in NY
I understand why this would bother you. My answer is some men are curious and it is a fair question in my opinion. On the other hand, some men are idiots and have no social graces. Both are true because it depends on the man.
I think the best thing you can do is come up with a standard answer and then, shift to a new topic. If he comes back to it again, shift him away in a flirty manner.
This is another place to use feminine energy rather than feel angry or insulted. Neither one of these helps, whether the man in front of you is the right man or not. Better to chalk it up to unchecked curiosity on a man’s part.
Here are a few suggestions for how to respond. You could simply smile as gracefully as you can muster and say any of these:
“Why don’t you tell me more about you.”
“Let’s keep the conversation light today to see how we click”
“Let’s talk about fun topics – where did you go on your last vacation?” or
“Do you have a hobby?”
The more you can deflect anger on your part, the more open you will be to men. Sometimes people ask stupid questions and don’t mean anything by it. But how can you tell? If you appear annoyed, you lose. That’s why dating is a lot like playing poker – keep your emotions close to the vest like a good hand to maintain the advantage.
That’s why I tell my dating coaching clients to focus on “data gathering,” which is my definition for dating. Yes, note his questions. Note his bringing it up again. See what else happens. Note the good things too. 🙂
It’s easy to take offense and find reasons to dislike men. Women have become really good at this. Look at Sex in the City – that’s what the whole show and movies are about.
The true test for my dating coaching clients who are serious about finding a loving partner comes in finding things to like about men. So, come up with your standard answer. Practice saying it out loud with yourself so that it flows naturally from your lips. Then give it a try next time it comes up. And adjust as needed.
One of the keys to successful dating my dating coaching clients become proficient with is to not let any particular first meeting be too bothersome. They find ways to let what a man says and does roll off. They use positive self-talk like, “Who is next?” to keep moving in a positive direction and manage their emotions.
You are a single woman over 40 with plenty to be proud of. So be proud and don’t give away your power or feminine charm to questions and incidents that don’t matter over the long run.
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photo credit: StacyLynn