Too much honesty can be just as bad as not enough honesty. In a different way of course. Let’s say you are writing your profile for Match.com. You have had it with men who won’t commit or who have been less than truthful. So you put right out there for everyone and anyone to see in your profile. "Don’t bother connecting with me if you are emotionally unavailable or a liar." Or, you might state what you want plainly rather than focusing on the negative, "Must be honest."
Avoid Flashing Neon Signs
Seems harmless right? No way! Using these demanding phrases isn’t just bad form because it’s very demanding. These comments are like flashing neon signs to visitors – "I’VE BEEN TAKEN IN BY A LIAR" or "I’M TIRED OF MEN" Think about it – are these messages you want to share?
Present Your Best Self
Nope. And here’s why. In your profile, just like in your emails, on the phone and in person, you want to appear at your best. You want to be positive, on your best behavior, and most appealing yes? Well those demands show that you’ve been hurt or had a less than pleasant history. Now of course if you’ve gotten to m id-life, you probably have some relationship baggage – that’s just the facts of life. And almost everyone will have some. but do you need to advertise it?
That’s why there is such a thing as too much honesty. Especially upfront.
Focus on What You Do Want
Instead, focus on what you do want and what qualities will work for you in a partner. If you want a long-term relationship – go ahead and say that. If you want a man who will be a life partner, you can say that too. If you want a beau who has a sharing spirit and generous heart, that’s good too. – These are positive requirements, not demands.
Don’t Share Dating War Stories
Too much honesty also comes into play when you spill your guts about your dating adventures and mishaps. Some people also call this TMI – Too Much Information. If you’re tempted to share ugly details right upfront – just zip it! You can share your dating war stories at some point in the future. But don’t paint that sad sack image for him from the get go!
Break-Up Honesty is Not a Good Strategy
Lastly, too much honesty is not a good thing when you are cutting a guy lose after just a few dates. Or sometimes after a couple of months. If the guy isn’t working out for you, don’t insult him by listing his short comings from your perspective. What good will that do for either of you?
The real downside is when you find one of those guys who will start arguing with you, saying he’s not really like that. I know this from personal experience. I dated a man who added more and more time between calls and dates as time went by. Instead of getting closer, we were getting farther apart.
So I told him that I wanted someone who was more available and interested in a closer relationship. Seemed obvious and harmless. WRONG. He lashed out calling me names, listing my issues, along with a load of nastiness. Don’t put yourself through this.
Think of honesty in these situations in the same way the army handles classified information — on a Need -to-Know basis. It’s not dishonest to keep your history close to the vest initially (unless asked a direct specific question I guess.) And it’s not dishonest to minimize someone’s flaws when ending a relationship. It’s more like self-preservation and good manners.
When in Doubt, Leave it Out
Hurting or offending someone with your honesty is not smart or necessary. Neither is selling yourself short by exposing previously bad judgment or situations. Try this rule of thumb – When in doubt – leave it out. You can always add more details later as you get to know each other.
Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.