Joanne is 39 and wants to get married and start a family. She’s ready, but isn’t sure when to share this with her dates. And why is that? Joanne feels it’s because many men she attracts aren’t emotionally available to her or ready for marriage and family.
Joel is 57 and divorced, and he also really wants to find his ideal match, but he’s been meeting women who don’t appreciate his generous nature and has some concerns about when to share about his alcoholic father and controlling mother. He worries that women will disqualify him for his less than idyllic family ties. Joel says he wants to find a woman who will love him for who he is.
Joanne and Joel are both amazing people, but they also get tripped up when it comes to sharing their true selves.
When is the right time to share your marriage mindedness or the true nature of your situation?
Share WHO YOU ARE from your very first encounter. Why not?
As I mentioned in my previous post, when you’re free of shame, you’re connected to the real you. You’re free to be you, which also means free to be vulnerable to the right people.
Here’s an example of how Joanne could “do” this:
JOANNE: Hi, Joe! I’m so happy to finally talk with you. I really enjoyed reading your profile--it sounds like we share similar values and goals . . . I’d love to learn more about you!
JOE: Same here!
Note to reader: Here is where you could share about your situation and then ask a question to see where your date is at.
JOANNE: Joe, I spent many years really focusing on my career and I didn’t give finding true love much attention at all! At this time in my life, though, I’m excited and ready to find my true love and best friend, and have the most amazing connection and build a family.
What about you, what’s your relationship vision? What are your goals?
At this point, it’s important you really listen and really hear what Joe says. You don’t listen through a lens of what you want him (or her) to say, or what you wish he (or she) will say. Instead, listen in a detached way.
Listening to someone in that way is actually giving them a real gift.
What’s so wonderful about this type of conversation is that it’s connecting at a meaningful level. From the get go, you’re each sharing your visions with each other.
Does it sound needy or desperate?
No way. If it’s clear, it’s free and it’s real.
Joanne is not telling Joe she wants to marry him. She’s just sharing herself.
And Joe will very likely take a moment and think about it for himself, reflecting about whether or not he’s marriage minded. If so, he might say:
JOE: Me too, I’m really ready to settle down and find my “one,” too. . . I was married before and it didn’t work out. But I now know why and that’s in the past. I absolutely love kids and I’m excited to have my own.
You see, a marriage minded person will naturally want to share they are.
If he’s not marriage-minded, he might say:
Right now, I’m super-focused on my company and building that. And I’m not really not sure I want kids, I have so much on my plate with work and my partners, and I’m travelling a lot. I haven’t really created a goal in that way. I figure that if I meet the right person, it’ll happen.
And with that, from the very first conversation, it’s clear their current vision, time frame, mindset and goals are not aligned. He’s not looking for what she’s looking for, and they can move on . . . instead of dating for months or even years!
Joanne, especially, can move on with clarity and peace of mind.
She can end the date by thanking him and telling him that it was great meeting him, but it’s clear they’re not at the same place . . . and she can wish him all the best.
You may be saying, “Why do it this way?”
The fact is, Joanne is not looking to date the “potential” in Joe or wants to wait to see if and when he’ll be ready, even if he looks really good on paper.
Pay attention here: The person you marry will want what you want and value what you value . . . and be ready now!
Here’s another example to illustrate the “when and how” of sharing important stuff with your date. Joel wonders how he can share his dysfunctional childhood with Barbara, the new woman he’s dating. His father had left when he was a child and his mother was very narcissistic . . . and while he didn’t live with her, she would regularly meddle in his affairs -- you get the picture.
When and how should he share that information without feeling judged and rejected? First of all, I’d suggest to Joel that he consider being open about this information on the first date.
Wow, you know, my childhood was actually really challenging. My parents had issues and still do, but what’s great is that I’m here and whole and excited about building a healthy marriage and family. I learned so much about myself from having grown up with people who really couldn’t meet my needs, and as a result, I’ve done a lot inner work and have what I think are quite healthy perspectives. As a matter of fact, I have many adopted parents and what I refer to as angels who’ve really been there for me.
Does that sound like Joel has a problem there?
No, it doesn’t. The truth is, we usually create problems where there are none. And if someone is going to judge you for the nature of your family situation or any other life circumstance you’ve had to deal with, once again, my sense is they are not right for you.
So, share away, be real and vulnerable, and when things flow, you’ll know.
You see, being you, being real is the sexiest, most magnetic way to be an attraction magnet for love.
If you have questions you’d like answered, send me an email personally to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer!