Transparency: How much is too much?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2007
Transparency: How much is too much?
3
Mon, 03-29-2010 - 10:13pm

I recently returned to online dating after 6 months hiatus. I've written my profile very honestly and saying I'm interested in creative types, as I myself am. I went on two dates with an actor/screen writer. The first date we talked about our writing, and it went very well. The second date was similar but then he started questioning me about a current novel I was writing, asking where I go the idea, from my life etc. I shared that it was based on an experience in a previos relationship. He kept asking questions and thinking that we were still talking about the novel, I revealed some facts about my past. I didn't think too much of it and we ended the night with a hug. He called the next day, but I was busy and didn't get a chance to call him back. Then today I got an email that merely said "messed up I don't need" and that was it! No explanation, it was the weirdest ever. So then I'm thinking, did I miss something? was I too honest with him? did I miss a red flag? I'm left scratching my head. He also deleted himself from my favourites.

I do remember one thing that seemed to bother him in the coversation. I told him that I'd found him on a movie site, as he'd been in some movies, and he said, how did you, you don't know my name. But he'd mentioned it in the first date, a stage name. He seemed to be a bit bothered by that. But I said it very lightly and was merely talking about the movie, asked how it was doing in the indie circuit etc.

Anyway, the whole thing just left me feeling a bit icky. It's so hard to know what to tell and what not to tell. I've made mistakes in my past -- been divorced now for 10 years and was in a relationship 3 years ago, which ended badly, but he was the cheater, not me, that sort of thing. I'm always very careful about talking about exes. It's never a good idea. But at the same time, our pasts are our pasts and I've always been careful to be in the present.

Never give all the heart, for love...
If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2001
Wed, 03-31-2010 - 8:32pm

Wow, great anecdote, Florida, if a bit sad. Living with his mom? Poor guy.

There have been times when I've mentioned on a first or second date that I write, but I don't like talking about my book. I might give a brief synopsis, but these guys come and they go. I don't want to talk about that stuff until I know the interest is real.

That classic question about where the ideas come from? Come on. Sorry but it sounds ignorant. Plus which this guy asked questions and then sort of punished the OP for her honest answers.

I think my reluctance to be upfront about my writing comes from a serious relationship I had--serious and brief, I must say. Although the man seemed interested in me, as time went on, he asked no questions. The fact that I'd written a novel wasn't on his radar.

Peculiar. Says a lot.

Don't let this turkey bother you. He's a fool to judge you on your material. Good thing you don't write the romantic hot hot fiction that a few of my writing group colleagues are getting paid for!

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Tue, 03-30-2010 - 7:58am

His email seems rather cryptic and rude to me.

As a creative person myself, it seems like a no-brainer that other creatives would understand that material is taken from your life experience, and that can be your experience, part-fantasy, part-reality, part borrowing from others' lives. I would think if the two of you were hitting it off that revealing things about the origins of your work would be interesting and not a turn-off, unless of course you were revealing truly bizarre or disturbing/illegal/over-the-top sorts of things (e.g. "I used to torture animals," "I ran my ex over with my Hummer")

I used to be more "myself" when meeting men, but I've learned to monitor myself more. I never talk about an ex, I don't say the word "marriage" or "relationship." I do not ask questions about his past relationships or marriage. It's too bad it has to be this way. And of course, later on you'll want to talk about all of this, I just think in the beginning--for me--it's better not to. You didn't do anything wrong, BTW. It almost seems like he was looking for a reason to "disqualify" you.

I have to laugh. I once met a man through the personals who was also a fine art photographer like me. We decided to bring some of our photos to share when we met for the first time. I showed up with an edited-down clutch of 5 photos, he came with a huge stack. In this stack where nude photos of his ex-wife! I'm no prude, and certainly used to viewing nude figures as art, but come on...your ex wife on a first meet? Of course, I found out she had broken his heart and left him for one of her professors, he was still really pining for her and he lived with his mother. All of this on a first meet. I actually went out with him a second time, but after that I bailed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2009
Mon, 03-29-2010 - 10:37pm

I found that it IS hard to determine what is too much, too this or too that. I just decided it is best to be myself, to relax into just sharing and chatting, and to enjoy myself. I found that the right person will find me just right.

I don't believe in self censoring myself or watching what I have to say out of fear. I yam what I yam and if the person does not like me when they first meet me then so be it.

I see dating as a self selection process, i.e. if the person is bothered by fill-in-the-blank then s/he is not really for me.

Mark