“Never talk about your ex” and “Don’t complain” are two common rules of a first date. But what about letting go? How much should you reveal about yourself when you first meet someone? Do you put it all out on the table or lure them in before you hit them with a whammy?
The Facebook Dating Project has recently led me to explore these questions. First, I was on a date with a writer named “Claudio.” In conversation about our families I mentioned that my mother had recently moved to LA. He said he thought that was fantastic. But Claudio took it two steps further telling me that if he could live with his mother, he would. He loved her. “I love my mom!” he shouted in the crowded bar. He even stood up. Then he added, “When she’s ill I rub lotion into her feet.” I’m not kidding.
Next, I was on a date with a photographer named “David.” We had a lot of fun and he asked me for a second date. Before we could get there, we ended up working together for a few days. At the end of one of the days, I was standing about 10 feet from him talking to my boss as he and two other guys were packing up. I heard an earth shattering noise. A fart so loud I swear the sidewalk shook. And I knew where it came from. Tears of laughter rolled down my face as I tried not to react. One of the guys said to David, “Dude, was that you?” “Yeah man,” he answered.When I was in my 20s I had “The List.” I wanted to date a guy who looked like he walked out of a J. Crew catalog: preppy, six feet tall, brown hair. I had that boyfriend in college and he set my tone. I’m in my mid 30s now and my list has gone out the window. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know myself, getting comfortable with myself, and honing in on what I’m looking for in someone else.
In the first case — I didn’t need the image of Claudio rubbing his mom’s feet burned into my head on the first meeting. I am definitely looking for someone who is close to his family and who thinks family is important. I think Claudio’s relationship with his mom, however, should have been revealed more slowly. Maybe after I had met Mom weeks down the line. We didn’t go out again, and mostly because of busy schedules. But after a man shouts “I love my Mom” on a date it’s a hard to recover. But I appreciate his honesty. He was 38 and divorced. If Mom is a big factor in his life he shouldn’t hide it. There is a woman out there who will find this charming and wonderful.