You want to have deeper connections with men so you practice asking deeper questions and sharing more about your inner thoughts, feelings, and challenges.
A woman who I recently spoke to shared that a guy ended their connection 2 months in because he felt she was unloading a lot of personal baggage on him and it felt overwhelming. She had some family challenges come up recently that she frequently brought up when they would meet up.
So she asked me: “Am I oversharing personal problems while dating? How vulnerable can I be?”
Here are some guiding principles to follow:
1.) Different people have different capacities and desires for depth.
Some people may be fundamentally incompatible with you because they don’t have the desire or need for as much depth and intimacy as you do. This isn’t wrong, it’s just different. Some people are not able to hold space for big emotions, shocking thoughts, or a full range of human experience. Again, it’s not a bad thing, they tend to do very well with other “happy go lucky” types of people who enjoy chatting about what is here and now.
If intimacy and depth are very important to you, you may not match well with someone who is easily overwhelmed by deeper or more intense emotions.
2.) Dumping vs being seen.
Even if you are naturally drawn towards deeper intimacy, you will still benefit from learning skills about how to share and how to listen. Dumping is when we are venting about a specific issue, often going in circles, asking for advice and not taking it, complaining, or moaning about things going on in our life.
Being seen involves being honest and open about how you feel and what is going on in your world without making the other person responsible for making it better. The main purpose of sharing is just to allow the other person in and to see you are you really are in this moment. You share the story of what is going on once. You don’t ask for advice unless you really intend to see how that person is right or consider implementing it. You also allow yourself to experience one of the main benefits of relationship which is being distracted from your issue temporarily and remembering that there is more to life than the specific challenge in front of you right now. You don’t tell yourself that you can’t laugh, have fun, or talk about other things just because something in your life is hard right now.
3.) 80% fun, 20% depth.
This is the formula for great dates. In general, we want to keep the gross ratio of fun to depth about 80% to 20% throughout the relationship. Now don’t worry, maybe one date it’s 100% fun and then the next it’s 100% depth. We just want to keep the average at about 80:20.
If we start to dip too far into the depth side such as 40% fun and 60% depth, most people start to feel drained. It starts to feel too heavy, less flirty, less romantic, less playful. We make a lot of decisions based on our energy levels in dating so if the ratio is out of order people may start to feel like it’s not the right connection for them.
Connecting, and especially connecting deeply, are skills we need to learn. Don’t beat yourself up even if you do feel you overshared a bit on a date. It’s often in retrospect that we get this awareness and feedback that helps us find the right balance of depth with people in the future.
Once you get the hang of it, the payoff is huge. You get to experience true intimacy, connection, love, and support. You will have closer friendships, more extraordinary dating experiences, and feel like you can just be yourself with others.