Friday, June 19, 2009

Guys Who Go On and On and On About Themselves

Terry,

I'm a single girl in late 20's. I'm fairly good looking, intelligent, kind and caring, and have lots of self-respect.

When I date guys (via online dating sites), we usually talk over the phone for about a week or so, before we plan to meet up (due to distance concerns, etc.).

Also, it makes sense for me to know if we share anything in common to meet the guy on a real date (for eg: some guys make awful jokes even over the phone, mostly it sounds more disrespectful towards me or someone else than a joke! Or they talk ill about women in general, as in, "I think a man should be the one who makes decisions in relationships" etc ...or they behave weird, i.e. leave me three voice messages within 5-10 mins when the phone gets a weak signal).

Anyway, most of the guys I've dated, seem to talk too much about themselves, they ask nothing much about me after first 5,10 mins and then keep talking about themselves!

I suspect this is because, I ask them questions that make them talk about themselves in detail. But when I pause after they're finished, they don't ask anything about me, and still keep talking 'bout themselves! Because, I'm interested (in the guy), I'll say something about the topic they're saying, and it becomes all about what the guy's saying. Even if I pause later, he gets so engrossed talking about himself, he forgets he should also know about me.

Now this has happened with at least 15-16 guys that I had phone dates with. Somehow it turned out, they were not right to even meet, as they didn't match in other departments like kindness, consistency, or at least one shared interest etc. I got to know so much about the guy, as the guy spent most of the time talking about himself, so at the end, he's no idea about me, but I know an awful lot about him. It worked for me in some ways, that I could call it off, knowing what a creep he is, when he told stories about himself.

But, I feel tired on phone dates, listening to the guy forever. My friends tell me, I should take charge and also tell them about myself, as guys are not good at asking any questions (asking questions which make a girl talk about herself ).

I feel, asking things is a sign of interest, and may be they're only interested in themselves and narcissists.

But I doubt it, as they seem very disappointed when I call it off, even before the meeting ... and genuinely seem to like me, and always make that call at the time promised, and email me during the day. Some even insist on meeting, before I make a decision to move on that early. ( I always stick to my NO though. )

So, do I have to share things about myself without asking, or am I just attracting a bunch of narcissists?

I'm a little scared of commitment seeing these guys, and I know I wouldn't feel that way, when I meet that kind, intelligent, loyal, caring man. Am I doing something wrong? I'd like to know your views about where I went wrong, if that's the case.

-Sore Ear


Dear Sore Ear-

You're doing quite a bit right, feeling these people out before you agree to meet them. And no wonder they all seem to like you; everybody likes to be listened to, and since so few people are willing to be the listener, you come off like the ideal mate.

It's possible some of these guys are narcissists. It's possible that others are too nervous or too clueless to let you do some of the talking. You ask a question, they answer. They wait for your next question. You ask it, they answer. Some of them probably aren't even aware they're bad conversationalists because you're such a good one: You ask questions. You're interested in other people. You're a good listener.

Your friends are right, though. You need to interject. So, if you ask a guy what he likes best about his job, for example, let him answer. During that pause where you hope he'll ask you about your job, you say, "The great thing about my job is...."

If he listens, good. If he cuts you off, not good (you may indeed have a narcissist, or worse, a total bore on your hands). Once you find yourself slipping into that receptacle for information mode again, you can say (in a light and friendly way), "Hey, I've riddled you with enough questions. What would you like to know about me?"

I suspect you're somewhat shy about volunteering information about yourself. It really does feel better to be asked, to know that the other person actually cares. But you probably need to get out of your comfort zone on this one.

Interject! Volunteer! Speak up!

Did you really speak to a guy who said, "I think a man should be the one who makes decisions in relationships?"

Eek. I can't imagine that poor boy will get far in life!