Name: Denny Laine
State: New York City
Question: I recently started talking with an OKcupid woman who I’ve been e-mailing with for a week. Things were going great and we finally made an appointment to meet. Before hanging up though she said “Just to let you know, I just got out of a 10 year relationship.” I didn’t know what to say but “OK.” I didn’t know what to make of that. What did that have anything to do with me? With us? Shouldn’t we start out fresh when meeting possible mates? Should I admire her for having a relationship last that long? Or should I question her for ending a relationship that lasted a long time? Do I give myself 10 years with her to see if we would make a different kind of couple? When I meet someone, I like to think we’re starting out fresh. I would answer any question they may have from “how long was your longest relationship?” to “why do you think it failed?” I would answer absolutely anything and everything and be totally honest. I understand it’s not about me, that she’s just trying to get a picture of what WE would be like in the future. But I wouldn’t saddle anyone with something like that when first meeting them. Was that supposed to be a warning to me, a total stranger looking to see her in good faith, starting out fresh? Any thoughts?
State: New York City
Wow. Okay. First, slow down. You haven’t even met this woman an already you’re thinking in terms of “we.” You are over-thinking this, which is almost certain to lead to you psyching yourself out.
She told you about her break-up for two reasons:
1. Because she’s probably a bit of a mess and didn’t know not to say that.
2. To warn you that she’s a bit of a mess and that you shouldn’t get your hopes up.
Her lack of self-awareness will inevitably cause problems down the road.
Personally, someone like this would present a degree of difficulty that does not interest me. I’d bail.
I would answer any question they may have from “how long was your longest relationship?” to “why do you think it failed?” I would answer absolutely anything and everything and be totally honest.
You’ve written several letters to me complaining that you can’t seem to find a girlfriend and that women think you’re “too nice.” This is why. You have to understand that when women ask you these kinds of questions there’s a reason and it’s not just curiosity. They want to find things out about you to eventually use against you in some way. Women ask men these questions in an attempt to exert power over them. They’re trying to establish just how far they can push him. If you answer these questions in any kind of detail, you risk looking weak. That is what “too nice” actually means.
I understand it’s not about me, that she’s just trying to get a picture of what WE would be like in the future. But I wouldn’t saddle anyone with something like that when first meeting them.
That’s where you’re wrong. You do not factor into why she revealed this bit of information. You’re right. Nobody should ever saddle a prospective date with something that personal. It’s inappropriate. She lacks the social skills needed to know that. That’s what makes her a liability. A ten year relationship? Did they ever marry? Were they engaged? The potential bad judgment surrounding that scenario abounds. My guess is that she’s not looking for a relationship. She’s just looking to get back on the horse and have dates so she can feel more attractive. Same goes for men who offer such revelations. Except they’re also looking to get laid, since that’s what truly convinces a man that a woman finds him attractive.
This is why people should skip all the chit chat and decrease the amount of communicating they do before actually meeting someone in person. Inevitably someone says something stupid or inappropriate. You have to remember that everything you say is being put under a microscope. That’s why you should avoid discussing, among other things, dating/relationship history. That topic is a minefield and gives people far too much ammunition. The whole subject should be avoided until the two people have established a level of trust and intimacy. Let them get a first hand sense of who you are in a relationship before you tell them about who you were in other relationships.