Dear Dr. Love,
I’ll get right to the point. I’ve been divorced twice, have two kids over 21 and have been single again for the past two years. Because I don’t want to be a “three time loser” in marriage, I am now brutally honest and upfront when I meet a woman. This seems to have made me less successful than my friends in forming relationships. Should I adopt a “less than honest” dating strategy? I like to lay all my cards on the table.
George, Cold Spring Harbor
I will say it like it is—your brutal honesty with women is a turn off. Keep it up and I can assure you that “laying cards on the table” will be all you will do in the foreseeable future!
You know the word honesty in dating is often abused and misused by those of us who date. For example, if we leave out certain facts in our discussions with an individual of interest to us, aren’t we being less than candid? However, if we are doing it to avoid hurting the other person, does this make it more acceptable? On a scale of 1 to 10, should a little white lie be considered a 1 or 2, while an outright line of bull be given a 10? There is no judge, only personal inclinations and moral interpretations.
Although honesty is usually the best policy, think of your first meeting with a woman like a job interview. Would a prospective employer want to hear unsolicited opinions from you? Focus on what the interviewer (your date!) is interested in rather than making statements about yourself and your dating philosophical outlook.
A one-sided conversation will get you neither employed nor in a mutual relationship. And by the way, George, I plead guilty to the same tendency that you exhibit. Tigers like you and me need to change our stripes every so often. As my gym buddy, Gerry, tells me, “We can all learn from one another if we’re willing to listen.” Something you and I need to think about!