real life

How much do you share on a first date?

Bad date?

They’re funny things, first dates. For some, they’re filled with the expectation of whether that one date might lead to two and three and an eventual happy ever after. For others, they’re just a necessary – sometimes expensive – hurdle for a night of  hot sex.

But here’s the thing, whether you’re in it for the long haul or just in it for the night – how much do you share about yourself?

Would you tell your date about the 7 cats sleeping on your bed at home – each named after pop stars of the ’80s? Or the fact that you take your washing home to Mum’s place on the weekend? Would you mention your single bed? Or that you like to have sex with your socks on… in the bathroom?

If you were keen for a second date, would you tell the man/woman across the table that you once held the record for the most hotdogs eaten in a minute (14 and 3/4)? Or that you can recite the words to Star Wars episodes 1, 2 and 3 – in 4 different languages? And would you mention that after tonight you’ll never be fully present because you’re in a long-term relationship with smart phone?

Maybe they’d respect you for it. Or maybe they’d go running. It’s hard to know.

So do you risk it?

Maybe you don’t share all the crazy quirks that make you, you. But what about the more serious things about your life that could have an effect on a long-term relationship?

That was the question asked by writer Chris Wiewiora recently in a post called ‘Two abortions, herpes, and 69: some things that made me not go on a second date.

After he met a women on an online dating site, he was left wondering how much people should and shouldn’t share on a date. He wrote:

I wanted Missy to stop telling me so much: that her favorite position was 69, that she didn’t like to use condoms, and that she had had two abortions.

There I was having dinner on Missy’s living room couch, while she drank white wine, then read my palm and told me that I would be a good husband and father. I had just turned 22 and was still an undergrad, while she was almost 30 and a teacher. To get Missy to stop talking I made out with her.

Interesting tactic. He wasn’t put off by Missy’s no condom rule or her visualisation of their future together. But – SPOILER ALERT – there was something that will eventually make him go running.

She said that she needed to tell me something.

Missy said that at a party in high school she had “scissored” with a girl and now had genital herpes. I couldn’t believe that a moment ago my hand had been at her damp crotch. I wiped my hand on my shorts. Still, to be polite, I stayed a little longer before I said I needed to go.

At her door, Missy said she’d see me again.

For a second, I considered seeing Missy again. Even though she has herpes, I thought, Maybe she’ll give me a blowjob. Then I thought, What would I have to do in return? I realized not only was I desperate enough to put myself at more and more risk, but worse, I was willing to use her.

Missy had been honest enough to tell me she had herpes, but I didn’t want to deal with that. I thought nobody wanted to deal with that. While she was being responsible, Missy’s consequence was probably getting turned down again and again.

“Sure,” I lied and forced myself to accept her goodnight kiss.

The next day I called Missy and said, “Thank you for telling me the truth. I just can’t handle it.”

Missy said she understood.

I’ve always (tried to) maintain the belief that someone should like you for who you are – whatever that is. But there’s a fine line between scaring and sharing. And that line is a second date. So what do you do?

How much do you share on a first date? What could anyone say to put you off going on a second date?  Any funny first date stories you’d like to share?