Dating Don’ts: How Much Is Too Much Information?

I still remember the confused look on my date’s face as I self-consciously blurted out, apropos of nothing, “I’ve just lost seven pounds on Weight Watchers and I intend to lose 15 more!”

With that I stifled a burp, plunked down my pint glass and realized that we (meaning, he) had been talking about his band, not my tummy bulge. But who could blame me? Weight Watchers assigns each food a points value and you’re only allowed a certain amount each day. I’d been hoarding all of mine for our date. (Beer is three points a bottle!) I was a little woozy.

But not too woozy to note that I’d become that most embarrassing of daters — the oversharer. My buddy Rich is the king of bad dates. So I asked him if he’d ever been out with this particular breed. “You mean like the woman who told me about [how she has] Chronic Fatigue Syndrome over dinner, which is about the same time she confessed to being on a lot of psychiatric meds.”

That’ll work.

Most of the women I interviewed regretted making sexual disclosures too soon. “I’ve definitely mentioned, um, certain kinks of mine way too early in the relationship,” confessed one friend who wished to remain anonymous. I figured naughtiness may intrigue a guy, but I heard quite a different scenario from NYC-based actor Jimmy P., who said he’d been flirting with a girl at a bar when she went a sentence too far.

“I was considering asking her out on a proper date,” he tells me, “when she divulged [insert act of perversion involving bacon]. So I went from ‘proper date mode’ to wondering how I could get this chick back to my apartment.”

The woman in question declined Jimmy’s invitation, and obviously not all men are as tied into the whole Madonna/Pork scenario as Jimmy, but it’s something you might want to consider before spilling a fondness for certain adult proclivities to a near-stranger you’re looking to have an actual relationship with.

Obviously, women aren’t the only ones guilty of the overshare. Dee, a Seattle-based photo archivist, went on a first (and last) date with a dude whose idea of dinner conversation was a detailed description of his ex-girlfriend’s bowel movements. My anonymous friend almost went out with a dude who, during their first phone conversation, confessed, “It MUST have been fate that brought us together” because he could tell just by talking to her that they had “something so special it will last forever.” Though, those examples may be more indicative of the crazy than the overshare.

Speaking of crazy, back to Rich and his pharmaceutically-inclined Chronic Fatigue patient: I remembered him telling me about the date back when it happened (a few years ago). I seemed to recall she also had a problem with booze.

“She never actually confessed to being an alcoholic,” Rich clarified, “although that was easy enough to surmise given the way she was sloppin’ down drinks.” Over the course of their evening together, she also let drop that her ex-husband was a Russian mobster and had tried to assassinate the last guy she’d been out with.

I told Rich I thought that last bit of information should’ve been shared before they’d gone out together. “She told me about him at the bottom of the steps as we were entering her building,” he shrugged. “I figured if I had gotten that far, I was pretty safe.”

“So you slept with her anyway!?” I yelped.

Rich just laughed.

I guess sometimes there’s no such thing as too much information.