Everyone has little secrets.. Things that can be held against us or keep people from wanting to date us. The cats going to come out of the bag eventually so you need to take matters into your own hands and dish the dirt under your own terms. When is the right time to admit you have a restraining order against your ex, you spent time in jail or you’re on TV every night doing risqué movies on HBO?
First of all ask yourself, is your secret old or irrelevant? If you’re just telling her to make yourself feel better then keep it for your therapist. There is no good reason to offer up the story about getting arrested for public intoxication on your 21st birthday. You might feel that this is a big part of your story and you want her to know every detail before she sees the viral video on YouTube.
This is a tricky dilemma, you don’t want to tell them so soon that they immediately stereotype and eliminate you but you don’t want to wait so long that it appears you were being dishonest or it derails your political aspirations. Each situation is unique but on average I suggest slowly revealing your little demons around date 3-7. If there is more than one thing don’t just pour it on her all at once. Let them get to know you and as they do there will be good and bad. Just make sure the good outweighs the bad.
Step 1. Be comfortable. Wait until the conversation is flowing at dinner or while walking in the park. Someplace stress free (not the car) with minimal distractions.
Step 2. Timing is everything. Lead up to your reveal with a compliment or positive statement. “Good choice on this restaurant the food is delicious.”
Step 3. Mention what you learned from the experience and how far removed you are from it now. Talk about the aftermath and the damage control involved. “I went to anger management for 6 months.”
Step 4. Explain how she can keep dating you without worrying about taking on your baggage. “My ex wife takes all 6 kids on the weekend.” If the secret is in the past close things off with a reference to how far behind you that event is. “I haven’t done any hard core drugs since 2006.”
Be prepared that your confession might lead to the end of your relationship but that’s ok! It’s not about finding a person without baggage it’s about finding a person who’s baggage is compatible with yours.
Erika Jordan, ACS, Certified Love Coach
Private coaching at www.PlaymatePickup.com