Being Honest Doesn’t Mean You’re Thirsty

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I remember like it happened yesterday.

About 15 years ago, I attended this event on the westside of Los Angeles. It was a social event for black professionals, and of course, there was dancing and a lot of co-ed mingling. Then, from a distance, I see this beautiful woman chatting it up with a group of other women. To make a long story short, I approached her, secured her contact information, and no doubt—I was on Cloud Nine.

I shared my experience with some of the other guys who attended the same event, and they recalled the woman I met. They were overly impressed and could not believe that I was able to capture her interest. So, of course, I got significant congrats and kudos from all of them.

Now here is where it gets interesting.

At the time, I was newly divorced and had personal esteem challenges stemming from that failed marriage. Additionally, I was now a new single father of multiple children from that marriage. So, admittedly, I felt that my stock was low to begin with.

Here is the advice I received:

  • “Dude—whatever you do, don’t call her for at least three days! You do not want to give her the impression that you cannot wait to talk to her. Being too eager like that will just run her off.”
  • “And when you do call her, make sure you act interested but aloof—don’t give her the impression that you’re too excited about talking to her (although I was) because she probably already has several guys jocking her. Be different.”
  • “Do not tell her that you’re newly divorced and that you have kids. If you do, you can kiss her interest in you bye-bye. If she asks if you have kids, tell her no, and then let her know the real deal in about three months or so.”
  • “Kerry—I’m telling you—a woman like that, you need to take her someplace like Morton’s Steakhouse or Crustaceans in Beverly Hills. You get one time to impress her, and if you blow it by taking her to a restaurant like the Cheesecake Factory, she will think that you are a cheapskate and you’ll be another person in her distant memory.”

After digesting the praise and then this thoughtful advice from my friends, I lost all motivation to call her. I never did. Why? Because again, my self-esteem was still somewhat rattled from the divorce, and what confidence I had was crushed due to the onslaught of recommendations my friends hurled my way.

First, I did not have five-star restaurant discretionary money for dating; second, I was not too fond that I had to conceal my divorce and especially not disclose that I have children from the marriage. All the advice they provided was well-intended, but in the end, it just seemed counter-intuitive. Why couldn’t I do what I felt in my heart that I wanted to do, which was to call her the next day? And now I hear if I do what I think I would like to do, that will only scare her away.

Maybe you laughed reading my friends’ suggestions, or perhaps you cringe at the thought of their advice and how I allowed it to dictate my actions or lack thereof. Whatever the case, here are a few tips that you might want to try, especially for those of you who want to date but are gun shy for a variety of reasons:

  • You will never lose being honest, which does not mean sharing intimate personal details on a first date. However, there is such a thing as appropriate transparency. If applicable, go ahead and share that you are divorced. Let that person know that you are a single parent. Make that person aware that you have made mistakes dating and rushing in, and because you want an honest and exclusive relationship, you are careful. If you believe that something core about you will cause a person to reject you, why delay the inevitable?
  • If you are dating online, use recent, non-filtered pictures. I am not sure this requires an explanation. But it is profoundly mindboggling to me that people will post a picture of themselves taken 10-15 years and 35 to 40 pounds lighter. What do you think the person will say (or not say, but think) when they meet you?
  • You will be amazed at how much you will be respected, appreciated, perhaps even chosen for just being honest. Just the mere fact that you are authentic puts you in a category of being exceptional. Why? Because everyone expects the people they are getting to know to not be entirely forthcoming about themselves.
  • The total of who you are will be perfect for someone. That’s right, in all your failures, insecurities, and imperfections. But the other side of that coin is that not everyone will appreciate who you are and your value. In other words, celebrate when you have met someone and determine early on that it isn’t a match. That means that you are getting closer to Mr. or Mrs. Right!


Picture Courtesy of Black Couple Revolution

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