You regretted it the minute it came out of your mouth.
Your date’s expression all but screamed that it was TMI.
Few things are more embarrassing than oversharing on a date, making you cringe when you reflect on the night.
Oversharing can come in many forms, whether you tell your date you were late because of an attack of diarrhea or spill all your family’s dirty laundry.
But there are reasons why you overshare on dates and ways to get yourself out of the habit.
What Is Oversharing?
Oversharing can take many forms, and it’s not just about sharing embarrassing information. It can also involve blathering on and on about the things you are interested in without letting your date talk.
Some people do this without even realizing it.
A few other common forms of oversharing include:
- Talking about family drama or childhood trauma
- Venting or ranting about things that upset you
- Delving deep into personal political or religious beliefs
- Sharing intimate secrets about yourself, past relationships, or others
- Talking on and on about your personal passions, hobbies, or interests
- Telling embarrassing stories about yourself
- Becoming overly sexual or discussing your past sexual experiences
7 Reasons Why You Overshare on Dates
There are a few reasons why you overshare on dates. You may recognize yourself in one or more of these.
1. You’re Nervous
Sometimes, the reason you overshare is as simple as being nervous. First dates are nerve-wracking, and it is easy to stumble over your words and start blathering on and on.
While some people clam up when they’re full of nerves, others seem to develop “diarrhea of the mouth,” as it’s called.
Your nervous chatter reveals how much you like your date, but they probably won’t see it that way. Instead, you might share things they find uncomfortable as you panic about the date.
2. You Relate to Their Trauma
You may click because you have both had traumatic experiences. While it can be therapeutic to talk to someone who went through a similar trauma, it is heavy fare for a first date and can easily turn into oversharing.
If you bond over negative experiences, it might be a good idea to turn the conversation into something more positive, at least until you get to know each other better.
3. You Worry You’ll be Rejected
Putting yourself out there for a date is intimidating, and many worry about rejection. If you struggle with insecurity, you might find yourself oversharing to compensate for your fears of rejection.
Your brain figures that giving more detail might make them understand you better — but unfortunately, you are more apt to overwhelm them and make them a bit nervous.
This can be a big challenge for those who fear rejection and can lead to uncomfortable situations all around.
4. You Struggle with Small Talk
Some people seem naturally gifted at small talk. Others struggle with knowing what to say. If you fall into the second category, you might be prone to oversharing because you don’t know how to keep things light.
You might even think that it feels fake. But there are plenty of ways to keep things fresh without diving deep into topics that aren’t appropriate for a date. Small talk can be light and authentic at the same time.
5. You Tend to Talk a Lot with Everyone
Some people struggle to stop talking in any social situation, date or not.
This is especially true if you have autism or ADHD; people with these conditions often struggle to stop talking about things they are interested in and to gauge when it is time for them to stop.
If you have sophisticated verbal skills, this is even more likely to be a struggle for you. For a naturally talkative person, it can be challenging not to share too many intimate details on a date.
6. You Get Bored
Some people are prone to get bored by light conversations that they perceive as meaningless. It can be a big challenge if you have been on the dating scene for a long time and have repeatedly gone through the routine of a first date.
To escape the same old conversations, you find yourself sharing a bit too much about your personal life. But there’s a reason small talk is the first step because the alternative is giving too much, too quickly.
7. You Consider Yourself a Deep Person
For better or worse, some people think of themselves as naturally deep, meaning they prefer to talk about serious or intense topics.
Sometimes this can be obnoxious — after all, we’ve all met someone who considers themselves very deep and intellectual and isn’t actually at all.
But you might authentically be this kind of person, making it difficult to avoid oversharing. There is a time and a place to get deep, and the first date isn’t the best time.
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How to Stop Oversharing on Dates
You can do a few things if you’re frustrated by your tendency to overshare. These tried and true methods offer some options for people who overshare.
1. Ask Questions
Some people find it helpful to steer the conversation away from themselves and take a listening role. The best way to do this is by asking questions about the other person.
You can ask about their hobbies, passions, personal life, family, and other details. If they turn the question around, simply follow their lead and answer with roughly the same amount of detail.
2. Don’t Brag
Oversharing doesn’t necessarily have to involve sharing embarrassing information. It can also mean talking too much about things that interest you, especially your own accomplishments.
Instead of waxing on and on about your achievements, answer the questions you are asked and then turn the conversation back to the other person. Monopolizing the conversation is a significant form of oversharing.
3. Learn to Listen
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was clearly not listening, just waiting their turn to start blathering on and on? It feels insulting and makes you not want to talk to them again.
Practice listening with intention while your date is talking. This effort will help you stop talking so much and show that you genuinely care about what they have to say.
4. Be Articulate and Speak Slowly
When you do talk, talk with care. Think before you speak and try to talk slowly, and choose the right words.
When you overshare, you tend to talk quickly and carelessly, so deliberately trying to do the opposite will help you measure your words. It will also make you look better since you’ll come across as intelligent and eager to make a good impression.
5. Identify Your Triggers
Some people can figure out their “oversharing trigger.” Maybe you can’t help but go on and on once someone asks you about your favorite movies.
Or your family is a sore spot, and you have difficulty not telling them about all your dirty laundry. It’s a good idea to reflect on this and determine where your oversharing pitfall lies.
6. Reflect on Your Reasons For Oversharing
Any of the reasons listed above might apply to you, but it takes some time to puzzle it out. If oversharing is a consistent problem for you, reflect on your reasons for wanting to spill your guts to this person.
That’s not to say that identifying the reason or reasons will solve the problem instantly, but it will help you figure out some important answers for both yourself and your relationship.
Kicking Your Habit of Oversharing
If you feel yourself cringing after a date of oversharing, don’t despair. With these few simple rules, you can identify the causes behind your tendency to overshare and kick the habit for good.