We dived in! Took a deep breath over and over. Hung our hearts out to dry. Drank enough coffee at those coffee shops to need a teeth whitening…and we prayed, cried, gave up in despair, picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off… and we met someone who looks just like the picture online and in our minds. Now what?
There’s enough oxytocin flowing to fill a koi pond and it feels like no time has passed when you are together. Eager to know this new person, you begin to ask him/her about life, love, children, work, plans for retirement, favorite foods, whether you want to thrash Donald Trump or plan to vote for him. The questions help you make some sense out of so much you don’t know. Our minds want to evaluate, gather data and make judgments. Bless that mind’s heart. It’s working so hard to keep us safe. You gotta love it. And, you gotta watch it.
Meeting someone new that you feel attracted to feels like a miracle. It’s wonderful to finally have someone open a door, put his hand on your back when you cross streets and send you texts and photos of his dog. You want to connect, feel close and connected and one way human beings develop intimacy is through sharing stories that tell the other who they are. But how do we know which stories to share and when is the right time to share them?
When you meet someone new, remember that discovery takes time. Each person has history and by the time we are over 50, we’ve lived, loved and felt the pain of loss over and over. We are tender and more reticent to open ourselves to being hurt and disappointed yet again. It doesn’t mean we aren’t ready for love, simply that we are human and need to be treated with great tenderness.
I know that urge to want to know everything and to share everything that will help create the intimacy and closeness that I love in relationship. It’s tempting to ask or reveal too much too soon or to ask the new person in my life to share his history before he is ready.
How can we know what is too much? What have been your experiences that taught you the most about how quickly to reveal your story? Are there learnings that you will take into your next opportunity for a new relationship? Please share those in the comments section below and post this on your social media so that others can tell us their stories too.