Too comfortable too soon?

| July 6, 2011

Admittedly, my nightly television repertoire is a mixture now of the sporting event du jour and a healthy dose of pure reality TV trash.

Monday night’s are centered on ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” and it pains me that I’ve found some semblance of dating insight from a show that’s rooted in lowered expectations and unrealistic circumstances. But much to my chagrin, there was a token of inspiration in the June 27 episode.

After a handful of weekly episodes agonizingly laced with bachelorette Ashley’s remorse over a contestant that dismissed himself early, she finds the so-called closure she needs to move forward.

Armed with a new attitude and the chance for a fresh start, she quickly muddies her next one-on-one date with an awkward confession on the full-circle progression of her relationship with a former contestant.

Her rationale? She wants her relationships going forward to be rooted in honesty.

Honest she was, but her disclosure was T.M.I. – game show or not.

What I found telling was the timing of her news and the person she chose to divulge it to first.

Mind you, this guy not only got an earful on her premature desire for another contestant, he was on the receiving end of a first date in which she chose to wear her pajamas because she was heartbroken earlier in the season.

In terms of looks, charm and maturity, this guy would appear to be a front runner, but her level of comfort with him at such an early stage makes me question if she foresees anything romantic stemming from their relationship.

Is there such thing as being too comfortable too soon?

In a recent survey, Cosmopolitan reader’s revealed that on average they will wait 10 weeks before presenting themselves completely devoid of makeup to someone they are dating. While it sounds vain, there’s a deeper message behind this front.

It’s not that they’re hiding or self-absorbed, but how you present yourself is the most basic way to say, “I care.”

For church, we put on our Sunday best as an act of reverence. For a business meeting or job opportunity, we dress professionally. Special events often come with an invitation that indicates the suggested dress code like “black tie optional” or “business casual,” so everyone is on the same page.

Like it or not, whether it’s a business prospect or a wedding reception, your outward appearance is your first impression.
And this becomes even more pertinent in dating where physical attraction is a factor.

Not only was dressing to impress the last thing on Ashley’s mind for her first date with this contestant, but she was bursting to divulge her unfinished business with another man and chose her date with this contestant as a platform.

She revealed the news as if it was something she needed to get off her chest for his benefit, but the confession was nothing short of girl talk. It ranks right up there with celebrity gossip and a sale on designer footwear.

There’s a difference between being forthright and being an open book. Your date does not want or need to hear about those who came before him. And even more so, if the other guy’s relationship with you overlaps with his. It’s not lying unless he asks, and trust me, he won’t.

I’m having flashbacks to a column I wrote last summer after my boyfriend and I became official. As the word “girlfriend” was becoming a mainstay in my life, I was uncovering the differences between simply dating someone and calling him my significant other. My biggest shock about a defined relationship was its casual nature, in both attire and demeanor.

It took me longer than most to settle into the idea that a date could be conducted without me wearing anything short of my favorite sundress, but I came around.

The point is we all test our comfort levels with dating. Some people naturally put others at ease. Others take longer to fully relax. A connection should never be uncomfortable, but every solid relationship starts with butterflies – that tinge of excitement over not knowing what’s possible with that person. That unknown keeps us on our toes and it should drive you to look, feel and be your best.

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Category: Dating and Relating

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