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What I overheard on a 1st Date:  Why do men do this?


woman bored on date

I hear this from women constantly- “why do men dominate the conversation on the first date”?   And, I’ve heard this for over 25 years.  

 

It’s not recent.  In my old days, running It’s Just Lunch, (a matchmaking service I started in 1991) clients were required to report in after their first date.  Our phones would go crazy around 2pm (generally the end of their lunch date).

 

Some Common Comments:  

 

He was so cute, but never asked a single question about me. 

 

I feel like I know his entire life story; he knows nothing about mine. 

 

And guess what?  The women were shocked when he would ask her on a second date.  

 

While I now work as a dating coach helping people navigate all aspects of online dating, this conundrum has not been eradicated.  

 

A few weeks ago, after a movie, Jeff and I went to an upscale bar on the beach.  Seated next to us was a couple in their mid-50s, attractive and not using their “inside voices” so I was privy to the entire entertaining and sometimes painful conversation.  

 

Ok, curiosity killed the cat, or at least me!   How could I not listen in?  It was too much fun.  

 

So, what was talked about?

 

1. His recent move to Boca Raton from New Jersey. 

2. His 4-million-dollar home he’d just purchased. (I won’t bore you with the amenities and how many ensuite bathrooms there were)

3.  His amazing job at Goldman’s and his salary.  

 

Ok, you get the point.  

 

And what was his date doing?  Ordering martini after martini and nodding along in a stupor.  

 

At what point could she have interrupted him with the line “oh wow, I know so much about you.  What would you like to know about me”?

 

ANY TIME!

 

I know, we’ve been taught good manners and not to interrupt.   When I counsel my clients, and hear they have sat passively for two hours listening to someone jabber about their wonderful life, I’m direct in saying you are a strong, successful woman so why didn’t you pipe up?

 

So why do men do this?  Here are my thoughts:

 

 

It's not uncommon for some individuals, regardless of gender, to dominate the conversation on a first date. There can be various reasons behind this behavior, as you've pointed out:

 

1.     Nervousness: Some people may talk excessively when they're nervous, using it as a way to fill the silence and alleviate discomfort.

 

2.     Self-Centeredness or Insecurity: Others may monopolize the conversation due to self-centeredness or a desire to impress their date, which could stem from insecurity or a need for validation.

 

3.     Opportunity to Share: For some, being on a date presents a rare opportunity to talk about themselves and their lives, which may lead them to overshare.

 

4.    Trying to Impress: People may feel pressure to impress their date, leading them to highlight their accomplishments, possessions, or experiences.

 

5.     Traditional Gender Norms: Societal expectations and traditional gender roles may also play a role, with men feeling a subconscious pressure to assert themselves as providers or leaders in the conversation.  (cavemen theory?)

So, how do you get him to put the plug in it?

 

I always advise a simple comment by the woman said politely albeit perhaps a little louder to talk over him and go with the gracious line “wow, very interesting.  So, what would you like you know about me”?  

 

Does this line work?  Does he now realize it was 100% about him and there’s another warm body seated next to him that has not spoken, only nodded?

 

From the advice I give women and their feedback, it works about 75% of the time.  Your date has his AHHHA moment that he was dominating and his manners kick in.

 

And the flip side?   So, if, yes, a big if, you give him a second chance, I find the roles and conversation reverse most of the time on date number 2.   The discourse is much more two-sided and the date is enjoyable.

 

Once we left and as we waited for the valet to bring our car, another couple emerged, looked at us, and said “Did you hear that guy on an obvious first date? Omg”.  I asked, “What are the chances of a second date”?   They both looked at me like I was nuts and said zero.

 

A few minutes later, out comes the big talker with his date asking her if she’d like to see his house that night.  

 

She politely declined and called an Uber. 

 

Do you want some help navigating the exciting and frustrating world of online dating?  Click Here for a free 15-minute chat with me to see if we fit.

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