It’s happened. Something we have been discussing in this blog and comments for a little while. The issue is if you tell a guy you’ve dated but released what drives you batty about him, so he can fix it so it won’t bother future love interests.
Yesterday, my first post-divorce beau emailed asking if I’d give him honest, specific feedback on what he did which may be repelling other women like me. It’s been 2.5 years, but I can still remember many of the issues.
I asked if he was sure he wanted to know the details. He said yes. I told him we should discuss this face to face, not email. He was anxious to meet to discuss this as soon as possible.
Now I’m in a quandary. Do I tell him all the specifics that drove me to break it off with him? Or just the major ones? I’ve provided executive coaching for years and had to tell a very intelligent man he needed to wear ironed shirts, among other things. I’ve had to tell others what no one else was comfortable telling them. So I’m not without skills in this area. However, telling an old flame has a different feeling. I want to be sensitive to his heart and ego, yet give him enough information that he can modify his behaviors if he chooses to. And I will couch my comments in that other women may have different hot buttons than mine.
He wants to attract intelligent, successful, caring, loving, active women. Do I need to tell him the obvious: that he’s 100 pounds overweight and would have a better chance if he shed some? Or is this too insulting? He lists himself as “athletic” in his online profile, although he has trouble walking more than a few blocks.
He works alone and does most of his business through email and phone. However, he dons business attire for networking functions and conferences. The last few times I’ve seen him in this garb, his jackets were ill fitting and the shirtsleeves too long. Since he doesn’t see these issues, I’ll suggest he visit his tailor.
There are more issues that are irritating habits which would be off putting to others, I’m sure. He commonly worked on the computer when talking to me reading me parts of emails from people I don’t know and don’t really care about. He’d IM me frequently during my work day for nothing but chatter. His emails were often poorly written — I thought he had English as a second language when reading the first one he sent.
There are other values issues that were a mismatch for me. He seems obsessed with status, insisting on a high-priced car, season theater tickets for several companies, season tickets for local sports teams, fine dining, expensive wine collection, private club membership and fancy vacations even though he had nearly no savings and is 60 years old. I have no trouble with the trappings of success if one can afford them. He spent all that he earned and had very little set aside for retirement.
Have you ever had a truth telling session with someone you’ve dated? If so, did you limit your feedback to just the key issues, or did you let him know all the details?
Technorati Tags: dating Internet, dating online, senior dating, bbw dating, mature dating, dating over 50, dating over 40, online dating advice, dating after 40, dating after 50, over 40 dating, 40+ dating, dating after forty