Ask the Expert: He Only Talks About Himself


Question:Hi Christine,

I seem to have the same problem with almost every man I date. That is that when we're initially getting to know each other on the first or second date, they talk incessantly about themselves and don't seem to show a lot of interest in me by asking me questions about myself. It happened again recently, I've been dating this new guy recently but he only talks about himself. All. The. Time.

I am a *quiet* person, but am usually great at one-on-one conversation. On dates, I ask men a lot questions about themselves and try really hard to add my own take on the conversation topic and leave casual pauses in conversation where they can ask me questions. However, this tends to result in them filling the silence with more information about themselves, rather than showing interest in me. The result is that I tend to get annoyed and I give up calling them back. How am I supposed to know if a man is interested in me when he only talks about himself?

Signed, I'm Interesting Too

Answer: Dear IIT,

Let me assure you that 90% of your approach is correct. Asking lots of questions and paying attention to the details in their answers is a great skill. There may be one of two things going on: either you are dating only very self-centered men or you may make men nervous. It's likely the latter. You described yourself as quiet which can sometimes make men nervous and they feel like they have to fill in the pauses. You may see them as casual pauses in conversation but they may see them as a time when you are dissecting what they just said so they feel the need to give you more information about themselves, or "sell themselves". When men (and women) are nervous on dates, they go overboard with talking about themselves. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with asking your date (maybe wait for the 3rd conversation) why it is that they don't really ask you any questions. They may have been so nervous that they didn't even notice and you can both have a bit of a laugh about it. If, after you have mentioned it, the self-centeredness continues, simply move on - people generally don't change. Recognize that you play a role in this interaction too and take some time to work on your shyness. The reason for this is if one person is shy, more often than not, the other will go overboard with trying to keep the conversation lively and interesting. If you work on coming across as a little less shy, it will lessen their need to be over the top and balance things out a bit.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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