In casual dating or even early dating a guy with potential, it’s never a good idea to be super honest. In my 20s, I felt obligated to reveal every skeleton in my closet. If he still liked me then great– I tested men like this all the time. Sometimes this radical honesty would result in zero dates or being thrown into a certain category. Once you reach a zone where you are dating a lot of guys casually, you will feel less inclined to mail them your autobiography. I have certain insecurities in my life that are typical getting-to-know-you questions, such as, where I work, who I live with, and how many friends I actually have. To the person asking the questions these are standard. Being in a casual landscape for many years, I have found information is precious and can be fudged to suit your narrative….
Where you work/ what you do for a living….
A ton, if not all creative people, have had dead-end soul-sucking jobs. Unfortunately, when the day job is brought up, then all focus goes to that and an opinion is formed, even if you say, “Well, I am also a stand- up comedian.” Then the question of how you actually make money comes up. You end up having to defend your hopes and dreams. I say, only mention your passion, even if you receive zero income. If a guy is wondering about your financial situation, he is probably a con artist or a young guy wanting a sugar mama. Your finances should not affect him. Some people simply have boring jobs. If this is the case, be brief and move on to the next topic.
Embellishing what you are actually doing at the moment….
A lot of the time guys will ask, “wyd?”. More than likely, you are lying on the couch watching Netflix. It’s totally fine to make something up. He isn’t going to care if it’s true–it’s just feeling out how you live your life. I mean it might be far-fetched that you are wrestling wild hogs. You can say, something like, “Oh, I am cooking a nice dinner and sipping wine.” Even if you did that two hours ago as long as it can lead to a conversation that’s the whole point. You don’t have to make everything sexual (“I am in lingerie getting into a pillow fight with my roommate”). It’s fine to dance the line of seduction and practical.
How social you actually are….
It’s nice to create an illusion that you are in demand and have friends. In the early stages, it creates a let-me-pencil-you-in dynamic. There is more of an urgency and less flaking if he thinks you actually don’t have time to be stood up. If his impression of you is that he can hit you up at any time of day and have nothing going on, you have a problem.
Who you live with / living situation….
I have lived with family and with terrible roommates. I have also lived alone, yet in a bad part of town. In casual, I suggest you leave your living situation out of it. It’s my opinion out of safety to just go to him (once you built trust). Seek out and only go on dates who live alone or have an understanding roommate. Even if you live in a penthouse apartment made of gold, long-termwise, it’s not a great idea to let 20-plus men know where you live. You never know how men will react if rejected and most stalkers are men. Give the impression that your place is not an option. I also suggest guys who live closer to downtown; don’t be traveling to his cabin in the woods.
Your self-help interests….
I read self-help books and listen to podcasts. I also like dating podcasts and YouTube channels with dating coaches. However, I would not include this information to a question of, “What are your interests?” Not to say you should be ashamed, although it paints a picture of you crying into a self-help book while devouring ice cream. He will get the impression you might not be in a stable place, even if you just do the therapy stuff for self-growth.
There is nothing wrong with having mental health issues. Everyone has had them at some point in their life. However, getting into a discussion about how depressed you are sort of pumps the brakes on future conversations. Again, nothing wrong with it. You have to remember you are building a certain narrative and trying to lead with positivity. Just like the self-help interests, you are making yourself sound unstable or in crisis when that might not be the case at all.
Listen, as an adult musical tastes do not matter at all. In high school you lived and died for a certain band and all your friends had to be (emo, metal, country), or in a certain scene. Nowadays, it should not matter. Yet, music can still be a passing judgment. Most people are versed in all types of music. If this question is brought up, let him talk first. I am sure you can discuss that type of music and might even have a story about liking a song or album. If you bring up obscure music, it slams the door to the conversation and you seem snobby. The point is to bond over something and find common ground.
I am a woo-woo person. I have crystals, practice feng shui, love a horoscope. If asked about spiritual practice, tread carefully. Context is everything, I have had guys bring up birth charts and astrology. If unprompted, downplay how much you are into it. Most guys fear you will ask for his birth chart and ditch him because the “stars don’t align.”
Your checkered past….
Sometimes men will try to rip negativity out of you. He might ask what your pet peeves are, what is the worst thing you have done, have you been arrested. Try not to jump onstage and do your one-woman show. Once you get into negative topics it’s hard to stop. It’s not worth the self-deprecating joke.
Anything that makes you look incapable….
Maybe you kill all your house plants, have never pumped your own gas, and can’t tell time with a regular clock (don’t judge me). You want to get ahold of your narrative that you are capable. When you lead with being helpless then a predator and con artist’s ears will perk up. He can manipulate you for money, sex, and a place to live.
How long you have been on Tinder or any dating app…..
I have been on the dating apps since the good old OkCupid on a desktop days. This, however, makes me sound like a lunatic. It’s best to fake your knowledge of the apps, or that you even need them. If it’s brought up, you can say you just joined. Also, you don’t want to give the impression you are a seasoned pro in dating. Make yourself seem innocent and that dating just comes to you naturally.
Create your own narrative. In a casual-dating phase, you need to pepper in things about yourself and leave the rest to the imagination. You probably won’t have the bandwidth to tell your whole life story and traumas to dudes you are casually seeing. Information needs to be earned. Also, men are just trying to spark up a dialogue. If you fudged a story, or say you were in a location you left 2 hours ago, who cares? Men are grasping at straws to get you talking. As long as it’s flirty, fun, and mysterious, that’s all you need. Say away from negativity, self-deprecating humor, and volunteering negative information about yourself. Keep him wondering and coming back.