Just went on a recent app date where the first few sips of beer was him trauma dumping. It was as if a mirror was placed up to my face. Years ago, I treated every date as an intense dark one-woman show. To women, bonding = tell the person your trauma, then they can share theirs. With an app date you can’t trust a stranger with your deep dark secrets and insecurities. If he ghosts you, airing all your dirty laundry will make you cringe and feel raw…. How can you prevent yourself and him from sharing too much and not treat a date like a therapy session?……
What to do when he is trauma dumping…..
1.Steer the ship….
You don’t get permission to trauma dump if the conversation switches. Always bring it back to light material. You can literally get up and disrupt the flow by grabbing another drink or going to the restroom
2. Set up boundaries…..
Interrupt your date who keeps going into sad stories. You can flat out say in a nice way that you want to talk about fun stuff. He might not even realize he is doing it.
3. Leave the date if he can’t snap out of it…..
You can try to change the subject all day, but he might keep shifting it back around. When this is happening you have to get up and leave. Do a graceful and kind exit, but don’t get buried by his bad mood
What to do when you are trauma dumping….
Can’t say it enough! You need to come into the date with the right mood and energy. Listen to that song, meditate, walk around the block, etc
2. Actually talk to your therapist…..
It’s interesting when people don’t utilize their therapist while in session. Then when two glasses of wine are in them….boom, trauma dump to a total stranger. You are paying your therapist for trauma dumping and working out issues.
3. Notice your patterns….
Going back to the two glasses of wine thing….is that when you start trauma dumping. Alcohol can be great in moderation to loosen you up, but bad when it takes you to a dark place. Notice what triggers you and stay away from it for a first date.
Both parties can encourage trauma dumping. A first date is not a safe space to tell all your insecurities or deepest fears. You are sitting across from a stranger who is not your paid therapist. You doing this every date needs to be examined. Get a therapist, or set up more frequent appointments. Long-term you will feel embarrassed and raw when you get ghosted. There needs to be trust in a person to share such personal information. When he cannot be steered by disrupting and changing subjects, you need to leave. Do not reward bad behavior by egging him on and acting like his therapist. Once you become his unpaid therapist, you will remain in this role for him until he works out his issues and finds someone else.