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Off the Table Topics (See above)

So I’m going through my list of things I shouldn’t add to my profile and probably not talk about on a first date, or a second, or a fifth and I start thinking (always dangerous, frequently warned not to). If a guy chooses whether or not to date me based on characteristics, likes or dislikes I can control or moderate that’s one thing. But there are certain things about yourself you cannot change (my obsession with Meryl Streep being caught between these two categories). For instance, some things I would not mention on a first date at this point in my life are as follows:

  1. The fact that I had brain surgery this year
  2. The fact that because of that brain surgery I lost all my hair
  3. Due to the above reasons, I wear a wig.

For a lot of guys, I feel they would want to stay away from someone who had brain surgery because they’re scared of the unknown – if I’m permanently mentally disabled or damaged and whether I would act and talk like a ‘normal’ person.

And the truth is, no. I don’t act and talk like a normal person. But that has nothing to do with the surgery, and everything to do with who I am as a person – unique unto myself.

And number 4 on the list:

4. I lost 100 lbs. last year

Now there are two ways you can look at this, 1. Oh my god, she’s going to gain all the weight back and be a ‘fatty’ again. and 2. Hey, you know that’s really impressive. It shows she has drive and discipline, and probably goes to the gym more often than I do.

But even if the answer to number 4 was positive, it still wouldn’t be something I would bring up as a subject in the beginning stages of a relationship eve if I did want to impress a guy with something I had done. So instead, I use the example of my having seen every episode of Law & Order SVU at least three times, which makes the transition to the next item on the list that much easier.

I also write, some original, some poetry and songs, but also fanfiction – which gets a terrible rap and yet so many I know have admitted to at least reading, if not writing it. I confess to being an active writer of both male/female relationships and female/female if the show warrants it (which some people think odd considering I’m straight/Christian) But there is in all reality a social stigma that causes misrepresentation of personality based on stereotyping.

The theme of unfair stereotypes travels over nicely into my next topic of mental health, which makes number six on the list. But in all seriousness, even as mental health becomes more and more of a visible issue and evokes more conversation surrounding it, no one still really like to talk about it. Especially the ones who ‘have it’. And guess what – I have it. Big time. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 13, with consecutive diagnoses of generalized and acute anxiety disorders which all led to a conclusive diagnosis of Bipolar Type II as soon as I turned 18, which is the youngest they are allowed to diagnose severe mental illnesses in more cases in Canada.

No one wants to date a ‘crazy’ girl with serious health problems who is prone to obesity, obsessive compulsiveness and irrationality even if it is a side effect of the disease requiring her to have surgery in the first place.

See? That could have been my profile on eHarmony too.

If a guy came to me with this laundry list of attributes on a first date, I’d probably run for the hills too!

My hair has started to grow back in, 6 months after surgery. But the rest of the items on this list will follow me for the rest of my life. And at some point, you need to reveal these items to the person you are in a relationship with or they will feel that you’ve been lying or hiding secrets from them. And it’s only fair to know what you’re getting into when you vow ‘for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health’.

I’m curious to know whether it’s harder for men or women to reveal any ‘flaws’ about themselves & why? Is it truly due to social stigma and sexual stereotypes that we fear it?

So I have two questions for you, and please share your input both for my sake and for others reading this blog looking for answers and any other input you have about this topic.

What are your no-go’s when it comes to talking about yourself on a first date(s)?

How long into a relationship before you start divulging these private details?

If you feel like your partner has something to hide, how do you deal with it? Do couples have to know everything about each other?