Too Much Information

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I once worked with a girl who had a reputation for being – for lack of a better phrase – a serial dater. She was quick to tell you about the latest guy she was seeing, or even the latest guy she met. After knowing her for a few months, people knew to tune out the details, because they weren't worth remembering; it seemed after a few weeks, months, or even days, the “violinist” was replaced by the “baseball player,” who was then the “rock climber.”

In reality, this girl wasn't really dating more than anyone else; she simply felt the need to share every little detail of her life. She wouldn't just fill us in on who she was dating; she would tell us about the cute guy she talked to, or saw on her way to work. She'd tell us about a guy (or several) she saw on an online dating site that she was thinking about emailing. It was essentially like living in her romantic stream of consciousness.

Still, that didn't stop others in the office from looking at her and clucking their tongues with disapproval when she shared her thoughts on the “construction worker.” It seems ridiculous that one's dating lifestyle should affect one's job, but for her, it did – soon people began to assume that she was as flighty in all other aspects of her life, including her job performance. Her performance didn't actually suffer, but everyone knew that she had to “prove” herself a little more than the rest of us.

Usually, when people wonder when they should fill in others about their new relationship, they're thinking of family and close friends. However, in today's environment of over-sharing, it's easy to spill more than you mean to. For example, you might not have to literally blab at work; all you'd have to do is post about it on your Facebook.

A simple rule of thumb: your dating life is your personal business. In the first few months of a growing relationship, the people you should tell are the people you'd feel most comfortable telling if it didn't work out. And, of course, you should keep a close friend appraised of your plans when you're meeting someone new, for safety reasons.

As for everyone else, it's strictly business until you say so.