Why Do Guys Talk About Themselves SO Much on a First Date?

How "First Date Braggers” turn a potentially fun time into a torturous, never-ending story about themselves.

Why Do Guys Talk About Themselves SO Much on a First Date?

How “First Date Braggers” turn a potentially fun time into a torturous, never-ending story about themselves.

-Faye Brennan

man on a first date

I was wondering how he was able to breathe. He had been talking non-stop for most of the night, covering every topic under the sun: his job, his family life, where he vacations, how big his apartment is, what languages he can speak, and now, as if he’s finally running out of things to say, what he was like in high school. Which was 10 years ago.

I smiled and nodded as he went on and on and on (“I was captain of the baseball team and was awarded top honors in National Honors Society…”), but really, I had tuned out about an hour ago. If there’s one thing I can’t stand on a first date, it’s a guy who talks way too much about himself. I don’t know if it’s caused by nerves or the desire to impress, but if I have to wonder about your ability to breathe, then it doesn’t matter. The date is NOT going well.

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I’d like to say that my encounter with this “First Date Bragger” was the first of its kind, but unfortunately, there have been plenty of guys before him who’ve done the same thing. The date starts off well until I realize, wow, he hasn’t asked me one question yet and his eyes are roaming around the room in disinterest when I finally have a chance to say something. Am I on a date or cramming for a pop quiz on his life story?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think conversation on a first date should come naturally. It should be a languid back and forth where one person shares something, then the other relates to that story, asks a question, or offers up something new. I’m not expecting to learn everything about you right then and there – it’s just a chance to feel one another out to see if we hit it off or have romantic potential.

And, nothing crushes romantic potential faster with me than a guy who brags about himself. I don’t want to hear about how big your apartment is, how much money you’re making, or how popular you were in high school. It makes it sound like you’re trying to prove something to me, which goes against the “natural” feel of the date. Talk to me instead about what makes you tick: the things you love to do on the weekends, what music you listen to, something funny that made you laugh yesterday… and then pay attention when I tell you about the same things.

That’s my biggest qualm about “First Date Braggers” – if you’re doing all the talking, you’re not learning anything at all about me other than the fact that I happen to be a great listener. So, when you say at the end of the night, “I had a great time,” and “would love to see you again,” I smile and nod like I’ve done for the past hour, then have to laugh the whole ride home.

I could’ve been a brick wall that you were talking to all night, and yet that was “a great time”? That’s truly funny, because it was not for me.

Tell us: Have you been on a date with a guy who talked too much about himself? How did you handle the situation?

Faye Brennan is senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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4 thoughts on “Why Do Guys Talk About Themselves SO Much on a First Date?

  1. Lennie Ross says:

    Great subject, Faye.

    I just talked about this on my recent video blog about Five First Date Mistakes. It is classic male behavior. They do it partly because they are nervous and trying to impress, and partly by they are conditioned by society to be selling themselves, to be confident, and to convince others they are right for the job. It is easier for me to count the number of dates who have NOT talked all about themselves than the ones that have. If you want to impress your date, you need to listen to her and ask pointed questions that relate back to what she was saying.

  2. Tani says:

    I will pass this around so that men and women alike can ask themselves if this “seems familiar”. Unfortunately, it will. Great column!

  3. Igiveup says:

    It is my biggest gripe about men and the biggest turn off. I am at the point where I am convinced they all do it. If they have someone whom they think is attractive, will listen to them, cook for them, clean up after them, and have sex with them, then that is all they need. Who are you as a person? It just really doesn't matter.

  4. kayla says:

    I went on a horrible date earlier this week. When we first met up we were both fairly nervous and excited. I was driving us to a coffee shop and at first he kept talking about what he's been up to then he'd ask me what's been happening/ changing with my world. Half way through the car ride i started to notice how he'd just talk about his experiences that are OH-SO-HILARIOUS… And i really noticed his dramatic, boastful personality when he said, "YEAH! so that's MY story." I was like, wtf at this point thinking damn he's egotistical so i didn't say anything or look at him. He saw that i didn't give him the reaction he's used to which is "oh you're so funny, and great and sweet" so he said it again, "That's my story!" with an emphasis on the my…for fucks sake.

    At the coffee shop everyyyything we spoke about always went back to being about him. I'd say i travelled to this beautiful city and described to him the adventure i had there. He'd say, "That's cool…I went to Switzerland last year etc etc" That was basically his response every time i told him something. He'd say thats cool, thats nice. To top it off he looks to the ground and not at me when i'm speaking. When he's speaking then he'll look at me. Our conversations had no content- it was like he was talking at me and not with me. I couldn't help but to notice more and more of his boastful personality. Theres a fine line between talking about yourself because you're nervous and you want to impress the girl you're seeing and then the guy who boasts out of insecurities.

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