Is he selling too hard?

by Dating Goddess on May 13, 2011

“You’ll never meet another guy like me” he said confidently during our first phone call.

I refrained from saying “Duh. Everyone’s unique,” but I decided it would be better to play along. I wanted to see what he thought was unique. “How so?” I asked, curious about what he’d say.

“How many men have you met who retired at 44?” said the 51-year-old, 27-year military veteran.

“A few,” I said truthfully.

“How many men have you met who have no children around, no drama from ex-wives and no money issues?”

“Not many,” I replied, feeling I should throw him a bone.

“I’m healthy, STD-free, and work out regularly. I can do whatever I want when I want.”

“You are a rarity,” I cooed, now clear he was seeking acknowledgement.

But why was he selling himself so hard? We’d already laughed and seemed to be getting along nicely. Did he feel he had to convince me to have coffee with him? I didn’t feel there was a need for a sales job.

I realize I can be intimidating to a lot of men, so I’ve learned to be nice and as gracious as I can. I don’t want to be intimidating, but I find many men are not used to talking to an articulate, focused, present woman. So I try to put them at ease and give them some slack so they don’t have to try to impress me on the first call.

When people try a bit too hard it backfires. They want to impress you, but by trying to do so they actually seem needy and less confident than they are intending.

Does overselling indicate someone is compensating? Often. They don’t realize that others are actually more impressed by how someone treats them and behaves around them than by being told what a terrific person they are.

Have you been on the receiving end of someone trying too hard? How did you handle it? Have you ever found yourself trying a bit too much?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen May 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

Don’t most men do this at least somewhat? It seems to be in guys’ DNA to act like you, the woman, are out there shopping for the best “deal”. It’s usually charming, because they’re obviously preening for you and doing an awkward mating dance–so cute!

Like the guy who casually mentioned to me how many pounds he could bench press (like I had any idea what was a good weight), or another guy who told me he was really good at “moving heavy objects and stuff, if you need anything done”. Another guy tried to impress me by saying he donated blood all the time.

But I’ve learned to be wary of the guy who says
1) I have a genius IQ! (it means he keeps getting fired from various jobs)
2) I run my own consulting company (it means he’s unemployed)
3) I’m pretty well-off (if you don’t count what he owes).
4) I’ll take care of you (if they say this when you’ve hardly dated at all, they are just coveting your bank account)
5) I haven’t gained weight since college (it means he is still wearing the same size pants as when he was in college, but look out because they’re really, really tight)
6) Women keep throwing themselves at me (he’s desperate and keeps throwing himself at women)
7) I’m a very reasonable, logical guy (often does self-defeating things)
8) Showing off their Rolex watch to you (he’s totally broke)
9) Showing off their new clothes to you (gay)
10) I have an amazing ability to survive car accidents (run!)

Mark May 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

That’s a hilarious list, Karen. :)

I’ve been with the same woman for a year and a half now, so I think I’m forgetting how it is to date, but I think my strategy was to simply try to have a nice conversation and be interesting. A lot of that is being interested in what the other person is saying.

I guess we men do want to impress to some extent — the alpha male gets the girls, it seems. I write for a living so I’m well-spoken and I more or less bank on that working for me, which it tends to do if I’m with an intelligent woman.

The other thing I had going in my favor is that as a middle-aged man in the dating pool again, my competition wasn’t such hot stuff. It really is true that a lot of the good ones (men and women both) are taken. There’s a reason why people divorce and reason why they don’t, so the pool of divorced single people is riddled with a lot of people who have issues that make long-term happiness problematic. I’m not saying everyone who divorces has these problems, but on average the chances of meeting a good, stable person who is easy to be with is diminished.

In short, I think a lot of the divorced men out there are bozos. Not all of them, but your chances of meeting a bozo are increased. And the more bozos you meet, the better I look. :)

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