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Ask Nicci: First Date or Job Interview?

Ask Nicci: First Date or Job Interview?
Maneuvering through a first date's "20 Questions" routine can be tricky. Read our dating and relationship expert's take on how to handle yourself while fielding the questions.

I am 41 and single — never married, no kids. On dates, I feel like I'm on a job interview. Why do guys ask me 20 questions when they find out I never married and have no kids, as if there is a smoking gun or something?

Signed,

Over the Interviews

 

Dear Interviews

Do not fret, my friend. You are not the first woman to ask me this question! Be careful! How you negotiate your way through the 20 Questions will make or break this first date and possibly your future with this one.

 

First, remember that choosing not to marry in your 20's or 30's does not make you a circus side show. The status quo has changed. Marrying right out of college, buying a house and immediately starting a family sounds wonderful to your mother but you can't deny the fact that the divorce rate is climbing. There should be no reason that an independent woman should feel intimidated or pressured to justify or even rationalize your single 20's, 30's and beyond. However, do not underestimate that this fact will ignite some justifiable curiosity.

 

Let's get you prepared for these conversations:

 

I think we can all agree that first introductions can be bumpy and are awkward no matter what. Our instincts tell us to quickly jockey for common ground and choose conversation topics where we can find mutual interest or a similar background. Let's not pretend that you aren't immediately profiling him, so be prepared to be profiled and return answers to his questions with confidence and grace. Take a few minutes to really consider what is important to reveal about you and your past at this time. Make light of the situation and try not to take it personally. Since everything is open to interpretation be aware as to not appear you are hiding something. In the end, if the questioning becomes offensive or over the top throw some zinging questions back his way about his past or just excuse yourself and leave. Bottom line: we all have our reasons why we are single and it is your choice how you want to be perceived.

 

It is also important to remember that dating beyond your 30's brings along 20 plus years of history good or bad. Prospective lovers feel compelled to play Private Investigator and form conclusions of "what happened to you" or "what went wrong." Prepare to be judged and remember we are all guilty of assuming the worst. Sad but true it is often easier to find a reason not to like someone when they do not fit the mold or expectation of what we are searching for. It is a protective instinct but one that you should also be aware of when you are in the "getting to know you" phase.

 

Remember that chances are if your date is actually asking you questions, he is interested in knowing you more. That is a good sign and with a little bit of preparation you will be ready to send him the right signals. Answering uncomfortable questions from a stranger you've just met are all part of the wonderful world of dating! Isn't it grand?

Nicci Sprouse -

Nicci Sprouse is Cincy Chic's dating and relationship columnist and the owner of Ask Nicci, an upscale dating service in Cincinnati and Columbus. Send Sprouse any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, visit AskNicci.com or e-mail.

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