Overconfidence on First Date

Kristina Lynn asks Jasbina Ahluwalia: Jasbina, I’m so happy that I am jumping up and down right now at something that you said.

It’s okay for women to talk about their accomplishments and their goals. They shouldn’t hide that professional part of themselves.

It makes me so happy that you said that. I think there is a pool of dating experts out there in the world that advise women to downplay their professional accomplishments and goals.

At that point, you might find yourself in a relationship where there is conflict.


Overconfidence on First Date: Go-Getter

You’ve downplayed it at the beginning but you really are a go-getter. You want to go out in the world and accomplish things.

The other person says, “Wait a minute. I didn’t realize you would be traveling so much for work, working so many hours or going to all of these networking events.”

Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

I think there is a real void of advice for professional women that is in alignment with this. I think a lot of it is counter to this. It’s not really serving us.



Jasbina Ahluwalia

Overconfidence on First Date: Survey

I agree. I think there’s a nuance here. Let me give you an example.

Rachel Greenwald wrote a book called Why He Didn’t Call You Back. She interviewed about 1,000 men to find out why they didn’t want to go out with a woman again after a first date.

What was the reason they decided not to call her back after the first date? They were from all different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities.


Overconfidence on First Date: Boss Lady

What she found was the number one reason that men didn’t call back was something she called the Boss Lady.

The Boss Lady is a woman who needs to prove her intelligence. She’s domineering.

That can take the form of being very competitive or one-upping someone.

If someone were to listen to that, they might think, “That means, if I want a second date, I should downplay my intelligence.”

That is not the message. I’ve yet to talk to a man as a matchmaking client who does not see intelligence as an asset when it comes to women.

It’s not the idea of being intelligent but the concept of trying to one-up or be very competitive. That is a turn-off for men.


Overconfidence on First Date: One-Upping

Let me explain one-upping.

Let’s say that he’s taking you out to a nice restaurant. Perhaps it’s somewhere you take your clients. You go there regularly with clients, so it’s not a new experience for you.

When you get there, you say, “Yes, I was just here on Tuesday.” You can say that. Or you could say, “This is a great choice. I love this place.” It’s a different spin.

The first way doesn’t make anyone feel good. Instead, let him know you think well of his choice. There is that distinction.

As a lawyer, I’ve found that people assume that, as a female lawyer, I was going to be someone who was hyper-competitive and argumentative.

The idea isn’t that you don’t bring your brain on your date.

It’s not that you downplay your intelligence. But you don’t need to prove your intelligence either.


Overconfidence on First Date: Weary

That’s the distinction that I encourage our clients who are high achieving men and women to consider as they’re dating.

Does that make sense?


Kristina Lynn

It absolutely makes sense. I think that it goes for both sides of the fence.

No one likes to be with a man or woman who is constantly trying to one-up them. That’s not fun.


Overconfidence on First Date: Genderize

The mistake that’s been made in the past is when people try to genderize these things.

They say, “Now that women have become successful, they’re acting like men.” That’s really not true.

There are some people who exhibit this competitive personality that isn’t fun for anyone.

I don’t think anyone wants to go out with a guy like that who sits there and talks about himself the whole time, how great he is and gives you his list of accomplishments, accolades and awards.

Everything you say, he tells you one better thing that he did. That’s not fun for anyone.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

I get that feedback from men and women, that the other person just talked about themselves the whole time.


Overconfidence on First Date: Nerves

Here is my response to that. If that happens on a first date, cut that person some slack.

If that continues, then that’s a different story.

On a first date, sometimes I find that men get nervous. Sometimes, when they’re doing that, they’re trying to impress you.

I say the same thing to men.


Overconfidence on First Date: Awkward Silence

Don’t automatically assume that she’s self-absorbed because she’s talking about herself. She might be nervous. Sometimes women have a greater tendency to fill the silence.

They will talk more to overcompensate for that silence.

I’m sure you get that feedback, as I’ve heard people complain about that. Sometimes, on the first date, it may be because someone is nervous.


Denise Levy

Overconfidence on First Date: Confidence Versus Cocky

There is also the difference between confidence and cocky.

It’s important for men and women to have that confidence. But if they’re presenting it in a cocky manner, then that’s only a disservice.

It’s not going to get you very far.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

I agree.

Confidence is aligned with being comfortable in your own skin.

Cockiness is the opposite of being comfortable in your own skin.

To me, those concepts are very different. Someone who is comfortable in their own skin is magnetic.

It doesn’t hold a candle to cocky.


Tell Us:

Have you experienced overconfidence on a first date? Did you go on a second date? Tell us how date #2 went in the comments section below!


The above is an excerpt from Kristina Lynn’s interview with Jasbina Ahluwalia.

The entire interview transcript is at: