How To Stop Emotional Dumping When Dating

Wondering how to stop emotional dumping after going on date after date right after a terrible break-up thinking that you needed to move on but all you did was seek someone to share your emotions with? Do you feel bad after oversharing right on the first date to the extent that you made the person uncomfortable? Have you cried during first dates only to come home regretting what you have done?

Then, there comes thoughts like “After all, emotional intimacy is built through vulnerability and why can’t I share my feelings with people? Is there a rule saying that we can’t share our raw emotions with somebody that we just met?”

Are you caught in the dilemma of wanting to share your emotions and pains from the past, and wanting to make sure that you do not drive your potential dates away through oversharing?

How do you find the balance between being authentically yourself, embracing healthy venting and sharing, and building an organic relationship with someone that you have just got to know?

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I’m Jasveena and I have been blogging since 2013, documenting my experience as well as helpful professional resources and tips I found online in seeking meaningful relationships and connections, and I am here to share them with you so that you are not alone in cruising through this journey called life that may seem like a lonely path.

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A woman, who does not know how to stop emotional dumping, lying down on bed, showing her phone to the man, while the man looks at it disinterestedly.

What Is Emotional Dumping?

Emotional dumping is excessively sharing your emotions, especially painful and unpleasant ones, with people close to you like family and friends, often over and over again, with or without their full consent.

Now, I am pretty sure that you have shared about failed relationships and the guy that you cannot get over with, again and again with your best friend until you drive her up the wall! Sometimes, our best friends are our “best therapists”, as they listen to us and they know they want the best for us.

This is probably the best scenario to explain how emotional dumping happens because we all have been hurt by someone that we loved and to overcome the pain, we often turn to our friends. However, everything about it, you may have been depleting the energy, taking away the emotional bandwidth with or without their consent.

Healthy Venting Versus Emotional Dumping

So, what is healthy venting and what does it look like? If you have enough emotional resilience, when something bothers you you would naturally reach out to your friend to share what had just happened. After a day or two, you would find yourself moving on from the situation and leaving things behind. 

Also, you would actually feel better after sharing it with your friend once.

However, in the case of emotional dumping, people usually do not have the emotional resilience to overcome the painful situation by themselves and therefore cling to friends to listen to them and give them advice on how to move on or resolve the problem. In other words, they do not trust their own intuition and ability to sit with uncomfortable feelings. Therefore, the a tendency to share about a particular incident over and over again.

The overshare also does not ask if the listener has the capacity to listen to the problem. They keep pouring out but also do not feel better after the sharing session. This is usually because the mind and heart are not ready to move on from what’s troubling them.

Why Do We Emotional Dump When Dating?

A typical example of why people emotional dump when dating is because they are still in the rebound state and they are looking for someone new in order to give a fresh perspective to their life. It is often the perception that they are ready to date and get to know new people, and also the intention to move on from the painful situation that drives them to overshare when dating especially when their partners are not ready to have that level of emotional intimacy yet.

This could also happen because usually romantic connections are willing to invest more time in getting to know them, and therefore it is easier to overshare with them when dating with love intention. It would be harder to find friends and family members to share things with on a daily basis especially when everyone is busy working and have their own things to tend to.

Another reason why people overshare when dating is because as adults, we have fewer friends who are in our lives, listening to our needs and problems. A vast majority of adults above 30 live on their own, and it could be the loneliness that prompts them to find romantic connections so that it is easier for them to build emotional intimacy.

Issues With Seeking Romantic Connection To Overshare

  1. Low Emotional Resilience

One of the primary reasons why it is never a good idea to overshare when dating is because it shows that we have low emotional resilience when it comes to handling painful situations in life. It is often a sign that we need to sit with our painful experiences and find out what would make us feel better about it, rather than seeking someone entirely new to us and expecting them to take in everything that we need to dump on them.

  1. Driving People Away When Oversharing

When we overshare especially during the first few days, there is a high tendency for us to drive people away because we may seem like a needy person and we may overwhelm them with our emotions. This is especially true if the person that you’re dating is maintaining a formal tone in conversation and taking it slow when getting to know you.

  1. Not Gauging If They Are A Good Partner For Us

Also, when we overshare while dating, we would miss the opportunity to see if they are a good partner for us. This happens because we are busy forging emotional intimacy to the extent that we miss the red flags that may appear in front of us. When we overshare, a false sense of emotional intimacy is created and we usually think that it is vulnerability and being honest when we are fast-forwarding connections in the first place.

Don’t fall in love with potential that you see in someone just because they are good listener. First, love yourself and be your own listener so that you can be a partner for others and assess them with a clear mind.

So Is Seeking Emotional Intimacy With Partners Wrong?

Seeking emotional intimacy with partners is definitely not a wrong thing. Also, being vulnerable in relationships and dating is also something that should be encouraged and practiced without the fear of being judged.

However, the problem arises when we are not capable of handling our lives and emotions on our own and expect our partners to help us through it. In a healthy and well-established relationship, it is normal for couples to usually rely on one another emotionally. But this is not the case when you are out there just dating people and getting to know them.

Emotional intimacy is usually built with time and it is also extremely important to make sure that you do not lose the sense of self when you are dating, as fast-forwarding emotional intimacy could lead you to think that they are the right one for you and you could miss the red flags that appear during the process of dating, just because they are good listeners and they could understand your emotions well.

One Key Way To Gradually Build Emotional Intimacy

  1. Find out if they fit your needs and wants in a partner

If they are good listeners but do not have good work ethics or are not kind towards people you love? What if you are just dependent on them because you need someone to listen to but they are definitely not a match for you? 

So, the first thing that you need to do is to identify if this person at least fits the criteria that you’re looking for in a partner. This step would eliminate the need for you to doubt if they are good for you later.

    2. Reciprocity is crucial when dating because love is reciprocal

When you are sharing your emotions with them or even past painful experiences, are they also sharing something with you that bothered them and the past? Or are they just rather listening to you and giving you feedback on what you can do to move on from the situation?

This is extremely crucial because this would indicate if they are as much into you as you are into them. Someone who wants to get to know you and wants to build emotional intimacy would have consistent conversations with you and share about their life with you.

A lot of time, it becomes really awkward when you overshare when the other person chooses not to share too much with you. So, find out if they are ready to share things with you and if they are on the same page by gradually trying to increase the level of emotional intimacy between the both of you and see how they respond to it.

How To Stop Emotional Dumping When Dating?

  1. Journal your emotions and painful experiences

Journaling is an excellent way to move your thoughts from your mind to paper, and this creates a distance between you and your thoughts where you can think clearly and analyze your thoughts. Also, what’s bothering you is not you and you will realize this when you journal as it helps to empty your cluttered mind full of thoughts, rather than choosing to share it with someone new.

     2. Try to sit with your painful emotions rather than sharing them with people that you are dating

Sitting with your painful emotion is an excellent skill that a lot of people have not mastered because they always have the urge to do something when going through emotional discomfort in order to channel it out. Try sitting with your emotional discomfort, cry if you need to, or listen to meditative songs in order to ease your mind. Some people would choose to go for a long walk as physical activities help to channel the energy through movement.

Finding out what you need to do when you are at the height of emotional discomfort is key to mastering emotional resilience so that you are not dependent on another person to make you feel better. 

     3. Use a neutral and informative tone when sharing information

If you have gone through a difficult breakup or even divorce before this, it may be something that you need to share with people that you are dating as this could be an essential dealbreaker for them. Speaking about it could rile up discomfort. However, you can use a neutral tone of voice when sharing this information without explaining too much about what had happened or even bad-mouthing your ex.

Define what you need to tell them and what they need to know at this point in time so that they can decide if they still want to talk to you. Over time, you can decide if you want to divulge more when you are comfortable. 

     4. Use positive affirmation to tell yourself that you can handle your own emotions

People usually overshare or even share things with others in the hope that they feel seen and heard. This is a normal human need. However, what is going on in our minds is usually something very complex and cannot be explained in plain words to others. Therefore, we should use positive affirmation to build the self-confidence that we can handle our own emotions and that we do not need to share them with others and be dependent on them so that they can make us feel better. 

My Experience

I have actually overshared a few times during my dating journey in the hope that I could seek connection with people, only to miss the huge red flags that were right in front of my eyes, because I was emotionally very weak and vulnerable. I wanted to fast forward the dating process thinking that we all deserve human connection and there is good in everybody that we meet.

There is also a chance to fall for people who are used to love bombing then ghosting, and this can lead you to discreet dates and unmet expectations in dating.

However, those attempts failed miserably and I had to learn the hard way to be emotionally grounded when I meet someone new. As much as we want to connect with a companion and a life partner, until and unless the connection is established organically, we only have ourselves to rely on and our family and friends to a certain extent.

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FAQs

How do I stop being an emotional dumping ground?

Be a good listener, offering support and understanding, and avoid forcing them to relive their trauma or giving unsolicited advice. It’s crucial to respect their boundaries by not pushing for details or giving advice they haven’t asked for. Instead, focus on creating a supportive environment where they feel heard and respected, allowing them to navigate their healing process at their own pace.

How do you respond to emotional dumping?

One of the crucial things that you need to do is to acknowledge their emotions and make sure that they know that they are being seen and heard. Tell them that you see them and you understand what they are going through but also highlight the fact that you may not have the emotional bandwidth or even expertise to help them overcome this situation, and try to redirect them to experts like therapists that could help them even better.

What causes emotional dumping?

Emotional dumping happens as a heightened reactive response to a triggering event that is relived as well as often repeated within a conversation. This causes people who are listening to feel energetically worn out and tired because of the negativity that they are absorbing from the one who is dumping the issues 

How do I protect myself from emotional dumping?

Change the subject. One thing that you could do is to never participate much in the future in listening to what they have to say, and this could be seen as very mean, but you must protect your energy. You can always offer them help and be a listener when you have the bandwidth to do so.

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