Single? Dating? Coupled? Whatever your relationship status, it’s time to take responsibility for your own happiness. Andrea Bain, host of the “Single Girl Problems” podcast joins Jess to share insights and advice for both couples and singles.
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Here’s a summary of the dating and relationship advice Jess and Andrea discuss in this podcast:
1. Don’t treat a date like an interview. Do not get hung up on assessing their assets and deficits. Instead, just stay focused on how you’re feeling in the moment. How you feel about yourself in the presence of another person is a very good measure of the relationship. Think about it — it applies to your boss, to clients, to work teams, to your parents, your lovers, your siblings. Stop measuring and start feeling. If that sounds too abstract, let me get a bit more specific. Each time you catch yourself assessing a date or analyzing your compatibility, wiggle your toes to distract yourself from those thoughts and come back to the present moment and get in your feelings. Take a breath and feel what’s happening in your tummy or in your body. This is so important for relationships and sex — in general — whether your single and dating or in a relationship. Because we fall into the habit of spectator-ing – instead of enjoying or experiencing the moment, we look in from the outside to see how it’s going like a spectator. In the bedroom, this detracts from pleasure and arousal and actually can lead to sexual issues. In fights, it can be a problem because we focus on winning an argument or telling our partner that they’re doing something wrong instead of focusing on the issue and feelings at hand. When we become a spectator – on a date, at the dinner table or in the bedroom, we can’t be present and if you aren’t being present, you’re not giving your partner or your date what they deserve. So if you catch yourself assessing the situation, cut it out. One breath, a giggle, a joke, a flirtation, a touch of the hand, a sip of wine — do something physical to bring yourself back to the present.
2. I’d love to see all first dates happen in groups. If I was dating right now and I met someone online, I’d invite them to join me on an outing I already had planned with friends — something short and casual like grabbing a drink after work or inviting them to stop into a birthday party I’m already attending, but I like the group date for two reasons: your friends not only influence your relationship (if they like your partner it can have a positive effect on your relationship) and younger folks are doing this — the group dating thing — and I think they have a better approach to relationships – they talk about them more, they aren’t as jaded and they get that what works for their best friend may not work for them. The over 30 crowd doesn’t seem to get this, so let’s learn from the teens and 20 somethings and do the group date thing. I suggested this to a client last summer and they tried it a few times with a few guys they met on Bumble and she’s in a relationship today — almost a year later. It’s one case, but it’s worth giving it a try.
3. Lastly, I’d like to emphasize that I’m a fan of online dating but only because it broadens your pool. I’m certain that it really doesn’t matter how you meet – in person or online because all relationships regardless of how you initially connect can grow into something amazing…but if you’re dating online I also suggest that you date in person and you make an announcement. If you’re single and looking, tell people! Stand up and tell your friends at the dinner table – tell them what you’re looking for and ask them to make introductions.
4. And I have one more thing to say because it’s my podcast so even though I said I had three things I’m changing my mind to four — couples – stop leaving single people out. Invite them along! Include your single friends.