Dating

Ep 29 – Date to Win

It’s a new year and everyone has their list of new year’s resolutions. But it’s not enough to say you are going to do something different, you have to be committed and have a plan on how you are going to change your habits. This month, NFD brings you “the wiser you” toolkit. Every week we will release a new episode with a focus on how we can help you be wiser this year.

The first topic we tackle, forming healthy dating and relationship habits. Even with dating, you can’t just say you want something to happen but not be ready to put the work in. Although we don’t often think about finding or keeping a relationship as a lot of work it is! So we wanted to give you a useful toolkit for winning in your dating life in the new year.

The first step is to start with yourself! There are three major buckets to consider and we will give your our advice on how to approach each. As a summary, here are the 3 areas: emotional & mental health, checking your unhealthy relationship habits, and setting attainable expectations.

 

Emotional & mental health is important as you need to make sure you are in a position to take on a relationship.  These are the benefits to you if you focus on your emotional and mental health first, and then shift to getting to know other people.

  • You will be a healthier, more available partner if you feel good about yourself and you are able to take care of your own needs
  • Respect for time and taking time for yourself
  • If you are emotionally depleted, you will struggle to give to others or if you do, it will be at the expense of yourself
  • Make sure you are incorporating self-care practices into your dating life and gaining confidence by taking control of your life in the present
  • Don’t wait for a partner to make you happy or get your life together. Instead be sure to invest in yourself starting now
  • You should have your own hobbies and own friends before dating someone

 

Checking your unhealthy relationship habits is important because you become more self aware. The goal is to Identify the unhealthy habits you have been practicing, limit them, and ultimately  eliminate them. The following are examples of unhealthy relationship habits:

  • Keeping score (of who’s done what, who’s messed up the most, who cares more, etc.)
  • Being passive aggressive
  • Lying
  • Impatient
  • Putting up walls
  • Expecting your partner to read your mind (not speaking up for what you want and then getting upset at your partner for not knowing)
  • Trying to punish or inflict pain on your partner (either intentionally or unconsciously)
  • Unsupportive toward your partner’s goals
  • Name-calling
  • Acting jealous or possessive
  • Disrespecting your partner’s privacy or independence
  • Cheating
  • Physical or emotional abuse

In addition to identifying the habits you practice, you also need to take note of any patterns or triggers in your behavior. Many unhealthy habits may appear to keep you safe in the moment, but they prevent you from connecting with your partner and could represent lost opportunities.

If there is an unhealthy behavior that negatively impacted your relationships and you are having trouble identifying how to limit or eliminate- talk it out with your partner

 

You want to set attainable expectations for your growing relationship based on your experiences. Remember it starts with you and you need to be honest about what you really want. For example if you feel drained after thinking through everything we talked about in the first 2 buckets then don’t force it. Take the time you need and stay single- this is about you!

  • Start with what you have learned from previous relationships. Understand what those experiences taught you and consider what you are going to do differently. Make sure you have learned, otherwise you can be setting yourself up to make the same mistakes that can lead to bad relationships.
  • Don’t let your past haunt you, use it as a learning experience that can set up your new relationship for success. Access and reflect anything in your relationship past that continues to cause hurt, pain, anger, sadness, anxiety or poor self-image and find the silver lining. Turn a negative experience into an opportunity for positive interactions. Learning what not to do or better understanding your needs and values are powerful takeaways from the past.
  • Make sure you are defining what you are looking for in a partner and be realistic.

 

We also talk about common traps and misconceptions you want to avoid on your journey to date to win. Stop thinking that your ideal partner will magically appear without much effort on your part. Yes you need to go out, and you need to go to new places and try new things.  Don’t think that bomb sex = love. Don’t settle for less because you believe there are no worthy single people left. If you follow the first tip of taking care of yourself then you should be able to avoid falling into this trap. Stop thinking you can change people, its like you convincing yourself that you will be happy with someone who exhibits your major deal breakers or red flags.

Here are the things you will want to do to set your dating life up for success:

  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Find new ways to date: apps aren’t everything.
  • You can still find dates IRL:speed dating, friends of friends, be open to approaching people i.e. the attractive person at the bar or bookstore, try new things and find hobbies, you never know who you might meet, going out during the day in social settings.
  • Don’t be afraid to redefine your approach.  For example, rely on chemistry if you usually are the type of person to build lists, tests, and need multiple dates to make a decision or take your time if you are the type of person that rushes into things.

The co-hosts close the episode with their top tip for finding love and the right relationship this year.

Ep 27 – Tis’ The Season To Be Cuffin’

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Oh baby it’s December and it’s finally getting cold outside. Friends have started to come up with reasons to stay in, and you would rather not netflix and chill all by your lonesome. Instead, you have revamped your Tinder profile and are looking to get booed up until April. Join the NFD crew as they discuss the cuffin’ season phenomenon and dig a layer deeper to investigate some of the reasons why you could have a fear commit to a relationship.

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Show Notes:

If you don’t know what cuffing season is then listen to this episode! Cuffing season is when people start looking for someone they can spend long, frigid months with but aren’t exactly looking for a relationship. Our favorite definition is from Urban Dictionary:

“During the Fall and Winter months people who would rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.

You can find more information in this link:

https://www.askmen.com/dating/dating_advice/what-is-cuffing-season.html

Brock talks about some of the differences that may exist geographically and also provides clues of how you can tell that cuffing season is coming. Technically, the sole purpose of the season is to be with someone during the cold weather, so of course different parts of the country will be affected differently.

To access the visuals we discuss in the episode follow this link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/06/cuffing-season-guide_n_5941574.html

Westley, Brock, and Lina D share their experiences with cuffing season. Westley’s has witnessed the timing work out while dating on Tinder- lots of interest starting in October and a lack of interest by April. Lina D talks about her winter time break ups. And Brock reveals how he never really knew the correct definition of cuffing season. While he tends to seriously date when it’s cold, he has never gone into an arrangement where there is an expiration date

In the NYC area, this year has been a harder cuffing season. Summer like days have randomly popped up and it has been a lot warmer than we expect in November and December. The warmer days make it harder for people to fall into the cuffing season mood.  Could it be that this irregular weather could have people wondering if they can potentially be ready for a serious relationship instead of going through with the cuffing season phenomena?

For those that are on the fence, we wanted to give you some advice to help you decide whether or not you are ready to commit. The first thing you want to do is Identify if YOU have commitment issues. Often times we are ready to judge others without understanding how we feel.

Here are the possible signs that you are afraid of commitment:

  1. Making excuses: you are unreliable and often late. You end up agreeing to arrangements but start to look for excuses almost immediately to avoid going. You will end good relationships for the smallest of reasons, and when faced with commitment you withdraw emotionally and start finding faults.
  2. Move way too quickly too fast: you have short, intense and passionate relationships that burn out as quickly as they started. You commit too quickly which usually leads to crash and burn.
  3. You chase romantic partners who are unattainable
  4. You think that you can change the other person even though they don’t completely meet the criteria of what you want in a relationship.

Here is our advice for overcoming your commitment issues

  1. Determine what it is that you are really afraid of and is holding you back from commiting:
    1. Are you scared of getting hurt again? Let go of any past hurt, understand that your fear is irrational and can only control you for as long as you let it
    2. Is it fear of rejection?
    3. Perhaps fear of losing your freedom?
    4. Once you find it, don’t be afraid to take a risk
  2. Date only when you’re happy with yourself and feel 100% ready, or you’ll only attract the wrong relationships
    1. Focus on selfcare
    2. Draw from your positive energy and stop being reliant on others
  3. Vet the person with the right intentions
    1. Don’t just give your number out or accept dates unless you are genuinely interested
    2. Take your time dating someone and make sure you have shared values and aligned ambitions
  4. Don’t overthink things, but pay attention to your instincts
  5. Be open with your partner about how you feel

Make sure that you have gone through the process above before you rush into a relationship. If you are going through something difficult in your life, you might be more likely to rush into something that isn’t healthy for you. Beware of triggers from good and bad events. For example: the death of a loved one, seeing your family and friends go through new beginnings that are on a different timeline from where you stand in your life such as marriage and birth/adoption of kids. You especially want to watch out and steer clear from rushing into a relationship after a bad breakup or heartbreak.

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Ep 24 – The First Date Conundrum

Westley opens the episode and goes in on his point of view on who he thinks should be paying for the first date.  Westley’s viewpoint is egalitarian, “in one voice you cannot say you are independent, and in the same breath say that you know your worth and need for a man to pay for you.” Westley does not mind paying, but he won’t buy the argument that he is expected to pay because men typically make more than a woman. That point of view only furthers the reason as to why he says that people should treat each other as equals.

For once Brock and Westley actually disagree on a point of view. Brock thinks that guy always pays on the first date, partly driven because it is expected based on the “who asks pays rule.” Seldom do women ask men on dates, so by default the guy has to pay. Once he is dating someone steady, he doesn’t mind paying for most things but if it is expected that I pay for everything every time then it is a huge turn-off. Brock is more traditional once he is in a relationship where the guy spoils his girlfriend.

Lina D talks about how she has played all sides of the paying spectrum, and her point of view has changed throughout her dating life. Lina D has taken advantage of guys that have the notion that they are expected to pay even though she had no intentions of taking it further. Lina D has accepted the guy paying, but has been playful about it and was upfront about her financial situation. Other times, she has had the conversation to get a sense of whether they are equals and has gladly offered to go dutch without communicating that she wasn’t interested. And another time she was so into the person and the date that she doesn’t even remember who paid for what on the first date, nor did she care. In recent years she’s grown to be more equitable and has left her “he needs to pay expectations” in the dust.

After going through their points of view and debating, the co-hosts go through specific scenarios that are widely discussed on who pays for the first date. This was inspired by the Refinery 29 article, What Millennial Women REALLY Think About Splitting The Check.

 

  1. Scenario 1: One party does all the asking, planning, and paying. Whoever initiated the date should pay
  2. Scenario 2: Splitting the bill is an old-fashioned, chivalrous gesture. Men should always offer to pay the bill. Splitting the bill is a total romance kill. Offering to split the bill is polite, but ultimately he should refuse and pay
  3. Scenario 3: The man always pays
  4. Scenario 4: We both have our own money so we go dutch aka 50/50

 

As they go through these scenarios they also cover the most common unspoken implications that result from the payment actions. When it comes to relationships, there are many ways people approach it, and honestly it comes down to what works for your relationship.

Westley, Lina D, and Brock wanted to make sure that they incorporated other people’s points of view as a wrap for the episode.  They selected a few points of view from this article and have provided a summary below for easy reference.  For the full article, go here.

 

Dating Coach: Modern men should do things old school.

“a man should always pay for dinner and drinks on the first date. This is an attractive gesture, and it will leave the girl’s sense of ‘doing the right thing’ intact.”

Kezia Noble, dating coach and expert,

Sex Blogger: Go 50/50 every time.

“If someone wants a second date they have to pay their share on the first – and let me pay my share too. When guys try to pay it’s often deeply awkward: I offer to pay half, he insists, I get frustrated because I earn my own damn money and I can spend it how I like – then he continues to insist and I feel patronised. Leave expensive treats for when you know each other better.”

The Girl on the Net, London-based blogger and writer on all things sex

Glamour Girl: A man’s gotta spend to impress a girl.

“The man should pay, of course. If I had to pay or go halves, that would put me off a man. I would be like, “What?!””

Danielle Mason, actress, model and TV personality

Porn Star: Insist on going all the way, fellas.

“I think that the girl should always offer to split the bill and the man should insist on paying all of it.”

Harriett Sugarcookie, adult performer, model, lifestyle blogger

The Academic: Don’t try to buy a woman.

“The question of payment on a first [heterosexual] date has its roots in notions of chivalry, which itself is rooted in male economic and social power. Chivalry involves rituals of men treating women with an elaborate regard and politeness, which serves to mask the fact that men dominate the public sphere and have social and economic power over women as a class. I would remind men that women are human beings to be respected, not commodities to be purchased.”

Dr Julia Long, Lecturer in Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University, expert in feminist theory and practice

Ep 23 – Beyond the ‘Kk’

Westley, Lina D, and Brock want to give you useful advice for those moments when dating brings you awkward conversation. This episode is for those people that think they suck at texting, find themselves overthinking text conversations, and have no idea about proper sexting and drunk texting etiquette.

We start out by going through some basic texting principles and critiquing texting interactions that went wrong.  We only focus on three examples but you can find other trainwreck conversations here.  

 

Example 1:

You: Kk have a good night
Him: Haha ‘good’

Evaluation: Dude what are you doing? She was trying to end the conversation on a good note and you went on and made it awkward. This reminded us of when you should start sending “good morning vs. good afternoon vs. goodnight” texts. Timing is important but be prepared to add some value to the conversation i.e. sending a cool article or funny meme, and don’t just text a salutation because some people won’t find it flattering.  

Example 2:

You: How’s your Saturday going? Still hungover?
Him: Nope! Just walking my dog around the park! He loves playing with the other puppies! So excited for brunch later!!!!! **emojis**

Evaluation: In this example, the woman is thinking of writing him off because he is coming off as “overly friendly” and may potentially be gay and extra. Oh please, at this point you are splitting hairs and making something out of nothing. He is simply answering your question. You better go on a date to make sure this is someone you should be really writing off.

Example 3:

He always sends last minute texts to make plan and/or has already cancelled on you a few times.  You aren’t sure if this is someone that is genuinely busy or a potentially huge asshole.

Evaluation: This could actually go both ways and you will need to play the role of detective and pay attention to cues to make the right decision. There are guys out there that are genuinely busy given their jobs and commitments and may not know till the last minute that they are available. If you are interested and are actually available then you should go on the date to rule out whether this is someone you see yourself dating consistently. But Brock does warn that there are some general red flags to look out for, as some guys may just be trying to get in your pants and get some cheeks. Listen to get the full guide on how to deal with this situation.

 

The NFD co-hosts go through some other do’s and don’ts for texting.

  1. Don’t: Start your message with “hey beautiful,” “hey sexy,” or even worse, “hey girl.”
  2. Don’t: Use a stupid pickup line
  3. Don’t: Read too much into it
  4. Don’t: Not say anything
  5. Do: Compliment something specific about my appearance
  6. Do: Try to come up with something witty based off my profile, or point out shit we have in common
  7. Do: Ask me what I’m up to tonight/this weekend

They also touch on response timing rules, tips for keeping the conversation going, and touch on length of the texts.

Lina D does advocate for certain situations where drunk texting can be useful but she gives you a rundown of the do’s and don’ts in this situation. Brock talks about how it should depend on the state of your relationship, whether you are transitioning from flirting/dating to exclusive, considering emotional outpouring, and if you regrets things the next morning.

Sexting- oh man. For this one Brock says to make sure you keep your face out of the nudes you are sending. Lina D does not understand why some dudes are so hesitant about sending dick pics during sexting convos, especially if the woman is asking for one. Brock reveals that he never sends a dick pic, which sends Lina D on a mission to tell women to stop sending nudes if the guy is refusing to send you nudes. Brock disagrees.

Ep 14 – Deal Or No Deal

It all started with a listener question, “Are you open to dating a stripper?” That question got us thinking about a deeper topic that is rooted in our decision making when we date and vet people- deal breakers. In this episode, Westley, Brock, and Lina D discuss the most common deal breakers in dating and talk about the differences between preferences and deal breakers. Make sure you know the difference, or you could be limiting your dating pool!

 

Ep 13 – Meet The Fam: The Multicultural Edition

In this fan question inspired episode, Brock, Lina D, and Westley share their experiences when introducing their significant others to their families for the first time. Things do get dicey when certain family members learn that a friend is more than a friend, or when cultural barriers are met. Lina D gives her thoughts on essential guidelines to keep in mind when meeting Latino parents.

Ep 7 – Nightmare On NFD St.

Missed cues, aspiring home wreckers, and dinner divers. These nightmare date stories will have you wishing you were on a date with a ghoul or a goblin.

Ep 6 – Crazy, Stupid, Apps

In the first fan mail inspired episode, NFD reviews dating apps and recommends which ones are better for finding love vs. hooking up.

Ep 4 – Wait I Can’t Eat That, It’s a Catfish

Find out some of the mistakes people make when creating their dating profiles that lead to deceiving their prospective dates- avoid becoming the next catfish!

Ep 3 – Casper The Friendly Ghoster

Has ghosting become a common practice in modern dating? When is ghosting no longer an option? Listen to your co-hosts debate their points of view.