The Long Game Part 2

I have spoken briefly about the “long game.” This is how traditional pre-app dating was. You would go to a social event, see each other from across a crowded dance floor, then boom, you eventually started dating. Most importantly, there was a “courtship” phase. Most of us are used to swiping, meeting, maybe hooking up, and there might be a date here and there. There are key differences in the app- versus real-life style and it requires more strategy…..

You have seen him multiple times and he finally talked to you…..

This is step one. If he has not spoken to you and approached you, then either keep waiting for a bit, or throw in the towel. When a guy is interested and available, he will say hello in a bar, party, or cafe setting. You will not need to say hello and start a conversation to “help him out.” So, yes…. he finally talked to you. You should keep it light and don’t make assumptions. Act like you are on a first date. Stick to surface-level topics, be friendly, and get a overall vibe from him.

He has talked to you at least three separate times and includes you…..

Three times a charm. This is noteworthy because: once, could be him being bored and wanting to talk; two times, he recognized you; yet three…now you have something. Still keep things very light and open your ears and listen to what he is telling you. He might be talking about an ex, or that he is having a rough patch. He is interested, but probably needs a rebound or his ego stroked. Do not ignore this, and don’t think he will change his mind after he gets to know you.

Go dark for four days to one week…..

This is a crucial step. Pull back when there isn’t forward motion yet. Just don’t be gone for too long because that can backfire. Go on a date or two with other guys, but take your dates far away. After the week is up, return like nothing happened. Again too long = forgotten, the right amount = anticipation. This is the hardest step because you fear he will just forget you and move on. Is he excited once you come back around? Did he ask for your number or ask you on a date?

Be careful about Instagram…..

It’s tempting to just send that follow request on Instagram. You can keep up with him, watch his stories, and like his posts. You will send a message out of desperation once he isn’t giving you what you want. He will answer you and things might seem like they are going somewhere. There might be a night where you send a message and he leaves you on read. Don’t go down that road. Wait for him to ask for your number.

Does he bring you around his friend group?…..

Dating in the wild, you will meet friends sooner than online dating. With app dating you can hide your friends from your dates. In person, his friends are already there. How do his friends treat you? Are they excited to see you again and include you? Or do they ignore you? Sneaking off to a dark corner to avoid his friends glaring eyes is not a good sign.

If there has been no forward motion, let it go…..

This is not your invitation to low-key stalk him. He isn’t going to change his mind by you always being around. You might have to give up a fun regular hangout spot. Your night could be ruined by him giving you the cold shoulder, or worse, seeing him on another date.

Bottom Line…..

Listen, getting the stars to align at the right moment can take a long time. However, meeting in person will always be more memorable than swiping on an app. All my special relationships have not involved an app. There is something magical about two people having chemistry and doing the delicate courting dance. Yet… you shouldn’t be waiting literally forever. Once you reach the “going-dark stage” and then returning ,he needs to pull the trigger. If he doesn’t, he either found someone else, or wasn’t that interested in the first place. Also, I have said before that just because it’s a “meet-cute” situation doesn’t mean it’s fate and the universe owes you. He still needs to take forward actions to move things along: Asking for your number, asking for a date, texting etc. Do not linger around hoping he will talk to you. Yes, it sucks to give up that cool hang-out spot for a while, and I know you want to go there out of spite. Trust me, there are other bars, coffee shops, venues.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind: How To Stay Relevant as a Casual Guy

Men getting into casual, or the beginning of the courting phase, need to know the importance of being top-of-mind. It sounds super obvious to most, but men who grab your number and then text you a month later will be forgotten. This can happen with a friends-with-benefits situation when there is a huge gap in seeing each other. The absence can backfire and feelings can get hurt along the way. What can men do to remain relevant in a woman’s mind?…..

How often is too often?…..

We get it’s casual. However, dating is at warp speed and everyone gets distracted by the shinier and newer object. A man wanting a casual relationship can easily be replaced by someone else. It is important to keep up with your casual thing and see each other every other week or at minimum once a month. (Although that is pushing it). In a courting phase, you need to step it up more and spend more time and pursue.

Keep texting in between dates…..

It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but a few texts here and there can keep the dynamic going. When you only text for her to come over, you are creating too much of a disconnect. You don’t need to talk about deep meaningful things. Keep things light, fun, and plan to hang out.

Create an illusion……

The greatest lovers make the person they are with at the time feel like they are the only one. Most women will dismiss you and not see a point in spending time when outside dates are brought up. Still be sexually safe, but oversharing can ruin the mood.

Make sure your place is presentable….

Women are picky about where they spend their time. 90-percent of women will only care about atmosphere when going to a bar or restaurant. They want to feel like a guest and be able to relax. Her not wanting to spend the night, or fleeing after two hours says a lot. Men usually get a pass on the state of their apartment (boys will be messy). It should not be the norm.

Unmatch her on the apps…..

Once you unmatch, you are a fish let out in the great pond again. She will come across your profile and the changes that you have made. This can be in your favor and spark jealously in her. Your face will be top of mind at that moment and it will stick around for a day or two. When you come across her, then text her. The algorithm probably showed both of you at the same time.

Keep posting on Instagram….

(You might be on mute, so she avoids this). Her curiously will peak when she sees you enjoying yourself without her. This works on everyone! You don’t have to do thirst traps, or show off dates ( that will backfire), but subtle pics of you out: a full glass of whiskey on the rocks at an unknown location, an appetizer with more than one plate. Or a photo of you with a wristband or a stamp from a bar.

Bottom Line…..

You are probably saying, “who cares, it’s casual! I should be more aloof!” I understand the mindset, but women have options and will forget about you. She might have really been into you, but got too much of a whiff of instability and looked elsewhere for it. No one wants to look like they care more in casual and in the early courting process. However, being strategic about being relevant in a woman’s life can extend the length of the relationship. The saying is true: out of sight, out of mind.

Meeting Men In The Wild

In dating, it’s best to not force your friends to be your wing women every weekend. Sometimes, the magic really happens when you look feminine and are peacefully sitting alone. This can be an intentional move to change up your social circle. Go to a nicer area of town, wear a bright feminine-color dress, sit at a bar, and see what unfolds.

Go where the wealth is…..

You aren’t going to find the hot finance guy at a dirty-dive bar. If you feel like you have taken the effort to level up and want to run into more eligible bachelors, then you have to go where they are. Keep in mind rich men are early risers and rarely are out partying until 2am. Grind culture means he is probably grabbing a sleek martini for happy hour.

Being alone in public isn’t that weird…..

No one cares that you are alone. You might think you stick out like a sore thumb, but trust me, no one is noticing. I mean, obviously, if you are being disruptive and hitting on everyone, then yes, people will take notice. Just be relaxed and enjoy yourself. Keep yourself open to people wanting to chat with you.

At a restaurant sit at the bar…..

Don’t make the hostess / host do the awkward, “so just you?” Just tell the hostess/ host that you want to sit at the bar. Be nice to the bartender and tip well.

Don’t bring a book…..

It’s fine to just scroll on your phone instead. It might make you look like you are about to meet up with someone. A book just implies you are in fact alone and do not want to talk to anyone.

Stop wearing drab colors…..

The first thing a person notices is clothing. Wearing brighter clothing will make you stand out since most people feel more comfortable in black or neutrals. This doesn’t have to mean neon green. It really is about more feminine colors. There are colors that work best for certain skin tones. You can take free quizzes online to figure out your coloring and even what jewelry works best. Fabrics come into play as well. A beautiful silk blouse with jeans makes way more of a statement then a ball gown. Try to give your blazers a rest for the evening. It comes across that you are still in business mode and you don’t want to chat. Flirting starts from just looking like you want to talk to someone. If you are slightly overdressed, it welcomes people to talk to you, in contrast to slouching over wearing gray workout clothes. Get your makeup done at the department store counter. Cosmetic departments usually give a free makeover for purchasing a certain amount, or if you are lucky, you have a friend who works there who needs practice.

Have a go-to story…..

The first thing a man will ask if he approaches you is, “are you all by yourself?” This can sort of stun you and force you to go into defense mode. Be prepared to tell a white lie such as, “Yeah, my friend was about to meet me here, but something came up.” You can also say, “ I heard this place has great (cocktails, French food, oysters) so I thought I would check it out. As long as the attitude is a matter-of-fact he can ease into the conversation and ask to join you. In a late night dance club situation the go-to lie is to say you can’t find your friends, or you are the first one who got here. (This situation is level-10 and meant for women who are advanced at being alone in public). Keep conversations brief and keep moving. A guy who is very interested will seek you out later and ask for your number.

Take baby steps and do a dry run…..

Before you get intimidated start small. Treat yourself to lunch and dress nicely. See if there is a difference just by doing a dry run. You can even do a longer pre-date. Show up an hour-plus earlier at a nearby bar or cafe and just feel comfortable by yourself. The more you do this, the more comfortable you will be on dates and meeting people organically.

Bottom Line……

The art of being by yourself is a hidden skill in dating. You will feel more comfortable on dates and not have that anxious energy if he leaves you alone to use the bathroom. Honestly, I have more fun being alone. You don’t have to cater to everyone else’s needs and you have control over whether you want to stay longer or leave. Men will more likely approach you if you are alone. He won’t feel the pressure from your friends laughing at him or making him feel uncomfortable. Plus, it shows you are open to possibilities. The important thing is not depending on others to have a good time. This is an opportunity to meet higher caliber men who don’t live in your neighborhood. It’s good practice to learn how to make a good first impression without even saying anything.

Location, Location, Location: Proximity In Casual Dating

Sure, you can have as many public dates as you choose. Eventually, you will want to spend the night together or at least watch a TV series. Living situation is the driving force that forms any relationship, no matter how casual. One of the big rules to keeping it casual is: How convenient is it? When I am on a hot streak with dating, the first thing I put into consideration is…. where does he live? I do mean where does HE live. It’s important to be spending time at his place. Let him worry about cleaning up the mess and changing the sheets. On top of that it is a safety concern. You don’t want to let every casual guy know where he can find you if things go sour. However, most relationships without a convenient living situation and location cannot materialize.

Is it really casual if you are long distance?…..

Long distance = not easy for any type of relationship. For a casual thing, why are you bothering? Long distance is an hour away or more. I mean if this is a guy you see once a month when he is in town, then that’s totally fine. Think about how much you are investing just for something that won’t go anywhere.

Men need to consider location when they pick an apartment…..

Decisions at the 11th hour are made in haste. Thinking too hard about it will lead to just going home. An apartment that is walking distance from a bar is a smooth transition. The secret to having any company coming to your place is be in the right area. I remember living a little further from the downtown area and not having one friend who wanted to make the trek. Unless your goal is total solitude, consider living where there are bars, restaurants, and coffee shops within walking distance.

Don’t date Oscar The Grouch…..

Sure, not everyone can live in a Beverly Hills mansion. When safely is in question or you think you will catch a disease from using his toilet, do not return! Or better yet, leave without hooking up. Another no-no is him living in a cabin in a desolate remote area. Be safe and even share your location with a friend.

What are the perks of his place?…..

Maybe he has an apartment pool, a really nice espresso machine, or a stocked home bar. I am embarrassed to say that I have slept on many air mattresses. Don’t do this to yourself! More women need to put their foot down and not just go with whatever living situation is there. A bed frame and a clean apartment should be the bare minimum.

Roommates are a no-go…..

As you get older, discretion and privacy are the most important. Having all eyes and ears on you is humiliating and ruins the experience. You might not get to see him as often since he is catering to his roommates’ schedules. The only exception is having a large floor plan where bedrooms are further apart and he might even have a separate entrance and private bathroom.

Bottom Line…..

Location, Location, Location! Do you like going there and occasionally spending the night? Does he live in a good convenient area of town? If you are the one with the fabulous apartment, I would keep it under wraps. It can attract poor men who are looking for a living upgrade ( or worse case a new stalker). You also will fall into a pattern where you are going through the trouble of cleaning your apartment and kicking him out in the morning. It’s best to just come and go as you please and not have to worry. Travel time can add up to time you could have spent on another date. Before you get too involved, figure out his living situation; it will save you a lot of extra trouble.

It’s Not Just A Free Lunch

I stand by a man paying for a date; however, he needs to keep it in his budget. There are girls who have zero intention of going on a second date with a guy and who order the lobster and most expensive champagne. Not saying a woman doesn’t deserve a fancy date now and then. How can both parties feel they are investing without getting the short end of the stick?…..

A first date should be drinks…..

Sure, you can do coffee, but it does not produce a sexy environment. Dating is not a quick errand; it needs to be thought out. Getting a few drinks in a nice environment may give as much opportunity for chemistry as a candlelit dinner. This does not mean top shelf or the most expensive wine bar in town (unless it’s in his budget). Be fine with a bar with a pool table and cheap drinks. Nondrinkers should go with a reasonably priced lunch.

First date location can be a negotiation….

Go low so he can go high. When asked where you want the date to take place, think of a simple middle-of-the-road place that is affordable. He deciding to up the ante is his choice. Be considerate of his money, especially when he is student or not working at a fancy job. However, you still deserve to be treated, even if it’s over beer and a slice of pizza.

Just because he paid big bucks doesn’t mean he is in love with you…..

Men with money have the advantage of impressing a woman. It might be written off to an expense account. He views it as more of a business expense rather than getting to know you.

Try not to do dinner on a first date…..

When you are unsure about your feelings for a guy, turn down dinner. You never know if he will make you split the bill or Venmo you later. It’s too much pressure and there is nowhere to go but down. A first date needs to be two people getting to know each other in a relaxed environment. Again, sure…. every blue moon a fancy date can be accepted, but it’s not a habit to get into.

Make sure you are doing your part…..

Put away your phone, dress nicely for the occasion, and put on a smile. You can be present and ask questions for an hour even if you aren’t crazy about a person.

Don’t string him along….

It’s very unkind to eat the free lunch over and over and have zero interest. You are the reason guys like going Dutch nowadays. Offer to pay the tip and actually mean it.

Bottom Line…..

When two people are into each other and investing, then it’s all gravy. However, a lot of the time it’s an unbalanced dynamic that results in people getting used. Do women get used? Yes. But men can be taken advantage of from women as well, resulting in him being sour to the next girl and only going Dutch from here on out. A woman needs to feel a guy is investing, but a man needs to feel she is grateful and present. Not saying that the only date you deserve is a cheap fast-food drive-through. A first date should be reasonable and within his budget. Be fine with a middle-of-the-road place that is more relaxed, unless he wants to take you somewhere fancy. Still, try to not be caught up in all the free lunches, because there is no free lunch.

Are You In Love With The Chase?

The chase is when a match is just out of reach, yet still attainable. It adds value and makes finally going out with him feel like it’s worth it. Men who don’t give us the time of day are seen as more of a challenge then a red flag. Love expert Michael Hussey says, “ If someone is not showing you they want you, stop chasing that person.” If you are the type to have an addictive personality, you are more likely to fall for the chase.

Are you trying to win him over?…..

Were you only noticed when your report card was perfect and you won the basketball game? Certain caregivers early on set the tone for proving our self-worth. This results in over-pleasing for strangers and perfectionism.

Do you love drama?…..

The highs and lows are exciting and can be seen as a passionate relationship. Some of us thrive on conflict and love that he is hot and cold. The show “Sex and the City” captures this type of dynamic with the Carrie-and-Big situation. When she had a stable commitment from Aidan, it wasn’t exciting enough. The stability was seen as boring and not passionate.

Are you a control freak?…..

Some fear the relationship actually working out. It’s easier to set it on fire and keep the dynamic on your terms. Rejection can be more of a relief than the unknown.

Are you a “try hard”?…..

The only thing that a women needs to do in dating is to be charming, look good, and show up. There is a wave of females who have been called, “pick-me-chicks.” The behavior attracts lazy men who want everything easy. She is seen on Instagram making her unlabeled situationship gourmet meals while he is playing video games. These women are also codependent and put others’ needs ahead of theirs in general.

Are you afraid to receive?…..

Ironically, leaning in and being a go-getter doesn’t serve you in the dating world. Practice receiving and just say thank you. You really have to be more passive and do less than you are doing. Being the social director, or trying to fix his life will not impress him long-term. More than likely, he will take the free lunch, then use his spare change to impress the next girl.

Bottom Line……

Some of us can get caught up in the chase because of our childhood. We might be repeating patterns that we used to gain our caregivers’ affection. The best thing you can do is to take a step back. Are you trying to sabotage yourself and wanting him to reject you? When you are giving 80 percent he can only give you 20 percent back. The man who enjoys being pampered is taking advantage of the situation and will drop you the second he finds someone he is actually interested in.

Ending The “Three-Monther” With A FWB

Timelines and milestones are important in any type of relationship. In casual dating there are no anniversary dinners. Yet, three months is a big mile marker for any budding relationship. It’s the first check in to see where things are at. In a friends-with-benefits (FWB) situation it needs to be clicking and both parties happy. Having a safety net relationship should be helping you to meet your match. How do you know when your casual situationship has run its course?….

How did the relationship start?…..

A placeholder relationship can be beneficial unless it doesn’t have the respect. No matter the relationship dynamic, everyone wants to feel chosen and special. The ideal friends-with- benefits dynamic is a lot of chemistry, but is misaligned with future goals and timing. At your core, you should be friends and like spending time together. When a relationship starts out with him not valuing you, it’s hard to brush it off and move forward.

He constantly talks about other women…..

There should be an unspoken rule about what happens outside your relationship stays there. Some people are totally fine with this, but even the most emotionally mature feel the sting when he exclaims he spent $200 on a fancy dinner date while he insists on going dutch with you.

You barely see each other…..

No, there shouldn’t be a set schedule, but seeing each other every six months isn’t fulfilling his duties. Either keep him around as a back-up, or cut him loose. You should see each other fairly often or else there is no benefit to it.

You get left in the dust when you go out together…..

He is supposed to be your escort and you invited him so you had someone to talk to. You end up spending the night texting him asking where he is and you discover he is chatting up random girls. Worse case, he expects you to be his wing lady.

You feel icky when you leave his apartment…..

Trust your gut with this. Feeling shameful or guilty is something to pay attention to. A FWB should feel like a friend that you have fun with. You shouldn’t be hit with a wave of regret every time you get back in your car to leave.

You’re catching feelings…..

It’s not going to work! A guy who decides it is casual isn’t in the mindset of seeing you as a girlfriend. Are there exceptions? Sure. However, if he didn’t see your value from date one, then why do you expect him to see it month three?

Bottom Line…..

Dragging out a thing that isn’t working and making you frustrated needs to go. An ideal friends- with- benefits is at its core your friend, and someone who doesn’t cross your mind that much. He is a backup for dry periods and a fun time when you go out together. Most men screw this type of relationship by over-communicating his every thought. Everyone wants to feel special and don’t need to be reminded that they are the placeholder. Three months is a good time to reflect and see if everything is clicking for both parties.

The Jam Experiment

“The Jam Experiment” is about the paradox of choice. It was an analogy of consumers having too many choices, therefore not making ANY choices. Picture a whole floor-to-ceiling shelf of jam. You would be so overwhelmed by the number of choices that you would be unable to pick one. Having only three or four variety of jams, you would be able to purchase one; the same works for dating. In the app-culture we live in now it’s overwhelming to pick one person to date, making us unable to commit. This is a case where you are ready to settle on one guy. If you want abundance, then the app-world will certainly give it to you. In the pursuit of wanting commitment there can be a lot of extra visual and mental clutter that needs a good spring cleaning….

Are the apps helpful or hurtful?…..

It is nice to cast a wider net and meet men you would normally never meet. Plus, it’s easier to date men from other religious and cultural and financial backgrounds. You no longer are stuck in your own social circle. However, it creates the illusion of endless choice and options. For the casual dater that is an advantage. It’s good to have the attitude of “onto the next.” If you are wanting something more serious, then obviously having too many options is a problem. It’s best to use apps less and go through friends or meeting men in person at events, etc.

How many apps are too many?…..

Having too many dating apps on your phone can get complicated. Try out the ones that you find the most helpful and that give you the most forward motion. It really depends on the area you live in. One app may have more options than others. It’s too hard to keep conversations going with six different apps.

Should you edit your matches?…..

Keeping matches organized can be a good idea, but not necessary. It might be a good idea to cut the fat, so to speak, and only keep around the matches that want to meet up. Eliminating visual clutter can make the apps less overwhelming and prevent dating burnout.

How many dates should you go on?……

Once a week should be your max. This way you still have time to focus on your friends and work. Dating is a numbers game to a certain extent, but that doesn’t have to mean going out with a new guy every night.

Should you vet the guy more before meeting in person?…..

Yes. It’s not worth agreeing to go out with a guy that you know won’t work out. You need to keep some deal breakers in mind ( he just got out of a breakup, lives far away, is only looking for casual when you want something serious, etc). This will prevent you from having a pointless date.

Quality over quantity……

Make an effort to meet men off the apps. The best is through friends or extracurricular activities. Join an improv group or a soccer league. You might be surprised who you connect with. It will be a slower process, but it’s worth it to meet better men. Write down a list of green flags you are looking for. Challenge yourself to think in terms of his morals and lifestyle, not just physical appearance.

Bottom Line……

Too many choices result in zero choices. We are all susceptible to analysis paralysis. Going on endless dates can cause dating burnout where you are just in an endless first-date loop. For “law of attraction” purposes it might be a good idea to write down the qualities you want out of a guy. This way it’s in your brain and you will be able to recognize it when it’s in front of you. Keep only one to two apps on your phone. This cuts down the clutter and flurry of pointless messages. Only continue to talk to men who want to meet you. Make a point to network with more people in public. We live in a time where face-to-face communication is discouraged. Learn how to be social again and stop staring at your phone the whole time you are out.

Negging and Sarcasm

“I was just joking”…. How many times have you heard that? It comes up a lot in a dating situation that is unbalanced. Many women accept the ball-busting because they want to seem like “one of the guys.” Yet, it communicates to him that you have zero boundaries and more than likely you are in a weird, casual, confusing “situationship.” He would NEVER be disrespectful to a woman he is actually into.

What exactly is “negging”…..

There was a show in the early 2000s called, “The Pickup Artist.” It taught beta males how to pick up women. What came out of it, unfortunately, is a term called, “negging.” This is when a man tears you down, then builds you back up. They will make you insecure and then throw in a compliment. Some men fail to do the build-you-up aspect of the tactic. Basically, there are a lot of guys just straight up insulting women. For example, they might say, “I didn’t realize that your shirt was still in style.” It’s a slick put down that makes you feel insecure.

What are some examples of “jokes”…..

Every comedian knows that jokes are truths and then lies. The main thing to focus on is the truth to his “joke.” It is the safest way to bring up a topic because he can immediately say, “No, no, I was kidding, chill out,” and then turn it on you that you don’t have a sense of humor. Some common examples are about your weight, your general appearance, or maybe even your intelligence. He might bring out the dumb-blond jokes when you are in fact brunette.

Would he really do it to his dream girl?….

Picture this…. Romeo sees Juliet across the room…. Do you really think he would take that opportunity to say she looks fat in her gown? Yea, didn’t think so. You have to think in the mindset of “would he treat his dream girl this way”?

“But he is just a sarcastic guy”…..

Yea…. he still shouldn’t be doing it to you. Sure, he might test out his tight five-minute comedy routine on you, but if you have expressed that it bugs you, he should never do it again. Another example is being performative around his buddies and make you the butt of the joke. It could stem from him being uncomfortable and wanting a way to downplay his relationship status.

How does he speak about you when you aren’t around?…..

I have noticed in interviews with celebrities and well-known comedians of how much they are into their partner. I understand that men cringe at the thought of being mushy. However, it is a red flag to hear a man speaking of his wife saying, “the old bag, my ball and chain, the boss.” Too many unflattering adjectives wrapped in a funny bow make you question how he really feels.

“I roast the ones I love”…..

Joking and ball-busting is usually reserved for friends. Making fun of you translates to him seeing you as more of a buddy than lover. Same thing with calling you masculine names such as “bro, dude, man.” He is stripping away your feminine qualities and throwing you in a friend bucket. Not to say he wouldn’t turn down hooking up. When it comes to presenting you as a couple in public he will dance around the title leaving you confused.

Bottom Line…..

Again, picture all the romantic movies and literature. Rarely does the protagonist make fun of his perfect woman. A man will not risk offending a girl he really is into. Pay close attention to his “jokes.” It could be a sign that he isn’t all in with the relationship. Usually, it is dipping his toe in and saying what he isn’t pleased with. There is so much truth in what he is essentially criticizing. It’s easy to backpedal and say it was all a joke. It could also be a tactic to keep you small and on your toes. This comes from a man who is highly insecure and needs the power balance to always be in his favor. Be wary of a guy who does it from the start.

Trauma Dumping

Just went on a recent app date where the first few sips of beer was him trauma dumping. It was as if a mirror was placed up to my face. Years ago, I treated every date as an intense dark one-woman show. To women, bonding = tell the person your trauma, then they can share theirs. With an app date you can’t trust a stranger with your deep dark secrets and insecurities. If he ghosts you, airing all your dirty laundry will make you cringe and feel raw…. How can you prevent yourself and him from sharing too much and not treat a date like a therapy session?……

What to do when he is trauma dumping…..

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1.Steer the ship….

You don’t get permission to trauma dump if the conversation switches. Always bring it back to light material. You can literally get up and disrupt the flow by grabbing another drink or going to the restroom

2. Set up boundaries…..

Interrupt your date who keeps going into sad stories. You can flat out say in a nice way that you want to talk about fun stuff. He might not even realize he is doing it.

3. Leave the date if he can’t snap out of it…..

You can try to change the subject all day, but he might keep shifting it back around. When this is happening you have to get up and leave. Do a graceful and kind exit, but don’t get buried by his bad mood

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What to do when you are trauma dumping….

1. Pre-date….

Can’t say it enough! You need to come into the date with the right mood and energy. Listen to that song, meditate, walk around the block, etc

2. Actually talk to your therapist…..

It’s interesting when people don’t utilize their therapist while in session. Then when two glasses of wine are in them….boom, trauma dump to a total stranger. You are paying your therapist for trauma dumping and working out issues.

3. Notice your patterns….

Going back to the two glasses of wine thing….is that when you start trauma dumping. Alcohol can be great in moderation to loosen you up, but bad when it takes you to a dark place. Notice what triggers you and stay away from it for a first date.

Bottom Line….

Both parties can encourage trauma dumping. A first date is not a safe space to tell all your insecurities or deepest fears. You are sitting across from a stranger who is not your paid therapist. You doing this every date needs to be examined. Get a therapist, or set up more frequent appointments. Long-term you will feel embarrassed and raw when you get ghosted. There needs to be trust in a person to share such personal information. When he cannot be steered by disrupting and changing subjects, you need to leave. Do not reward bad behavior by egging him on and acting like his therapist. Once you become his unpaid therapist, you will remain in this role for him until he works out his issues and finds someone else.