The Love Expert: Why Women Are Addicted To Toxic Men,"Have A Boring Relationship Instead!" Logan Ury | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "The Love Expert: Why Women Are Addicted To Toxic Men,"Have A Boring Relationship Instead!" Logan Ury".

1970-01-15T16:04:49.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Most people want to find love, but the truth is you think you know what you want, but you're wrong. But there's a lot of great relationship science out there, and this might be the number one thing that I want people to take away. So if you're Logan Yorden, Hinge's dating scientist from Harvard, she's renowned for her data-driven approach to help millions of people find love. Big things in my work are the Spark, the Post-8/8, and the three dating tendencies. So let's go through that. The Spark is this idea that we go after the initial chemistry, the fireworks, but the Spark often leads to relationships that burn out. The Spark, the Post-8/8 are eight questions to ask yourself after a date, training your brain to a new way of dating. And finally, most people suffer one of these three dating tendencies, and that's what's holding them back from finding love. And can we change it? Yeah. So the first type is people in great relationships have made a bunch of good choices. And the truth is, the person that ends up making them happy in the long term is very rarely who they thought they should be with. If you are single and you don't want to be, at some point you have to realize you are choosing a set of problems. Why do I keep falling for f***boys? Or people often confuse pet peeves, the ick, for deal breakers. Like, he has a velcro wallet. I can buy you a new f*** wallet! And they say to me, like, I don't want to meet on an app, it's not romantic. But the number one way that couples are meeting is online. And so, because I want to help so many people find love, these are the top tricks for a great hinge profile. First of all, you're b- I think this is fascinating. I looked at the back end of our YouTube channel, and it says that since this channel started, 69.9% of you that watch it frequently haven't yet hit the subscribe button. So, I have a favour to ask you. If you've ever watched this channel and enjoyed the content, if you're enjoying this episode right now, please can I ask a small favour? Please hit the subscribe button. It helps this channel more than I can explain. And I promise, if you do that, to return the favour, we will make this show better and better and better and better and better. That's the promise I'm willing to make you if you hit the subscribe button. Do we have a deal? Logan, why does your work matter?


Comprehensive Guide To Relationships And Attachment Theories

Why Does Your Work Matter? (02:10)

My work matters because most people, almost everyone wants to find love, and it's really hard. And I meet people and I see how badly they want it, I see how long they've been trying to get it, and they're getting in their own way. And so, I do the work that I do because I want to help people understand the blind spots that are holding them back from finding love, and I want to help them get out of their own way, develop new patterns, new habits, and find love. Where are we in terms of love as a society? Love, dating, sex, all these kinds of things. Where are we? What's our direction of travel? Are we getting better, worse? People are really struggling. If you think about the history of dating, it's actually pretty new, right? So, for most of human history, you had an arranged marriage from, let's say, your piece of land was next to somebody else's piece of land, so your dads wanted to combine the land, so you were married to the person next door. Or there was a matchmaker who made the arrangement. So, modern dating as we know it only started around 1890. This is very new in the span of human history. And then you have dating apps, which only started in earnest around 10 years ago. And so, the way that we're dating now is actually really new. And so, when people are struggling with it, I understand. We were not designed to date this way, or we don't have tons of experience. And so, we were born knowing how to love, but we're not born knowing how to date. And so, I'm out there trying to teach people how to date. And who are you? So, I am a behavioral scientist turned dating coach. I work with people one-on-one to help them find love. I also work as Hinge's director of relationship science. So, I conduct research and really try to understand what's happening with dating, people who are finding success on Hinge, what are they doing differently. I also teach dating classes, and I wrote this book, How to Not Die Alone. So, for anybody that doesn't know what Hinge is, because I'm sure there'll be some people listening that don't know what Hinge is, what is Hinge? Hinge is a dating app, and I think it's the best one. What Hinge does differently is it truly is about getting you off the app and onto great relationships. And so, before I started at Hinge, I actually interviewed the CEO, Justin McLeod, for my book. And I was kind of the skeptical person, and I was like, "All right, let's be real. Of course you don't want your users to actually find love because then they would churn, and then you'd have to find new users, and that'd be really expensive. So, get real with me. Of course you want to keep people on the app." And he was like, "No. The best referral system that we have is word of mouth from people finding somebody on the app and telling other people. If you go to a wedding where the people found love on Hinge, that's going to get you to use it." And since I've been there for almost four years, not to sound like a sponsored ad, but I've never been in a conversation that was about how do we keep people on the app. We're really—it's almost a religion. How do we get people off the app and onto these dates? And you hired a dating coach for yourself, right? Yeah, that's exactly right. Yeah. So, I have compassion for my younger self, but at the time, it was just so hard. It was like the classic story of, "You fall for someone. We're having this amazing time. And emotions are running so high. And you fall for someone. And you think, 'Oh, well, if my feelings about them are so strong, their feelings about me must be so strong.'" And we had this amazing week at Burning Man. And then when we came back, I was like, "Oh, well, of course we'll date now." And this person was just not interested in dating. And when I look back at my younger self, I can see that we were in this anxious, avoidant loop. Are you familiar with that? No, I'm not.


Attachment Theories, which one are you? (05:55)

Okay. So, you know about attachment theory? Yes. Okay. So, I'll give you the scoop because I feel like it's really interesting. So, attachment theory is a really great part of relationship research because it's something that has a deep background in research. So, John Bowlby was a psychologist and he did the most interesting research on this. And this was in the '60s. So, he basically would have moms bring their babies into a laboratory. And the moms would place the baby down and leave the room and see how the baby reacted. And so, some babies would start crying, the mom would come back in the room and pick it up, and the baby would keep crying. So, the mom was there again, but the baby still felt upset. And that baby is anxiously attached. There was another type of baby where the mom would leave, the baby would come back, and as soon as the mom picked up the baby, the baby was soothed. So, the baby was saying, "I want to be with you, but when you're here, I know you're here for good." The third kind, the mom would leave the room, the baby wouldn't cry, but they knew from other signals that the baby was upset. And when the mom came back in the room, the baby would ignore it. And that baby is called avoidant attached. And so, basically, the point is that what we have in childhood often shows up in adult romantic relationships, and this is attachment theory. And so, anxiously attached people, they feel like they're always going to lose you, you're going to abandon them, you're going to leave them. And so, they always try to regain closeness. And so, that's why when the mom came back, they're still like, "Are you going to leave me again? I'm so nervous." The avoidant attached babies, they feel like, "Well, you'll probably abandon me anyway, so I'm not going to get too close." And those are the people who are always pushing somebody away. Here's the reason why we shouldn't be together. They're always creating reasons to delay intimacy, and they're afraid of being smothered. And then the securely attached babies who become securely attached adults, they say, "I want some intimacy, but I also want independence." And we sort of think about them as the heroes of the relationship world because they can manage both of those feelings of closeness and independence. And so, what happens is 50% of the population is securely attached, which would be great because many of us could date them. But they actually get into relationships and they stay there. So, the pool is a lot of anxious attached people and avoidant attached people dating each other. And they do this thing called the anxious avoidant loop. And what that means is my version of love is that you're going to leave me, you're going to abandon me, and that I have to chase you. Your version of love is you're going to smother me. So, I go after you, you pull back. And we both think, "Oh, this is what love is. We're just doing love." And it's not until one of us becomes more secure or that we date a secure partner that we actually realize that there's another way. So, so much of the work I do with people is actually busting the anxious avoidant loop and helping them understand, "Hey, you are anxiously attached. When you keep dating these guys who are running away and you have to chase them, it's hurting you and you're not in a great relationship. Look for someone secure." And so, that was a very long-winded way of what happened to me with this Burning Man guy. I was definitely an anxious attached dater. He was avoidant. And instead of us just saying, "We're not a match," we were in this loop. And it was so painful. I remember crying on my friend's couch, not understanding, "Why doesn't this person want to be with me?" And I tried my hardest. I put that Harvard degree to work, right? You try to convince somebody to be with you, but they're not interested. And so, somebody recommended this dating coach and I went to meet with her. And it was so helpful because, first of all, I acknowledged how painful it was. And then we did an exercise where she says, "How do you want somebody to make you feel?" And I wrote down all these characteristics. Desired, respected, admired. I want to feel like they think I'm really funny. And when I looked at that list, I was like, "This guy doesn't make me feel like any of those things. He makes me feel like shit." But there's this other guy at work who actually does make me feel those things. And so, there was this guy at work who I had met originally in college, and then I met him again at work, like in a casual lunch. And I had told him, "I'm trying to learn this statistics language called R." And he said, "Oh, I just dropped out of a PhD program where I write R every day." And he was like, "I'll tutor you." So, for a few months, he was tutoring me, but I didn't think that we were a good match. He said a couple things like, "Oh, I don't like travel. I don't like people that go to Burning Man." He seemed close-minded. But then when I worked with this dating coach and I thought about how I wanted someone to make me feel, I was like, "That guy makes me feel that way." So, I put more effort into seeing him, and we went from having lunch maybe once a month to once a week, to we suddenly were having lunch every day. And I didn't explicitly ask him out, but I certainly said, "Oh, I don't have plans on Friday. What are you doing?" Kind of inviting him to ask me out. And, yeah, we've now been together for almost nine years, and we're married. I've got so much to dig into there. Okay, great. I was smirking at you because I just... So much of what you were saying rang true with me. You were perfectly describing me when you started describing the avoidant attached. Can you just characterize that again? Because I want to zoom in on that. Right, yeah. Let me go more into avoidant attachment.


What To Do As An Avoidant Attached person (11:26)

And I would say for anyone listening who's feeling really stuck, going deep on attachment theory is one of the number one things that you can do to really understand yourself, understand your past patterns, understand who you've been attracted to, and why it isn't working. And so there's a lot of great relationship science out there, but this might be the number one thing that I want people to take away. Let me describe what happens when you're avoidant attached. So first, there's a trigger. So the trigger might be that you go out with somebody on Saturday night, you have a great night, they sleep over, and Sunday morning, you wake up and you're just ready to do your thing, but they're still there. So you feel triggered by the fact that they're still at your house. Then you do something called deactivating strategies. So these are thoughts or feelings that push them away. So it might be like, "Oh, my God, it's 10 o'clock and she hasn't brushed her teeth yet. When is she going to leave? Oh, is she going to be here forever?" And then you start thinking about flaws in that person. Well, this is wrong with her or that is wrong with her. And there's all these things that are subtly pushing her away from you. And then you do a protest behavior, which is sort of snapping or just saying something like, "Okay, I called your Uber." And I feel like many of us have had that situation where you think things are going well with somebody and then all of a sudden they're like, "The Uber's here." And you're like, "Oh, so you're kicking me out." And it's so interesting because it's like the other person has no idea what's going on for you. They feel like you just had a great date and they're like, "Great, let's go out to the diner for breakfast." And instead that person is like, "I will never have my life back. You are taking over my world. You're really blushing." And so what an avoidant attached person can do, let me give a few tips for them. So one of them is being really clear about what you want. And so it's absolutely fine if you want the person to leave, but saying something like, "Hey, I had such a great date with you. I have a big week of work ahead of me and so I want to get started, but I will call you again soon." And so just asking for what you need. Another thing is overriding the flaws that have become so obvious to you. So there's a really interesting thing called the negativity bias. And even though we're living in this age of chat GPT and all of modern technology, our brains are running on ancient software. And so our brains have the negativity bias, which is that we're much more likely to ruminate on what's wrong with someone. The reason for this is that if you had five ex-girlfriends and one of them wanted to kill you, it was really important to know which one that was. And so your brain would remember that. And so to overcome the negativity bias, to overcome this feeling where avoidant attached people focus on flaws, you actually can work on focusing on the positives. So even just saying to yourself five things that you like about somebody. So you could think in your head, "Last night was so fun. She looked so cute wearing my T-shirt. I'm really excited to hear her talk more about her work," whatever that is. And so actively overriding this feeling of pushing people away, because that's one of the really hard parts about being avoidant is that you feel like those criticisms that you have in your head are so valid. "Well, I need to pay attention to this." But what you don't understand is that that's actually a subconscious way for you to not get close to someone. And so I'm coaching someone right now where she told me, "Oh, I went on a date with a guy. Everything was great, but he wore a white T-shirt under his shirt, which reminded me of my uncle, so I can't be with him." I was like, "Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds? Obviously, that's not a reason to not be with someone. That's an excuse for you to not get close to someone." And as we talked about it more, it became obvious that she's really afraid of being hurt. She's been abandoned by many people. She was in a bad marriage. And for her, if I don't get close to you, then you can't hurt me. And that's part of the avoidant attachment. If I never rely on you, then you can never let me down. And so part of it is actually getting more comfortable relying on somebody else. And you kind of alluded to it there, but the obvious question here is, where does it come from? I think from your answer with your client with the white T-shirt ick, I think it's quite clear. But in my case, I think I know where it comes from. But generally, where does this avoidant attachment style come from? Yeah, so if you think about the history of attachment theory and the fact that it started doing research with children and their primary caregiver, there is this idea that it goes back to your childhood. But I feel like it's unfair to really say, "All of us have these attachment styles because of our parents or specifically because of our mothers. And hey, Mom, if I'm single, it's your fault." That's actually not true. I think that's part of it, but there's other societal things that can lead to it. And there's some evidence of different biological reasons why each of us would do this. So the main message that I want to give away is do not blame everything on your mother. I think attachment styles is a really good framework, but it's not just an excuse to say, "Oh, well, my parents are the reason why I can't find love." And can you change it? The research shows that when people work on it, about 25% of people are able to change their attachment style. And so what that might look like is somebody understanding, "This is my trigger. And when a trigger happens, I'm going to do something else." And so we talked about for the avoidant person, asking for what you need, being really clear, and not assuming that somebody is going to read your mind and looking for the positives. And you can work on self-regulation. So, for example, when an avoidant or anxious person is triggered, they go into this thing called the danger zone, which is basically like, "I need to get away from you as soon as possible, or I need to reconnect with you as soon as possible." And if you don't want to get into the danger zone and you want to stay in the comfort zone, then you can learn how to self-regulate. So that's one thing. The other thing, which I personally feel like is easier and was my strategy, is finding a secure partner. And so that's a great way to get out of the anxious avoidant loop. So with me, right, I was this anxiously attached dater, chasing after this Burning Man guy, had all these bad habits, and then when I started dating my husband, I distinctly remember this moment where I was walking down the street of San Francisco and I was flooded. I was so angry. I would just get so upset. And I was typing away at my phone. I couldn't see anything else. I truly was in this flooded cortisol rush moment. And I was telling him all the things he had done wrong. And I knew the pattern, which was then he would fight with me, we'd get into this fight, it would blow up, and then eventually we'd make up. But he didn't do that pattern. He wrote back and said, "It sounds like you're upset. We should talk about this in person." And it was this crazy moment where I was like, "Wait, we're not going to do the thing that I always do with everyone? We're going to do this different thing?" And it just dissipated all of the anger because he was acknowledging that I was upset, but he was suggesting a healthier plan. And I don't think that it's unrelated to the fact that his mom is a therapist. So dating this secure person made me so much more secure, where I broke out of the anxious-avoidant loop, I got over the silly Burning Man guy, and I understood what a secure relationship was like. And I feel so lucky to be in this secure marriage. And sometimes when I think about my career success, I'm like, "I couldn't have done it without my husband, not because he's involved with my career." But I really feel like 25 to 50% of my brain was in these spirals worrying about people being anxiously attached, ruminating on them, and just being in a secure relationship actually gives you a lot of peace, and you can use that brain power for something else. But only 50% of people you said are the secure ones that everybody wants. Yeah. So I think it's a combination of you can become more secure yourself, or you can find a secure partner. What's hard is that we often confuse secure people for boring.


How To Find A Secure Partner & Maintain A Healthy Relationship (19:31)

That's what I was going to say. I wasn't sure whether to say it, but secure sounds a bit wallpaper. Yes. And that's what people don't understand. So people think, "Oh." Like, I had a client who said to me, "I went on a date with this guy. We went out a few times. I told him I was going to Seattle, and then he sent me all these recommendations for Seattle, so I'm never going to see him again." I was like, "What are you talking about?" She's like, "That's so desperate." I was like, "This is just a nice guy who's trying to tell you about a cool bookstore in Seattle. Like, why can't you see that as somebody that's interested in you and putting in effort?" But to her, in the anxious-avoidant loop, what she wanted was someone who was unavailable. And that's what's so hard. I feel like there's all these lovely, securely attached people out there that are probably like, "Oh, I'm a dud. Nobody wants me." It's like, "Baby, somebody wants you. They just haven't figured it out yet." And so some of the work that I do is train people to look for secure partners. And so things like, are they consistent? Do they not play games? Are they clear about their interest in you? And so we actually have to understand that securely attached partners are the heroes of the relationship world, and they're great to be in relationships with. They have healthier relationships. And you have to train yourself to go for that and to break out of this anxious-avoidant loop. I could probably hazard a guess as to which attachment style ends up in marriage the most and stays in marriage. But I'm also quite curious about which attachment style is most likely to get the most attention. Because from what we've just talked about there, there is a hint of vanilla to the person. There is a hint of vanilla to the secure attachment style, and there's a hint of excitement associated with the avoidant-attached style. Because one of the principles I learned about attraction is this idea of social proofing. And one element of social proofing is not appearing to be so interested, because that raises the perception of your value. So if we're having a conversation, if I'm kind of blase about you and a little bit uninterested, it raises my social value. Therefore, you'll think I may be more valuable. Yeah. So I was thinking maybe these avoidant-attached people are getting the most sort of short-term interest. I don't know. Is that…? I think that's exactly right. And even when you said that, it reminded me of how I felt with the Burning Man guy, where the story in my head was, "If you don't want me, you must be better than me." I think so many of us feel that way. It's like, "Well, as soon as you reject me, you have more power than me. And for me to regain power, I want to get you interested in me." Instead of a much healthier mindset, which is, "I want the person I choose to choose me back." That's how I know that we're a match. So I want to tell you about this interesting application of research. So the term "fuckboy" has been around for a little while. People kept asking me, "What's going on with fuckboys? Why do I keep falling for fuckboys? There's Fuckboy Island. There's all this stuff." And I was like, "Why are people so addicted to fuckboys?" And so there's this really interesting research from the psychologist B.F. Skinner, and it's a study with pigeons. So for the first pigeon, the pigeon is in a little cage with a lever. Every time that the pigeon presses the lever, food comes out. And so that's pigeon number one. Then there's pigeon number two. They're also in a cage with a lever. In the beginning, every time that they press the lever, food comes out. Okay, so now they're the same. But then the first pigeon, it stays the same. They press the lever, food comes out. And this is called the continuous reward schedule. The second pigeon, over time, the schedule changes. Sometimes when they press the lever, food comes out. Sometimes when they press it, it doesn't come out. Maybe it might take them five or 20 times of pressing it for the food to come out. And that's called the partial reward schedule. So with the first pigeon, once they turn off the food, the pigeon will press it a few more times, see there's no more food, and stop pressing it. The second pigeon, once they turn off the food, it will literally keep pressing the lever until it collapses from fatigue. And that's because the partial reward schedule is so addictive. That's also how slot machines work. That's how gambling works. Sometimes I get what I want and sometimes I don't, so I want to keep trying and I want to keep trying. And that's what's happening with fuckboys. So fuckboys give you attention in the beginning, right? You get what you want, they seem interested in you, you go out. Then they start pulling back. They're hot and cold. Sometimes they're interested, sometimes they're not. And you become addicted to that partial reward schedule. Will this time when I press the lever, will you text me back or not? And it feels really exciting. And so securely attached partners are the levers in the first one where their interest in you and their love in you is continuous. And that's what we should go after because that's what a healthy relationship is. But people get so addicted to the fuckboys and to the partial reward schedule that they're trapped in this cycle. And so our brains are really, they really develop in this way where when we don't know if we'll get what we want or not, it's really exciting. But that's not what's aligned with long-term relationship success. That makes perfect sense. Tell me about you. I feel like from listening to your episodes, I was like, this is an avoidant attached maximizer. This is a reformed fuckboy. But what was the dynamic like with you and your girlfriend? So for the first 25 years of my life, I was the avoidant. Again, I've said this a million times, but grew up in a household where I think I thought relationships were prison. I ran from everybody that was interested in me. And then I met a person who was, I would say she sits somewhere between being secure, but also anxiously attached. She has hints of both. Where she's a really calm communicator and she can just like your husband. There's a problem. Like we should talk about it. We should sit down and have a conversation about it. Not scream at each other, not get agitated. And being with her slowly eased me out of my cycle. It's still there and it's still triggered. And when it gets triggered, this is how it looks. And this is how I know she's a bit of an anxious attached. She'll be on a date on Saturday. I will stop paying attention to her in some way. She will then increase the amount of needs she has of my attention. She'll start kind of like pecking because she's seen that she's no longer getting my attention. Then she goes really, really quiet because she's now really annoyed because she lost my attention. I then see she's annoyed. I don't want to argue, but I want to know why she's annoyed. I ask her why she's annoyed. She basically explains that I did something seven minutes ago that made her feel whatever. We kind of get into it a little bit and I want to leave. I want to get my stuff and go to a hotel. And I have to say in my head, don't leave the house. Don't leave the house. Don't leave the house. And at that point, what she wants to do is she wants to chase. And this is kind of like a toxic combination because I'm trying to get out the front door and she wants to solve it and wants me to be even closer. So it's almost like when we when we both get triggered together, she gets increasingly needy and I want to run. Yeah. You really just described the anxious avoidant loop. And it's exactly that. It's like I feel she feels disconnected from you. So she wants to reattach and you feel smothered or trapped. And so you need space. And then it's not that your relationship is doomed in any way. It's that you just have to learn how to both regulate your emotions. And so for you, it might be saying, I see that you're really upset. Obviously, something happened that went wrong. I need a few minutes to regulate. And so in that moment, you're experiencing flooding where your cortisol is rising and you actually are in fight or flight mode. And this is a really common thing in fights is that people don't take enough breaks. So if you at all feel like you're flooding, you can ask for a break. But it's not saying this isn't important to me. It's not saying we're never going to talk about this. It's just saying I actually can't have this conversation in this moment with where my head is at. And for her, it's also understanding what did you do that triggered her and what could she do in that moment differently? And so we talked about the strategies for avoidant attached, but I can also talk about the strategies for anxious attached. So, for example, distracting yourself, going for a walk, going to the movies, doing something else, texting a friend and saying, I really want to text the guy I'm interested in, but he hasn't texted me back. So I'm texting you instead or something called disconfirming evidence, which is a fancy way of saying basically what's the alternative here? So the story in your head is I texted him a meme this morning. He hasn't texted me back. He usually text me back right away. Clearly, he's not interested in he's met someone else. Disconfirming evidence would be. Maybe he has a really busy week at work. He mentioned that he has a big project or perhaps he's not feeling well. What are the other reasons that he could not be getting in touch with you? And it's about not creating a problem before you know there's a real problem. And so both of you could work on those different strategies so that you can have this healthy relationship and that you're not constantly in what you call that toxic cycle of she's chasing and you're running. Yeah, and I agree. She's by far, I'm not just saying this because she's probably going to listen. I'll probably send her the episode because I always do. By far the best relationship I've ever had in my entire life and I will 100% marry her as soon as she says yes. But we do have that loop. But one thing that's interesting, so I know about this from reading about it online, it sounds like you were dating and then you broke up and then you went to Bali to chase her. Yes, this is true. You stalk her. And so when I hear that, I'm like, oh, there's something in the dynamic where you as an avoidant attached person, you doing the chasing, that was breaking a pattern for you. And so what was going on with that? Interesting. Yeah. So we were together for about two years. It wasn't a great relationship in hindsight at that point because we were clearly quite immature. And then we're lying in bed in Paris and she turns to me and says, I no longer. She says something along the lines of I don't like having sex with you. And I didn't really know what that meant. Like I'm a young guy. I'm like 25, 26 years old. No one's ever said that to me before. I think I'm, you know. I'm a stud. I'm like, yeah, what do you mean? I was like, I've always got compliments. Does that mean that I'm bad in bed? What does that mean? Really emasculating thing to hear. And so very quickly after that, we broke up and then we were separated. In that time, Covid rolls around. She's not feeling great in lockdown. She knows that because of that incident, but also just how she's feeling in her life anyway, the depression, all those kinds of things. Something's not right. She needs to go. She spends the next two years living in Bali. But so a year after the date when we broke up, I had looked at what else was out there. And I think part of me had realized that that's probably that is the best person I'm ever going to meet. I say it to my friends all the time. I say I cannot find a better person. And I think I'd had that realization that this was maybe the best person I'll ever meet. And so I made a plan. I got on a plane. I flew to Bali and went there really with the aim of apologizing. But low key, the aim was to get her back in some way. Went and apologized. She just wasn't interested in me. She wasn't rude. She was really sweet and nice. There was no romantic interest in me whatsoever. And then I'm like, I'm there for four weeks in total, staying at the other side of the island with a friend of mine. And then in the last week of my trip to Bali, my sort of apology tour, things slowly start to change. And it actually happened when I said to her, I'm going to go. I'm going back to the UK. And it's been lovely being here with you. I sent her a nice text message and said, you're doing really well. I'm so proud of the progress you're making on yourself and stuff. And then the next day she texted me saying, can I see you before I go? Part of me is thinking, I've been here for three and a half weeks. You've showed no interest in me whatsoever. Maybe this is my last chance at victory. I'll just tell her to f off. And again, my mature brain, for whatever reason, showed up and said, of course you can see me before you go. And it was in those last 48 hours that everything changed. That's when it was like we fell back in love with each other. And those last 48 hours before I flew. And we've been together ever since. Wow. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that with me. I feel like there's so many good moments in there. I got the chills when you were talking about how you could have chosen one path, which was to say, fuck off. But you chose to say, of course you can see me because that's the moment of growth. That's why I do the work that I do. That's why I coach. Because we can just keep repeating the same patterns over and over again. I work with 70 year olds who have been doing the same thing over and over again. And it's not until we understand this is a choice and I can make a different one that we get different results. And so for you, let's just break down that story and think about all the different moments. So when she left and she was doing her own thing, she probably became more attractive to you because she wasn't chasing you anymore. And she was independent. And then when you showed up, you were doing what she probably wanted for a lot of the time, which is getting attention from you. But still, she wasn't needy in that moment. As soon as you got there, she wasn't like, finally we can be together. You had to choose each other. And so both of you overrode your natural tendencies to really be in that moment and be your highest selves. And there's just so many universes in which that didn't happen. But because you flew there, you overrode this avoidant attachment and you made mature choices. You get this incredible prize of being with your girlfriend. It's so crazy when you say there's so many universes where that wouldn't have happened. Yes. So the way that I see it is a great relationship is the culmination of a series of decisions. Am I ready to date? Who should I date? Who should I keep dating? Who should I get serious with? Who should I marry? Who should I have kids with? And at each moment you get to choose. And so the people in great relationships have made a bunch of good choices. And so if you are single and you don't want to be, you need to take a step back. And so in my coaching, a lot of the work I do with people is looking at what's your relationship history? We start with middle school. People tell me, you know, I was the only South Asian kid in a class full of white people, and I never felt attractive until I went to Stanford and was around other South Asian people. Or people tell me I got a lot of attention and so I got a big head and I didn't develop a personality. And people have all these stories about who they are. And then they tell me about the relationships they've been in. And sometimes they've been in abusive relationships. Sometimes they've been in just one long relationship. And so they have these patterns. And so we say, what are those patterns resulting in? And how can you make different choices to get different results? And so really where the behavioral science part of my work comes in is understanding that we have these default behaviors. We have these patterns. And it's not until we illuminate those blind spots and then actively make different choices that we'll get the different results. And for you, that worked. But there's definitely a world in which you and I are meeting here and you're still single. You're avoiding attached. And I'm trying to give you this advice. But nothing really changes until you make the different choice.


The secretary problem That Could Save Your Love Life (35:03)

There was a couple other things I wanted to follow up from from the story. So have you heard of the secretary problem? Only in your book. OK, so let me tell you about it. And I should give credit to where I heard about it. So there's a great book called Algorithms to Live By. And that's how I came across this. So this is the mathematically correct way to know when to stop looking and when to choose someone. So the idea is, imagine that you're hiring a secretary and you have 100 people to choose from and you have to go through each one, one at a time and say yes or no. So after the first person, yes or no. After the second person, yes or no. And if you say no, you can't go back. So the question, which is part of this way of mathematical thinking called optimal stop theory, is how many people should you go through? Because if you choose too early, you don't know what's out there. But if you choose too late, maybe all the good people have passed you by. And so the mathematically correct answer is that you go through the first 37 people, 37 percent. And you say, who was the single best person of that 37 percent? That's now your benchmark person. And the next time that you find someone who's better than that benchmark person, you hire them. Okay. So I go, I'm interviewing someone to be my assistant. Let's say I go through 37 people. And this can be used in the context of dating as well. And I find someone called Jenny, who was the best of the 37. But I've said no to her. So I can't go back and get Jenny. So I've been on a date with Jenny or whatever. I've interviewed Jenny. So I'm now at interview number 38. What do I do? The next, you keep going until you find someone who you like more than Jenny and then you say, I found her and you stop. And the reason why this is so important is because if you're a maximizer and we should get into what that means, you want to keep looking. And there are so many people who just have found someone who's better than their benchmark person, but they keep looking and they keep looking and then they keep looking. And the pool is getting smaller and smaller and they don't realize it. And so here's how that applies to dating. We don't know how many people you'll date, but one way we can think about it is let's just approximate how long somebody might date. So let's say somebody dates from ages 18 to 40. What is 37 percent of the way through? So it's when you're twenty six point one years old. So at that point, you should look back and say, who is my Jenny? Who is my benchmark person? The next time you find someone who you like more than that benchmark person, choose them and try to build a relationship with them. And why this is so important is so many people keep looking, so many people keep searching. They're waiting for the perfect person. And they don't understand that relationships are about finding somebody great and building a great relationship, not the continuous search to find the perfect person who doesn't exist. And that's a statistical mathematical equation that says, on average, if we do date from 18 to 40, then by 26. You've already met someone who could be your benchmark person and that you should keep that as the framework. And so the reason it's relevant to your story is you had a feeling that your girlfriend was your benchmark person or was your person. And so you wrote you guys broke up for a year. You looked around and you were like, there's nobody better. And so obviously things are not exactly the same as a secretary problem. And you could go back and you were lucky enough to be able to go back and find her. But it was that feeling of I've seen what's out there. She's the best. That's who I want. And I feel like so often people don't recognize how good the person they're with is or they get way past 37 percent and they're still looking. And so a lot of the work I try to do with people is to help them understand. I know you're a maximizer. I know you're trying to find the perfect person. But instead, I want you to find somebody amazing and build a relationship with them and not be in this perpetual cycle of trying to trade up. So interesting.


What To Do As An Anxious Attached Person (38:48)

You talked about this concept called maximize, which I want to double down on, but I feel like there will be a bunch of people out there who class themselves as the first attachment style, anxiously attached that needs some help and advice. So my girlfriend, I think she's a little bit anxious attached. What do anxious attached people need to know to increase their probability of finding love? So you illustrated this really well in your story. So you talked about how your girlfriend will want attention from you. You don't give it to her. She tries and then she shuts down. So that's exactly what we see with anxious attached people. So let me give you the equivalent of what I gave you for the avoidant attached. So an anxious attached person will have a trigger. So, for example, the trigger would be I asked somebody if we're hanging out tomorrow and they didn't get back to me. So after the trigger happens, they go into activating strategy. So those are thoughts or feelings where you start spiraling and you're thinking they're not interested in me. They met somebody else. There's something else going on. They don't like me anymore. And you really are getting into that danger zone of coming up with all these reasons why that person is going to abandon you, which is your biggest fear. So then you do protest behavior. So the protest behavior and trust me, I've been there is sending 10 texts in a row. Maybe it's sending 20 texts in a row, leaving an angry voicemail. So really acting out. And then afterwards, you decide to punish the person and you shut down. So you send all those texts, you send threats and then you turn off your phone. And so you're really in this tough place where you've tried to reconnect with somebody and then you've gotten so upset that they're abandoning you that you actually pull back. And so that sort of describes what might be happening with your girlfriend sometimes where she doesn't get what she wants. It's very frustrating for her. And then she shuts down. So the strategies for the anxious attached, I talked about them before, but I'll say them again. So some of those strategies for anxious attached are distracting yourself. So going for a walk, doing something else where you're not on your phone, where you're basically not in a mode where you're waiting for somebody to text back. I feel like those are the longest minutes of my life are waiting for that text back from that person. The second thing is to text somebody else. You know, I wish I could say this to him. And the third thing is this disconfirming evidence. It's almost like inside your head is a judge and a jury and you're presenting to the judge. Here's all the reasons why it could not be true. So then you're presenting to the judge and the jury. Here's all the reasons why that person might not be texting me back. And so you're really doing everything that you can to not get into that protest behavior moment, because once you're flooded, once you're in that protest behavior moment, it's really hard to recover. And so it's both people are working on having different reactions to triggers. And honestly, if you look at all of the mindfulness stuff, if you look at the work of Viktor Frankl and Man's Search for Meaning, so much of it is this idea of creating more space between an action and a reaction. And if you can extend that space and choose a different reaction, that's where the growth comes from. And that's how we can overcome these negative behavioral trends. Something you said that made me think about advice I once gave to a friend that I'm not sure is good or bad advice. She was being ghosted. And she came to me telling me she'd been ghosted and she showed me her phone and was like, look. And I looked at her phone conversation with this person and she was basically peppering him. She was dragging the conversation. You know what I mean? Where she's like asking the questions and he's giving close responses. Then she's asking another question. Then he's giving a close response. It was that cycle over and over again. Then the next day she texted him and he didn't reply. And I said to her, she's a good friend of mine. She works in one of my companies. I said, I think it's important to realize that people do what they want to do. And the reason I said that to her is because she had started justifying, I think in her own mind, what I saw as a clear rejection as something else. So I said, I think it's important to let you know that just remember people do what they want to do. He would have woke up this morning. I'm sure he brushed his teeth because he wanted to do that. He then would have eaten breakfast because I'm sure he wanted to do that. So if he's not texting you back over and over again and you feel like you're constantly dragging the conversation, I think it's important to know that he's doing what he wants to do. And it's maybe a bit of harsh advice, but I don't know. I think that's great advice. And I'm smiling and I have sympathy for your friend because I feel like I've really been there. Obviously I don't know anything about her, but let's say she's wired like me. It's like, well, when I want something, I go after it. And it works in every other area of my life. I set goals. I go after them. I achieve them. And people respect the hustle. It doesn't work in dating. You can't hustle your way into a relationship. And I think that's why so many of the women I work with are really smart and ambitious. And they're like, I've run a marathon. I have amazing personal finances. I've achieved all these goals. Why isn't dating working out for me? And it does feel like this one aspect of your life where you can't muscle your way through it. You actually have to learn this pretty nuanced stance. And so for her, she wasn't getting the cues and she wasn't getting the clues. And so I just finished a bunch of research at hand, John, this idea that we're calling DBL, digital body language. And so we talk about body language and normal conversation, which is what are the nonverbal things that you're communicating? Are you crossing your arms? You're not interested in me. Are you opening up? Are you interested in having this conversation? Even the way we stand. Well, most of early dating is now happening over text. What is your digital body language saying? And so through this research, I have this whole list of good DBL and bad DBL or signs that somebody's interested you and signs that they're not. And this guy is doing all of the signs that you're not. He is answering the questions with one word answers. He's not asking a follow up question. He's not matching her style. And so for her, I think it should be a sign that he's not interested. But she wants him to be interested. So she's going to keep trying. And in her in her head, which I have been there, it's like, oh, I just haven't found the perfect question yet for him to open up to. It's like, no, he's not interested in you. And I can hear my college roommate saying to me, Logan, don't make somebody a priority when they're making you an option.


Why Icks Are Stopping You Finding Love (45:02)

And that's what's happening with her. She's prioritizing him, but he's not prioritizing her. I think your advice is exactly right. People do what they want to do. And he's choosing not to invest in that relationship. But at the end of the day, that was not your guy. He had already indicated in multiple ways that he wasn't interested. You were still grasping onto the crumbs, but you don't want the crumbs. You deserve the whole cookie. It's not like you ruin things with your person. He wasn't your person. And she always dates people that are either in marriages already or unavailable. Yeah, well, I mean, going back to our theme of the anxious avoidant loop and she's drawn to this avoidant person and when they're unavailable, she loves the chase. And how can I convince them? I don't know if she's found love since, but I feel like growth for her will look like choosing somebody who's available and retraining her brain to see their availability as sexy and interesting and correlated with relationship success, which is going to feel different than how dating has been, which is she's been going after people who are not available. Something she said to me kind of correlates to this because she was on a dating app. She hates dating apps, but she was on a dating app. Bear in mind, she's a mid 30s woman. And there was this wonderful, like this really like wonderful guy. He's a nicely mannered guy. And she said, I'm not interested in him. I said, why? She goes, look at the background of his hinge or whatever it was, photo. There's boxes on top of his cupboard. And that was her reason for this. Like I thought I was like, that's a really good guy. He's got a great job. Seems really nice. He's been really polite to her. And the reason why she didn't want to be with him was because there was a box on the wardrobe behind him in the Tinder picture. This is what frustrates me about modern dating. And you used the word "ick" before, so I know you're familiar with it, but the "ick" has come this trend. Only because of her. Oh, you know about it from her. She says "ick" to me. So for people listening who haven't heard of it, the "ick" is this new trendy word that basically means the reason why all of a sudden you're not interested in someone. And so my friend is the comedian Jared Fried, and he does hilarious bits about this. And so he travels around the country asking women for their "icks." And one of them is you're having an amazing date. You want to go home with the guy. It's time to pay the bill. You open, you pull out your wallet and you hear "shhh." He has a Velcro wallet. The "ick," you're not sleeping with him. And he has these hilarious bits. One woman told him, "My 'ick' was that I was on a date with the guy and I imagined him being late for his bus and running for the bus, and I could never be with him." And Jared's like, "To be clear, there was no bus and there was no running." And she's like, "I just imagined it." And that's what's, you know, the "ick" is hilarious. When Jared does it, it's hilarious. You're laughing at it. But I'm also like, "You know what? I think we should get over the 'ick' because the 'ick' is just an excuse to not get close to someone." And I found in my work that people often confuse pet peeves for deal breakers. So a pet peeve is something that annoys you. Maybe it's the Velcro wallet, but you could get over it. A deal breaker is a fundamental incompatibility, right? I have asthma and you're a smoker. This isn't going to work. And so when all these people are confusing pet peeves for deal breakers, it's so funny because you feel it. You're like, "Yes, that's not sexy. Get a new wallet." But it doesn't mean you couldn't be with that person. Now you've said it, though. There's going to be a lot of people that go on dates and that is going to be the deal breaker. Yes, or maybe we're saving relationships. Maybe people are going to get rid of those Velcro wallets and actually get laid more. What is it about a Velcro wallet, though? I think it feels very high school. What do you think? That's exactly. I had one when I was 12. Right. Like when you think of the CEOs that you admire, you're not like Jeff Bezos is pulling out his Velcro wallet. Like this guy, maybe he doesn't even have a wallet, but you know what I mean? And it's just this thing where it's like, because you have this one thing wrong with you, I can't be with you instead of being reasonable, which is I can buy you a new fucking wallet. If we date, this is a fixable problem. But because people get this, people get positive feedback for these stories. Right. Like you have the date with Velcro wallet guy. You don't sleep with him. Sunday morning, you go to brunch with your friends, you get all the social capital for telling the story. And now we're having that on a massive scale with TikTok. How many people are getting a lot of positive feedback and shares for these horror story, these dating horror stories? And so what ends up happening is it's date or tainment. You're dating for entertainment, which I love dating stories. This is probably one of the reasons I do the work I do is because I love Sunday brunches about dating. That's the sex in the city empire. But if you're dating for the funny story and you're not dating for connection, you're not going to hit your goals. And so, yes, the Velcro wallet isn't sexy. I'm not saying it is, but get over it.


Dating Tendencies (50:00)

Ix. Do you think that Ix are, as you said, kind of more of an excuse? It's funny because I know someone who runs a dating podcast and she goes on honestly three or four dates a week. She is a little bit of a hopeless romantic. Yeah. And I wonder to myself, I said, she goes, she must have been on like 100 dates a year. And yet she still can't find someone like statistically. I'm like, it can't be a supply problem. That's exactly how I feel. I meet with people and they say, Logan, I've been on 100 dates in the last two years and I haven't met someone. Should I move? What's wrong with the people out there? It's always about how their city is wrong for dating. It's what's wrong with everybody else. And what I say in my head and what I say out loud to them is there was very likely somebody within that 100 person dating pool who you could have made it work with. And we need to figure out why it didn't click because you will now go on 100 more dates and the same thing will happen unless you make a different choice. And so this is how I developed this framework that I want to tell you about called the three dating tendencies. And so really, this is a culmination of a lot of my research. The idea that I've worked with hundreds of people, now thousands of people in my classes, and most people suffer from one of these dating tendencies or most people can be categorized into one of these three dating tendencies. What they each have in common is unrealistic expectations. So the first type is the romanticizer and they have unrealistic expectations of relationships. So they are the person who really wants that meet cute. Their cousin met their boyfriend in high school and now they're married and they want to have a romantic we met story. They don't want to meet on an app. They believe that there's a soulmate, one person for life. You'll know it when you see it. As soon as a relationship hits a rough spot, they think must not be my soulmate because if it was my soulmate, it would be easy and effortless. The second type is the maximizer. The maximizer has unrealistic expectations of their partner. So this is the person and I bet a lot of your listeners are maximizers where they feel like the perfect person is only one search away. I need to keep searching for that person. I want the ambition of my ex-girlfriend plus the hotness of this other ex-girlfriend plus the really great family of this other person. And I can just wait until I find this Frankenstein version of the perfect person. And so they're always waiting and they have unrealistic expectations and they're waiting for the perfect person. The third type is the hesitator and they have unrealistic expectations of themselves. So they're not dating at all. So in their head, they fill in the blank. I'll be ready to date when? When I lose 10 pounds. When I get a more impressive job. When I clean up my apartment. When I go to therapy. I need to do these things to be lovable and then I can date. I can't date now because nobody would be interested in me. And so they sit at home maybe trying to get better, maybe just thinking about trying to get better, but they're not actually dating. And they don't understand that the only way to get better at dating is by dating. And the only way to figure out who you want to be with is by actually going on dates with people. And if I'm if I'm a romanticizer, so in the example I gave there with my friends going on 100 dates and she's finding no apparent suitable match. It could be any of the first two, I guess she could be a bit too romantic about how love should look or she could be a little bit too romantic about how a perfect partner should look. Exactly. And I would want to understand more about her. But yes, definitely one of the first two. If she's going 100 dates, she's not a hesitator. So I'd want to understand why aren't things working out? So it could be that she's finding that they don't match her image of the soulmate. They don't come in the package that she's expecting. My guess is the kind of person that goes on that many dates for that long is a maximizer. That's just to me more associated with it, because to go on that many dates, you probably are meeting on the apps. And so she's not obsessed with the WeMet story. And so I think she keeps going on these dates waiting for something different to happen instead of understanding what's in her control. And so if I was working with her, what I would say is, first of all, tell me about these dates. And she'd probably say, I go on so many dates. I mostly go on coffee and walking dates. And then I would say, well, do you feel sexy on these dates or does it feel like a job interview? Are you saying the same things over and over again? Are you pressing play in your mind? How long have you lived in London? How long have you done your job? How long have you had a dating podcast? You're not even in the moment. You've said these things to so many people. You're not present. You're not connecting. You're not flirting. You're just having a transaction. And you expect that all of a sudden you're going to feel the spark. But of course you're not. Your environment isn't creating a spark. And so I often tell people the dating environment is so important. I had this one client and he kept going on dates with men at 7 a.m. He would say, I'm really busy and I need to meet with them in the morning. And so I meet them at the Starbucks below my office. I was like, who feels sexy or flirty at 7 a.m. before they've had caffeine? This is a terrible way to date. But in his head, it was like, I'll know it when I see it. When I meet the right person, I'll have that experience. That's absolutely wrong. The environment plays a huge role in how we feel connected to people. It's why sometimes somebody might meet somebody in one setting and not be interested and meet them years later and be interested. I met my husband many years before we started dating. I met him in college. It wasn't the right time for us. And then when we met again, it still took a year. The environment matters so much. And so really, can you create a flirtatious, romantic environment for a date? And can you really think about what does that look like? And so if you're going on daytime walking dates to save money and that's not working out for you, try a wine bar, try going out and sitting side by side. There's really interesting research that shows when we make eye contact with somebody, it can actually be harder to listen to them and to speak because we're so focused on the eye contact. When we sit by side by side actually takes the pressure off us and can make it easier to communicate, connect. That's why people open up to each other on long car rides where you're both looking forward. That's why I recommend that people sit side by side in a bar instead of across from each other. And so for her, she's going on one type of date and getting the same result. And she's thinking, it's the guy. It's not the guy. It's also you. And it's also the environment. So what is then the perfect environment? And I want you to give me as much detail as possible, including you used the word bar there, which is associated with alcohol. I want to know if alcohol is a good or bad idea for a date. So I don't drink and I'm a fan of sober dating. And in my work with Gen Z, that has come up a lot. So sober dating has become a much bigger thing with Gen Z leading the charge. And there's a few reasons why. So one is they feel like I want to meet you, not you under the influence of two cocktails. Another thing is we know that they struggle with mental health. They feel this anxiety and they don't want to have that the next day. And so way more people are going on sober dates. And even especially in New York, I've seen bars that have zero proof menus. And so this is definitely getting normalized. And so anyone who's interested in sober dating or just taking a month off drinking should try. So absolutely don't feel like you need the liquid courage. What makes a great date? So I want people to think about what is the part of you that often doesn't come out on dates? So let's say somebody is really serious, but they have a funny side. Think about the last few dates you've gone on. What side of you is coming out? Maybe you're going these interview style dates where you sit across from each other and you have a latte and you talk about your work. The silly side of you isn't coming out and you're just being very serious. Can you design a date that emphasizes the part of you that you want to come out? So can you go and play ping pong, which you're really bad at? Can you go ice skating and make a fool of yourself? Can you be in an environment where you're less in control and you can show the silly side of yourself? Or even for me, I love stand up comedy. Could you go see stand up with someone and then afterwards debrief all the jokes and express your love of humor? How can you have your dates show these different sides of yourself? Another thing is understanding that at the end of the day, people really want somebody to play with. In so much of my coaching, I talk to people after the date and we debrief. The thing that makes me understand when they like someone is when they say it was so fun. We just kept laughing. Everybody wants to laugh. People want to align themselves with and have a long term relationship with somebody who's fun. But it's really hard because if you're in your mid 30s and you've been dating for a while and you have this feeling of I'm running out of time, everyone else is married. Am I going to have kids? It's really fucking hard to relax and be fun. You have a goal. And trust me, I'm the most goal oriented person. I get it. But you have to do this dance of flirtation, seduction, playfulness, because people don't want to be with someone who says, I have the role of husband open. Will you please fill the role of husband? I'm I'm searching to fill the spouse position on my team. No, nobody wants that. They want a partner. They want a person to play with. They want to have that fun, romantic, playful energy. And so you have to figure out, are you able to show up that way? And if not, you need to take a break from dating or you need to date differently. So that might look like instead of going from work to a date where you're in this boss mode, maybe you take a break in between. Maybe you listen to a podcast. Maybe you take a bath. Maybe you. What kind of podcast? Diary of the CEO. Pump yourself up with Stephen Bartlett. Basically, you're shifting your mindset because if you you know, this old expression, that's like whether you think things will go poorly or you think things will go well, you're right. The same thing is true with dating. Your mindset has a huge impact. So if you've gone on 100 dates and it hasn't worked out, you're going to say one hundred and one is going to go the same way. It will then go the same way. So what are all the different things that you can change? You can change what you wear. You can change what you do. You can change what you do prior. You can change how long the date is. One of my biggest things is date like a scientist. What does a scientist do? They have a hypothesis. They test it and they're open to being proven wrong. And so maybe your hypothesis is that the coffee dates aren't working for you. Great. Try some dinner dates, try some morning dates, try different things and see if something opens something new for you. Maybe it wasn't the coffee dates, but at least you tested it. So one thing that frustrates me so much about modern dating is when women set their height filters for six feet or higher. I know in the US, 86 percent of men are under six foot. So when you set your height filter at six feet or taller, you are excluding 86 percent of men. You are only now seeing 14 percent of men. And then among that group, the pool is much smaller. Maybe you've dated many of them in your city and now you don't have anyone else to date. Well, you should expand your filters because the height of the guy isn't going to predict your relationship success. But you've just decided that you want someone six feet or taller. And so you've set your preferences that way. So dating like a scientist, you might say, I'm going to expand my filters. I'm going to date men of any height or set whatever minimum height you want and then see, can I be attracted to someone shorter? I do this with my clients all the time and they find that it is actually much more about the person's personality or face. But your dating app filters are like a bouncer in your club. They're deciding who gets in and who doesn't. And when you set your filter as something really restrictive, like under the age of 30, over six feet tall, your bouncer is preventing all these people from getting in and you're not even getting the chance to connect with people who could be a great partner. There's also like dating hygiene that goes into that, I guess. Me and my girlfriend, when we go to restaurants and stuff, when we're waiting for the food or I don't know, we sometimes look over at different people and we're like, oh, who do you think they are?


Why You Need To Skip The Small Talk! (01:02:02)

What do you think their story is? We try and guess their story. They're married, they've been married for 20 years, they're whatever. And then you get the odd couple who they're super young and they're both glued to their phone. And it looks like it's either a really, really bad day or they just generally have not such a great relationship. What is the kind of good relationship hygiene or good dating hygiene that you think is conducive with finding somebody? I'm so glad you asked me this because we actually just produced this thing at Hinge called the distraction free dating guide. And it's basically based on this. It's like, what are all the things that are getting in people's way? And one of them is technology. So I've absolutely seen those dates. And it's really people of any age. I don't think it's just Gen Z. I feel like that's unfair when people are like, Gen Z is so addicted to technology. It's like, who's all over Facebook? It's boomers. Who's the couple with their phones out? It's often older people. And so the distraction free dating guide is about understanding the research behind this. So there's research from MIT professor Sherry Turkle that talks about the influence of a phone on the depth of the conversation. So if a phone is on the table, even if it's face down, even if it's off, you're much less likely to have a deep conversation. Because the reason is right now you and I are going deep. Your phone is not out. I don't feel like at any moment you're about to be interrupted. But if I felt like at any moment I could share something really deep and then your phone could go off and you could grab it. That makes me not feel safe sharing. So the conversation is more shallow because at any moment you could be pulled away. So the first big tip is to put your phone away out of sight. The second tip is to know that there's other screens involved. Your watch is a screen. You could also be pulled away by that. I also recommend that people finish up any big work conversations or even life conversations before they go in so they're not feeling like, oh, I have to get back to that person. Sometimes people pull out their phones to show somebody a meme during the date. Do that later. Let that be your callback where you can get in touch with somebody. And finally, if you have plans for after the date, make sure that they're really solid so that you're not during the date checking. Hey, hey, let me just see when my friends want to meet up. And so all of these things all of these things seem fairly obvious. Right. Good phone hygiene. But people don't understand how much their phones are getting in the way of connection. That if you actually just commit to having a phone free date, hey, let's both let's both just put our phones away. First person to check their phone buys drinks. It's actually a much better way to create deeper connection. So on that point of shallow conversation, a lot of dates and a lot of sort of serial data will engage in a lot of small talk. What's your view on small talk? Skip the small talk. So much of the research that we've done at Hinge talks about how people are drawn to emotional vulnerability. Interesting. They really want you to go deep and they want to know what you're about. And through my coaching, I've been surprised at how hard this is for people. So I have one client where I said, you're going on all these dates. They're not clicking. I wonder what's going on. What do you talk about on these dates? When she told me the topics, I was getting bored just listening to them. And I said, you're sharing facts, not stories. We need you to share stories. And she said, what do you mean? What's a story? How would I tell that? So I said, OK, off the top of my head, here are some conversations you could talk about. I said, you know, tell me about your family. Do you have any siblings? And she said, yes, I have a brother and he lives across the country from me. So I said, OK, the fact is that you have a brother who lives far away. What is the feeling behind it? And she said, well, he actually just had a kid and I haven't even met the kid yet and I feel disconnected from him. And I'm like, great, that's the story. That's the vulnerability. The fact sets us up, but then go deeper. And then we talked about all these deeper things, how she feels when her friends have kids and she doesn't. And it's harder to have a relationship, how she feels about her aging parents, how she feels about her industry. And it was so interesting to me because I love conversation. This is my art form. This is what I love doing. But just breaking it down into pieces for her was something that she needed. And so I want people to take away this idea of share stories, not facts. And that means going deeper. And so you don't want to be TMI and tell everybody about the crazy trauma in your family. But you might let somebody in and say, oh, I'm struggling with this thing at work. I have a new manager and I feel like we haven't clicked yet and there's been layoffs at my company. So it's kind of been a stressful time. Or saying, hey, I'm about to take this pill because I actually was in an accident a few years ago. And now I need to take this pill to regulate my system. Something like that where it's just saying like, I'm a person with baggage. I bet you're a person with baggage, too. Our baggage can match. And instead, we're so focused on these dates on coming across as perfect. But the truth is, when you have a shiny, perfect exterior, there's no cracks for me to grab onto. You actually need to show me the cracks so that there's something to grip and I can actually feel connected to you. And I feel like a lot of my work with people, especially older people, is telling them that it's safe to let someone in. And they've worked their whole life, 50 or 60 years, to say, look at me, look what I've accomplished. I'm puffing up my chest. Look at how perfect I am. But people aren't drawn to perfection because then they feel afraid of their own imperfections. People are drawn to somebody who's real because then that creates a safe space for them to be real, too. Vulnerability is the bridge. I guess you could say vulnerability creates a bridge to connection. With that in mind, is it conceivable then that people that have the lowest self-esteem feel the need to create the perception of perfection the most? And therefore struggle because thinking about one of my friends that has low self-esteem, ahead of a date, this person has a three-day routine. Where they go and get their hair done, everything done, fake tan, bloody probably get their toenails done, wax this, wax my butt, whatever. And it's this huge thing. They have a really low self-esteem. And they go on the date and I can only just imagine as you were speaking that they go on the date and try and hit this person with perfection. Everything about me is perfect. I know underneath that they're struggling with their self-esteem and their self-image. So, is there a relationship between low self-esteem and our willingness to be vulnerable, which will also mean our ability to form connection? I think it's an interesting theory. I haven't studied it. I bet it happens both ways. So, I think somebody with low self-esteem could feel like I'm going to be rejected anyway, so I'm not even going to date. So, those might be the hesitators that I talked about. They also might be the people that you talked about where they're like, "I have so many flaws. I can't let you in because if you know the real me, you'll reject me. So, I have to keep you at arm's length." However, I also think there's this other person who actually has pretty high self-confidence, but they go through the world bragging. Or they say, "The way that I got investors in my company is by showing what a big man on campus I am and how I'm going to scale my company." And that what society has prized in them is how together they are. So, they've never been in a situation before where their vulnerability has been appreciated. So, it's actually pretty hard for that person, and I think that just to generalize it, this happens with a lot of men where society wants people to be strong and wants people to feel like they have all their shit together. And so, then to suddenly say, "Hey, be vulnerable on the date," that doesn't feel safe to them. They don't have that. And so, I don't think it's necessarily just low self-esteem. I also think they feel like it's really risky to show that they're not perfect.


The Number One Way To Find Love (01:09:37)

That's the journey I've been on is when I was younger and most insecure, I was never vulnerable. That felt like a huge risk that I was not willing to take. And as I got more secure with myself, I've been able to be much more vulnerable. And that means having conversations where I admit my bullshit. And that's also why I think this podcast has worked for me because I say on stage a lot, I ran the experiment of being honest, being vulnerable about my shit, about my imperfection, about my doubt, about my mental health, all of these things. And that experiment resulted in connection that I was not expecting. I thought vulnerability was a repellent. Turns out it's a magnet. And that was like a revelation in my life. So, I've doubled down on that concept of just like share it and instead of repelling people, it actually ends up drawing them closer, which I think is great. I absolutely love what you said and I hope people rewind and listen to that part again because that's honestly a lot of what I'm trying to get across. So, a few months ago, I sent out this email to my newsletter and I said, "Do you worry you're undateable? Is there something about you where you feel like people will reject you because of that? What is that?" And hundreds of people wrote in and they said, "I'm undateable because I have a chronic illness that makes me have chronic fatigue. I'm undateable because I don't have a close relationship with my parents. I'm undateable because I've slept with too many people. I'm undateable because I haven't slept with enough people." Every side of every coin, people felt like they were undateable. And then I turned that around and the next email I sent out, I shared all these things and I said, "This is what you're all feeling. You all feel like you're undateable because of these things. None of these things make you undateable. They actually are your vulnerability that if you share, somebody will feel connected to you, but you're not putting it out there and you're not sharing and you're not connecting." And I think people who have been on the journey you're on have proven that when you are vulnerable, people feel connected to you because they say, "Steven's struggling with something that I'm struggling with. I want to be a part of what he's doing because I can learn from him." When you come across as perfect, people don't feel connected to you because they can't relate. My friends that don't share their vulnerabilities, I feel less close to them because I'm like, "Well, you must have it all figured out and you must think I'm a mess." But when they text me what they're struggling with and I text them with what I'm struggling with, that's the depth of our friendship and I can judge my friendships based on how real we are with each other. And so I think that younger people, but really a lot of people have this idea that if you really knew me, you would reject me. And the truth is if you really knew me, you would feel closer to me and we would have a deeper connection. So true. Even, you know, I talk about this experiment. It's an ongoing experiment. I'm getting better at being more and more vulnerable. I think it's only in the last, like, even I'd say six months that I've opened up to my girlfriend about things I would normally just keep from her as well. Like how I'm really feeling when I have my really bad days. Share it. I call it an experiment because it feels like one. It is. That's your life experiment. Yeah. Like letting her know in those really tough moments how I'm feeling. And because I'm a man, I sometimes feel like I'm supposed to be strong and perfect all the time. But and that like there's this part of my brain that thinks, OK, if I share this with her, maybe she's going to like not think I'm a man anymore because I'm like because I'm experiencing like a week, like an emotion that society might associate with weakness. But it's always been the opposite. And it's such an illusion, that feeling that like opening up about my emotions to her, even when the emotions of I don't know, it could be self-doubt or it could be like struggles with mental health that she might run off and be like, oh, yuck. But it's always the opposite. Right. Your relationships getting deeper and deeper. And it's probably completely different than the first era of your relationship. Those two years you weren't sharing those things. You were actually perfect. Perfect. Perfectly shallow. Perfectly inauthentic. Now that you're in this inauthentic relationship. That's why she feels like the love of your life. That's one of the reasons because she's the person who has made you feel safe and then you can be your real self. And I feel like that's so much of the work that we're all doing is when you see me. In my darkest moments, in my hardest times, do you run towards me or do you run away? And so many of us don't even get to that point of revealing ourselves because we think the other person will run away. But you have revealed yourself and she's gotten closer to you. And that's allowed you to feel safe doing that even more. And so it's this perpetuating cycle of I share, we connect and then I can do it again. But if you don't share it all, then you never get to have that positive reinforcement that comes from the connection. But also in that is I share, we connect. She feels more safe to share. Yes. That's a huge part of it is when people say to me, Logan, I know that I'm looking for a long term relationship. When should I bring that up? We do this modeling exercise where you say to somebody, hey, I've been dating for a while. I have had some fun, but I know that I'm looking for a long term relationship and I'm ready to build a family. What about you? I didn't come at you saying, Stephen, what are you looking for? Because then you feel like there's a right and wrong answer. I better tell her that I want a long term relationship. No, you're just going to say what you think I want to hear by sharing the background and letting you know what I'm looking for. I'm giving you space to be able to do that. And so a lot of it is I share first and then you share. I create the space to share. And so this is going to sound not humble, but my friend said to me, she's like, Logan, you're a great conversationalist. I've been trying to analyze why. What do you think it is? And I was like, I don't censor myself. I really say what's going on. So if you ask me how I'm feeling, I might say, I feel like shit. I'm so stressed out. I'm experiencing burnout. I'm forsaking my relationship with my husband. Here's all the things that are wrong. And it's like, I don't even know how to just say I'm fine. But I think that when I do that, people are like, oh, I can take a breath. I can sigh. I can feel relieved because I can tell you all the things that are wrong in my life. And not that every conversation should be a venting session, but I think that people want to feel like they're getting to know the real you. And if they're only getting the perfect you, then they don't feel like they know you at all. And there's something in that, that the 99 percent of our lives is imperfect. It is messy. It is like eating the pot noodle on my stomach at 2 a.m. watching junk television. That is the 99 percent of my lives. But when we look out onto the world on social media, we see this. We obviously see this highlight reel, which represents maybe the one percent of our lives. Someone's in the Maldives. We maybe go there once in a while. The thing that we can connect with and relate to the most is the mess of life. So that's maybe another reason why we find people sharing their mess so resonant, because it's the thing we can relate to the most. It's the thing we experience the most. I agree. And I would I would mostly say social media is bad for that because you get more likes for the shiny picture on your scuba vacation versus this is me with my mascara running because I had a bad day. But I do think Gen Z is doing a good job at being more real. I think their interest in TikTok over Instagram, sort of their unfiltered view is kind of like, let's let it all hang out. And I think that people are actually responding to authenticity, even in my own social media. I'm trying to make that switch from like the millennial have my shit together to being more real. And so I would say overall, I think social media is bad because it perpetuates the idea that you're the only one with the mess. But I do think things are potentially trending in the right direction with Gen Z and TikTok embracing some of the more real unfiltered authenticity. As you guys may know, this podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite brands in all the world, which is Whoop. AI is a topic I've spoken about various times on this podcast, and it's a topic that I'm pretty obsessed with. But we don't often talk about how it could be used as a force to make our lives even better. Whoop is using the power of AI to drive meaningful positive change. My Whoop doesn't leave my wrist and their new feature, which is called Whoop Coach, uses the power of advanced AI to synthesize all of your health and fitness data and to provide you with personalized recommendations to support you on your health and fitness journey. You can literally ask it questions like, why am I so tired? Or can you help me build a strength training program? And it's advanced AI system will provide you with answers that are unique to you. So if you would like to check it out and level up your health and fitness journey in the process, go to join.whoop.com/ceo to get a free month's Whoop membership. Some of the things that I used to go for when I was younger, when I was looking for a perfect partner, I would be able to reel off things like I want this color hair, and I want them to look like this and I want this, this, this, this.


Date Questions To Find The One (01:18:15)

It was like a shopping list, like apples, plums, it was like everything was on there. As I got a little bit older and I did a little bit of hindsight research on what I was actually looking for, the list reduced and it became more about fundamental things. And I got down to these three things. I thought you need in a partner to be happy. I'm going to run these things past you and get your thoughts. I believe you need a sexual connection. So I'll say sexual attraction. I believe you need an intellectual connection. And the last one is I felt that you need to mutually make each other better at what you do. And for me, that's like my mission doing this or running businesses. And for her, it could be she's a breath work practitioner and whatever else. We make each other better, we're sexually attracted, and we're intellectually stimulating of each other. I think those things are great. I don't think everyone should write them down as their three things, but I think it works for you. And I can tell you why. They are more about who the two of you are together than her qualities. So maybe your early list had this body type, this hair color, this eye color, this ethnicity, whatever it was. It was about the superficial qualities. And so there's actually a term for this in relationship science, and we call it relation shopping. Shopping for a partner, like you'd shop for a pair of Bluetooth headphones. You log on to Amazon and you say, OK, I want ones that are this color, this weight, this battery life. And then you start to think, oh, I can shop for a partner the same way. And it just doesn't work. What works is relation shipping, which is looking for a long term partner and putting in the work to make that happen. So you want to move from relation shopping to relation shipping. But this is very common. People come to me, often these maximizers, and they say, I know exactly what I want, Logan. I just need your help finding that person. So rarely does that ever work out. The person that ends up making them happy in the long term is very rarely who they thought they should be with. And so the truth is, you think you know what you want, but you're wrong. And the older you get and the more you think you've figured it out, the more you're actually excluding really great partners. Because you think, oh, I want to find someone like myself. Or you think, well, if her parents are divorced and she probably doesn't know how to be in a great relationship, so I only will date people whose parents are together. You're making all these assumptions that are wrong. The better attitude is to date like a scientist. I think I need to be with somebody who's this tall. I think I need to be with somebody whose parents are together. Well, date someone who's different from that and see if you could fall for them. And so when I'm working with someone in a coaching capacity and they say to me, Logan, I met this guy, but he's not my type. In my head, I hear ding, ding, ding, because that's often them making a different choice that's going to lead to a different result. And those are way more often the relationships that work out. And so when people come to me with that checklist, I'm not saying, great, let's run a LinkedIn search to find that person. I'm like, let's do the work to help you actually figure out who will bring out the best side of you. And I can tell you all the research about what's correlated with long term relationship success and what's not. But my favorite way of viewing it is who are you around that person? What side of you do they bring out? And so I have this list of questions called the post date eight. And there are eight questions to ask yourself after a date. The point of the post date eight is that when you go on a date with a checklist in your head, you're evaluating the person as if you're on a job interview. Are they good looking enough for me? Are they ambitious enough for me? Are they funny enough for me? You're evaluating instead with the post date eight. It's actually training you to tune into your experience, the experiential mindset. Are we laughing together? Do I feel desired in their presence? Do they make me feel more energized or less energized? And finally, what side of me do they bring out? Because whoever that person brings out in you is who you will be for the rest of your life in that relationship. And don't you want to be the happy, secure, desired, hilarious version of yourself? Where do I find this post date eight picture in your book? This is something from my book that I liked it, but it's really blown up because I feel like people really use it. They take a picture of it on their phone. They take a screenshot from my Instagram and they ask themselves after the date. And it really changes the way they show up on the date. And it's also a great way to say, should I date this person again? Because my slogan, my motto has become fuck the spark. And the spark is this idea that we go after the all encompassing initial chemistry, the fireworks, but the spark often leads to relationships that burn out. And instead, you should go after the slow burn. The person who's not initially as exciting, the secure person who would make a great long term partner. But to train yourself from looking for the spark to looking for the slow burn. How do you do that? You need a new barometer. So with the post date eight, you ask yourself these questions after a date and then you see, am I interested in them? Is my interest trending upwards after each date? And it's a way of training your brain away from the initial chemistry, maybe the anxious avoidant loop to a new way of dating. So the post date eight questions are all kind of, they're all kind of sensible. Yeah, I'm pretty sensible. And I guess this is ranking them more on whether they are a secure person than whether they are that kind of super spicy cayenne pepper, maybe a little bit abandoning anxious type. Yeah, I think it's doing a few things. So one is, do you know the research on gratitude journals and why they work? No. So if you throughout the day have to look for three things to write in your journal that you're grateful for at the end of the day, you're training your brain to look for those things. Like, I almost missed my flight, but I made it. Maybe normally you wouldn't even think about that. But because you have to look for things to be grateful for, you make a little mental note and then you feel more gratitude. The same thing works with the post date eight because I have to answer at the end of the date. What side of me did they bring out? How did I feel in my body? I'm paying attention to that during the date. So it's overriding the checklist mindset. It's overriding the evaluative mindset. I'm not thinking, are you good enough for me? I'm thinking, what are we creating together? So it's really training me to be more mindful and really tuning in, tune into what it feels like to be around you. Because so often what happens with daters is they think he's from a good family. He has a great resume. He makes a bunch of money. We should work out. This should be a great relationship. He's good on paper. Well, when you're in person, he makes you feel like shit. He's rude to you and he's inconsiderate. But you're so focused on his resume qualities that you don't think about it. With the post date eight, you'll be like, I felt very bad on that date. I shouldn't see him again. So it's taking what people are doing wrong and it's training them to focus on what really matters. What are some of the things that people think matter less than they actually do as it relates to finding someone, falling in love and having a great relationship? So some things that people, you know, they think are really important but are actually not important in reality. Yeah. So let's go through that. So here are some things that matter less than people think they do for long term relationship success. So the first one is looks. Of course, you should be attracted to the person. But the truth is that we have adaptation. We adapt to whatever's around us. So I like to joke that even the hottest person, you know, there's somebody who's sick of sleeping with them. That's just the truth of the human brain is that we adapt to what's around us. And so obviously you should be attracted to the person. But I wouldn't optimize for the hottest person. The next one is similar, which is money. Obviously, money makes things easier. There's tons of research that when couples have enough money to outsource things like cooking and cleaning and childcare, they have more time to connect. But the same thing is true with money. And there's this idea called the transition rule. So when you think about winning the lottery, what you imagine is going from your current salary to what you would have with the lottery and what that change would feel like. But over time, and we know this from the research, about a year after you win the lottery, you are about as happy as you were before because you've adapted to your new circumstances. And the same thing is true with people who become quadriplegics. If I say to you, how bad would it feel to become a quadriplegic? You think about the change and you think it would be extremely terrible. But what actually we find is that about a year after becoming a quadriplegic, somebody is the same happiness as they were before. And so the same thing is true with looks and money is that we adapt to our circumstances, so don't over optimize for it. The next thing is having a similar personality or similar hobbies. It's fine if we have different hobbies, as long as you make me feel like I can explore mine without judging me for it. So interesting because me and my girlfriend are completely different. She is super spiritual. She believes things that are metaphysical and can't be proven. And I'm like science, science, science evidence. Right. And maybe at some point in your life, you thought, oh, we have to have the same interest. No, you probably both want to be curious and be respectful and you want to understand her breath work stuff. It doesn't mean you need to share it. And with similar personalities, it's the same idea. I remember I was coaching this guy who had a huge larger than life personality, crazy nicknames, life of the party. And he wanted to find someone like that because he's like, well, she needs to party with me. I was like, dude, you are so much. Two of you in a relationship would be exhausting. Two of you at the same dinner party would be exhausting. I want you to find somebody who compliments you. And so the woman he ended up with is very different from him. She's not at the party. She's at home, but she's the home base for him. And he is the energizing, wild part of their relationship. And so it's not that people have to find their opposites. It's that you shouldn't focus on just finding your identical twin, your personality twin. What are the things on the flip side of it then that we should be looking for that people don't typically think are that important?


The Qualities You Should Be Looking For In A Person (backed by science) (01:28:06)

Right. So relationship science research shows that some of these things are really important and that people underestimate they're important for relationship success. So kindness and loyalty, they sound really simple, but you want to align yourself with somebody who will treat you with kindness, whose compassion, who's shown kindness to other people in their lives. Loyalty. If you're in this for the long term, don't you want a teammate who will be there through thick and thin? Another one is emotional stability. That's what the relationship research finds. Somebody who's emotionally stable is just great to be in a long term relationship with. Some of the ones that all add to it are the ability to make hard decisions together. So life is hard. What happens when there's an issue with your child or when you have an aging parent, you have to decide where to live. Don't you want this to be a teammate who you respect and admire and you can make hard decisions together? Another one is the ability to fight well. And so feeling like when we fight, we can fight in a respectful way. We can take a time out when we're flooded and we can say, hey, what you just said really hurt me. I need to take a break. Or can we fight in a way where we're teammates and it's us against the world versus we're in battle and it's you versus me? And finally, the one that has become the most important to me is this idea of what side of me you bring out because you could be perfect on paper. But something about you reminds me of my dad. Something about you reminds me of my middle school Billy. And I don't feel good around you. And so that's honestly why finding love is so hard, because it's not an algorithm. It's really complicated. In some universe, we make perfect sense. But in this universe, you annoy the shit out of me. And so we're not supposed to be together. And so there's a sense of find the person who feels like home. Find the person that brings out your favorite side of yourself, because that's who you'll be in the relationship long term. One of the most interesting ones for me is having the skill to fight well. You didn't say having the skill not to fight at all, but it's really about your conflict resolution strategy together. You mentioned earlier, was it Julie and John Gottman? Yeah. They've done some work on this. Absolutely. Yeah, that's really where I learned about all of this. So basically, Drs. Julie and John Gottman talk about how most fights are perpetual. 69% of fights are perpetual. What that means is we will never come to a conclusion. So let's say I like to get to the airport early. You like to get to the airport late. The conclusion isn't you start to get to the airport early. It might be we accept the other person's view and we go to the airport separately. So you're not looking for a person with whom you don't fight. You're looking for a person with whom you fight well and whose set of problems you can deal with. And this is part of maturing is there's stories about people who say, you know, I dated this person, but I broke up with them for this problem. Then I dated the next person who had the opposite situation and they were fine in that area. But then they had this problem. It's like at some point you have to realize you are choosing a set of problems. There's no one with whom you don't have problems. And so my mother-in-law, who's a therapist, she says to me, when couples tell me they don't fight, I say, do you also not have sex? Because it means you're not being real and you're not getting to the edges. You're not getting to the conflict. You're not getting to the root of a relationship. So interesting. That idea that it's just about the problems you're accepting and that because there is people watch Disney, right? So Disney tells us that this is going to be this perfect person. He comes down, she comes down wearing a wonderful dress. Perfect. We get happily ever after. We don't think of relationships as choosing the problems you want to accept and then working on those going forward. Absolutely. Yeah. I call this the happily ever after fallacy. You think there's this idea of the hard work of dating is finding somebody and then everything will be easy. Honestly, finding somebody is hard, but the rest of it is really hard, too. So for those romanticizers that are obsessed with the WeMet and they're like, I don't want to meet on an app. It's not romantic. I say to them, if you're going to be in a 50 year long relationship, the day you meet is 0.0055% of the total relationship. Who cares how you meet? The romantic part is that you met and you built a life together. It doesn't matter that you didn't have a rom com moment where you were at the farmer's market reaching for the same tomato at the same time. So get over the WeMet story and start meeting people. And what about when we should get married? Because I'm in the point now I've been in a relationship for four years. So is that a good time to pop the question? Should I wait longer? There's got to be some data and research on people that end up having successful marriages versus unsuccessful ones. I've also got a friend actually that he's getting to like 37 years old now and he's always telling me about this rush. He's going like, Steve, you don't understand. I'm 37. So he's trying to rush people down the aisle and it's resulting in continual breakdown in relationships. He's now been in, I'm going to say four relationships in the last four years. In one of them, he moved the girl in in 20 days after knowing her. That didn't go well. In the second one, he flew her from another country on the second date to move in with him. And that also didn't end well. And before he flew her from faraway land to Europe to that hotel room on the second day, I said to him, I was like, bro, listen, take it slow because in dating and in relationships and in life, the slow way is the only way. And that's when we're sat on my couch at home and he told me, listen, Steve, I'm 37. You don't understand. I haven't got much time. And I think by rushing it, he's actually ruining the chances of even if that person was right, they're going to skip past a bunch of necessary work. I agree with you. I think he's focusing on the clock and not focusing enough on the connection. And so there's no perfect time to get married. There is some research that suggests that if you've been dating for more than two years before you get engaged, that the relationship has a greater chance at success. Or if you're older than a certain age, you have a greater chance of success. All of those things are true. But what I would really focus on is this idea of decide, don't slide. So there's research that shows that there's two ways to move through relationship milestones. Deciding is having an intentional conversation. So you might say to your girlfriend, I assume you live together, but you might have said to her in the past, let's move in together. What is moving in together mean to you? And this happened with a couple that I know where one person said moving in means we're testing the relationship. And the other person said moving in means we're engaged to be engaged. Well, they weren't on the same page, so they didn't move in together. And they waited until they were on the same page. That's deciding. Sliding is just slipping through the next stage of the relationship. Well, my lease is up, so let's move in together. And couples that slide their way through the next stage of the relationship end up being in relationships that are less intentional, less happy, and even have less sex. And so I really would encourage people to decide their way through these relationships and through these milestones. And so for you, it's about having a conversation with your girlfriend, which I'm sure you have all the time. What do you want out of life? Where do you see us living? How do you want to spend your time together? Do you want to build a family? What would that look like? And having these relationship conversations that people often don't have, because there's this thing that happens where when you're in love with someone, you assume that you're the same. And so you think, "Oh, well, I've never talked to her about whether we're going to live in London long term, but we love each other so much. I bet she feels the same way I do." It's like, no, you have to make the unconscious conscious, and you have to actually see if you're on the same page. So my advice is less focused on how long you should date before you get engaged or how long you should be engaged before you get married. And more like, are you having the explicit conversations about what you want? Because that's the most important part of moving to the next stage. And do you think, I know you have a role at a dating app, but do you think dating apps have been a net positive to society? I do because it's helped so many people find love. There's this idea of a thin dating market. So if you're over 50, if you're in the LGBTQ+ community, it was really hard to find love. How did you know who in your neighborhood was around, who was single, who was interested in you? And so it's just making all these matches that wouldn't happen otherwise. And we know from the research from Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford that since 2017, the number one way that couples are meeting is online. I say this in part because I had Whitney Wolf-Hurd on the podcast, who's the founder of Bumble. And I was really surprised actually that when I looked at some of the feedback on the episode, specifically from men, it opened my eyes to the way that certain men feel about dating apps. They feel, and then I spoke to Scott Galloway, who told me that it's really difficult if you're in like the bottom percentage of men because the top like 10% of men are having all the sex and all the dates. And there's this kind of lost 50% of men at the bottom that like aren't getting swiped on. They don't have all the money. They're kind of, you know. I totally hear that. And I absolutely work with clients who have the same thing. But when I meet with them, I feel like there's so many other things going on that's holding them back from finding love. And it's not just the technology. So first of all, somebody can be on a dating app, but also meeting people in real life. There's nothing holding you back from hitting on somebody in person, joining a pickleball league and talking to someone. And so I feel like we make a mistake when we think everything related to love happens on my phone. The phone is just the modern day matchmaker, but there's so many other parts to it. There's other ways to meet and there's other ways to mess it up. And so a lot of the work that I do with people, you know, I know all the tips and tricks for the best Hinge profile. I know what a good opening line is. I am familiar with all of the stuff that makes people successful, but that only gets you to the first date. The rest is on you.


Creating An Effective Dating Profile

How To Get The Perfect Dating Profile (01:37:43)

I'm curious. You're curious about what? The tips and tricks for a great Hinge profile. Oh, sure. Yeah, I'll go through all of them. I mean, we have done tons of research on this at Hinge and our basically our philosophy is the people who are finding success, what are they doing differently and how can we teach other people to do that? So these are the top tricks for a great Hinge profile. So first of all, your profile is telling a story. Who are you? Show us different sides of yourself. And you want to start with a clear headshot. This is what you look like. No filters, no sunglasses. I should be able to see from that first photo what you look like. You also want to have the following photos. A photo of you doing an activity that you love, a photo with you and with friends and family show us you have a social life and a full body picture. Then for the prompts, you want to have a mixture of humor and vulnerability. Okay, let's just pause on this because I want to double down on some of these. The first photo should be a headshot. And I don't mean literally a professional headshot. I mean just your face clearly not far away, no filters, no sunglasses. Just this is what I look like. And not like a jail headshot or anything like that. Not a mugshot. Not a mugshot. A headshot and the data suggests that those people who have a clear headshot, no filters, no glasses, no nothing have the most success. Yes, all of this is based on the Hinge research for what we have found makes a successful profile and what people are looking for on your profile. And then you want to show that you have a diverse sort of social life including family and friends. So at least one picture with family and friends. That shows us that you have a social life. It shows us that there's people who you love who love you. It also kind of gives you this image of this is what dating me would be like. If you date me, here's the kind of people that we're going to hang out with. There's a couple ways this can go wrong and the number one is what we call the Where's Waldo photo, which is the photo where I can't tell which one you are. So it's, you know, 10 white women in bridesmaids dress. Which one of these white women are you? Don't make me do work to zoom in and see who you are. Just don't include that photo. So it should be very clear in the photo who you are. You also shouldn't have any photos where it's ambiguous. Is this the person that you are dating? Is this the person that you wish you were dating? So make sure it's clear that there's no romantic interest in the photo and I can tell at a glance which one is you. On that point, I've got a friend. I always say I've got a friend on this fucking podcast. People think I'm just making these friends up. I actually am just talking about four people. Guys, Stephen has no friends. He's never. He's trying to do this podcast to make friends. Nobody is friends with him. You know what's funny is when I say I've got a friend, I'm literally talking about five people and I've probably said I've got a friend like 200 times. Wait, I kind of was thinking about this because you spoke on a podcast about you were like, I have six friends that I text with. Three of them are in sexless relationships. I was like, anyone in your extended network is going to know you're basically talking about your friend's sexless relationships. They know when they're cool with it. And also when I think it's a bit too revealing in terms of identity, I send them the episode ahead of time and say, hey, I told a story from us beforehand. Is it okay for me to run it? And every time I talk about my girlfriend, I send her the episode and go, "Hey, this is what I said about our situation. Is it okay?" That actually makes me feel better as a listener because I'm like, he's blowing up all these people's spots. It's funny because I was about to say to you I've got a friend and I was and I've actually spoken about them a second ago. One thing that I noticed on their profile was every single picture that they had on their profile had them holding a glass of alcohol. I remember thinking, because I was so bad on dating apps for the one month that I tried. But when I looked at this person's dating profile when they showed me, I remember they were telling me about the guy that had the box on top of his wardrobe. I was like, "This is the same person." I was like, every single picture on your dating profile, you're holding alcohol and you're in a party. Do those subtle cues matter? When I looked at her profile, I would say, "Hey, do you notice anything in common about these?" She would say, "Oh, I guess I'm holding alcohol in all of them." I'd say, "Exactly." It's not that I think people are going to think you're a lush. It's that you're only showing me one side of you. I see this all the time where I was evaluating a woman's profile in my course and we do live profile feedback. She had four pictures from a photo shoot she had done with her dog. I was like, "Look, your dog is plenty cute, but all I know about you is that on one day you wore this dress and this is what your dog looks like." I was like, "You're telling me a story, but you're only telling me one chapter." You really want to have variety. Your friend can have one photo with alcohol. It's not about the alcohol. It's about, "Show me different sides of yourself." I imagine most of those photos were taken at night or most of those photos were taken inside at a restaurant or brunch or a club. "Show me different sides of yourself." Really, it's a storytelling exercise. Going back to prompts. Hinge has these prompts, which are icebreakers that you respond to. Like, "My love language is..." or "My therapist would tell you..." or "My typical Sunday..." That's a chance to tell me about who you are. The biggest mistakes that people make with their hinge prompts are one-word answers, which show no effort. If you're not willing to put effort into your profile, why would I think you'll put effort into a relationship? If there's grammatical errors or typos, unfortunately people are looking for reasons to say no, so they won't be into that. Or being all one flavor. All dad jokes are all super earnest. You want to have a mixture of all of that. It's like, your dating app is your billboard. You have limited room. What is the story that you're trying to tell? I recommend that people be really specific. This is a rule in humor and it's also a rule in dating apps. This girl that I worked with, she had on her profile, "I don't know how to ride a bike." And she said that that was one of the things that she got the most comments on because it was just super specific. Or, "I want to debate with you how bad it is to parallel park in Boston." There's a rule in comedy that the specific is universal. The more specific you go, the more people relate to it. And the same thing is true. And so the things that I look at on people's profiles are, "Do you have any clichés? Get rid of those. Make it specific." "Do I feel like you've mentioned anime in two of your answers? I already get that you like anime. Try something else." So really understand that you have this limited space to tell your story. And the best way to do that is to have different pictures and different prompts show different sides of who you are. What about a smile? Does that make a difference? Smiles are good. Yeah. So basically, in my book, I have some research on things like looking away from the camera, looking towards the camera. And that was before I worked at Hinge. And that was based on some research that I had found that was publicly available. Now that I work at Hinge, that's not something that's come up in the research. I think those things differ. But people don't like selfies. They don't like gym selfies. They don't like smoking selfies. So those are all photos that you should avoid. Interesting.


Closing Question

The Last Guests Question (01:44:29)

Logan, we have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest in the diary of the CEO. And the question that has been left for you is kind of fitting because it somewhat links to the work that you do. The question is, what is great sex? Oh, my gosh, I always feel like I'm not the sex bird. Let me think about my real answer. I think great sex is losing yourself in the moment and being transported to a different place. We play so many different roles in our lives. We're pretending to be this person or that person. But I feel like when you feel safe enough, when you feel turned on enough, when you have the right erotic connection with somebody, you can actually just lose all the artifice and be fully present and fully express yourself and connect in this deep way. And I think many people have never had great sex. But once you've had it, you want to keep having it. And so great sex is the deep connection that comes from being fully present, taking risks, attuning yourself to the other person, and really allowing yourself to experience pleasure. Logan, thank you. Thank you because this is the best book ever written on this subject. It quite clearly is. And I say that because a lot of these books in this category that talk about relationships and love and dating, they are built on vibes. It's like gossip vibes and like, you know, kind of like, I don't know how to explain it. There's just no sort of basis underneath the advice that they give. Your book is based on science. And it even says that on the front, the surprising science that will help you find love because you think through psychology and the lens of science. And that is why this book is so important. And if I read this book and I was an author thinking about writing a book about dating, I would not write a book about dating because I think that within it you encapsulate so many of the fundamental nuggets of wisdom that anybody struggling in dating or relationships or is looking for dates or looking for a great relationship or love needs to find. So I highly recommend that everybody goes and gets this book, How to Not Die Alone. What an amazing title. And thank you so much for your generosity today. You've helped me answer so many of my questions that I've had. And I feel like I'm going to be quoting you forever after reading this book. So thank you. Thank you for all the compliments. It means so much to me. I'm honored that I get to do the work that I do. And thank you for letting me share it with more people. As you'll know, this podcast is sponsored by Huel. One of my favorite products that they've ever created is their Huel Daily Greens. It actually performed so well when we released it that it sold out completely. And the only thing I'm back here to say to you guys is that it's now back in stock. It tastes amazing and it's actually got 91 vitamins and minerals and whole food ingredients in one scoop. It's nice not to have to think about taking lots of different pills and vitamins in the morning. I can just take this and I know that I'm giving my body a good dose of all the vitamins and minerals that it needs every morning. It's a lot better tasting than having to force down some of the other green powders I've tried. And it's really reassuring to know that I'm looking after my body properly. Unfortunately, and currently, this product is only available in the US. So anyone in the USA, head to Huel.com to get it before it runs out again. But anyone that's not in the US and wants it to come to their country, please send me a DM, a direct message, and I'll speak to the team at Huel in our board meetings and I'll let them know that you want it in your country.


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