The Millennial Virus

Most of the articles and research on millennials is targeted on marketing to them, how we could sell better to them, how we can better understand their preferences, or we characterize the hookup culture like it’s something new. We try to talk about their sexual patterns, how many, how often, variations of sexual practices, birth rates, and on and on. But, we never talk about what I call, The Millennial Virus (c), what they are at risk of. We never talk to them about the risk of getting an STD. Today, NYC announced increases in STDs among millennials. The hookup culture is nothing new-it was AIDS prior to this generation.
So, I conducted polls over quora, google + and reddit and 50% were aware of STD risk, but were unaware of the recent CDC report that states “ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.”
Credit: Anqa
According to a study conducted by Downing-Matibag & Geisinger (2009), “nearly half of participants were unconcerned with contracting a sexually transmitted infection from penetrative intercourse during a hookup, and a majority were unconcerned about diseases in hookups that included fellatio or cunnilingus. Most students reported not considering or realizing their own health risks during hookups, particularly those that occurred within their own community such as with someone else on their own college campus”. Another study by Paik (2010), reported “individuals involved in hookups are more likely to have concurrent sexual partners”. Which only compounds disease risk by increasing the spread of infection.
We like to blame Tinder, Bumble, and other dating apps for this behavior, but when I asked where people are hooking up; the top places were:
1. Tinder
2. College dorms
3. Instagram
4. Facebook
5. Bars
6. Clubs
7. Cars
8. Frat parties
When you ask why don’t people prefer to use a condom? The answer is obvious: “we don’t like the desensitizing feeling condoms have.” You know what is more desensitizing? An STD.

What does the job market and relationships have in common with the Presidential Debate?

Uncertainty. Why? Because there is high instability in the economy, job market, relationships and almost all aspects of life and no viable solution in sight. Yes, the days of life-long employment are long gone. But, that was shifting over a decade now. Back in my day 🙂 I had to walk 7 miles in the snow barefoot to get to work 🙂 lol I was treating my career as though I was entrepreneurial. Each job was hierarchical in salary and title lending to broader marketability and skill sets. Searching for love requires the same level of detail as reviewing a job offer.

You’ll go through clauses in your contract looking for loop holes, right? You won’t accept terms you don’t want, right? Why apply a different barometer to dating? Why not approach dating like you would a job offer? Or are we? Are we accepting any offer just because it’s an offer? Personality drives profession and partner selection. The key to success in either area is self-awareness. At least according to Gary Vaynerchuck 🙂 Are we opting out of romance or dating for ghosting, benching, gas lighting [insert other dating pattern bs here]? For some, sex has become a screener, your genitals have no value, and photoshop is self-improvement. Technology drives dating patterns, behavior and sex. Why not create your own personal algorithm? bm2om50plo

Approach online and IRL dating like it’s a social experiment. It really IS. Treat dating like you are collecting data on what you want and don’t want. See what combinations of qualities and characteristics better complement you. Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, Your Happiness Hypothesis, can help minimize some of your own expectations. Create an equation (just like the dating sites) that includes the elements that you absolutely require (fixed variable) and the elements that you think you want (random variable). Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires.

For example: a friend of mine has the following requirements of the men she dates: ivy educated, graduate degree, professional, shared religion, family-oriented, certain age range, & certain height requirements. Physical appearance, sense of humor, adventurous, and work-life balance are not priorities for her. Identify the elements that you think you must have and those that you’d like to have.  You might find that dating based on a system testing out your happiness hypothesis, will help you figure out what is a better fit for yourself. Reversing the process of what random pool gets sent to you or selects you.

Do You Really Need to Love Yourself First?

That’s the burning question many people had from my last article for the Huffington Post on self-esteem. Thanks to all who shared their stories, feedback, comments and insights. It inspired me to write this article. I know you’ve been told you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. I disagree. Can love exist without self-love? Yes. Let me explain by asking you to ask yourself the following things:  
  1. Do you prioritize others over yourself?
  2. Do you tell yourself the truth?
  3. Do you accept the past or do you ruminate about it?
  4. Do you blame others (parents, ex-partner/spouse) for your past failures?
  5. Do you follow your gut the majority of the time?
  6. Do you carve out “me” time consistently?

Do you do any of these things and still want and find love? Of course you do. We all do. Does it stop us from loving others?

Still think you need to love yourself first? Ok, let’s look at the latest dating trend Benching. In this article, Jason Chen is writing about his experience with rejection and how common it is for people to start dating then blow them off and re-surface months later and resume dating again. So, he became a bench-warmer waiting to get picked; while the other person is dating other people. He’s wondering why he got blown off, but the person comes back and you give them a chance, right? What does this say about what people feel about themselves? Why do they allow it? Should you give people the benefit of the doubt? Sure. But, what’s the cut off? Should your ego, sense of self, or self-respect take a hit? And even when it does take a hit, don’t we still seek love? Isn’t that the opposite of loving yourself first?

What does it say about self-love? If you ask people do you love yourself, they’ll likely tell you yes.

Here’s my burning question: If you love yourself first, then what explains the faulty decision-making in relationships?

It’s not about self-love, it’s about self-awareness. I think that self-awareness PKNFYSTO4Eis one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process. When you’re self-aware and ask yourself the same above questions, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love. The interesting part of self-awareness is that it becomes most challenged while you are in a relationship. 🙂 Have you ever realized that thing that s/he did that annoyed you triggered another aspect of you?

The heated you: It’s not about the toilet seat! It’s about you having no consideration for me whatsoever! 

Your inner voice: OMG! Who can’t put down a damn toilet seat?! I’m gonna be miserable the rest of my life putting up with this shit!

The over-reaction to a small thing triggered larger issues: lack of consideration and poor communication. The irony is that people become aware of the lack of self-love in relationship to others. 🙂 Self-love is cultivated over time. With each relationship we hope to get a better understanding of our needs and what we will seek out in the future. Our sense of self is challenged in each break-up because we’re trying to understand why it happened, why we allowed it to happen, or what was wrong with that person that they didn’t see the greatness in us. 🙂 Either way, we walk away wondering is this person kidding me with their bullshit behavior or was I kidding myself?

 

PokeDates: Meet people not profiles!

Tired of meeting people only to find that they don’t look like their photos, or age, or height? PokeDates can fix that! PokeDates is based on meeting in real life, sharing interest in PokemonGo, and just showing up!

“At Project Fixup [the creators of PokeDates], we believe that dating should be about getting out there, meeting new people, and enjoying the world around… not sitting on your computer browsing, swiping, and messaging back and forth. Project Fixup is about OFFline dating, and saving you the hours of time you would spend online to end up with the same date.” – See more at: https://www.projectfixup.com/pokedates/#sthash.yoW4i0Nu.dpuf  I love it! No more dealing with fake profiles or trying to figure out what you have in common. First attempt is free, $20 afterwards.

To get started all you have to do is create your PokeProfile! If anyone trying out this new app, let me know your stories!

1     Answer a few questions

Get started by taking our short questionnaire so we know a bit about who you are, what you’re looking for, and what you like to do. Once your questionnaire is complete, it will be reviewed and approved by your fixup specialist.

2     Share your schedule

Once you’ve been approved by the fixup specialist, you’ll be eligible to get fixed up. All you need to do is update your availability so we know when you’re free. Once your calendar is up to date, we will start working to find someone we think you’d like to meet and set you up on your first fixup.

3     Confirm your fixup

You’ll get an email with all the details of your fixup, including a convenient time and place to meet. If everything looks good, just click confirm and you’ll be all set. You’ll only get charged if the fixup is confirmed by both people – there are no subscriptions or hidden fees. Fixups start at just $20.

4     Have fun

Just show up at the right place and time to discover somewhere fun – from your city’s best craft beer bars to their most underrated taco joints – with someone new. Each week, you can have a different unique experience with an interesting person. Trust us, it’s a much better way to spend your free time than in front of your computer screen.

Top 5 ironic reasons you aren’t finding the right one

Summer’s here so people try to blame the weather for not wanting to commit (aka the break-up season). The summer isn’t the reason you can’t find the right type. The reason is simple: it’s the irony we create about love and relationships. Here are 5 examples of what holds some people back and how to change it:

  1. Some people allow one past relationship to disallow their future relationships and happiness. Re-read that statement. Does it sound like it makes sense? Doesn’t it sound paradoxical? Aren’t you looking for happiness? Aren’t you seeking out that one right person? By allowing one person to determine your future is delaying your happiness. Isn’t that counter-productive to your goal? The next time you find yourself thinking about the negative aspects of your past relationships, meditate on this mantra: Chalk it up to your ex’s inability to handle your greatness 🙂
  2. Your heart will keep seeking love, but your brain will identify patterns and stop you from seeking love. Harmonize the two by creating a list of the patterns you see. Sometimes you will find that these patterns reveal what you think you need and not what you want. Pay attention only to the aspects that you need. That part is responding to your nature and character. What you think you want is responding to your past experiences.

    Teddy Kelley photo
    Credit: Teddy Kelley
  3. You realize you took for granted someone that is gone and that becomes the very thing you want. Here the solution is simple: you’re just a dumbass. Each person we encounter makes us either realize something about ourselves or inspires us to be better people because of the nature of how they make us feel about ourselves. If you encounter someone that makes you a better person and you didn’t recognize that, ummm what’s my blog called? 🙂 Don’t fret. What is designed for you doesn’t disappear. Keep track of what you wish you still had and seek it out in someone else.
  4. You’re seeking happiness, but wind up settling. Deep down inside, when you’re settling, you know it. Sometimes people convince themselves that it is ok; other times they realize that they want more, but don’t think they can get it. In either case, why live only partially happy?
  5. The very type you don’t initially find attractive is the one you wind up with. Several studies show that when you ask successfully married people where physical attraction ranks in the scale of their relationship, initial looks ranks really low. Don’t believe me? Check out eHarmony’s take: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/little-physical-attraction-deal-breaker/#.V2sAaOsrIlg  Moral of the story: Stop treating people like they are your social networking streams. Focusing on the shiniest object. If you are checking them out based on their looks, chances are so are another 100 other people.

Why are men so non-committal?

Spring is near, so I’ve been getting a lot of women asking for relationship advice on non-committal men. If you ask men why they are so non-committal, why they cheat, or why they deceive their partners, the #1 answer you’ll get is boys will be boys. Doesn’t help, does it?

So, I’ve compiled a short list of things to help really get to the bottom of how to determine if your man is non-committal or commitment phobic. Aside from the usual signs, check out: Men and Relationships: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit by SABRINA ALEXIS or or just go on Tinder. 🙂commt-yourejustadumbass

Here are some subtle cues to listen for on how to gauge if you’re in a non-committal relationship:

  1. Past relationship references. How he describes his past relationships could be a good place to start. Did he have a string of bad relationships with “crazy” women? If it was “most of them were crazy”, then he’s probably looking to blame others for his past relationship failures. Realistically, he may have deeper issues that he has to resolve that you might not be able to. Most people, especially men, loathe failure. They are designed to try to fix shit. If they couldn’t in the past and it became how they related to women, they hate taking chances. If you stick around chances are you’ll be one of those “crazy” exes.
  2. I intended on… That sounds good, doesn’t it. But, most people intend on doing a lot of things that they want, but just never get around to it. Marriage is one of them. Weight loss, exercising, you name it. If you don’t act on what you intend to do, it doesn’t happen. When men want something, they act on it. If they aren’t discussing a relationship, chances are they aren’t looking for anything committed.
  3. Fighting. Yeah, fighting. If you think there’s something better out there, you won’t try to resolve conflict. You’ll just exit out.

 

Top 3 things NOT to say on your online dating profile

People are attracted to what resonates with them. Online dating is no different. We are treating online dating as we do social media streams; the shiniest object is what grabs our attention. So, when we review profiles we are trying to get a better sense of who you are and what you say you are. If you start with a list of things you don’t want, that’s what you’re going to get.

What men say: Not looking for a gold digger.

You come off as someone who doesn’t want to build a relationship/partnership. Why? Because you’re letting past relationships control your future relationships.

What women read:  You got divorced and lost your shit. Does that mean you won’t be able to be in a dual income partnership? Are you blaming your life choices on someone else’s spending pattern? Are you unable to recognize someone that isn’t materialistic?

What men say: Drama queens need not apply. If you have an ex that is a FWB, don’t bother to contact me. If you have baby mama drama, don’t contact me.

Are you hoping to filter out drama queens by telling them not to contact you? Drama queens don’t exist if they don’t have an audience. You just set up a stage for them 🙂

What women read:  Your mailbox will be flooded with “F you just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I have drama.” Or “F you just because I have a past that you don’t understand, that doesn’t make me a drama queen.”

What men say: Don’t contact me if you’re not comfortable sexually.

Telling women they shouldn’t have standards, might not get you what you want.Leave the seduction for face-to-face.

What women read: That begs the question: “wtf is he into?” “F you because I’m not into casual sex/hookups/booty calls whenever you want sex, isn’t going to get you either a hookup or LTR.” Or “who the f are you to start with sex on your profile when you claim to be looking for something substantial.”

 

Is Tinder cheating on itself? Super Like?

CSILVAMSW_HPLTinder has been under some heat lately with the app being associated with increases in STD rates and destroying millennials dating experiences.  So, what does Tinder do? Create a new feature called Super Like. “We wanted Super Likes to be really special while making sure everyone can use them, so to start we’re giving Tinder users one Super Like to send each day. ” -Tinder blog

Yup that’s right, now you can reach out to one person a day and hope they respond to you, too. Is this Tinder’s attempt to make the site more monogamous?

In a recent HuffPostLive segment, I got to share my thoughts on Tinder’s new feature Super Like: http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/why-does-tinder-have-a-new-super-like-function/521e53bbfe344436f2000120

Let’s look at it from a feature improvement point: the #1 complaint women have about Tinder is the non-relationship responses they get/the direct hook-up responses that the app is known to be. Super Like may improve the probability of getting less unwarranted communication from users.

From a female user experience point, Super Like as a feature may be an empowering one for women that know what they want. You are running probability on these sites, a distinguishing feature like “I’m not bsing on here don’t bother to contact me if it’s not similar interests” can change the script that is currently being designed in dating. {That women play a passive role and have to be reliant on men discarding them for more kinky and/or shopped photos.}

Tinder was created by the same group that created Grindr, the gay hook-up app. All it did was apply that same principle to the hetero world. Should it have changed their business model before now? Would they have laughed all the way to the bank?

By changing the behavior of the users of the app, it will change the dating experience of the users. Perhaps, women will feel less devalued and men will get more real responses. Ultimately, they will get closer to finding a relationship. What do you think? Is Tinder cheating on itself?

5 types to avoid

  1. The emotionally and financially needy types. Emotional and financial neediness makes you attract co-dependent relationships that, in the long run, don’t fill either of these needs. Both emotional and financial need can be addressed in the short-term (money can be earned and support can be given), but it establishes a false sense of security in the long-term. ITA18FXIBLAlthough emotional and financial neediness takes time to overcome and seems harder, so is divorce. Which will land you in the same category anyway 🙂 It’s better to overcome some of the hardships you encounter so that you can experience the true happiness you wanted in the first place.
  2. Fixers. Stop trying to fix people. You didn’t break them to begin with. Change can happen if the person: a) wants it or b) life forces it of them. You can be a change catalyst if the person is at either of these points in their lives. Other than that, you can’t correct other people’s fucked-upness to your partner.
  3. Sex your feelings away types. Know your worth. If you treat your vag or dick like it’s a common sandwich, why would it surprise you that you aren’t relationship material? You’re deluding yourself and expect the world to give you the opposite of what you say you want and are doing. Level with yourself and others. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a relationship because you’ve been hurt or aren’t emotionally ready for one. Sexing your feelings away doesn’t get at resolving the core issue. For some, it creates a whole set of new issues.
  4. Insecure types. Insecurity makes you stop seeking and makes you start settling. You may not even realize you have started settling because you may have created a relationship that makes you comfortable in your insecurity. If you are controlling or obsessively jealous, the other person will adapt a pattern to avoid confrontation of your insecurity. Ultimately, though, you’ve created a relationship that won’t really address the core issues of your insecurity.
  5. Cheating types. If someone cheats, they’re designed to do it again and again. It’s got nothing to do with you, it’s their ego trying to fill a void. If you’re filling that void through people, re-read #3.

Ahhhh the tangled web we weave

I have to say that I wasn’t surprised that a site like Ashley Madison existed, but that the Impact Team hacked it for the greater good, did. “Will The Impact Team be hacking any other sites in the future? If so, what targets or sort of targets do you have in mind?
Not just sites. Any companies that make 100s of millions profiting off pain of others, secrets, and lies. Maybe corrupt politicians. If we do, it will be a long time, but it will be total.” Impact Team to Motherboard.vice.com 

hmmm So, what did this grand social experiment demonstrate? Nothing new. That some people who want to cheat will? Let’s look at other not-so-surprising details. People are shocked that the site contained fake female profiles? Of the 37M users, only 5.5M were women. If you go onto POF, some men start their profile with DON’T CONTACT ME IF YOU’RE FAKE.

Ok, let’s look at what other things shock people. That people paid for privacy and their data was revealed? Wait. What?!?! You mean to tell me that someone created a business model capitalizing on your indiscretion and desires for a profit on the INTERNET?!?! You mean they took your money and never did what they said they would do? Paid delete=the Nigerian Embassy wants to give you 3.3M USD.

Of course, when you are looking to be discreet, you naturally log on during work hours, right? Sure, but from your work email or computer? AND you work in the government? OR better yet, you build your platform around family values?

Oh, the CEO stepped down? No way. Could it be all of the encounters he had off the site, the massive law suits, or the threats he’s getting by the minute?  “Life is short, Noel Biderman. Have an affair.”

Oh ok, since you didn’t think any of that might happen, let me tell you what might happen next: divorce, losing your home, losing half your shit, and maybe joint custody. Gee, isn’t that what you were trying to avoid? 

Divorce lawyers and the housing market thanks you.

YOU’RE JUST A DUMBASS