Another dating trend that doesn’t involve dating: Breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing, is the latest dating trend and label that replaces stringing along. The New York times describes it as  “They communicate via sporadic noncommittal, but repeated messages — or breadcrumbs — that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be). Breadcrumbers check in consistently with a romantic prospect, but never set up a date. They pique your interest, of that prospective job, perhaps, by reminding you repeatedly that it exists, but never set up the interview.”

Basically, you’re keeping your options open while stringing someone else along with the least amount of effort or regard for the other person. Like ghosting, the other person is entertaining them when they reach out. What kind of reaching out you ask? Oh, “liking” a photo on IG or fb is the signal that game is back on. Right. What? It’s probably the saddest and minimal amount of effort to demonstrate interest in someone. I mean, we spend more time liking cat photos.

Urbandictionary.com

For us to accept these behaviors with disregard for how it impacts us emotionally is what the core of what I call, The Millennial Virus, is. What is it doing to our sense of self? Are we becoming more narcissistic? Are we becoming more insecure? Are we accepting sub-optimal relationships just to feel connected to something? Is technology driving dating, sex and emotion? Is it creating a generation that is passive-aggressive in life?

As a Behavioral Scientist, what amazes me is the hypersensitivity we all seem to have about almost all aspects of life EXCEPT relationships. Isn’t it interesting that we stand up against bullying, shaming, or political un-correctness; but with people we have interest in we act with total disregard? Some say it’s technology that’s driving our behavior, some say it’s the lack of employment, or that we are to attached to our devices or the way we are cognitively evolving.

Let’s look at some of the most common types that will most likely breadcrumb:

  1. Stalker types. These are the ones that reach out on your social feeds every now and then, but don’t follow-up with any sentences J They treat you like you are a notification on fb that they forgot they were connected to. If they can’t reach out to you in a text, what makes you think they are interested in having something pop off with you?
  2. Booty call types. These are the “DTF” “WYD” messages you’ll get at night. They aren’t interested in going beyond just the sexual set up you have. If this is acceptable to you, proceed with caution. Because it may not evolve into a
  3. Can’t get over you types. These are the ones that reach out to you months and years after it’s over in hopes of rekindling the relationship. If they failed the first time, chances are they aren’t new and improved. They just realize the error in not having you in their lives and hope that you are going to want to waste time with them again.
  4. Predator types. These types stalk you on your social feeds to keep abreast of the latest going on in your life. Once they notice a difference in posts or photos that indicates your seeing someone or they see that your seeing someone, they all of a sudden find you interesting. If they were on the fence about dating you and only reach out because you are happy in a new relationship, enjoy your new relationship.

In all these types, the underlying issue is not just their non-commitment issues, it’s their ego. Filtering through hundreds of profiles, spamming everyone, and getting rejected is rough on the ego. A way to deal with the rejection ratio is to find any kind of attention.  At the end of the day, people want to feel some level of relevance, importance or their own delusions of grandeur. Some get their rocks off by knowing that they’ve hooked you with a like or that you are still around when they disappear. Their ego is fulfilled when they reach out to you after months and you accepted their previous behavior and continue in a cycle of a dis-satisfactory relationship. Your ego, on the other hand, begins to take a hit to your self-esteem. Now you’re asking yourself questions like: why they reached out if they hadn’t ever planned to follow through, what’s the point of reaching out to me and why not meet up with me and finally why do I continue to attract these bullshit types?

 

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.

 

5 things you can do right now to change your online dating experience

1. Don’t force fit someone into your life because you are experiencing online dating fatigue. The process of several serial dates with people that you lack chemistry with or experience rejection from people that you think are potential candidates can be very frustrating and result in online dating fatigue. Where you just want to quit for awhile till you regroup. It’s totally understandable. Take a break, if you feel you need it. But, don’t let the fatigue inform who you choose.

2. Meet in real life. The point of online dating is to date, not to have a epenpal. If you haven’t gone on a date after a lengthy back and forth, cut it off. Two things are happening to you while you epenpal: 1) you are creating a false reality about who is behind the device and 2) you are delaying your own happiness by dealing with someone that isn’t on the same page.

3Screenshot 2014-11-06 at 1.56.54 PM. Diversify your dating approach. Don’t just rely on online dating as the only method of meeting someone. That will create online dating fatigue quickly. Include in your strategy both online and offline because love is a complicated process and has no formula. We can’t create the when and where. We just have to be there.

4. Approach online 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 our happiness hypothesis or algorithm can help minimize some of our 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.

5. This is the grand daddy of them all! Ready? Men, listen to me: don’t lie about your height. Women hate when you lie about inches 🙂 The reality is that men over 6’0″ in US society is about 15%. Seems like 100% online 🙂

How the sexes handle hurt

In our quest for happiness and ultimate life satisfaction, we encounter struggles that we try to figure out. Clark Kent & I decided to collaborate to answer some of the questions that men and women struggle with one another. We wanted to demystify the age old question about not understanding the other sex. We started with some of the stereotypical questions of what we think our genders do wrong when listening and communicating with the other sex. Clark’s answers have the male symbol (♂), mine have the female symbol (♀).

 Perception: What are some of the differences between men and women in handling hurt?

 ♂ Every man or woman experiences things that alter what perception of illusion that is what is felt within. The more pain experienced the greater the capacity for love to take its place. When a man is hurt or is hurting another it is because of the choices he can’t see! I had to break someone’s heart who meant alot to me, when she learned everything I had done, and did to myself I then tried to make it work with her. But what I had to learn from this was that the more I came true inside myself the more I was able to see this very pain in others. I could see her pain and I was forcing her to see it without her permission to obtain it. This was not what I wanted for her I wanted her to be happy.

You have to take what shattered pieces of you that you have and remove those life situations to live your life more fully. All pain has to be embraced, all flaws accepted, all regrets uncovered, all of it.  It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen in your thoughts it happens outside of them.  If you are with someone, male or female, it does take you to remove all forms of judgement, lies, etc. to be able to hear another!  You can run from those that you feel are dangerous or you can stand your ground long enough to allow them to see themselves through your eyes.  It takes this if you want to be in love, it takes this if you want to understand another, it takes this to heal inside yourself what you wish to heal in others.  Love has no end of depth it only has the surface that you can see with your eyes and then sink to realize you will always float and be able to breathe more than you ever had.  In general we continue to seek answers in others rather than seeking them inside ourselves. You will need to listen deeper to accept all things inside yourself before you will hear it in others!

♀ What blunts a women’s ability to see things for what they are is that we are seeing things that affirm what we want. Only after time passes, do we start seeing things for what they are. Generally, it is after a painful experience do we see the full extent of the distortion. We want to believe that what we are creating in the relationship is for the betterment of the person and ultimately the relationship. We don’t want to believe that what we created in the world could be distorted, diseased, or dysfunctional. It would mean accepting a definition of ourselves that is contrary to what we know of ourselves and what social and biological realities we face.

Communication style: Why can’t my he/she communicate with me so we can make this relationship work?

♂ A man will still pick up the communication habits of the father or mother or variables of both. It isn’t that he doesn’t love you unconditionally, but the place of love he experiences through sight keep him from hearing himself. If you never are able to communicate what your truths are, then you will play a role as you were taught or are willing to learn from your partner. This is how it has been and how it will remain until this core of thinking can be eliminated in either one. It is not something you have to repeat, it is not something you have to make as a choice to live your existence under this.

All those broken pieces that were me I had to pull together to create something out of it. I had to take the corpse I was and put something beautiful together out of it. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know where I would end up. I met someone who watched me go through this, something in her love in a friendship that was placed allowed me to be as honest with her as I hadn’t been with myself but in essence it allowed me to be honest with myself beyond anything I ever knew possible. You can change the vibrational love within you by this very acceptance of knowing something deeper is before you!

♀ The lack of self-awareness is gender neutral. From your insights, it seems that men learn a communication pattern from their environment and model that behavior that he was exposed to within that environment. Where, women adapt their communication styles based on situational experiences. Women learn earlier on that expressing ourselves releases some of the emotions that can create negative and maladaptive thinking if it’s unexpressed. As we go through relationships, we have expressed some of the painful emotions and cultivated a support base to keep us from repeating some of the pain we wanted to avoid. The difference is that we have outlets to express emotion and can synthesize the negative emotion and at least not repeat those same emotional triggers in the next relationship.

Often times, though, we keep trying to tell men what we want them to be, what to do, & how we want things; instead of just listening. If we just listened to men, we would let them get out their raw, pent-up emotion and let their truth emerge. In their truth emerging we might see our truth. If that isn’t aligned, we can begin searching for the person who is designed for us. In many relationships, I have failed to listen to what they were saying and I realized way down the line that it was an illusion that I assisted in creating. Their lies became my lies.

Top 10 things to stop doing right now

1. Don’t think that people will change.

2. Don’t settle. In every person you encounter you gain something. Focus on what you gained, instead of what you were disappointed with. Use that list to carry you into the next relationship.

3. Don’t think that people aren’t satisfied with what they are or their circumstances. People structure their lives the way they want. When you join someone’s life it either works or it doesn’t.

4. Don’t get caught up in someone else’s drama. Follow your gut. If you hesitate about something, it is usually something you should avoid.

5. Don’t help people that don’t deserve it. It could be that you are enabling something or you’re caught up in their lies.

6. Don’t live your life for others. Find the things you enjoy doing, enjoy those things, enjoy who you are and where you are in life.

7. Don’t lose your sense of self in a relationship. The person you were when you met is what attracted the person in the first place.

8. Don’t look for someone’s potential. Focus on what and who they are in the present.

9. Don’t be someone for someone else.

10. Delete the need to understand. Sometimes we really don’t know the reasons why things worked out the way they did.  Relying on a source outside yourself to understand why you feel hurt can lead you to persecute yourself. Sometimes people might not be completely honest with themselves and aren’t ready to be honest with you or can’t be honest with you. The best thing to do is just recognize that it’s over or the person is not going to call or the person doesn’t want to be in your life and that’s ok. You lost nothing. You will drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what the other person was about, said, did, etc.

Let’s reframe hurt

Inspired by Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love.

Love is one of the areas that can cause the most hurt. Whether we are looking for it, dating it, or committed to it; hurt will occur. The way you cope with it can determine how you receive love. We all loveknow of relationships that overcome the most catastrophic life events and those that can’t overcome the most mundane events.

If you were the dumpee/divorcee. Forgive yourself for believing in something that couldn’t be. Ultimately, you believed enough in love that you wanted to see it in all things. Even people that may not be designed for you.

If you were the dumper/divorcer. Be true to yourself and happiness flows effortlessly. Perhaps you loved so much that you thought you could be someone you weren’t.

Begin with you. In both cases, extract what you learned about yourself and what you need going into the next opportunity to meet someone.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you capable of unconditional love? Have you forgiven yourself for your past relationships? Sometimes you have to let go of the pain associated with the past to be receptive to unconditional love. You might be saying “what are you talking about, you’re just a dumbass, I have & it’s not my fault. I tried.” Yes you did. But, the definitions that you currently possesses might not be completely true to who you are and what you are becoming. The have  been shaped by your past experiences. Since everything in our lives has an origin, locating the source of pain and forgiving yourself for that experience will open you up to an abundance of opportunities for love, success and happiness. Sometimes we have the tendency to focus on what we didn’t get in the relationship and unknowingly keep finding that in the next relationship (or subsequent relationships). Instead, we should balance both the good and bad and focus more on the parts that helped you learn more about yourself. Your character, your nature, or your sense of what you want to become in the future.

Self-deception at its best

Best WTH lines I have heard so far:

1. “Dating while you’re married isn’t cheating”. Explaining some of the difficulties of a marriage after years of divorce. Grounds for divorce: not performing marital duties! WHAT? “Oh really? No sex for you? Uh, perhaps the key reason for that is that they were dating while you both were married”.

weddgring

2. “Found out he is married, living with her and is expecting a kid with her, but we are going to go ahead with planning our wedding”. After hiring a private investigator, crashing his car & wrecking his apartment (after breaking & entering).

3. “I know that we are different religions and that everyone has turned their backs on us, but it’ll work out”. One year and several re-locations later, “We got divorced”. What? “Yeah, turns out her family had a hit out on me!”.

4. “She’s a little too much to handle sometimes, but I’m getting used to it”. After throwing F bombs & Christmas gifts across the room at her in-laws. The trigger phrase: “You didn’t have to get us anything, your presence is gift enough!”.

5. “I don’t bring my partner to any of my social engagements because I don’t want anyone knowing my business”. As they tweet, instagram and fb throughout the entire night enough information that if the cops needed information about their whereabouts, it would suffice.

If someone told you relationships are easy, they lied!

Relationships are not easy. They become less difficult over time. Everyone deals with their past differently: some deny it, repress it, aggress it or accept it as part of life’s cycle. The reality is that when you’re in a relationship you are dealing with another person’s experience and issues and your own. Together you are creating a shared experience while learning one another. Relationships are the place that you challenge your own experiences and your perception of how life ought to be. Eliciting emotions out of you while trying to create a healthy relationship is where some difficulties arise because we resort to the mechanisms that were most useful to us prior to the relationship.gnc-edited

Here are some questions to determine the health of your relationship and what mechanism you are using to cope with them when you are experiencing difficulties. Keep in mind that sometimes we are using all of them.

Key #1: Honesty

Question about the relationship: Is the person deceptive to you?

Question for you: Why do you want to live in deception?

Maybe you don’t want to deal with a painful past event/memory and the person’s truth is a painful reminder of it. Sometimes we don’t want hear the truth, so that we can act like it doesn’t exist and for it not to be real. It’s harder to hear things that would help move from a negative state of perception to a positive one, so people that love you want to protect you from what can be hurtful. However, deception creates mistrust and feelings of betrayal, which are harder to build on.

Key #2: Conflict Resolution

Question about the relationship: Does the person blame you or others for their life’s setbacks?

Question for you: Do you make them aware of taking responsibility for their decisions that led to their actions?

Taking responsibility for one’s own actions is a personal thing not a couple thing. It’s based on the individual’s personal decisions and choices. I don’t believe in you get what you deserve. You get what you chose. If the person isn’t learning you and vice versa, you are in a relationship with yourself. You’re treating yourself the way you want to be treated and hoping that the other person will in turn do the same for you (on the same/ any level). Not taking responsibility for one’s actions can lead to devaluing the other person. The person isn’t valuing what you do for them because they have relied on others to assist them. While assistance from others is what all of us need from time to time, when that assistance turns into a negative outcome like a life setback, it can be easy to turn that blame on the person who provided the assistance.

Key #3: Equity in the relationship

Question about the relationship: Do you feel like you give more than you receive?

Question for you:  Why do you feel you have to do things?

Often times people don’t fully appreciate the effort, time and planning related to the things that their partner does. I’m not talking about cultivating romance. I’m talking about daily living and functioning. E.g., If you’re preparing dinner for your partner and prior to you they were used to ordering out or restaurants, they became accustomed to someone else preparing their food. Their needs are being met. The time, effort, and planning isn’t part of their equation so it isn’t reciprocated. That differential is what can cause resentment.

When you look back at anything you got that you really wanted, you’ll see that it took significant sacrifice, time, and effort. That’s what made it even more worthwhile. Didn’t you appreciate it? Didn’t you celebrate it? The same rule that applies to things apply to people.

How to get what you want.

Honesty, communication, and respect are what I believe are the foundation for any good relationship, romantic or not. If you want to improve your relationships, you can begin with working on your communication and listening skills. Miscommunication and not being heard quickly becomes anger, resentment, regret or disillusionment.

Tips on communicating and listening:

  1. Don’t assume you know what the point is. Let the person convey what is on their mind before you interject.  When you interject too quickly you are focusing on the previous discussion that was a recycled version of the one you are currently listening to and already expect the outcome to be the same. A fight, resentment, introversion, or accumulated anger is what you are trying to avoid.
  2. Summarize, anticipate, and formulate questions based on what you’re hearing. Strategize by moderating your reaction as the person is talking to you, then respond. The speed in which your thoughts and speech work are two different frequencies. That allots you time to avoid the pitfall of another fight, being misunderstood, or expressing the wrong emotions.
  3. Be flexible in your thinking about the outcome of the discussion. If ultimately you want x, you may have to be able to hear an alternative method.