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?

 

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.

 

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

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 🙂

Want to improve your OKC profile? Christian Rudder tells us how.

I recently had the honor of being a panelist with Christian Rudder, OkCupid‘s co-founder, on HuffPost Live about his new book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking). On http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/christian-rudder-okcupid-cofounder-dataclysm/53da6a2002a760346200058e  , I had a chance to ask Christian the burning question we all want to know: what are some of the reasons that people represent themselves as what they want you to see rather than the real person that will emerge in a relationship?

Christian attributes that to be something that is part of real life and human nature. He also added that the advantages of OKC is that people can meet each other in real life and determine chemistry quickly. I was hoping that he was going to provide stats about the discrepancy and maybe discuss some of the ways their algorithm may refine the process. Darn 🙁 Screenshot 2014-09-12 at 2.46.55 PM

Other highlights from the interview:

*Women search for men closer to their age, while men regardless of their age still seek 22 year olds. Christian attributes that to men still not growing up and that models in magazines are that age. Check out Dr Drew’s take: http://www.hlntv.com/video/2014/09/11/ok-cupid-online-dating-age-women-men-attraction

*50 year old men don’t usually contact 20 year old women for the realities of a higher rejection rate.

*The hot or not feature is not designed to have everyone flocking to the most popular person on the site, it’s designed to give everyone a chance to pair off with what they find most attractive.

*OKC does not manipulate factual data such as age, sexual orientation, they alter minor details like size of photo to help users have better compatibility results based on their desired characteristics.

Check out the full video for more behind the scenes insights on OKC and let me know what you think.  http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/christian-rudder-okcupid-cofounder-dataclysm/53da6a2002a760346200058e  

Really? And that’s why you’re just a dumbass

Say you want to meet someone that has the potential for long-term,  would you write this?

“I think you’re hot. So I’ll lay it all out…

I would like to date someone open to BDSM and some kinky pursuits in a and passionate relationship. I seek a submissive woman who craves a dominant man as a private element to our monogamous relationship. 

Does this appeal to you? Do you want to know more?”

Probably not, right? Ok, so let’s look at the strategy shall we? 🙂 So, this message gets sent out to x amount of women hoping that a fraction of that number responds back to you. And I completely appreciate that you are treating online dating like a job interview. Qualifying candidates to put them on a return call list. Very efficient strategy 🙂 I wonder how many wound up on that return call list?

Want to improve your online dating odds, here’s some tips from a behavioral scientist:

1. Online is hard because you can’t convey the 3-D you. When writing to someone, write as though you are addressing your target audience. The above letter was written by a man trying to appeal to a woman, but sounds like a sales pitch. Don’t write as yourself about what you want only. Be genuine and appeal to the gender you are writing to.  

2. Try to be congruent. If you list that your main relationship option is to find a potential long term relationship but act like you just want a casual encounter; it can be perceived as deceptive. Which will definitely not result in any dates with what you want.

3. Try to be alluring. The main point of the communication and online dating is to go on a date(s). Rather than writing out your life story before meeting, save that for a date! For men trying to attract women, women appreciate you trying to pursue and impress them. It is kind of replicating the real world. For women trying to attract men, men appreciate women that they won’t quickly categorize as having “issues”.

Top 10 things to bring in the New Year & new you!

Happy New Year! Hope your New Year is off to a great start! To help bring in the new you, here are top 10 things you can do:domp

1. Learn from the past, but don’t relive it in the future.

2. People are what they are not what you want them to be.

3. Once you accept someone for what they really are, they will surprise you by being better than what you expected.

4. Forgive yourself for your past sub-optimal decisions.

5. Seek out people that make you a better version of yourself.

6. Follow your gut. Period.

7. Be the type of person you would like to be in a relationship with.

8. Don’t lose yourself while trying to hold onto someone who doesn’t care about losing you.

9. Desperate is not sexy, confidence is.

10. Who you date is a function of your self-esteem.

Are you secretly dating any of these types?

Most relationship failures are related to some unresolved pain caused by someone else that you may have repressed. Most of the time when we are dating we don’t realize that we’re learning more about ourselves. Unexpressed emotions are some of the keys that keep us from finding our ideal partner. However, most of us don’t deal with the source of what caused the pain in past failed relationships which sometimes creates patterns and cycles.  Here are a few of the top unexpressed emotions that delay our happiness.

UNEXPRESSED_EMOTION

Jealousy=Insecurity

Insecurities are created from past experiences that could be from childhood, past relationships, former marriages, any life event that made you feel you were less than what you really are. You then took this definition and began designing yourself around it for years. When you compare yourself to others, you are already working from a deficit perspective and wonder why everyone else seems to get what they want, yet you don’t. The way people remedy that? By controlling factors in other’s lives that they can’t control for in their own lives. It’s easy to constantly look at someone else, talk about what they have and not create it in your own life.

Expectations=Underlying resentment

Resentment occurs because you expected one set of outcomes and go the opposite or worse than what you anticipated. Which is a function of life: things don’t always go the way we planned it or wanted it to be. How do some of us deal with life not turning out the way we want? By creating new expectations :). Expectations becomes a form of defense mechanism to prevent some from experiencing deep seated resentment when things and people fail them.

Anger=Misdirected expression

The expression of anger is usually due to a cumulative of life events that you experienced that you thought were unfair. Usually these past life events and its impact on the person span over decades: childhood trauma, abusive parents, sexual trauma, death of a parent, or disease. How do you resolve being treated unfairly? By treating others unfairly :).  Instead of dealing with what caused the hurt, some find it easier to direct it towards others as a way to resolve their pain.

Codependency=Lack of support

In the case of codependency, the lack of support has to do with not having people around them that understands them. When they do meet someone that understands them and they can share their true selves with, that person becomes their new addiction. It’s created because people want to feel real connection. How do some deal with not cultivating the right people around them? By people pleasing the one’s that let you consistently not grow. People that are codependent usually seek validation, but they ascribe it to the wrong person.

Tis the season

It’s the time of year where everyone and their momma is having holiday parties. There are some parties that you feel you should go to, that you have to go to, and that you need to pre-party before you go to. In the spirit of festivities  my friend and I had to go to all three in one night. Of course adventures are synonymous with holiday parties!xmas

So, we started off at a bar before we went to the obligatory party for alittle pre-party action. As we try to maneuver  through the crowd, two gentleman walk up to us and offer to buy us drinks. This random act of kindness is because one of the gentlemen are celebrating their birthday. Huh of all things. As we listen to them talk about themselves and how great they are, one turns to me and says “so how about my birthday present?”. Of course! The angle was set up  from the very beginning. “So, you go up to random girls and ask them to hang with you on your “birthday”? Do you both get beyond a drink with girls?”. “Well, he’s married and this place’s nickname is whore house.” What? Really? “Is that right? I’m kind of perplexed because a) your wing man is a married guy and b) you’re using the birthday pickup line at a place that is nicknamed whore house.” “You don’t know how hard It is to get women these days.It used to be so much easier it took a drink.” “I get that, but don’t you think it looks kind of bad that you don’t have friends to hang with on your birthday and your trolling around with a married guy? Isn’t that just gonna be pity sex?” “Hey you think I care what it looks like, I just want to get off. Men want to get off. If he’s not getting any at home, he’ll find some girl with daddy issues that will get with him.” Merry Christmas to me! Finally got to understand what men really want! Thank you birthday boy!

So, we head over to the first party: the you should go one. We are there for 15 minutes and some guy comes up to me and starts talking about what he does. I tell him about my blog. Flood gates. He decides to tell me all about his sexual experiences and casually reveals that he’s a sex addict. “Not the I’ve had sex with almost everyone in this room; the Tiger Woods type.” I would imagine he is making a minor distinction about selectivity. I didn’t want to be nosey. 🙂 This is a high brow party afterall. He divulged his escapades and I just nodded. He turns to me and says “hey, do you want to have sex on the balcony?”. I laugh it off and politely tell him no. He tried this all night long with several of my friends. We compared notes.

We go to the next party. As we are ready to leave, a random women approaches us and starts chatting me up. It felt like I was on an interview. She kept peering into my eyes like she was trying to penetrate into my soul. Felt uncomfortable, but thought nothing of it. Then walks in her husband and complains about being sick and not himself. Because if he was himself he would invite us back to his place for a nightcap. Sweet! My evening would have not been complete till I got propositioned by swingers! And the gifts just keep on coming!

All of these adventures in one night! I have 4 more days till Christmas! Can’t wait to see what else Santa has in store for me! Have a great holiday everyone!

Ladies, beware: men are the new women!

Ok, so, when I learned that Spanx, Inc. makes shape wear for men, I couldn’t stop laughing. Not that it’s not a great concept because IT IS! But, that there’s the metrosexual, manscaping, calf implants, and manx! What’s next? Men, enjoy the objectification that women have endured for years! You’re gonna love being told you aren’t good enough and that everything about you has to change.

Let’s begin with examples of our theme: men are the new women. The following list classifies some of the types of new modern man that are seeking someone that can deal with their emotional cycles, insecurities, and rants.

The pity seeker.

This guy chalks his life setbacks and experiences to a series of bad luck. Somehow things don’t pan out for him, yet he doesn’t understand how these things keep happening to him. Watching this guy make attempts that don’t materialize makes it hard to think about a future with him. The draw about this guy is that you really feel for him because you want him to succeed at what he does and these types really want to be a good partner because he wants to please you. The flip-side of that is he likes being a victim in life because he is used to instability in his career, life goals attainment, whatever else he sees as failures. He will be insecure throughout the relationship and when you break up he will seek pity from others by vilifying you.

The jealous types.

This guy is outwardly projecting solid and strength, but internally very insecure. There are a few subtypes within this category.  There’s the overbearing and domineering type that wants your cell phone to review your call and text history because he has deep seated trust issues. Then, there’s the guy who thinks that everyone you encounter wants to be with you and let’s you know about it. He is actually secretly jealous of you because of his inability to deal with his own insecurities and can’t deal with your ability to command your life. He doesn’t see where he fits, so he creates one. Both types seem appealing because initially they both come off as very reliable and loyal. Unfortunately, these types can become abusive.

The socially inept type.

This guy feels very uncomfortable in social settings because they are used to interacting with a computer screen and have lost their ability to interact with humans. In addition to know knowing how to function in social settings, they are also oblivious to social cues and are unable to read human behavior appropriately. These guys usually have an equally inept social circle, if they have one. Initially the draw might be the shyness, but their social awkwardness usually stems from childhood. These guys deal with their emotions via their Facebook walls because that is their support network. This guy will break up with you via text/email.