The Dating Vector: People Are The New Vanishing Point

Andreas Joachim Lins

“So, I’ve been dealing with a breadcrumber for a year. The usual: endless phone and video chats, stalking each other on social. Then there’s talk of a date-that never happens! Then he reappears with the random “like” on IG, “hey, WYD?” Whatsapp message, giving me false hope that maybe he’s not an asshole and IS going to make date plans. He reads my messages, but no reply. EVER.” Monica*, 22, European Blogger.

Thought breadcrumbing was just happening to millennials or just Americans? Not according to my latest research! It’s happening for Millennials and GenXers across the globe to both men and women. Many are experiencing it, but don’t know there is a term for it. Regardless of the term, the experience alone should trigger red flags.

Here’s the backstory: Kelly met Jake a year ago, right after he left the mother of his children. Red flag #1. They were on and off, for about 3 months and then he hooked up with his former baby momma and she got pregnant, again. Red flag #2. Fast forward to now, he has been living with the baby momma and two kids, but has reached out to Kelly to rekindle things. Red flag #3. All the while, Kelly is breadcrumbing LaMar who seems like the ideal guy for her. “Kelly openly told me she should try to build something with me instead of going with this guy, but for some reason she is still pressed on the guy.” LaMar, 29, American Programmer.

Supposedly LaMar is a “great role model, a fantastic supporter, a great friend, a great lover, and a great husband”. Yet, she has been balancing both men on and off for about a year now. Red flag #4.

Par for the course in your 20s, it is what social scientists call your “defining decade”. It is the time in life that you establish your career, love life, and your philosophy about the world. In your 40s, you’ve modified some of the ways you dealt with those definitions based on life’s challenges. You are better at calculating risk and measuring volatility when it comes to your sense of sanity. Long gone are the days of spending years in unfulfilling jobs or relationships. Or is it?

Deb Davis, 48, an American Healthcare Professional, explains “I connected with this man who I had known met for “coffee” and spent 5 1/2 hours in a coffee shop. I had a message everyday first thing in the morning. The chemistry was something I had not experienced since I had fallen in love for the first time with my daughter’s father. And then nothing!”

We are just looking to connect with one person that isn’t about games. Does breadcrumbing shaming have any impact on your future dating? Not according to Davis, “He told me my first breadcrumber did what he did “because he didn’t care”! Well, WTF a man who wooed me, showed me love, and said “I love you” and then never responded to me again! I think it’s safe to say he did that because “he didn’t care”.”

“For the last 7 years, these 2 guys that I briefly dated (at separate times) have always stayed in touch— they will like some posts on FB or send me messages for valentines’ day, my bday, or xmas. Whatever they say to you, I think they just like to have their ego stroked by having me respond, even if it’s just a polite response. I’’m not mad at either one, so I have not told them to lose my number, but it is very clear to me what they are doing: bread crumbing.” Melissa, 42, American Lawyer.

For many, people hold onto the hope of people not being the assholes they really are. How does breadcrumbing make you feel?

“I’m not so much hurt by it, but 1) I’m curious and wondering if he’s okay (I always viewed him as a friend) and 2) there’s a tiny part of me that assumes he found someone just a little skinnier, just a little prettier. That nagging low self-esteem creeps into the back of my subconscious as much as I try to push it away.” explains Hayley Nesbitt, 26, Canadian author of relationship blog 50 Shades of Tinder.

We’re connecting, not committing. We are only broadcasting the positive aspects of our lives on social media-the highlight reels. If we only broadcast the “look at me”, are we able to deal with the side of rejection, detachment, and non-commitment? In life, you don’t always only get highlight reels. Who is by your side when the non-highlight reel moments occur in life? The drama queen? Baby daddy? 4th dude on tindr? The truth is that breadcrumbers don’t really want to be in a relationship. The idea of one is different than having to really function in one.

In reality, all of these dating trends adds another dimension to an already fractured relationship. “It was a tumultuous relationship to begin with, I just ignored the red flags. There will always be a shadow.” says Phillip, 32, IT Executive.

What should we do to cope?

“I hold out no hope that anything will ever be re-kindled with either one of these guys. If their messages bothered me, I would honestly just delete them from FB or block their numbers. That is the advice I would give to anyone that is upset by this tactic.” Melissa, 42, American Lawyer.

Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, Your Happiness Hypothesis, your personal algorithm that can help minimize some of our own expectations. Create an equation or a list that includes the elements that you absolutely require and the elements that you think you want. Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires. 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 and not have to rely on someone else’s BS.

Breadcrumbs=carbs! It’s McDonald’s! Run, don’t, walk.

“No-one who loves you would do this to you. Therein lies the only solace you’re going to get: Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who knowingly causes you this much pain or disrespect?” says David, 44, Finance Executive. 

 

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.

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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?

 

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.

Is there a science to love?

HPLSJCS_62414I recently had the honor of participating on HuffPost Live’s segment “How We Can Understand Love Through Science” with Dr. Sue Johnson. Dr. Johnson’s book, Love Sense, is a result of her groundbreaking research on our emotional bonds and attachment styles. Love Sense “presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”–our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival.” -Little, Brown and Company

Dr. Johnson says that she wrote this book as both a guide and a warning. Tune in to hear about her views on sex, dating, love, and the impact social media plays on our relationships. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/third-metric-thrive-on-live-love-sense-dr-sue-johnson/5363f31f02a7604eae00045c She’s concerned about our relationships in the age of technology because “it is making people lonelier and more isolated”. I asked her what her thoughts were on online dating and why single women are having difficulty finding sincere men. I see it as a function of online dating. We treat online dating like we do our social media streams and select only the images that stand out to us. Is it related to a faulty attachment style? Tune in to hear Dr. Johnson’s take.

What do you think? Are we selecting people based on superficial qualities and discounting other factors? Do you think online dating makes it easier to run game? What frustrates you the most about online dating?

 

What people don’t tell you about dating the wrong types.

When you’re dating down, you aren’t always aware that you are doing it. I came up with an inventory to help you identify some of the red flags on Stop dating down! If you are doing 4 or more of these things, chances are you are settling in your relationship. Once you realize this is a feature of your relationships, then you can see if this yields a pattern in your life.

So, let’s begin by talking about the types of thinking that occurs, then we’ll talk about what occurs as a result.

Type 1: I know that s/he isn’t xyz, but they possess abc.cheating

Type 2: I know that s/he isn’t what I normally date, but I was unsuccessful with my past types.

Both types create a false sense of intimacy, hope, trust, and disillusionment in the relationship. If you are lying to yourself in the relationship, it’s easy to disillusion yourself about the realities of the relationship. In addition to decreasing your standards, you are changing your tolerance level of other people’s lies they tell themselves and you accepting it as your reality (their bullshit).

Which invariably creates Type 3: I’m getting a shot at someone I normally wouldn’t have a shot with and this is great!  

This is creating a false sense of hope in someone else and they will apply that to their next relationship. Type 3 will pursue people that they probably wouldn’t ever approach because they have this new inflated self-esteem. While the person who has admitted to dating down, has a diminished self-esteem.

 

Wow! I’m on a Times Square Jumbotron, baby!

Happy International Women’s Day and Month!

As a women of color and scientist, it is incredibly exciting for me to see the technological and scientific advances in society and to see so many women who want to pursue a career in STEM. Please encourage, support, or mentor women in “non-traditional” careers till we no longer call it nontraditional.

If anyone would have asked medo you think you will be on a Times Square jumbotron and sharing techniques that you developed on open public platforms?” 

PRN-CONNECTCHAT-CLARISSA-SILVA-ts-ts.20140305154053

I was recently honored to participate to on a twitter chat with PRNewswire ProfNet hashtag #connectchat about the strategies I created for my blog, http://yourejustadumbass.com. If you’d like to learn strategies, you can access the recap article here:  http://www.profnetconnect.com/popelbaum/blog/2014/03/05/how_to_keep_your_blog_readers_engaged

Thank you to all who support the advancement of women in STEM, entrepreneurship, and enterprise.

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.

Wow! Christmas came early this year: Blog of the Year 2013!

What a true honor of being nominated for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award from one of my favorite bloggers, http://ljoysharkey.wordpress.com! Who is an amazingly gifted writer. When you can check out her Dear Diary and her Rants & Raves section, both will have you entertained and in awe of her writing styles. Thank you for sharing your life and talent with us!

blog2013

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1. Select another blog(s) who deserve the award;
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award;
  3. Include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2013’ Award and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2013’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

This is in no ranked order. I admire and am inspired by them all equally. The list of my nominees are:

http://ljoysharkey.wordpress.com/

http://contactrida.wordpress.com/

relationshipreinvented.com

http://dontspeaksing.wordpress.com

http://chinupchesthigh.wordpress.com/

http://rainbowsprout.wordpress.com/

http://kristinarenae.wordpress.com/

http://mywonderyear.com/

http://davidtalks13.wordpress.com/

http://zaphanathpaneah17.wordpress.com/

http://huedunorthodoxy.wordpress.com/

http://theothersideofugly.com/

http://robertmudge.net/

http://bonnevivantelife.wordpress.com/

Why women should be more like men

Ladies, we have to be more like men. Let me tell you why. I’m commuting to work, minding my own business and trying to get some work done. When all of a sudden a random guy sits next to me & starts chatting me up. I tried to be as polite as I could be as he started telling me his whole career life story, so I buried my head in my work. I didn’t really want to get caught up in someone’s issues of self-importance.

He didn’t pick up on any of my social cues or didn’t care, so I continued to not give him any eye contact while he kept talking 🙂 Occasionally, he would stop talking and I thought he would stop. No, meant nothing to him. He kept on new topics 🙂 Finally, his stop comes up and he’s getting off the train. And that’s where the real comedy starts! He extends out a piece of paper and says to me “I’d like to give you my number because you are the type of person that I’d like to take on a date.” WTF?!?! How the fuck did you ascertain that? Wow! Unbelievable! 

“No, thanks I’m seeing somebody.”

“Oh that doesn’t matter to me!” Now, that answer made sense because he didn’t care that he was talking to himself for the entire ride! 

“Yet, it matters to me!”

Let me give you an even more ridiculous story. I’m at the supermarket checkout counter when a random guy all disheveled with a smell on him that I couldn’t even determine and is adjusting the front of his pants at his belt buckle.

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Right-the kind of guy your mom tells you to marry 🙂 He turns to me and says “Hi! How are you?” with his shirt tail tucked out and this weird smell! I say the obligatory don’t-want-you-to-become-mental-on-me-if-I-don’t-acknowledge-you “Good, you?” He turns to me throws his suit jacket over his shoulder and says “Better for seeing you!!!! Again, wtf?!?!

So, I told you these stories to tell you this: what would happen if women acted more like men. Of course I gave you the most extreme cases (I just wanted to share the comedy), but at the end of the day men pursue what they want. They don’t say to themselves: I’m not pretty enough, I’m not at the sexiest at the moment, I put on some weight, or whatever else that would stop them from trying to get what they want.

Flirt, start up chit chat, give someone eye signals across the room or have a wing person that will engage the person for you. Chatty Kathy and Stinky try this same method till someone takes the bait. Don’t let Chatty Kathy and Stinky think that it works 🙂

Who you date is a function of your self-esteem

I have heard many clients throughout the years tell me that they can’t date someone that they really like because they are out of their league. I’m here to tell you that does not exist. You attract what you think you are worth.

When you are dating you are seeking people that you can relate to, that you admire, that you trust, that you can work collectively with to reach your common goals. In a sense it should be an extension of what you are and someone who enjoys you for who you are and what you will become. After all, you’re trying to find someone that compliments you and that makes you a better version of yourself. How can that occur if you’re working from a deficit from the very beginning? You’re already working against yourself because you’re concealing your insecurities. You’re not challenging your insecurities because the person isn’t helping you realize your fully actualized self. “Dating in your league” means it’s someone that you feel won’t challenge some of the pain you’ve experienced. You are hoping that you can avoid experiencing similar pain, but endure different pain. You just found someone that will keep you living at 70%.

The answer to why you will see a couple that you think “how did they get together” and “why can’t I get that”? Self-esteem! One or both of them abandoned the idea that they can’t attract what they really desire. What you desire is what you should pursue. Not the other way around. If you have a list, make sure you figured out what you want vs. what you need. Ask yourself if it’s based on characteristics vs not getting hurt. Sometimes you replace familiar hurt with new hurt.

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