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 STI/D. 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 STI/D 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.

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.

 

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.

Single on Valentine’s Day? Dr Ruth can fix that!

I recently had the honor of being a panelist with Dr. Ruth on Huff Post Live http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/archive/segment/54dd085d78c90a7445000372! For decades, Dr. Ruth has been offering advice on how to improve our relationships and our sex lives. She is still hilarious and amazing! I asked her to share some tips on how to improve our experience with online dating and she shared her advice. DRR_CS_NR_HPL

1. Don’t give out your address 🙂

2. Don’t share naked pictures. Read: No dick pics

3. Meet in a public place. Either a hotel lobby or laundry mat 🙂 Yes, laundry mat 🙂 She said that’s the new pick-up joint! Head to the laundry mat and start chatting up singles 🙂

She dished out on many topics. What does she think of Fifty Shades of Grey? “Not the best piece of literature.” But, the book helps the world understand that women are aroused by erotica and that women are being empowered to take part in their sexual satisfaction. Read: stop faking orgasms 🙂 

Watch the full segment here: http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/dr-ruth-valentines-day-advice-interview/54b54e7c2b8c2a53190000f3

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day in advance!

 

Want love? Stop doing dumb shit that gets you no one.

“I want tall, dark, and handsome.” So do plenty of other people. “I want barbie who can cook and clean.” Take a #. The problem with approaching online dating this way is that we’re treating profiles like we do our online social networking streams. The shiniest object is what we stop at. We should be efficient and select what we find attractive, but not where it discounts good candidates. Perception is an illusion. You know why? Because #1 person we lie to is ourselves.

We’re living in a self-absorbedie culture. Attraction is the first cut for dating. Are we trying to stand out? Yes. Do we have to go to extremes to stand out?

Let’s find out:

How many selfies do you take? How many final photos are filtered? A study found that women spend 753 hours on taking selfies and that includes filtering photos. Are these the photos that make it to an online dating profile? Yes. What’s the #1 complaint of online dating that I hear? That people don’t look like their pics! For men, posting selfies has been linked to having narcissistic traits. Not rocket science. It was also linked to self-objectification. Should men pose with tigers? WTF? [Not even lying! Check it out: TNDRGWTPhoto and article courtesy of Diamond Coleman at BuzzFeed] Is that upping sexy? Are men discounting other qualities like their accomplishments, drive, honesty, so that they could beat the guy above or below them?

Here’s what you can do:

Use an accurate photo. Men: No one wants to think they are meeting with a Brad Pitt look-a-like to find Mr Magoo showing up. Women: Most of the time we look better in real life. If the wrinkles bother you that bad, Botox not airbrush.

Online dating shouldn’t be a competition with the person above or below you. You’re looking for a specific set of qualities that compliment you. So is the person above or below you. At the end, you will get what you want and so will they.

Stop being a persona. Be you. Not the guy/girl you think women/men want to respond to. Women get too many messages from “undesirable guys” while men send hundreds of messages in order to get a response. One of the draws to online dating is efficiency. Filtering through hundreds of profiles from people who don’t fit your search criteria and spamming everyone is not efficient.

 

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?

 

Top 3 things to help get over an ex.

Dealing with a break-up, separation or divorce is often difficult. Here are a few things that can help you cope with the break-up, separation or divorce.

1. Try to refrain from highlighting negative things about your ex. Simply because it disrespects you. Afterall, you were in the relationship with the person. When you re-tell events or character flaws, the person listening will wonder why you were in the relationship to begin with. Utilize your discussions to be about rebuilding yourself and not diminishing the other person because that doesn’t improve your sense of self. It may feel good in the short-term, but not long-term.

breakup 2. Cultivate a network of support that has diverse perspectives. That way you will have different outlets to express the range of your emotions.  Especially when dealing with divorce where you can experience anger, resentment, and loss all in the same breath.

3. Forgive yourself. The only thing you did was try to show someone love and cultivate a life for you both. Allow yourself to feel the pain and unburden yourself of what was your former life. All you did was demonstrate that you have the capacity to love and build a life for yourself. You can do it again.

Thanks to a great relationship wellness panel discussion by The Law Firm of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C.

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”.

What they don’t tell you about online dating: the mathematics of love.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 relationships start online and predicted that 70% will use online dating services in the future. The current reality of online dating:

onldstingdodontexcel

 

Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, your happiness hypothesis, your own personalized algorithm that 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.