Tag: dating

Don’t Flip the Switch

Don’t Flip the Switch

In the latest Dr. NerdLove podcasthe gives a great breakdown covering speaking apprehension in dating (i.e. when the girl is really hot). Great listen. Highly recommend. It helped rekindle some thoughts I’ve sat on for awhile, so this post is finally happening in part to Dr. NerdLove.

Have you ever been starstruck?

I’m going to define “starstruck” as that moment when you’re at a loss for words because you’re so wowed.

Being starstruck is kind of crazy. Your jaw might drop. You might stutter. But it’s unlikely you’ll run into traffic to grab a selfie when you’re starstruck. You can think of it as a type of fandom, but more crippling than erratic.

And the crazy thing is we like that feeling. In fact, a lot of us come to expect it.

In the dating world, we’re looking for that person to take our breath away. We want to feel butterflies in the stomach. We want to get floored. It’s a weird, but hypnotic kind of experience.

It is fun. Just… don’t buy too much into the hype. That sort of “chemistry” is a terrible way to gauge your actual connection with a person. Plus, it makes it harder to actually connect.

I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve seen it happen to plenty of friends: when they’re with their buds, they’re cool. Really cool. There was one friend in Japan who looked like he ought to be on TV, so I was surprised to hear he had a hard time getting a girlfriend. And then, I saw how her interacted with the opposite sex.

He changed into a completely different person.

Some people become a doofus (i.e. get starstruck). Others go to the other extreme and get unnecessarily vulgar. Said friend suddenly only wanted to talk about sex. He didn’t have any finesse. He wasn’t having a conversation anymore. It was like he was just slapping the topic around.

And, it was such a strange switch. With his friends he was smooth. Which was the real persona? If he could’ve kept the calm and collectedness held then, and carry that to the dating context, I had no doubt he’d be successful.

But he chose to flip the switch. Or who knows, maybe it’s subconscious. Even if that’s the case, I think it’s a part of human nature that can be trained and conditioned.

To sidestep the dating talk for a moment, people unnecessarily flip the switch in other environments too. Take an interview for example. Sure, there’s a certain amount of prep that needs to be done. If you’re kind of a slob, you’ll want to clean up and raise the air of professionalism. But too often we overthink it, and we handle the conversation in a way that doesn’t sound like our normal self at all.

We turn it into something bigger than it is. Yes, there might be higher stakes (i.e. income, bills to pay, etc.) but you can’t bring that baggage into the interview.

Just like you can’t bring the baggage of finding your soulmate, happiness, or whatever when you’re talking to the opposite sex. You can definitely be hopeful. Feel free to indulge the fantasy (that’s always the fun part). It’s just that in the moment, you don’t know. You can’t know. And the path to being in the know takes a calm, cool conversation. Real talk. Making a real connection.

And you can’t do any of that if you’re being a starstruck doofus.

Ruthless Love: God’s Plan

Ruthless Love: God’s Plan

I’ve talked about living in the South as an Asian guy, but I don’t think I’ve ever focused solely on the “Bible Belt” aspect– especially when it comes to dating.

Religion embeds itself in the speech down in Arkansas. You get a whole variety of different reactionary phrases:

  • Good heavens!
  • Bless her heart.
  • I’ll be praying for you. (“Thoughts and prayers” probably being the most infamous variation of the bunch)

And for each one of those phrases, I feel like “I get it”. But there’s one context where I think adding God into the mix is just pouring salt on a wound: rejection.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways” is basically “everything happens for a reason”. But for the faithful, you have to believe “It’s all according to God’s plan”.

Maybe it is.

And if some things are part of his plan, sometimes there’s things that aren’t.

Maybe that’s true.

But you better believe, “You’re not part of God’s plan for me” is never going to be the right sort of phrase to pass on to someone.


Love is NOT…

Love is NOT…

All right! I’m doing it– the blogging thing. After starting the year strong with the mantra of New Year, New Story, let’s get to exploring love itself. Just in time for Valentine’s!

I thought about adding to my list of Lessons from Dating, but I think the best way to approach this topic is to focus on the misconceptions of love. We might all want to know what love is, but let’s tackle what love isn’t.

1. Love is NOT not ever having to say you’re sorry. 

On a podcast years ago, I was talking about that famous line from the movie Love Story: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” My friend Sam called that line on its bullshit because, yeah, when the need arises you should apologize.

So why has this quote carried on throughout the years? Part of it has to be that soundtrack. The other part has to be the idealized want of forgiveness (i.e. our love is so strong that they’ll always forgive me, and if they always forgive me, I don’t need to say sorry).

Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you can skimp out on the apology, but you should be wary of two things. First, don’t give an asshole apology where you blame the other person for taking offense or getting the feelings hurt. You need to be able to own up to your mistakes. Second, don’t make it all about the apology. Some people think “I’m sorry” are two magical words that can fix everything. Those words are a step in the right direction, but saying “I’m sorry” all day/everyday without any follow through won’t mean much.

And yet, I see people repeat those words like a broken record….

2. Love is NOT completion.

We hear it all the time. Barry Manilow lied to us. Bryan Adams lied to us. 98 Degrees too. Your significant other shouldn’t be the reason you live your life.

Can a girlfriend/boyfriend be a huge part of your life? Absolutely. Should a spouse enrich your life– most definitely. But I know I’m fighting against a lot of words and phrases that’ve become embedded in our speech.

“What? You want to tell me my wife doesn’t complete me? Fuck you, Jon!”

I’m not trying to take away from anyone who feels they have something special. It’s just that if you spend your whole life searching someone to make you whole, that means you live a good portion of your life thinking you’re incomplete. You carry the mindset that you’re not good enough.

And not only is that no way to live, it’ll also skew the dynamic of how the relationship plays out. What might seem romantic becomes a reality of neediness and over-dependence. And in turn, being the “everything” for someone else is a lot of pressure to bear.

Getting hold of your “other half” might also be disappointing because you’ll learn that…

3. Love is NOT enough.

Damn it, Beatles! Who hasn’t been conditioned to think “All You Need is Love”? This point really hammers in the idolized love that so many people deem romantic. But don’t ya know? Love don’t fix a headache. Love don’t stop a ticket. Love don’t pay the bills.

I always think about brides who say their wedding day was the best day of their lives. That sort of sentiment always makes me sad because after that day, then what? It all goes downhill? You see the same thing crop up when people get nostalgic about high school.

Life without love might be bleak, but love isn’t a magic cure. Just like the apology scenario we covered above, you need the follow through. There needs to be something else– something more to it. And it’s not that you need to work harder or have to kill yourself by putting more into the relationship! Don’t make it all about love.

Actions without love might be bad, but love without action is worse.

I don’t quite know how to transition to that thought, but I’m going to take a gamble and believe in myself for doing just enough set up. Go on and tweet that.


Do you or someone you know struggle with keeping a realistic hold of self-value when it comes to love? Schedule a free consultation by calling 617-870-3615.

New Year, New Story

New Year, New Story

I know a lot of people detest New Year’s Resolutions because so many of them are done on a whim. Most resolutions are handled with wishful thinking and end up with piss poor results.

That’s a sad truth, but I totally support the chance to re-write your life story. The new year is an opportunity start a new narrative. I just wish people would utilize that enthusiasm on a day to day basis instead of waiting until January. But since it’s here, why wouldn’t you make use of it?

I want to remind people: nothing is more important than the story you tell yourself.

The way we reflect on our experiences and memories can empower us or break us down. Once you’re aware of self-communication, you can cut the crap. You’ll strengthen not only your speaking but life as a whole.

My Failure in Self-Communication

Before I made fitness a staple part of my life, here’s the stories I would tell myself:

  1. Finding someone to love me for me is a top priority.
  2. Once I find that person, I’m set for life.

Some of you are reading that and wonder what’s the problem. To some, those stories are perceived as romantic. That’s definitely what I thought at the time.

These days I don’t look back at those words so lovingly. Then again, I’ve been told I’m not that much of a romantic either. If you note the term “hopeless romantic”, are you able to recognize the problem of labeling yourself that way?

It’s the very word “hopeless”. You’re resigning yourself to the idea that things aren’t supposed to work out. These concepts of romance have a lot of problems.

Back then I wasn’t completely pessimistic and self-loathing, but another problem that stems from my story is lack of self-worth. When you tell yourself that someone else is supposed to be the priority in your life– that means you are, by default, incomplete. That way of thinking diminishes any achievements you make on your own as “not really success”.

I became desperate and needy in finding that fulfillment.

If you decide that you need a specific situation to happen in order to be happy, your happiness will become a slave to…

Posted by Kyle Cease on Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In my sophomore year of college, I would find someone who matched the needs of my narrative.

That Reality of That Relationship

When I finally got into that relationship, I actually became more needy, not less. I think when you hype up someone to be your everything, then your brain goes into thinking that person has to always be around.

The logic becomes “without them, I am nothing”.

I definitely didn’t want to be nothing. I wanted to be something grand. I did work hard at some things, but I would just attribute any achievements to the relationship. I still failed to build any self-worth.

Making someone else your everything just isn’t natural. You’ll try too hard to keep up a sense of “happily together”. It’s like going to a movie theater. Yeah, it’s rude to be loud and disruptive by talking to a friend. But, a person who’s trying so hard to police even the slightest sense of disorder can also ruin the experience.

Being uptight is neither cool nor sexy.


The Truth Behind My Words

Lots of problems as you can see, but here are the two major ones.

First, the reality of “finding someone to love me for me” didn’t make me feel fulfilled. It made me lazy and complacent. I used the cover of “having someone appreciate me in the moment” to mean “since I have someone to put with my shit, I don’t have to do anything anymore”. In essence, I stopped taking care of myself. That’s how I gained weight.

Second, thinking I’d be “set for life” didn’t really make me happy. At the time I was kidding myself, but the truth was it made me scared to lose it. Being needy, uptight, and afraid is neither cool nor sexy.

That relationship didn’t work out (for the better, thankfully). And for the immediate aftermath it became too easy to frame the narrative like this:

  • You’re so stupid
  • You should’ve known better
  • What were you thinking?
  • How could you let this happen?

If I kept up with those stories, I’m not sure who or where I’d be today. I had someone who was very adamant in setting me straight: “Isn’t it time you took care of yourself?”

I hope that 2016 can be the year that the sentiment “I’m doing all I can to take care of myself” rings true for you.

Do you or someone you know struggle with this conflict of self-communication? Schedule a free consultation by calling 617-870-3615.

If you need more tips and tricks to get your fitness back on track, be sure to check out the Architects of Aesthetics for more information.

#FullDisclosureFriday the New Year’s in 2010 was a really rough start for me. The super indecisive girl I’d been dating…

Posted by Jonathan Dao on Friday, January 1, 2016