Julie and Yue are smart, caring and intrepid explorers of the landscape of today’s dating world. In this episode, they share their most moving dating stories, their best advice, and the most essential challenges facing daters today. This was an incredible conversation – I hope you enjoy it!
One Thousand And One Tales of Dating: Yue and Julie of The Dateable Podcast
Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick are the hosts of the Dateable Podcast, one of the top podcasts on love, sex, and dating. And in this episode, they’re going to reflect on the most important insights, the most notable trends, and the most memorable stories from their years of thoughtful work, right in the trenches of modern dating. Stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast.
Hi, I’m Ken Page. Welcome to Deeper Dating. Today, I’m going to talk about why the number of single people keeps growing even with the wild proliferation of new ways to meet. I’m gonna talk about why so much dating advice actually stirs us away from healthy love instead of toward it.
And I’m gonna talk about four keys to the wiser path to love. Four changes that you can make that will profoundly affect your ability to find and keep healthy love. And you can read more about this at our show notes at deeperdatingpodcast.com
Ken: So Yue and Julie of the Dateable Podcast. I’m so thrilled to have you here.
Yue: Thanks for having us, Ken.
Julie: Yeah. We’re excited, too.
Ken: I was on one of your earlier episodes in Season Nine and had a really good time there. I just love what you do. I love the intelligence, the thoughtfulness, the edginess, the kind of curiosity, the spirit of curiosity that you enter into this with, and all of the amazing stories and ideas and insights and thoughts that get generated on your podcast.
Julie: Thank you. People loved your episode, too. It was definitely one of our crowd favorites.
A Virtual Walk-Through to a Museum of Ideas With the Dateable Podcast Hosts
Yue: We definitely have mutual love with you. I just want to promote you for one quick second. You were on Season Nine, Episode Six in an episode called Deeper Dating with Ken Page. For anyone interested, Ken Page is amazing.
Julie: People saying like, “That was the most enlightened conversation I’ve heard in a while.” It was awesome.
Ken: That makes me feel great. That makes me feel great. I’m so excited to dive in today because I feel like there’s this social distancing resource available now, which was probably available before but it’s visiting museums all over the world via the internet.
Ken: I feel like in your years of curating the most amazing episodes and hearing so many stories from the frontline of dating and then working with them in thoughtful ways, tips, inside stories, that it’s like almost like a virtual walk-through a museum of ideas that are really important.
Ken: So I am thrilled to walk down the halls of this museum with you and I have a whole bunch of questions that I think can highlight some of those things.
Yue: I love that visual. I’m just thinking about walking through a museum about dating and seeing all the artifacts of the ways people used to date back in the day.
Ken: Right. It’s true. It’s true. I remember Marianne Williamson was giving a talk once and she said that she was in a museum and she was looking at a painting of St. Sebastian with all these arrows through his body. She said, like, “What does this represent? What’s the artist trying to capture?”
The Dateable Podcast Hosts Introduce Zumping
Ken: Then she just said, “I get it. It’s dating.” I’d love to hear from each of you, well, I have a whole bunch of different questions but here’s one question that I want to ask is what is standing out for people that you talk to these days the most?
Yue: These days as in the time of Coronavirus, Ken? Or these days as in 2020?
Ken: Both good questions. I guess the answers would be really different so let’s go with both.
Yue: With both?
Julie: You can do pre, post world.
Yue: That’s really good. I really believe that when it comes to modern dating, this is with or without Coronavirus, that I think there are a lot of blurred gender lines which is one of the main themes that we’ve been seeing. And because of the blurred gender lines, I think there’s been a lot of confusion on what is expected of your potential suitors.
Yue: That’s what creates a lot of the miscommunication or even these dating terms that keep coming up like ghosting and breadcrumbing. But today, we learned a new dating term called zumping which is dumping over Zoom.
Ken: Oh my God. The first time you heard it, folks. First time I heard it.
Julie: We had a debate on our Facebook group. It’s like, “Is it better to be zumped or ghosted?” I think overall they decided zumped is better. Especially with Coronavirus, you’re not left hanging if someone is ill or something like that. It’s just clear that they do not want to be with you.
Ken Paige: Oh, good point.
Yue: Julie, I’m sure you have a lot of the learnings too for just modern dating in general.
Julie: Yes. I think before maybe let’s stick with the pre-Coronavirus theme first and then we’ll both go into post. I think the biggest thing that stands out for me is that anything goes this day and age. I think in past generations, there was a very clear path that people took. It was like, find a relationship that’s monogamous, get married, have children.
Julie: There was one linear path for the majority. I think what’s been happening in modern dating is that we are given the ability to create the relationships we want and people are really starting to question a lot of those norms especially because our generation is the byproduct of divorce.
Julie: I think we’ve seen relationships that haven’t gone well under that pre-notion of it must go a certain way. So people have been really exploring different avenues, whether that’s like polyamory or being pansexual, or whatever it might be, it’s really people are not afraid to go out and experiment.
Julie: I think that’s actually something that’s really wonderful about our generation. But also it’s a challenge because I think there’s just so many options and sometimes people get confused. It’s actually not a bad thing if you’re confused because we’ve seen people on our podcast that are like, “Okay. I haven’t had a great …”
Julie: There’s one woman that’s standing out for me, that’s like, “I haven’t had great experiences with men. I’m going to try dating a couple. I’m going to try opening my bumble to women and just see what happens.”
Crossing the Tripwires of Taboo
Julie: She actually found love with a woman and explored other sides of herself and then realized full circle that she actually really was attracted to men. I think that that could sound confused to some people but I think it’s really just getting the space to explore yourself and modern dating allows us to do that.
Ken: So interesting. The things that each of you said really are connected because you’re kind of crossing these tripwires of taboo and entering into a new space, which is both wonderful and scary and also really confusing. Yes, just thinking about both of those parts, it’s easy to get scared, right?
Ken: It’s easy to want to venture into something new like, “I’m attracted to this person, I’m attracted to this situation but that doesn’t fit in with what feels like home or safe to me, but I want to go ahead with it.”
Ken: But then the fear comes up, the confusion comes up. What do people tend to do with that in each of those arenas that you both describe, the shape and the form of a relationship, but also gender identity stuff?
Ken: I just got to take one minute and say that I am constantly tortured by relationship teachers who say, “Men, you have to be alpha men.” Or, “Women, don’t forget your femininity. You can’t let go of your femininity, or you won’t find your alpha guy.” Just it’s agony. I think that happens less for younger folks.
The Dateable Podcast Explores a Room Full of Naked Art
Yue: I think to relate back to your museum analogy, Ken, is I think what people are feeling right now is that they’re going through a museum and they’re taking this map that their ancestors have passed, and said, “You should follow this path in this museum to get to the exit or whatever the Nirvana is.”
Yue: Everyone’s ripping up these maps thinking, “Okay. I don’t want to take that path because I don’t believe that that’s where the route I should take.” But what’s it’s causing is that they don’t know where to go next, “Which room should I explore next? What art should I look at next?”
Yue: What everyone’s doing is they’re just throwing themselves into rooms of art and to just see how I feel. It could be like a room full of naked art. “How does this make me feel right now?”
Yue: A room full of biblical art, “How does this make me feel right now?” I think what’s happening right now, especially during time of quarantine, is that people are trying to digest and analyze how they’re feeling.
Yue: I think daters, for so many years, have just try to experiment and go into these different paths. But now’s the time, their quiet time to say, “How did these rooms really make me feel? Then what is my next step?”
Julie: I think that’s so dead-on because I think that is the challenge with all this, is that there’s analysis paralysis that you basically just don’t do anything.
Julie of the Dateable Podcast Says Dive in and Take the Plunge
Julie: We talked to another author that basically was saying how a lot of times people would say they want relationships, but because they weren’t in the right place financially or they hadn’t explored their career to the maximum yet or they weren’t fully the person they wanted to be or they didn’t do whatever they’re trying to get to the next level.
Julie: But the problem with that is, you’re never 100%. So it’s when do you just take the chance and dive in with someone and evolve together versus taking that time to figure it out on your own and waiting for that perfect moment that’s just never going to come?
Julie: I think that’s been the challenge for people is overcoming all these options, all the self-reflection and just making moves like we’ve talked about. The only way to really understand relationships is to get into relationships and that could be like a month relationship, a three-month relationship.
Julie: It doesn’t need to be years and years. That’s the best way to really understand what you want, opposed to just getting into this decision-making mode that doesn’t go anywhere.
Ken: Yes, there’s so much in this. It’s making me think of a million things but one thing it’s making me think of is the vulnerability of the person who is in that new room already and then gets a newbie who’s frightened.
Ken: It makes me think of gay men having a relationship with a newly out gay man or a gay woman. Especially if that other person comes from a religious tradition that claws at them and grabs at them in terms of guilt and all of that.
Yue of the Dateable Podcast Talks About Taking Risks in Love
Ken: I remember a gay male friend of mine, we were just hanging out in his room and he said, “Okay. I’m lying on this bed and everyone has to start out in the closet. When they’re ready to come out and make the decision to fully come out, then they could join me in bed, but not until then.” He had been so disappointed so many times.
Ken: So yes, there’s a little bit of a risk for that person who’s kind of, I guess there’s really a risk for both. There’s a risk for the person taking the new step and there’s a risk for the person who’s done that already. That kind of risk is beautiful, in a way. It’s scary but it’s wonderful.
Ken: And we know that risk sparks Eros. That Eros is a spark that needs to jump a gap. There’s something sexy about taking risks.
Yue: Yes, if you think about it, our approach to romance and love lives are kind of trailing behind how we approach life in general. Because I think if you look at millennials and younger generations, they are motivated to try non-traditional lifestyles, they’re motivated to not have a career and they’re motivated to not possess and own things.
Yue: Yet when it comes to their love lives, it’s a little bit delayed. I think now it’s catching up where I think people are thinking in that manner of, “Okay. How do I take risks in my love life and how do I think in a non-traditional way without imposing all these expectations from society or my ancestors,” whatever it may be.
The Dateable Podcast Shares the Biggest Challenge That People Face
Yue: I think we are getting to that tipping point of everyone wanting to make these decisions and take the risk. They just don’t know how, it’s just they’re missing the tools.
Julie: I think that’s a really good point. Because I think to our conversation just a few minutes ago of like, “How much self-analysis do you do versus take action?” I don’t think it’s one or the other. I think that you do need to actually get in touch with yourself and I think there’s a mistake people make of just dating over and over again, and never taking time to self-reflect either.
Julie: We always talk about the importance of therapy and getting to the root of what you’re really looking for in life and all that. But I think you have to balance that with also being willing to be vulnerable and get hurt and take those chances.
Julie: I think that’s maybe the silver bullet is how do you get to a place that you’re feeling self-confident enough and that you don’t need a partner but you’re willing to make room for someone and really take a risk with it.
Julie: Because what we see, and I think this is maybe the biggest challenge that people face, is that everyone wants to just be half in. They never want to admit that they had a great time or tell that person that this was such a great date or they really like them or whatever. They’re always just trying to play it cool. Like, “I could take it or leave it.”
The “Love Is Blind Experiment” From the Dateable Podcast
Julie: We actually just did a Love is Blind Experiment on our podcast and we saw with both of the people that ended up going on a date is they basically were like, “It was good. I would see them again. But if it doesn’t work out, I won’t be devastated.”
Julie: I actually think that approach might be the most dangerous because it just puts you in this middle limbo, that you’re not taking a chance either way.
Ken: I love that.
Yue: We also talked about this on your episode, Ken, when we had you on. For some reason, we’re in this competition to show the least interest in the other person. Whoever shows the least interest wins somehow. That’s just baffling to me because that’s not how relationships work.
Julie: I blame bad dating books for that. There was that, “Why Men Love Bitches,” or whatever that would teach you to do exactly what you just said, Yue. So I think there’s that ingrainment.
Julie: Especially in people that are crossing that maybe elder millennial line of like of the new way of thinking and the old way of thinking. I think a lot of us struggle with, “Should I play these rules that I was once told where younger people are like ‘What are you guys even talking about?'”
Ken: Yes and the bad part of when we do that is when we suppress our enthusiasm it turns into a frozenness or a secret neediness or more likely both. Those are not great places. Because I think that’s another thing is that, I mean, I think we all have all different kinds of circuitries of attraction.
Double Perspectives and Date Experiments From the Dateable Podcast
Ken: I know that I could be attracted to, in my past, but still, just the experience of attraction, it’s easy to be attracted on all different levels to someone who feels a little bit withholding. There’s a lot there but there’s a lot not given yet. There’s something where you want to win that person over.
Ken: I know that kind of circuitry of attraction and it was where I spent many decades of hell before finding my husband. But then there’s another thing, it’s I could be deeply attracted to someone who really goes out on a limb in showing me how much he cares and how much he likes me and sexually, emotionally really gets vulnerable. That is sexy, too. It’s risky but it’s really sexy.
Julie: Exactly. I think one of the things that we’ve, at least for me has been the most fascinating in our podcast is we do these, we’ve done a bunch of these date experiments where we hear two different perspectives of the date. Or just like we’ve heard couples stories or just anything that’s double perspective.
Julie: I think when you’re dating, you forget that there is another person there that has a life before you. Especially if you’ve gone on one or two dates, how many hours have you really spent with this person? Four max, right? It’s like, “You have no idea what’s going on in their lives.”
Julie: I think we tend to think, and I definitely was guilty of this in my 20s, and maybe even very early 30s, thinking like I was the center of the world and if they weren’t texting me back, it meant that they didn’t like me.
The Dateable Podcast Takes Us Into the World of Ghosting
Julie: I think when you play the games and you’re like, “I’m going to hold off and see if you text me,” and all that, it doesn’t actually get to the root of what’s happening in their lives and it just maybe makes this push-pull that doesn’t do anything and it doesn’t move this forward.
Julie: For example, we had a past guest of ours and someone in our Facebook group saying that he got ghosted during quarantine. He just do a virtual hike date and the girl just fell off the face of the universe. My point to him was like, “Why don’t you just reach out and tell her that you were really looking forward to …”
Julie: Because they had one virtual date that I guess went really well and he said it was the best connection he’s had in a long time. It’s like what is the harm in reaching out and saying like, “Hey, how are things going? I was really looking forward to this date.”
Julie: Especially right now when COVID-19 is rampant, there’s so many external things happening in people’s lives. Dating might not be at the forefront for everyone right now, especially if they’re dealing with health things or family or whatever it may be.
Julie: So why not give this person the benefit of the doubt and try to come from a place of understanding and putting yourself at least out there a little. What do you really have to lose at that point?
Ken: Wow. I just want to take that, put it in a little, I don’t know what, a little advice pedestal that’s really big and really actionable. I know it’s really true.
The Dateable Podcast Recommends Taking an Extra Step of Vulnerability
Ken: I mean, when I met my husband, he was with his two kids, I was with my one kid. I was totally available and looking and he had his hand hands full with his girls. He blew me off on, I would say, 1.5 of our dates.
Julie: Now you’re married. Right?
Ken: Yes, we’re married. Yes, I gave up. I was like, “All right, I got to be the adult here. I give up.” Then one night, I woke up, bolt up right with this feeling like, “If I don’t go out of my way, I’m going to lose this opportunity.” So I did and I just think what you said is a lesson to everybody.
Ken: It’s really worth it to take that extra step of vulnerability. I mean, you’re not going to keep doing it if the person’s not interested but not trying could be such a loss for just the reason you said. I just love that.
Julie: I mean, right now if you’re not with them, what do you have to lose by reaching out one more time? It’s the same situation of that you’re in now. I think there is a line though. I don’t think someone should be reaching out every day after not hearing back.
Julie: I think, my personal take is the one time roll. It’s the one time benefit of the doubt, let me just throw it out there, be as vulnerable as I can in just the fact of how it’s affecting me that come from a place of love not accusing either, and see what’s the response.
Dating Advice for the World From the Dateable Podcast Hosts
Ken: Dating advice for the world. I love that. I just have to go back to the actionability of the first thing you talked about, that both of you talked about, which is you’re doing online dating.
Ken: What are the parts of yourself that might not fit into the gender stereotypes you think she should be showing but you kind of feel, can you put that out in your profile? Can you put it out with the new person you’re meeting? And what kind of stuff are you interested in? Sexually, form of relationship?
Ken: Even maybe like, “All right. I’ll try meeting someone who’s in a different country or a different state or outside of my age range or height range or weight range, or maybe someone who has a different kind of education.”
Ken: That kind of thing of like, “Let me stretch and play here a little bit in very real ways.” Because we could do that so concretely so I really just think what fabulous invitations those two things are to a richer dating life.
Yue: That’s a really great scenario you just presented, too, because we get this question a lot. “What should I divulge on my dating profile? What should I say that’s off-limits on a first date?” Our answer is always, “There shouldn’t be anything that’s off-limits if it’s important to you.”
Yue: I think what a lot of people do on their dating profiles or when they meet someone in person is they talk about their deal breakers which I think is so detrimental for any relationship. Because a deal breaker means it’s an absolute thing. There is no budging.
Dateable Podcast Tips on How Online Dating Can Become a Richer Experience
Yue: You are absolutely not going to like someone because of this thing and it makes you come off very close-minded.
Yue: So what we always advise people is in your profiles, instead of saying your deal breakers or what you like, what about listing things that you don’t know about but you’re curious about? I actually have no idea if I like to travel to India, I will put that in my profile because I’m curious to know.
Yue: Then you’re able to attract people who can say, “Actually, I’ve been to India, let me tell you about the experience.” It just makes you seem very open-minded and just fluid in so many ways. That’s where beautiful things can come out of it.
Ken: So these are the kind of pieces of dating advice that people don’t get to hear. Love that. That’s so great. I got to stick with this for a minute because so many people are doing online dating.
Ken: So from all of your experience and all of your thinking and reflections, tell us more about kind of other ideas or tips or suggestions for making online dating a richer, more effective experience. What have you learned? What have you heard that you really liked? Just anything. These tips are gold and they’re the kind of things you do not get to hear.
Julie: I think just sticking with profiles for now, but I think online dating can go even much further than that clearly. But just to continue on that for a second.
The Dateable Podcast Profile Reviews
Julie: I think one thing that … because we actually do like profile reviews with some of our listeners if they’re interested in doing that service and I’d actually had a really interesting conversation with someone recently. They had a lot of photos, for example, of them doing extreme adventure challenge.
Julie: One thing I commented to them was like, “How important is this in your life? Is this something that is make or break, if you don’t have a partner that’s going to do this with you that wouldn’t make you happy?”
Julie: Or is this kind of like, “Nice to have or something that I did once or twice.” Or, “I’m kind of just using this photo because I think I should have this extreme photo in there to look cool,” or whatever it may be.
Julie: I think from a female perspective, from someone that isn’t a super adventurous travel type of person, my thought was, this feels a little intimidating. I guess where I kind of came to him was, “When people are looking at your profile, they’re trying to imagine a life with you.”
Julie: They’re not trying to say, “That guy looks cool because he did this crazy hike.” It’s, “Could I see myself being in this person’s life?” That’s why I think it comes down to how important is this.
Julie: To the point of if this really is something that you need in your life and if you had a partner that wasn’t, then by all means, keep that in your profile.
Looking Through the Lens of Building a Partnership
Julie: If it’s not, and what really came out of my conversation with him is he’s like, “I don’t actually really care if I do this with a partner. I’ve done this maybe once or twice in my life.”
Julie: Then my advice was to lose that photo. So I think it really comes down to looking through it as a lens of building a partnership with someone not showing off in your profile.
Yue: That’s such a great one, Julie, because it’s like you guys stop with the fake news when it comes to your dating profiles. I think everyone feels like they have to have certain photos one to show that they’re active, one to show that they’re adventurous and they like to travel, one to show the sensitive side, another one to show them in a group setting so they’re social and fun.
Yue: That is not the formula you need to follow in order to attract a partner because everyone has the exact same set of photos. Stop spreading the fake news and just use the photos that are quintessentially who you are.
Yue: If you can’t find those photos, it means you don’t know who you are. Why not spend the time to figure out who you are first? It’s crazy to me that the amount of people who come to us for dating advice on their dating profiles and then they’ll push back and say, “But I heard that you’re supposed to have one where you’re half smiling.”
Yue: “But I heard that you’re supposed to have one when you’re outside and your hair is flowing, you’re doing a jumping shot.”
A Balance Between Knowing Yourself and Finding out Who You Are
Yue: Where are you getting this news? That’s not you. You’re having someone else tell you who you are. That’s just fake news so stop with it.
Julie: Yes and that goes back to this balance again of taking the time to get to know yourself before you’re just going and going and going to find someone else versus finding out who you are, what’s core to you and then making a plan and acting on it.
Ken: This is beautiful. I just want to do this thing of extracting to really, really actionable things out of this. One is this kind of theme concept of what you’re trying to do in writing your online profile is give a sense of what it would be like to have you in their life, in someone’s life. What it would be like to have a life with you and to have that as kind of a way that you’re thinking. I love that.
Ken: The other thing is for your photograph, that what you’re thinking about is what really shows me. I’m just so certain that those pictures will have more punch and more magnetism and more attractability for the right people. I love those things.
Ken: I just want to say, anybody who wants help with their profile, this is a wonderful place to go, is to Julie and Yue. Because so many people will push you to be witty and push you to be cool and push you to be all these different things and those are not the profiles that you want to write. You want to write the profiles like they’re both saying, that are really you.
The Dateable Podcast Way of Writing Your Profile
Yue: I would just say that so many people write their profiles trying to appeal to the masses like it’s a presidential campaign. Think about only writing your profile for that one person. That is the person for you. Stop trying to build as many matches as possible. You’re not trying to attract 1,000 people here. In fact, it’s not a popularity contest. All it takes is just one person so write it for that person.
Ken: This is huge. This is huge. That’s so important. I love that.
Julie: Because people get so hung up on, “I’m not getting enough matches.” I get it that you need enough volume coming in because you just don’t know where people are at. But also just getting a ton of quantity that’s not going anywhere isn’t really solving your problem either.
Ken: I think that’s really true. Also, I just want to say, especially for women who are maybe over 50 and say constantly, “I don’t get that many responses and the kind of thing of so many guys who are in that age range and older only want younger women and are kind of like a kid in a candy store immature.”
Ken: There’s really a lot of that going on. You might not get as many matches. In the work that I do with people, as people really become their more essential self as they tune the radio dial to them, to that dial, they may find less people, that there may be less people, but those people will be more resonant, kinder, more available.
The Dateable Podcast Reveals Why Dating Is Not a Numbers Game
Ken: That just is the kind of … When people do what you’re describing, somehow the kind of people they meet and the kind of people that are drawn to them begin to change. There’s a dignity and an integrity to what you’re saying that I think comes across.
Julie: You know what? Yue and I have a, we have a belief that isn’t always popular. People will always say that it’s a numbers game and we think it is not a numbers game.
Yue: Definitely not.
Ken: I’m with you.
Julie: Okay, you and your unpopular opinion with us. There are more people out there that agree. But I think we both witness so many people that go on date after date after date and they don’t go anywhere. I know even for myself, like in my 20s when Tinder first came out, I was going on three to four dates a week and they never went past a couple dates.
Julie: I think it’s a trap when you think that you need to fill your funnels and the more the better. I think what we’ve seen too, is we had one person that we did an exit interview at one of our favorite podcast episodes.
Julie: One guy came to us and said, “I’ve been on hundreds of first dates.” His Hinge account was so full. I’ve never seen someone with more matches in my entire life but none of them went to second dates. We actually ended up calling five of his past dates to hear what happened so it was like an exit interview. Like you have at work. It was eye-opening and fascinating.
The Most Moving Sex Episodes From the Dateable Podcast
Julie: He thought he was getting rejected time and time again but most of the girls actually wanted to go out with him again but he was projecting his own insecurities of rejection onto them.
Julie: For example, a waiter came by and said, “Do you guys want another drink?” And he said, “No.” So the girl obviously thought he was not interested at all. But in his mind, he was feeling like she was not into it or she had to get up early for work the next day.
Julie: I think it is not all about the numbers, it’s about having a genuine connection and also putting yourself out there truly and being vulnerable in taking those steps.
Ken: I really agree. I really agree. I would love to ask you both a bunch of questions. I mean, there’s so much I want to extract because you’re in such a unique position of really hearing people’s stories in a conscious way.
Ken: Thinking about them, reflecting on them, assessing them, weaving them all together, I mean, it’s just kind of an amazing grid of experience and reflection. So I want to really extract more of these goodies. I just want to ask you a few kind of semi-quick questions. Okay?
Ken: Okay, great. So here’s one question, in all of your episodes where you’ve talked about sex, what’s one thing for each of you that stands out as either very moving or very important that you heard or learned?
Yue: For me personally, we’ve actually spoken to a few sex experts, sexperts, I guess, you could call them, and all of them have said it is our time to reclaim our own pleasure.
The Dateable Podcast Promotes Seeking the Ultimate Pleasure
Yue: So I think if you really step back and think about it, the media has really owned our pleasure for so many years to talk about, “We should enjoy sex, we should enjoy this kind of sex.” Pornography has dictated what we think pleasure should be.
Yue: And if we really step back from that pleasure that media has portrayed for us and really separate that from what we believe is pleasurable then we’re able to seek the ultimate pleasure for ourselves. That, when it comes to sex is having sex with yourself more and exploring yourself more.
Yue: This is one of the most eye-opening conversations I had was, I spoke to this friend of mine who’s in her early 20s and she’s a virgin, and she said, “I am so confused about sex right now because all I learned about sex growing up in Sex Ed was how to not have sex or how to have safe sex but I was never taught how to enjoy sex. So I’m going to spend the next two or three years exploring myself and figuring out all the toys I can use so I know how to pleasure myself.
Ken: I love that. That’s just great.
Julie: Yes, I mean, I 100% agree with everything you just said. Those have been definitely takeaways I’ve had. I think the other big one that’s come from all the sexperts we’ve talked to is people are so open or we stress open communication so much just about what’s happening in the relationship.
Julie: And there’s also the sex positivity that’s happening, that people are more comfortable talking about sex.
The Dateable Podcast Explores the Private World of Sex
Julie: But for whatever reason, a lot of times, we’re hesitant to talk about what’s not happening or not going well in our sex lives with our partners. They’re still just walking on eggshells feeling like, “I can’t discuss this with them because it’s a blame situation or something to that sort.”
Julie: I even found myself, I had a friend that came to me asking just for some advice in her relationship, that just things weren’t going very well and I had trouble bringing myself to ask her what her sex life was like with him. I was thinking about it like, “Why did I have such trouble?” There’s this feeling that it’s so private that I can’t share it and I can’t talk about it.
Julie: We had Dr. Alexandra Solomon who is a professor at Northwestern for a very popular marriage one-on-one class and author and all that and she said something that has really stuck with me for a while is it doesn’t need to be a blame or shame and that’s why we have so much because we’re not willing to put it out there and look at how we can solve this together.
Julie: It doesn’t need to be like, “You’re doing something wrong or I’m doing something wrong.” Especially if we have different sexual desires. It doesn’t always have to be so black and white. Like if one person is more vanilla, the other person is more into kink, maybe there is something that you can start to explore together. Or also maybe there’s a way they can find that outlet elsewhere, with the way …
The Dateable Podcast Explores the Hallmarks of Trauma
Julie: Again, it kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier of people just defining their own relationships more and it doesn’t have to be just something that we’re prescribed to from what we’ve learned and what we’ve been taught is a relationship.
Julie: So the same goes for sexuality, how can you explore together and bring down the barriers and make it something that doesn’t have blame or shame?
Ken: I love that. I love that. You know, it’s making me think about how we’ve all been to some degree traumatized around sex. Maybe it’s for some people, it’s small T trauma, for some people, it’s large T trauma.
Ken: But we’ve all been traumatized by the kind of shaming and lack of insight and openness and the kind of whole cultural context of secrecy around sex. So we’ve all been traumatized. One of the hallmarks of trauma is black and white thinking.
Ken: The more trauma, the more black and white thinking. So you’re describing kind of moving ourselves away from black and white thinking around talking and experiencing our sex life and I love that because that helps reduce and healed trauma.
Julie: Right. We were actually, I remember we talked about this in episode two. We had a live show and we had a guest at our live show, we had someone that was there ask a question about what would …
Julie: Maybe I’m butchering this question, Yue. If it’s different, but it was something around, “If I sleep with him too soon, will he judge me?” Or like, “Should I sleep with a man on the first date?”
Yue: Yes, is it okay to sleep with someone on the first date?
The Dateable Podcast Episode With Dr. Alexandra Solomon
Julie: Right, that’s what it was.
Ken: And more like a woman’s question, right?
Julie: Yes, I think it actually really surprised us in this day and age because I think just so much has been broken down with that. I also feel like there is still that piece out there that there’s this feeling like these old rules I must follow.
Julie: And I think when we talked about this too on the episode with Dr. Alexandra Solomon her point was the fact that it’s coming from, “Am I doing something wrong?” that’s the true problem. It should be coming from a place of like, “I want to pursue my sexual self.”
Julie: And at that point that is when you make the decision like, “Is this something I want to do for myself or not?” versus, “If I do this, what outcome will it have with this other person?”
Ken: Huge, huge. So that when your question is, “Should I be sleeping with this person now?” it’s not, “How am I going to look doing this?” it’s, “What feels right to me? What really feels organically right at the moment?” Let me just say that if you’re intoxicated, your answer won’t be as clear as if you’re not. Just saying.
Yue: Is that from experience, Ken?
Ken: Absolutely. It’s from personal experience. Experience as a therapist and it’s so easy to want to drink or get high in early dating because it’s so anxiety-producing.
Favorite Episodes From the Dateable Podcast
Ken: Here’s another question, if you think about your years of being hosts on your podcast, I would just like to ask you to think about one story that stands out right now. That just feels like really hits you at this moment.
Ken: Maybe it was really touching or really important, but somehow stands out. Just one story from each of you. I would love to hear. Whatever comes.
Julie: It’s so hard.
Yue: Julie, I have one. Do you want me to go first?
Julie: You go first.
Yue: We get this question a lot and I feel like my answer changes depending on what mood I’m in. Today, I’m this mood of journey and having a journey where you don’t end up where you thought you would. On Season Eight, Episode 19, we had a guy on named Ryan Van Duzer, who’s actually a friend of mine. It was called Quest for Love with Ryan Van Duzer.
Yue: This story sticks out to me because he is someone who, on the surface level, you would think he was a player, you would think he’s such a party animal, he is just so happy and he can get along with anybody. He flirts with all kinds of girls all the time. But deep down, he is such a romantic and he wants to find love so bad.
Yue: In this interview, he talks about all his failures. I guess I wouldn’t even call them failures but experiences of trying to find love and having it not work out. But in the end, what you don’t see so much on the surface level because you just know him on a social scene is that he still believes in love.
The Dateable Podcast Treads the Journey to Find Love
Yue: After all these years, he still believes he’s going to find true love and he will not stop at anything to find it. It’s so inspirational because this guy truly believes that he’s on a journey to find love. Through all the experiences he’s had so far, it’s bringing him that much closer.
Julie: I love that episode, too. That was definitely one of my personal favorites.
Ken: That’s beautiful. That’s very touching and connected to the theme of what we’re talking about. That it’s like scratching the surface of the way we think people are, there’s a lot more underneath and a lot more possibility and a lot more vulnerability underneath. I love that story. I imagine that he is like a lot of your listeners and my listeners.
Julie: You know what? I kind of agree with you, Yue, that depending on my mood, my mood changes. I want to keep something that’s related to this conversation, too, is we had, I believe it was season six, we had an episode called Just Say Yes.
Julie: We had our guest Cheryl, who was super single. She was in DC at the time, no real prospects. She’s like, “What can I do to really shake up my dating life?” She’d always been had this list of things to look for and all that and she got inspired. I forget exactly how she came to this.
Julie: Maybe she heard it on a podcast. Actually not this podcast. We’re not around back then. But on a book or TV show or something. She basically had this idea that she would just say yes to whoever came into contact with her and asked her on a date.
Coming Out of the Woodwork
Julie: So she basically was going on dates with people that she would never have gone on dates with before. It really helped her.
Julie: I think first of all, she did it as an experiment for a month just to see what her mindset ended up coming out after being and a few things I think came to surface for her, is it really did actually help her get clear about what she was looking for in a partner because she had so many people that she was interacting with and people that she might have dismissed earlier because of whatever superficial things.
Julie: I think she said she like an MMA fighter or someone that she would never have come in contact with and she actually found him to be like really sweet and sentimental. It was things, again, that wasn’t on the surface that she would not have even gotten the chance to look at if she hadn’t been so open.
Julie: But the other big thing that happened for her was that men were really coming out of the woodwork. Nothing else changed in her daily life. She was a teacher so it was in a predominantly female environment. She didn’t change her life.
Julie: She didn’t lose weight. She didn’t change her hairstyle, nothing like that but she was getting hit on so many more times than she ever had in her life. And it was the energy that she was putting out there.
Julie: Eventually, it actually led her to her husband, who she’s now married to with a kid.
The Dateable Podcast Shuns the Waiting Game
Julie: She was also because she had all this experience from this experiment, she was able to see that he was the first guy, too, that really asked her, for example, like, “Are you dating other people?”
Julie: Wanted to know if he was the only person in the running and started to also talk about a life that they could share together. Things that she knew now from so many other people that weren’t coming into a conversation that this was a keeper.
Ken: Oh my God.
Yue: Julie, I love that one as well. I think that episode was so inspirational on so many levels because a lot of times we think, “Once this happens then I can do this.” We’re waiting for stuff to happen, we’re waiting for milestones but she just proves to you that she can take hold of her own life, she is in control and she didn’t wait for anything to happen. She made things happen.
Julie: I feel like I’ve definitely fallen guilty of this, too. It’s like, “I must lose 10 pounds and then I can go back onto the dating scene.” It doesn’t work that way. Usually, no one notices except for you.
Ken: It’s totally true. Totally, totally true. That was an amazing story. These were both amazing stories and I think that they captured the whole theme of this conversation which was something about the magic of openness. The risk, the scariness, and how openness actually changes the field, our magnetic field, our internal state, that that commitment to a kind of openness changes things.
Yue: So true.
How the Dateable Podcast Has Evolved Over the Last Four Years
Julie: It’s interesting because our podcast, we’ve evolved over the four years that we’ve been doing this. I think both Yue and I thought initially like, “Let’s just do this fun podcast where we hear people’s stories.” We didn’t even expect to learn that much from it. We kind of thought like, “We’ll just share like funny dating stories.”
Julie: Over the years, it has evolved to just being this platform where we look at things with just an open and new perspective and hear different perspectives, different experiences, and it allows you to really just change the way that you approach dating, and that’s where it’s been so fascinating to how it’s evolved.
Ken: That is why it’s such a delight to get to speak with you both because you both are, going back to the museum, in which you both are curators. You’re curators of news, of stories, of insight, of what’s going on in the front lines and the inside lines.
Ken: You do that in a way that is really thoughtful. There are very few people doing that. The information that you have is really, really gold. You got to write a book about this because your perspective is just who else has that?
Ken: Who else is approaching these questions with such thoughtfulness and with so many stories? I feel like I would love to have you both back at a later point because I want to extract more wisdom and insight and stories from you.
Yue: And vice versa, Ken.
Ken: It’s a deal.
Julie: The book is in the plan, so don’t worry.
The Beauty of Finding Love
Yue: To quote the great Ken Page when he was on our show, for everyone listening, he said,
The search for love is a big ass journey.
I will always remember that quote because it’s so true. It’s just a big ass journey. It’s never-ending and we’re always constantly learning. That is the beauty of finding love.
Ken: Absolutely. Well, it has been a complete joy to have you both on the show. I can’t wait to continue this conversation. But could you tell us a little bit about how people could get in touch with you?
Ken: All of this is going to be in the show notes, all these links and everything will be in the show notes. But we’d still love to hear from you every way that people could get in touch with you and what they could get in touch with you for.
Julie: Sure. I mean, to start, our podcast is available pretty much on every major platform. Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, pretty much any podcast player that you want to go to. That’s the best way to get in touch with us. But also, on Instagram, we’re @dateablepodcast.
Julie: We also have a new Facebook group too called Love in the Time of Corona that’s been really, really interesting, especially as we’re going through something so different and it’s going to change our dating lives even once this is over.
Ken: Beautiful. Beautiful. You had said that people could work with you on their profiles, is that correct?
Yue: Yes, we also offer curated coaching so you can do profile reviews with us or you can choose one of the coaches that we’ve specifically picked for Dateable listeners.
Julie: If you go to our website, it’s all on there. DateablePodcast.com and then on dateablepodcast.com/coaching is where you can find that. We’re also always looking for submissions for stories. So if people have their own experience because I think what is a little different about our podcast is we talk to experts but we also talk to just real active daters that are going through their own stuff. We love hearing different stories so you can submit them through dateablepodcast.com/story.
Ken: Fantastic. Fantastic. Is there anything that each of you would like to say in closing? Just the last closing thought?
Yue: Well, I think my closing thought is, and this is from many of our guests, we’ve learned this lesson is that “You have to go through the trenches to find gold.”
Yue: And that this journey to find love is that when you feel like you’re in the trenches, when you feel down and you feel like you’re in a dark place, just know that you’re meant to be there and you’re going to get through it but you have to go through it.
Yue: There are no hacks or no shortcuts. You just have to feel these feelings, experience what you’re experiencing right now and then you will come out of it.
Julie: That’s a really good one. I think the one that I always … and we’ve talked about it throughout this whole thing, it’s the balance of your own self-work and your own self-love and then also relating with others and getting into relationships. It can’t be one or it can’t be the other, it needs to be a combination of both.
Doing Self Work Is a Pre-Requisite to Working With Someone
Julie: But I think if you don’t do the self-work, then it makes being in a relationship really difficult because you don’t actually know how to state your needs, you don’t know how to have that healthy communication, and you don’t know how to actually work with someone.
Julie: I think at the end of the day, the most successful relationships that we’ve either heard from experts or we’ve heard from people in them or we’ve experienced ourselves is when two people are committed to making it work and to being open as a team, to figure out how to make things better for both partners and it’s not one person versus the other.
Julie: It’s not, “I feel this way, you feel this way. It’s like how do we solve this together and make a relationship that works for both of us?”
Ken: I love that. I love both of these points. They’re so key and they’re beautiful. Having you both on the show was just an absolute delight.
Yue: Thank you so much for having us on the show.
Julie: Thank you.
Ken: Thank you both. I want to thank everybody for listening to Julie and Yue and the Dateable Podcast. If you want to get a transcript of this complete episode, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com. I encourage you to join my mailing list and you’ll get a free ebook as well as the first two chapters of my book Deeper Dating. So thankful to everybody in the listening community for being here. See you all on the next episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast.
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