Today I talk with Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick of The Dateable Podcast about how you can create a Do-It-Yourself vision of your next romantic relationship by designing your own love life. In this episode, we talk about young people giving up on love and a trend they are seeing of people dating “without a North Star.” Yue and Julie offer advice on how we can be less outcome-focused in our search for love, allowing us to be more present on the way. We also explain why modern dating is a balance between surfing and diving.

Listen in to learn about the terms “master-dating” and “Relationship Chicken,” and discover how to free yourself from gender roles while dating.

If you love the Show, please Subscribe, Rate, Review and Share on Apple Podcasts, or your favorite Podcast Platform!

Deeper Dating on Apple Podcasts

 

Show Notes:

 

  • Where are Yue and Julie in their dating journeys
  • What is mastur-dating
  • How to know when to fight for or let go of a relationship
  • Why are young people giving up on love
  • How is dating different with age and gender
  • What is Relationship Chicken
  • How to free yourself from gender roles in dating

 

Important Links:

 

The Dateable Podcast | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

6 month coaching and mentorship intensive with Ken Page

Create Your DIY Relationship Vision! An Interview with Yue and Julie of The Dateable Podcast

 

Ken Page:

Every one of us gets to create our own vision of what a relationship should look like and how to create that in our lives. Today, I’m going to be interviewing Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick, the hosts of the incredible Dateable Podcast, to learn their wisdom and insights in how we can do this. So, stay tuned to this episode of The Deeper Dating Podcast.

Yue, Julie, I am so delighted to have you here. I enjoy our conversations so much. You have so much sparkling, human, caring, thoughtful insight about the whole world of dating, and you’re just some of the smartest and funniest and most insightful people I know in this arena. So, I’m just honored. I just feel like we’re all in my living room together, but having a really large audience who get to hear all that you have to say.

So, I’m just thrilled to have you here, and this is a special time because you’ve done so much work. Your empire is growing and growing, your collaborations are growing, your audience is growing, and you’ve worked with so many people. So, your wisdom base is growing constantly at the same time, and you’re always day by day questioning and exploring.

So, I am excited to have all of our listeners tap into your wisdom, your insights, your experiences of which you’re up there in terms of people who have heard dating stories with consciousness and awareness, and reflection. In this world, you’re really up there with the few people that have done this to this degree with such consciousness. So, in this time, I’m going to get to hear from both of you.

We’re all going to get to hear from both of you about the insights, the hacks, the keys, the paradoxes, the things that you have found most important that you would like to share with the audience about this entire world of dating and finding love. Let’s jump in. Either of you who wants to just start with one key insight, one key insight that for you just at this moment really stands out, and then we’ll just take it from there.

 

We often look at dating as a destination...but from our seven years of doing this podcast and personal experience, dating is a constant evolving experience with no destination. @dateablepodcast Click To Tweet

 

Yue Xu:

Well, Ken, first of all, thank you so much for having us on your podcast. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you. Julie and I always say if we’re ever having a bad day, we just channel Ken Page.

Julie Krafchick:

Yes, we do.

Yue Xu:

All of a sudden, our confidence meter is up. We are bright and happy people. Thank you for always providing a safe space for us to share our experiences. I guess to answer your question, the one key insight or nugget of information is that we often look at dating as a destination and the destination is the relationship.

But from our seven years of doing this podcast and personal experience, dating is a constant evolving experience with no destination. It’s one big social experiment. Once you land in a relationship, that opens up a whole other realm of experiences.

So, we can look at dating as a constant evolution, constant change. Then we won’t be so outcome focused. We’ll be more present in what we’re learning in the moment. Along the same lines, I truly believe that there’s no “the one” for you, for anybody. There’s the one who’s right for you right now, who’s willing to do life with you. That’s the person you cherish and you really want to focus and prioritize your energy on, but don’t think of the entire lifetime of your dating experiences as searching for “the one.”

Ken Page:

That’s so interesting, because in a way, you’re saying there is no “one”, no grand transcendent just one, but the task in a way is to make the person you’re with “the one”.

Yue Xu:

Yeah, absolutely.

Ken Page:

That’s great. That’s great. Thank you. Thank you, Yue. How about you, Julie? Any first insight that comes to you?

Julie Krafchick:

What comes to mind for me is when Yue and I started Dateable, we thought every story would be about two people dating, meeting each other, finding their person. As Yue said, that could change over time. What we’ve realized is that dating is actually so much more about ourselves than the other people.

We’re always thinking about the people that ghosted us or the people that rejected us, but ultimately, it’s really coming back to our own fear of abandonment or our own worthiness of a relationship. That’s why dating is so difficult.

Yes, it’s hard to find someone that you mesh with. I don’t want to undermine that. But what’s really challenging is that we take it so personally in that it really is a mirror of our own state, because when you think about it, dating is the most personal thing in the world. You could equate it to a job interview. Sure, of course, if you don’t get a job, it hits your self-esteem in some ways. But at the core of dating, you’re asking someone to be with you, to love you. That’s a lot.

Ken Page:

That’s a lot. Yeah, it’s really true. So, your very sense of self is at stake.

Julie Krafchick:

Absolutely.

 

Create Your DIY Relationship Vision! An Interview with Yue and Julie of The Dateable Podcast

Dating is actually so much more about ourselves than the other people: we’re always thinking about the people that ghosted us, but ultimately, it’s coming back to our own fear of abandonment.

 

Ken Page:

Would you say that as we shift and grow our sense of self, our dating experience shifts as well?

Julie Krafchick:

Oh, absolutely. I know for me personally, that was the key. I think for years, I was like, “Okay, do they like me? I need to get past that third date to prove my worthiness.” When you start to shift out of that mode into like, “I’m freaking awesome. I’m a catch. Someone would be so lucky to be with me,” of course, there’s a lot of work that builds up to that. That’s when dating really changes completely because you’re not looking for someone to fill a void.

Ken Page:

I think that’s an alchemy that getting to do the work that we do get to see is this amazing thing, is that when you make that personal change, your dating experience actually changes too. It’s so true, and it’s a really, really wonderful thing. I have 20 million questions.

Julie Krafchick:

Fire away.

Ken Page:

I will, but I have one question I want to ask first, and if you’re okay with this. Could you each talk about where you are in your dating journey and maybe the biggest learnings that have gotten you there?

Yue Xu:

Yeah, such a great question. To answer that question, I think as our dating journey changes, I find for myself, my tastes in people change as well. So, when you come to another level of consciousness when it comes to dating, you end up gravitating towards people who are in a similar realm. So, where I am currently at is recently ended an almost five-year relationship after discovering infidelity on his part.

This was the ultimate test, I think, of my resilience and my capability to love. While it was absolutely detrimental and traumatic, when we’re talking about this main character energy that Julie was just describing, that dating is about you. It’s not about the other people doing stuff to you.

I had a choice to really think about an experience like this, is this the beginning of my story or the end of my story? If I were to create a movie out of this, this will be the beginning scene. This is the beginning scene that inspires greatness to come. I think that is where I am right now, is really leaning into my main character energy and letting this really unfortunate opportunity inspire beautiful things.

Ken Page:

Wow. Wow. I remember reading this quote by a spiritual teacher I really respect, and he said, “In the divine tribunal, betrayal of a loved one is the greatest sin of all.” Yeah, the betrayal of that, and I just want to acknowledge the devastation, but also, I love the concept of the beginning of what’s next for you and the holding of that.

As an EMDR therapist, EMDR is a technique working with trauma, but at the heart and soul of working with the trauma, the question is how do you see yourself? That’s how the EMDR therapist and the client see growth and progress is the sense of self in relation to this dramatic event and how that shifts. That defines health, healing, and growth.

To me, that’s just what you captured and it opens up this whole arena of the pain that happens in dating and that can happen, and the hurt, the hurt to self-esteem, the disappointment, and the handling of that. Such a huge, huge piece. For listeners who are coping with that kind of disappointment, that kind of hurt at this time, any thoughts you want to share, both of you?

Julie Krafchick:

I think at the end of the day, we are clearly proponents of relationships. We do a podcast about dating and love and relationships, but the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. So, the more that you can lean into that, whether you’re single, whether you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t matter. We have a very popular term that our community loves, “master-dating”, where you go out on a date by yourself.

So, we have people putting up pictures of them out at a winery or going to a movie themselves, whatever it may be. We love that term because I really believe that regardless of your relationship status, the relationship with yourself is something to keep nurturing. The more at one we can have with that relationship, that’s when you don’t need a partner, you just want one.

Julie Krafchick:

Yeah.

Ken Page:

Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Julie, how about you? Yue, yes?

Yue Xu:

I was just going to say very quickly for anybody going through this, you’ll get advice about moving forward and taking that next step and time heals everything, or you’ll get advice of people saying, really feel the pain and go through all of the stages of grief. From what I’m currently going through, I feel like being present is the best gift I can give myself and I don’t want to ruminate in what has happened. I can still feel those feelings.

I also don’t need to put pressure on myself to progress each day and distract myself and keep myself busy and know time heals all. I get that. I get the concept, but I think to be very real with ourselves and to sit in the present moment of what you’re feeling is probably the best gift you can give yourself.

Ken Page:

So in other words, not feeling like you have to marinate in it because that’s what healing looks like and not feeling like you have to move on because that’s what healing looks like, but being with your heart, where you are right now.

Yue Xu:

Yes.

Ken Page:

Yeah. I mean, I think that’s such an essential act of self-honoring. That’s beautiful, beautiful.

Julie Krafchick:

It probably changes every day where you’re at and that’s okay.

Yue Xu:

Every day.

Julie Krafchick:

Every hour, it’s okay.

Ken Page:

Yes. So true, so true. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that, Yue. Thanks for sharing that with us. Julie, would you share anything about yours.

 

Put yourself first as you date

 

Julie Krafchick:

Yeah, absolutely. I’ll play off that a little, but I am now two years into a relationship and we’re moving in together, so taking that next step. There’s a lot of boxes everywhere right this minute as we speak, which has been really great. I think for the first time in my life, what I think separated this relationship from everything in the past is that I can be utterly myself.

I can state my needs. I know they’re going to be listened to, most of the times met, or if they’re not met, there’s a reason why it doesn’t work for my partner and I need to hear that out. So, this is the most healthy communication I’ve ever had in a relationship.

Ken Page:

Yay!

Julie Krafchick:

Thank you. This is from someone that did not always have it, which is why it’s a win for me, because yeah, for years, years, I was either in situationships or just endless cycles of dating, or I was in an on again, off again relationship for five years pretty much. It wasn’t consistent five years, but still too long when I look in retrospect, because this person could never give me what I needed and I couldn’t walk away from it because I thought it was “the person”.

So, over COVID, I remember giving it that last we’re either doing this or we’re not chance. I very quickly saw that not enough had changed, and ultimately, this wasn’t a relationship that was meeting my needs.

Honestly, we see this so often in our community with our listeners that we’re always trying to hold onto these relationships, whether it’s for fear of nothing better coming along or fear of you know that you’re not worthy. I probably had both of those happening or that you just haven’t seen a good definition of love.

 

We thought every story was going to be about two people dating, maybe each other, finding their person...and what we've realized is that dating is actually so much more about ourselves than the other people. @dateablepodcast Click To Tweet

 

I think that’s a lot of people too, is that either growing up, we didn’t see those role models or we’re just in this endless cycle of modern dating where it’s the norm that you’re going to get ghosted. It’s expected.

So, it’s really sad actually when we think about it that that’s become so normalized. So, I think it took me a long time to realize that I actually wanted more and needed more and could ask for more. It’s a lot easier to meet someone that’s willing to meet you than try to change someone that’s not. That was a lesson took me a little too long to learn that you can’t change people.

Yue Xu:

That’s a hard lesson though.

Ken Page:

That’s a hard lesson. Yeah. I’m just thinking of the similarity in what the two of you talked about, which is about this piece of the bravery to say no to a relationship.

Yue Xu:

Absolutely.

Ken Page:

It takes such bravery. It’s so scary. It’s like I was dating someone years ago who was just not the nicest person in a lot of ways. My dad said to me, he said, “Ken, it’s going to feel like amputating your own arm, but you’re going to have to do it.”

Julie Krafchick:

Yeah, it’s hard in the moment.

Ken Page:

He’s so helpful to me. He’s a Holocaust survivor, so he knows pain. So, he’s got that gravitas. So, that helped me. That helped me a lot.

Julie Krafchick:

Yeah, it’s hard when you’re in it, when you’re really in it, and it’s very difficult too. I think, Yue, you could probably relate to this, we get so many mixed messages. Dating is supposed to be easy or relationships are hard. You don’t know sometimes what is the level of hardness that you have to work through versus that point where it’s just not working.

Ken Page:

Oh, my God.

Julie Krafchick:

It’s a hard balance to find.

 

Create Your DIY Relationship Vision! An Interview with Yue and Julie of The Dateable Podcast

How to know when to go: sometimes you don’t know the level of hardness that you have to work through versus that point where it’s just not working.

 

Ken Page:

That’s such a big one. That is such a big one. I’d love to hear both of your thoughts on that. Even thinking about the fact that you have spoken to thousands of people probably asking those same questions, I’d just love to hear any of your thoughts about how do you suss that out? When are you supposed to not quit before the miracle? When do you give all?

Maryanne Williamson has this great line, she says, “Both feet in until both feet out.” How do you know when to put both feet out? How do you know when to keep trying? I’d love to hear any of your thoughts from all that you’ve seen and all the people that you’ve worked with. Any reflections on that? For people that are wondering, should I try harder or should I be leaving?

Yue Xu:

I think it’s a question that gets asked every second of every day, because we focus a lot on starting relationships, but we don’t talk about leaving or exiting out of relationships. Many of us depend on external factors to happen. The other person has to move. There was infidelity. There was some sort of disagreement. The other person gave up.

But when you are put in the driver’s seat of stepping out of a relationship, it’s a lot harder to make that decision, because that would be based on your needs not being met. Your not being valued in this relationship. Do you actually see that?

I think in my experience as I look back upon this five-year relationship, I always felt like as long as I say, “I gave it my best, I tried my best, and there’s nothing more I can do,” and if it’s still not the relationship I want, that is a point to leave. My ex-partner, on the other hand, relied on external events, something to push the relationship apart.

I’m grateful that it did happen that way because it made a very clean sever of the relationship. But I think if this didn’t happen, I would’ve eventually had to take the steps to exit out, because I felt like I really did try my best at the end of the day.

 

The ways that we push love away

 

Ken Page:
Yeah, yeah. So, those two pieces, the piece of knowing that you tried your best, both feet in and then the other piece of how you are feeling, how you are being seen, how you are being held overall in a general way, is that meeting your needs or is it not?

Julie Krafchick:
I mean, I think there’s a big difference too of merging two people as humans that have different beliefs, different ways of doing life and coming together versus you don’t feel respected or the relationship isn’t consistent or it doesn’t bring out the best side of you. We have our seven things that matter. That’s this gut check of, “Okay, can you go through and just be like how is this relationship making me feel overall?”

Ken Page:
The seven things that matter?

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah. So, we could go through them, but it’s consistency, first and foremost. I think it’s huge.

Ken Page:
Consistency.

Julie Krafchick:
If that’s not there, then ultimately, nothing else matters. If someone isn’t reliable, they’re not showing up, what else is there at that point? That’s the core of a relationship. Yet for so many of us, myself included, we settle for people that are not consistent. We won’t settle for someone that’s under six feet, but we’ll settle for someone that gives you the bare breadcrumbs. When you think about it, it really makes no sense at all.

Yue Xu:
Yeah. Well, this just reminds me, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. He was trying to exit out of a marriage where there were kids involved or he was still pondering whether he should do it or not. But he said he was listening to this audio tape at the time, and this woman said, “I’m going to give you seven questions. These seven questions, if you can even make it through all of them, you’re going to get clarity, but most likely, you’re going to get clarity by the third question.”

So, here are the questions. I found them extremely interesting. The first one was, was there ever violence involved? Was your life ever in danger? Easy one, right? If your answer is yes, get the fuck out.

Ken Page:
Or just to say something about that, that your life might not have been in danger, but if there was physical violence, still get the fuck out.

Yue Xu:
Still get the fuck out. Yeah. The second question was, was the relationship ever epic? Was there ever a moment you thought, “This is the relationship, the love of a lifetime”? Was it ever epic? So he got to that question, he said, “Yeah, in our second or third year, we truly made an epic marriage.”

The third question was, if you exited the relationship and it can be guaranteed that nobody gets hurt and everyone comes out unscathed in the entire community of people who may be affected, would you exit? That made him cry and say yes.

Julie Krafchick:
Interesting.

Yue Xu:
Because he was very much scared of his kids being affected, his family being affected, her being affected. He said, “If that can be guaranteed that everyone comes out fine, I need to leave.”

Julie Krafchick:
That’s a really good point.

Yue Xu:
He only got to the third question. He’s like, “Done.”

Ken Page:
Wow, but I want to hear the rest. They’re awesome questions.

Yue Xu:
Yeah, I know. Well, he only got to the third.

Ken Page:
Oh, damn.

Yue Xu:
He didn’t get to the rest of the questions.

Julie Krafchick:
I mean, that’s a thing too. It’s like at different stages, there’s probably different questions you’re going to ask too, right? Very different.

Ken Page:
That’s really true.

Julie Krafchick:
When you’re first meeting someone versus when you have to determine if you exit this, will it affect other people, it’s very different, but I think it’s a good reminder that we’re consciously making these decisions. It’s not like we’re putting our partners under a microscope, but it is important to constantly and consistently be checking in with yourself.

Ken Page:
Yes. Yes. Okay. So, another question, and then I just want to let the two of you just say what you want to say, I feel like, because you’re really treasure chests of experience and insight. So, I just want to hear anything that you want to say to the listeners, but I do have this one question.

I would love to have you both talk about the ways that we push love away, that piece of work, maybe without even realizing it or realizing it but we can’t help it. That dimension of the dating journey, the ways that almost against our will or behind the scenes we’re sabotaging. I’d just love to hear any of your thoughts or stories or reflections or advice because that just seems so significant.

Yue Xu:
It is very significant, and we often talk about how we think we’re headed into a love crisis because much of the younger generation and our generations are giving up on love.

Ken Page:
You think so?

Yue Xu:
Yes. They’re burnt out by dating. They see the outcome of their parents’ generation. We’re also just dating in such a way without a North Star these days, that there’s just so many configurations of a relationship and dating.

People are definitely exploring them all, but they’re not understanding that this is part of the process. They’re only seeing the failed attempts, the course correcting that happens in between, which can really be exhausting. So, we feel like what is pushing people away from investing in dating is one, they’re very outcome focused.

You really only focus on finding that person who gives you butterflies and chemistry and wanting to never leave them, and you can’t live your life without them. That’s not doing life with someone. That’s not realistic.

That is how romcoms play out and they’re not real. So, that’s one piece is that we’re focusing so much on the outcome. The other part of it is that there’s so much of this “you versus me mentality” in dating too.

People get on the defensive when they go on a date. They feel like, “Well, I’m spending my time with you. What are you going to bring to the table?” But relationships, and Julie loves this word, it’s a collaboration. It’s truly two people coming together to work on a project together. Yet in dating, it’s so much of a me versus you, men versus women, men versus men, women versus women. There’s always an enemy on the other side that you’re trying to collaborate with eventually. It’s a very contradictory way of doing life with someone.

 

There's no 'The One' for you; there is a one that is right for you right now who is willing to do life with you. @dateablepodcast Click To Tweet

 

Ken Page:
Wow. Those are really deep things. There’s so much to that, and that’s such a snapshot of what dating is like now for younger people in this very sad state in a way. Thank you. That was really fascinating. You were going to say something, Julie, too?

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah. We have a term that we call “Relationship Chicken”, which feeds into what Yue was talking about. It’s basically we do the exact opposite of what we would need in a relationship while we’re dating and we’re so afraid to show our cards that we basically end up making no moves at all. We don’t want to be the ones to define the relationship.

Ken Page:
Oh, my God. That’s so great.

Julie Krafchick:
We don’t want to show that we’re invested, but at the end of the day, if you’re in a relationship, you need to show you’re invested or it’s not going to last. So, it’s so funny that the behaviors at early stage dating are so opposite, and it goes back to what we were talking about earlier of at the very beginning of what’s the line of working on a relationship versus throwing in the towel and then also what you were asking about sabotage, we feel like things should just go well once we meet that person. Everything should be perfect. So, the second there is any conflict, we bounce.

The reality is there’s going to be conflict in every single relationship. It’s two different people coming together. Again, bringing it back to this is a bad relationship because you don’t feel respected versus it’s just merging of two people. If it’s merging of two people, the biggest mistake is getting out at the sign of any conflict, because guarantee you’ll find it with someone else after that mini honeymoon period wears off.

Yue Xu:
For sure, or different conflict with someone else.

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah, exactly.

Ken Page:
Yes, yes. What about the state of affairs for… Maybe I’m going to break it down. We talked about younger people. Now let’s talk about people maybe in their 30s, 40s, early 40s, that crew, and then I’m going to ask you about people beyond let’s say 30s and 40s. What do you see there? Any insights about that? I mean, it’s a broad group of people of all different orientations and gender identities and life circumstances, but still, I’m really curious about any global things that you’ve seen.

Yue Xu:
That’s our group. Julie and I are in that age group, and we always say that we straddle two worlds. We straddle the traditional old world of doing things and the new world, and there’s just so much learning along the way. Part of us in our generation, we’re still embedded in the traditional gender roles or how dating should work and dating for love, dating for marriage.

The other side of us is we want to embrace this new world of non-traditional relationships. How do I look at dating without thinking about marriage? How do I have multiple partners and have it be completely morally sound?

So there’s a lot of confusion in this generation alone, just with the straddling of the both worlds. I think ultimately, this is the generation that’s going to connect to both worlds. We just haven’t figured that out quite yet. The masterpiece that’s coming out of this is that our generation is learning how to DIY our relationships.

We are getting into relationships and saying, “Let’s figure out a way for us to do just us, that works for us.” Maybe it has a little bit of the old world and it has a little bit of the new world, but these are ultimately going to be new traditions in a new way of doing relationships.

Ken Page:
That was amazing. Wow. That was so cool. That’s really exciting. That’s really an exciting thought that then becomes the question is taking the old, taking the new, taking what isn’t discovered and saying, what do we need for us? What is true for us? Wow. So interesting. So cool. Yeah.

Julie Krafchick:
Going to what you were saying of what is getting in our ways, it’s crazy that even in 2023, we still hear women in their 30s and 40s being like, “I don’t want to send a text saying I had a good time,” or “I don’t want to reach out first.” I know for me, that was pivotal to just put that stuff away and just be like, if I see someone that’s interesting, I’m going to reach out on a dating app. If I want to tell someone I had a good time and I want to see them again, I’m going to do it, because ultimately, I want someone that I can just text freely or talk to freely.

So, if I’m holding back at these early stages, what relationship is that setting you up for? So I think we’re seeing a lot of people have these light bulb moments and really unlearning the rules, unlearning the bad dating advice, and those terrible books that we were fed for years, not Deeper Dating. Deeper Dating was always on the ball ahead of this curve. I mean, Why Men Love Bitches and The Rules, those books were really detrimental. I know as someone that maybe was a little bit of a later bloomer, I was like, “Oh, I just need to read these books and then I’ll be good.” They actually really screwed me, completely.

Ken Page:
Yeah. That brings up such an important point. I mean, this kills me. I see men all the time, they’ve just heard all of this shit about what an alpha man is, but men are tortured by this and women are tortured by this message of femininity. If you want an alpha man, you have to embrace your feminine.

These things break my fucking heart and they piss me off. As a queer person, I just am so grateful to the queer community for leading us out of this gender binary into so much of a richer spectrum, but it’s complicated, right? Because we still have the old patterning. We know we want this freedom or liberation.

Maybe we don’t know that, but assuming we do, but we’re still stuck in the old places, too and that makes it hard in a relationship. I had love to hear your thoughts about people who are stuck in that, they want more freedom from gender role rigidity, but also, it’s inside of us. Any thoughts about that or experiences or stories?

Julie Krafchick:
So many.

Yue Xu:
You know what’s so triggering? It’s so triggering when people say, “Be in your feminine energy,” or “Be in your masculine energy.” We often hear this from successful independent women who will take charge of every other aspect of their life except for their love lives. They’re sitting ducks waiting, waiting to be picked, waiting to be texted, waiting to be called, waiting to be matched.

Yet there’s all this advice telling them, be in your feminine. You want to be the one dropping your handkerchief and waiting for the man to pick it up for you.

Yet every other aspect, go, go get it. Go be a CEO. Your favorite position is CEO. Go get your household. Go have a kid on your own if you want to. You could do everything else in your life, but oh, when it comes to dating, you got to fucking wait. Just fucking wait.

Ken Page:
Don’t be too powerful.

Julie Krafchick:
Then you’re not your authentic self. You’re just like this dating chameleon showing up that blends in with the masses.

Ken Page:
It’s so crazy-making, right?

Julie Krafchick:
It is.

Ken Page:
Be totally authentic, but be in your feminine self.

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah. Don’t let on too much.

Yue Xu:
Yeah, don’t talk about your work. Don’t talk about how successful you are. Talk about your lingerie. Talk about the pink dresses you own. What?

Ken Page:
It’s just agony. It doesn’t even fit anymore, but it’s so hard to get out of. Then for the guys, I mean, it’s an equal tyranny. It’s the tyranny of if you’re not the provider, if you’re not the leader, I mean, forget the incel stuff, that’s scary and creepy and horrifying.

Julie Krafchick:
God, so creepy.

 

Create Your DIY Relationship Vision! An Interview with Yue and Julie of The Dateable Podcast

You’re ultimately the CEO of your love life: putting yourself back into the forefront is really the only way forward and it means that you’re going to give to the person that’s going to give back…the way that you do.

 

Ken Page:
Let’s just talk about how men are stuck in this thing of how they… And then the horrible thing of you have to be in touch with your feelings because that’s what women want.

Yue Xu:
Be vulnerable.

Ken Page:
But you have to be the guy. You have to be the guy. You have to be the masculine energy. In the queer community, this is also true but so much less true. John Gottman said that the queer community is 50 years, about 50 years ahead of the straight community-

Julie Krafchick:
Oh, I see that.

Ken Page:
… in that regard because of so much more freedom there. Not that it’s not still true in the queer community, but I’m deeply grateful to the queer community for leading the way to some degree. As somebody who’s 66 years old, me and my husband are stuck in old gender roles but working on it. Our youngest child is transgender and gorgeous and free and dates right and left with people that are just… It’s just different for younger people in that way, and it’s so beautiful to see. So, yeah, the old, the new, and being in the middle. I mean, in a way, that’s exciting to think about where we could be going.

Julie Krafchick:
It just gets in the way of so much, and you are asking earlier of what hacks there are, right?

Ken Page:
Oh, yes. Let’s talk about hacks.

Julie Krafchick:
I mean, I don’t know if I’m going to give you the answer you want, but I feel like people are looking for the hack. The hack doesn’t exist. I think we’ve heard so many. I think the pickup community too has really messed with men. I was talking to this one guy that was just convinced that the reason that he scared off this girl is he talked about crypto, and I’m like everyone’s just so not looking at the big picture, I think.

That’s what is one of the biggest issues and challenges in dating right now. We’re so focused on making our profile perfect and having the best opening line, but ultimately, that stuff doesn’t matter.

We just need a gateway in to meet someone. It doesn’t need to be this perfectly crafted work of art. The one thing you don’t need in a relationship is a dating profile, but we see people just get so hung up on this process. A lot of it, I think, stems back to who people think we should be if you’re almost putting on that face in all these early stage dating thinking there’s a hack or the perfect opening line.

Ken Page:
That’s true. That’s true. Totally true. I am sure that in your bag of tricks, you have a million wisdom hacks as opposed to cheap hacks. So, I’m just putting that out. If anything pops up in your heads, I would love to hear that.

Yue Xu:
That’s true.

Ken Page:
I’m certain of that. I’m certain of that. But I want to continue that linear framing of age groups and just say something now and ask you about older folks, like 50+ in all communities. Any thoughts about that? I guess I do want to say one thing in particular. No, I want to hear your thoughts first, then I’ll ask my question.

Julie Krafchick:
We actually have a big subset of people in this age group in our Facebook community, probably more than other areas. Some of it could just be demographics of Facebook also. What’s interesting to me is that a lot of the challenges that people have in this age group are actually very similar to people in their 20s and 30s. You would think that it wouldn’t be the same because you’re that much older, but a lot of people are dating for the first time or it’s their first time using apps and online dating mechanisms.

So, while they have a lot of relationship experience, a lot of people are divorced coming back into the dating scene. They don’t have as much dating experience, and we see it actually seamlessly integrate with the rest of the age groups. I think more surprising than I thought.

Yue Xu:
For sure. If you think about it, back in the day, average lifespan was 50. You die at 50. So, yeah, you get married, have kids, and then before you can even reflect on what you just did, you die. But now, as our average lifespan inches closer and closer to 100, we’re entering unchartered territories.

Ken Page:
Interesting.

Yue Xu:
Especially for the 50+ group where they feel like they’re living a second life right now. So many people are on a different marriage path. They’re exploring all these non-traditional relationships.

We have a wonderful guest on our show, May Lee, and she is engaged for the first time at age 57. She feels like it is the first time, this is the first time she is experiencing something, but it’s later in life. When you think about it, the last 50 years, nobody really talks about it. People just think you eventually get retired and then you just live a good life and then somehow you just do that.

But if you had to continue that for 50 more years, there’s a lot of reinventing of yourself that has to happen. You have to reflect on the first half of your life and then reinvent accordingly. So, what we’re finding in this age group is that there’s a lot of exploration.

A lot of people, just like what Julie was saying, feeling like they’re dating for the first time, because some of them truly are figuring out what STIs are, how to have safe sex, all of it. They’re basically teenagers just as an older age group.

Julie Krafchick:
Experience. Yeah.

Ken Page:
Right. Maybe teenagers with a bunch of baggage too. Could you say something about the difference for heterosexual men and women, the difference of experience for single guys who were in their 60s and 70s, let’s say, versus women who were in their 50s, 60s, and 70s? Anything about the differences you’ve noticed?

Julie Krafchick:
I mean, of course, this is just our subset of people that we’ve noticed, so take that for what it is, but we’ve actually seen a lot of women in this age bucket that don’t want to get married again, that they want more casual relationship. Maybe they want to fall in love again, but they don’t necessarily want to get married and have that whole traditional world.

I mean, I think everyone’s different when they come out of divorce. There’s some people that never want to get married again. There’s people that want to dive back in, but there has been a bigger noticeable shift towards the hetero women than we’ve seen with hetero men. Again, though, just a subset, everyone is different.

Yue Xu:
Yeah.

Ken Page:
Got you.

Yue Xu:
My parents are very close friends with this retirement community near their home, and they told me that the trend is really… Well, first of all, men die earlier than women. So, you have a lot more single women in their 60s and 70s in these retirement communities.

Ken Page:
You do.

Yue Xu:
Many of them do not want to get married again or have a serious relationship, but they love dating because they’ve never done that before. The men in these retirement communities are desperate to be in relationships. They’re desperate for companionship. So, as soon as they enter these communities, they want to be coupled up right away.

They’re looking for their safety net. They’re very much looking for a second, third, fourth, whatever marriage they’re on. They want to get married. So, there’s a conflict within the community where the women are more like, “Let’s just date around. Let’s hang out. We can be companions,” and the men are like, “Come on, let’s put a ring on it. Let’s settle down.”

Ken Page:
This is wild to hear. This is really interesting because my experience is the polar opposite.

Julie Krafchick:
Interesting.

Ken Page:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because what I’ve seen is guys in that age group only will date women 20 years younger.

Yue Xu:
Oh, gosh.

Ken Page:
Because they can. They’re like a kid in a candy store. These are terrible generalizations, but it just is something I’ve heard and seen a lot, 20 years or younger, because they can. The women can’t. In the same way, they just don’t feel like the market bears that in the same way.

Guys are like kids in a candy store because they have so many options and they’re so in demand because there are so few single men who were eligible bachelors. So, I have seen women just mourn the fact of the immaturity of men in their age bracket. So, hearing what you’re saying gives me a little bit of relief, but it’s interesting, these different perspectives that we’ve seen.

Julie Krafchick:
I was going to say, I’ve actually seen women dating younger a lot of times.

Yue Xu:
Yes, it’s a new thing.

Julie Krafchick:
I think what you’re saying is definitely the stereotypical, what you’ve heard all this years, but that definitely isn’t what we’re seeing anymore. So, of course, all of our sample sizes are just a subset. There’s going to be people that fall into all these buckets, but we’ve actually been seeing and feel like it’s almost empowering that women are dating younger and they’re not feeling held back by this as much.

Ken Page:
I love this. This is so interesting. Maybe this is a trend that I haven’t noticed yet, but that you’re starting to see happen.

Julie Krafchick:
Or it’s just you make what you want. I think that’s ultimately at the end of the day.

Ken Page:
I think that’s true.

 

You design your love life

 

Julie Krafchick:
There’s a lot of stuff that’s fed to us. Once you get to a certain age, you can’t do this. That’s just not today’s world. People aren’t just getting married by 30 and then you’re done if you didn’t do that. People are dating at all ages coming in and out of the dating market. There’s no rules anymore. I think you ultimately need to just find what works for you and recognize when something’s a limiting belief that’s getting in your way versus actually reality.

Ken Page:
This is a theme, I think, of this entire conversation, what you just said. It’s the DIY concept that we are crafting this based on our relationship, based on who we are, that it’s more like an open palette, that there are possibilities that we’re creating.

I just want to acknowledge the vision that you’re offering to people here and then the questions that go with that. The questions of, “What do you really want? What do you envision for yourself? What do you picture dating should be like? What should sex be like? What should your gender expression be like?” What I hear you both saying is an invitation to a greater originality in freedom in constructing what you want dating to look like. Is that true?

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah, absolutely. You design your love life ultimately.

Yue Xu:
You do, because you can’t predict what the future holds and you can’t predict what the tomorrow you will feel like. But in dating, if we are looking for a monogamous partner, we’re in an exciting time where we can DIY our relationships and we just want to find someone who wants to DIY with us.

We don’t have to have all the answers upfront. This is a collaborative effort between you and this person who wants to evolve this relationship. We had a guest on our show, he’s a high school friend of mine. His name’s Chris. He’d been married for 10 years to his wife, hetero relationship. They had two daughters. He said, “I really feel like I’m not being my authentic self. I feel like I am a woman, and I feel like I like men.”

Instead of ending the relationship, which we can’t predict how their future will look like, but his wife said, “Let’s see if we can evolve our relationship.” Chris became Cynthia, and now, they renew their vows. Cynthia and her wife and their daughters call them their two moms, and that’s how they’re doing their relationship right now.

It’s working for them right now. So, that is after 10 years of marriage, you could have a completely different relationship for the next 10 years. You just have to have the right partner who wants to explore that with you. If they’re not willing to, that’s okay. That is the end of that relationship. You still received a beautiful gift out of it, and now you can find someone else for this next phase.

Julie Krafchick:
It doesn’t even have to be as extreme too. I mean, it definitely can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It could just be like this is how we communicate, this is how we work together. Coming up with whatever rules of engagement work for the two of you, it can be as simple as that as well.

Yue Xu:
Yeah.

Ken Page:
Yes, yes. I find after 14 years with Greg, I am now just finally noticing patterns in his behavior and my behavior that I never knew. I just feel like there are different wavelengths. There are quick wavelengths where you see things quickly, and then there’s some wavelengths that you don’t notice for 10 or 15 years. It’s slow, slow awareness, and then that changes things.

Seeing these different parts, our love remains really consistent, but there is a crafting that has to happen around these new insights. So, I think of the two of you very much at the forefront of this DIY, of this recrafting of thinking creatively in this way and seeing what’s coming, what’s been, what’s getting woven together out of all of those strands.

I love you’re being questioners at the same time, and I just think this is really exciting. I’m excited to think about bringing you back to help our listeners think about how they can DIY their dating journey, their relationship life, their presentation of self, their expression of self, what they envision, because we are creating a new world.

I love the vision and the way that you’re thinking of it. I think it’s really exciting. I haven’t heard it before. I think it’s full of hope, and I think it’s an antidote to the despair that comes with all the things that don’t work anymore in the dating world. So, I love what you have to offer and what you’re saying. I would just like to ask you two things, final thought from each of you and then how people can get in touch with you. So, first, maybe a final thought from each of you. Julie?

Julie Krafchick:
Okay, final thought. Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve said it before. It’s like you’re ultimately the CEO of your love life. You decide what works for you. You decide who a good partner is. You get to fire someone if they’re not showing up. I know that could be intimidating to some people, but putting yourself back into the forefront is really the only way forward.

That doesn’t mean that you’re selfish. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be there for someone. It just means that you’re going to give to the person that’s going to give back, and that’s going to show up the way that you do.

So, in order to DIY your love life and design something that works with the two of you, you need someone that’s going to be in there with you. It can’t be this situationship or person that’s half in. Until we can start getting rid of those people, it won’t allow for the right person to get in.

Ken Page:
Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Three cheers for the wise no. Thank you. Yue?

Yue Xu:
Final thought from me would be dating is a balance between surfing and diving. So, surfing above water, you’re going with the waves, seeing where things go, being malleable. When you dive, you are being vulnerable and you’re getting to the core of who someone is and getting to the core of who you are.

So many of us have mastered the surfing in dating, but the diving is probably the most difficult entry point for so many. We think it’s about getting vulnerable and trauma dumping and talking about our past and our secrets. Ultimately, the diving part, and if we’re really looking for a hack, is asking the question, “What are you currently working through?”

You can ask that question to someone you’re on date with. You can ask that question to yourself, and that helps you dive underneath the waters of someone’s surface level offerings and knowing that everyone’s working through some shit. Now you get a glimpse into what they’re working through, and they get a glimpse into what you’re working through. That’s the ultimate dive, first dive you can do in dating.

Ken Page:
I love that. I love that. Thank you. Thank you both. You’re very special to me, the two of you. I’m just so glad to share you with my audience, and I’m excited for this whole concept of DIYing your relationship and your vision of relationship. That’s just really exciting. So, how can people get in touch with you? How can they learn about your podcast? How can they learn about your projects, your offerings?

Julie Krafchick:
Yeah, I mean, we are on every podcast player and platform out there. So, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Dateable Podcast. @dateablepodcast is our Instagram handle, pretty much across the socials. You can always go to dateablepodcast.com.

Ken Page:
Perfect. Perfect. Well, you both are awesome. Thank you so much. This was a delight as always.

Yue Xu:
Thank you so much, Ken.

Julie Krafchick:
Thank you, Ken.

Yue Xu:
Always an honor.

Ken Page:
Thank you and see you all on the next episode of The Deeper Dating Podcast.

 

Watch the episode here:

 

 

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