Positively Midlife Podcast

Smart Dating in Midlife with Holly Tidwell - Ep. 88

February 07, 2024 Tish & Ellen with Holly Tidwell Season 3 Episode 88
Positively Midlife Podcast
Smart Dating in Midlife with Holly Tidwell - Ep. 88
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Navigating the turbulent seas of modern dating can leave many of us longing for a lighthouse to guide our way. This week's episode shines a beacon of hope as we sit down with the sensational Hope with Holly, whose journey from a conservative pastor to a TikTok icon has captured the hearts of many. Holly shares her personal transformation with humor and wisdom, shedding light on the importance of building connections and setting boundaries in a world that often rushes toward intimacy without a second glance. 

Dive headfirst into the deep end of self-love and self-awareness as Holly recounts her own experiences, from an arranged marriage to finding freedom and true self post-divorce. She imparts the wisdom of the '90 day rule' and the art of vetting potential partners through critical questions that ensure your emotional and physical safety. This episode is a trove of insights for those who are charting their course in the quest for meaningful relationships, reminding us all that sometimes the most profound love stems from a place of self-appreciation and knowing one's worth.

Finally, we wrap up with the latest innovation in the dating app world, Skip, which Holly has been instrumental in marketing. Its unique features tackle common frustrations like ghosting and transparency, aiming to make the dating process more straightforward and honest. Whether you're in the dating game or enjoying the view from the sidelines, this episode is packed with laughter, resilience, and the superpower of embracing every aspect of your journey. So, get ready to be inspired by Holly's story and maybe even discover a few superpowers of your own.

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Speaker 1:

So for anyone who's been on the dating scene recently, you know how crazy it can be out there in dating land, and you're going to love our guest today. Hope with Holly has been a social media sensation with her unique approach to dating.

Speaker 2:

You know, her message is one of hope for us daters and I know our listeners know I'm on the dating scene, so it's also a message, though, of taking control and finding good, healthy, long-term relationships, and I love that part of her message.

Speaker 1:

You know I've been following Holly on TikTok and have laughed along with her. You know she's just so authentic about her dating stories, and boy, could I relate to some of these stories as well.

Speaker 2:

You know. It's so true, tish, we laugh a lot about our dating stories. I watched a lot of her TikToks that I hadn't seen earlier this week and I too laughed and related. But what makes Holly different for me is that she realized she wanted to take time to get to know someone before intimacy and, I think, at midlife. This is really an important and interesting approach and this day and age, like we all know, it's hard to slow down, but slowing down can be really good. But before we get into Hope with Holly and Meet Holly, tish, you know I love this part of the show. What kind of obsession do you have for me this week?

Speaker 1:

I have a really simple obsession this week. So for Christmas I got a brand new air fryer with all these different levels and stuff that you can put in there. It was from my daughter and her boyfriend and I will take something out that needs to be done and I think how long do I need to put it in? Like it's never clear to me how to use this. So my obsession this week is with this little flip chart that has a magnet so you can stick it on a refrigerator. That tells you it's like a cheat sheet for your air fryer. And they also have them for what is that other gadget that people use the Instapot. The Instapot, they have one for that too, and it's really inexpensive. And I thought, oh, this is great because you can just grab it, look up what you need and go. And that is my obsession, because I'm going to be trying to eat healthier this year.

Speaker 2:

You know I have to share that I was very anti air fryer because I was like what do I need something to just make French fries? Right, it was like, but we got one, probably four or five months ago, and I use it for everything and there are so many people on social media sharing really great healthy recipes, but it is always kind of a crap shoot for me. I'm going to put it in what do I do? I think I might grab one of those two tish, sounds good. We'll have to share some air fryer recipes, two hun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there you go. Well, what about you, Ellen? What is your obsession for this week?

Speaker 2:

So I know you remember when we had tea barns on talking about creating a non-toxic environment, and I've been seeing a lot of information about dishwasher tabs, how they're coated in plastic and it made me think about and how you know it was an area in my home that I really was just buying a big vat of dishwasher tabs up at Costco. So I got these Blue Land dishwasher tabs on Amazon and they are like free of everything paraben, ammonia, you know this, that but mostly they're free of the plastic wrap that they say can disintegrate and then we eat small bits of it. So I think that show we watched you are what you eat, and the and some of these things were making me think about this. So it's a really great, easy choice and it comes in a refillable package. So again you know, really good for the environment. So Blue Land dishwasher tabs are my obsession this week.

Speaker 1:

You know, I never really thought about that plastic coating that keeps all those little pretty colors of detergents and stuff in those tabs. But yeah, it's going somewhere. It's going into our water system, is going into our bodies, so I like that one. That might be a good easy switch. You know, making small progress on, you know what we expose our bodies to. Well, I want to go ahead and move on to Holly, because this is really going to be a good one, right? So Holly is a social media sensation who has one of the most open and honest dialogues out there about getting in touch with yourself, first of all, and what you really want. Holly was a graduate from Liberty University with a degree in biblical studies, and she has various pastoral positions that she has held. She's worked as a sex education teacher and she has a very successful event planning business. So I want to welcome you, Holly, to our podcast.

Speaker 3:

Hello, thank you, Ellen and Tish for having me. This is going to be so much fun.

Speaker 2:

We are so excited to have you, Holly, and you know. Could you tell our listeners a little bit more about your path and how it led you to open up your life on social media?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, okay. Well, first of all, I want everyone to know that I'm not a pastor anymore, so they are not going to hear foul words out of my mouth and dick jokes galore. I have not been to church in 15 years. I got plenty of it during my pastoral ship. But I did end up, as a result of being in the church, in an arranged marriage. A prophet came to our church, told me who I had to marry, and I was young and dumb and did it. We did not kiss until we got engaged. We didn't have sex until our wedding night, and I don't recommend that either. Big mistake in that area for us. But because of my religious beliefs I stayed married because I thought divorce was a sin. And when my first daughter passed away at birth and that's when I started questioning everything and kind of deconstructing from my super religious halt-like beliefs I had four babies in three years and so by the time I realized that divorce could be an option. I had four babies at home and I was like, oh my god, I don't want them to be raised in a broken home. So I'm going to stick it out. We tried. I went to therapy for I don't know, it's not many, many years eight years, I think in the marriage and read every single book I could to figure out how to be happy in a marriage that was just truly like a business partnership right. It was. There was no love or tenderness or nurturing of each other's souls or anything like that. So I finally, we finally got an amicable divorce, and then I get thrust into the dating world which was so freaking, scary, especially considering how my past dating experiences what were? you know? I didn't even have sex with my husband until our wedding night. And here I'm going out on these dates with men who were like expecting kissing and sex on the first date. Yeah, now I will say that I tried to embrace my wholeness and I I love how you said that. Yeah, and I was like you know what I'm going to taste? The rainbow, I'm going to try it all. Yeah. And I realized quickly, after just two men, that I wasn't cut out for that life. I guess people would consider me monoamorous, which means that I only enjoy having sex with somebody who I have an emotional connection with. So no shame on the hookup girls, it's just not me. That's not how I flow. But what was happening was I was realizing that I was just kind of going along with how they were telling me we were supposed to be dating and following their lead and not really listening to my truth inside of me, which ended up with me, you know, kissing right away and having sex right away, which led me to be getting lip and dick drunk. I call it.

Speaker 2:

Holly, I just have to say this is so many women's stories Letting the man take the lead in dating, whether you're 16 or 18 or 30 or 50, right, and so I think this is really resonating.

Speaker 3:

And I have no problem with a man taking the lead. If I want to follow Right and that's the part that I think so many of us women have, especially as one who grew up in the church and had to deconstruct from this is that the man knows better. Right, just follow their lead. They have your best interest in mind. Put a book, oh yeah, right. So I had to. Well, I had some toxic relationships, some codependent relationships, some narcissistic relationship where I ended up having to get a restraining order out on this person, and that was a real huge blow to my ego and like, wow, you're not doing this right. So how do you keep being in these toxic relationships? And by toxic I just mean like it's on and off, and on and off. I break up, I get back with them, I break up, I get back with them, I keep going back for more of this.

Speaker 2:

Right nothing changing. Nothing changing either Same old, same old right.

Speaker 3:

Yes, so I decided to take some time off and heal, because that's what I heard you're supposed to do. So I was like, well, what's been working for me or what's been doing, what I've been doing hasn't been working for me, so let me try something different.

Speaker 1:

So, holly, I think like what's so unique about your approach and it sounds like this was born out of this taking a break time was this 90 day rule.

Speaker 3:

Yes. So I had a dating coach reach out to me on TikTok and she was like girl, you need my help. And I was like, no, she looked like a Sunday school teacher to me and I was like, please do not bring me your rules, I am done with rules. But then she told me that she had been a stripper for 20 years and I was like, oh okay, I'll listen to you. You know men probably better than anybody else do or does. So she wrote this book called no More Assholes by Chantel Heidi, and so I read it and what I loved about it was I didn't have sex before marriage, because it taught you to value yourself and even though I think that's an extreme thing to have, I also didn't enjoy having sex right away. So I felt like this was a really good middle ground of listen. First of all, what I did was I wrote a list of what I really wanted in a man. Okay, this took a lot of work because before I could get to that list, first I had to write what my values were. I read Mark Manson's book the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and he teaches you how to know what your values are. So I read his book, came up with my 10 values, and then that led me to come up with my 10 goals that I wanted in my life. And then my dating coach told me I had to write 50 things that I like about myself. So that led me down this path of okay, well, do I even love myself? Like, do I even like myself and do I love myself? So all of that led to me writing my list of 35 non-negotiable that I want in a man. But here's the key was I had to be all these things too. So you can't write down something that you're not. So you can't say you want a man with a six pack if you don't have a six pack, and so on and so forth. But mine is mostly just all character qualities, like he needs to be family oriented, he needs to be physically and emotionally safe, he needs to be socially liberal because I have a transgender son and so I need a man who's not a man. So I need a man who is not only tolerates that but celebrates it. So that's what I worked on. And then she told me that I needed to have more self control. I was like I don't want to Like. If I'm a horny bitch and I do have a very high sex drive and I love sex, I consider myself a sex goddess, and if I meet somebody and I do have an emotional connection, I don't want to wait. And he was like well, how's that been working out for you? Okay, touche, lady, touche.

Speaker 2:

So when people ask you that, like, how's that been going for you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like turning the mirror. It's like turning your face to a mirror. How does that look?

Speaker 2:

Yes, you know what, holly, I wanted to say, though all these things that you did were such great work about you. Yes it started with you. It started with you and that's what I love about this approach. And I think, like I'm sitting here saying I haven't written what I love about myself, I haven't thought about what I really want in that man and again, you're right, it's really not six packs or having a full head of hair or being six feet tall. It's the real quality of that person. But I love these steps that you took about self-awareness and I think, when I listen to you on social media and I see you're always talking about this to know yourself, to be aware, to trust yourself, not just in dating. These things I see go across your whole entire life, right?

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, 100%. So you can't aim at a target that you don't see right. And so I am successful in my business, I'm a successful mom, I'm a great friend, I'm a wonderful sister and I'm successful in all these other areas of my life because I have direction and goals and I know what I want in those areas. But for some reason, with the relationships and then I would just flounder all around and go. I was so more worried about do they like me versus do I like them.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh say that again Because I think women need to hear that.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I would go into dates with anxiety, worried are they gonna like me? With no thought about whether or not am I gonna like them, and it would change how I would speak and what I would say. I decided to turn dating into a self-exploration experiment, so I got on the dating apps, even though I think they are a dumpster fire, and I just started accepting dates and started learning how to vet men better. And what I loved about this process that I came up with was I'm going to practice these skills that I'm learning on these dates. Okay, so I'm gonna practice speaking my truths. I'm gonna practice enforcing my boundaries, which doesn't mean saying what your boundary is. It means actually like taking action. If you cross my boundary, I'm going to remove my self from your presence and walking away. I'm going to practice listening to my intuition and my gut and I'm going to practice, you know, being vocal about what I want and what I don't want and being authentically myself in front of these people. So that was so hard to like speak your truths. And what I did was I came up with this mantra say what you mean without saying it to me, right, cause I'm a recovering people, pleaser. I'm such a recovering people pleaser Right here and I would get so afraid of what. Am I gonna hurt their feelings, right? And so I decided well, I don't want to hurt their feelings. Am I a mature enough person to be able to speak the truth without hurting their feelings? So that was a good thing for me to practice too. So you know, I would tell guys on the first date. If things went well, I would say so. Listen, I am doing this new thing where I am trying to get to know a man as a friend first, to see can we have a solid foundation of friendship before we have physical intimacy. Because, look, the Gottman Institute of Relationships say that an emotional connection is five times more important than physical connection in any intimate relationship and any romantic relationship. So this is what I would like to do. So usually that takes me 90 days to create a friendship and know whether or not you're emotionally and physically safe for me to start that with. So my rule was, or my guideline was, 90 days of no kissing, no sex, no sleepovers and no exclusivity.

Speaker 2:

So, ollie, did guys just get up and walk when you said that, or?

Speaker 3:

they like Good question. So I have lots of reactions. Some guys would be like, oh my gosh, that's so fantastic, I love that for you. Like, yeah, that's smart, that's the way to do it. Let's have a second date. And then I would never hear from them again. So, and that was fine with me, because rejection is just redirection, okay. So no problem, I'm pivoting. You're not for me. Some guys would sit there and argue with me in debates. That is not healthy. That's, you'll never find a man who's willing to do that. Nobody wants to, nobody is gonna have that happen. Or and so I would be like, okay, you obviously don't know how to respect boundaries and my boundaries, and that's okay, you can go, do you and you can go sleep around. That's not what I'm doing, Because I'm looking for a long-term relationship. If you're looking just to hook up, no shame in that game, do that, but that's not for me. Then I had guys that would be like I can change your mind real fast, you know.

Speaker 1:

The challenge, the challenge.

Speaker 3:

The challenge exactly. And I would tell them yeah well, I didn't have sex with my husband until our wedding night, so good luck with that buddy. And I don't want a man who wants to break my boundaries and wants to challenge my boundaries. So I was able to tell him thank you so much for your time. We are not compatible. Good luck with your life. That was my elevator speech, because I had to come up with an elevator speech, so I wouldn't be rude or mean because I don't need to do that either.

Speaker 1:

But here's the thing, holly, you were changing the rules on guys. Guys have been so conditioned that they set the pace and it's whatever they want, and that's what happens. And women haven't really started to do what you do and to say you know, where am I, what is it I want? So, yeah, I love that approach Well the thing is.

Speaker 3:

It used to be that way. It used to be, that the women set the rules and then, with social media and dating apps coming along, that changed all the rules. People were able to have instant gratification whenever they wanted, and that led to some addictions and dopamine addictions basically, instant gratification. So, yeah, I'm bringing those rules back, at least for me. Everybody can do whatever they want to do, but if I'm looking for a long-term relationship, I'm looking to build a solid friendship first, and thank goodness because that eliminated so many people who were just looking to hook up and not have a long-term partnership. So I did have men really love it and say, well, god, this takes the pressure off, because now I don't have to know. Like, do I lean in now because you want me to kiss her now? Da, da, da, da, and they really want to vet you too, and vetting is super important to me. So, along those terms, I then came up with my vetting questions that I asked myself when going on a date. I listen, I'm an event planner, okay?

Speaker 1:

I'm an organizer or?

Speaker 3:

researcher, planner type of girl.

Speaker 1:

But by writing these down it organizes your own thoughts. It really creates what it is is important to you and you can categorize it.

Speaker 3:

Not only does it do that, but it holds me accountable Right.

Speaker 2:

You know, the thing I've always talked to a lot of girlfriends about too is somehow we act like this is the last man that's ever coming along and we've got to just be like. Well, that doesn't really work, but okay, I'll, you know, and I think this is such an empowering flip. You have flipped the cup on it and it really goes through. You know what is it for you as the woman that is important, and what I love too, is you've just knocked out a whole bunch of people that just don't.

Speaker 3:

You could have wasted time with Folly without sharing this 90 day plan, right, and so I think that's really important both of those, and my favorite thing is that you knock out a lot of abusers, because abusers do not like to be told no. Abusers are looking for a people pleaser, an empath, and someone who's going to just disregard their own boundaries and roll with whatever they want. So when I tell them no and I watch their reactions, I know right away you're used to controlling and manipulating, so, and the definition of an abuser is someone who controls, manipulates and neglects. So I get to knock out a lot of abusers from the get-go. Some can slip through because they can fake it till they make it. But what I love about this whole process is, too, is it continues to hold me accountable to. What do I actually want? Because I spent a year creating a life that I absolutely love, and I read Dr Shafali's book A Radical Awakening, where she talks about how you have to learn to be your best companion, and you have to learn to love yourself so well that you can recognize when other people come into your life whether or not they love you that well and whether or not they should stay, and if they don't, then they should go. And so that is really my whole. I never thought I would be talking about dating so much online, but really the foundation of it all is loving yourself and having and not abandoning your own wants and desires and your own boundaries, and really just enjoying your life so much that you don't abandon yourself and you go after what you really do want. And if a man doesn't come along that fits that list, then wait, I can live a Golden Girls lifestyle with my Golden Girl girlfriends and we will be fine, right, exactly Because I have got six dildos in my bedside table that take care of me.

Speaker 2:

Really really well.

Speaker 3:

Okay, my clit sucker. My womanizer is amazing.

Speaker 1:

I love that. We'll put legal-. Now, holly, I wanna get you to share with us some of these like vetting questions, like give us an example of a vetting question or one of your like 36, you know.

Speaker 2:

Non-negotiable.

Speaker 1:

Qualities, yeah, non-negotiables.

Speaker 3:

Okay, well, first of all, vetting questions are different than questions. I ask them. I have, if you, if all. So I have. I'm on Instagram, facebook, youtube and TikTok, and if you go to any of them for Hope with Holly, you can go to my website and you can download all of this stuff for free, cause I really do want to help women and men learn to get the life that they want. So I have on there a list of questions you can ask your date to find out more about them, to dig deeper, but the vetting questions are the 10 questions that you ask yourself To know whether or not this is a good person. So question number one is do they make me feel physically and emotionally safe? So, when I share my feelings with them, is it done without judgment? Are they judging me? Do they have any kind of anger or control issues that would make me feel unsafe? And then I always do a background check.

Speaker 2:

You know, Holly, I have Googled guys that I have been talking to on online dating and it's unbelievable what you can find out just from a simple logo. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

You have to go to that feed, right? I made that mistake with my last boyfriend and it ended up with me getting him a restraining order. So, yeah, highly recommend a background check. Number two do they make me feel valued? Do they actively listen and give me their full attention? Do they appreciate my time? Do they prioritize me and respect my boundaries? Number three, and this is a really, really good one Do I like them and I rate them with the word R-A-T-E R? Do I respect them? A meaning do I want to be a better person around them? Okay, A. Do I admire them and am I inspired by their qualities or achievements in life? E do I see them as my equal and do they see me as their equal? And then, oh, sorry, T, do I trust them and believe they have my best interest at heart? And then, E do I see them as my equal? That really forces me to actually think do I actually really like this person? Wow, I love those things, Because sometimes I'm only liking them because they're giving me attention. Sometimes I'm only liking them because they took me to a fun adventure, you know, or a beautiful dinner, or sometimes I only like them because they're funny, but I don't actually really respect them. So then I go to number four are we compatible? Do we have the same values and goals in life? And since I have mine written down, I know what mine are and I can I have them all on my phone so I can easily access them after a date. I went out on a lovely date with a man who lives in the city of Charlotte and is a banker and he moves around the country all the time, but I've got a 15 acre farm in the country. I'm a country girl, I'm gonna live and die here, okay, so we just weren't compatible, even though he was a wonderful, sweet man. So there was no point in wasting either of our time.

Speaker 2:

You know what I mean, right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So then I think we spent a lot of time trying to make men fit. We do, Because we heard this message you know everyone's not gonna have everything you need and they're not gonna be perfect, but I think women have taken it too far to make that square peg fit in around holes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yes, you only need three things. You need chemistry, compatibility and connection. So if you know what those three things are and what you like, then that's all you need to know and that's why I have my non-negotiables written down.

Speaker 2:

Okay, give us a couple non-negotiables, holly.

Speaker 3:

So my non-negotiables some non-negotiables are that he's spiritual and non-religious. I did the church thing and I don't ever want to do that again, and no shame to the people who do. It's just not gonna be a good fit. I like a man who's confident. That's very sexy to me, so he needs to have a confident soul. If he-. Now I have preferences on the bottom that are separate from my non-negotiables, and my preferences say that he will be tall and wide and bearded and drive a truck, you know, but-.

Speaker 2:

I think we've heard about someone like that on your social-.

Speaker 3:

Girl, I got everything that I wanted. Yes, it's important to write that shit down, manifest that. So I need him to love my kids and my family. That's important to me. I need him to be passionate and affectionate, cause if you're not grabbing my ass every time I walk by you, what's the point? You know, like when we're in a relationship, you know, but that's me. I'm a physical touch girl. I would like him to have a sense of humor, to be self-aware, to be responsible and have a good work ethic, to be handy. That could be either you do the thing and fix it, or you pay someone else to fix it. But either way, please get it done. I love-.

Speaker 2:

I think we all want a guy that's handy in either way. Right, you can pay for it and do it. Let me ask you this, I what I hear from you too, is that you stayed optimistic during this whole process. I mean, you did all the back work, but you know your moniker's hope with Holly, and so I wondered if you could share with our listeners a little bit about your optimism around this process.

Speaker 3:

Well, the thing is I wouldn't want to have sex with myself, like. So who wouldn't want to have sex with me? So you know, like I like myself, I love my own company and that is really all that matters. It's really not about finding the guy, as it is enjoying the journey, you know, yeah right Of self-discovery and loving myself. So I don't get heartbroken or upset. I want to find real love because I have never like experienced true love in my life, being in an arranged marriage for 20 years. But the most important love I can have is for myself, and that really has been a game changer for me. When people would say that I thought they were blowing smoke at my ass all the time. But I really did realize that I wasn't truly loving myself If I was continuing to do behaviors that were leading me heartbroken all the time.

Speaker 2:

You know, colleen, say, though, at Midlife these messages are so important. I know, for me I'm just soaking this all in, but for our listeners and a lot on the podcast, tisha and I talk about this journey of self-discovery and we say, if not when like we are at Midlife and these things of having a true love or whatever it is that you want to bring into your life, it's this journey of self-discovery that helps get you. I love this message. I love what you're saying.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and so every time like oh, go ahead honey, I was gonna say you've done so much self-work. That's what I think. That really sets what you're doing apart. You're not just, you know, blowing smoke. You did all this self-work of discovering who you were before you figured out what you wanted. But let me ask you this why bring it to social media? What was that part of it for you? Because I have to say you have to be one of the most authentic people out there talking about these topics, because you talk about when you stumble, when you question your own rules and everything. I mean you are very transparent with it and I think that's what really brings people in, because they know you're being authentic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so over two and a half years ago, my son had his six suicide attempt and the day I took him to the airport to send him to which was going to be his final behavioral health rehab facility across the country to get him help, he told me you know that he has all these thoughts in his head and he explained what his thoughts were. And I was like I mean, we all have those thoughts. We all have these thoughts of I'm unlovable, I'm never going to do this, right, who am I? What is my purpose? Like, all of us have these thoughts and you feel alone because you think nobody else is having these thoughts. So I came home that day I had never even been on TikTok, but my kids were all on TikTok. I have four teenagers in high school and I said I'm just going to go on and I'm going to start talking about all my thoughts and how the human experience, whether it's beautiful or it's ugly, is totally normal. And we all have these experiences. We all succeed and we all fail and we all have direction and we all flip flop and we all fall down and it's all okay. So learning that was my goal to come on and show people how I read all these self-help books right and how I try and practice them in my life, where I stumble, where I succeed and how it's all beautiful, no matter what.

Speaker 2:

It's life. Right, You're just putting life out there.

Speaker 3:

It is life and I will say I had to develop some pretty thick skin.

Speaker 2:

What about your teens? How do they feel about you being on social media? So you know authentically.

Speaker 3:

So their friends started following me. I told my kids when I first got on TikTok I'm like I need four followers and it's you, because if you're not going to listen to life lesson number 63 at home, maybe I'll pop up in your TikTok you know screen, and you'll hear a life lesson and how this is all normal and that it's okay to talk about your feelings and emotions and stuff. And they were like, oh, mom, whatever. But then their friends started following me and their friends would say, oh my gosh, your mom is so cool or so smart or oh my God, your mom was talking about sex today and that's weird and so unfortunately, I've had to hurt tail and be a little more. Oh God, listen, when my kids get older and I get too explode and talk about all the sex stuff. You just wait, it is on. But now they like it. Now you know they like that, their friends like it and I'm kind of the cool mom with their friends. Sometimes they'll send me comments and be like, oh my God, you're so embarrassing and extra Well, tell me something. I don't know already, you know, tell me something new there. Okay, that was what started it is. I just wanted people to see all the thoughts. You know, can we just get all the thoughts out of our head and let people know that they're normal and that this is normal and it's okay to have these thoughts and it's okay to struggle, you know? So, anyway, can we go back to the vetting questions? Yeah, okay, so this is a good one. Number five was you ask yourself, do I have physical chemistry with this person? And I got to tell you how I determine whether or not I have physical chemistry with a man. Is, I ask myself, can I see myself on my knees blowing him? Okay, that is for me, that is the litmus test, for is this man, am I attracted to this man?

Speaker 2:

Right, so, like I think a lot of us are like, can we kiss this guy? But you're saying, could we blow this guy?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, let's take it a step further, because we could probably kiss a lot of people, but would we, you know? would we want to be down there. Is the hygiene good? Do we think the hygiene is good? First of all, but you know also, does the flirting feel natural? Is there eye contact? Is there positive and open body language when we're talking stuff like that? And then, number six do we have an emotional connection? And I use the word crave, c-r-a-v-e, to know if I have an emotional connection with somebody. So C stands for comfort. Do I feel comfortable and safe around this person? R stands for respect. Do I feel like we respect one another and respect each other's emotions? A stands for authentic. Do I feel like I can be my authentic self or am I masking or pretending to be somebody else? Because if I'm pretending to be somebody else around him, we do not have an emotional connection. V is vulnerable and do I feel comfortable enough to be honest and share, you know, deep stuff with him? Then we might have an emotional connection. And then E, and E is the most important thing Do we both have empathy for one another? Can we express empathy? Empathy obviously means can you put yourself in the other person's shoes? Or when you tell them a story about yourself, are they saying oh, that's not right, or you shouldn't have done that or that was crazy. You shouldn't have felt that way, that's right. So an emotional connection is the most important thing that I'm constantly asking myself do I have this with this man? Number seven do we have an intellectual connection? Do we have engaging conversations? Do we have shared interests? Do we have a political alignment and intensity? Because you could say you're a Democrat, but are you an extreme? Are you extreme on that, you know? And are you very, very involved? Do you need to be with somebody who's very, very involved, or do you care if you're with somebody who's kind of apolitical and doesn't really want to be involved? So then, number eight do we have a spiritual connection? Do we have similar beliefs and intensity? So that's the other thing. People can say I'm a Christian, but okay, well, what kind of Christian? Are you a holiday Christian where you go Christmas and Easter, or are you Sunday morning, sunday night, wednesday night Christian? So are we spiritual? And can we talk about meanings, the meaning of life, our purpose in life? Can we self-reflect, can we be mindful? And that's really important to me. So I want somebody who I can talk spiritually with. Basically, I want to date a woman with a dick. Okay, which those two exist, but I have not found one that I've connected with Number nine. Are they a person of character like I am? So on my list, my non-negotiable list, I can't answer something I'm not, so I have to also be patient and trustworthy and responsible and loyal, and so are they those things as well.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And are they sober from addictions, and I'm talking alcohol addiction, drug addiction, porn addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction?

Speaker 2:

right.

Speaker 3:

And food addictions too, because I'm very susceptible as a ADHD dopamine addict. I'm very susceptible to the food addiction. So I need to be with somebody who is relatively healthy. And then number 10 is do they respond to my bids for connection? So when I attempt to connect with them physically, emotionally, verbally do, and I say something like, oh my God, look at the beautiful rainbow in the sky, do they say God, you're always looking at fucking rainbows. Or do they say, and do they respond positively oh, that's beautiful Good eye. You know, because what the Godman Institute says is that if they respond positively to 80% or more of your bids for connections, then that is a sign that you're going to have a long-term healthy relationship, as long as the 20% that they don't respond to isn't abusive.

Speaker 2:

Right, I think the concept of bids. We should definitely put a link to a resource on that, because it's something I recently learned about and I think it's fascinating for women to understand that. But I know, tish, we wanted to talk also with Holly a little bit about dating apps, I think.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and I specifically want you to talk about the new dating app that you're involved with out there too. So how do you feel about most of the dating apps? Because I know it has been a train wreck for me.

Speaker 3:

It is a train wreck because you get talking to these guys and sometimes you'll be messaging back and forth for two freaking weeks and then they just ghost and nothing comes of it. And so I was working with a company called Skip and had multiple meetings with the president and correspondents, and I am helping them market their dating app and it's Skip to the first date is what it's called and so if they go to any of my platforms and click on the link in my bio, they can find the way to download that dating app, and I would love it if they did, because what happens in this dating app is you create deal breaker questions. After you create your profile, you come up with yes or no deal breaker questions, like, one of my deal breaker questions is are you married or in a long or in a relationship with somebody? Because 46% of people on dating apps are in a relationship with somebody already.

Speaker 1:

So I don't want to. They're just looking for a new one. They're looking for a way out.

Speaker 3:

Or they're just, or they want to stay in their relationship, and you are there stroking their ego Right At night. All their wife or husband is laying next to them. They're messaging you, getting their ego stroke so that they can continue to have these dopamine highs. So, basically, if somebody likes your profile, they have to answer all of your deal breaker questions correctly, and if they do, they immediately can ask you on a date, and Skip already has asked you what dates and times are you available? What foods sensitivities do you have? And they so. I am dating a gentleman and he went on to the app and asked me out, and so I got a message saying you know, mountain man wants to take you on a date Tuesday night at 6pm at this restaurant. And then I can look at his profile and I can accept or say I prefer this restaurant or I can let's change it this time of day. So that way, first of all, you're not getting scammed by all the scammers who are never going to meet you in person and just want money. You're not having any kind of endless conversations, boring conversations, with people who it's not going to go anywhere and they're meeting you on public so hopefully they're not married and they wouldn't be too embarrassed to do that. But what I love about it is you get to have all your first impressions and conversations face to face, right, and you can just be a quick coffee date. It doesn't have to be a huge dinner, but this women especially really pick up on energy from people.

Speaker 1:

I love the name skip. It sounds like you're skipping all the bullshit. You're skipping all the time wasting. I used to say being on a dating app is a full time job.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and here's the best part too. Two hours before the date, the app messages you and makes you confirm that you're still going, and then you can also put on there I'm running 10 minutes behind, 15 minutes behind, whatever. It lets the other person know that they canceled the date, so you don't get set up. Or, and if they don't show up to the dates, then they get removed from the app because the app is free.

Speaker 2:

I love this idea, holly, because it means that both people have the same intent, which is to get together and meet and date, Because I think that's the thing on the apps. People have so many different intentions, right, whether it's stroking their ego, getting a side piece or getting money. So yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, Holly, we could keep going on and on with you and I know we're coming to our end and stuff like that. But we always have this one question we love to ask and just to let our listeners know, we're going to give all the contact information how you can get a hold of Holly. She does do one-on-one appointments with people in sessions and things. So they'll all be all that contact in our show notes. But, Holly, we need to know what is your superpower.

Speaker 3:

I can't decide between two. Can I say two? Yes, I can say two yes, okay, I have no shame whatsoever. I can talk about anything and everything and all of my flaws and any failure that I've ever had, because it is what it is. But number two is I'm resilient. I get knocked down like anybody else, but I refuse to fucking stay there. It might take me a couple of weeks sometimes to get back up, but I always get back up, and I think most of us do, and my goal is to just keep decreasing that amount of time that I have to get back up. Progress, not perfection, right?

Speaker 1:

That's right and it sounds like your whole story sounds like an evolution of progress. But the big thing is it started with self-awareness. It started with you connecting to what, who you were, what was important to you, what you wanted, and then, from there it was like who can I include in my life? And I think that's really what sets you apart from so many other people that tell you the little tricks and I feel like it's little tricks that you can do to find somebody. This is find yourself, and the other person will attract to you 100%.

Speaker 2:

I love that message. Okay, holly, thank you so much for being with us today. We may have to have her back again. I'll have you back again because there is so much more we could cover, but thank you for being with us. We'll put everything in the show notes and until next week, mid-lifers. Yes, ma'am, thank you so much for being with us today.

Hope With Holly
Embracing Self-Awareness and Setting Dating Boundaries
The Importance of Self-Love in Dating
Vetting Questions and Non-Negotiables in Dating
Navigating Relationships and Self-Discovery
Innovative Dating App
The Power of Self-Awareness and Progress