Midlife Dating Podcast

EP 17 - Dating Truths: Part 2

October 15, 2022 Paul Nelson Episode 17
Midlife Dating Podcast
EP 17 - Dating Truths: Part 2
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Having problems getting past the first few dates, let alone the first meetup? Then, you could be guilty of "Projection." This glossary term describes how we may subconsciously project our past negative dating and relationship experiences onto our new dates.

Following the glossary segment, Paul reviews Esther Perel's book "Mating in Captivity."  Social and emotional intelligence are standard terms we hear about. However, Perel gives us much-needed insight into "Erotic intelligence," which is understanding what attracts a couple to one another, including how and why those couples grow apart.

In the Potpourri Segment, Paul expands on dating Truths 6-10, explaining why dating with purpose is so difficult, what the dating long game versus the dating short game looks like, and why we want to play the long game.

Please contact Paul at the email address below If you have any dating topics you'd like covered or have questions or comments. Of course, we'll keep your identity confidential.

Questions and Contributions: questions@50datesat50.com

50 Dates at 50 Website: https://50datesat50.com/

The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Episode 17 - Dating Truths: Part 2


Paul Nelson: Episode 17, Dating Truths Part Two. 

As you gain dating experience, your ability to read the tea leaves in a dating relationship increases. This is one of the enormous benefits of repetition. Simply put, the more you go out and date, the more you pick up on a combination of the little things that usually end up making a big difference.

This brings us to our dating and relationship term for this episode, which is "Projection." Projection explains what we telegraph to our current dates about our past dating and relationship experiences. In many cases, without us even being aware of it.

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel is the book review for this episode.

When it comes to dating and relationships, social and emotional intelligence are common terms we hear about. Perel gives us much-needed insight into erotic intelligence, which is the understanding of what attracts a couple to another.

As regular listeners have noticed, I add a retro segment to each episode, and this is audio from instructional films made back in the late 1940s through the 1970s. I'll be explaining more about this segment a little bit later in the podcast. 

In the Potpourri segment, I'll be covering Dating Truths, Part Two. A combination of truths emerging out of repeating patterns and behaviors I began to pick up on when I started dating again in my early fifties. I tackle the dating long game versus the dating short game. Baggage, and why dating with purpose is so difficult.

 By the end of this episode, you'll have some insight into whether you're projecting your past negative dating and relationship experiences onto your current dates.

 Also, why erotic intelligence is something we need to understand better. To assist in understanding, I'll present a Reader's Digest version of Pearl's description of the modern love story. These are 14 short steps, or bullet points if you will, that repeat themselves when a couple goes from dynamic attraction for one another to marital or relationship boredom.

 The fascinating thing here is you can substitute slices of your past relationships into this modern love story and learn why things started to go in the wrong direction. It's truly an eye-opener. 

 And lastly will learn why savvy daters play the dating long game.

If you like what you hear, please take a moment and click on the follow or subscribe button.

 And why is that? Because I don't want you missing out on making your date nights more memorable. So now, 50 daters, let's start turning those dating busts into dating bests. 

Glossary Term: Projection

Paul Nelson: Projection. 

This is the act of telegraphing your personal mindset, dilemmas, and behavior patterns, consciously or unconsciously. For example, a person gets cheated on or stalked by their ex now believes that all men or women are suspected cheaters or stalkers who cannot be trusted. A bad past dating or relationship experience is thus projected onto the new potential dating partner.

Fifty Daters keep their projections in check. They learn from their experiences and use them to fine-tune their filtering system. A dates potential projection issues can easily be identified by reading their dating profile or on the first phone call, or within the first few dates.

Book Review: Mating In Captivity

Paul Nelson: So my review for this episode is the book. Mating in Captivity Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. By Esther Perel. 

So Paul, what's this book all about? In dating and relationships. We regularly deal with social and emotional intelligence. After reading Mating In Captivity, I can say that Erotic Intelligence is a term we all need to get better acquainted with. Reinforced by her 20-plus years of practice, Esther Perel takes a close look at the demise of committed couple's eros, or sexual desire.

 Erotic intelligence is the understanding of what creates desire and attracts a couple to each other. What changes as the relationship matures and how starting a family influences that change, and how and why desire dissipates between a couple as they spend more time together. 

This is not a book on how often, how many times, who gets there first, how long it lasts, or any other specifics on how to be erotic. Instead, this book focuses on understanding how eroticism exists between a couple. It discusses cultivating eroticism, losing it, and what is necessary to maintain it at a high level. Many stereotypes are dispelled as we are enlightened about complex realities.

 So how is it that people can now have as much sex as they want but seem to have lost a passion for it? Explained are a variety of factors that have led to the diminishment, beginning with the sexual revolution.

Real-life patient cases are presented to help understand the correlation between cultural changes and the erotic dynamic. Most importantly, Perel points out the telltale signs of when a relationship's desire transitions into love, the point where eros is lost. Awareness comes down to managing a group of paradoxes. Love, enjoys, knowing everything about you. Desire needs mystery. Fulfilling our sense of security and certainty in a relationship depletes our passion for the other. Separateness is required for an intimate connection. When two become one, fusion occurs and there is nothing left to connect to. 

A multitude of questions are discussed in this book. 

When you become a committed couple, can you want now what you already have? 

Why don't desire and equality in a sexual relationship play by the same rules? 

How can the division between romantics (the seekers) and the realists be bridged?

Why do we rationalize sex away in relationships? No matter how steamy it was initially. 

 When first getting together, couples find sex to be a release from the busy workday and the stressful life. So why do they later lose interest and passion for sex because they are busy and stressed? 

 When it comes to men, why is romance now necessary when it's readily available within the relationship?

 So it's the Midlife Dating Podcast take here? 

 Well, it's simple as you read this book, you'll take stock of many of your past intimate relationship faux pas. What will become apparent as you get towards the end of this book is that committed, monogamous couples can have a richly fulfilling, passionate sexual relationship. The trick is understanding the balancing act of the paradoxes. 

Perel's ability to logically explain her points should be enough to convince most men.

But getting Gen Xer and Boomer men to actually pick up this book, entertain her reasoning, and adjust accordingly. Well, that's an entirely different story. One of the biggest problems facing our age group is a substantial percentage are set in their ways and refuse to participate in personal growth. For this reason, as 50 Daters, we need to be discerning when picking the right person for a relationship. Books like Mating in Captivity help us refine that process as we work our way through the third and fourth quarters of our lives. Finding someone you can open up to about these topics in this book is extremely important. Settling is not an option. It's better to be alone than to be in lackluster company.

 This is a very eye-opening book. By reading and applying what's in it, you'll be able to transform existing relationships back to a high level of euros and intensify new relationships and maintain them. 

I've read many books on relationships, and, in my opinion, Perel is on solid ground. Authors of several other publications in the growing review library at the 50 Dates at 50 website reinforce her analysis. Additionally, sources for her research are well documented in the notes and bibliography. 

So 50 Daters, why do you need to read this? Well, it's simple. This book is a fascinating read and has many noteworthy points that, upon first glance, are often dismissed or misunderstood due to misinformation out there in the world on a variety of fronts. As I bring up some of these topics, it's crucial to note that. Context is essential. You have to read each chapter thoroughly to grasp Perel's points, and she makes some excellent points. Keep this in mind as I continue.

The myth of spontaneity. Perel sees many couples in her practice who hold onto the idea that sex must be spontaneous while family life thrives in an environment of comfort and consistency. Perel makes the case that even at the beginning of a sexual relationship, spontaneity is a myth. What one believes to be in the moment is actually the result of much planning and preparation.

When you start going out as a couple, you carefully consider many things. What outfit should you wear? What restaurant should you attend? And what music do you want to put on in the background? What will the conversation topics be? She explains to couples that they now have to make sex happen. They must continue to plan to create the conditions for it as in the beginning.

A proper frame of mind is necessary, too. Committed sex is intentional sex. What used to be "I couldn't resist" has to evolve to "I don't want to resist." "We fell into each other's arms" has to evolve into "Let me take you into my arms." Many couples associate planning with scheduling, scheduling with work, and work with duties.

In this context, it becomes a turnoff. However, the idea is to open space to create an erotic environment.

More intimacy, less sex. Many couples confuse a deeper level of intimacy with a higher degree of sexual desire for each other. This turns out to be counterintuitive; the deeper the intimacy, the more a couple fuses. Attraction takes place when you are apart, not together.

A couple has to spend time apart to maintain a high level of desire for sex with each other. That space and time apart are what creates the erotic bridge to each other. There must be a balance of time together and time apart,

Bilingual Intimacy. This is where couples have different love languages, and neither are aware of their differences. Add in some baggage from past relationships and cultural upbringing, teaching us to be ashamed of our bodies, and you've got a couple at a sexual impasse. Perel illustrates that the stereotypical example of this is when the woman thinks the man is a typical sex-obsessed man, demanding his needs be met. The man sees the woman as sexually repressed, repeatedly rejecting him for inexplicable reasons of repulsion and contempt.

Democracy versus hot sex. Here, it is explained why desire and fairness in a sexual relationship don't play by the same rules. Perel points out that some of the greatest advances that America is known for that be democracy and fairness, are at odds in the bedroom. Great care is taken to explain how and why the ideas of sexual conquest and dominance. Combined with submission and surrender, can't be reconciled with compromise and equality. It doesn't matter which partner plays which part; the hotter the sex, the more conquest and surrender there is. 

Perel also addresses the hookup culture. Hookup culture is preferred by Gen Y and the Millennials. This is an intentional effort to keep the emotions out of sex. Hookups are brief couplings that have no narrative, no ascending plot, no story, no climax, and no closure. It's about defining good sex as spontaneity and excitement with multiple dream dates. Nothing goes wrong because you say goodbye the next day.

You don't get to know each other long enough to see each other's flaws. For the girls, it means not sacrificing your goals for a commitment. For the boys. It means getting to have multiple partners and frequent change. In hookups, relationships are about what you lose, not gain. Both genders are equal in their fear of commitment in the hookup.

The importance of being ruthless. This has to do with the paradox of thinking that the closer we feel with someone, the easier it is to discard self-conscious thoughts and be more open. Turns out the opposite is the reality for most couples due to the level of vulnerability they achieve. The more intimate they become, the more the erotic excitement between them dies.

Half of desire is what is in the erotic moment for you. Taking a step back and focusing on what you want out of those moments helps achieve separateness and combat fusion. To be one, you must first be two.

A Modern Love Story. The short version. This is an outline that Perel has put together, and this is pure genius. Even an engineer, such as myself, can easily grasp this and can understand the story and how it repeats itself. . You can easily insert parts of your past relationships into this story and see where things started to go south. So here's how this story goes, and there's basically 14 steps to it. 

1.     You meet someone through the potent alchemy of attraction. 

2.     The sweet reaction is always a surprise. 

3.     You're lifted with a sense of possibility of hope of escaping the mundane for a world of emotion and enthrallment. 

4.     Love grabs you, and you feel powerful. 

5.     You cherish the rush, and you want to hold onto this feeling. 

6.     But you're also scared. 

7.     The more you become attracted, the more you have to lose.

8.     You set out to make love more secure. You seek to fix it, to make it dependable. 

9.     You make your first commitments and happily give up a little bit of freedom in exchange for a little bit of stability. 

10. Next, you create comfort through devices, habit, ritual, pet names, things that bring reassurance. 

11. But the excitement was bound to a certain measure of insecurity. Your high resulted from the insecurity, and now, by seeking to harness it, you wind up draining the intensity out of the relationship.

12. Next, you enjoy the comfort but complain that you feel constrained. 

13. You miss the spontaneity in your attempt to control the risks of passion. You have tamed it out of existence. 

14. This is where marital boredom is born.

 Let me hit a few more quick points that Perel makes in this book. 

·        While love promises relief from aloneness. It also heightens our dependence on one person 

·        Another point that she makes is there's a powerful tendency in long-term relationships to favor the predictable over the unpredictable, yet eroticism thrives on the unpredictable.

·        The motivational expert Anthony Robbins puts it succinctly. When he explained that passion in a relationship is commensurate, that would be in proportion with the amount of uncertainty you can tolerate.

Now in this review, I'm just glossing over some of the finer points. The book is truly in-depth and is a must-read for all 50 Daters. If you really want to understand how to make a relationship work and how to take it to the next level. 

Retro Clip Introduction

Paul Nelson: I want to talk about the retro segment that I have in the podcast episodes. As you've no doubt noticed. I try to include a retro clip from instructional films that we had to watch on film projectors during the days from kindergarten through high school. Films that were made in the late 1940s all the way through the seventies, and these are now part of the public domain.

They give us a humorous yet insightful look into the past and support the axiom. "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Much, if not most all of the advice in these films still holds true today. The retro clip in this podcast episode is from the Coronet instructional film, Going Steady? From 1951.

This clip has Marie talking to her mother, where they discuss going steady. Her mother suggests that she should think about going out with some of the other boys at school and not just sticking with Jeff. The second part of this clip is Jeff discussing the aspects of going steady with his parents, who were concerned that he might focus too much on one girl too early before he can get a better idea of what's out there.

 We advocate the same thing here at the Midlife Dating Podcast. Advice from 1951 in the situation is still valid today. Being open to dating more than one person at a time while you hone your skills and learn to identify quality dateable people.

 Jeff's father makes this point near the end of the clip. Of course, once you find a great guy or gal by dating smart, you stick with them, and you stop playing the field, and that appears to be a difficult thing regarding many in our age group in online dating, and that is a subject for another podcast. 

Retro Clip HerePotpourri Segment - Dating Truths 6-10

Paul Nelson: Dating Truths. Part Two. Now, this will be truths six through 10. I addressed truths one through five in episode 16. So, if you haven't heard that episode, might be worth listening to that episode first before coming back to this. All right. 

Truth number six. Dating is supposed to be fun.

Now there's a difference between fun and funny. And many men believe they must be capable of comedian-level humor to be funny, and I've discovered that this is not so. All you need is a good sense of humor and a fun attitude. So don't worry about it if you're not a comedian, which most of us are not. Instead, be fun to be with and plan fun dates.

Dating truth number seven. Dating with purpose is a tough sell. 

Dating with purpose means having a dating plan and knowing what we are looking for. It means being open to dating more than one person at a time while you test the dating waters.

People who date with purpose are willing to date many people to find the right one. Serial dating and dating with purpose are not the same things. Serial daters do not have a plan and therefore waste the time of others. 

Dating truth number eight. Finding dates is easy. However, finding someone with a positive mindset who is also willing to continuously grow as an individual takes work and lots of it. 

Dating truth number nine. The dating short game versus the dating long game. 

Most people play the dating short game. This is looking for a quick fix and settling. An analogy to the quick fix and settling would be if you're out house hunting and you look at three to five properties, and you settle on one of them.

This is the same as going out with three to five people in a dating situation and settling on one of them. Smart daters play the dating long game. This is understanding that eight or nine out of 10 people that you meet online will not be a good fit.

This is similar in this analogy again to house hunting. And this is like looking at 50 properties. Only five of those properties will likely have any good potential, and you may have missed out on some of the good properties during your search as you learning what good value looks like. But once you understand how to find good value, you can identify it quickly.

And the same goes with dating. An essential part of the dating long game is understanding that the one for you is probably not even on the dating market at this time. This is why you have to develop your dating skills, so when that person does come on the dating market, you'll be ready for them.

Dating truth number 10. 

Many in the dating pool carry an enormous amount of pain and baggage. In most cases, they have not made an effort to get a handle on their pain. This makes them emotionally unavailable and thus are unable to function in any kind of dating relationship. You need to be able to quickly identify these people and move past them so that you can find quality candidates. 

Lessons Learned

Paul Nelson: So what did we learn today at 50 daters? For starters, as the retro segment points out, dating has changed in many ways, especially with the addition of the internet, dating apps, and new ways to meet people in our age group. However, dating smart and the male-female dynamic still stays the same. 

Esther Perel's book, Mating in Captivity, points out the paradoxes and balancing act we must maintain to keep relationships invigorating. In fact, she presents it so well from a logical standpoint that even men can understand this. The challenge, however, is getting men to read this book. 

We've also got some new awareness on Projection, and you'll begin to recognize when someone is projecting past bad relationship or dating experiences onto you.

Here at the Midlife Dating Podcast, we're all about providing as much value as possible For our listeners; please message me at questions@50datesat50.com. The email address will be in the show notes if you have any dating topics you'd like me to cover or have any general questions or comments. 

So let me close this out with a little bit of dating humor; A quote attributed to Albert Einstein and he says, " Women marry men, hoping they will change. Men marry women, hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed." 


Paul Nelson: Okay, guys and gals, it's been fun, and I look forward to being on the next episode with you to take your dating experience from a bust to a best, and that's a really good place to be. 

EP 17 Dating Truths Part 2
Glossary Term: Projection
Dating & Relationship Book Review: Mating in Captivity
Retro Clip Introduction
Potpourri Segment: Dating Truths 6-10
Lessons Learned