Midlife Dating Podcast

Episode 2 - Defining What We are Looking For In a Partner

October 23, 2021 Paul Nelson Episode 2
Midlife Dating Podcast
Episode 2 - Defining What We are Looking For In a Partner
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever noticed how online dating matchups tend to come in waves of feast or famine? Or how when you get on a dating app, it's like being in a candy store of endless choices? One of the best ways to address these problems is with Right Swipe Discipline. It's all about slowing the process down so you can keep up with potential dates. 

Today's recommended movie is Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong. In this podcast episode, Paul discusses why you should watch it and what it teaches about dating and relationships. 

Good daters have a plan. A simple start for anyone is to apply five deal-makers and five deal-breakers. Here, Paul explores the practice of listing these and sticking to them. Defining what you're looking for in a partner is true dating with purpose. Paul presents his own deal-breakers and -makers as an example so you can see how easy this practice is.  

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 002 - Defining What We are Looking For In A Partner 

Episode 2 Introduction

Paul Nelson: Hello 50 daters, and welcome to episode two. As your online dating sensei for boomers and gen X-ers, with over 130 first date experiences to reflect upon over the last seven years, I can honestly say that I've learned how to walk the walk and talk the talk. Now beyond the nuts and bolts, and how-to of dating, I hope each and every listener comes away with a better understanding of today's dating scene, and more of all, how to enjoy it. In this episode, we're going to cover two things. First off, defining what we're looking for in a partner, because how can you find what you're looking for if you don't know what it is, or who it is, for that matter?

And second, I'm going to introduce you to a technique called right swipe discipline, and this will enable you to smooth out the periods of feast and famine we experience in online dating. As I'm sure you've noticed that, when it comes to conversations that start on the apps, they seem to manifest in, in groups of matches or no matches at all.

Right swipe discipline is a practice that works well for both guys and gals. And by the end of this episode, I'll show you how to start using it to smooth out the dating peaks and valleys, and bring some consistency. So stick around. It's going to be a real time saver.


Glossary Term - The Candy Store Effect

Paul Nelson: Our glossary term for today is "The Candy Store Effect." Now, this is a phenomenon that both men and women succumb to when using online dating websites or smartphone dating apps. Initially, new users to online dating are overwhelmed with what they perceive to be endless options. It's like going to that candy store chain called IT'SUGAR, or the candy parlor at Knott's Berry Farm.

As you walk in, there are several rows of different candies from which to choose. The first thing that you see are the licorice whips. You walk toward the licorice and you're distracted by a variety of gummy bears… then the jelly beans, and the sour cherries, and the jawbreakers, and then the Swedish fish distract you. By the time you see the Swedish fish, you've completely forgotten all about the red licorice whips. 

This cycle repeats itself in online dating. Many never got grow this and are stuck in what I call "dating purgatory". They lose interest in many of the conversations that they start thinking that each new profile they come across is the one. The candy store effect is why a majority of interactions stall or end on dating websites and apps, otherwise known as ghosting.

I've got hundreds of hours of personal experience with this. When I first started online dating, using the legacy platforms, like plenty of fish and match, not only did I become regularly frustrated at having to deal with these conversations going nowhere, I actually fell into this cycle myself and became part of the problem.

So to combat this and keep my sanity, I eventually formed and refined the practice of what is called "right swipe discipline" here at 50 Dates, which I will go into more detail later in the podcast. 


The Story Behind Chick Flick Movie Review

Paul Nelson: All right guys and gals, with this being our first chick flick movie review, let me take a few moments and set this up. The purpose behind chick flick movie review is threefold. 

First fold, for guys. There is much here that men can learn about romance. For instance, such as how to better conduct ourselves in a manner that is attractive to both women and to others in general, and how to better understand how women think.

Second fold, for gals. Women naturally love chick flicks, and personally speaking from initial first date meetups with women, the topic of movies would often come up. So I brought up several of the movies on the chick flick movie review page here at 50 Dates and much to my surprise, many of these gals were not familiar with these movies.

When they later watched the movies, I received positive feedback from the recommendations, which gave me the idea for the webpage and for this segment on the podcast. For women, some of the movies here are great distractions that'll help you get your spirits back when running into bad daters. 

Third fold, for couples. The movies here make for a great source of entertainment when a couple is making a meal together, cuddling on the couch, or staying in for the evening. The choices are here on the website, give a guy a chance to take the lead and to pick a movie out that both will joy. 

And now for a little bit of a story behind how this came to be. Now, I've always been a fan of romantic comedies, initially watching them for their comedic value, and not as a potential source for romantic education. Then I had an epiphany in 2011 on a Cathay Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Not being able to sleep, I scrolled through the movies and lo and behold, there was "The Notebook". I'd always heard that women really liked this movie, and frankly, there was not much else to watch. So, knowing full well that this was a drama, I queued it up and hit start.

Much to my surprise, the movie had a very profound effect on me. I'll honestly admit that it brought me to tears at a couple of points. Luckily though, the cabin was dark and most of the passengers were sleeping, so nobody noticed. I was hooked and my consumption of romance movies increased from there. 

Now, by this time in my life, my marriage had reached roommate status and my wife and I had grown far apart and an amicable divorce was just around the corner. Searching for more answers, I began to look at more of these movies as one of the avenues of learning about romance, love and relationships. 

Movie reviews here at 50 Dates at 50 are not meant to be critical but rather analytical from a romantic education perspective. The reviewed movies here meet a decent standard of entertainment quality, and they also share a dating and relationship message.

Since speaking as a guy, the reviews will tend to be more on what men should pay attention to. It's also important for us to understand that Hollywood is good at writing bad dating advice into their scripts, and I will point this out when I see it. I suspect it's due to many of the writers not being good daters themselves. Some of these are classics, but worth another view from a fresh perspective. 

Movie Review - Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

Paul Nelson: Our noteworthy movie today is Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, which was released in 2015. It takes place in current day Hong Kong and our couple is Josh and Ruby. Josh is an ex-pat living in Hong Kong, and Ruby is an American-raised Chinese woman from California, visiting Hong Kong for the first time. Our movie begins with Josh overhearing a phone call between Ruby and one of her friends as she is standing outside a bar. She's trying to locate her friends and Josh attempts to give her directions. He offers to walk her to the location she seeks. And after initially saying, no, she agrees. The rest of the evening has a first date type feel to it as Josh guides her along. 

We've all had those dates where everything seems to flow and has that magical feel. As Josh escorts Ruby to her destination, their adventure has all the makings of one of those magical nights. Chemistry forums between them pretty quickly. The evening ends on a low note and they go their separate ways

However, happenstance has them crossing paths a year later on the Star Ferry. Sparks fly again as they make amends, and meeting number two turns into another magical night. Both see it and recognize what is happening.

Now, my impression is, "Hey, this is a fun movie. You're going to have a lot of fun watching this one." The filmmakers shot their Hong Kong scenes at some of the most picturesque locations. I've personally been there several times and the film captures the feel of the city very well. 

The great thing about this movie is it captures all the magic of when you hit it off with somebody. Guys and gals need to know that if you date with purpose and you stay the course, you keep putting yourself out there, and eventually, you're going to find yourself in the middle of a magical night, like Josh and Ruby find themselves in. It's inevitable. I've experienced this several times, and I'm telling you, one magic date evening cancels out all the preceding bad dates. 

The movie is about the right two people finding each other at the wrong time, then getting a second chance. This is all about missed opportunities.

Now, suppose you've never been to Hong Kong. In that case, this movie will show you many of the sites like the Star Ferry, Victoria Harbour, the Temple Street Night Market, and some parts of Victoria Peak, all in capturing the look of Hong Kong at night.

Why do you need to watch this? Well, guys, Josh conducts himself in a chivalrous manner towards Ruby at all times. He also does an excellent job of leading the interaction between the two of them. This is what a couple having fun and getting to know each other looks like. 

When you get to the end, I believe most of us, inserting ourselves in the shoes of Josh or Ruby, would have probably taken one route in our earlier years and a different route looking back on it now with more life experience. And what I mean by that, is that this is particularly true for those of us who have settled in a relationship at some point in the past.

This movie is also an excellent example of how time can mend things. All chick flick movie reviews are posted at the 50 Dates at 50 website, including the official movie trailer. 

Potpourri Segment - 

Defining What We're Looking For

Paul Nelson: What we're covering today in our Potpourri segment, is defining what we're looking for in a partner. Now we as 50 daters, we date with purpose, and if we're dating with purpose, we got to have a pretty good idea or be specific about what we're looking for. Now, there are three good books that each have a great chapter that covers this subject.

The first one is Dating Essentials for Men by Dr. Robert Glover. The second one is Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned in Harvard Business School by Rachel Greenwald. And the third is Why Are You Still Single? by Vince Guaglione. 

Now each book has a chapter that helps you narrow down what it is you're seeking in a partner, and they accomplish this by having you write down a list of haves and have nots, or deal-breakers and deal makers, if you will. You need to have a total of five of each. So, there would be five deal makers and five deal-breakers.

In Dating Essentials for Men, Glover calls this the Five/Five. Let me add that even though this book was written for men, about 80 to 85% of it will also apply to women.

Now, Glover divides daters into two categories. The first category is Good Daters. They determine what they're looking for. They write it down so they're reminded of what they're looking for, and then they stick to it. And the second major category is bad daters. And he explains that most bad daters do not know what they're looking for, and they fail to write down what it is they're looking for.

Once we get past the good and the bad dater categories, it gets further broken down into four categories. Now again, gals, you can invert what I'm saying here to cover for men, but Glover's book is for men, therefore, that's how I'll be approaching this.

Glover rates women in four different categories. Number one is RGW. That would be a "Really Great Woman." And then there's a GW category. That's a "Good Woman". And then there is a WW category. This is a "Wrong Woman." And then there's the RWW category, the "Really Wrong Woman." And so, let me tell you about each of these categories and how this plays into Five/Five, coming up here.

The goal of Five/Five is to get you into the category of RGW, the Really Great Woman. Or gals, in your case, it'd be a Really Great Man. Now the Really Great woman category, here's what it is. He states that there is nothing you'd want to change about her from your Five/Five list. She's the only woman that you'll enter into a long-term relationship with. Dating any woman that is not a really great woman is dating down or settling. And of course, we know as 50 daters, we don't settle. 

Any number of women will fit the Really Good Woman category for you. Being in his category does not mean she is perfect. It's a limited category. You need to stay true to your Five/Five lists and date only women that fit on your list. Finding a Really Good Woman takes time, and you won't recognize her after just a few weeks of searching.

Robert believes it can easily take three years to get to know a person, and he also states that you never date down or never go below the Really Good Woman level. 

Now a Good Woman, a GW. There are lots of good women out there. You'll end up developing short-term relationships with Good Women, with GW's, as he would say. Short-term means you get to know them and they have the potential to be an admirable fit. Unfortunately, she has one or two items on your Five/Five list that you'd want to change. And so you, this is why you never enter into a long-term relationship with a Good Woman, and understand that you can't change someone or mold them into what you want. You'll eventually end up being somewhat dissatisfied with her and wonder what it would be like if you found the woman who met all of your qualities on your Five/Five list. 

The next category is the WW, "The Wrong Woman," and he explains… And gals, again, you can invert this. The majority of the women that you'll meet are wrong women. They're not bad, just not compatible with you for a variety of reasons. Just as that, you may not be compatible with most women for a variety of reasons. Some examples include differences in age, language, distance, relationship, economic status. It has nothing to do with character. 

Most women that you meet won't be good matches for it. You'll know this because you'll have very little in common. It generally takes anywhere between 30 seconds to a couple of hours max before you'll know if she's a WW or wrong woman. And Robert is also very explicit in that any woman at work definitely fits in the WW category. 

And now the fourth category, the RWW or the "Really Wrong Woman." This is misery territory, a train wreck waiting to happen. Traits include deceit, insecurity, jealousy, vindictive anger, victim mentality, and addictions, just to name a few. Bad daters and nice guys generally wind up with the RWW's for a variety of reasons. 

Unfortunately, RWW's are incredibly seductive and just about every man has experienced this at some point in his life. They also match up well with any dysfunctions "Nice Guys" have, but fortunately, RWWs can be easily identified and avoided. 

Now because we walk the walk here at 50 Dates, I've personally done the exercise and have made my Five/Five list, so here it is. 

So here are my five must-have traits and a little explanation of why. She needs to have a positive outlook with a great sense of humor and above all, be a kind person. I'm telling you, I can't do negative That's why. I've had my share of dating women, and friends generally too, that are negative. I'm allergic to negative. 

Number two is she needs to be passionate about outside hobbies, interests and projects. This is what provides balance in a relationship, is not having the relationship be the primary focus. You need to have other things that you're doing. I've dated women in the past where the relationship was their primary focus out of everything, and there's no balance there. 

Next is financial stability. I'm not saying financial independence. I can stand on my two feet. The gal I'm dating, she just needs to be able to stand on her two feet, too.

Number four. She needs to be passionate about being in an intimate, sexual relationship. 

Number five is she must be a good communicator and put effort into the relationship, and above all, be emotionally available.

Now, here are my five "Have Not's" or "Deal Breakers." Number one, negative or a bad attitude. And a thing I want to caution here is, I've learned over time that if I've been dating a gal that's very sarcastic, pessimism and sarcasm seem to be siblings. And, I've noticed heavy doses of sarcasm usually turns out to be an indicator that they could be a negative person, so I'm very aware of this. There's nothing wrong with some good humor and sarcasm, but some people over do it, and it's generally an indicator, I found.

Number two, addictions or hidden agendas, such as deceit, financial gain, they're seeking a free ride, or they're using the current relationship as a stepping stone or placeholder to move to an even bigger and better relationship.

Number three, lack of passion of outside interests or is unmotivated. They need to be passionate about something besides the relationship. Examples would include any number of hobbies or outside interests. It could be work, or a business that they have, family, or some type of cause that's important to them.

Number four is lack of financial stability. This could be somebody that doesn't know how to save money, generally handle money, deep in credit card debt, or doesn't have a job or some type of means of income.

Number five is, or would be, a poor communicator. Communication is so important to me. I've been in relationships in the past where communication has been a problem. Open communication is imperative or things fall apart very quickly. Hence, being a good communicator is extremely important. 

Now I'd like to add a little part here at the end of my Five/Five. A spot from Vince Guaglione's book Why Are You Still Single, and he talks about knowing the values you desire in a partner, and he states, "In conjunction with fully knowing our own core values, it's imperative to understand the values of those we date." He explains that mismatched values lead to friction. If we go throughout our dating history and focus closely on previous relationships that went off the rails, there's a mismatch on one, two of our core values or in one or two of our Five/Fives that we were just looking at.

He also explains that relationships that have some core value mismatches never have a chance of success, and ending relationships with core value mismatches is generally much less painful. And I'm sure we've had a few relationships in our past that we can quickly look back at or think about that, it was pretty easy to break up. And again, that all had to do with core value mismatches. 

Hence, this is why the Five/Five, your must-haves and have nots. You've got to stick to it and you got to know what it is. That way, you can find a really good guy or a really good gal. 

In our next episode, we'll cover casting a wider net in our search and what your dating plan should be. This is where Rachel Greenwald's book Find a Husband After 35 has some excellent advice. 

Okay. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, how do you use "Right Swipe Discipline"? Now first, let me explain that the candy store effect that I talked about earlier in the glossary segment is real, and it's really easy to get caught up in the frenzy.

One of the other things that you'll learn, I'm sure many have already learned, that online dating tends to be a feast or famine type situation. You can be on two or three dating apps and go from no matches to six or eight matches, each with its own individual conversation, and this can happen overnight.

Right swipe discipline helps us balance that out and slow things down. All dating apps and websites have what is known as a pause function. For example, Bumble calls their pause function "snooze mode". Tinder calls theirs "discovery". Hinge calls theirs "pause", just as it would in pause. Coffee Meets Bagel also calls it "pause mode". 

As soon as you get several conversations that start to happen, you need to put your apps in pause. And what this does is, it stops showing you new profiles or showing your profile to anybody else. So, therefore, the matches stop. And that obviously stops you from right or left swiping on new profiles.

Basically it temporarily shuts off all visibility to new profiles but allows you to continue current conversations. If you have six or eight conversations going, you need to take time to work through those using 3-1-1. You need to move the conversation along, then move it to a phone call, and then to a meetup face-to-face.

So, 50 daters that is Right Swipe Discipline. Pausing, or hiding your profile, so that new matches stop, and slowing things down so you can work through the matches that you've got at a reasonable pace.


Paul Nelson: Before we call it an episode, let me leave you this one humorous thought from somebody anonymous. "I'll never join an online dating service. I prefer to meet someone the old-fashioned way: through alcohol and poor judgment."

 I hope you enjoy today's episode. I look forward to being with you on episode three. Remember guys and gals, unlike some of your dates, I'll show up here to help you turn some of your dating busts into dating bests, and that's a good place to be.

Episode 2 Introduction
Glossary Term - The Candy Store Effect
The Story Behind Chick Flick Movie Review
Chick Flick Movie Review: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
Potpourri Segment: Defining What You're Looking For
Right Swipe Discipline Explained