Dating is awful. Finding someone you actually like in the age of dating apps — and in a pandemic no less — can at times feels impossible. But don’t give up yet, as this week’s guest has some strategies that just might make dating a little less frustrating.
This week we’re speaking with dating coach Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge and author of the new book, How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love. Listen to hear Logan give us advice on how to set up your dating profile for maximum impact, what kinds of questions to ask on a date for better conversation, and what to actually look for when seeking a partner (hint: it’s not about the spark).
Highlights from this week’s episode
From the Logan Ury interview:
On why you should forget about looking for “the spark” early in dating:
There’s three main myths about the spark that I debunk in the book. The first one is that the spark can’t grow over time. You either have it or you don’t. And the research shows that that’s absolutely not true. A lot of successful happy couples say that they didn’t feel love at first sight. Only 11 per cent of people say that that happened to them. And we know that the research supports the idea that people can grow on you over time…The second myth is that if you feel the spark, it’s a good thing. And that’s definitely not true. Some people are just really sparky. They just give that pang of excitement to a lot of people. And maybe this is because they’re really attractive, maybe because it’s very charming. We also see that it’s sometimes because they’re narcissistic and they’re very focused on making someone like them. And the research on attachment theory shows that sometimes people confuse anxiety for chemistry. And so what’s actually going on is you’re like, will he call me back? Will he not? And that feeling of excitement is really not something you should be optimising for. It’s actually a sign that someone’s just not making you feel clear on how how they how they feel about you. And the last one is that if you have the spark, that it’s going to be a viable relationship. And so it might sound surprising, but a lot of couples stay together for the How We Met story or they think it was so romantic that we’re meant to be. This is clearly my soulmate. But who cares how you met? It’s point zero one per cent of your relationship, right?…That just that doesn’t really determine the longevity or success of your relationship. And so my advice in the book is to fuck the spark and instead go for the slow burn. And those are the people who get better over time.
On why it’s important to avoid talking too much over text before meeting in-person:
You need to get to the date as soon as possible. And people do this thing called pen palling, where they match on the app and they go back and forth and they keep talking. And in their mind, “Oh, I want to get to know someone first. It’s a safety thing. I want to warm up.” But it’s a mistake. And here’s the reason why I call this the Monet Effect: so our brain has a natural tendency that when we get a blurry image of something, we fill in the gaps to make it more positive. And so let’s say that Alice had on the app, “I like music,” and I match with her. I say, “Oh, I bet she likes the same music that I do.” And I’m filling in the gaps to create this this perfect image of her in my mind, of building up this fantasy. And so I call it the Monet effect, of course, because Monet painted these beautiful pictures where from far away it looks gorgeous. And then, as they say in the movie Clueless up close, it’s a big old mess. And so you create this fantasy in your mind from far away. And so what ends up happening is, OK, so I’ve matched with Alice. I’ve created this fantasy of her in my mind. And then I meet her and Alice is great and we would be a good match. But because I have a fantasy of her that she doesn’t meet, I’m now disappointed. And so the longer you text, the more stories you make up in your mind, the more you’re sure that this particular thing and that actually that that actually puts you at a disadvantage…You shouldn’t read too much into their texting. You should get to the date as soon as possible.
On getting yourself into the right mindset before a date:
Through my research, I’ve discovered that mindset is everything. And whether you think the date will go well or you think the date will go poorly, you’re right…And I recommend doing a pre date ritual. And this might be taking a bath, calling your best friend, listening to your pump up playlist, riding your bike, something that transitions you from work mode to a fresh, present date mode. And look, if you have a Zoom from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., don’t hop on a Zoom date at 6:00. You’re just going to show up like it’s another it’s another work meeting and you’re going to be in that interview mindset.
To hear more of Logan’s tips on dating, we highly recommend listening to the full episode.