The way millennials have been dating makes romance today very confusing. Men in their 30s and 40s want to date women half their age, and these women also look at dating men half of their age. The first wave that brought this up is the emergence of cell phones. We often see people in restaurants talking to their phones instead of the person across the table. Social media has allowed people to post their best versions online. Putting your best face forward isn’t wrong. Just make sure that it is your real face. The last thing that’s been messing with romance today is the rise of feminine energy for both men and women.
In this show, we talk about the details about what’s going on, what’s happening with romance and relationship. What happened to passing notes and phone calls? Now it’s text messages and swiping left and swiping right, and everyone’s confused and no one’s very gratified. We talk about what’s happening with the millennials and how that’s affecting the rest of the society. We invite Dimitra to come onto the show and she blows me away with her wisdom. It was supposed to be a coaching session, but it turns more into a dialogue about what she’s seen as a modern woman living in today’s society. She throws down some serious wisdom about what’s been happening in her world and also what she sees in her kids.
Listen to the podcast here:
WTF is up with Romance Today?
This is an awesome show because it’s about the concept of romance in the modern century. I’m quite excited about this show and what it means. It really is, on some level, the foundation of the work I do. Let’s begin on this concept of romance in the 21st century. This is pretty much the most fucked up romance has been that I’ve ever seen and ever studied of any generation in terms of society. I also want to give recognition the book, The Way of the Superior Man. I might not particularly like David Deida all that much, I’m not a huge fan of his per se, but I’ve been reading the book again because my book is going to be the 21st century version of it twenty years later.
I have to give it up to the guy. He did an amazing job giving people a lot of the reality of things that are fucked up between men and women. That was an important thing to do because he eases people’s soul to know that what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling were right. That book was written in 1997, and now in 2017, we’re living in a completely different, more fucked up world than ever possible. It is just crazy out there. There’s something about that book that gave people permission to have the thoughts and the feelings that they want.
I Googled “millennials dating,” and here are the titles of the top articles that came up. From the Huffington Post, Dating’s Dead, Long Live These Ten Millennial Mating Patterns. From Rolling Stone, Inside the Awkward World of Millennial Dating. From Good Men Project, A Less Cynical Explanation of Why Millennials Suck At Dating. From Bolde.com, Why Dating As A Millennial Is So Screwed Up. From Bustle.com, How Single Millennials Feel About Dating In 2017, Because It’s Pretty Complicated. We can get the point that the top five articles when you type in millennial dating is basically a negative thing about what’s happening. This is the experience I’ve had when I talk to people that they’re having.
Here are some of the reasons I perceive that things are screwed up in current-day dating. What the millennials have brought to the world in terms of dating is affecting all the generations. It is not like millennials are isolated in this fucked up way we’re dealing with romance. No, it’s permeated throughout the rest of the world. Men in their older ages, in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, are still looking to date millennial women. They are still looking to date younger women. Millennial women are looking to date older men. It is because the millennial men do not have EQ, emotional intelligence or emotional viability, and millennial women are looking to date older. I’m an example of that. I’m dating someone fourteen years younger. It’s because of what she was looking for in a man. Because of that, young men are not getting the training of how to engage and relate with the women and older women are not having the viability because of this dating skew. Because of the difference and what’s happening currently, it’s affecting everyone, and everyone’s a little confused.
Here’s some obvious things that are happening. There’s the cell phone which is now our most intimate partner. I love sitting in restaurants looking around at other tables and noticing that more people are engaged with their phones, with someone else at the table, than they are with the people. I do this too. I take my phone out of my pocket and put it on the table. I always put it face down. I don’t want the distraction of the flash, but most people talk, then engage with their phone. Talk, then take a picture of their food. It’s a way that our cell phones have become our most intimate partners, even more than our romantic partners.
The second thing that’s happened is the social media. Social media has come in and screwed up a lot in terms of relationship. I love social media. I live on social media. I promote through social media, but also what’s happening is that we’re putting optimized versions of ourselves online. We’re putting our best face forward, which isn’t a real face. We’re putting a fake face in front of us. We’re not putting our real, handsome, authentic, personal, pimple, dimpled, scarred faces. No, we’re putting great head shots. We’re putting great color. We’ll take our little filters to make sure that our balance is right. We’re in this place now where we’re not even showing who we truly are. When you engage in social media, you’re looking at people that aren’t real. Guess what happens when you meet them in real life? It’s like a prostitute bait and switch. You’re not engaged with that person. You’re engaged with the optimized version, and it’s killing us.
The Tinder revolution, the swipe left swipe right mentality, has given people an excuse to bail the second things get challenging. This is something I hear time and time again. People are like, “I’m going to schedule a date. If the date doesn’t go well by 9:00,I’m on my phone, on Tinder, looking to engage with someone else.” I’ve been doing some research and I found out there’s been 100 million downloads of Tinder by the middle of 2016. 79% are millennials. Millennials are dominating the Tinder market. Also, Tinder is only 40% in North America. The rest is throughout the rest of the world.
The last thing that’s happening, which is a little harder to see, is the belief of mine that we’re seeing the rise of feminine. Not the rise of feminism, but the rise of the feminine. What’s happening is that finally, after all these centuries of pushing down and fighting and avoiding the feminine, it’s finally coming to a station near you. It’s coming to a place close to you, and it’s affecting you. Because of that, women are feeling more empowered. The pay gap is shrinking. You’re seeing time and time again that women are rising to power. There’s people like Trump trying to push her down, but it’s still not happening. The feminine is rising.
A friend of mine relate to me about a dating experience she had. This is a good synopsis of what’s been happening in the world. She’s a very attractive 28-year-old woman. She does a lot of yoga. She told me the story of how she connected with this guy on social media and they started talking. She lived in a different state, he was in California, and relating and flirting and getting to know each other. Finally, they connected. She came to Los Angeles and she was spending time with him. When she went to see him all excited to find this deep connection, what happened was he didn’t relate to her in person the way he was relating via electronics. There was some falsehood that he was presenting, some kind of intimacy he was projecting over the electronic medium that he couldn’t sustain in person. She felt confused.
Then he said to her, “Let’s hang out.” What do you do nowadays when you want to hang out? You watch a movie. “Why don’t you come over and we’ll watch a movie?” She went over to his house, they’re touching, they’re flirting, and eventually they were playing around, and they make out. She had a good time. She said it was a nice experience. She felt turned on by the experience, but then the after effect was she felt ditched. What happened is he could not sustain the intimacy. She was totally confused by this guy who was so intimate and so connected, but disappeared in the aftermath of the sexual experience. There was this rush to sex. There’s this definitive strange thing that’s happening with genders, especially with men, that there’s an obsession with having a sexual experience as some kind of completion and validation. If we don’t have sex, it’s not a complete experience and that’s messing up the relationship.
I’m all for sex. I’m not against sex on the first date. I’m not against anything. Whatever your body, your mind, and your souls want to do, but after you have that experience, show up afterwards. Be connectable afterwards. If you don’t bond to have a long-term thing, don’t sneak in sex with the illusion of some long-term thing. That sucks. If you do want to have just a one-night stand, be clear you just want to have a one-night stand. Be willing to say, “I’m not looking for something, but you really turn me on, and this is an experience I want to have.” Give both partners the opportunity to make the chance rather than the falsehood, the lie, that’s withholding the fantasy of something deeper. She felt hurt and confused. She felt like she did something wrong. I called her, “You didn’t do anything wrong.” This is the plague that’s been happening in society where people are not staying connected. They’re not staying with that person pass that first experience.
We’re having greater quantity and numbers in relationship, but we’re having much less quality. In the old days, when I was a mere slip of a youth in the ‘70s and ‘80s, we didn’t have the instant email back and forth. You had to pass notes. In the old days, we would write notes and then we would slip them in the lockers. I don’t know if they’re doing that. We would write notes, we would write letters, and we would have phone calls. I remember sitting on the phone, looking at posters on my wall, and talking for hours with my girlfriend. We were on the phone and we’re connected. Now what’s happening is that things are moving so fast, and the movement to sex, even for teenagers and pre-teenagers are immense. The pressure for ten, eleven, and twelve-year olds to have sex is immense in today’s society.
This is from Bolde.com, and the article is Why Dating As A Millennial Is So Screwed Up. They say number one, we ghost as a way to end things. We ghost. We don’t complete relationship, we just ghost by. Number two, we’re hyper-focused on sex. Sex is currency. Sex is some way to feel completed and connected. Three, this is awesome and sad at the same time, we’re in competition of who can care the least. Doesn’t that say it perfectly? “I am just not going to put my cards in until something. I’m going to act all cool, calm, and collected and not available.” Four, we are too strategic about our responses. We focus on looking perfect and maintaining that facade. We do so much work to look cool rather than real. We’re just hyper focused on the responses from the details. Number five, we expect a perfection that doesn’t exist. We’re looking for something in our fantasies, in our books. We’re looking for something that doesn’t exist. We’re not looking at the person across from us. We are expecting them to be something and someone they may not be.
Number six, we’re overloaded with options. In my business alone, I’ve got seven different ways to contact me. Email, text message, Instagram, Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook. There’s all these different options. For dating, it’s the same as intensity. We have all these different apps. We have OkCupid, Tinder, Hinge. Hinge is a strange one. There’s always different options and we’re totally multitasking rather than being with who we are and what we’re with. Seven, we have been content with being alone. This is true too. We are like, “This isn’t worth it. Fuck it. Why bother?” Eight, we’re always stuck in a gray area.
We’re not willing to be vulnerable and truthful to say what we want and how we want things, so we’re willing to stay in the je ne sais quoi, this unknown of what’s happening. Nine, we don’t feel accountable for the pain we inflict on others. “Sorry, your feelings, it’s on you. I may provide the stimuli, but you are responsible for your feelings,” which is true. When we do a stimulus that’s not kind, we can apologize. We can say, “I made a miscue. I’m sorry. This was my intention.” The last one is we’re all jaded as fuck. “Why bother? It doesn’t exist any way.”
As I’m working on the book, which is now Beyond Hidden Man is the working title, I shifted from my Tuff Love general into a men’s book that’s why I’m into David Deida. These two viewpoints from both sides are the foundation of it. The complaint for women that I’ve experienced is men are not willing or open or able to emotionally sustain the extent of a woman’s feelings and character. There’s an underlying communication of “you’re too much,” or “this is too much,” or “why can’t you handle your ship?” There’s some underlining impatience men have and don’t allow women to be the full dynamic, impressively expansive beings they are.
Men have lower amplitude of available emotional range in nature as a general rule. What we find acceptable in terms of needs is very small. If you think about a sinusoidal wave, it’s much thinner to the dynamic nature of the feminine, of the woman, which is high. It’s like a rollercoaster ride. Men aren’t taking the time to learn the skill to go on the rollercoaster ride. Because of that, women are holding it in and women are not showing who they are. These men are getting dumber and dumber and women are getting angrier and angrier. A common complaint is that men are not willing or interested to say, “I want to learn to go on your rollercoaster.”
On the flip side, the complaints from men are they still feel persecuted for their emotions. There’s the MRA, which the Men’s Rights Activism. When I first started looking at that, I thought, “This is dumb. Men don’t need activism,” but the more I looked at it, there is cause because men are not able to feel the extent of their emotion. They are persecuted if they cry, if they show emotion, if it’s an inappropriate time. I did research of when it’s appropriate for men to cry. If you want to laugh, search that on Google and read some of those articles.
It’s sports events, a daughter getting married, or a dog dying. There’s a very limited range of when men can actually cry and be approved of by society. You might think, “No, we’re evolved.” We’re not. We still have viewpoints about keeping that small around their emotions. Feminism to men is causing rifts. It’s not that the men necessarily are against the rise of a woman, but the methodology of it. They’re feeling apt blame for the feminine being kept down.
I’m not saying men aren’t, but I’m also saying women co-created the situation. Men feel like they are the reason that women can’t be women. This is true, but it’s also women who have taken this route for their benefit. You might not understand the benefit of women staying small for , but think about it a little bit and you might start to draw that there are definitive benefits for women staying small. They don’t have the same responsibility. There’s a different victimhood mentality that’s going on. Feminism is keeping men feeling persecuted and wrong. From that, they’re not feeling the approval that they so deeply desire from women.
In each show, I try to give a pragmatic side to what’s available and how do you do this. I’m so lucky to have a partner where I get to practice this concept that I’m about to say. It’s very simple and it’s very challenging. Number one, be nice. My teachers once taught me that if you want to know how to interact with the world, just be nice. Be nice in terms of paying attention. Let your partner feel the extent of their feelings. Don’t personalize every little thing that comes out of their mouth. Be willing to listen and hold and show curiosity.
Be willing to ask questions. Be willing to also reveal different parts of yourself. I have been with Morgan for over two years and I revealed something that I never talked to her or anyone about, and the relief I felt down to the core of my being, the ability to share that part of me was so comforting. When you tell the truth to your partner, they know who you are and they authentically get to deal with you. Be nice, speak honestly, and listen authentically. This is a step for us to have deeper connection and improve romance in the 21st century.
I’m coaching a new friend. I’m going to bring her now to the show. Hi, how are you?
I’m good. How are you?
Thanks so much for being on the show.
My name’s Dimitra.
How can I best serve you? What would you like to talk about?
I enjoyed everything that you had to say. One of the challenges for me is very much what you had mentioned. Feminism has caused much of the rift. It’s almost taken as much from women as it has for men. Showing up as a woman, which includes honoring women and things that we’ve gotten through, but also still showing up as a feminine woman is highly challenging, to be able to fully say, “This is what I want,” part of it is old fashioned and part of it is new age, but being able to authentically be myself and not look back and say, “That relationship was this and that relationship was that,” and blame it all on the guy for not having the emotional IQ.
When I look back it’s like if I had shown up fully with the woman that I am, with all of the intricacies and all of the things that I am assuming another man cannot handle, if I tone myself down, then I would’ve never started the relationship with certain men, and the relationships would have ended quicker, or I would have attracted the more suitable partner without blame and taking responsibility for my shit on my end.
Thank you for acknowledging and being vulnerable enough to say that. I said a bunch of charged stuff at the end of that show and I talked about feminism. For you to say, “That’s my experience,” I’m grateful for that. I want to say thank you. Did you walk in believing the man could not handle you?
No, I don’t think it was frontal lobe. It’s like a response. I think we gauge it. It’s like the first time that we get emotional and the first time that we want to talk about how we feel, we get first initial response of, “I know I can’t do anything right.” You care for him and he’s a good man in so many other levels and you know that he’s telling you, “It’s too much for me. I can’t go there.” Then the question becomes, “Do I back off and we approach it in a different way or do I just shut my mouth for twenty years?”For me, in my first relationship, it was effective. I shut my mouth for twenty years, but he wasn’t a bad guy. He’s still very good friend. He’s a wonderful human being.
That’s the detrimental piece in our society. You need to tell the truth and every single incident about every single thing. That is my basic core line. The second you start to withhold and not speak the truth, that’s where the relationship starts to move towards mediocrity. We do it constantly. We’re constantly withholding, “I don’t want to deal with it” or “We had an argument, I want a sweet day,” but you have to. Relationship is a practice. You cannot let things slide and most people are not up for it themselves and not willing to put that into practice with another person.
What happens is that we are afraid of the relationship ending if we truly push it. It’s like, “I understand you don’t want to talk about it right now. You’re busy and you got to get to work, but when are we going to talk about it?” If I’m going to give that up, it not only goes into mediocrity. It goes into a certain level of apathy. People say, “What’s the opposite of love?” In relationships, for me, it’s apathy. “He’s never going to change,” or, “She’s never going to change. It’s just what it is,” and we go on autopilot. That is not serving anyone. That’s misery. I’ll never be there again, that I know.
What do you want next? Are you dating someone now?
No, I got off of a five-year on-again-off-again relationship. The seductiveness of my alone time is getting real comfortable, being able to read what I want and do what I want. I co-parent my two children, so I have plenty of time for them. It gets to the point where it’s like, “This isn’t worth it.” I’m right there, but I’m still open. I’m taking the decent amount of time to digest what I learned from the last relationship. I’m ready to go forward.
What do you want next? Let’s create a little dream, little inspiration, and a little attraction. What are you looking for? What guy would turn you on?
Economically, we do have to be equally yoked. It’s very difficult if a woman is in a different socioeconomic place in her life than the man is. I want somebody who appreciate some more traditional values, some old school stuff, like note passing. I am not into anyone who has any inhibitions when it comes to sexuality. On the other hand, I don’t want that electronic sexuality man because I find sexually, he’s not going to be there in an intimate way.
What does electronic sexuality mean?
The porn guy. I have nothing against porn if you want to use it together, but porn has become extremely detrimental to human development. Facts of what is happening on these phones in 200 years is going to thwart a man’s ability to hunt. I want that. That’s what I want. I want that man. That man that knows that that’s what he wants. It’s not the Tinder man who, “If it’s too difficult, I’ll just swipe left or swipe right.” I’m not going to put up with that anymore.
I’m in total agreement and we didn’t even touch on porn, which is a whole other topic and detrimental in all aspects. I like porn and I am a fan of porn. I saw the effect on me and what was happening and you’re exactly right. It’s when it’s so available and there’s so much variety and so much possibility. I love that you said that it takes a man’s ability to hunt, to claim and to put attention.
I want to be hunted. I want to be claimed. I believe that we are fighting against millions of years of human development. There is a masculine role of hunter and there is that feminine role, and they work together. They’re like a battery. One is a positive charge and one is a negative charge. I don’t want to be the hunter. I appreciate and I welcome protective masculine energy. I’m a lawyer by trade. I am a feminist, but I am what I like to call a “femininist.” I did not lose my femininity and I will use every part of that to find my way in this world. The only part that I ever gave up was believing that he could have held that space emotionally. I’m pretty intact. I didn’t lose too much as far as the rest of it. I still have a pretty good handle on that it is out there. It is rarer.
I’m very self-contained. I have a very strong ego structure. I can handle my shit. I’ve been through a lot of work. I’m still always relieved when Morgan says, “Let’s talk about this.”She holds me emotionally and she gives me the space just to be myself. I’m not looking to her to be my mom. I’m not looking to her to do it all the time, but those times where I need my partner to stand up and say, “I’m here emotionally for you. You can just relax,” is such a relief and vice versa. When she needs it, I can stand up and hold her. That’s a piece to the puzzle that is not happening enough in relationships. People need to know they can handle their shit, but they can also be vulnerable and connected to their partners.
One of the most important things when we get down to that level is to recognize that we’re not different. Yes, we’re masculine and we’re feminine, but I have masculine in me and you have feminine in you. Where can we be heard? The vulnerable thing is to know that my partner hears me. He notices the little nuances of who I am and not the Tinder version. Sometimes I’ll deal with friends of mine who have husbands who have strayed. When I talk to men who usually will be the type that will stray, I honestly and genuinely ask them, “How different is each vagina? What is going on that you have to continually look for the next one? What are you running from?” That’s what I feel like. I don’t want somebody to say, “You’re so beautiful.” We appreciate that too, but what are my nuances? What are the things that I enjoy? Am I fascinated by your nuances? That’s a key thread, remaining fascinated with my partner. That goes because you don’t communicate.
Most people cheat because they don’t feel like they can reveal themselves to their partner. Some people like to cheat because they like the thrill of cheating. I had a client that was a high-end New York City escort and she would tell me, “These guys would rather be doing these things with their wives. They don’t want to be doing it with me, but because the wives aren’t even open to go crazy kinky with who they are, they don’t feel comfortable revealing it. From that, they have to look elsewhere.”
Even if somebody were to get with you and want to get kinky with you, they have to communicate that first. That means that what that man really wants, first and foremost, is to be heard. It’s getting heard. Kink comes after talking or texting even, however the mode of communication is they’re not getting heard. If you talk to escorts and prostitutes, they definitely say a lot of that is the top part of it. They want to be heard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to women that tell me, “I got his phone, and I saw who he was talking to, and it wasn’t even sexual.”
Men want the approval. That’s a big piece of the puzzle. Men do not feel approved of in today’s society by women because they’re not acting in a way that women will approve of them. It’s this downward cycle of separation, isolation, and lack of enjoyment of a relationship.
I’ve seen myself in relationships where I’m on one side of the room wanting what he has, and he’s on the other side of the room wanting what I have, but there’s this huge chasm that has taken the time to slowly fill or to say, “We’re ready to bust through it no matter what. It doesn’t matter if the relationship remains intact. Let’s do this. If I don’t do this, I will carry this to the next relationship.” I see it manifesting through my children. I have a fifteen-year-old son and an eleven-year-old daughter. It’s like the macrocosm of what’s occurring in the divine feminine and the divine masculine is happening in front of my eyes as they’re growing up.
How do I not emasculate a fifteen-year-old boy and teach him to be good with the cycles of her emotions? She literally will come crying to me and saying to me, “They shut me down.” That kills me, because as a woman you do know that feeling. They don’t even have to say it, and they’re the sweetest. Both of them are wonderful human beings, her father and her brother, but they are afraid of her emotions, and they shut her down. That happens a lot.
Two things I said that is the foundation of it is that men have to learn to hold women and all their emotions and not personalize it. There is something about men’s fragile egos and lack of connection to their emotions that are trying to minimize women.
Who caused that? The woman who raised those boys caused them to not be in touch with their emotions. Let’s say I’m fluid, because I’m overall more so, and I’m looking for a rigid container to hold me safely. How is that rigid container, if that’s all he’s totally supposed to do, understand that he also has some fluidity and some emotion in him too? I’ll never forget the time that my son slammed a door in the house when he got pissed off about something and I thought, “This cannot get out of control,” so I came down hard on him. He was crying and he said to me, “I don’t understand how you and Sophia can get so pissed off, and you’re allowed to get so pissed off, and then it just passes. One time I get pissed off and I get in trouble.” That was our mom. I couldn’t hold his anger, but I expect him to hold mine. It’s happening.
Thank you so much for being on the show. I usually coach people with problems, but it was a great dialogue. We do agree on it and you definitely added an angle that I can’t see being a man. I appreciate the forthrightness and honesty.
I appreciate you too. It gives me hope that there are men out there that are going to teach these boys that are coming up, so that maybe this millennial thing, maybe we’ll leave it better. We don’t know, but it takes us as women showing up too fully. The one thing that is working to our advantage is the fact that you guys do still seek our approval. I don’t think there’s any man out there that doesn’t want to feel like he has satisfied his woman. You guys live for that. When you see a man who’s angry, it’s usually because he feels like he let her down. He’s not even angry at her. He’s angry because he didn’t get there. I wish more women would understand that.
Thank you so much for being on show. That was a little unexpected, the advantage of the improvisational and making stuff as we go along. You never know what’s going to happen on the show. I’m grateful for that experience. If you would like to make a donation to the show, we love them and accept them at Patreon.com/TuffLove. Thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
Thanks so much for joining us on Tuff Love. Thank you so much Dimitra for coming on the show and joining us and sharing your wisdom. I appreciate the perspective. It turned from a coaching call into a dialogue. The most amazing thing about Tuff Love is we get to share wisdom. For more shows, please visit us at TuffLove.Live. Go forth, live your life, be happy. Thanks so much.
- The Way of the Superior Man
- Dating’s Dead, Long Live These Ten Millennial Mating Patterns
- Inside the Awkward World of Millennial Dating
- A Less Cynical Explanation of Why Millennials Suck At Dating
- Why Dating As A Millennial Is So Screwed Up
- How Single Millennials Feel About Dating In 2017, Because It’s Pretty Complicated