So a headline recently crossed Damona’s desk that there is a spike in breakups right after Valentine’s Day. It’s unfortunate when a relationship comes to an end, especially when it’s one you thought might last forever. But, sometimes, it’s necessary.
Values change. Sometimes people grow apart or sometimes you realize it’s just not a fit. It’s a difficult part of the dating journey. But it’s also an opportunity, a chance to reset and realign with your needs and your values.
And that’s why we’ve got award-winning divorce attorney and founder of the family law firm Happy Even After, Renée Bauer, here to talk about new beginnings.
DATING DISH (1:50)
How therapy speak took over dating (and what to do about it):
At this point we’re all familiar that dating comes with its own dictionary and buzzwords (Damona’s made an entire TV segment about it on Access Daily with Mario and Kitt). But a recent New York Times article did a deep dive into the psychological terms that have wedged themselves into the dating lexicon – and phrases like love bombing, gaslighting and trauma bonding are only the start.
One of the takes from this article is how therapy lingo and even mentions of therapy can be used by daters to distinguish themselves to prospective matches, or even filter out matches. AKA saying that you go to therapy in your profile can indicate if you and a prospective match are aligned in cultural reference points and the way you see the world.
But the biggest lesson we can learn is the way in which using psychology terms like “toxic” and “narcissist” can go off the rails if we’re not careful. After all, not everyone ranting about their toxic ex on TikTok is a professional. Damona explains how we can avoid this trap.
RENÉE BAUER (7:43)
Renée Bauer is an award-winning divorce attorney, published author, and founder of the family law firm Happy Even After. Her upcoming summit, She Who Wins, runs April 28-29th and focuses on both personal development and business strategy.
(8:07) How to know when a relationship is *over* over.
Damona asks Renée how we can know when a relationship is truly over? Well according to Renée, this straightforward question has a straightforward answer. “How do you know? Usually my answer is, you already do.”
Renée continues that “what happens is we start to listen to our head, we start to crowdsource from people we love who are so well intentioned and who want the best for us. But they don’t know what’s going on inside that house or inside that relationship.” At the end of the day, where you stand with your partner will become much clearer when you turn off your fears of being alone, financial burden, and the unknown. Choose to trust yourself.
Based on her experience as a renowned divorce attorney, Renée also names the signs of a truly healthy relationship (hint: it has to do with conflict).
(14:15) Doubt about debt…
Many of Damona’s clients and participants in The Dating Accelerator Program often mention debt as their number one worry surrounding a potential partner. Everyone seems to want to know – how can I even bring up the subject of debt when getting to know someone?
Renée proposes taking a practical approach – ask open ended questions like, “How do you feel about having debt? What’s your relationship with money like? Are you more of a spender or a saver?” Also keep an eye out for behaviors that suggest they’re uncomfortable talking about money (i.e. avoiding eye contact, fidgeting, changing the subject).
But – try to refrain from judgment until you know the whole story. People make mistakes and having debt isn’t always a straightforward reason to assume someone is irresponsible with money.
(18:36) After dating & before marriage.
Damona brings up the moving-in-together stage of relationships, and how often couples decide to cohabitate before asking the necessary questions that would prep them for this shift. Renée hops in with the steps she recommends taking before moving in together, one of these steps being to draw up a contract (whether legal or nonprofessional).
The importance of establishing terms of cohabitation also increases when pets and/or kids are involved. “Whether it’s in writing or not, I think the important piece is having those conversations and having clarity around them. Not just in passing, not just over dinner.
(23:22) “Treat marriage like it’s a business.”
Treat your marriage like it’s a business… huh? Renée breaks down that looking at your marriage as a partnership to be protected, although somewhat unromantic, is one of the best ways to strengthen it. For instance, Renée suggests having “state of the union” meetings with your spouse every month. She mentions that “money is probably one of the most common reasons that people get divorced.” So sitting down, talking about whatever’s happening in the marriage, and looking at the numbers in your finances will help keep you and your partner on the same page, and keep tension from building over time.
Renée also details her own experience of dating while being twice-divorced, and how owning your divorce story will release you from any shame you think it carries.
DEAR DAMONA (31:30)
- IG Message from Andrea – You mentioned keeping your profile active and engaging but with my experience most men are on these apps nowadays for hookups not relationships. In my experience it always turns into sexual comments and never anything of substance. and most have a wife or girlfriend they are living with.