Dating Transformation & Gray Divorce
YOUR DATING PROFILE ISN’T ABOUT YOU
Don’t know who needs to hear this, but your dating profile isn’t for you. It’s to attract your ideal match.
Don’t just take our word for it. This week, Connell Barrett, official dating coach for The League, joins Damona on Dates & Mates to talk about attracting authentic love and how to spot a fake from a mile away.
The first step to finding real love? Think of your dating app as a digital marketing platform. More on that later, first Damona covers headlines:
DATING DISH (1:27)
(1:30) The Gray Gates Divorce
You don’t need a crystal ball to foresee Bill and Melinda Gates heading into a rather rough divorce. However, many couples of Bill and Melinda’s age range are also looking to separate and lead new lives. Damona shares a look into the “Gray Divorce Trend”.
(6:08) A new study from Ashley Madison on how faith and infidelity intersect.
Ashley Madison, the dating site for those seeking extramarital affairs, conducted a study on the crux of faith and infertility. Surprising: more than a third of Ashley Madison users identify as religious.
HOW TO ATTRACT AUTHENTIC LOVE (10:39)
Connell Barrett is the Founder of Dating Transformation and the official dating coach for The League. He’s a dating coach for men who is on a mission to help you find your soulmate as your most authentic, confident self. You’ve seen him on Access Hollywood, the Today show, Good Morning LA, and Playboy and now he’s here on Dates & Mates:
(10:39) They call him Hitch: Connell shares what inspired him to enter the world of being a dating coach.
(11:30) Confessions from inside the world of pick up artists and how to spot a fake from a mile away. “Negging”? “Peacocking?” Oh my.
(16:17) Being your authentic self actually relates to how you feel about getting your coffee from Starbucks. You can be magnetic to others in ways you probably didn’t realize, particularly being your true, authentic self.
(20:51) Be radically authentic. Connell believes that online dating is really just digital marketing. It doesn’t actually become dating until you have a phone call or meet your match in person. You have to offer your matches something of value and be genuine.
(25:45) Connell dives deep into the world of why men do the things they do. Why is it so hard to read their minds and understand their actions?
(28:35) Connell reveals that he actually used to feel unattractive to women. He shares on how he was able to change the way he felt about himself by discovering his worth.
(32:51) Dating is now more about simple pick-up lines. It’s about creating meaningful conversations. Be transparent about what you are thinking and feeling. Connell believes it is so important to be as honest and real as you can be.
(39:05) Men are now often unsure of how to navigate the dating world because of the Me Too Movement. Connell shares his advice on men honoring a woman while letting them know they are interested. It is so important to understand how a man’s actions make a woman feel and calibrate accordingly.
Get Connell’s Book “Dating Sucks, But You Don’t” using Damona’s Amazon Link or wherever you get your books!
DEAR DAMONA (46:30)
Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:
- (Brittany) Hi Damona! Question for you: how do I avoid coming off as “more of a friend” on dates? I’ve had no less than 7 people tell me “you’re great, we have a ton in common, I love hanging with you, BUT only as a friend” and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I normally wouldn’t bla-me myself at all, but it keeps happening! Do I need to state more clearly at the beginning that I only want a relationship? Why is this such a commonly-used strategy to reject someone?
- (Alex) Hi Damona! I will tell you my story. I work at the hotel and I met a guy here. He is a returning guest, coming every 2 or 3 weeks. After his 3rd time, he gave me his business card to text him. And i knew it was coming bc that day there was a lot of chemistry in the air. So I texted him, and we met 2 times. It’s kind of hard to meet here, and moreover i should not have done it because he’s a guest. somehow this whole thing got more exciting. So I felt we made a connection and got a little bit intimate. And he’s really great, we have a lot in common. But we were always in touch when he was at the hotel, never when he was not around. Last time when we were saying goodbye we said to stay in touch. But we did not. He checked in yesterday and I feel there’s sth wrong. He didn’t text me before. When we talked, it was very formal, he was nice, told me that it’s good to see me and how i’m doing but that’s all. Am i being ghosted? i know that it was very casual but i don’t feel good about it. I don’t know what happened. But the worst thing is that I cannot ask for an explanation, right? we were not together or exclusive. We were just hanging out. Moreover, I found out that next week there’s another reservation under the same surname with a female name. Is this his family, wife? What the heck is happening? Btw i love your podcasts!
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it’s your certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman here with another episode presented by text now, the app that gives you a free second phone number for dating so you don’t have to give out your primary number to all your matches ever had to change your number because you gave it to a weirdo and then regretted it. It sucks, right? Well, text now we’ll help you with that. Speaking of things that suck about dating, I hear this from daters all the time. Lots of people tell me dating socks Dimona. And I know it can suck if you don’t have the right mindset or tools, or if you don’t feel like you’re lucky in love. So today I’m talking to Connell Barrett, official dating coach for the league. and author of the new book dating sucks,
Connell Barrett 0:43
but you don’t.
He’s going to share all about his method using the power of radical authenticity, speaking my language, and some little tricks from the world of pickup artistry to attract your best match. But first, we have these headlines of really big news and some surprising revelations about the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce. And a shocking new study from Ashley Madison on how faith and infidelity intersect. Then in dear demand, I’ll answer questions from you like how to stop getting friendzone after a date, and is the guy you’re casually seeing secretly married. It’s going to be another action packed episode of dates and mates and now we dash
Connell Barrett 1:31
I’m not the one breaking the news to you that Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing? I hope not. I mean, maybe you’ve been living under a rock. No, you have it. You’re a database listener you know what’s happening? Yes, Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing, you know, Bill, of course, as co founder of Microsoft, Melinda Gates, an early employee there. And the two of them together have built this huge philanthropic arm with the Bill and Melinda with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that has done a lot to to tackle things like getting people clean water, and vaccines and so many other really important issues. So this divorce is big news, not just for their relationship, it’s big news in business. It’s big news in for causes around the world. And it’s got me of course asking the questions like what the heck happened? I actually think that this divorce is not really going to be resolved for many years, even though they have a prenup. Because the challenge is the prenup. Of course, they’ve been married for 27 years. So the prenup was originally written before they built so much of this together. And it’s really about protecting the assets that you bring into the relationship. But what do they have, like there’s such an argument there for Melinda being a part of helping bill build the Microsoft fortune both as a former employee and then as her as his spouse. So this is going to be hella complicated. But just to add an additional element to this, that there was a revelation recently that in the prenup, they also included things about each other’s personal behaviors. For example, Bill Gates was allowed according to this prenup to spend one week a year with his ex girlfriend at her beach house, her in she’s married to so there’s all these things when you start to peel back the layers you think you know people and you see them out there like doing good in the world and creating and growing this ridiculous fortune that they are seemingly using to give back to to make the world a better place. But you don’t know really what’s going on behind closed doors. And that to me, even if you had an understanding about it 27 years ago, there’s probably so many things that have been complicated over the years that eventually got to be too much. So this is probably going to be one of the most expensive divorces we’ve ever seen. I’m sure it it’s going to take some time to unravel all that apparently bill just like wrote just handed over. Apparently bills is handed over $2 million 2 billion. Wait, how much? 2 billion. Shit shit. Oh my gosh. Apparently bill just transferred almost $2 billion. That’s billion with a B I had to double check it $2 billion in stock tumbled to Melinda on the day she filed for divorce which of course was a little bit before we found out about it but that makes me that feels like an apology. payment or something, I don’t know, I think there’s going to be more information. Maybe
by the time this airs, there’ll be more information that’s come out. But they are on trend. There is a trend now for what they’re calling gray divorce or splitting after the age of 50. It’s more than doubled in recent decades. And I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, because I actually think it’s about people really getting clear getting clear on what they want. And you’ve heard me say on the show before it my prediction is that coming out of the pandemic, which we unfortunately are not out of yet, we are going to see more and more divorces. Because this pandemic has had an unintended benefit, I guess, of helping many people clarify what’s really important to them, what are we living for? What do you want to do with your life? And who do you want to spend it with? And if you’re not with that person, and if you’re not living your life, in integrity, with what your values are, and what you ultimately want to do to make your mark on this world, then it might be time to reevaluate and move on. Some folks are out here reevaluating before they’ve moved on, though, we actually got our hot little hands on a hot little study from Ashley madison.com. Ashley Madison is the app or website dating site that is for people who are seeking extramarital affairs. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But what you haven’t heard is this study called the crux of infidelity, where Ashley Madison looked at the relationship between faith and adultery. And there was some some info in here that I did not expect to see. Turns out 66% of Ashley Madison members, only only two sexes have a religious affiliation with only 17% identifying as atheist or agnostic. And a lot of them said that their religion is important to them, or is the center of their lives more than a third. And yet there were also people in this study who said that feeling guilty or ashamed for having an affair is linked to religion. And many of them said that they didn’t agree with the religious teachings that were taught to them. As many, many of them said they didn’t agree with some of their religious teachings things like no sex before marriage, sex is only for procreation, discouragement of female pleasure or sexuality. I could go on and on sexual exclusivity with your spouse, adultery is a sin, basically all of the things
Connell Barrett 7:41
are part of adultery as it relates to the 10 commandments and other other passages of the Bible, which I’ll admit I don’t know very well. But most of them didn’t believe that their religion should revise its doctrine on these teachings. And this is kind of another example of likes, do what I do, as I say, not as I do. And it reminded me also like how much shame we all carry for these decisions that we think other people are doing, or we think we’re supposed to do, but that are not ultimately what we want or what we need. So I’m not I’m not sitting here saying like, you know, just throw caution to the wind and go have an affair, everybody. It’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m just saying that it’s interesting to see how much our actions sometimes are not in alignment with our thoughts, our feelings, our words, even. And it’s interesting, I was listening to some I was listening to a special episode of death, sex and money Anna sale. The host of that show, if you know it from wnyc, NPR, it’s amazing. She’s going to be on the show in a few weeks talking about her new book. But Anna Sayle did an interview with Dan Savage who is very vocal about ethical non monogamy. And he was saying that so many of us are like, I would take a bullet for my spouse or my partner like I would do anything I’d take a bullet for them. And he was saying that infidelity is that bullet that that most couples are going to be touched by infidelity. He said, basically, 50% of men and 50% of women are unfaithful in their relationship. And they’re not necessarily the same people so that almost all couples are in some way at some time. Touched by infidelity. And the question is, what do you do? What do you do when that happens? I do get a lot of questions from people like I’m afraid to commit to this relationship because what if what if he’s unfaithful? or What is it? What does it mean to make this vow and what if I have an attraction to someone else, and to me, it keeps coming back to being in alignment, being in alignment with your goals and your values, and sometimes the religious teachings that we follow, we think they’re in alignment, because that’s what we’ve always known. And yet, when we dig a level deeper, we’re not actually even operating our lives in accordance with what we thought we believed. So there’s a brain bender for you. Now you have options now you have information. And now you have a lot to think about as we head into our first break when we come back. Connell Barrett will be here talking about his new book dating sucks, but you don’t stick around. We’re back and I’m here with Connell Barrett. He’s the founder of dating transformation and the official dating coach for the league. Don’t worry, we’re not going to duke it out and a dating app battle. He’s a dating coach for men who is on a mission to help you find your soulmate as your most authentic, confident self. You’ve seen him on access hollywood, the today show good day LA and playboy. And now I’m excited for you to give big smooches to my guests. Cardinal Barrett,
Connell Barrett 11:11
Jonah, thank you so much for having me. I’m psyched to be here.
I feel like we’ve been courting for quite a while and now it’s finally here. It’s our first dance.
Connell Barrett 11:20
The dance continues.
Connell Barrett 11:22
I I want to go back in time to like the beginning of like, where this all this whole dating coach journey started for you. Because I hear you have some secrets. I don’t want to call them rules of the game. But do you know a little bit about the game? Do you not?
Connell Barrett 11:42
I do I do. I remember reading that book the game Neil Strauss’s book the game back in 2005 2006. And that was what sparked me on this realization that Oh, you can learn about dating and quote unquote, attracting women. And I guess what I’ll do is try a bunch of tricks like the game talks about and negs and everything. So
that’s the top trick. So it it’s this might be new to some people. You just threw out regs tell everybody what an egg is. I just talked about it on the Drew Barrymore show but tell everybody what an egg
Connell Barrett 12:19
Oh, good. An egg is something that pick up old school pickup artists used to do and some of them still teach it, where you try to make your the woman you’re talking to feel insecure about herself, and self conscious. So you quote, lower her self confidence so that then she wants to seek your approval. So for example, if if a pickup artist was talking to a woman who had slightly crooked, imperfect teeth, he might say, Oh, I really like your teeth. I was always a big Bugs Bunny fan. So he would try to make herself conscious about herself so that she would then try to seek His approval. It’s really gross.
It’s really gross, but it works. Why do you think it? It does? legitimately I would never tell any of my listeners to do it. And yet I’ve seen that it works time and time again. And that was the thing like on the Drew Barrymore show that I was telling this this lady is that she was almost inviting nagging, she was like taking this antagonistic stance with a lot of guys in the messages that they were sending back and forth. And I’m like, why does that work?
Connell Barrett 13:24
Well, in Mike, I never really got good at negging I never did it. I never liked it. So I don’t have a lot of first hand experience with it. But I think it works because people are insecure, we all are to an extent, we all doubt our self confidence, our our Am I enough pneus. And if you talk to somebody and make them feel a little bit insecure, and they want your validation back, then I could see where tricks like that would work. But they never worked for me. I went out and tried to I tried them for a little bit. I tried being an alpha male aihole I tried to be I tried lines, I tried a lot of scripted moves. And what I found was that when I finally dropped those things, and I finally, I finally said, You know what, I’m just gonna be vulnerable and authentic and as awesome as I can be. That works so much better. Just really what I’m about. It’s about all of the things that pickup artists teach some men to do. They’re teaching men to do an impersonation of a cool, high value, amazing guy. And I say, why not just become a high value authentically amazing guy, or girl.
Boom, drop the mic right there. I’m with you.
Connell Barrett 14:30
Thanks for having me. I’m gonna take off.
It is all about authenticity, but I want to kind of understand some of those techniques a little bit deeper and why they don’t why they do or don’t work and then like what the alternative option would be. So another term that’s thrown around is peacocking. Right? So peacocking that’s, that’s sort of like wearing something flamboyant or doing something that gets people to notice you. What like Why? Two things two,
Connell Barrett 15:05
there’s two reasons why peacocking can work. One is because you stand out, you’re wearing a bright yellow shirt, or a top hat or something really over the top, in a public place, you’re going to look different than every other person. And that’s going to get attention. So attention can be good. So it gets eyes on you, it gets a woman’s eyes on you. And then but the idea of peacocking is kind of its kind of devious hits, the idea is you want people to call you on on your outfit, you want them to mock you, or come up and tease you. And then you pass that test, you keep your cool, you let it brush off you. And a woman might see that and say, oh, that guy doesn’t give a shit. He can handle social pressure. So it’s actually it creates an opportunity to get a woman’s attention and also pass the social tests of people mocking you for your clothing. That again, that’s the idea. But it’s another gimmick that is designed to paper over the real issues, the real wounds that people have. I say fix those wounds. Don’t wear a loud yellow shirt or medallions. Unless you’re just a medallion person.
Then you know, just do you, boo.
Connell Barrett 16:15
But yeah, let’s
dig into that a little bit. Because you you talk in your new book, dating sucks, but you don’t. The modern guys guide to total competence, romantic connection and finding the perfect partner. You talk about being magnetic as you even if you’re not rich, tall or great looking
Connell Barrett 16:33
I’m sure there are people listening right now that are like, I’m not really sure how to be magnetic. How do I draw the people in if I’m not doing the peacocking or the negging? Or like these loud, flamboyant things that are really a cover for some of those, those deeper layers?
Connell Barrett 16:53
Yeah, the idea is to be what I call radically authentic. And that doesn’t make you magnetic to every person. However, what it does, is it makes you incredibly attractive and magnetic to the kind of person who likes your type. I think of it like this. Do you go to Starbucks?
All the time. All the time. I used to work there even I was a barista.
Connell Barrett 17:14
Okay. All right.
Connell Barrett 17:15
Do you guys too much information. Do you?
Connell Barrett 17:19
Do you love Starbucks? Like it’s the greatest place on earth? Or is it just fine because the coffee’s there and it’s convenient. It’s good.
I love Starbucks. And please, before y’all start sending me hate mail, I have my reasons. But I love Starbucks.
Connell Barrett 17:35
Okay, fair enough. So you’re not helping me with my, my teachable moment? Well, here’s my view. My view is that most people don’t love Starbucks. It’s fun. It’s convenient. Okay. However, when I was in grad school, when I was in grad school, I was a TA. And there was this coffee bar called the Lakota there was sawdust on the floor. A Bulldog with the owner had was always running around, it was a little bit too loud, a little bit too hipsterish. And I just love that place because it was quirky, and specific, and incredibly authentic for what it was trying to be. Now people, a lot of people hated Lakota. But the people who loved it really loved it. It was just it felt like home and it felt like home for me. And that’s sort of my view of dating, it’s you don’t want to be Starbucks. You don’t want to be a watered down wine spritzer. You want to be the cool, quirky hipster coffee shop, or a stiff drink of scotch. Not everybody likes scotch. Not everybody likes that hipster coffee shop, but people who love it are gonna wear the T shirt. They’re gonna be there everyday, they’re gonna tell their friends about it. So the way to become magnetic in the dating landscape, is you lean 1,000% into your avatar, who you are your core, this authentic self that Aristotle talked about. And you show that vulnerability, you lean into that self, and you will definitely not attract everybody. But you’re going to, you’re going to drive about 1/3 to 1/4 of the single people you meet crazy, they’re going to love you and you’re going to be magnetic to them. So you’re not going to be magnetic to everybody. Be magnetic to people who want to drink at your coffee shop, which in your case is Starbucks but fine. But
Connell Barrett 19:21
see, the thing is, though, I
think I think I actually proved your point. Because people are polarized. There are people that hate Starbucks. And you know, like some people also want a Starbucks, like I would say my husband’s kind of a Starbucks, like, you know, he’s just like really reliable. He’s like, not too extreme one way or another. And he’s a Starbucks, but he’s authentically a Starbucks. Like he’s not a Starbucks trying to be what was named your coffee shop.
Connell Barrett 19:49
Lakota, and I think like, that’s the thing that the pickup artists community missed, right. They’re trying to make everybody Lakota it’s like some people just stop That’s,
Connell Barrett 20:00
it’s fine. Absolutely.
I really take your point. And, and I can also, I can also back it up with data from dating apps. I know, my audience knows, like how nerdy I am about dating apps. But, you know, there’s also information out there that supports that in terms of swiping, people are more likely to swipe on someone who is polarizing, like the people who are polarizing get more engagement than the people who are just like the middle of the road Starbucks, they get more engagement. And that is a strategy that I’ve used for a long time like to say where you’re weird, like to really have those, the color, context and character and I’m like, the characters the thing that most people miss, but that, you know, I’m talking specifically from my dating app experience. I know you also work with a dating app, you work with the league, which is, you know, a swiping app aimed at high achievers.
Connell Barrett 21:03
And that’s how we talk at the league. We are quite distinguished gentlemen. And ladies,
what would you say? How does that apply? As you see it in the online dating world? The the philosophy of really being your authentic self? And how do you bring that through in your profile,
Connell Barrett 21:22
it’s the same concept. That’s what’s so great about this idea of being radically authentic. I’m not saying there’s not some differences in context. But I think of online dating, I think there’s a big myth about online dating. It’s not really dating. It’s marketing. It’s not dating until you talk the first time or meet or at least have that first phone conversation or date. Until that point, it’s just marketing, it’s digital marketing, and what works with digital marketing. Two things, you have to break through the noise, you have to send a signal that’s just different and captures people’s attention and cuts through the noise. And that offers the offers them something offers them something of value, something they want a date, a hookup a makeout, a, somebody to text on a lonely lockdown night, whatever they’re looking for, give them something of value. So when I’m helping clients on the league, or my own clients, men and women, increase their matches increase the quality of the men and women they match with. I’m looking at it as a marketer. I’m saying, Hey, your profile might feature you, but it’s not about you. It’s profiles about the other person on the other end of their phone swiping. It’s about her or him. It’s about making them feel the way we want them to feel, again, in an authentic way, but in a very value offering way. And sometimes when I say the word marketing, some people think Well, isn’t that can’t that’s kind of like pickup artists, right? Isn’t marketing sketchy? Isn’t it like used car salesman? And I don’t think so I think really good. Value Added marketing, where you feel like the company knows you likes you. They’re, they’re being transparent. I think that it’s about connection. And it’s about a highly specific message. So what I have people do the guys I work with, I say, Who are you? I recently asked my client Jeremy, who are you? Who are you are your core because he wrote his bio up. And it was basically he was suffering from long walks on the beach, itis it was just like, I like travel and the beach. I’m like, come on, dude, who are you really? Who are you in two or three words? He said, I’m a man of extremes. Like cool. What does that mean? He’s like, I love plunge pools, and sleep deprivation chambers. And I buy seven books at a time and only read one of them like, yes, that’s the guy. We want women to
say swipe left. But there are other people.
Connell Barrett 23:46
Others we say no turn
Connell Barrett 23:47
on site as edgy.
Connell Barrett 23:49
Exactly. We don’t want to try to be all things to all people because then they’ll swipe left. We want. We want a solid percentage of people to be like, right, right, right. Right now, on my dating profile, I say I’m a dating coach. I’m like hitch, it’s very polarizing. Some women are suspicious, I’m gonna like it. But it’s who I am. And it’s different. It’s different. So we want to find that unique difference and market yourself to people in a way that’s genuine, but also offers value and makes them go, Oh, this is not something I see. Every day on the apps.
Yeah, I agree with you. And wrote a similar book on the topic on how to brand yourself, which is kind of the same thing. Yeah. Right. Same reaction. And this was like 10 years ago, same reaction, like people are like, what? No, this is about me being authentically me, which it is. But it’s also about like, think of it from the other person’s perspective. This is what I want everybody to really, really hear men and women right now hear what Connell just said. He said, think of it from the perspective of the person looking at the profile, not just like, this is me. This is who I am, you know, like it, you know, swipe left. That’s not what it is. It’s about really thinking like, what? also is that person? What does that person need to see to swipe? Right, right?
Connell Barrett 25:07
Yes, exactly thinking about the audience. Your podcast is awesome as it is as awesome as you are, you probably don’t think of it as being about you. It’s really about your audience about what you want them to experience. Right? Same with your book completely.
Connell Barrett 25:21
It’s not my book. My book is not about me. It’s I’m all over it. But it’s more about what my book can do for single dudes. And your book was about what your book could do for single people. And your podcast is about what your podcast can offer. So it really comes down to offering value. And that’s kind of what this is about offering relevant value to somebody who likes your your type.
I love this. Okay, let’s take things then to the next level Connell.
Connell Barrett 25:49
Because possible, can we go deeper?
Connell Barrett 25:51
We can, we can.
Connell Barrett 25:54
there’s something else that there’s something else that you address in your book. And, and in in your talks and everything that you all the day and all your things, in the motivation behind people’s actions. And, you know, we have a lot of folks listening this show that are like, I can’t stand the dating apps, because I don’t understand why people act the way they do. Like, why do you guys match with you but not right? Why do you guys like engage and then pull away? away? Like, why do they say they want a relationship? But then they then they don’t?
Connell Barrett 26:35
What? Men do these things? I can’t believe it.
Please explain. Please. A voice of man. Why do you do be doing this?
Connell Barrett 26:45
Let’s start with what’s the most common complaint you hear from women that Why do men do what is it ghosting, pull away? show interest pullback? Yeah, why
are they hot and cold? Like why can’t I read his actions, I don’t know what he wants.
Connell Barrett 27:04
Got it. I think it’s because every we’re all driven by the same. We’re all driven by the same small subset of needs. And a woman might be on a dating app, and she might be driven for connection. She wants love. She wants an incredible guy to share her life with. And a lot of men are not driven by that. First and foremost, they’re driven by the need to feel significant to feel sexy to feel validated. So if a woman looking for love and connection, matches what the guy starts messaging feels like he’s on the same page. And he gets that validation. Maybe they make out, hook up, or Hello, maybe they just swapped some messages and he feels handsome and sexy. He gets that feeling he wants special. I’m hot, I’m sexy, I’m attractive. I know this feeling because I never felt hot, sexy or attractive. Until my mid 30s. That’s why I went on this journey because I needed to feel special and attractive. We all do. So for the most part, it’s not bad intentions. It’s that we have kind of mismatched needs a woman’s looking for connection and, and maybe a soulmate. And a guy who pulls back is probably he might tell her he’s interested in that because, you know, it’s dating. He’s gonna say what he’s gonna say. But really, he just wants that adrenaline rush of an attractive woman to be into him. And then it’s like, it’s like, a sugar rush. It’s like ego candy. It’s like candy to the ego. It’s like, Oh, that’s all good. Who’s next? Who’s my next? validation rush? So that’s why men do that a lot. Not all men, of course. But many men are wired that way.
You said something profound, and then you scan it read past it. You said that you used to not feel attractive. And that’s what sent you on this journey. I’m curious what shifted? Like, was it just about the work that you did? The inner work? Do you feel like for me, I’m just gonna throw this out here personal share time. I found I too, can relate Connell that I didn’t feel attractive. Particularly no offense against the Midwest is my home region. But like standard. You’re in Ohio.
Connell Barrett 29:14
I was I’m from Ohio. I’m in New York. But I know Ohio and Indiana.
Well, I’m I’m originally from Michigan, I went to school in Chicago and the standard of beauty there. Let’s just let’s just call a spade a spade. At the time that I lived there. The standard of beauty was very different. And the people who were in my circle like because dating apps hadn’t been invented. Then I had a very limited pool of possible matches. Then finally, when I moved to California, and one there were people who were who saw me in a different light. And also I went I started doing I was very early adopter of online dating. And I started to see that there I started to have access to this pool of people who were interested in me Then it started to change actually my self image. And it was also partnered, I would say, with deep self worth worth work, too. But I, I do feel like the availability of matches who were appropriate for me, was a part of me shifting the way that I felt. Did that happen for you at all in that way? Or was it a different kind of experience?
Connell Barrett 30:25
It was similar it took, I think it might have taken me longer than it took you based on what I know about you and what you just shared. So I, I came from a place of very low place in terms of my feelings about my attractiveness to women. I thought I just wasn’t that guy who women went for as I never had a date in high school, barely dated in college, and this content, and then I got when I found when I finally found a woman who wanted to be with me. She’s a wonderful person, don’t get me wrong, but she wasn’t the right person for me. And I married her. And nine weeks later, she left me. And for a guy who she was hooking up with not, she shouldn’t have gotten married either. Neither of us wanted to. here’s the here’s a phrase you never want to hear. As a newlywed. I heard this, a guy said to me, a friend said this at night where I was working at the time. Hey, I saw your wife on the back of another guy’s Harley today.
Oh, that’s a whole mouthful.
Connell Barrett 31:23
That’s a lot to hear. I’m like four weeks married. So after my marriage ended, I felt really low. I felt rejected by all women. And what what shifted in me is it. I didn’t realize I needed this at the time. But I just needed to go on this journey of meeting lots of people, lots of women, and finding out Oh, I have worth I have romantic value in their eyes and some of their eyes. And it took a lot longer than I thought it would have because you know, you know how deeply beliefs can get grooved into your marrow, how it can feel like bone deep. It took me several years of approaching and dating and just learning about how this all works. Where I finally realized, Hey, I’m good enough, I have that worth in value. So the shift for me happened a lot more slowly than I wanted it to at the time. But the silver lining is I got all these great stories and experiences and epiphanies. And it turned me into a dating coach because only by having every single problem that a single man has ever had, can I now feel like I can fix just about any problem that a single man has, because I had them all and fixed them all. So it’s like Jon Bon Jovi seen a million problems and rock them all.
You got to go through it to be able to relate to it. Certainly. There’s another part of your book dating sucks, but
Connell Barrett 32:46
That I really, I want to also dive into because we talked about, like pickup artists and how they you know, you mentioned approaches like how it’s kind of always the same. You do your reps you Oh, you know, you always follow the same pattern. But I I imagine now, especially because we have so many different ways to me with the technology, that that strategy has shifted a little bit. And it’s really more about creating authentic conversations. But that is something that is so hard for so many people, especially in the digital world, I get a lot of questions on the show, from people that are like, what do I say, to in the first message, what do I say on the first date. And as someone who is also interested in authentic conversations and connections, I’d love to know your tips for being able to move into a conversation like that.
Connell Barrett 33:48
Yeah, mice, the simple Zen phrase I give my clients and I would give this to women as well, this advice goes to all of us is it’s the simple phrase of what I’m thinking and feeling is what I’m saying and doing. When I go on a date and I have one in two hours. When I go on a date. I always try to lean into this idea of Alright, what am I thinking and feeling right now being really transparent, not vulgar. Hopefully, if what I’m thinking is x rated, I might dial it down to a PG, but I’m going to be as honest and real as I can. And what happens is you’re right. I think that maybe the most common question I see and get and here is some variation of what do you say? What are the words that will get them attracted to me that will make it go well? And I answer well starts with think don’t think impress think Express, expressing yourself. You’re going to be at your most attractive self if you’re expressing your true thoughts and showing your true sense of humor, cracking your versions of jokes. I’m I’m a dad joke guy. I’m not even a dad, but I love dad jokes. My day. Tonight’s probably gonna hear Dad jokes. She’s gonna hear me nerd out a little bit. I
may not know I want a dad joke, Connell.
Connell Barrett 35:08
Don’t do that. My command has to be in the moment.
Do it on command. But I get it. I don’t want to put you on the spot. I do actually. Actually. Fun fact, my friend. Ah, this is just like a separate. Separate Fun fact. My friend Adrian cope, wrote a book of dad jokes last year. I got one for my dad and for my husband, and it’s fabulous. So if you need a primer, like definitely look up Adrian cubs. Dad jokes book.
Connell Barrett 35:38
I will. I need more. Dad, I need I need a dad joke on command. You will
never run out. I
Connell Barrett 35:44
blanked on the dad joke.
No, no, it’s all good. But we’ll just cut that out. That’s all
Connell Barrett 35:49
good. Well, what the in the first chapter of my book I talked about this guy can a guy used to work with and Ken came to me because he was pushing 30 and he had never even kissed a girl never even kissed a woman. Because he was a little bit chubby, shorter than average. He just felt like oh, I’m not that guy. girls go for and he had read the game. He was doing all these pickup artists things and just was making things worse. And I took him out. This is the weekend I really fell in love with being a coach took them out on the town in New York City for a few days. And I kind of realized who can is can can quote Plato and Aristotle. He’s a college professor. He most guys can quote Homer Simpson. You know he can Odyssey? The Odyssey Homer? Anyway, so Ken and I go out and I say lean into that nerdy he’s a knock knock joke, man. He’s like, tell girls knock knock jokes. Talk about Plato talk about Aristotle. And for the first time in his life that night, he was having women like grab his phone saying, you better call me. Here’s my number. And we went to this rooftop bar. And I watched him approach a tall, beautiful woman who kind of looked like a Gwyneth Paltrow thing wasn’t her but it looked like her. And I watched I was watching from afar doing the whole hitch dating coach thing. And they were talking for five or 10 minutes and all of a sudden, they’re kissing. I’m watching. For the first time in my life. I’m knowingly watching somebody have the very first kiss of their life. When he had, he had to get up on his toes because she’s like, 510 and he’s, he looked he’s kind of a shorter Jonah Hill looking guy. And then they got married a week later. Just kidding. They didn’t get it was just it was just
like hanging on every word you’re saying. Like it
Connell Barrett 37:33
was just it was just a drunken makeout but it was actually a lot more than that. Because that weekend can realize you know what, when I really lean into that nerdy Plato quoting, knock knock jokes out and die. He’s gonna find a Gwyneth Paltrow type who’s like, I like cute nerds, I’ll make out with this guy. And that’ll change your life and night like that. And it did for him, I like to think. And so yeah, lead into that if Ken can’t do an impression of some pickup artists it comes across, it’s like wearing an ill fitting suit. But when you’re wearing your real skin, your real suit, it fits well. You feel good in it. And that more that that genuinely magnetic side of you comes out. So you can kiss Gwyneth Paltrow look alikes, or whoever your type is.
Right. I’m like, I wonder what happened after that to Ken? Like, did he end up with more like a, you know, I’m like, trying to think of another type out. Look, I
Connell Barrett 38:32
Connell Barrett 38:35
a really cool girl right now. Ken is I haven’t talked to Ken in a while. But I know, I know. He was in a relationship about six months later.
Connell Barrett 38:43
He doesn’t need you anymore.
Connell Barrett 38:47
That’s the whole point. Right?
Right. I feel that too. Like there’s so many clients that I’ve launched to help launch into relationships, that it’s just like, I don’t ever want to hear from you again. I want you to go and like live your happy life. And you know, I’m here if you need me, but I want I want you to spread your relationship wings and fly.
Connell Barrett 39:06
You are a jet I
one last thing, since you are a dating coach for men. And I do hear this. I literally just heard this last week Connell. Like, gosh, it’s so hard to know what to say now because of me too. And I don’t know what I can say to a woman and have it not be offensive. There has to there has to be another there has to be a more conscious way to think of this. This whole me to what how do you how do you honor a woman but also let her know that you’re interested?
Connell Barrett 39:43
Right often that balance? Yeah, yeah, great question. First thing men need to do is, is realize that me too is not about the man. It’s about. Not you know, it’s not it’s it’s me to not you to the man to So first of all, Just don’t be that guy who says you’re gonna have to make the first move because I don’t want to, you know, it’s a different culture. And this is the whole point. The whole point is, let’s honor and respect women and girls who’ve been abused and harassed. That’s what this is about. So if you’re a man who just gets that you’re ahead of most guys. Okay, that aside, get off my feminist soapbox. That aside like it, and right there at the same at the same time, I say, guys, women still want men to be men. It’s not like you don’t want to be a man, we still can make moves, quote, unquote. But we want to be incredibly empathetic and always calibrating to how our quote unquote moves are making women feel. We want to Yes, you can still open doors and tell her she’s beautiful, and offer your arm or take her hand. But you also want to pay attention to how Of course how she’s responding to this, show a little thing called empathy, and then calibrate accordingly. Most women will let you know how you’re doing and how she’s feeling with you. And if she’s liking it, you can make a little bit more of a move. I think of it as stair steps. There’s a story in the book, How I I was walking home from a date when I was first learning all this stuff. And I was like, Oh, no, I haven’t made any moves all night. I gotta do something. We’re walking to the subway. He looks down on her phone. And then she looks up and all of a sudden my ginger face is coming at her to kiss her. And like my lips graze her chin and my teeth hits her and it was just oh word and I call it the lunch. Lunch because you’re like, well, I don’t want to get Yeah. lunging Puma. Yeah, that’s, that’s my kung fu name lunging. Don’t be the lunge guy. I’m not saying make. I’m not saying try to throw a touchdown from your own end zone. I’m saying baby, step it, you know, give her a hug when you meet her for the first time on the date. A friendly hug. A couple high fives be a little bit physically expressive. If she’s comfortable with it. Notice, notice how she responds. Maybe soon you’ll be holding hands. If you’re holding hands, then maybe it’s time for a kiss soon. But the me to trouble guys get into it’s they do things like oh, I’m just gonna do nothing all night. And then I’m going to make some really weird try hard move, which is also really bad. I think of it as the stair steps of romantic connection rather than trying to throw a touchdown from your own five yard line.
I do not get the sports reference at all. That’s okay. Sorry, sorry. I’m somebody somebody that was not for me. That’s fine that somebody else will understand. But I think I get I get, I get the gist. And
Connell Barrett 42:41
the other thing
that I think it’s important to remind folks of is that asking for consent can be really sexy. I think somehow we got in our head like, Oh, that’s not sexy. If I asked her if I can kiss her. Yes, of course it is sexy. Like, I mean, like, in olden times, they would say like, may I kiss you now? Or you know, just like, right? Would
Connell Barrett 43:03
it be okay, if
I kissed you? Like, how hot would that be? Like direct eye contact? Like? Would it be okay, if I kissed you right now? I feel like I want to kiss you right now. Is that okay? Like? Yeah, I feel like that would be super hot. Like, if that’s way hotter than you just like, shoving your tongue down my throat like,
Connell Barrett 43:23
absolutely. It’s nothing. There’s nothing sexy about that. What’s great is what you just described letting a woman know either explicitly, or with lots of clear cues that a kiss is coming. You’ve been moving toward it. And you could certainly say something like, well, I really want to kiss you right now. And then then what does what she taught you? Your answer, right?
Connell Barrett 43:46
So she’ll say like, she’ll
either say, let’s break this down for folks coddle. She’ll either say like, you should, or she’ll lean in. Or she’ll What? Like, what are some signs that she’s like, Oh, hell no.
Connell Barrett 44:00
Well, body language arms folded, sitting away from you. If you haven’t held her hand yet, then don’t try to kiss her yet. There are these little these little yellow, green, yellow or red lights that arise during the date. go through a few green lights first before you make a big move. And if you get yellow lights and red lights cool, then then you know to stop. And you never have to be that lunging guy. But absolutely. I have a client called Jerry, who. He’s got a great little move at the end of the date. Now he says are you in the market for a kiss? So cute. It’s a little bit cold. It’s COVID related. empathy. He wants to make sure she’s okay with that. Because we’re still in a pandemic, but also he wants to kind of test the waters like hey, basically, are you in the market for a kiss? And he’s been to for two with that. So
if she doesn’t say are you in the market for a PCR test?
Connell Barrett 45:01
Any woman who said that he should propose right away?
Connell Barrett 45:03
That’s right. Right away.
You are a wealth of helpful information I am so with you on this dating from an authentic place. And I’m so excited for my audience to pick up dating sucks, but you don’t the modern guys guide to total confidence, romantic connection and finding the perfect partner. And this is for I know you coach, guys, but there’s a lot for the ladies to be learning from your book as well.
Connell Barrett 45:29
I think so. I mean, the book is about how to gain confidence how to flirt, and how to make yourself attractive as your most real you I think there’s a lot of value there for men and women. But if nothing else, maybe you know, every woman’s got a guy for you to friendzone who might need this, or a brother, or maybe a single dad. So it’s it’s good for guys and gals. And by the way, it’s available, you can order it on my website dating, transformation calm, where I also have lots of free tips and videos and just free goodies as well.
Awesome. We will put the link to that in the show notes. As always, thank you so much for being here, panel.
Connell Barrett 46:07
Tonight, it was a blast. Thank you so much for having me.
We’ll put a link in the show notes for connells. Book dating sucks, but you don’t. The modern guys guide to total confidence, romantic connection and finding the perfect partner. This week, we have some fabulous questions to tackle from you, including how to avoid coming off as more of a friend on dates. And is he ghosting because he’s secretly married.
Connell Barrett 46:34
it’s time to answer your questions in the next segment. This one comes to us in a voice memo from Brittany
britany what you’re doing here I think is really smart. You are noticing a pattern. And that’s what I’m all about. And I would not blame yourself, certainly. But I think it’s a really good place to be willing to examine what you’re doing and see if there’s something that you are doing that’s creating the same result. Now first of all, I always say you know, rejection is your protection. So if it’s not a match, you have to remember, it’s actually a good thing that they’re letting you know, first of all, that they’re not just ghosting and they’re saying, Hey, I’m not feeling the vibe. Of course, sometimes people say I’m getting a friend vibe, which means that I’m not interested in a relationship. So I don’t know if you are not stating clearly enough that you are interested in a relationship upfront. And then later on, they’re like,
Connell Barrett 47:42
Oh, no, no, this
girl is looking for too much for me, actually, girl just want to be friends. I don’t know if that’s what’s happening. Or maybe there is something that you can do to sort of amp up the flirting. We’ll be talking more about flirting next week. But I’ll give you a couple quick tips that would be helpful. If you want to convey to the other person that you’re interested in something more than friendship. I can’t tell you how many times someone will say to me, I didn’t want to go out again with them because I felt like they weren’t really giving me vibes or they weren’t that interested. And like attracts like interest attracts interest. So make sure that you are really clear with what you want upfront. You can use my acronym, set it up s smile, make sure you’re smiling, you’re laughing you’re looking like you’re having a good time. He icontact of course, always make sure you’re really looking like you’re interested, you may have heard me say on the show before that just the presence of a cell phone on the table during a date can breed mistrust between two people. So make sure that you’re giving them good eye contact. And then touch touch is really the way to signify This is not just a friendship, I’m looking for something, something more. And there are a few zones in the body that are safe zones. And I really feel like since the me to movement, it’s become very important for women to set the physical boundary and to let to let a man know that touch is okay. And advanced is going to be accepted. And you can do that by breaking the touch barrier first. So that could be just you know, casual little pat. On the hand when he says something funny or a touch on the shoulder while you’re walking to the table. It doesn’t have to be and probably shouldn’t be anything like vava voom major like no running the hand up and down the thigh that’s too much for their early phase. But safe zones, the shoulder, the elbow, the wrist, the hand, those tend to be safe areas where you can touch someone on a date, and it doesn’t come off as too aggressive. Anything Of course, hips, waist knee, you can maybe play a little bit of footsie. But sometimes those signals can get misread. But anything in the waist down zones is definitely off limits, especially guys, especially don’t put your hand on her waist or the small of her back. If you ain’t there yet. You have to really respect that. But I’m saying to you, Brittany, maybe you need to amp up the float factor just a little bit. And see if you get a different result. I think it’s really, really smart to examine these patterns that we’re seeing. Definitely not not for self blame. I’m not here for that whatsoever. But for self inquiry, that is what I’m all about on the day to mates podcast. So I hope that is helpful for you. But also just remember Brittany that those who want you to be in their life only as a friend, they’re just not the right ones. And eventually, if you keep doing all of these things, and you keep being as curious about yourself, and as curious about your dates as you are, you will find somebody who likes you as more than a friend. Our next question came to me in an Instagram dm from a listener, we’ll call a she says hi to Mona. I work at a hotel. And I met a guy here. He’s a returning guest coming every two to three weeks. After his third time, he gave me his business card to text him. So I texted him and we met two times and I felt we got a connection and got a bit intimate. He’s really great. We have a lot in common. But we were always in touch when he was at the hotel. Never when he was not around. Last time when we were saying goodbye. He said stay in touch, but we did not. He checked in yesterday, and I feel like there’s something wrong. He did not text me before. When we talked it was very formal. He was nice and told me it was good to see me and how I’m How am I doing? But that’s all Am I being ghosted? I know that it was very casual, and I don’t feel good about it. I don’t know what happened. But the worst thing is that I cannot ask for an explanation. Right? We were not together or exclusive. We were just hanging out. Moreover, here’s the kicker, guys. I found out that next week there’s another reservation under the same surname with a female name. Is this family or wife? What the heck is happening? Oh, man,
a man I I know what you’re going through right now. And I know I’m about to say something, that’s probably not what you want to hear. But this situation has a red flag written all over it even before you got to the part about the reservation under the same surname. All of my spidey senses were going off when you said I only talked to him when he was at the hotel. Never when he was not around. That to me is a telltale sign that this person, whether it’s because he has a wife, or because he has a girlfriend or something going on at home, he cannot be available to you. So that to me says that he’s hiding something if you only hear from someone, this is advice for everyone, right now, if you only hear from someone at certain times, like, Oh, well, I can only talk on the weekends or I only can talk during work hours or I can’t talk during work hours, there’s certain parameters around someone only being available to you on their terms. That is a red flag and should be paid attention to. Alright, so let’s assume that’s the case a and let’s say he has somebody back home but he’s he’s giving you all the fields and he’s saying all the things you want to hear while he’s in town. But here’s the part that concerns me for you A, you’re asking Am I being ghosted when I think the bigger question. It’s not about, he’s not ghosting you. He is protecting his own his own interests. He is getting his needs met in this relationship with you. And then doing whatever the heck he feels like when he’s not in the hotel. And he’s not escalating the relationship. So it’s not so much that he’s ghosting you. You’re not being ghosted, but it’s just that there’s a mismatch between the fantasy that you’ve created, understandably, based on the chemistry and connection that you had, and the reality that’s sitting here in front of you. I would certainly be suspicious that the same surname I don’t know if it’s a common surname or not, with a female name, coupled with the fact that he has not been communicative with you and he was very standoffish when you saw him would add up in my mind to mean that this might be his wife. So I would back off, I would not, you can certainly ask for an explanation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get one and of course, no one owes you an explanation in any dating or relationship. Since you But I think the question for you would be what can you learn from this situation? Or when could you ask for an explanation or clarification upfront, because if this is the industry that you work in, and this happens a lot of times with people who travel a lot, I’ve had clients who are flight attendants, who’ve had similar situations, even you know, waitresses, people who meet those who are on the go, who are out of their normal element, and feel that they can behave in a way that is not not the same as they would behave if they were at home. And people are really isolated and really lonely and really, really needing that connection with other people in the outside world. And I hate that you got caught up in this, because he clearly is getting what he needs and is not paying any attention to what he’s leaving in the wake. But you can learn from us and you can take what experience you’ve had here and apply it as a filter to your dating experiences or even flirtations. In the future. If you want a relationship, you can hold that person up to the level of expectation of communication and avail being available to you that you need. Or you can get the sign before you get the red flag that this person is not for you. I hope that is helpful for you A and I hope Brittany you got what you needed out of this episode. And I hope all of you at home enjoyed Episode 360 of dates and mates. We will put a link in the show notes for Connell Barrett’s book dating sucks, but you don’t. The modern guys guide to total confidence, romantic connection and finding the perfect partner. And ladies, let me just tell you, you want to get the playbook you want to know what Cardinals telling the guys so you know how to do the dance, right? So I recommend for women or men to check out connells book. And I’d love to hear from y’all. I would love to hear your question. You can reach out to me on any of the socials at damona Hoffman, you can send me a voice memo like
right there in Instagram, you could literally just record and let me know what’s on your mind. And your question could get answered on a future show. And your question could get answered. And your question could get answered on a future show or you can call me leave me a voicemail 424-246-6255 I’ll be back next week with body language expert Nicole Moore, who’s going to help us regain some confidence and flirting skills as we move out into the real world. Until next week. I wish you happy dating
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