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Dating App Identity & Partner Power Struggles

Dating happens in stages, but did you know that relationships do too? We’re not just talking about the traditional path of dating, committing and getting married. There’s more to it than that, a whole lot more.

And that is why we’ve got family therapist Jordan Green on Dates & Mates today.  She’ll be breaking down the 5 stages of every relationship to help you navigate the ups and downs that come with time. After all, no relationship is perfect.

And the timing is perfect too! It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and some of you might be accelerating your relationship to the next level by blending families this holiday… or you might need to “Define the Relationship” after spending a week dodging questions from nosy family members. Either way, we give thanks to you for listening to this episode.

DATING DISH (1:45)

The No. 1 thing that makes relationships successful:

Have y’all ever heard of the Gottman Institute? I bet you have. The Gottman Institute was co-founded by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman and helps provide practical, research-based tools to strengthen relationships. (Just for perspective, the Gottmans have studied over 40,000 couples.)

In a recent article for CNBC, John and Julie Gottman shared the number one factor they’ve nailed down for relationship success – turning toward your partner instead of turning away. Basically, turning toward your partner is acknowledging them and engaging with their attempt to connect. These attempts could show up as making eye contact with you, giving you a smile, asking you for help, or even just saying good morning. On the other hand, turning away is actively ignoring or not noticing your partner’s attempt to make a connection. And even more detrimental is turning against, which is irritably or angrily shutting down their attempt to connect.

It seems simple enough, and Damona says it all boils down to just having good communication (which is one of D’s four pillars of long-term compatibility – shared goals, shared values, trust, & communication/conflict resolution). Remember that we are not born knowing how to communicate, but we can always practice it. 

Read the article for tips on how to practice turning toward…

 JORDAN GREEN (11:20)

Jordan Green is a family therapist and the founder and CEO of Remble, a relationship improvement and mental health app.

Before that, Jordan founded and managed a membership community called The Love Group, which offered monthly courses and collaborated with therapists from around the world.

(12:00) A little more about Remble…

Being a therapist herself, Jordan says she has received tons of DM’s from women who were struggling in their relationships and seeking advice, but were not inspired to sign up for any of the preexisting therapy websites. 

This led her to launch Remble, an app which collaborates with therapists from around the world to offer courses, daily short-form videos, journaling prompts, and even on-hand conversation questions that you can ask during your date.

(16:07) Unfolding the 5 relationship stages.

Jordan offers up some insight from psychologist and author Dr. Susan Campbell, who pinpointed the five stages we all experience in a relationship after doing a study with hundreds of couples. 

Those five stages are: 1) Romance, 2) Power Struggle, 3) Stability, 4) Commitment, and 5) Co-creation.

Damona asks Jordan to clarify what happens in the power struggle stage & why it’s important. (Spoiler alert: this is the stage where couples either break up, or push through and become stronger.)

(21:21) Codependent vs. interdependent vs. independent

Jordan states that in all relationships – “there’s me, there’s you, and then there’s us. But in a healthy relationship, ideally, you have a good balance between all those parts.” And, that balance is where you will find interdependence. Jordan goes through the challenges that one might face when being too codependent or independent, and what you can do to rebalance yourself in your relationships with others.

(26:30) Is the bar too high?

We are Team Dating App all the way, but Damona brings up the observation that sometimes people focus too acutely on having certain things in common. Instead of focusing so much on whether they like tennis or not, think more about the questions that matter. Like – what is this person’s character? What values are important to them? What are some of the characteristics and qualities that I see in them that I’m actually looking for in a partner? Nails down these answers, and then let go of your attachment to exactly what that has to look like.

(32:17) Wants, needs, and boundaries.

Communicating can be really hard. And if healthy communication wasn’t modeled for us growing up, trying to express hard feelings can accidentally come out as criticism. So Damona asks Jordan for any wise words regarding expressing boundaries and what you need. 

She shares a simple formula for communicating your feelings – I feel [blank] about [blank], and I need [blank]. “This helps the other person to understand how you feel, and it gives them a recipe for how they can best support you…”

 

Be sure to follow Jordan on Instagram @the.love.therapist and check out the Remble app!

 

 

DEAR DAMONA 

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:

Email from Nikki – Hi there. I’m 51 and would love to be in a meaningful relationship in the next year. I’ve been single for 11 years. My son is 13 now and I’m ready. Do you have any specific tips for Bumble? That seems like a healthy place for professionals to meet other professionals. Thanks for the work you do!

 

Financial Love Languages & Dating Against Type

Real talk: when was the last time you discussed money on a date? Probably never. It’s always a taboo topic – until the check comes. It’s time we destigmatize talking about money on a date. 

And that’s why we have best-selling author and host of the Money Rehab podcast, Nicole Lapin, joining us on Dates & Mates today. She will be outlining how to navigate the conversation and develop a financial love language for a happier, healthier and more secure relationship.

 

DATING DISH (1:40)

Do you have a type? Maybe what you think you want and what you actually prefer don’t match up.

A recent study from the University of Toronto has us questioning if having a “type” is really all that legit. According to the study, the qualities that we think we like in a partner depend on the social context in which we encounter these qualities. For example, you attend a great party and the people there happen to be really funny. Then you come away thinking, “gosh, I prefer funny people.” But it was really just a great party.

Andre Wang, one of the co-authors of the study, said “it could be that people are so constrained by their own ideas about liking, that they are limiting their dating pool.” But good news – understanding the distinction between what we think we like vs what actually drives us to like someone can actually be a useful tool!

Damona describes how this reaction is actually related to something called “the familiarity principle” and how gravitating toward what’s familiar may be part of our biological attraction towards safety.

NICOLE LAPIN (11:50)

Nicole Lapin is a financial journalist, television news anchor and businesswoman known for her work on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and MSNBC. 

Nicole is also a New York Times bestselling author of four books, including her most recent one “Miss Independent: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Start Investing and Grow Your Own Wealth.” She is also the host of the podcast Money Rehab where she rehabs your wallet so you can get your financial life together.

(14:20) Financial first-date etiquette.

Damona and Nicole dive into the classic first-date debate – who picks up the check? And is there a certain etiquette we should be aware of when talking about money on a first date? 

Nicole shares that you can actually get a glimpse of someone’s financial situation and habits by asking them about their goals. “Goals have price tags… It’s timing, it’s tone, it’s turf. It’s having a glass of wine, talking about your hopes and dreams, and then getting into sort of how you’re going to pay for those hopes and dreams. Versus, you know, approaching it in an aggressive way.”

(20:15) A question of property.

Damona gets Nicole’s thoughts on what it means for a woman to own property (which is often rumored to be a turn-off). Nicole points out that “I think it’s just not the right person if it’s a turn off. There will be a person for whom it’s a turn on.”

Women have also expressed to Damona that if they own property or make investments, they’re afraid their partner may see this as a free ride. To that Nicole says: “I think that is about being really clear whether or not you want somebody who makes the same amount of money as you or more or whatever. “ 

Plus, Nicole breaks down the difference between good debt (there’s such a thing?) & bad debt.

(25:13) We all have financial trauma.

Our individual relationships to money are as unique as our upbringings. Which is why Nicole says we all have our own version of financial trauma. There is bigger trauma like having your house foreclosed on or family members being in debt, but Nicole also says that financial trauma can be vicarious. “It can be in your friend group. Like do a lot of your friends have a bunch of debt? Do they hide purchases from their significant others?” This all affects your FQ (financial intelligence).

Nicole also explains how to deal with a financial imbalance in your relationship (hint: there will be an imbalance in EVERY relationship).

(28:40) What to ask before move-in day…

The relationship expectations for moving in together have definitely shifted over the years – now everyone feels the freedom to go by their own timeline. But does this affect the kinds of financial conversations we should be having before merging homes? Nicole says the foremost thing to be aware of is knowing whose name the bills are under. “I’ve seen women in particular get screwed in one of two ways. Either the bills are under somebody else’s name, and so they’re not accumulating credit. Or the bills are under their name and they’re not getting paid, so their credit is getting screwed.”

(32:45) Setting yourself up for success.

So is there something more we should be doing to set ourselves up for financial (and in turn romantic) success? Nicole states that compound interest is our best friend, although we are familiar with it when it works against us through credit cards. Nicole also shares her favorite spending plan called The Three E’s – essentials, endgame, and extras.

Learn more about Nicole at NicoleLapin.com & be sure to follow her on Instagram @NicoleLapin for more investment tips.

 

DEAR DAMONA 

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:

Email from B – I met a nice guy on a dating app. We’ve had wonderful conversations. The problem is when we did our first video chat, I noticed he has rotten teeth. I do NOT see myself kissing him. What do I do?