Whether you've been ghosted one too many times or have had a string of dates that just didn't work out, it can be incredibly challenging to stay open to the next romantic prospect while also protecting your heart. How do you balance being hopeful while staying guarded? How do you avoid burnout and feeling like you wasted time? Join us on this installment of Dateable brunch talk as we chat about how you can balance all the things and keep your heart open for that amazing person who is just around the corner.
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#brunchtalk: How Can I Stay Emotionally Open When I've Been Burned?
00:00:00 - 00:05:03
This episode is brought to you by drizzly. If you look for it every day has cause for celebration, celebrate a friend for their promotion, baby, wedding life thing, celebrate yourself for keeping the couch warm. It's no easy feat, especially if it's a big couch. Or maybe you just want to celebrate living in 2022, where you can get beer, wine, and spirits deliver from drizzly in under 60 minutes without leaving, said, couch. No wonder drizzly is the number one app for alcohol delivery. And remember to share the love, you can get alcohol delivered to your friends and your coworkers and a nice surprise. Right now, drizzly is giving all new customers $5 off their first order, with the code fast 5. So download the drizzly app or go to drizzly dot com that spelled DRI Z, LY dot com and use the promo code fast 5 that spelled FAST number 5 for $5 off your first order. You're welcome. The date of the podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that The Huffington Post calls one of the top ten podcasts about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about everything from sex parties to sex droughts, date fails to diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host UA Shu, former dating coach turned dating sociologist. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Kraft chick as we explore this crazy dateable world. Hello, brunch day, happy French day. Welcome to brunch talk where we dissect one question that you all have sent over and will give our take on what we think of that question. Welcome to this lovely meal that you're having. I don't know what you're having, but it smells delicious. I feel like Sunday is the best day just because it is brunch day. And you get this in your ear every Sunday now. Do you get Monday scaries or Sunday scaries? It's a Sunday scaries. I don't know. I actually kind of enjoy Sunday nights because I feel like it's a time to chill out. It's a good TV zone free pass. Yeah, like don't have to think ever. That night is nice. Do you get Sunday scaries? Oh my God, totally. I don't get Sunday scaries because of work, but I just get Sunday scaries because I have to turn on my brain again. I have to be on on Monday. I feel like I'm just too tired on Sunday sometimes, Stevie gets scary. You get the Sunday tires. But Sunday is a good time, or at least during brunch is a good time to ask your friends some questions about your dating life. We've all been there, Julie and I have been at our session sessions during brunch where the restaurants get the fuck out of here. You've already finished your meal like three hours ago. What are you still talking about? And here we are dissecting the texts, scrolling through profiles. What do you think he means by this? Yes, and some of that I think is good, but some of that is a giant waste of time. So we're here to give bigger picture, but I think it alternative outside a brunch too is tea time afternoon tea. You and I have had some steamy sessions there. Who would think that after do tea would be Stevie? I feel like that's where the best stories came out. That's why they invented after the TV was for the steamy stories to come out, you know? After a few glasses of tea? But it feels so proper, you know? Yeah. But that's where people get dirty. All hopped up on that spiked tea. They do spike tea now for afternoon tea. Yeah, they take it up a notch. I think after quarantine these restaurants are like, you know what, how can we spice up our afternoon tea? Let's just add a bunch of alcohol to it. And people will be fine. There we go. Well, let's do our tea right now. Our tea give us a tea. The question for this episode is, how can I stay emotionally available when I've been burned one too many times? So for more context, what was written in, and we've heard this a bunch of different times in different forms, but the one that we got that stood out was I know I have to be emotionally available for a relationship. And then we're told in dating that we should be closed off. But that doesn't work either. So it's like, how do I balance both in not just be an eager beaver for every new person that comes along, but also don't get so closed off that I don't have that skill that's going to be needed for an actual relationship. I hear that pain. There's a lot of mental contradictions when it comes to dating. It's like, make space for someone. Make space for someone in your heart, stay emotionally available, but then if you've experienced many breakups or disappointments, as small as someone ghosting you after a few dates or as big as getting out of a ten year relationship that you thought was going to last forever, I totally get it because then how do you stay emotionally available when you're also trying to protect yourself.
00:05:03 - 00:10:00
You're trying to protect your heart. So I understand what this conversation or this question is coming from. I think my initial thought is there are two tracks of dating that we should all try to, I guess, to master these two skill sets. One is making space, being emotionally available, and also diving into people and not writing them off right away. I think actually spending time with people. The other skill set is when something doesn't work is to say, that was never the person for me anyway. That was in the person, okay? And then being able to walk away from that. It's not so much like the whole, I have to close myself off to people now because I don't know who's going to hurt me. It's more that you know you're still on your path and you're still moving forward, it's just that last person was not the person for you. Yeah, I remember going through this in my dating journey and talking, talking to Nikki nova who was one of our past guests who was a medium and I remember her saying, you are going to encounter some times that make you almost go into a jaded territory that you're going to have disappointments with dating, but what you need to do is just keep pushing through. And that actually really helped me because when I saw them, I was like, oh, this is part of my journey because she also was like, you're going to meet your person by this birth year, you know? You can agree or disagree with mediums, but I think what helped me was knowing that it's going to work out regardless of what's happening current day. And I think sometimes it's hard to see the future because we're in the present. We have a present bias that what we're in current day feels like that's what we're going to be in forever and eternity. But if we can see how our lives have ebbed and flowed for years that we go through different stages and what today is doesn't mean that's what's going to be for tomorrow. I think it helps to be like, okay, this is just going to be a blip on my path. Easier said than done. I know when you're in it and you get excited about someone, it's really hard to do that. But I also think there's a difference between being emotionally available and open versus having expectations or having realistic expectations. I think we need to remember that we oftentimes do not know the people we're going out with that much. Like we've met them one time we've had maybe a couple convos on a dating app, we don't know enough about this person. We realistically do not know how they are going to show up for relationship, especially if we haven't even given them a chance to see what their follow through is like or what they're consistency is or are they trustworthy or they honest all the qualities that matter and so often we get stuck on what's good on paper. Staying open is different than, you know, I don't think it means that you have to be closed off, but being realistic is I'm gonna invest when someone is also investing in me or when I've seen that they earn my investment essentially. We hear so many times of, you know, and I get it. Love is a priority. We want to make it a priority, but we hear people saying, oh, I rearrange my schedule to fit this data in. But what if you looked at it like until I really know this person and they've proven to me that they are someone I should be rearranging my schedule with. I will make time for them on my schedule. And I don't think that's like, I don't know, I struggle with this for so long, like it feels selfish and that you're cutting off opportunity, but I also feel like that's how you don't get burned out. And that's how you continue to put yourself as the priority. So you don't get hung up every time something doesn't work out. Yeah, it's like you have to keep living your life and not have to pause for dating, dating shouldn't be a job. It should never feel like a job. It should feel like such an added joy in your life. So if that joy is coupled with something else joyful in your life, like you're just going on with your day doing the things that you love and you happen to be dating someone or taking them on a date, that's the best way to date, right? Instead of like, oh, I have to go on this date. I'm dreading it because I don't know how it's going to turn out. So much of this is left with fear. We are so fearful of things not working out. We're so fearful of getting hurt. We're so fearful of disappointment. But if we didn't act because of the disappointment, nothing would ever fucking happen. There would be no action taken and you would never see what's on the other side, only had you just stepped forward to see what's there. So we can kind of brush that fear aside even though we all have it. Kind of silence it and see if I didn't have that fear. What would I do today? What would I do with a person date with right now? What would I say to them if I had no fear with me? Just ask yourself that hypothetical question. You don't have to say whatever it is, but I think it really changes your mindset when you think, okay, I'm not fearful right now. Then I will give everything. Yeah. I think we need to get rid of the word emotionally detached.
00:10:00 - 00:15:05
Like, I don't think that actually is going to help in dating either while I agree that we don't want to think that every last person is the one and get our hopes up. Being emotionally detached is playing games and showing that you're not interested. And I live for my experience that shit does not work. Any time that I would do that, nothing ever went past a couple dates. And I remember getting, I think this, again, goes back to expectations. I remember getting really hung up on this guy that in reality I barely knew because he worked at Google and had some criteria that was good on paper. I didn't know this person. I didn't evaluate how he made me feel in any way. We went on like two dates. It's like how well, yeah, we had fun on the dates, but that was all I knew. So I think it's like the expectation like outright reality, completely. And that's when you get your hopes up. And I also feel like when he would like wasn't super available, I would retreat and do these games to be emotionally detached. Like not text back right away and spend all this time, but all that did was just like pull us both further apart. It didn't help in any way. Bingo. I think the emotional detachment allows you to be a bad dater. Yeah. It actually inspires for bad dating behavior to come out. I'll give credit to my friend sonic. I've told you this too as well, Julie. She said, I am so good in every other aspect of my life, but in dating, I go to the lowest common denominator because I don't want to show too much interest. I don't want to be the one initiating and everyone's playing this game of relationship chicken, yet they all want to be in relationships. So then of course you're at a standstill because nothing is happening in all you're trying to do is trying to go farther back in a way from the person you're trying to date. It doesn't make any sense. Yeah, I was talking to a friend earlier and I was like, I mean this is the nicest way possible and I don't mean it that I'm not here for you. But I kind of don't even need to hear about anyone that you haven't gone on like at least a couple of dates with. If you've met them one time and it's not because I don't want to hear and be there as a friend, it's because I don't want you to spend your mental energy obsessing over this person for longer than you actually met them. I think that's the perpetual feeling of this keeps happening to me. Why is everyone like this? And that's what's going to cause a lot of burnout too. And a lot of times we feel like we're being emotionally open by giving all these people a chance and then they don't work out and it's one disappointment after another and I think that is in some ways a reality of dating is we just don't know where these people are. And that's why I say that to her was we don't know what's going on in this person's life. So until this person can show you that they are ready for a relationship, they want a relationship with you and they're showing these behaviors, then I almost feel like we can't look at them as a prospect. And it's easy to say we have all these prospects because of dating apps, but we're just meeting people for the first time. I feel like, again, it goes back to expectations. If we just met a bunch of people at a bar or house party, we wouldn't think they're prospects to date until they actually started following up and doing stuff. Yeah. So I guess being emotionally available back to this original question doesn't mean you're falling for every person you're dating. It just means you're open to the possibility of someone being that person for you, but also just opening your heart to the possibility of having a connection with someone. I think when we retreat and then we say something like, oh, I've been burned so many times. I don't want to go through that again. Actually disappointments supposed to make your heart grow bigger. It's supposed to heal you even more and know that you are strong enough to get past the being burned from the past and get past that adversity to find love. So don't think that these little challenges and disappointments are there to break your heart, your heart is just growing stronger to be there for that person who is right for you. Yeah, and it's not rejection if you don't know anything about this person. If they were seeing someone else before they're seeing you, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Whatsoever. So I think the more we can just see it as this person's making room for the right person on my path. And what can I learn from this too? I always like to say that not to put it on you that you did something wrong, but that's the only way that we could continue to actually not have the same thing happen over and over again is to realize what some of our patterns and maybe even blind spots are, I think, for instance, like one of the things that we hear is this happens so often, so that's why it's painful. And that is a reality of modern dating is that we have a quantity mindset, a numbers game. We hear people say that all the time. And with dating apps, you have zillions of people at your disposal all the time, which is a great thing because it gives you options, but it's also a bad thing because when this stuff happens, it magnifies the intensity.
00:15:05 - 00:20:04
If it happened one time, every 6 months versus 6 times in the matter of one month, that feels very different just because of volume alone. So what if we started to reset our standards? And again, being open for people that show us it's worth it to be open and not being closed off to people that aren't, but just being like, exploratory with them. Like you haven't. I haven't figured out right now if I'm gonna be super open or not. We're just in that exploration stage. And maybe the bar is, if they don't ask me out on a real date with a time and place and location by a week into talking to them, like this person is no longer on that list of people I can be emotionally available with, pending you want someone that's gonna take initiative that's shows their consistent that wants to prioritize a relationship, getting in touch with what your needs are is so essential. It's like, it should be fun, right? This should be a science experiment. You are exploring your meeting a bunch of strangers who know who's right for you, but I think the relationships of how they start is you have the baseline attraction first. We can't argue with that. There's something. Some sort of connection. Once you've established that, all you're trying to do day by day is to figure out is this person meeting my needs and am I meeting their needs. Two people don't work out the day, one of them decides I no longer want to meet your needs. That is it. It has nothing to do with your personality, your looks, your pedigree, none of that is just that, hey, that person stopped meeting my needs. That's it. And then you can kind of move on from there. I think we get so stuck on getting other people to like us and gaining their affection and earning their affection that we lose ourselves in the process and we're like, wait, am our mind needs being met here? That's emotionally available, right? It's like being open to the fact that someone can meet my needs and I can meet theirs. Yeah, I'm open to the person that's going to show up for me, but I might not be open to someone that shows me elsewise. Yes. And I think the other piece is how, you know, in this came from the question is I feel burnt out by all the time I wasted talking to these people that don't work out. We got this from other comments too. It's like I've spent two weeks messaging this person. And now I've lost that time. How do you talk to people that are in that state? How do we start to see that not as time wasted? Well, I mean, two weeks is really nothing. You are trying to get to know someone. And it does take time to get to know someone. And like we said before, it's like, if you spend that time and you get to know each other and you realize you're not right, great. At least you spent that time to do that. I think in this modern dating era, we write each other off way too quickly. So then there's so many what ifs. There's always like, oh, the gold standard, the one that got away. It's because we didn't spend enough time getting to know each other. I don't think that's time wasted. You're just making human connection. And if there's no connection, there is no connection. Right. I think the first thing is how we look at time wasted, personally, I believe that no time is wasted if it's helping us get better clarity of who we are, what supported to us, qualities in a relationship that are important. So all of that, in my opinion, is never time wasted. So start by saying that, I do think the other piece though, what is the time that you're spending? Texting can mean different things. You know, maybe it's that you know that like, okay, I don't want to be in a texting black hole, and I do have a lot of stuff I need to do. And I don't want to look back and say I spent two weeks texting someone that I never met. Maybe there's a hard line boundary that you have of, I'm going to talk to this person on the phone, set up a time to meet, and if they're not receptive to that, now I know that they're not someone that's really interested in getting to know me. And I don't think that makes you not open. I think that makes you a smart dater that you're a prioritizing people that actually want the same thing as you. There's so many people to cycle through with. I think actually what can get in the way is when you think every last person actually is a potential soulmate, right? Because then you're like, how do I even go through all these people? And I think what we need to do is just like, how do they show up, not just their resume, right? Because that's not the right criteria. And so many times when you say make a checklist of what you're looking for, it's all about how they look, what job they have. Superficial. But what if we turn it to, you know, I want someone that can commit to plants in a week. If that's super important, that's not too much to ask at all. And on the flip side, there are people who are the, I call them the testers, they're just putting all these tests to see if the other person is living up to their expectations. The one sitting back being like, well, if he doesn't text me in three days. No. I'm not going to talk to him. If he doesn't ask me out, or if she doesn't do this, and then they end up doing nothing because they're just trying to test the other person.
00:20:05 - 00:24:52
You don't want to gain that situation either because nobody's going to step up to you if you don't step up to them. You can't be the one waiting to have other people show their interest in you. That's not a partnership. Right. No a 100%. I'm definitely not saying that with this. I think it's like, what can you do to control the situation as much as you can, which is only yourself, it's like if you want, let's say you want to meet someone that wants that's committing to a plan, maybe you need to be the one that suggests that plan and see how exactly receptive they are to it. I agree with you. You can't just be waiting there, having them read your mind of if they're going to follow those rules. Yeah, it's so interesting because some people feel like it's very much me against them. So it's like, oh, it's a tit for tat situation. I've done this. Let's see if they do that back. And unfortunately, that's not how partnerships work. I don't know about you, Julie, but do you ever sit there and look at your boyfriend like, well, I did this. No. Is he going to do that back? Because if he's not going to be mad at him and I'm not going to tell him. Right. It's so interesting. And that kind of goes back to the overarching question of why do we have a different skill set in dating as relationships? And I actually don't think it's a different skill set. And I think maybe part of the problem is we're looking at it as a different skill set. Kind of what you were just saying, you wouldn't do this in a relationship. It's being smart about who you're open to is really the end piece, I think. I think the very last thing is taking inventory of what burns you out is important. So if texting repeatedly or doing draining video calls or going on 5 dates in a week or even a day to week is draining, whatever that is, understanding that plus balancing it with things that are energizing to you is really important. So even if you have all these people that watch a date you, that would be a fun situation, but I think having that boundary. I hate the word boundary, but I do think it's important because it makes you not burn out when you've realized and understand yourself. I remember when I was dating, I would always have friend night on Friday, regardless, whoever was in the picture, like Wednesday was my designated night to go on a date, and maybe you don't have to be this rigid, but for me it was really helpful. It was either I set up a date Wednesday, or I did a video call Wednesday, or if I didn't have anyone in my pipeline, maybe I went out to a place that I could engage with other people Wednesday, but that would help because it would allow me to balance the other parts of my life. I think sometimes with dating, we feel like it needs to be every. Like we need to go, go, go, and go on every last date that's presented to us. And I don't think it needs to be that way, as long as you're being open to people and not ignoring them, obviously. Lovely. Hope that answer the question would love to hear more questions come in as well. You can email us at hello at dateable podcast dot com or DM us on Instagram at dateable podcasts. We're looking forward to all the questions you're all sending. And we're going to try to go through all of them through our brunch talk on Sundays. Okay, we're going to wrap this up. We'll see you all next week for brunch talk. See you later. Have a good one. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network. Find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tag us in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect, analyze, and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable. Geico asks, how would you love a chance to save some money on insurance? Of course you would. And when it comes to great rates on insurance, Geico can help, like with insurance for your car, truck, motorcycle boat, and RV, even help with homeowners or renters coverage. Plus, add an easy to use mobile app available 24 hour roadside assistance and more and Geico is an easy choice. Switch today and see all the ways you could save. It's easy. Simply go to Geico dot com or contact your local agent today.