As we grow older and wiser, what we want and need from a relationship can shift dramatically. We're chatting with Rob about his journey from dating people that he knew weren't long-term potential to how he became more intentional with his dating life to meet his now partner. We discuss the changing definitions of what it means to be in a relationship, the importance of certain qualities as we age, and why all the people who didn't work out are here to help you out in the long run.
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S14E15: Dating in your 20s, 30s and 40s w/ Rob Rivera
00:00:01 - 00:05:02
The dateable 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. Hi Friends, welcome to another episode of the table podcast. We are UA and Julie, your dating sherpas, and we are here to help you through this tough time of modern dating and to always been a tough time. So never been easy. But it shouldn't be easy. It should be a little bit hard. If it were so easy to find love, then love wouldn't be that coveted. No, there's a reason why we have this podcast. It just makes me laugh a little every time you say daily Sherpa. In a good way, it gives a little chuckle, but I think it is important and I agree that sometimes we want to just shortcut to the end, but all the stuff that we learned along the way is so valuable into how we show up as a partner and what we're looking for and the relationships we have and I think this is why we really want to do this topic today with UA's friend rob. So we're like we need to get rob on this podcast because I met him when we did an epic night in New York to remember that night we were like how can I we're just gonna go to dinner and be home by ten 4 a.m. we rolled in, I think after going to a gay club. Your uncle's like, where have you been? Yeah. So yeah, there was an epic night and I loved rob from that minute and we did a hula hoop challenge with him on his YouTube channel, which was also my other interaction with rob, but you've known rob for years. I've known rob for a very long time. I've known him since we were wild babies. Wild single babies in New York City and I love that guy and it's so fun to see his evolution. We're both the same age, even though he claims that he's older than me. We're literally the same age. And you may like corrected him. She's like, I'm the exact same age as me. I can always talk to me like, I'm older than you. I'm like, no, you're not. You are the exact same age. We're both 41. He's like, I'm one month older than you. Yeah. But it's so wonderful to have friends in your life where you stay friends, even though you're different people now. And I feel like we are different people now. The times that I've spent with rob in New York City where the times that I were blackout drunk. So I didn't even remember those times. I do remember, I do not remember what happened during those times, but now I think as we are approaching our 40s and it's just been nice to see things kind of change and progress and this is what this conversation is all about. It's kind of like how you see your love life and dating and relationships differently in every stage of your life. I mean, I love this conversation because I think we can all relate. No matter what age we are, it's who we are today is not who we were yesterday. And that's a good thing. I'm glad I'm not the way I am. When I was 20. But I think looking back on it. And of course, this is like hindsight's 2020. It's always easier in retrospect. I think a lot of the times that I thought I was ready for a relationship, I wasn't. And the what I viewed a relationship to be was basically like, you know, I think in my 20s, I was just looking for someone that would go out and party with me with my friends. Like that isn't really what a relationship is at all. And I think looking back on it too, even my most serious relationship before my current partner. I thought, you know, this was going to be the person I married. We were so connected, intertwined. And I realized we were not whatsoever. Now that I've seen the next progression of what a relationship can mean, we were essentially living separate lives. It would see each other when it was like fun and convenient. And the hard times it was always a push to make this relationship work, where I feel like my current partner, we were joking that we were like, we wish we would have met each other ten years ago. But then we're like, we couldn't. Because we wouldn't have found each other. One, I don't know if we would have just where we were in life, we were ready for each other, but also what we wanted out of a partnership, and I think just we met each other, we were both looking for someone that we could share our lives with. And that's what we're doing. And honestly, it's changed my whole perception of what a relationship could be because I think I needed all these years to get to this place and this podcast to be quite Frank. This podcast definitely changed my way of thinking, but to get to the place that I am today. And quite frankly, you're relationship is going to look different in 5 years, ten years from now. And that's the exciting part of all of this is you only know what you know. So right now you know what a relationship is based on what you previously know.
00:05:02 - 00:10:06
And then in 5 years, you're going to be like, wow, 5 years ago, I didn't know this about being in a relationship. And I agree, I think there are some relationships I've been in looking back. I'm like, that was not a relationship. I lived with someone for 8 months. And I can't recall a single deep conversation that we had. We were just roommates who were having sex with each other. So even if you're in a stage right now, maybe you're just starting dating. Don't worry that you don't know the holistic picture of what a relationship is or should be. It doesn't matter. Go through what you need to go through right now because you just keep on building on that relationship knowledge. Yeah, we talk with rob, it will go into way more details about just, you know, how you can start to look at all the people that were in your path before as necessary. And no relationship is wasted time. I really believe, even what you just said, UA, it's like now you know that you need someone that you're going to get into the deep shit with, right? That's not enough. And I think we need to go through these experiences. There's one side that we can, you know, get super clear of what we're looking for. And I think that's equally as important, but we also do need some of that real life experience to justify if what we think is actually what we need. Oh, so true. That's why I'm so excited that we're having this conversation with rob, and I'm so excited we're kicking off Pride Month. Beginning of June, here we go. Perfect time to do it. Rob can speak to his experience as a gay man in New York City, which was very fun. But all of this is to, you know, we said goodbye to API heritage month last month. And I think at the root of this and Julie, I'm still having a hard time processing everything that's been happening in the world, especially with the Texas school shooting and I think at the end of it all, the root of all of this is hate. There's just so much hate and I'm having I'm speaking out loud about this because I'm still talking to my partner about it. I'm like, it's affecting me in ways I never thought it would. And I realized that what we really need is just open communication. And so when we have these talks like last week with Janet, speaking as an Asian American woman dating in the U.S. and then today we've got rob dating as a gay man on the east coast. It's not about us trying to relate, but it's about us just caring. Just giving a fuck. All we need to do is just give a fuck about other people. When we give a fuck about other people, we don't hate people. We start to build empathy and love for others. And I really just encourage and saying this is words of encouragement for myself is that when I speak to others who may, I may not relate to and that is absolutely fucking okay. I just need to be open and open my heart to other people and learn from them and just talk. That's it. Openly talk to them. I think learn is the key word and you don't have to know what to say. You don't even have to say anything. If the situation doesn't call for it, I think a lot of times people just want to be seen and heard. So that's a big piece of it. I think sometimes we avoid certain situations or conversations because we don't know how to respond. And we don't always need to respond. So I think just letting go of that is first and foremost. And I agree, if we can change the way we interact with people as always trying to seek connection, even if we feel like we have nothing in common. I was thinking out loud and it could be many different scenarios, but I just feel like there's so much with Republican versus Democrats. It's so toxic. And it needs to be either or and we're always like pitted against each other. This me versus you mentality has got to go. Yeah, this winning, winning and losing. Why can't we all just win? It doesn't mean that there needs to be losers. And I think that's what politics really brings out in people is that they have to win. They have to win, someone has to lose. What if there's a win win scenario, my partner actually taught me this because he does a lot of business negotiations. He's like, I never want to take advantage of the other person. I want to find a win win scenario. And that is the best scenario of all. So I feel like this idea of us being different is not exactly the right way to go about doing things because we're not different. We're all the same, just wearing different meat suits. I love this meat suits. And we're all the same on the inside and I really, truly believe we can find that connection with other people. And this hate is really tearing us apart. We're killing our own children. What the fuck like here's us having a podcast about dating and you all, you know, you're complaining about how hard it is to date. We are so fucking lucky that we got a chance to date. These kids didn't even have a chance to date and have fine a romantic partner. That is just completely devastating and heartbreaking to even think about. So I actually saw something at our Facebook group that brought me great joy. While we're talking about hate, let's flip it's a joy. And I think it relates to this conversation too of accepting people for who they are and seeing the beauty and the difference. I love what your boyfriend's at the win win mentality, how can we both win and not pit each other and have this competition feeling.
00:10:07 - 00:15:13
So Sarah posted our Facebook group just passing along something related to online dating in case it helps others. Turn off most of your filters, truly. Even for things you think are deal breakers. I did this before I moved to Chicago and connected with someone deeply over my last several months before moving. I still move, which was heartbreaking, but I'm so grateful one of the takeaways was that it taught me to use fewer filters. Once in Chicago, I used fewer filters again. In one important one I left off by accident and had so many more legit conversations. I'm dating someone now and it's still early a few months in, but I credit using fewer filters to our connecting. A couple of things I thought were deal breakers aren't. I'm still not compromising either. Maybe run an experiment and see what happens. Good luck. Yes, preach. And I love this because I feel like, you know, we talk about dating with intentionality in this episode too. And I always feel like that is the key, but what does that mean? It's so vague when you say it and rob definitely helps break it down a bit more. But I think with intentionality, sometimes we think we need to get this list so finely tuned that we know exactly what we're looking for, but I think a big part of intentionality is getting really clear on what matters. And I think oftentimes it's actually less is more that situation. And having this open attitude and just seeing someone for who they are and not making them fit into a certain box, you're trying to get them in, that's when the connection can happen. It's so exciting. I use that word a lot, but it's true, it's so exciting when you keep your filters open, you really don't know who you're going to meet. But when you keep all those filters on, you almost can predict exactly the types of people you're going to see on the app. So isn't it more exciting to not know what you could get? It's like dating roulette. You just don't know. Let's see what happens. Yeah. There's a comment that said that reminded me of a quote I heard, you're not lowering your standards, your expanding your horizon. I love that so much. That's so good. We should post that on Instagram, make it pretty quick. So yeah, I think this is hand in hand with the conversation that we're going to go into today. We invite everyone to reflect back on their own past and see how you can use this episode to gain that intentionality and see how you've been growing throughout this time. Yes. Okay, well, before we get into it, a few quick announcements, we mentioned the last couple episodes that we are relaunching the finding your person program or flagship program and so excited to bring in another cohort. We do have a video series explains what this program is and gives you some tips here and there. So before you even get into it, you can learn more and arm yourself with some techniques and pushing yourself out of the, I think this is, again, the perfect episode that really shows that sometimes we get in our own ways and we need to start to think differently. So pushing you out of your own way and helping you reframe how to approach dating. So we are going to be releasing the first video in this series starting June 2nd. So if you're catching this real time, you want to get on it ASAP. If you're a dot catching this real time, then you could always go sign up for the waitlist anyways for future releases, but check out finding your person dot com to add yourself, get those videos and then also be the first to know when the program launches because we do have limited spots and weightless members will get it a day early. Just that website again, it's finding your person dot com and I just made a note for myself. I will post all the info on Instagram too. So you can find that in our stories. Awesome. Cool. And then I guess that's the next final call out follow us at at dateable podcast. So you can get that information and you can see all the other fun stuff we put up. You may make the best stories. Okay, before we get into it, let's hear a message from our sponsors. This episode is brought to you by murad skin care, a line of clinically proven cruelty free products that meet the meticulous standards for safety, efficacy and care you expect from a doctor. One of my favorite products is the invisa scar resurfacing treatment, which I've already seen some results from from using it for just a few weeks. Founded by doctor Howard murad, who is a board certified dermatologist and trained pharmacist, recognized around the world as a visionary for his unmatched scientific innovations, murad has also launched a digital magazine and a podcast called well connected by murad, connecting the dots between science and wellness, find the digital magazine at well connected dot murad dot com and the podcast well connected by murad wherever you listen to your podcast and for data listeners only go to Mira dot com and enter the code date for 20% off and free shipping for orders of $60 or more.
00:15:13 - 00:20:02
Again, that's murat dot com and enter the code data DAT EAB for 20% off and free shipping for $60 or more. Okay, let's take it away with rob. Okay, we're just going to get right into it. We often talk about the pressure to settle down. And many of us have felt this pressure, even in our 20s, but our guest today, rob, who's a good friend of mine, is going to walk us through his 20s and 30s about how he didn't really feel the pressure to settle down and where he's at today. And rob just to confirm you've had 13 boyfriends to be exact. 13 day counting. 13 and that's it. I would say at this point. No, who is rob, he is 41 years old, currently in New Jersey, born and raised, and he's in a monogamous relationship, and I didn't know about this. So I can't wait to hear about this relationship that you're in. So take us back to your 20s. What was your mentality about dating a relationship then? Well, I mean, you were there, so I'm a gay man living in New York at the time. And it's just a free for all, really, when you're in New York, it's just another guy and another guy in the next guy and so in my 20s, I really wasn't concerned with just like settling down or trying to find the perfect guy. I think even some of the guys that I've dated and that were like serious boyfriends. I knew in the end weren't going to work out and I just was there as a serial monogamist almost. And I wasn't concerned with it. I had fun with them. We had things in common here and there. They just weren't I knew in the end if I wanted a family and a house and all the whole thing that they weren't probably going to be the one to do it with. I could relate to not feeling pressured by 20. I definitely was not thinking about relationships. And I think a lot of people are like that. So I think this is a really good topic. But what's interesting is that instead of choosing to be single, you opted for these relationships that you felt like were going nowhere. I feel like usually people are just like, I'll focus on my career, other stuff. What made you feel like you should be in relationships or want to be in relationships, even though there was kind of no end goal? Yeah, I just liked being in a relationship. I liked the steady sex. And if it was good, I mean, why not keep that one person? That's like really kind of knocking your socks off, you know? And I just, I don't know. I mean, they weren't long relationships. I should mention that. They were maybe two years max each or less. That's pretty long. I was thinking too much. You're just talking about people that are in relationships for like years, 5, oh, I've been with them since high school. And I'm like, yeah, I'm just not home while I got a bar last month. You know what I mean? But even with that, those two years, I still went on to the next. And then the next and the next. And I didn't mean to do. Honestly, just saying it's not like I needed it. At the time I was young, I was maybe a little bit better looking. And I didn't really find it an issue in New York, per se. I was in rural Pennsylvania or somewhere in the middle of a country. I think it would have been much harder, but in New York, gay guys, especially our diamond dozen. So you kind of just, you're like, oh, well next. And I just never really had an issue. And then always the guys that I was with wanted to be in a relationship. So I didn't mind keeping them with. That's the part I find interesting though, because the stereotype and maybe this is it true is that gay guys don't want to settle down and are just more promiscuous and dating a bunch of people in the New York. You always hear how difficult it is to settle. They're not settled down. For everyone. Yeah, you hear how difficult it is to find a relationship. I guess how was your experience different? 'cause it sounds like you had quite a different experience. I will definitely say the stereotype of from my perspective of gay guys, not wanting to settle down. It's true to a certain extent. I feel like guys that are coming or approaching my age are now ready to settle down on their scampering for whatever's left over kind of thing because they're like, wait a minute, I may be a good maybe 40 years left to like get myself together or get the house, get the kids or dogs or whatever you want. So I think at that age, just like maybe anyone really kind of starts thinking in the long term. But also, you know, the game's kind of invented grinder, like the dating app thing. That wasn't even a thing for straight people at that time, right? And still nothing. Well, Tinder. There's bumble, there's look, Tinder, OkCupid.
00:20:03 - 00:25:01
Oh, so you're saying grindr is in like a dating app. Dating app. Yes. But even before then, there was just computer apps for gaze where you chat and you need to meet someone locally. You can narrow it down to the city or even in New York. You can narrow it down to the neighborhood. And I was using that, and that's all I was really meeting most of my, I think maybe the majority of my boyfriends and guys that I've dated, I've met off of apps and because it was really accessible and easy and we kind of like invented the game. So that kind of bald me and said, like, meeting more people than I even would normally just going out. So that opened the pool twice as much. I understand having the options, rob, but where I feel there's a disconnect in my mind is you have all these options, but they all want to be in relationships with you. And you stay in these yearlong two yearlong relationships. One question is why even jump into these relationships and two is, why do they eventually end? Why was in those relationships was what I kind of explained before, it was like sex is good. I was attracted. We looked good going out together. I had fun with them. All those trivial, stupid things that you think of when you're in your 20s and maybe even early 30s. Now, how they didn't last is the same reason why I knew they wouldn't last. And that's because they just weren't in it for the long run for me. I knew it had to have an expiration date at some point. I mean, when the sexual part runs dry, even just maybe some of the physical attributes run dry, you start to realize, oh, it's just like monotonous. Every day is the same, the same shit you gotta deal with, I can curse on her. Yeah. Oh, okay. Everything. Say it all. I can say it all. Yeah, you just dealing when you're dealing with the same things that you've talked about and you tried to get over and then after that, you're just like, I'm just I'm just here. This is what it is. And this is as good as it gets. And if it does as good as it gets, do I really want that? And then I'd be like, I know what I really want. I'm over it. Some of them are hard. Some of them are like devastated over, but because it's just the loss. But once you're over that loss, you kind of realize, oh, they would have never worked. That would have never have happened. You know what I mean? Yeah. What's funny is, in straight dating, if you date someone for two years, that's a long term committed. Yeah, like you're meeting parents, you're meeting friends and family. You're going to weddings together. Were you getting to this point with your previous relationships? Yes and no. Some of them were meeting. I would say a very small amount would come to maybe a family gathering or run into my parents right now and then like whenever I was doing something or meeting friends or friends gatherings, but I never brought any of them to a wedding, ever. Okay. I never really involved them in my life as much as I do my current boyfriend or my current relationships. And it's because of the same reason I just knew that I didn't want to embarrass myself by an introducing someone to my friend and then having them ask me, well, what happens when I'm like, well, it was not the one. And I knew that then, and I know it now, you know? I don't know. I was reflecting about this too with my car partner. In my late 30s and just being like, I thought I knew what love and relationships were. But my life was not intertwined with this person at all. I was kind of just doing my thing. They were doing their thing. And we were coexisting, but we weren't like a unit. And I think some of that is just age too. It not knowing what you're looking for, not having any intentionality. Did you feel like you were kind of coexisting with these people more? Or did you feel intertwined? No, I mean, I didn't live with most. I lived with one or two of them, two of them, to be exact. That's serious. Well, you know, I mean, the first one had a job that he was away most of the time. So I was really here alone by myself. And then the other was more of a 8 month relationship where I kind of moved in in the middle. It's kind of like almost moved in, but I still had my place, so I was like really there most of my time. And then I'd come home, every once in a while, but I guess, but I didn't really feel the need to move in with anyone. That was, I wasn't trying to get that deep. Do you know what I'm saying? I was still always trying to have my separate space and keep my own self. So this is interesting. I love this conversation because Julie, you're saying that you're reflecting on your 20s and the relationships more intertwined. For me, it was the opposite. I was extremely intertwined with the people I dated because I didn't really have an identity yet. So it felt like I was whoever I was in a relationship with, we were creating an identity together.
00:25:02 - 00:30:00
So we were doing everything together. And what ultimately did not work out was the fact that I wanted to find my own identity and be more independent and not be so co dependent. Now, with straight dating, at least in my experience, the reason for breakups is always something that's kind of dependent on has to do with the future. You can't see you marrying this person, you can't see yourself having kids with this person or there's just no long-term potential with this person. When I'm hearing you say, rob is interesting is that I don't think the marriage and kids thing really played a major part in your breakups. It was just this doesn't feel good anymore. Basically. But I also wasn't concerned with marriage or kids or anything at that point because I was like, I'm in my 20s, I'm in my early 30s. I didn't really even see kids in my future. I think that's for some people who are really kind of like worried about getting in the pressure of a marriage or a relationship that leads to marriage. It's the core of root of it is usually childbirth. And I can't have kids. So that didn't really bother me too much. You know, and if I did down the line decide to have kids, I could always adopt and I knew I could do that at any age of I really wanted to. So I think in my standpoint from a gay perspective, I didn't really have the pressure to reproduce. So I didn't really have the pressure to get married right away or feel like I had to be with someone monogamously for a certain amount. You know, I didn't feel that. I definitely can see that because I know for me like I was not thinking marriage and kids at all. That wasn't even crossing my mind in my 20s, therefore. It made dating less of a priority. It's almost like, you know, if that's your goal, then you prioritize it more. What can I ask you a question? Yeah. Was that because you didn't want kids or is that because you just didn't think of it? I think I'm just not future focused. Like I can't think past cart, a lot of times. I've started to get more recently, but I think there's a couple of things. I think one is like maybe I didn't have the best role models of marriage at that age. It wasn't like something that I'm like, oh, I really want to aspire to this. And I was always drilled into my mind of make sure that you can take care of yourself first. That was always the message I received. So I was very career focused. So I think that was one piece of it, and then the other is, yeah, the future focused, it's hard for me to see things until I'm like in it. Like I recently froze my eggs and people were like, that's weird because usually people do this with like they don't have a partner. But I'm like, I couldn't see this until I did have a partner. If that makes sense. Yeah. And you don't, and you're kind of saying, I don't know if I'm ready for kids right at this moment. Exactly. So if I'm not in it in the moment, it's hard to actually push that direction. My brain, the way I operate, I'm assuming we have listeners out here too. And I think UAE bring up a good point is people operate a very different way. Especially in your early 20s, where we're just trying to figure out life is for me it was, I'm going to focus on the stuff that is a priority to be, right? This minute. But I also see where you're coming from, you know, part of my identity as being with this person almost. I didn't ever think. I was always, I think I was always in the part where I was, I wanted to focus on me and my goals and what I wanted to do first. And then I just always felt like if you do what you want to do and you're on this path, someone along the way is going to be intertwined in that path because they have maybe a same interest or same job structure or same hangout spots or something like that and eventually that person will come into play. It's almost like when you're trying to find it and you're trying to find the avenue instead of just focusing on your avenue, that's where you find the wrong people that don't fit. And that's where I found all the wrong people. I feel like that's exactly how I would describe you in the years. I've known you, is that you've never, whenever we go out, it's never your priority to find a guy. You're not. I'm just kidding. But that's the thing you would, and I would, in my mind, I would call these hitchhikers because rob is like on his own journey and he would pick up these hitchhikers along the way and then he would drop them off somewhere else. But it's interesting that that's how you kind of saw your love life is I'm going to do whatever I want and I want to have fun and seek the most I can out of my life and whoever comes along they come along for the ride. So has your views on marriage kids? Has that changed? Now that you're 40s? Yes and no. So I think when I was younger, I said if I'm going to have kids, it's going to be in my 30s like that was just kind of like if it happens it happens if it doesn't, it doesn't. And I did really want kids when I was younger to believe it or not.
00:30:00 - 00:35:03
Even though it wasn't a pressure for me because I knew I didn't have a time limit on that. I think as I got older, I started to say, you know, time has kind of crept on and I think in my 40s past my 40s and I start having if I have a kid, I have to raise that kid to like 18 and beyond. When am I going to have time to go on vacation? I'm going to have time to like live my life and relax and retire. You know what I mean? So I think that for me kind of went out the window aside from my sister having twins and those are kind of like my kids too, you know? I felt satisfied with that being those are the kids that are going to be in my life and I'm okay with just getting a dog, you know? And I think my views on marriage, I think I've always kind of dreamed or thought of getting married, but I think when you get in your 30s, you just don't give a shit anymore. You just kind of like say fuck the world. I'm just going to love my life the way I want to do it and be happy. Really, is that how you feel in your 30s? Yeah, I think as soon as I turned 30, I was like, fuck everyone. I'm just going to do whatever the fuck I want to do. I want to get into is like, okay, so it's like you're grabbing onto these people that, you know, ultimately aren't going to work out, but you're like, yes, it's fun. Sex is good. What's the 30s like for you? How many of these 13 boyfriends were like in the 20s versus 30? They dwindled. It wasn't as consecutive. You know what I mean? Like I wasn't getting out of a relationship into a relationship out of a lit. It was more spaced out through my 30s now. So now we're still rocking in some boys. But for anyone concerned, they're still coming in. They're still coming in. But the years between the relationships were greater than before. You weren't a serial data anymore. Not anymore because, you know, you start kind of saying, oh, do you want to deal with bullshit? I think that's the real word. In your 30s, I think you start not dealing with bullshit anymore. You're like, that's bullshit. That's bullshit. I'm good. You know what I mean? So through my 30s and the end of my 30s, especially, I started maybe taking more relationships seriously, but at the same time, I was getting into relationships with people who had drug abuse problems or substance abuse problems, or alcoholics. And I kept attracting these kinds of guys. Why? I don't know why. They're just kind of happened. I was always felt the need to try to help them. Maybe I can help them get on my path. So we can start maybe being together in the maybe I see a promise in the future. But I realize with dating those certain types of people is that they really need to be able to help themselves before you can join them and be in their life. They have to want the help. They have to want to be better and when I found that my help was just kind of being pushed aside. I was just like, that's the bullshit I don't want to deal. Right. So it would be out the door. You know what I mean? So yeah, that was the third is. And now four days, I was just like, we went through a pandemic and I was like, Laura Jesus, what's going to happen? What are we doing here? Are you now? But in my 40s, I started really just kind of manifesting my life more and really putting out there, the being of what I wanted my life to be. So saying things like, I have a successful digital media career. I live on the beach because that's like my biggest thing. I want to live on the beach. And then I started putting into what I wanted my certain type of partner to be because I said, if I'm going to find someone, I need to find someone that is really in the ballpark of almost exactly what I need in my life. You know, no one's perfect. And you're not going to find everything. Well, something that you said to me last time when I was in New York was because you have a successful digital media career in your YouTube and TikTok. They're all taking off that you were looking for someone who really respected your career. And I thought that was like, that was the first time I ever heard you say that because I remember you were dating someone and he was like, what is this career that you have? And it's everything to you and you've worked so hard for it. But that's such a priority in your love life now. Is that something that brought you to your current man? Yeah, you kind of hit it right on the nose without me even knowing that that's what it was. I'm getting therapy on here. I know, right? It's so I found that in my mid to late 30s, the guys that I was dating was still the 20 year olds. Late 20s. Mid 20s. And I realized the reason I was dating them was because they thought what I did was so cool and they got it.
00:35:04 - 00:40:02
They understood it. They respected it. And everyone was saying, why are you dating these young guys? And I'm like, oh, I don't know, I just relate to them. I feel like they understand what I do, because every time I would go for the older guy, they would totally just disrespect what I did. Be like, oh, well, you're just like a little, you're oh, so like an influencer. You're like one of those. Oh, is that yeah, that's her whipping. Is that a hobby? I'm like, what else do you do? And I just felt like I was always talked down to. And I always had to talk myself back up to them to make me seem like what I did was legit. Right. I had to be like, oh, well, you don't know about this. I have a quarter of a million subscribers on YouTube. I get sponsorships, weekly. I built a business from nothing. It took me ten years to build an LLC and build this business and make it super successful to where I got the respect business. So anything else you want to say. And after that, conversation you just don't want to no. That person's out already. You know what I mean? So I did. And that's what I ended up doing is just kind of like putting out there. What I wanted and how I wanted to be treated back. And that's the kind of person. When I found that person, I knew he needed to be older. I already knew that. I was like, okay, I get it. I get a universe. I need to date older. It's just not working with the young boys. Well, it opens the other problems you were talking about, right? Yes. So I mean, do you want to hear about that? Okay, this is fun, I like this part. So during the pandemic, I started to just really focus on myself and focus on my career and what I was doing and I was really kind of killing it. Working my butt off. But at the same time, I was like, you know, I feel like it's time for me to maybe just find someone. But I'm not going to just try to find anyone to just be with them like I would in my 20s in my early 30s. If I find someone that I like, I want to know that it's potential for the long term. Is it marriage? Do I care about getting married? I mean, yes and no. I would like the maybe the commitment if I'm really with that person, but it wasn't that wasn't the important thing for me. I just wanted a partner that was older, respected me, and was totally independent, had their own life going on already. They were in their career in their field, doing what they do, and living their life. I don't need anyone to depend on me, and I don't need to depend on anybody else. And so I just put that out there. I just said, I have a partner who is this, this, this, and all the things that I just mentioned. And I just said it every day. I did the three 6 9, I don't know if you know anything. No, what's that? Oh God, you put me on the spot. So you say you pick three things that are really important to you. You save them for 6 times a piece for an ultimately like 9 minutes or ten minutes. I may be wrong. Someone's probably going to call me out. There is a theory to it. Where you just kind of chant. It's almost like a meditation where you're putting it into the universe into your realm. And I just kept saying it. And I don't know if anyone believes in the spiritual. I don't think you even need to. I think almost when you're putting it out there, you're almost putting it back into yourself. To be more open eyed about or just see everything for what it really is. And you start to focus on the things that you have put into your head that are already out there. Then you'll notice, oh, that person. And as soon as I did that, I started to date much more quality men, men that had careers, men that were, they may not have everything, but they were just kind of moving towards the path. They wanted something in the future. They wanted a house on the beach, which was like, oh my God, if I could find that, that'd be amazing. And until I found my recent boyfriend who, by the way, it doesn't like to be called boyfriend. He likes people. Man Friends, partner. I don't like partner and he doesn't like boyfriends. I was like, I don't know what we're gonna do. You're my boy. What have you called one? The other one calls you. Yeah. But he's older. He's about 8 years older than me. Okay. 40, 48. Yeah. And has a successful career in New York, more business side suit kind of guy. And I'm the artistic crazy digital guy. But the one thing that he showed me right away is that he was really, he told me from the first date that how impressed he was. With what I do, and admired the fact that I created a business out of it and, you know, opposites of track. So I don't think he really wanted someone who was in a suit, and I didn't want someone who was artistic and trying to break into the business. We both had those kinds of guys. I was going to ask you if you don't buy sharing. I love this. I think the intentionality is so important.
00:40:02 - 00:45:04
That's exactly what you hit. What else was on your list of the three things? Like outside of feeling supported, professionally. Is there anything else that you can share? What was outside? I wanted to live on the beach. I wanted a man who was independently and successful in his own right and not going to impede on what I do. And what was the last one? I definitely wanted to feel valid. You know, I often felt invalid to people some people, not all. Some people that I've dated as. And I wanted to feel like I was doing something that was worth it. That was and I don't need someone to validate that for me. But I wanted them to understand it for themselves. That I'm valid your valid and we're both even though we have totally different careers and you make a lot more money than me. We're still equals in this relationship. And that's how I feel he treats me like an equal. Even with this world, we all know as entertainers and in this business. You have your ups and your downs, right? So I had a really great year before I met him. And now I've kind of slumped into a transitional period where YouTube isn't doing the greatest anymore. But we all know that. It's kind of has a little slump and then TikTok kind of went. So I'm doing this transition where I'm going over to TikTok. And I'm not making the money that I was making then. And at one point I felt like I maybe I should say something to him and tell him like I'm not really making like I was doing really well and you're kind of meeting me now in my transitional point, but it didn't and I kind of just alluded to that and he didn't really seem that worried by it. It just because he again was successful in his own right and he doesn't have to worry about that. And he knows I pay my bills and I'm still working doing what I need to do. And he doesn't make me feel less, any less because of that. And that's the cool thing about this relationship. That's huge. That's huge in a partner because they want you for not who you are just today, but they want you for the journey of who you will become in the future. And we all know, with anybody, anybody could get laid off or fired. Anybody could have a disability or experience some sort of adverse event and that's all unpredictable in the future. So a good partner is not going to judge you for what you are going through today because you're going to go through a lot of shit. And I know I want to bring this back because I know a lot of people are going to be thinking about the three 6 9 method you're talking about. So I looked it up. I know if you were going to be like, wait, rob manifested a man friend. I want to manifest something too. So the three 6 9 manifestation method is where you write down the object or feeling that you want in your life and you say a three times in the morning, 6 times in the afternoon and 9 times at night because these are divine numbers and it was started on TikTok by a TikTok influencer. So there you go. Well, three 6 9 actually proceeds whatever this guy on TikTok did. That's like an old adage thing. Yeah. It's an old they just made a cool check out kind of what they did. But they just brought it to life. And I honestly, I'm not even gonna lie. That's where I saw it. I feel like I can't make fun of it too bad. You know what? I love about this story. So much is just, we always say, intentionality is the one thing that we see as a common theme about people that have found their people and got it out of that slump of the love life they don't watch. But I feel like stuff so I say attention allity, it's so vague. And people are like, okay, but like, how do I become intentional? What do I do? So I love that there is this method is one example. I'm just thinking back to what you just told us. It's like, I feel like in your 20s, you were kind of just like going through life, whoever came around, stuck with it until why not. And it was very not intentional and not in a bad way. You just have to go through different periods to get to where you are. But then there's the other side, right? To that where you have, I don't want to stereotype, but you have maybe more towards the women or people who can procreate. That are like, I've known girls who are like, I just want to get married and my 26th, I want to be having kids. Biologically. And I was just like, girl, slow down. You got like your whole 20s to go through. And they're like, but you don't understand, I have a biological clock. I really need to work on this. Because it is true. The longer you wait, the more possibilities there can be complications or things. But like what you just said, you're like, well, I just froze my eggs, you know what I mean? Yeah. I have a chance in the future and we do have the technology and the technological advances now for my mind to not really worry if I was in that situation.
00:45:04 - 00:50:09
You know what I mean? I would argue those people though are very intentional. Like they just became intentional. That's your early age. They knew exactly what they were looking for. And I mean, I think people's experiences differ dramatically, even the three of us are talking right now, had very different ways of viewing relationships in our 20s, 30s, and later, beyond. I'm not in my 40s yet. I'm not there yet. But I will be soon. But I think what is interesting is those people, yeah, you could argue they were very intentional from day one. I'm more on your camp rob of like, I needed to just experiment to eventually get to where I needed to be. Looking back on it all. What other advice would you have for people that want to get more intentional, but feel like the word intentional is just so vague? I would just say anything that sometimes people do vision boards or things. You don't need to do all that. Just focus hyper focus in your head those three, just three important things. Say them to yourself just be present and it'll make you more aware when you are out. I think that is helpful to be more intentional just to be more aware, just to remind yourself what your goal is, what that goal is. Those things that you've said over and over to yourself are just kind of wrote down on a piece of paper, put it on a mirror and just like see it every day or use as your password, say, you know, I've done that before. Yeah, me too. I've said in my password to go on it and my email and just this is what I want. Or this is what I have. I looked back at almost all the boyfriends that I've had and said, what didn't work? And what did work? And that really molded what I wanted, and what I needed, not even just wanted what my life needed now. And so it really is. I mean, 13 boyfriends, maybe not. I mean, 13 lucky number, or I'm looking over. I feel like people could pull out 13 people if they tried. Yeah, it doesn't be relationships. It could be crushes. Yeah, and I find it funny that people kind of were like 13 boyfriends, but it's not like, you know, it's over these 20, maybe more, 22, three, four years of when I've been dating. And, you know, not all of them were long, some of them were a couple of months. Some of them were two years. And some of them lasted one and lasted two years, and then he had me on hold for like 5. You know? So I felt like I was like, I couldn't do anything because he kind of was in and out and out. In there. But you know, you learn, you learn from that. I learned that I can't be a mom to someone. I can't change someone to make them fit my life. I have to accept that people are imperfect. And I had to improve my communication skills, because not just that I have to look at them. I had to look at myself and how I was in those relationships. And that has helped me nowadays, because that could be a complete turn off for people when you're just too aggressively confrontational about everything, you know? So I had to learn how to just let some little things go. That were just stupid, and that didn't make any sense. And that's where we grow. Well, you've got to become the person you want to date. That's true. Let's hold that thought for a few messages. 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 then I 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. Have you ever thought about how much better dating would be if you had a whole army of people supporting you along the way? We know that dating can be frustrating and lonely, but it can also feel fulfilling and fun. Have you recently decided you want to make some changes to your love life? Maybe you've recently reentered the dating scene. Maybe you've gone on one too many dates that went nowhere, or maybe you're just ready to take your current relationship to the next level. That is exactly why we created the sounding board, a true extension of our podcast that delivers a personalized experience, which includes monthly office hours where you can drop in and chat with us about anything.
00:50:09 - 00:55:01
Weekly sound offs with guided discussions and regular virtual happy hours, allow Julie and I to become your dating sherpas to provide real-time guidance and wisdom in a more intimate way so we can all navigate dating and relationships together. Join the sounding board today by going to dateable podcast dot com slash sounding board. Again, that's dateable podcast dot com slash sounding board. Here's an observation about you, rob, is I think you are now at a point where you're looking for a true equal. And I think for a while, you were looking at people who were not your true equal, because maybe there was something going on in your own life that you wanted that extra validation from those 20 year olds who think you're doing the coolest thing in the world. But now you're dating someone who actually who is your true equal and also challenges and inspires you to do even more and do better. And I think that's sort of when people ask, when should I be in a relationship? Where am I ready for relationship? I think that's it right there when you feel like you're ready for someone to be your true equal. And you're at a point in your life where you're not looking for someone to fill your other half or to make your life better your life. Yeah, to meet you, you are already at that point and you're looking for someone to share your life with. That's key. And I feel like in my 20s, I was looking for people to save me to make my life better to make me happier. And of relationship does not do those things. A relationship is something that you do with someone else to share with, to share your life and create a create a life together. So that's, I think, that's really important learning to have. We got to blame Disney for that. I feel like they totally fucked us. It's like expectations of what it is. Thank God for podcasts like this. Just saying. I know. Seriously. There's a reality, you know? To it. And you got to kind of live in reality, not in the fantasy. Sorry, Mariah. Sorry. Fantasy fantasy. How do we get to the right goals? So my question for this is because your intentions could have easily been like, I want someone over 6 four makes $500,000 a year. And graduate degree from Stanford, whatever, right? That doesn't really help you, but your intentions were I want to find someone who respects my career. I want to find someone who's independent. So I'm curious to know how you were able to come up with these intentions. During this time, during COVID, when you're careers thriving and you're feeling very independent, how are you able to arrive at these qualities? Maturity. You know? Turning 40. Because those petty things that you mentioned were be something I would think of when I was 23, 24, 25. Looking for the hot guy, you know what I mean? It's my experience of prolonging trying to be with that one person or get married right away. That has helped me really understand myself better because I don't really think, come on, let's get it real. You don't really know who you are until at least your 30s and beyond. You know, you're still a kid when you're 20. I mean, for the most part, mostly immature in that sense. I think that as you go through life and you go through those experiences and you experience those bad experience, you really understand what is important. And the other day, I think I was watching a show or something and this one guy was like, oh, you know, it's just guys like sex and they like to get girls and you know, sex is like, that's really important. And then you start to think now, and I'm like, yeah, it's important, but what happens when that's gone? What happens when you're impotent or you're going through changes or you're getting older? Is that the only thing you're going to base the long-term off of is just how good that sex was or how many times a day you can have it. Those are just not the most important things, the most important things to me that I've realized down the road is. Do I want someone to be there when I'm ailing and old? Do I want someone that I can help through that process and be there with? And really have a deeper, meaningful relationship based off of experiences you've had and who you are as people and commonality. Other than sex, like, yeah, I've had a lot of those relationships. They lasted maybe two years were the sex was. But beyond that, that's not going to make a long-term relationship last. That's not going to make a marriage last.
00:55:01 - 01:00:00
There has to be more. And that's what I've realized as I've gotten older is that sex is really and it's crazy to say it. It's just not as important as it was when I was younger. And this is coming from a gay guy. No, it's true, though. And I think that's what I wanted to ask you. It's like all your experience over the years. How would you define love now? And how do you think that's changed over the years? Wow. Big question. That is a really good question. Take your time. Can I start with my 20s? Before I define love and then take us through the process. Yes. In my 20s, I loved a cute face. I love the tall guy. I loved someone who liked to love who loved to love, right? You know, cuddle and infection and that to me was the ultimate love that I could find this hot guy that would good at sex and just like loved to love, right? As I've gotten older, I see that that's not really what it's all about. The successful part is the communication, the trust is super important and just being able to be open, honest and even to a fault, even if you know the other person is going to get mad. If you can tell them something that you know that you can work through it, I think that is what is a successful relationship. I started this for new relationship being almost a totally different person than I've ever been in the past. Not that I've never been honest, but I think my communication, the way I approach things now, the way I'm considerate of my partner and because I'm a very aggressive person. I'm a very confrontational person. So I will tell you which way to go. And now I realize that sometimes that approach can be very harsh on someone who is more of an introvert and I have to focus what I want to say to that person without a coming off in a tone that is real sassy and New Jersey. Like I normally would. And just get to the meat and potatoes of it don't try to bring things up from other things focus on the thing and say, this is what I'm hurt about and try to find a way to be in that common space to talk, not argue, not yell back and forth, not get nowhere. And I find that with this relationship, that super successful for me to sit down and say, this is what has been bothering me. Let's just talk and sit and get through this, you know? And I think I've opened a channel up for him as well who's very non confrontational person. And I think we've come to a place where we understand that. There is no holds bar. We can say anything to each other, no matter if it's good or bad. And we will find a way to communicate and talk through it and try to get past that. And I think that is the main successful thing, because if you get stuck on jealousy, if you get stuck on stupid petty fights that you can't drop, you know? It's like that's just, it's not gonna work. Right. Gotta find a common place for each other. I mean, I love everything you just said. And I relate so hard because I feel like the person that you are today is not who you once were. And sometimes we just want to skip to the end. We want to just meet that person so we don't have to date. We don't have to do the whole thing. This will kind of lead me to takeaways, but I think the biggest takeaway I have is that no time is wasted and all of these experiences are making us the person that we want to ultimately be in a relationship and give us the skills for a healthy partnership. Like I know myself, I would not have been at a healthy partnership with the people I was in a dating when I was in my 20s. And you know, maybe other people, I don't want to generalize times because, you know, some people might be there already. But everyone needs to go on their own journey and figure it out as cliche as it sounds. And my other big takeaway is that language matters. I was watching the brene Brown special and she basically talks about how we need to make sure we're naming our emotions correctly because it really does change how we view and interact with what we're going through. And what you said really resonated, we hear people all the time complaining about the dating apps completing about whatever they want to complain about. And I feel like that tone sets you up to get ghosted if you're always complaining about being ghosted. But how can we look at it the flip side, like you were taking us through rob of how do I put out of the universe what I want to happen? And how do I start making sure that my language reflects that and not what I don't want to keep happening. I think that is so, so important and ultimately intentionality is the key to finding that person because you know yourself, you know what you're looking for.
01:00:00 - 01:05:00
You don't take the bullshit. I think that is a big piece of it. No longer we standing for things that aren't serving us once we hit that realm of being. Agreed. I do want to say, like, pertaining to the topic of the pressure to feel like you have to be in a relationship or marry. Would I like this to be or do I see it being something in a lot? I totally see this being in the log. Am I worried about it being something is another thing? I'm not worried. Because if it doesn't, I'm going to be okay if it does, I'm going to be okay. That's so huge because I think that's a takeaway I have. A lot of times we put so much pressure on ourselves and anxiety because we're looking at this end goal and we evaluate the people we date and are in relationships with based on this end goal that hasn't even happened yet. And I like that this hitchhiker mentality of where you live your life and you get your life to a good place and whoever's there, whoever's there to support also your journey and you get to support theirs, that's the person you keep going on this journey with. And if they drop out, they drop out. That removes the pressure from this whole dating process. Now, of course, there's the biological clock. And I think we can't really speak to that on this episode. I get that that's separate pressure, but when it comes to just the pressure of finding a partner, it makes sense like what rob's done with 13 boyfriends is to get into relationships because that's how you learn how you how you relate to other people. And I love the fact that you can look back at your different decades, who I was dating my 20s, my 30s, and that feeds into who you are currently dating. That's just fantastic historical data that we can all have versus people now who are, you know, we call this relationship chicken where they're so afraid of getting into relationships that you are actually missing data points of who you should be with in the future. I love that because you don't even have to have 13 past partners. Of course if you do, that's great. But if you don't, that's okay. You could pull from people you went on one date with. You can pull for family members or friends. Any relational experience that can give you an indication of what you're looking for, everyone should do this exercise after listening, your 20s, your 30s. However, old you are, just go into different decades. Who was I with? Who was I surrounding myself with in what was I learning and feeling at that time frame. Love that. And you remember last remark, say anything else you want to say, rob for anybody who's listening and kind of having a hard time dating. You know what it is. I think you ultimately know who's right for you and who's not right for you because even in those times the one I was telling you, I was dating the wrong people I knew what was right and what was wrong. But you have to be ready for the right to come along. If you're not ready for it, then just have your fun. And there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with dating the wrong people. You learn so much. You learn a lot. You learn how to cope with them and yourself. So I think don't put the pressure on you for that person to be the perfect person or perfect match for you. Don't disqualify people that you just have, you don't see something super wet future with, but you like the now. Like for now, be in the now. Live the now. That's how you learn. Oh, I love that so much, because we put so much pressure on finding the right person, but how do we know we're finding the right person when we haven't dated the wrong people yet? So go on with your mistakes. Thank you for giving us permission to date the wrong people. It's all part of the process all part of the process. Well, thank you so much, rob, for telling us your stories from these three decades or at least two decades and now starting the third and starting my third. Very exciting stuff to come and congrats on what sounds like a very healthy relationship that you're in. If people want to find out more about you, especially your budding digital media career, where can they find you? You can find me at on the cheap tip anywhere really. I'm on YouTube and I'm starting a big TikTok TikTok's kind of an uptake for me and it's all about giving you a cool decor tips for cheap and I go to dollar trees, then call me the DIY daddy, so. And if you want to find gem on there, you can find UA and I do like a hula hoop challenge. Yeah. That's gonna drive all of our listeners over there right now. Yes. I almost forgot to mention that. I probably should have told anyone about it. We did, we did a hula hoop challenge on my YouTube channel. And it was a lot of fun. We have a good time with that. I had a good time. I don't know about you guys. I don't really get it. I was impressed by it. So yeah, if anyone wants to watch a slightly better loop than I was. Come on, that channel.
01:05:01 - 01:07:22
Rob's channel and find us. But didn't you have a better time when you were hungover the next day? Well, I was doing a few things. For like half the time. So my boyfriend was like, I don't think you have that odd you write. I think it's should be a lot lower. I'm like, oh, that's so much easier. That's funny. What a nice tease for that episode. Well, we should link that in our links. We'll like it. Get a glass. Comment and subscribe. Yes. Yes, subscribe on the cheap tip. And on that note, for all of our listeners at home, if you like to get a cheap tip, you can go on Apple podcasts. I don't know. That makes no sense. But go on Apple podcasts and give us a 5 star review, a nice comment or so. We really love those. And those comments really help us get spectacular guests like rob, so it really helps with our content. Thank you. Okay. That was so great. Thank you. All right. Thank you. We're wrapping this up. 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. It takes a lot of ingredients to fix or build a car. Like cooking, but without the frozen dinner, easy way out. eBay motors has a 122 million parts. It's always the right fitness. So you can follow any recipe to a T, whether it's a vintage Italian coupe that's classic like grandma's meatballs or a German luxury car that's as complicated as almost roulade to cook up something great in the garage, use the eBay motors app. Or visit eBay motors dot com. Let's ride.