Julie and Danny talk about their experience ‘dating in the dark’ at matchmaker OKSasha’s event. We discuss how removing physical attraction from the equation - the antithesis of online dating- gives a new perspective.
S4E1 Dating in the Dark
00:00:00 - 00:05:02
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
And i move so i loves. We are excited. You've join us for an older episode. While our earlier seasons were all about dating in san francisco we quickly realize all the themes. Learnings are universal for all daters so we shifted to covering dating from all around the world as the seasons. Progress to the fun part. Is things happen. I san francisco the tech epicenter and counterculture capital of the world. We love for you to keep tuning in to our older episodes. But there's no set order to listen in so feel free to jump to more. Recent seasons are relevant episodes for you. Enjoy the show. We are back for season. Four which is also our one year anniversary. Yup that's right dateable. Podcasts launched only a year ago and what a year has been. Thank you for coming back and for new listeners. Welcome to the dateable family. This show is hosted by me on you. A a former dating coach in new york and now a happy san francisco resident on each episode we dissect dating story and you'll also hear commentary from our guest of course our producer julie chick and other surprise co hosts before we launch into this episode. Let me give you a quick update since launching. The dateable podcast. A year ago. We've had over two hundred thousand listens in addition to being featured on about sf gate. Having tim post and the thought catalog. We were also recently featured in brides magazine. Britten co the cheat sheet and asman dot com more importantly our guests have some major updates to jessica who is dating the guy that was string. Her along is now engaged and not to that guy. Thankfully robert our guest. Who did the tinder one hookup experiment. That a special lady and moved all the way to new york for her. Connie who want to make apps and babies with their future man actually made an app with their new boat. Baby part is dvd or dating fatigue. Dan drew is now seriously dating someone. Kate and boras from the season three finale. Who met on jayjay tie the knot congrats guys and for me. I am now in a serious relationship. You can ask me for the full story. You ever run into me. Julian i started the dateable podcast. Not because we want to go out advice because frankly nobody has figured out. Our goal is to open up. A conversation share learnings and together. We can do better and smarter he. S if you haven't watched our sponsors single video that we released on valentine's day go watch it on our facebook page or youtube channel after this episode without further. Ado here's our season four premiere. Hey everyone welcome to another episode of dateable. Show that opens up a candid. Conversation about dating in san francisco. Now imagine going into a dating you vent and not being able to see anybody or anything around you. how would you feel. would you be nervous. Would you be a little scared. Would you be turned on. That was the premise of recent. Dating event called dating in the dark. That was put on by our friend. Sasha who's a matchmaker and you know. Her goal was to make something in real life. that's a dating event. That's completely opposite of what you normally experience when it comes to dating so totally intrigued. We have sasha here today and best of all. We have two of the participants from that event here as well. We have danny boy. I know that you're in your early thirties. You've been in san francisco for four years. Where are you from from seattle. I okay all right and you are currently single. And we have julie our producer. I don't need to give any stats about you. Give staff about like over. Forgive them if your stats. Now that we've turned the tables. Sf for eight years. So i'm a sf veteran. I guess by our standards. I am single. Probably the most single ever been in my life so put that out. There got out of a ended like a significant relationship in march. So i've been a little out of the dating scene. I'd be i think for me. I was super nervous. Go to like. I knew sasha a new about this. Obviously and i was excited because it was so like it was so unique but i was really nervous because it was so outside of my comforts before we get to your you know experience and sharing what you learned from this. Let's go to sasha. Walk us through how that works. Basically the whole premise. Behind the event is people are wearing blindfolds and they go on many dates while they're blindfolded. I love this concept because it's the complete opposite of dating.
00:05:03 - 00:10:03
they don't see them. You don't know any stats about who they are. It's completely blind. I mean this is just against anything that online dating stands for exactly. I mean that's basically why. I started matchmaking. In the first place is to bring the human back into dating but also one of the reasons why started. This event was because it is the antithesis of online dating. You know we are so an entirely superficial in the way that we go about dating particularly online and so i was really interested in creating this event in finding out just from an experimental perspective. What would happen when people Tried to connect without site. Because i was just wondering if it would be easier or more difficult And i also was wondering if Physical appearance actually mattered. As much as people thought it did. Give me the structure of how this event works for someone you know for our listeners. At home who've never been to a dating in the dark you bet walked through it so basically the way. It works is You step and you're not immediately blindfolded instead you go into a room that is of people of the same sex. I actually liked the part about meeting the other girls because it made me less nervous. Did you feel like you're on episodes of the bachelor. Talk a little bit of that. But not really. Everyone was super nice but was interesting. Everyone was there solo. Very few people. I felt like king with the posse of friends and like even like another wing girl like everyone a lot. Most people were there by themselves. Danny how is it. How's atmosphere in the boys room. So it was kind of funny at first. Because i was like all dude like it was actually really cool. there is there are a lot of cool dudes. Walk me through. what's next i have. Everybody put on their blindfolds all of the every and one of the sexes sits down at this particular event. There was actually somebody who was allergic to a cat and the cat was in one of the like it would not get off. One of the chairs by was her account. Where was this where pause you. That was a complication We had we had the event a community house long story short. There were some complications. And i had to And so in for this particular event we had all the women sit down in one row and and then all the men kind of lineup like their elephants. When you're blindfolded. Can you really just not see you literally. Okay i just want me chart then what happened And then after that everybody's sitting down. And then i give a little spiel at the beginning. Meet if you're vulnerable and you know we all know that everybody's here for the same reason yourself group okay. You could have said no to this but you decided to take a chance and do some step on south side of your comfort zone. So so what do you default. Thank god and then after that. I i have these prompts. And i change them for each event so it kind of changes the flavor and And then everybody talks for about five minutes. And then i ring a little bell and then we have all of the guys get up and they switched to the next chair. Didn't it just goes on and on until you've been with six people vote on the prompts. What was a turning point in your life. That was a good one. Shared was it was on a date. Yeah you were on a date. Yeah do you remember one of the other pumps. Yeah the first one. If i remember correctly was what does beauty and it was funny. Because so what i was doing like during these dates not with everyone. Both most people was like holding hands or some type of physical contact for at least part of the conversation. If not all of it because i really like especially being blind all you have their voice and you have no sense of like how the reacting aside from the intonations in their in their voice and so being able to like feel their hands and maybe they might squeeze your hand at.
00:10:03 - 00:15:09
They really likes them. That you say or absolute energy is actually like pretty useful and so i remember that one i started and being just guy maybe i was like i think beauty in a partner is our started with like what i thought like was like beauty to me in a woman partner as opposed to like just beauty more generally right where i think. She was just like like more general beauties but she was thinking of So it's an interesting way to like. Start off the bed so it's not even it's in addition to how you answer. The question is also how you interpret the question. Can we tell you what the head holding fervent. Because i have some opinions on. Yeah i think like. It's really interesting to hear your perspective on that. Because i kind of had the opposite perspective of that like i actually emrah. If i'm with someone really big on physical touch. But i kind of because i. I didn't have a connection with them so it felt awkward to hold their hands. And that's what you say with consent like make sure both people are down and i will say all the guys that this happened with. They did ask wasn't like they just put it out there but did every guy want to hold your hand. No and actually some of the ones that i connected with. I didn't hold hands with what. I paid attention to his voice for some reason. That was like my. What about the voice just like how the perception of the voice like did they seem kind like today a lot like what was their tone and that type of things like things that you would typically get from like mannerisms and facial expressions. I tried to pick up more from voice. Which i don't typically do on dates which is interesting. Could you hear someone smile. Not hear them but like actually kind of like their voice changes a little and like it's not hear them smile but like you can hear that. They're like excited. And you hear that there are like a little laughter and that stuff. Well this is what i'm thinking about. How this translates into real team. This is what i prefer getting on a phone. Call away because you hear those intonations and their speech and you know some people you just really jive with in. This was a five minute date. You do that with a phone call. Oh for sure i mean. I'll just pull up a thirty six one dollars. Sodas prompts next time so high as to reach you point in your like. And danny in addition to holding their hand and listening to their voice what other features or factors you pay attention to This is gonna sound like pretty happy. But we're in san francisco just like vibe and energy. It was exit puts you a smell is definitely a big thing but it was also a little bit confusing. Because there's like it's like you know you have to imagine like big rows of chairs. All next to each other was actually a lot of smells going on. Have five like each. Because you're going on these dates back to back right each five minutes and so you can really feel out the vibe things very different from each person so maybe someone was like really excited or someone was a little bit nervous or really bubbly or really flirty or you know or whatever and you could really feel that difference in each state energy. Yeah totally inch. Were there any dates that you walked away and you're like no in that five minutes. Ooh anyone had one day. It was a cold wind. Let me hold her hand. It was one date. Where and i don't know if it was language barrier issue but it was like all other dates were really like seamlessly flowing out is what it felt like for me and this was the one where i thought actually had to work twenty convoys going and i was like i shouldn't be having to like i mean i'm happy to put effort in but i shouldn't be having to like struggle to come up the next thing to say i didn't feel it didn't feel like natural yup and so that was when i was like okay like this is the one person i don't feel like i need to actually follow up with afterwards interesting. Well if you're on a date in real life and you're like let's say the person you're on a date with is extremely attractive but you're having a hard time communicating with them some peop- some people would just retreat to like being flirty with them. Touchy with Drinking a little bit more their ways to get around that. I guess in real life that you overlook these factors but now you're actually forced to have a conversation with them this becomes really amplified and what was interesting was afterwards. Once we took the blindfolds off. I saw this person and she was like pretty attractive. But i really wasn't that interested in like trying to like pursue anything trying to get her phone number or set up a date for later. Because i was just like we didn't really vibe. Yeah julie did you pick up on anybody's I was going to say. I feel like there were two dates. Stood out to me of them. I think it's because we got pretty personal and sense of like what we want to do with our lives like our family like past So i thought those were really the ones that really stood out to me and then they were.
00:15:10 - 00:20:02
There's one day an actually of them. I would say we're fairly good like there was not one that i was like. Oh my god this was awful. There was one that the guy complaint like basically talked about how painful to do online dating. And like i get that everyone feels that way. We will never podcast if that wasn't the case but like it felt like that kind of took over a lot of the conversation was kind of a negative place. Did you guys have a strategy coming into this. No i actually didn't like i think this is true just in general dating. I don't really like when i go on a date. I just let it be free. And i don't really try to like crap. I mean i try to like sort of an awesome date but this case it was already set up for me. Thinks it's asta so. I didn't have to do anything so i actually just came without an agenda in that sense actually thought about thinking like a conversation starter but like should i like think about this a little more than like whatever i'll just wing it and there were them so it doesn't really matter. Well i think that's what's so different about this event. As opposed to normal on my dating is that you have expectations going into these states. But with dating in the dark. You have no expectations. In fact you're so open the you're at this events a little bit of self selection as well right. You're with a group of people who are who are open to anything exactly and one of the things that i like to highlight during the event when i talk to people before they actually start is that this is a high opportunity zero expectation event. But i think the expectations is a huge thing. Because i know from my own personal experience every time. I've met someone that i've been in a relationship. It's because i had no expectations. We met because i wasn't trying and it just happened in like any time i've gone to a d. and try really hard like doesn't go anywhere. Let's talk about some of the most memorable date source memorable moments that you had during those six states. Do you remember those. Yeah i have a couple that come to mind There was one that was crazy and he goes my last date and me and this woman had shared the same favourite author and favorite book of that author who and it was actually really because this is like i mean we all have our favorite authors. But this for me is like a very personal thing and anyone who likes this stuff are like my people automatically. And so i was like i felt like an immediate connection. We actually like exchange information afterwards. So that was actually really cool. One thing i noticed about all dates as we didn't talk about work at all. Oh and that's something. I feel like on regular dates. Always comes up. It's the chunk list of like what do you do. Do you know that type of stuff and none of that up here. Which was really interesting. I think in general does everyone listened better on these dates. Because you had to write like see you know other drafted like i felt. I listened better. But i also felt like the people. Listen to me better because you can't be checking your phone. You can't be looking at other people around you. You can only focus on the person you're talking to exactly so when you're talking to these people you spoke to six people. He went on six states. As you're speaking to them did you. In your mind formulate some sort of what they could possibly look like. That's a funny question. Because one of the prompts was What gives you hope. In how would you describe my looks. That was the one that. I'm sorry and were those together. Yes i remember. I described the sky. And i don't know why i said what i thought like what i said. It just came to me but actually some of it ended up being true. I said that he was. I thought he was tall. Dark hair Glasses which was not true. Danny do you remember how you described. The girl you were talking to. It was actually really hard to try and imagine what she looked like And i think that was one. It was fine conversation but it was one of the harder ones in a sense. Because yeah. Because i didn't i really had no clue i wasn't trying to like i felt weird trying to put someone in in that kind of a box. So on the flip side is when you're dating. You're looking at their photos. Do you ever think about what their voice sounds. No which is weird because matters so much and you don't really question. Do i feel like with online dating. You make those judgments much faster where you come to those conclusions much quicker. You look at photos. And you're like oh she's a free spirit. She's fun blah blah blah. Just based on photos and alone. You feel like you got someone. Figure it out but with something like this. You don't have them figured out at all. It's all starting from a blank slate. I mean. I think i'll go back to the prompts. I thought that was really great and obviously every day you go on. You're not going to have sasha. They're reading off the problems. But i think it it helps. You be a better conversationalist.
00:20:02 - 00:25:04
And i think that's important for people going on dates even if it's not dating in the dark don't ask like what do you do like all like the basic questions. That's the checklist that feels. Like someone's interviewing that's the worst date like. I feel like. I learned so much more about someone when i we talked about a turning point in our life so it's finding those conversations and maybe it's not like the initial conversation but to that point and why can't we apply this to beyond dating. We should be having these conversations with our friends to getting to another. You know layer your friendship. What happens next you're done with your six days afterwards. I have all my volunteers. Gather everybody and get everyone into one room. I count to three. Everybody takes their blindfolds off together Then everyone super disoriented and so in order to dissipate the disorientation. I have a group discussion. And so it's this opportunity for it's very intentional. It's this opportunity for everybody to take a look at everybody else in the room without feeling awkward. Oh and by the way we got popsicle sticks throughout the process. You had a list that you had six popsicle sticks with your name on it and then every date you had you had to exchange okay. Basically the end. Sasha mentioned there's the group discussion which is basically code for wigan all check people out without being super obvious be also have their names so when the dates are over you had this group discussion where you can talk to every all you take your blindfolds off. Describe to me what felt like when everyone took their blindfolds off at the same time can go for a trip because it is a little bit disorienting at first having blindfolded that point for like maybe thirty minutes or more and then you look around and there's first of all like all these people slip in my case i recognize the. Yeah know like oh like whatever and then And then he started like. Yeah you start analyzing the crowd and being like okay like that person's hot or whatever and then it's also interesting space so you take an all these things and also kind of like cool community house. So you're like whoa. Yeah and the cat. Exactly all your senses are back. I remember So i actually. It was not able to tell right away. Like who had gone on dates with. But i do remember that the five the general atmosphere was like really comfortable. I think we'd all shared this kind of like. Yeah interesting fun. Exciting weird experiment together as a group. So i think everyone automatically felt more comfortable even with like the blindfolds off totally. No so i think like even the discussion that followed people seem like very open with it. And so i didn't think you like lead really nicely into then people actually being able to like hang out one on one and get to talk and on dates. People always say like experiences held on more than just like the dinner drinks. So this was definitely like a bonding experience. Like i said earlier like everyone just felt like they were in together. What happened after all of this is interesting. Because i think the one guy thought was really attractive so he was like physical type. The other is not my typical type at all much edgier than i go for like but there is something i think because we had such a good conversation like there was something attractive about him. He's a really nice smile too. But like i think because we had like a deeper conversation that i was like oh like i viewed him more attractive than i think i would have necessarily if i saw him on tinder and i didn't have any background for this particular event i was. I had a theme And so the theme kind of fell under community oriented people who are builders and who make things and there was also slight verner survive. And so it's likely that if you share this experience of burning men with somebody else then not only. Are you going to have something to talk about. But you're also going to have similar core values. Oh okay so. I think it's a fascinating about that as i understand. Danny you're a burner danny boy. You're bringing name right or but julie is the league opposite of someone who would ever go to burning man. In fact she said multiple times. I would never date a guy. Who does bernie man. That is just so yes. I said not gonna work that. She has six great day in your age right with guys who were obviously prone to berkman nothing. How so. that's that's what's fascinating actually. Because i said this to you. Because i i mean i i feel like i swing more on the marina.
00:25:04 - 00:30:05
Type girl gonna be honest. Used to over four right. Okay if i'm gonna swing on. The pendulum of michigan verena. It's more marina. Be got est but and that was one of my things i was like. I don't know if i mean. Obviously i wanted to come to this in general but i was one of my expectations is like i don't know if these are going to be my people you know and i was like to us porn. I was definitely pleasantly surprised. What did you guys learn from this event any takeaways. I think being more open asks me right Yeah and like. I said one of the people i was the most attracted to was not someone i would ever say as my typical type. So maybe getting outside of your type i think for me. I think in general as as a guy like we. We put a lot of emphasis on. Looks a mutt here. To see the looks or not unimportant because right because they are at the same time it was a really important reminder that like connection and vibe and having something it doesn't mean we all like the same things but having that genuine like flow and connection in common i think is really really matters and i think sometimes we when we do get blinded by like by the visuals. Sometimes we lose sight of that connection or energy that we share with somebody and so for me it was just so reminders from that i already know but tended like easily forget when i go on lots dates. That connection is kind of where it's really at. Yeah well. I think that goes into my away as you have to be present. Part of being present is active listening and really engaging in that conversation. Because i would say of you know the thousands of dates. He may go on half of those could have potential but we were too distracted by our phones where the waiter or whatever the drinks that we were having the next batch not present you're not actively listening and therefore you're not engaged or connected so being present and really listening to your to your partner but also not evaluating them for dating but more just getting to know them. That's the beauty of this event is that you're not like you're not on this date blindfold thinking oh. Is this person going to be a good match for me. You're thinking i'm just trying to figure out what this person's all about. Because i know absolutely nothing about exploitations again is like i'm this conversation. Yeah no expectations. I'm going to have a conversation. And that's what i'm going to have so i don't wanna put you guys on the spot on the spot. Do you remember your conversation with each other. I think i do okay. I think some of it and signed out reenacted. And i will say i don't think i touch i think did you live in cuba. Yes yes that was about travel. Paradise cuba ban had a long ago. And i just went back recently. Travel talking there's a lot of travel involved about places we've been or would like to go I mean i think like. I definitely enjoyed our conversation for sure but i think for me like and this was obviously our prompt to like travel important. But it's not like this. Oh my god we have so much in common right like everyone likes to travel for the most nuts. Obviously nothing against you because this was our prompt. But i generally would agree with what you're saying where push back a little bit is and maybe this is likely shape for me. Travel is actually very important and the reason. Why is because it's like part of what i do through my work which is part of my values and my core mcchord belief system and i think it goes back to your values right because you have high value on travel like i have higher value on like friends and family not to say that you don't have value on that i don't even know of disabling. My core is like community friends. Like data type stuff sabir but my challenge. She knew julie is if if danny's talking about you know travel being very important to him. That's what paradise is. You could turn the question around reinterpreted instead and say something along. The lines of like paradise is being at home with my family and friends like. That's i think people always say we don't connect on this one thing but it may not be like what you're with burning man and building community. Those are actually very similar. So instead of writing off the burning man. You don't have to write off the travel. I also like experiences or trying. New things and that may not involve travel and the other pieces of advice we can give to our listeners.
00:30:05 - 00:34:08
I really think it's so valuable to go on. Dates without expectation doesn't mean you don't want things it doesn't mean that you don't have an idea of what would happen by the really going there and just trying to kind of like you said like really going there and being present really actively listening really like not trying to force anything and just seeing what it's like and being open to that you know Because this really surprised me so i think it was a good reminder that approaching that way You tend to nothing else at least have an interesting experience. And maybe you might actually find someone that you really connect with. I think it's good to balance out online dating with non traditional dating you know or non online dating go to these events that push you out of your comfort zone and and don't treat dates like dates. I think that's the number one mistake we make if you treat a date like getting to know a new friend being curious about who they are then. Your date is a hundred percent of time going to be a lot more successful than going in to into a date thinking. Oh this is a date. After trae like i was just thinking about is i think oftentimes and especially as a guy like i feel like when i'm dating i have to be the one who initiates the idea of like you know like we. Let's do x y and z are date plan or something and while you know. I think i'd do pretty good job at that I think a lot of times you put. When we're doing dates especially early on in dates dating we try to come up with these really awesome ideas or activities for us to go on and this was a good reminder of his at like at the end of the day dates are about you and that person actually just connecting that like that person is the date the date. It doesn't really what you do doesn't matter nearly as much you know so like instead of putting so much time. Engines like the bells and whistles of activities that going to be doing just like really being present with that person and and being focused on. That person is like by far the best way to go. That's a great piece of advice. Because i think about some of the best dates i've had and people ask me well. What was so great about the date. I can't recall what we did. I just remember the conversation. Being amazing. one last question did any dates. Come out of this event. I got two numbers on a date this weekend in case shows so if our listeners wanna go to your next event how would they find out about it so the next one is going to be on march twelfth. The website to go to is okay. Sasha dot com slash dating in the dark and it's okay sas ha dot com to anybody. Go home together. That night just curious. Yes yes oh okay. So proof concept rate there get out of your comfort zone. Do something totally out of the ordinary. And you never know what you'll find right so For our listeners. At home you know we want to hear your stories. Have you been to a kind of a cool dating event recently. Want to hear about it. Have you met someone in a very nontraditional way. You want to hear about that too. We just want to hear from you general because like you know active listening you want to hear from your general info for okay. Sasha dot com. And i guess on that note last but not least one to three day dateable you can meet new people who share similar interests over brunch checkout five hundred wrenches and be sent on. You guessed it brunches all over the city with new people each time come alone or bring a friend. There's always a table. Full of friendly faces mimosas and benedict sign up at five hundred branches dot com and use the code date able flow freak injury to connect with us visit dateable. Podcast dot com. You can also find us on facebook twitter and instagram. All under dateable podcasts.