Heidi Isern tells us why you cannot find 'the one” – and why hunting for that person is just too much pressure. We talk about how to navigate in a mirage of endless options, what it means to ‘settle’, and the importance of staying open beyond the ideal person in your head.
S4E16 Why You Cannot Find "The One"
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Hey we wanna meet you. Would you like to meet to the correct. Answer is yes. So we're having a joint happy hour with our friends at nine. Four one social club on thursday. June twenty second. It's actually more of a bar crawl in the marina that will start at seven pm. The dateable team along with some past guests will be at the palm house starting at nine pm and the best part is you're gonna give free drinks find out how by checking out our facebook page under dateable. Podcast hope to see that the dateable podcast is hosted by me. I'm you a a former dating coach. In new york turned active. Activator in san francisco on each episode. You'll hear commentary by producer. Julie craft chick and other surprise co host. This episode of dateable brought to you by five hundred brunches. Five hundred branches connects like minded people with similar interests to meet in real life over brunch. You answer a questionnaire about your interest and how you spend your time. And then they'll match you in small groups of sixty eight at brench spot in san francisco. Get a free entry into brench now by signing up at five hundred branches dot com and using the code date able everyone. Welcome to another episode of dateable. A show that opens up a candid conversation about dating in san francisco before i introduce our guest today. I just wanna read a little excerpt from her article from a year ago. The articles called why. You cannot find the one hunting for a single person to be your one the ballerina. The poet the bank account and the parent is all too much pressure for someone. You don't know yet. The one is created over time by slowly dressing who they are not what they should be and those were the wise words of heidi earn. How are you good. Thank you thanks for being with us. A few stats about her. She's been in san francisco for twelve years. Where are you from montana montana okay. It's a big journal. That different dating up there. Is there such things get married now. Heidi your article. That came out. We have it for march eleventh. Two thousand sixteen when your article came out a guy friend of mine had forwarded to me because this guy friend and i particularly talk about this quite a bit. He's in his late thirties. He's very successful and he just cannot find the one in every girl that he becomes interested in. Can't show that sort of hunger of wanting to be with him so he forward me your article and immediately i saved it. I've forwarded on ice cream shot. At especially that quote. Because i was going through a time where i was dating to really great people and for some reason there was just not that next level of connection and couldn't understand why i was very distraught in this time in my life so was very timely. Get your article. Let's start with just that article. What else did you say in this article. We can summarize for readers at home if they haven't read it yet Well it just talks about especially in san francisco. How there's all these people out there. And there's an illusion of choice from just the urban social bar scene and all the parties and then the proliferation of dating apps right. So you always think there's all these things out there and you're always seeking for more. It's like you're trading up everything in your life your job your apartment your significant other always looking for the next bigger better deal wanna know when you wrote this article in march. What were you going through personally. I was dating but it was not in a defined status. But i act my impetus for writing. It was actually. I had come back into the country. I've been travelling and i went to some san francisco's socialite singles. Big serve and. I wasn't really looking but i thought well you know since my relationship hasn't defined you know we'll see what else is out there very classic san francisco and i just watched people and i watched all these people checking each other out and then i watched this woman that i wrote about how she interact in what she said to me. And she's like you know what he looking for no idea like cheese and wine and she just listed off this litany everything that she wanted like every single thing and i was like good luck because i don't think anyone here in this room meets anything. I don't think anyone in san francisco everything that you have on your list and that is not the right way to go to a singles mixer with a list in your mind and then trying to do this matching game of. Oh does he have this. What really spoke to me about your article was in it.
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You talk about how we're always looking for what other people can provide for us. But then we forget the reverse. What can we provide for other dating has become such a selfish circus. Act in a way right. Everything's about me on the center of this world. These people should be pleasing me. They should be showing either interest. But why have we become so selfish when it comes to dating. I think it's a lot to do with ego right. Which is a lot of bread. It's why we have a lot of very successful entrepreneurs in silicon valley in san francisco right really marching this idea forward and i do think there's lots of entitlement of well. I am this. So if i miss the bar someone else must be this much better or be able to provide me all of these things because i'm worthy and i don't think people just relax and just spend time just getting to know someone and enjoying their company right. It's more about. Are they going to you know. Make a higher salary than me especially women. Are they taller than me than me. All these different things that they're looking in comparison to who they are as opposed to just to make me laugh. Have fun together. They good adventure buddy different types of things and it's funny i had a guy actually write me today And he was actually talking about the different kind of expectations of men and women and he obviously was defending the male contingent. They said you know men have learned how to date you know. Twenty years younger twenty years higher they also have learned to date very wealthy and very poor women for whatever reason will only date within a very narrow age range and they will only date men that are taller than them and have more money than them said women now that we have more economic power need to actually start expanding as well and learning today just as wider range of candidates that sort of a conflict of gender roles and it comes becomes more amplified with age. I have so many girlfriends who are successful. And they're beautiful and they were on their professional careers just as much. They work on their personal lives and the more they build their personal value. They they feel like they need someone who is more valuable than they are right so they kind of feel like they should be pickier. Their standards should be higher. What is wrong with that school of thought. Well how you define value great great question gray mention someone's not valuable because they don't have a certain amount in their 401k. And i think actually dated some very wealthy men. And i can tell you there. Are things a lot more valuable. You know what they can provide you monetarily. They can provide you emotionally or their sense of humor. Other different types of things and i think if you stopped thinking about it so in such a siloed limited format i think people would be a lot happier in some respect. I do think women are at fault for this. Because what we're perpetuating with all of our girlfriends is you're so awesome. You're such a bad ass. You deserve a guy who should be like this and like that. That guy's not good enough for you. He only he's only an accountant. He only does this ivy league school. he's not as tall as you. We perpetuate this is something. We don't emphasize what you've said. Is that emotional benefit that we get from someone what i say to a lot of my clients. How does this person make you feel if you were to make a list of traits that you look for in the perfect person take away all the Physical traits seek away all the superficial traits. How should that person make you feel well. I think that person should make me feel safe. They should make me feel sexy. They should make me feel feminine. They should make me feel loved. You know so. I think it's that we're forgetting that emotional side. But we're also perpetuate right down to need like what are you really need if you are financially secure and you have a great life and you have all these friends then someone to just be the cherry on top of your life right. You shouldn't be eating them to fulfil some big gap. So i think you can look at it. What what else would make my life just a little bit better and maybe it is having someone to talk to every night you know if you start thinking about it that way probably changes what people are looking for now. Here's the big question for you. Is that settling. What is settling. If i'm just looking for someone to talk to every night and my settling subtly and so there was on a book written a few years ago. I think it was lori gottlieb. Who talked about mary him now. Right now you should settle in a huge case for subtly. Mike if he has look past it and look at this end up like me and you're gonna be having a baby on your own when you're forty two and it was kind of like everything's so so dire I don't know i just like. How do you need someone else to complete your you complete yourself.
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And if you're complete yourself nothing else is settling just making your life better settling. Why is there such a negative connotation to that. I don't understand what. I still don't understand what it means. I guess it goes to some sense of entitlement of what you deserve. And you're now taking something that's than you deserve. And i guess that whole construct to me is very confusing. Well that's it. It's that feeling of entitlement. We've talked about this concept of the richer and the settler in a relationship is always reach. Her there's always a settler. But i think we're forgetting is that dynamic changes throughout a relationship at first you may be the richer and then in the middle you may become the settler. I think we need to focus on that relationships are dynamic that if you feel like you're settling it doesn't mean that it's forever is that you are at a point where you're settling for this person and then eventually become richer hopefully never feel like you're settling. I guess i wrote today something. About how like a dance. And there's always someone taking a step forward and someone taking a step back and for someone to take a step forward. You take a step back. So there's anytime you think you're chasing. You're giving too much you know. just stop. allow some space. When you allow that spy's than desire starts to build up in the other person you know wants to come forward. Guess i'd like to think about more as opposed to subtly actually don't want to be with this person or i'm trying too hard to obtain this person. They're such a huge spectrum. I feel like some people are on one end where they're like. I don't want to settle this person's too nice to me. They likely too much. I don't want to settle for them. And then there's the opposite side of the spectrum where someone so chaser always chaser. I need this person to like me. Why doesn't this person like me. Why hasn't he texted me bad. Why why hasn't she called me back comments on that well. That's a drill by the conquest. That's like actually wanting to obtain wanting the challenge. And i have actually a very good friend that is that is somewhat like that. She has a very successful entrepreneur and she likes challenge and she thinks she can just strong arm some man into falling in love with her and doesn't really work that way. You can't force someone to love you and if you really care about them or love them you just want them to exist like you're just happy that you know them in for some different types of interchanges so i think all of that that adrenaline and that drama has a lot more to do with addiction. And wanting to have a conquest than it does with actually enjoying the person or carrying about the person. I have a theory. That if you're the chaser you're constantly looking for validation you're not ready for relationship point on adrenaline high. Think you do and you think you wanted but you don't really want it. Do you want to bring it back to your most recent article the foul up the sequel to the first article. Why you cannot find the one part to the things. People think are important on paper height income for my case abilities. Ski black diamonds. Have nothing to do with someone's ability to partner. If you have to make a list it should include things like arguing. Well making you feel special spiritual growth etcetera but these things are not obvious on the one. Date wonders swiped from tinder and bumble. You actually have to spend time with someone to let these qualities come to surface. What instigated this. Follow up article. I had been receiving so many letters and emails from people that were kind of asking me. Why can i still find that one and this is my situation. What do you think or on trying to do all these things. And i just kind of started seeing these patterns Enlist making and people thinking they wanted to relationship but they just wanted the chase or on of people really needy and you know one friend you know is is actually man and he wanted a relationship so incredibly badly it was his singular focus and again he was now trying to strong on these women into being his girlfriend and just devastated. Nothing worked over and over and over but he wasn't trying to give them a chance to get to the human being he was just seeing them as just a container of a relationship didn't matter actually who they were thinking of one of your articles you talked about like how you're not really ready until you've kind of come to one with yourself and mike have the soft love sound so cheesy and it's so cliche. Oh you must love yourself. I you love someone else. And it's like don't wanna hear that again but i do think it's true. I think it's true to kind of have a full life A really good friend of mine She's mary now but for a while she was dating and relationships weren't working and she was like you know what i'm done like have a good life i have. My friends is how it's going to be. She had this epiphany like in yoga class. Where shibata imagining her own singled at life. And she's like it's not that bad. There's like this is like it's not that bad it's okay.
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It's better than you know all this drama. It's wow oh okay. I can do this right and sure enough like a few months later we went out just girls night. You know rainy torturous damn san francisco. Evening weren't turtleneck sweaters at a bar and we ended up meeting what who happened to be future husband. of course those always get laura holdup grubbed out. It's like but we definitely. We're not looking right now to talk to these guys aren't know and sure enough relationship developed. But she wasn't needy. There's no drama. She wasn't trying to like forced him to some type of status or some time line You know and she. She met him when she was thirty. Nine how do you think age plays into this. Do you think there is in san francisco where we're in this bubble. Is there pressure. Not just for women but for men as well to vote will definitely for women i think men too but i think you know we're all leading are independent. Lives or having fun. We're going to burning man and we're going to parties on top of the fairmont. Everything's great then. Like thirty four thirty five heads and we're like oh shit wait. Whoa whoa like have a biological clock. And it's actually very real. And i have to do all of these things before i hit forty and better start now so something hits it's panic and then it is this mad rush to lock down as quickly as possible and i think that's when everything breaks down because people feel like they're being again forced into something that is kind of contrived and it's not about them anymore about a timeline. Did you feel that way. Probably felt that way a little bit. Yeah yeah did you. When you turn thirty yeah. I mean it's definitely like that pivotal moment that you're just like what am i doing like. Yeah i definitely think there's an age and time pressure. Yeah i think you need to feel it and then like get to the other end of it right like let it embrace it go through it be out of it now like and i agree i feel like in my twenty s. I went through this entire stage of. I don't need to be in a relationship. I don't need a man. I don't need to get married and all of a sudden feel like you know what i might wanna be in a relationship. Yes it's so strange to go from like independent woman. I don't need anybody to not so much. I need someone to complete me but that yearning. It's a strange feeling. So you have a quote though. Is you time and lack depth. And as you age you japs but less time was really interesting. Exactly what we're saying because when you're twenty you're like party party party hookups. Whatever and then you get to the age and that's when there's this like clock ticking time pressure. Yeah but the thing. Is you get a lot more interesting. You older women especially you know you're more confident you know far you have stories And i think. I think women are fabulous. I look back at myself. When i was in my mid twenties and i was incredibly insecure. I can't believe men wanted dini the issue with dating. When you're a very fascinating woman is that it's hard to find other people who are just as fascinating as you as you accumulate more life experiences you look for those commonalities and your partner and it's harder to find commonality that's true and that goes back to suddenly liquid is settling and As my friend that. I mentioned that that met her husband when she was thirty. Nine after deciding she was going to be a solo yogi on her matt One of her things on her list was that he had to be as well traveled as her. The nanshan at marine didn't even have a passport. Now they travel a time together because she got over it because he was curious about travel. Now they've been all over the world. So i just think everyone has to have an and these things that you think are so important in someone's past actually have nothing to do with how to partner. They are could not agree more. Because i think now i don't value this march for when i was in my late twenties one of my values with someone that would go out with me and my friends all the time. Yeah and like that. Just also shows wasn't ready for a relationship. Because i just a party in do that all the time. When you're like in your forties fifties sixties does that matter now. I don't think it matters because it's the couch test or the sunday test. Can you just sit on a couch with someone. Thinks hang out with them. That's the ultimate test. That is the test and it's funny. My parents are very happily married. They just celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. And they're the type. When i bring the san francisco they will make out in a bar. Drag them out. Yes they are they. Are that help all day. my parents. it's embarrassing of course. But it's also kind of awesome to know that that can still happen in your mid sixty s s. My dad wants. I'm like you know how does it work. Like mom fight. And i see that but you still really love each other and you really affectionate like. How did this all happen. Or how is it sustainable. And my dad just says well he just got a really like doing a lot of nothing with someone because as you get older honey trust a you spent a lotta time together and generally doing in.
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So it's just kind of that test of. Do you enjoy to nothing just hanging out making each other laugh to bring this full circle to your article in march. While you can't find the one i i think the other element that's missing dating that commitment. What is commitment mead. My parents have been married for three thirty seven years. I would say for the you know like the middle part of their marriage. They were not happy but they committed to each other to each other and now they're the most in love never seen there are so happy. I'm retired together. And it's it's that commitment to someone for better or for worse but in your article you talk about how you know the right one could be swipe away you never know that someone better could be lurking out there and that's kind of the environment we face today with dating. Yeah that's that's a very good point and you know there's different schools of thought on there and i don't really know which one is right or wrong. Some people think you have multiple ones throughout your life someone in your twenty s only in your thirties forties and you kind of swap them out. And that's okay because you're a different person. And thus you need different types of people and then the other school of thought probably our parents school of thought as you want someone to like. We've an entire quilt of life together and every experience is a thread and you need more and more and more of those threats and you actually don't know where it's going until the end and then you have something really beautiful so you have the beauty. Have you know these great threads and you have some really ugly threads right. Sometimes you need them all. Because that's what makes a long term relationship and at the end you'll get to enjoy the benefit of all of that you drew but it's a harder it's a harder path and also just what are your metrics for success right. Some people say well. My friend met her husband. Here and blah blah blah and now. They're super successful. Then you think is that success is marriage the ultimate success or success is measured at the end of your life when you look back at your relationship and say that was very successful. Because we don't know anything could happen of course relationship. Well anything can happen. And i think it's just important to enjoy the moment that you're in as well because there's also people that have had a lot of success and been really happy for a certain period of time and then something very tragic happens right at the end that means it was a failure and none of that mattered another county. I don't think that's fair either. There's all these different segments of life and we have such a linear viewpoint of things happening. Everything has to be sequential and building. And i think life's a lot more chaotic syndromes right so back to why you can't find the one what are takeaways from that one is. I took away that. We're not giving people enough time. We kind of just you know. Give them speeding every day. Like speed dating. We're not giving them enough time. And we write people off very easily. And i think to go along with that because we have these preconceived notions of what our perfect should be. And it's normally based on things. I have nothing to do with a good partner. You know it's like to the new yorker you know are they. Six to mine was always the can ski as good as you know. There's all these very artificial type of achie- i think it. Maybe it makes us feel safer that. Oh well i have standards. So there's that and then the illusion of there's all these other people out there so if someone isn't meat you know xyz. I'm going to stop it here and go out and find someone else or it's an excuse of light. You're single right on. Because i haven't found the one who is six two right here like an olympic chance at that because i still would. I hear that. I still feel that person's not ready. You already knew. Meet that person like the window. It totally does. He have to give that person a chance. I totally agree and we hear those stories all the time. Oh he wasn't at all what. I thought i you know wanted but that person has to be open minded to meeting other people and inconven- them time because i think a lot of they're really good things. Don't come up until you really get to know someone like wow. He was really awesome. When i was going through a career change. Yeah i think facetime. I think that's why people date. Their co-workers were their neighbors. Who's in the same hiking club where you see them. You see multiple dimensions of that person is it does. That's why i don't that whole like you know having a first date without ever meeting for just a few messages and the meeting them and then writing them off. I ten minutes. It doesn't work like that. That's part of the critique of online dating that's kind of unnatural it's unnatural forces timeline. Right i date means that second date means this third dates and they're also quench ill and of course we're both dating other people so there could be a lot of space in between these dates and you feel like well by date five like we need to have the defined the relationship talk and it just puts a lot of pressure. Maybe when it. You're really know each other that well and if you were it was your calling totally different and there would be no timeline.
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No pressure it would just be hanging out. I think because of dating you feel like a lot. We matched base on these superficial values. We must be a good match afforded julie. This article that new york times just came out with the five most important questions. You should ask before you get married and one of them was when you were growing up. How did your parents handle eight. I saw that article. I read that article. I actually really liked it because these are issues. Let i feel like people. Don't talk about anymore. So i agree with you. I don't know if i would. Limited just a online just our generation as a whole. Yeah maybe yeah. Why is that is because we're afraid of finding the answer. I think so like five. Close my eyes. joseph who cares. Let's give our listeners at home. Three pieces of vice about. Let's say they're single. They're dating and they're kind of feeling that dating fatigue right now. Well if you're feeling dating take a break and do something really awesome and really fun and get excited about it Book safari look ski trip. Take new class. Like don't just say you know what. I'm gonna give myself a break for a full month and don't pick up an app. Don't accept any dates. If you meet people just take some time off for you. And i think you'll find it really fulfilling and rewarding great. Push a refresh button right. I think so yeah. I think you're trying so desperately to capture something or have something the more elusive it becomes and the further away. It is so just stop. And i think once you're ready to start up again i think. Start prioritizing what's really important. My friend actually didn't have me make a list at one point and it wasn't the list in terms of hype but it was like in different types of categories of you know emotional support or social or financial all these things and then you had to start ranking them and then crossing things out and you end up owning getting to like three things that are the most important right which is actually really helpful because you think all these things are important. But when you have to start deleting things from your list He start to realize. Wow maybe the emotional humor side. There's a lot more important than Financial or physical side. Because ideally. We want everything. Listen keep growing and it's all relative. Yeah and that should probably tell you. What's the most important. And i think you'll find it really fascinating. Where do you wanna go with your writing right now. I feel like it's definitely relevant to your life where you wanna go with it. Are you looking to get people talking about dating and relationships more. What what's your purpose here. I definitely want to get people talking about it more and you know i write about relationships. Not just in dating but in business too. I think that people go about business sometimes incorrectly. And transactional and also very selfishly. So i wrote one piece called open up close more deals and have spoken on that a few times as well and it's all about building an emotional relationship with your clients when business development and i just think there's a need for that in this world right now of spending time getting to know people whether it's your friend whether it's someone you're dating whether it's a business associate or you know or even your colleagues it's no one seems to make time not at all for one another So i definitely want to do more with that so probably more writing probably more speaking. I'll probably put together a book as well. I haven't decided how dating focused it would be versus. How business focused will be. But i think there's a lot of parallels between the two Just trying to move people from more of a transactional view. Yeah two more emotional compassionate view. If people wanna read your articles were find out more about you. Where can they go. Well i right on medium But i normally cross po post on my website as well which is heidi easern dot com. So that's h. e. d. i s. e. r. n. Dot com winsor next article coming up next wednesday holiday heidi hashtag. I'm alright listeners. At home if you have some stories of your own or if you just want to ask heidi questions you can write into us and we can forward. You know those questions onto heidi. If you have stories of your own we love to have you as a guest on our show with that said last but not least stay dateable. Your action item for this week is to make list of how you would like your ideal partner to make you feel for example i would like my ideal partner to make me feel safe. Loved respected and sexy. Okay now it's your turn. Hey we want to meet you. Would you like to meet us to the correct answer is yes. So we're having a joint happy hour with our friends at nine.
00:30:02 - 00:30:34
Four one social club on thursday. June twenty second. It's actually more of a bar. Crawl marina that will start at seven pm but dateable team. Along with some past. Guests will be at the palm house starting at nine pm. The best part is going to give free drinks by now. How by checking out our facebook page under dateable. Podcast hope to see that to connect with us visit dateable. Podcast dot com. You can also find us on facebook twitter and instagram. All under dateable podcasts.