This is Dating is a podcast about something that we can all relate to – first dates! Throughout the podcast episodes, you will be able to witness first dates from a perspective you’ve never been able to before. The hosts, Join Hiwote Getaneh, Logan Ury, Jesse Baker, and Eleanor Kagan guide people’s first dates. Listen in on conversations and experiences while also learning about connection, relationships, and how to navigate dating in the current state of the world.
Along with this, I encourage you to check out Logan Ury’s book How to Not Die Alone. As the Director of Relationship Science for the dating app Hinge, Logan utilizes her expertise to bring you a data-driven thorough guide to relationships. Learn with step-by-step instructions with hands-on exercises to find (and keep) the love that you want.
Because This is Dating and How Not to Die Alone include such important information and expertise about dating, I wanted to provide everyone who was interested with more information on what they can expect from this podcast and these hosts.
Logan Ury and Jesse Baker were generous enough with their time to answer some questions that would shed some more light on the This is Dating and how meaningful and impactful it can be for listeners. Check it out!
About the Podcast:
- How did you get started on this podcast? Where did this idea come from, and what was your main motivation to start this project?
We were inspired by the creativity and resilience of daters during the pandemic. While much of the world paused, dating did not. People were still looking for love, and shifting to video and phone call dates to do that. We used the relatively new medium of Zoom dates to capture the lovely and cringeworthy moments of first romantic encounters.
What motivates me in the work I do is to help people discover what’s holding them back from finding love. By working directly with the dating coaching clients on the show, I was able to help them move past some of their bad patterns. And, by listening in on the coaching sessions and the dates, our audience is able to gain new insights into their own dating behavior. We encourage listeners to ask themselves similar questions about their own dating lives.
Jesse: I think the idea for the show came from a very lonely place. It was the start of the lockdown when anxiety was high and we were all looking for ways to be together when we could no longer gather.
This was a space I have worked in for the last few years with the therapist Esther Perel on another podcast. Sitting in on conversations you normally would not get to be a part of is a world I know well. I also know the value too of being able to listen in to the lives of others and how much of our own lives we hear in the stories of others. So this was a shift from couples to singles but the same intention to leave daters in a better place.
Dating Tips & Advice:
- What mindset do you advise people in approaching dating with a plethora of apps and the appearance of so many possible romantic partners?
Logan: Great relationships are built, not discovered. A lasting relationship doesn’t just happen. It is the culmination of a series of decisions, including when to get out there, whom to date, how to end it with the wrong person, when to settle down with the right one, and everything in between. Make good decisions, and you propel yourself toward a great love story. Make bad ones, and you veer off course, doomed to repeat the same harmful patterns over and over.
But often we don’t understand why we make certain decisions, and that leads to mistakes. And those mistakes thwart our quest to find love. Behavioral science can help.
Behavioral science is the study of how we make decisions. It offers a way to peel back the layers of our mind, peek inside, and see why we tend to make certain choices. Spoiler alert: We’re irrational. We often make decisions that are not in our own best interest.
This happens in all realms of life. It’s why we say we want to save for retirement and then max out our credit cards on decorating our apartments. Or tell ourselves we’ll exercise more, then use our treadmill as a clothing rack. No matter how often and or how earnestly we set goals, we get in our own way.
We can apply insights from behavioral science to understand our own faulty decision making, and then use tools from the field to help us overcome our bad habits.
Yes, dating is a skill, and yes, it can be taught.
- Can you tell me about your process of screening date possibilities? What are some things you look for in a person before agreeing to a first date? Or a second date? What are the various ways you have someone decipher if a potential partner is a good fit for them?
Jesse: I can tell you what we looked for when we were picking daters to set up on the podcast. We were looking for people who felt stuck and we’re open to some non-conventional help in getting un-stuck. We don’t promise true love, we promise to help you date a little better. We also wanted four daters with very relatable issues when it comes to their love lives. We wanted listeners to come to the dates and hear their own struggles articulated in real time.
We did not want the folks who were an instant yes, but the people who had to sit with this invitation and often came back with more questions around how would all this work exactly? Doing something new that you can’t point someone to an older episode and say “This is how we operate” is scary and we wanted people willing to be pushed outside of what they always do. Being set-up on the series is an act of trust. You are trusting total strangers with your love life in pursuit of being a better dater, we do not take that trust for granted. We sweated these matches, worried about creating connections with every date and I think you can hear the work and the heart that goes into each of these episodes.
- What do you think is the most important part of dating? What is important for a person who wants a long term relationship?
Logan: As a dating coach, I discovered that while all of my clients are unique, many of them suffer from dating blind spots—patterns of behavior that hold them back from finding love, but which they can’t identify on their own.
I’ve categorized the most common blind spots into a framework called The Three Dating Tendencies. Each group struggles with unrealistic expectations.
“The Romanticizer” has unrealistic expectations of relationships. “The Maximizer” has unrealistic expectations of their partner. “The Hesitater” has unrealistic expectations of themselves.
The Romanticizer: You want the soul mate, the happily ever after—the whole fairy tale. You love love. You believe you are single because you haven’t met the right person yet. Your motto: It’ll happen when it’s meant to happen.
The Maximizer: You love doing research, exploring all of your options, turning over every stone until you’re confident you’ve found the right one. You make decisions carefully. And you want to be 100 percent certain about something before you make your choice. Your motto: Why settle?
The Hesitater: You don’t think you’re ready for dating because you’re not the person you want to be yet. You hold yourself to a high standard. You want to feel completely ready before you start a new project; the same goes for dating. Your motto: I’ll wait until I’m a catch.
On my website you can take a quiz to determine your dating tendency. It will help identify what’s holding you back, so you can break your bad habits and develop new ones. Your tendency impacts your behavior at every stage of the relationship, so it’s crucial to learn yours as the first step along your journey to finding love.
- Is there an amount of dates someone should go on before deciding to commit to someone? Do you have any research on how attachment styles would influence this?
Logan: I live in the Bay Area where I meet a lot of “maximizers” who want to make sure they are with their optimal partner. They think if they could only date everyone out there, it would be easy to pick the right person.
What I try to help them understand is that great relationships are built, not discovered. So, instead of spending all your time wondering who else is out there, find someone great, and put in the work to build that great relationship with them.
In general, I recommend that singles go on at least two dates with people. Some folks are “slow burns” and take longer to open up. You’re missing out on a lot of great potential matches if you only judge people based on the first date.
In terms of deciding when to commit to someone, one of my favorite relationship philosophies is: “Decide, don’t slide.” It means you want to enter different stages of the relationship by making an intentional choice about moving forward, not just sliding into it. So you don’t want to move in together just because your lease is up, you want to move in together because you’ve had a conversation about what moving in together means to you.
You want to make sure that you and your new love interest have a frank conversation about if you’re both ready to commit and move to the next stage. You don’t want to make assumptions. Decide, don’t slide.
- Are there aspects of dating that are oftentimes overlooked or not talked about?
Logan: The spark. I get it, the spark is wonderful. But you know what? F**k the spark. The concept is my nemesis: I’ve come to see our obsession with the spark as one of the most pervasive and dangerous ideas in dating. It causes us to miss out on amazing partners because we fail to see their true potential.
Myth #1: When you meet the right person, you’ll feel instant fireworks.
The Truth: Fireworks and instant chemistry are often absent at the beginning of a relationship. Good sex and chemistry can build over time.
Myth #2: The spark is always a good thing.
The Truth: It’s not. Some people are just really good at making a lot of people feel a spark. They’re really sparky! Maybe they’re extremely attractive. Perhaps they’re best-in-class flirts. Sometimes the presence of a spark is more an indication of how charming someone is—or how narcissistic—and less a sign of a shared connection.
You may also think you feel the spark when your date is playing games or sending mixed signals. People often confuse anxiety for chemistry (I’m talking to you, anxiously attached friends out there!). It’s time you learned to correctly identify that feeling. Then start looking for a different type of partner—someone secure who doesn’t make you doubt their feelings. Stop believing that if a dependable person doesn’t give you butterflies, it must not be love. It’s still love, just not the anxious kind.
Myth #3: If you have a spark, the relationship is viable.
The Truth: Even if the spark leads to a long-term relationship, it’s not nearly enough to keep the relationship going. I’ve spoken to couples who stayed together years longer than they should have, all because of the spark. Many divorced couples once had the spark.
Don’t pursue the wrong relationship because you met the “right” way.
- For people who are actively dating, and tired of first dates, how would you encourage them to keep trying to find a relationship?
Logan: Make dating more fun by adding in an element of play. For example, can you go to a park and run around until you pet five cute dogs. Can you go on a dumpling crawl, trying all the best spots in town?
You can come up with outside-the-box date ideas Here are some that my clients and I have come up with:
- Visit a farmers’ market and then cook brunch.
- Go roller-skating.
- Create a two-person hot-sauce-tasting contest.
- Watch YouTube to learn a dance from a favorite childhood music video.
- Do karaoke.
- See an old movie and then discuss it over a walk.
- Take a cooking class.
- Go for a bike ride and bring a picnic.
- Try swing dancing.
- Check out the stars at the local observatory.
- Rent scooters and explore the city. (Bring helmets!)
- Play games at a local arcade. (Bring quarters!)
- Bring watercolors to the park and paint pictures of the same tree (or each other!)
- In your experience with the show, what is the #1 thing that people tend to focus on when dating?
Logan: It really depends on the person. One of the biggest things I work on with my clients in general is helping them understand their dating blind spots — attitudes or patterns of behavior that hold them back from finding love. Once they understand what’s holding them back, we design new systems to help them choose a different path.
Jesse: Did we get to a second date? That was at least the goal we had with every set-up, did we get them to a place at the end of the date that they wanted to keep the conversation going. That is what success was for the producers listening in.
- If someone is interested in being on your show, what is the best way for them to go about doing this?
Jesse: That’s very easy, go here and fill out the application. You will be in good company!
- Where can they listen to your show? (we can always add this information ourselves, of course)
Jesse: You can listen for free on any platform you fancy (just click here to find our full list of podcast apps!).
Jesse Baker is a journalist and producer who started her career in public radio. At NPR, she held producing roles on most of the major news magazines from All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Day to Day, before creating the popular weekly trivia program Ask Me Another. She also produced The Culture Gabfest while at Slate and worked for ESPN producing The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap. Later at Audible, she led a large team of creative makers as vice president of original content. She produced a number of the company’s most successful
Behavioral scientist turned dating coach Logan Ury is an internationally recognized expert on modern love. As the Director of Relationship Science at the dating app Hinge, Logan leads a research team dedicated to helping people find love. After studying psychology at Harvard, she ran Google’s behavioral science team—The Irrational Lab—and created the popular interview series “Talks at Google: Modern Romance.” She is a 2018 TED Resident. Logan lives in the Bay Area with her husband Scott. She credits her relationship success to the techniques outlined in her book How Not To Die Alone. She’s written about dating and relationships for TIME, Thrive Global, PopSugar, The Forward, P.S. I Love You, and more. She was featured on several recent episodes of HBO’s VICE News Tonight about the #MeToo movement.