It's hard to priorize dating when your first dates never lead to second ones. This week, Amanda rethinks the time she's willing to invest in her dating life.
It's hard to priorize dating when your first dates never lead to second ones. This week, Amanda rethinks the time she's willing to invest in her dating life.
Amanda: So, if you could be reincarnated, would you want to come back as mother Teresa or Kim Kardashians?
Eric: I want to go with Mother Theresa.
Amanda: I feel like you want to go with Kim Kardashian, Eric. I kind of feel like you do, which is okay it is okay.
Jesse: This is dating.
Logan: Hi, you look so beautiful.
Amanda: Do I look okay?
Logan: You look gorgeous. I love the lips. You just look beautiful.
Amanda: Thank you.
Logan: I want you to come into this with a really open mind being like, what is there for me to explore? How can I be curious about this person? Like, imagine not that he's someone that you're like interviewing for a job, but rather like the person who's working next to you in your office. And you're like, who is this person that I'm spending time with?
Jesse: I'll tell him we're ready. I'm just waiting for him to show up hold on one second. Okay. Stand by. I'm going to let him in.
Amanda: Okay. I did not fill my wineglass. Can I run, it's right there, I can see it.
Jesse: Oh, yeah.
Amanda: Thank you. I'll be right back.
Jesse: This is Dating. I'm Jesse baker. Meet Amanda. That's not her real name, but that's what we're going to go with. She's in her late thirties. And so far, her most important relationship has been with her career as a sports doc. And I have to say she's a bit of a bad-ass.
Do you find that men feel intimidated by you?
Amanda: Yes. All the time. 100%. The last couple of years have been just series of first date duds that really never move on. And it's like, okay, it's part of it. Maybe like, what am I looking for, you know, that sort of thing. But I go out with these people and I'm like, nope, nope, nope, no, no.
Jesse: What kind of guy do you kind of go for?
Amanda: For me. I think older, I have, I dated younger. The youngest I've dated when I was 33, I dated someone 27. That was a little too young. He acted older, but just really got caught up on like money and just was so caught up on not being able to provide and I'm like, but that's not what I need. And you are great. I come home and there's dinner and there's wine, and that's what I need. Like, I don't want to make a decision about what to eat tonight because I made decisions all day. Run the fricking household dog, I run things where I'm at. I want to come home and not make a decision, and I want you to do it for me. And you're doing that. You're doing great. You don't have to do anything else, but he couldn't get over that.
Jesse: So Amanda has had a few first dates. But it's been years since a first date has turned into a second date and we're hoping to help with that.
Is this something that sounds interesting to you? I mean, could you get something out of it and are you open to kind of rethinking what you're looking for or, or just dating in general?
Amanda: It's interesting. I think I need help. Obviously, something's not right. Or something's not working because I can't get past first dates, you know?
Jesse: So to kind of figure out what's not working, before we set Amanda up, we're going to first set her up with Logan. She's a dating coach and a behavioral scientist.
Logan: So first of all, what does having it all or doing it all mean to you?
Amanda: For me, having it all as having a successful practice. Being a team physician for a professional team, and having a relationship with someone that's supportive. That's what having it all means for me. But right now I just feel like. It's so hard having a really busy practice and then adding on a professional team where you're available to them 24/ 7. So just don't know how it all fits together. So much of the time, the people I meet are not the people that you were talking to on the dating website or the dating app. One guy, I remember we were talking about football and this and that. And then we go out to eat and it's like, he's talking like Star Wars and Star Trek. And I'm like, wait, who, who are you like? This is ridiculous. I dunno, I guess I see myself with someone established. If I get the chance to go to the Olympics and leave for a month, they're okay with that. And that's honestly, that's absolutely a possibility for me. In talking to my friends, so many of them are so unhappy in their relationships. So I've come to the standpoint that I rather be alone than settle and be unhappy.
Logan: So what are you doing now to move forward with this?
Amanda: I'm on Hinge and I'm on Bumble as of right now. But this is also the other part, I might be good for two days and then come another week and I get so busy and then I don't go back on for like five days. So....
Logan: Yeah, no, that's really common. I totally hear that. And what actually changes people's behavior is shifting the environment. So maybe we could talk about what is a 15 minute segment each day, maybe it's when you commute, maybe it's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and you actually just develop a habit around going on the apps and that way you're not going through these crazy waves of tons of motivation, don't respond to anyone, tons of motivation... because that's not how people get into relationships. You have to maintain momentum at the beginning.
Amanda: You're right. You're right. Yeah. And that's something I've been bad about.
Logan: Cool. So I'm just thinking, do you live by yourself?
Amanda: I do.
Logan: This just came to mind and we can play around with some more ideas, but I'm almost imagining a big poster in your living room or in your kitchen, your bathroom, whatever. And maybe like every week you put like seven post-it notes on each one that say it, and then every time that you go on the app and spend like 15 minutes doing it, you like pull off a post-it note. And by the end of the week, there should be no more post-it notes left.
Amanda: So, you know what I can do, I actually have on the side of my refrigerator, which I have this little nook and that's where my coffee in the morning, I have a little whiteboard. And that could be kind of my go-to place.
Logan: Great. Okay. I think that's good. And you know, just to spell it out, what I like about this is it's taking something invisible off the phone that you don't necessarily see unless you click on it and it's turning it into a visible manifestation of the effort that you need to put in to get the output that you want.
Amanda's issue is that she's not prioritizing dating. She's a hesitater, someone who sits around waiting to date full of reasons why they're just not ready to put themselves out there. They'll be ready to date when they lose 10 pounds, when things settle down at work, when they finally clean their apartment. For Amanda, work is her main excuse. But here's the thing. What Amanda needs is to put herself out there and actually go on dates.
Jesse: Okay. So cue Alex. We originally thought Alex would be perfect for Amanda. I mean, he's funny, cute, he's dynamic. And he's seeing someone. So then we thought quality knows quality, right? So does he have a brother? Could he recommend someone? And he did. His friend, Eric.
Alex: The thing that made me want to recommend him for this is: he's funny, he's charismatic, he's respectful. He was raised the right way. And I think he would be a lot of fun to hang out with.
Jesse: Another thing that tipped the scale for Eric here, is that Amanda kept reminding us what a big sports fan she is.
Alex: He's a big basketball fan and he's a family guy. He can present a little bit as shy, but he's got great timing, he knows when to crack a joke and when to listen.
Jesse: We know from Amanda's dating history that she tends to dismiss people quickly, but her date for the evening, Eric, calls in and does a little coaching session with Logan before the date, hangs up and doesn't call back. And so while we're waiting to see if he's actually going to show up for the day, Logan is giving Amanda a pep talk.
Logan: I want you to come into this with a really open mind being like, what is there for me to explore? How can I be curious about this person?
Logan: What kind of wine did you get?
Amanda: Sauvignon Blanc. I mean, it's always a, it's a safe bet.
Logan: Perfect. Okay. I think we're ready.
Jesse: All right. I'm just waiting on him.
So big lesson learned here before we even started our very first date. If you've got a date on the line, you don't let them go because chances are, they could get freaked out and nervous and not come back. You can't get ghosted before a date even starts.
Okay, standby. I'm going to let him in.
Eric: How's it going?
Amanda: It is going, uh, nice to meet you, Eric.
Eric: Nice to meet you too.
Logan: All right. If it's been a while, since you've been on a first date, I'll let you in on something. A lot of them are just like this, really awkward. They're completely focused on the small talk. They're sitting in the shallow end of the conversational pool. There's questions like what do you do? Where do you live? How many siblings do you have? People never really get to know each other. They're just exchanging information.
Jesse: So to kind of push them a little deeper into the pool, we've decided to play fairy godmothers to their date and that sort of manifests as us sending them questions, giving them these sporadic prompts throughout the date in the zoom chat.
Eric: Uh, all right. Here's a question for me, I guess. If your apartment is on fire what's one unessential thing, you would make sure that you bring?
Amanda: Ooh, good question.
Eric: Oh, geez. Ah, there's a lot of non essential things now that you bring that question up. I think I would take my laptop with me, my Mac book
Eric: Because I think that encompasses, I guess, a good amount of my life.
Amanda: Um, I don't know. I would probably take, so I have.... hopefully, you know who John wooden is? Um, I have a signed copy of his book Wooden from him. Um, I met him my senior year of college. So if you don't know about him, he's one of the most winningness basketball coaches at the college level, um, who was at UCLA, he coached Kareem Abdul Jabbar. And, um, they called him the wizard of Westwood, which is the area of Los Angeles where UCLA is. And I just absolutely love him and his teaching. So yeah, he died a few years after that. So that's like one of my most prized possession.
Eric: That's very cool.
Jesse: Uh, pretty sure Eric has zero idea who John Wooden is, but that's fine. Neither did I.
Eric: Do you have another sport that you enjoy watching?
Amanda: Definitely football.
Eric: Who's your team?
Amanda: So I have two, and I say, I get to have two because the Bills used to be awful. And they're...
Eric: The Bills!
Amanda: The Bills! I did. Um, I did my grad school up in Buffalo and so I lived there for two years and I became a huge Bills fan. And then I'm actually from Las Vegas and the Raiders just moved there, so I am jumping on the Raiders bandwagon. So I get two teams.
Eric: Yeah. That's funny that you said the Bills. Cause I went to, I went to pharmacy school in Buffalo for four years and that's where I learned to be a secondary Bills fan too.
Amanda: Oh my gosh. That's awesome. You learn, you live there and the Bills mafia, they pull you in.
Eric: You can't help it, right? You can't help it at all. I tell people all the time, like Buffalo really doesn't get the respect it deserves. It's a real city, has a real heart.
Amanda: Oh yeah.
Jesse: So Logan, I don't know, like I can't tell, does she like him or is she just being nice?
Logan: Yeah, it's kind of awkward. I mean, she seems kind of into it when she was like, oh, awesome, the Bills. But I can't tell if she's faking it or if she actually feels like she's enjoying the conversation.
Jesse: Maybe so let's, let's send them something ridiculous. Like let's switch it up here a little bit. Let's uh, let's get a little pop culture-y.
Logan: All right. Yeah. Let's change the channel from ESPN.
Amanda: So if you could be reincarnated, would you want to come back as mother Teresa or Kim Kardashian?
Eric: (They both laugh.) Ah, so you want to do this one first?
Amanda: I absolutely can go with this one first. I mean, hands down, Mother Teresa,
Eric: I want to go with Mother Teresa.
Amanda: I feel like you want to go with Kim Kardashian, Eric. I kind of feel like you do, which is okay. It is okay.
Eric: (Laughs) No, I can't do this. I'm going to go with Mother Teresa. I considered it. I'm not going to lie, I considered Kim K.
Jesse: It's so nice to hear them laugh. Like that was ridiculous question. And he obviously was going with Kim K which is so fun.
Logan: Yeah. It's so good to hear her laugh and relax. I feel like this was the moment where they actually kind of took off the facades, took off the mask they were wearing and actually started connecting and they were being more real about who they are.
Jesse: Let's see if they can be a bit more vulnerable. Let's try this.
Eric: What's something you wouldn't normally share on a first date, share it? Um, I guess sure. I guess I normally wouldn't share the fact that, long story short, I'm a recovered alcoholic. I haven't had a drink in I guess four years come December.
Amanda: Wow, good for you.
Eric: Um, it doesn't, I appreciate that. It doesn't like affect me. Like I can still go out and hang out with friends and you know, someone could have a drink, and it wouldn't bother me. That's something I don't offer up, I guess when I'm on a first date.
Amanda: Fair. Um, no, um, I could see why that wouldn't come up on a first date for sure. Um, but yeah, no, and again, congratulations. That's, uh, that's a lot. So, um, I don't know, some days I'm an open book, so, um, I think if I get asked about it, I'll share it, but. I am actually a team physician for...
Jesse: So this is the part where I'm going to strategically come in and talk over Amanda, because Amanda is a sports doc to professional athletes. And for the sake of keeping her privacy, that's all I'm going to tell you, but it's a pretty bad-ass job.
Amanda: Usually I try to keep a lot of that um, more quiet. So no, surprisingly though. Um, I think I found that some men get a little intimidated when I talk about kind of some of the things I do, and teams, I take care of them. So anyways, I keep that to myself at first.
Eric: I would've thought you said that they, they asked for tickets or something.
Amanda: Um, that has definitely happened. Definitely happens. So, yeah.
Jesse: Man. She did not match him.
Logan: I hear you, Jesse. I mean, he just confessed to an addiction and she just told him what she does for a living.
Jesse: Right. Which is what she would tell a total stranger at a dinner party if I just happened to be sitting next to her. So I just don't feel like that was real vulnerability and that she matched his level of intensity, weirdly.
Logan: Yeah, no, I, I see your point. I mean, for her, her job is what pushes guys away. And what makes it hard for her to date. So sharing what she does for living is vulnerable, but yeah, it's just not on the same level as what he shared.
Jesse: So, okay. So let's just see what she does with this next thing. Cause we're about to put Amanda on the spot.
Amanda: Do you see this, this next prompt? Show us the contents of your fridge. Oh no. I'm so scared about this. I am so scared.
Eric: I I'm actually, I'm not sure if I can do that right now. I live with my mom and my dad right now, so my folks might be around in my kitchen. So...
Amanda: Fair, fair. Okay. Well I guess, oh my gosh, I don't even know what's in my fridge. Okay. Um, oh gosh, this is really scary. Um, let's look, I don't know if you can see this, some seltzer water, a lot of beers, more seltzer water. Um, that's some leftover food from a couple of nights ago, hummus, rosé, some lettuce is down there, some cider I picked up in Vermont, some old orange juice in the back, and a whole lot of condiments. So I kind of have, it's a full fridge, but it's full of like seltzer and beer and rosé and I I couldn't make a dinner out of what's, what's in there right now. So I guess it's a bachelor fridge, in that, in that sense.
Eric: I'll, I'll play. Let me go and see what I can pull off.
Amanda: See if you can, you can just play it off you like, like mom and dad, don't worry about this.
Eric: Don't mind me.
Amanda: Oh my gosh.
Eric: Let's see. So, uh, it's a lot of leftover stuff. It looks like some rice and fish. I don't know if you can see.
Amanda: Yeah, I can see.
Eric: Some seasoning in the back. Some cold cuts.
Jesse: It sounds ridiculous to ask what's inside someone's fridge, but we just learned so much about Amanda and Eric by just asking to peek inside the refrigerator. Eric's fridge actually belongs to his parents and Amanda's fridge is filled with bubbly water and condiments.
So one of the things we've learned from working with Logan is that saying goodbye at the end of a virtual date, where there's no check that comes and natural cue that this is over is the most awkward part of a date. So we make it very clear that we thank them for their time. And the date is over. We help them wrap it up.
Amanda: It's been great conversation.
Eric: It has been, no, I really, I really enjoy doing this.
Amanda: Yeah. Well, it looks like we're signing off. Thank you so much for going on the date. Well, thank you, Logan and everyone.
Eric: Thank you guys. Yeah, this was, this is really, this is really cool.
Amanda: And thank you, Eric.
Eric: Thank you.
Amanda: Awesome. Well, have a wonderful night.
Eric: You too.
Logan: Is this the type of person that you would want to go out with again?
Amanda: Yeah, he was actually very nice. I would probably go on a second date with him, but I will say if I, I think if I had to try as hard, maybe as I did, do I know if there would be a date three, I don't.
Logan: You enjoyed some parts of it. You would want it to feel a bit more natural in the second date, but you'd be willing to see if that could happen.
Amanda: Knowing that he shy would be the reason why I would take the second date. If someone said, no, he's like, great, he's outgoing. And that was the date. I'd be like, ehh, I don't know about that, so.
Logan: What are some moments of the date where you were like, oh, I could see myself spending more time with this person, I feel connected to him?
Amanda: I think, knowing a little bit about his struggles and kind of where he's at right now, because I mean, to get through pharmacy school, that's not an easy task, you know, um, knowing about his struggles with alcohol, um.
Logan: Were there parts of the date where you were sizing him up to be like, can this person be my partner?
Amanda: At one point. I, I do know I was going there. Yes. I was going there.
Logan: People want someone who makes them feel good. You did that. What we have to now ask is like, did he make you feel good?
Amanda: Fair. I think he did. Um, again, he was just, he's he's more reserved than I am, but I definitely like I'm smiling still, you know, like my, my cheeks hurt, even when our camera was off, I was still smiling. It's like my cheeks hurt from just smiling.
Logan: That's a good sign!
Amanda: Yeah it is a good sign. Yeah, yeah.
Jesse: Eric said he was up for a second date too.
Eric: Yeah, I would. I'd like to go on another date.
Jesse: But two weeks later, Eric never called.
Logan: I mean, Jesse, I wish I could say I was surprised, but ghosting is one of the biggest issues we see in modern dating. And, as much as we thought, will Amanda be interested and he'll definitely be interested. Sometimes you just can't guess what's going to happen after a date.
Jesse: I know, I just feel like we asked Amanda to go on this date with us. Like we promised this journey that wasn't supposed to end in being ghosted. And I feel like that sucks. And Eric is dead to me now.
Amanda: I didn't hear anything from Eric, which I think is absolutely fine. Um, I feel like sometimes you start to like overthink things and think through it. Okay, like, could I have done different or better. And then sometimes it's like, again, I go back to that sometimes I'm just, sometimes it's intimidating and that doesn't necessarily work out. So trying not to like dwell too much on that.
Logan: It sounds like you're not taking it personally and that you have a good attitude about it.
Amanda: Yeah. It's, it's fine. It's not like I was like, oh my gosh, I was smitten. Like he was like, everything that I thought of and exactly what I wanted. And, you know, I think that makes it a little bit easier.
Logan: Okay. That's basically exactly the attitude I want you to have.
Amanda: Okay, great.
Logan: Yeah. We just ask that you commit to going on more dates so that you and I can have like a really rich conversation in a few weeks where in an ideal world, we would talk about some of the patterns that you've noticed or things that were challenging that you were surprised by. Um, I know one of the big topics in your dating life is the fact that you are super successful and there's a story in your head, which may very well be true that men find this intimidating. And that's something that as we continue to work together, I want to explore with you, which is how can you find someone who's impressed by you, but not intimidated by you?
Amanda: Yeah, no, I would love that because I joke around, like there was a time, especially even, I think I want to say like med school where like friends and I would go out and I'd be like, yeah, I'm a nurse, you know, like you have to lie. Like I'm a nurse. No, I'm not in med school. I don't know what you're talking about. You know? And it's like, even I would say I probably even did that up until probably six or seven years ago, even being out of med school. And it's just like, no, I don't want to do that anymore. So I agree that would be lovely.
Logan: And I think it's all going to come down to that person's confidence. If that person is self-confident, they'll say I want someone as awesome as me, and if they're not competent, then there'll be intimidated by you. So on our end, we're definitely gonna be looking for someone who's really confident.
Jesse: After Amanda hangs up. I have some questions for Logan going forward too. What did we learn here?
I can't tell if this is like her doctor persona, if this is like who she puts on when she sees patients or not. I would love to hear her on the date, actually not be on her best behavior, but she's so like, kind of nice and I'm not, I'm sure she is that person too, but we can't all be, we can't be that person 24 7. So I want to see some realness. I feel like she, um, is more concerned that they're having a good time.
Logan: Uh huh.
Jesse: And doesn't worry about whether or not she is.
Logan: That's not like the first thing that comes to mind about her for me. She's probably a combination of like hesitater, right. She's not putting effort into dating. She sort of needed like the push to like use the apps, et cetera. She's not being introduced to people on her own, but then the like maximizer part of her, the part that's like, are they good enough for me? Is the part that saying no to second dates, is like, no, I don't want to settle. And like, I would actually rather be alone than settle.
Jesse: Do you think that's true?
Logan: I would just say like, imagine that you are a doctor. So you are the type of person who went through life, like trying to get gold stars, trying to get good grades, trying to be a plus blah, blah, blah. The assignment is go on a date and like be present and show up for the date. Like that's what she did in this setting. It doesn't mean that that's what she's like on every date, like she was trying to get an A on our assignment. That's just like different from like a normal date.
Hiwote: Okay, what kind of person would want to set her up with?
Jesse: That's Hiwote, another producer on the show. And of course she has a save for this.
Hiwote: I have an ex that would be so perfect.
Jesse: You do?
Hiwote: Yeah, but he would be so offended if I called and said, you want to go on a date with this person? I don't know. Maybe I'll try. Um, I'll see how that goes. He's older. He's 45, I think.
Jesse: Do you want me to reach out to him and not you.
Hiwote: Um, no. And if not him, he might have good divorcee friends that I think could work.
Jesse: This is Dating. On Amanda's next date:
Brian: I don't settle. At one particular time in my life, I think I did settle and it didn't end the way that I wanted it to. And so I won't do that again.
Jesse: If you'd like to be set up by us on a future date, go to thisisdatingpodcast.com. This is Dating is produced by Jesse Baker and Eric Nuzum at Magnificent Noise. Our production staff includes Hiwote Getaneh, Eleanor Kagan and Taelor Hansen. We also received help from Esther Perel, Courtney Hamilton, Robert Smith, Julia Natt, Julia Silbergeld, the Quarantine Love Project, Hayden Dawes, Lulu Krause, and Eva Wolchover. Original music production and sound design by Paul Schneider. Logan Ury is our consulting producer, and the executive producer of This is Dating is Jesse Baker.