Hi, I’m Demetrius. I’m a Sex, Dating, and Relationship advice writer and podcaster. You might recognize my work from this very blog, or my contributions to other blogs and publications. If this is the first post you’re reading of mine, welcome! Don’t worry, you don’t have to read every single post I’ve written (there are well over 500 posts) or listen to every single podcast (there are 120+ episodes). That would be a hell of a lot of work to ask of you.
If you’ve come across my work randomly, you’ve probably got a few dating questions you’d like answered. I’m no expert, I just think I give solid, no-nonsense, objective advice, but believe me when I say that I don’t have ALL the answers, and I’m not infallible. But, because I write (and podcast) so much, there’s a chance I’ve already answered a question you have, or covered it in some way. Rather then sending you to search depths of my archives, let’s assume that you’re like so many people, and you’ve come here to get the answer to one of these ten questions I always get asked:
1. Why do people Ghost?
There is no one right answer, so let’s re-think the question. Why are some people rude and inconsiderate? That’s what ghosting is, when you come right down to it. Someone thinks that it’s okay to be inconsiderate. Whether that’s because they’d rather not deal with confrontation, or they’re just a callous person. The real answer is that it doesn’t matter why people ghost. The end result matters. They suck, they left abruptly, all you can do now is move on. Trying to understand why assholes act like assholes is pointless. Focus on meeting someone new, and spend less time wondering why. Everyone, even me, has been wrong about someone. It’s not a failing on your part.
2. Should I ask them out on social media? (Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook, etc.)
Maybe! Just know that your relationship to them, and how well you know them is a major factor in this. If they’re someone you know in real life, but don’t see often, you can probably ask them out on social media if you’re already connected there. If it’s a stranger who you’re random stalking on the internet, probably not a good idea, but I’ve seen it work out in rare cases. If you saw them on a dating app and now you think direct messaging them on Twitter or Facebook is a good idea, SURPRISE, it’s not. If you do want to ask someone out on social media, (which I really, truly, advise against but you probably wont listen to me), do so respectfully, and if you get rejected, thank them for their time and don’t circle back to ask again. Take rejection with grace.
3. What’s the deal with the friend zone and why do I always end up in it?
The friend zone is a construct of the (mostly straight man’s) mind. It only exists if all of the following are true:
- You’re attracted to someone
- They’re not attracted to you
- You’d rather be dating them but will settle for the consolation prize of being their friend
- You resent the fact that they don’t want to be with you, and feel that your status as a halfway decent human entitles you to date attractive people
If you have a friend who you would date, but they’re not into you, and you’re okay with that wholly and completely and feel no resentment for them, you’re not in the friendzone. If you bitch and moan about that one friend of yours who should just give you a shot and ignore all those muscle-bound meatheads/skanky models, you’re in the friendzone because of your resentment and sense of entitlement. Also, seriously, drop these ideas you have that these straw men are out there taking all the good ones. These fictional people you think exist most certainly do not exist to deprive you of finding love.
If you want out of the friendzone, either drop the friend you resent for not liking you, or learn to get over your resentment and entitlement. If you want to stop being considered as only a platonic option, be direct with people when you meet them about your romantic interest. If you meet someone and you tell them you want to take them on a date and they tell you they’d rather be friends, either decline (I do it all the time, it’s no big deal to say you’d rather not make a new friend) or be friends with them if you truly think that you can be platonic friends without resentment. Not sure if you can? Ask yourself if you’ve ever referred to yourself as being in the friendzone. If so, you probably can’t be friends with people you’re attracted to.
4. Did I rush into sex and/or a commitment?
If you’re asking, the answer is probably Yes. You can’t turn back time though, so the question to ask now is can you walk any of what happened back. If you feel like you had sex too soon, you can easily say “Hey, I think we had sex too soon, let’s get to know each other a little better before we have sex again”. If you feel like you rushed into a commitment too soon, whether that was deleting your dating apps, monogamy, a relationship, or whatever else it might be, you can always walk those things back, but it may work against you. In each of those cases, be prepared to have a difficult discussion that could potentially end whatever you have.
5. How do I get over my ex?
A mix of time, perspective, critical examination, and separation. Time heals wounds, and the amount of time it takes to get over someone varies. The rules that exist are just guidelines, don’t swear by them. Some people take years to get over, some people days. Also, give it some perspective. They might have been wonderful, but that doesn’t mean you’re a good fit together. Most of the women I’ve dated have been great people, but not great people for me. Oh, and I’m sure that your relationship wasn’t all sunshine and roses, so give your relationship some critical examination. Is she really perfect for you if she berated you constantly. Maybe he wasn’t the one for you if being around him made you miserable. And finally, separation. Stop seeing your ex, remove them from your social media, block them, stop texting, delete/destroy their photos if you must. Just separate yourself from them, and from the version of you that you were with them. Trust me on this, you’ll need all 4 of those things to get over them, not just one.
6. I’m unclear about what we are. Can you help me figure it out?
Sure. Okay, here’s my secret for finding out what someone thinks you are to them. Now, bear in mind that this is maybe my most effective dating technique, so use it with caution. Ask them, listen to the words they say, and take them at face value. If you ask someone “What are we?”, listen to their answer and do not draw your own conclusions. If they say “I’m not sure” that’s your answer. If they say “it’s too soon to tell” that’s your answer. Don’t assume that what they say might be alluding to a future state, take their answer at face value. If the answer isn’t clear enough, ask for clarifications. If they refuse to answer or clarify, that’s an answer too.
In love, and life, always try the simplest solution first, and listen to what’s said, not what’s implied.
7. They want something (casual only/friends with benefits, etc.) that I don’t. What should I do?
Either compromise if you’re willing, or tell them you don’t want that and move on. Don’t enter into a commitment based on what things could be. If someone tells you that they want to have casual sex first and then *maybe* it will lead to something serious, it will almost certainly not lead to something serious. Don’t settle for less just to be with someone. There are billions of humans out there in the world and I don’t care who you are or what you look like, someone is out there waiting for you, someone who you’ll be attracted to, who wants the same thing as you. Have patience.
8. How do I tell them I’ve met someone else?
“Hey, listen, I’ve met someone else”. Does that not work for you? Okay, FINE. You should tell them you’ve met someone else only if you’re actually breaking up with them. If you’ve been on a couple dates but you’re not serious, you can just end things and be vague about the reason why. If you think that everyone needs to be told the truth of why you want to end things, who am I to judge. Try to be as gentle, but honest as possible. Honesty, and saying thanks and sorry go a long way when you cut things off with someone.
9. I’m (new to/bad at) online dating. Can you give me some basic pointers?
YES. Fill out your profile with things you want to be messaged about. Don’t lead with negatives on your profiles, by avoiding statements about what you’re *not* looking for. Focus on what you are looking for. Upload 5 pictures of yourself. Include a full body picture, even if you don’t have the body of a model. I don’t and I do just fine when I date online. Put a little bit of effort into your messages whether you’re sending the first or the fifteenth. If you’re going to reply to someone with one word answers and not work to further the conversation, don’t message them you’re wasting their time. Don’t message people you have no interest in ever meeting. If you match with someone and you feel like you’re not a good fit, unmatch them. Don’t blind message someone talking about your sexual preference. In fact, maybe don’t talk about sex until you’ve gotten to the point where you might actually have sex (Looking at you, most straight men who date online and think it’s appropriate to bring up sex super early on and get offended when women tell you “hey, let’s get to know each other first”).
Besides that, think of it like being in a bar where most people go to get picked up/be picked up. Be kind, put in effort, and remember that you’re not guaranteed to meet someone amazing just because you showed up. If you start getting burned out, give it a break.
10. Why do I have such a hard time dating? Is it me?
I’ve been dating a long time, I’ve been dating online going back to the days of meeting people from Yahoo and AOL chatrooms, and even I go on dates where I think to myself that everything I thought I knew was wrong. There are things that you should evaluate when you feel like you’ve had a string of bad dating experiences, like your effort level, whether you’re over your ex, if you’re settling, if you’re looking for an ideal, rather than a real person, but most people just go on dates because who you meet, and your experience with them, will be random. The last date I went on where I read someone completely wrong, I thought the person was a warm, kind, enthusiastic, and attentive person, and about halfway through our 2 hour date she pulled her phone out, checked it, then left it out and checked it every 10 minutes or so. Every one, no matter how long they’ve been dating, can have bad experiences.
The trick is, to not let those experiences make you give up entirely. I’m all for taking breaks here and there, but if you want to find love, you can’t let detours stop you. Some people have it easier than others, but the ones who do succeed never give up on dating. The old adage of winners never quit, quitters never win surprisingly works with dating.
Of course, there might be some questions I haven’t answered, or maybe there’s a topic you want to look into a bit more, feel free to search the archive, or shoot me an email at Taoofindifference@gmail.com.
Good Luck Out There.