Have you ever seen one person in a couple make drastic changes to accommodate the other, only for the relationship to fail? A lack of Differentiation, the Glossary Term for this episode, is why. Next, Paul shares a retro dating clip consisting of a sound bite collage from the 1951 Coronet Instructional Film Going Steady.
Paul then reviews the book Spouse Hunting: Using the Rules of Real Estate to Find the Love of Your Life. Boomers and Gen Xers who have been through the home buying experience will quickly relate to the emotional parallels between the home buying process and dating. Furthermore, this book lays the groundwork to easily discuss a couple of the most sensitive topics in dating: dealing with money and being open to dating more than one person at a time.
We're retaking dating questions now that the podcast production is more dialed in. If you've got one you'd like Paul to answer on the podcast, please submit to the email address below. We'll keep your identity confidential. The team is also looking to add a woman's point of view to the podcast! If you're a Gen X or Boomer gal interested in contributing, please get in touch with us at the same email address.
Questions and Contributions: email@example.com
50 Dates at 50 Website: https://50datesat50.com/
Stay the Course, The Odds Are Better Than You Think
The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.
Paul Nelson: Episode 11: Stay the Course, the Odds Are Better Than You Think. Have you ever seen a couple get together and one or the other makes drastic changes to accommodate the other, only to see the relationship fail? Kinda like the high school football star with the Camaro, quitting sports, and then getting a station wagon all to placate his girlfriend only to have it end in divorce a couple years later?
Differentiation, or lack of it, explains why. I'm also going to be reviewing the book Spouse Hunting by Brian Belefant. This book is a highly motivational surprise, so much so that boomers and gen X-ers who've been through the home buying process will quickly relate to the emotional parallels that are extremely common in both the home buying process and dating.
Further, this book lays the groundwork to easily have discussions on a couple of the most sensitive topics I'm aware of when it comes to dating: money and why you need to be open to dating more than one person at a time while you're testing the dating waters.
Additionally, Brian does a great job of getting us to understand what the dynamics of the dating inventory are and why his analysis is very encouraging.
So here's what you're gonna learn by the end of this episode. You'll no doubt recognize how a lack of Differentiation in some of your past dating relationships was the root cause of their demise. You'll also have a couple of great sources that'll be provided to learn more about it. As daters, we all have title reports just like properties do in real estate, but many people fail to read the reports.
You'll also understand the corollary on utilizing Zillow, Redfin, or realty.com to try to determine property values versus using pictures, income, and career to determine someone's value as a dating partner.
Lastly, just like the home buying process, looking at a house and taking a second or third trip back to that house is really no different than going on two or three dates with someone to see if you can turn a maybe into a yes.
If you like what you hear, please take a moment and click on the subscribe or follow button. I don't want you missing out on making your date nights more memorable. So now 50 Daters, let's start turning those dating busts into dating bests.
Paul Nelson: I wanna talk about the term Differentiation and what that is, is a state in which a person maintains who they are as a person, even when naturally compelled to adjust to please the person that they are dating.
Now, let me give you an example of this. A drummer in a band meets this gal at a gig. He falls in love with the gal, and then he quits the band to please her and spend more time with her.
The drummer in this case lacks Differentiation, and in the end, winds up with no band or girlfriend. Why? Simple. Playing drums in the band is what makes him attractive to the gal in the first place. Once he quits, she loses interest in him.
Robert Glover's book Dating Essentials for Men, and Esther Perel's book Mating in Captivity, go into great depth on Differentiation.
The opposite of Differentiation is Fusion, and we're gonna talk about that term in the next episode.
Paul Nelson: The review for this episode is the book Spouse Hunting: Using the Rules of Real Estate to Find the Love of Your Life by Brian Belefant, and this was written in 2020.
Now the Midlife Dating Podcast and 50 Dates at 50 Blog synopsis on this is that author Brian Belefant set out to write one book. The outline had 99 guidelines people need to know when purchasing or selling a home. During the writing process, however, he pondered whether there was a way to apply the rules of real estate, a vocation that he excelled at, to something that he was lousy at: finding a quality relationship partner.
Brian explains that he was single for a long time, long enough to grow exhausted of the partying alongside other single, rich, good-looking, and powerful guys, dating beautiful women, and taking exotic vacations. He met his ex-wife while working in the film video production industry.
Brian discovered that this career was not for him, despite his success. While changing his vocation to real estate, he also discovered that his soon-to-be-ex married him because of his potential in the film and video industry, and not because of who he was as a person.
We all learn from our mistakes. Brian dedicates part of the book to his ex-wife, who, as he quotes, "Taught me everything I know about what a good partnership isn't," unquote. Through the writing process, he eventually discovered that at just about every rule he uses to advise real estate clients applies to finding true love, too.
His book is divided into 99 mini-chapters so you can quickly work your way through a few pages or chapters at a time. Real estate rules are listed first in the Kindle or digital version of the book,
then Brian explains the partner finding analog. Homebuyers will be able to relate the home buying experience to the relationship experience pretty quickly.
So the Midlife Dating Podcast take here, is that many of us boomers and gen X-ers have been through the home buying process. No doubt, this experience taught us many lessons. Since buying a home is an emotional experience, Brian helps the reader recall some of these same emotions to keep them on track when doing their due diligence in looking for a partner.
Personally, I distinctly remember looking at homes in Orange County back in 2002. The market was hot. The average home in our price range was going up about $5,000 a month. It seemed we were always a day late on the offers or a dollar short on budget. I looked at over 80 properties before everything fell into place on one that had good value.
As a seasoned dater, homeowner, and landlord, I consider Brian's application of the rules absolutely well done. I now often internally analogize home buying practices when it comes to dating.
The main point is you don't wanna just go out and buy a home. It begins with preparation. First, your down payment needs to be in place. Your credit needs to be clean.
Next, you need to be employed for qualified financing. After that, available financing determines how much house you can afford. Then your debt to income ratios need to be in alignment. Finally, the title on the property needs to be clear.
Being dateable and relationship-ready requires a similar plan. You need to be single with a clear title: emotionally over your ex's to be in a position to evaluate the market properly, and financially in order with a job, good credit, and a budget that allows for dating.
On a side note, I remember when match.com allowed people to sort by income level. Unfortunately, income levels don't reflect lived reality. Many Orange County and Los Angeles men here in southern California have been through multiple marriages and support several children, with a possibility of more than one ex-spouse to support. This is like a bad credit report with numerous liens. Their income on paper looks great, but their financial obligations leave them with little to no expendable income for dating.
A fair share of men cope with this by racking up credit card debt. Thus, in many cases, the guys that earn much less than the high rollers have significantly more dateable income available to spend.
Here at the Midlife Dating Podcast, we like a proven system to follow when approaching dating. Brian breaks down the rules into two noteworthy sections. Rules one through 16 help you develop clarity, while rules 17 through 99 create a focused, working process.
You know, this book is actually great because it allows us to approach a very delicate subject, and that's income, when it comes to dating with common sense and reality.
To give you a closer look at Brian's rules, I've taken the liberty to outline six them with some commentary here. You'll of course need to purchase the book to get the more intricate details. I'm gonna tell you the rule, I'm gonna give you the real estate analog, and then I'm gonna give you the dating analog.
My voice will come in at times, sounding like it's on a phone call to give you my opinion in and out of these. So let's get started.
Real Estate Rule #1: Gird Your Loins.
The real estate analog is buying or selling a home can be a frustrating process.
Brian is right on here. As I mentioned earlier, looking over 80 properties during my home buying experience was eye-opening. About 40 properties in, I began to develop a good sense of value.
Dating analog: you're going to have to kiss a lot of frogs.
You learn much about yourself during the first 30 or 40 dates. The reality is only one in ten first dates really have any potential. During those 30 or 40 first dates, who you are and what you seek will become clear. Don't be surprised if what you seek changes during this time. Like learning the value of homes as you visit many of them, you'll learn to spot quality, dateable people.
I'm aware of many people who only look at three to five homes and quickly settle on one. This is how many people approach dating, but not here at 50 Dates.
Dating analog: trust that a person is out there.
Using rules 17 through 99, you can create a process that works to find what you are looking for in a relationship. Trust the process.
Real Estate Rule #9: The market sets the value.
Here's the real estate analog: value and price are not necessarily the same.
Let's balance this against the dating analog. Just because someone earns a lot of money doesn't necessarily mean they know how to manage it, for dating or otherwise.
Real estate analog: Zillow, Redfin, and reality.com are the laziest ways to determine value.
Dating analog: dating profiles and pictures are the laziest ways to determine who people are.
Real estate analog: comps are the only way to determine true value. They require research.
Dating analog: be careful when using someone's looks, career, and/or income to decide their market value as a partner.
I've met or talked to dozens of guys or gals who all made the statement, "They looked great on paper, only to be a disaster or a narcissist in real life." You must go out and meet people face to face. Incidentally, it's, it's kind of funny how those people that look great on paper seem to get the second and third chances when it comes to online and dating.
Real estate rule #15: You can't step into the same river twice.
Now I'm gonna round up on these figures, so let's go with the real estate analog here. Portland, Oregon has about 500,000 single-family homes. 1,600 are currently for sale. 2,700 were for sale last year, and 2,700 people found homes to buy.
If they were looking a year later, they'd still find homes. In 2017, the population of Portland was approximately 650,000. According to a 2020 bestplaces.net study, 56.9% of the population is single. Even if half of them don't identify as the gender you're looking for, and if 90% of those remaining are too old or young, the odds of you finding love are five times that of you finding a house.
Reassuring, isn't it? Those numbers will be pretty much the same a year from now, but the people won't be. Same river, only totally different.
So here's the dating analog to that.
During your search, it's essential to realize that those who are a great fit may not even be on the dating market at this moment.
Use this time to become a better dater so you are ready when a good fit comes along. A year from now, the dating pool will be completely different and it changes daily.
Real estate rule #67: The first offer is usually the best one.
Real estate analog: if you get an offer, you should probably take it. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Here's the dating analog. The most significant factor that determines the success of a relationship is the people's commitment to making it work.
Big yes on this.
The thing that matters most is values.
I'm continuing here with dating analogs on the same rule. It takes two people to get married, but only one to be divorced.
If you get a good offer in the world of relationships, you should probably take it. Unfortunately, many in online dating don't. They keep waiting for a better offer to come in. It's possible you might do better, but you probably won't.
This is normal behavior when it comes to online dating, and this is how most people operate. I've been part of this personally and have learned from it. Unfortunately, now we see it in the attitudes of most people I run across in online dating. You have to make the best of your one and only chance, and when it comes to online dating, you generally get just one chance.
Rule #68: You don't have to sell.
Many people are reluctant to list their homes for sale because they're afraid they'll get offers for less than what they want. They seem to forget they're allowed to say no.
Now here's the dating analog to this.
When someone looks at your dating profile, they're not deciding between yes and no. Instead, it's between no and maybe. What maybe means is, let's see if we can turn this into a yes.
Next dating analog. You're not leading on if you agree to a date. You're not leading someone on if you agree to a bunch of dates. What you are doing is exploring the possibility.
This is why, 50 Daters, we need to be open when we're dipping our toes in the dating waters to dating more than one person at a time.
If you're convinced you aren't on your way to a relationship, then you need to have two honest conversations. First, ask yourself if you're okay continuing with someone you don't believe you can commit to. If the answer is yes, it's only fair to have an honest conversation with the one you're seeing. This is the conversation where you tell them what you're thinking and you ask them what they're thinking.
Don't expect them to know what you're thinking. This can be a tricky conversation. The harder it is to have that conversation, the less likely it is you two belong together.
Real estate rule #70: Read the title report.
Real estate analog: Do not attempt to buy a house from a person who does not own it. It may have a lien on it. The title needs to be clean before you can buy the home.
And we'll end here with the dating analog to this rule. You don't enter into a relationship with someone legally obligated to have a more intimate relationship with someone else. You need to make sure the person you're seeing is not still married. This is common sense.
Paul Nelson: So, what do we learn today 50 Daters? We learned that Differentiation is a term we need to be familiar with when it comes to dating and relationships.
Making minor adjustments is good in a newly forming relationship. However, we don't want to fundamentally change who we are that makes us attractive to the other person.
We also learned that in a variety of ways, house hunting is no different from dating. When you're home buying, you need to take a look at more than one house at a time to find good value, and the parallel here in dating is, you need to be open to dating more than one person at a time to find a partner who has the same values you have.
Paul Nelson: Here at the Midlife Dating Podcast, we're all about providing as much value as possible to our listeners. If you've got some dating questions, I'll be happy to answer them on the podcast.
Additionally, I'd like to add a woman's point of view. If you're a boomer or a gen X woman who is interested in contributing, please get in touch with me. Please contact me at the questions email address in the show notes if you're a gal that'd like to contribute or if you're a guy or a gal that has a dating question.
I'm going close this out with some dating humor from author Susan Healy, and she says, "Whenever I want a really nice meal, I just start dating again."
As always, these episodes are a blast to create, and I look forward to being with you in the next one to take your dating experience from a bust to a best.
And that's a really good place to be.