Category: Dating and Relationships

Should You Stay Friends with Your Ex?

Should You Stay Friends with Your Ex?

First of all, I am not an expert, but I do have a very strong opinion on the subject. That is because I often meet or hear of people who are hurting because they are dealing with their ex in a manner that is bad for themselves. My main goal in life is to minimize pain in people around me as much as possible, so therefore I feel very strongly about writing this post.

Now, my short answer to the question is a resounding NO. It is most likely not at all a good idea. My long answer is, well, long. This post is mostly based on my personal experience as well as on a little bit of psychological insight. I hope you will agree with some of my viewpoints.

Whether you can be friends with your ex depends on many factors, most importantly on whether you are:

  • the one who did the dumping, or
  • the one who got dumped

Next to this, it depends on whether you have hopes of ever getting back together with your ex or not.

Of course, most people who get dumped will have hopes of getting back together, while most people who do the dumping are finished for good with that other person. It may not always be this black and white, I know that.

Regardless of what position you find yourself in post breakup, I believe you will benefit very little from hanging out too much with your ex. And if you got dumped and want them back, then I would say that the no contact rule applies.

The no contact rules has been discussed many, many places all over the net, countless of times before. So you probably already know all about it. The idea is to promise yourself to break contact with your ex for a certain period of time. It could be 30 days; it could be forever, depending on the severity of your broken heart.

During no contact you are not allowed to:

  • Call your ex
  • Text your ex
  • Hang out with them
  • Email them
  • Leave your ex notes
  • Bump into them on purpose

During no contact you are encouraged to:

  • Better youself
  • Date other people
  • Keep busy
  • Just have fun!
  • Etc.

A lot of people, including people who try to make money off of the no contact rule, will themselves into believing that the purpose of the no contact rule is to use it as a psychological trick to get your ex back. (People want what they can’t have).

In my opinion, the purpose of the no contact rule is to free yourself from the psychological burden of pining after someone who clearly isn’t into you any longer. Do no expect to be able to change anyone’s decisions, in love, or in any other aspect of life.

My main reason for being so much against being friends with your ex is quite personal. I have lived out different of such scenarios. I have tried having casual sex with an ex. And I have tried having not much contact with an ex besides having her as a Facebook friend. None of these situations ended happily for me.

The casual sex only happened once in a blue moon, but it would completely warp my “friendship” with that particular girl. Every single time I would see her the sex thing would be on my mind, and its both not fair to another person to have a secret agenda with them as well as counterproductive for yourself to have your “dating efforts” go towards someone who does not want the same thing as you do.

Here is a general rule that applies to all sexual relations:

Always make sure that the people you date are in it for the same reasons as you are, no matter what those reasons may be! If you don’t, you WILL be hurt.

Even today, a couple of years after the last time we had a sexual encounter, I am not sure if I feel like seeing her ever again. It is not a healthy relation for me to carry on with, and success in life comes from letting go as much as from letting in.

Then there is the other girl I mentioned. She was the love of my life, and although it is embarrassing to admit, I never gave up on her. With time I grew to know that we would never, ever be back together, not in a million years, but it did not prevent my messed up brain from holding on to that tiny, little hope of reconciliation.

So after finally manning up, I deleted her number and I deleted her off of Facebook with the intention of never speaking with her again.

Life is too short for exes. There are literally so many other beautiful people out there for you to meet and connect with. And exes, they have a way of being in the way of you going out there and meeting those other people. You might not think so. But they will be. They might even be in the way of your current relationship flourishing, like it is supposed to.

The reason why I think you can never really be friends with your ex is one not often discussed in these kind of dating articles, and therefore one I would like to share here. It has to do with brain plasticity, or the fact that neural pathways are created every time we experience something new.

Some of these pathways grow strong over time, like the pathways responsible for us having addictions to stuff, and others, of course, do not linger. That is why we say that the brain is plastic: It changes and adapts to changes in our behavior and environment.

In simple terms, if we want to truly get over an ex we have to not activate all of the pathways that has to do with that person.

Let me come up with an example. If I think about Louise, my for this purpose fictional ex, in any context, my romantic memories of her will most likely linger on. Because, all of the pathways concerned with Louise are intertwined. The neurons fire off each other. In order to really get over her, I would have to not think of her and not have contact with her – at all. This is why cold turkeys can sometimes be the best way of overcoming addiction.

Of course the brain isn’t as simple as that, and the scientific field of neuroplasticity research is still in its infancy. But a very short summary of current scientific advancements would be that we now know that who we are, our identity, is not set in stone. We can make a a difference by setting rules and boundaries for ourselves.

The above is the reasons why I don’t think you should be friends with your ex. Not if you still have feelings for them, at least. Those feelings can and likely will linger on for years and years if you don’t remove them completely from your life. Do it. Life is too short for heartaches.

Now, if you truly are over your ex, then yes, by all means be friends with them. But I would never trust myself in deciding whether or not I still have feelings for them – my brain is constantly playing games on me, and so, I will never be trustworthy when it comes to things like this.

None of us will, because we are all wired more or less the same way. The best we can do is to ask a good friend, or someone else who are better suited to analyze our emotions objectively, if they think we are truly over our ex or not. Until then, don’t stay friends with your ex. Just don’t.

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks!

In Defense of Women Testing Men

In Defense of Women Testing Men

Partly out of being an anthropologist, partly out of wanting to start dating again (long story short, I’ve had personal reasons to stay single for the past 3 years) I’ve been reading a couple of books on evolutionary psychology lately.

Why go to this length, though?

Well, first of all, I truly enjoy reading about human psychology, just out of pure interest, and secondly, my dating skills have become a bit rusty, to say the least. Since knowledge is power (always) everyone, even those happily married for years, could benefit from reading books like these:

1. Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type by Anthropologist Helen Fisher

2. What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by acclaimed journalist Daniel Bergner

3. The Dangerous Passion by evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss

I found the books above, all more or less focused on the female, particularly interesting because all of you women out there still –  even after many years of dating and being in different relationships – are complete enigmas to me. I say this with the utmost love for you, of course.

At one point, not long ago, I had an older, very beautiful colleague deeply infatuated by me. At the same time, there has been other women who felt very little attraction towards me, even repulsion. As a man, if you know a thing or two about the female psyche, these sort of things are very visible to you. But the fact that one can be in awe while another repulsed, both at the same time, makes any delusional man (and all men are a bit delusional when it comes to women)  wonder a whole lot about how this can be.

I guess most men are oblivious to the way women convey how they feel about you, but really, it is very visible if you look for it. It can be in the things they say, but more so it is in the tone of their voice and in how attentive they are to you as you speak. For a lack of better words, awe (deep attraction) and repulsion (the opposite) are very noticeable.

In both situations, since men tend to be kind of dense in this area, since women are used to men being dense, women will be quite suggestive of their true feelings – not direct, mind you…suggestive. There is a big difference between the two. The so-called ‘tests’ that men are constantly subjected to are, in spite of the criticism that many men have for them, quite rational and reasonable in their purpose. The following is my attempt at explaining why.

The reasons are two-fold. First there is the matter of gauging the mans true level of long-term interest. Because most men have a lot lower standard for who they would sleep with than women do. But why? That is, because, biologically speaking, there is a lot more on the line for the woman. In any given year she can only give birth once with one man while a man can (theoretically) have hundreds of children with many different women. No one ever thinks about this reasoning when making the choice of who to date and who not to date, because, of course, it doesn’t happen on a conscious level. It still happens, though. Women are attracted to men who show investment in them.

On the other hand, investment isn’t enough, and it can even be detrimental to the man’s success  in pursuing any given woman. Because, in light of the above, too much investment too soon could very well mean that the man is invested in this particular woman because he doesn’t have much other dating opportunities, i.e. because his mating value is quite low. And no one wants that!

While tackling the whole area of the “friend-zone” requires too much space to get properly into here, I will say that many men find themselves in this particular “zone” because they are too invested in a girl without having proven to her that they are in fact man enough to be with her. Again, all of this doesn’t work on a conscious level, but feel very free to disagree with me in the comments, if you like. Can men and women not be friends, then? Yes, but most of the time, in my experience, men don’t know where to draw the line. Initial proof of  masculinity supersedes any level of investment.

Moving on, and getting back to the other reason why women “testing” men makes a whole lot of sense, not only is gauging a mans level of long-term interest and investment important, it is equally important to find out whether he  is in fact an attractive partner to be with at all. Basically, the reason behind this is that everyone are, biologically speaking, looking for someone with a long-term evolutionary potential. For an extensive explanation for why that is, read The Selfish Gene by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

As the logic goes, if someone is attractive, chances are their kids will be. For men, of course, what is “attractive” in a woman is by large deemed by looks (although there are other important areas, such as morals and fidelity), while women have to look more for other things. There are many cultural factors as well, but on a basic level a man needs to:

A) show interest and investment in the woman

I think many relationships have a hard time long-term because men are not naturally in tune with women’s needs for attention. Hearing “I love you” can be quite important to a woman while the man might think him just being there speaks for itself. Showing investment goes both ways, of course. This, by the way, is part of the reason why I am not a huge fan of marriage as an institution. Having paper on your significant other is not an excuse for not being attentive enough to their needs, and the divorce statistics just goes to show how this is true.

B) prove that he is a good provider

This is not mean to be taken literal. But again, evolutionarily speaking, in the days of the caveman, it was absolutely vital for women to be with someone who could provide for them while they were pregnant and taking care of the children. Today, there are not as many differences between the sexes in their ability to have a successful career, and it is also my opinion that this factor is becoming somewhat less important in female mate selection. These days you’ll see a lot more relationships where the woman is making the most money. Still, it is simply quite difficult to overrule a biological drive such as this.

C) prove that he is a natural leader

What continues to be important, though, is whether or not a man is able to be assertive, to take charge etc.  How much status he has among his peers. Some say that women want the control in the relationship. This is, in my opinion, nonsense!

Women will try to take the control, but that is only because it is a build-in function in women to constantly test and challenge their man whether he really is able to take charge when needed.

I somewhat controversially think that most relationships and marriages fail because  the man eventually gives in to the woman’s every wish and want. This sounds horribly stone-agey, I know, but that is because the way attraction works hasn’t changed since the stone-age! Its a mechanism. We are machines. Whether we want to believe it or not.

Of course there is free will (on some level). Still, it doesn’t hurt to know a thing or two about evolutionary biology. I have a very deep belief that men and women alike, interested in improving their dating prospects, will gain much more from reading books like those mentioned above than from typical mass media sources.In this post I focused on what women want. I might write more about the topic and about what men want later on. But if this caught your interest, here are the links again. Happy reading!

1. Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type by Anthropologist Helen Fisher

2. What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by acclaimed journalist Daniel Bergner

3. The Dangerous Passion by evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss

Seems like I am on fire today! If you liked this post please feel free to comment, share or like it! Thanks a bunch!

NoFap is the number one solution to approach anxiety

NoFap is the number one solution to approach anxiety

Hi guys. In the past week I’ve written and discarded several posts about the progress of my Yes Man Project and my Porn Free Project, which is the reason why I haven’t posted anything since the 5th. I am two weeks into YMP and 11 days into PFP and both are going more or less according to my plan and keeping me busy.

But in all honesty I haven’t got anything spectacular to report yet besides the fact that I’ve been more social because of both. I now wake up with ‘morning wood’ every morning which I never did before, and I’ve been increasingly motivated, both at work and in my social life.

Dating-wise I’ve always been too much of a chicken to approach women at bars and night clubs (knowledge will only get you so far) and most of my sexual encounters have therefore been within my social circles, but I think doing Porn Free and NoFap is becoming a turning point for me.

This saturday I held eye contact with a girl until she gave me a wide smile which I took as an invitation to go over and talk with her. I make eye contact with women maybe 50 times a day, and I often hold it a few seconds, but I usually look away before I get “the invitation”  (and a lot of women WILL give you “the invitation” if they are a) available, and b) like what they are seeing, meaning you are not coming across creepy or like a douche). Regrettably I ended up NOT doing anything about it with this particular girl, but to me even getting as far as getting the smile is a small victory because I am slowly changing my behavioral pattern.

I’ve known for a long while that I am good-looking and that I turn heads, but again, like a lot of guys, I fail because I think too much about what I know instead of focusing on what I should be doing. I could be Brad Pitt handsome and still not be going anywhere.

So I think NoFap is THE solution for the former nice guy who’s been fixing his style, working on his conversation skills, stopped putting women on a pedestal, but for whom approach anxiety still stands in the way as a road block to dating success. At the moment I am basically just increasingly becoming too horny to think about anxiety. Before I could just handle it by myself but now I am very motivated to go out and get laid.

And seduction isn’t the science I used to think it was. It’s basically just about increasing your own attractiveness, putting off a vibe that you know that you are high value, and conveying interest in and going after your prey.

Increasing your own attractiveness is rather easy, because you can research what to do on the internet and get help from friends. Knowing if your value is high is about learning how to read the nonverbal communication of other people. It is true that the eyes are the doors to the soul. And going after your prey…well, all I can say is that not getting any, not even from your right hand, is HIGHLY motivating.

Anywho, if NoFap and Porn Free has caught your interest go here and here for more information. I’ve got lots of other things to share with you but I am just too busy at the moment.

Yours sincerely,

Jacob