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December 9, 2023 59 mins

In Episode 7, I speak to Tatyana Shin and Daria Smith about the modern dating world and cover various contemporary topics such as dating as a single mom, dating in 30s and 40s, and what monogamy means in a modern world and how willing you are to have an open relationship. We address the difficulty of having so many options in today’s world, from people to relationship formats, and we also deep dive into the reasons why people are giving up on dating all together. How to deal with trust issues and overcome the fear of getting hurt (again)? Maybe we should start falling in love with AI avatars and fictional characters instead? Also, we talk about why people are not feeling anything anymore. An emerging behavioral phenomenon which potentially can be explained by technology usage and changes in social behavior. Or could it be that you are asexual (Ace) or aromantic (Aro)? Episode 7 is the final episode of season 1 on modern dating and what a great way to end the season! An episode you don’t want to miss!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome back everyone to a newepisode of Red Flags, Green Flags,
modern psychology for everyday drama.
In this series, we are talking aboutmodern dating and the hardships and
uncertainties many people experience inthe dating world, especially when it comes
to online dating, finding a long termpartner or dealing with toxic behaviors.
The aim of this series is to helplisteners better understand what

people are actually experiencing,thinking, and believing.
Not to judge what is wrong orwhat is right, but more to gain a
perspective to our modern dating world.
And by using a psychological lens tointerpret these experiences, we can
gain better insights on how to bestnavigate a complex maze of strange
behaviors where people are oftentreated like options rather than humans.

Wow, what a world we live in today.
But let's see what wecan do about that, right?
If you are serious about dating, thenyou already know how difficult it is
to date in a world where commitmentand loyalty have long disappeared.
Gone are the days that people wouldbe hopeless romantics searching for
eternal love and uttering the wordsat the altar, to death do us part.

People's agendas have become too fullto fit in a partner, getting social
satisfaction more from friends.
while jumping on an app to look forsome sugar when the tensions are high.
When it comes to dating, peopleoften run away at the very
first sight of a red flag.
It seems easier to swipe rightthan to solve interpersonal
issues with someone you're dating.

Even telling someone you don'tlike them seems to be too difficult
nowadays, and instead people ghost.
Deep down inside, I believewe all want to be loved.
But dating feels so difficult andemotionally threatening in this digital
age that people are even giving upon trying to find a life partner
and focusing more on themselves.
Joining me on my podcast today to talkabout dating challenges and also about

why people are giving up on datingis Tachana Shin, a brand manager in
the beauty industry here in Dubai andDaria Smith, events director in the
hospitality space in the GCC region.
Um, so welcome to the show.
Uh, first time thatyou're doing a podcast.

So it's, it's always great conversation,uh, in the sense of like we're,
we're seeing, I think a lot ofpeople that can't see us right now,
we're in a beautiful setting andit's almost like at the fireplace.
It feels very, very kindof like homey, doesn't it?
And cozy.
So that's how I love tohave these conversations.
Um, and homey conversations as I like tocall them also around the topic of dating.

But before we get into today's podcast.
Tatiana and Daria, maybe you can startto tell the audience a little bit
more about yourself, what you do, andhow long you've been here in Dubai.
Uh, I will start.
My name is Tatiana.
I am 35 years old.
I'm not afraid to, to tell my age.
I am a single mother as well, and Ihave a six and a half years old son.

So that brings anotherperspective on the dating as well.
And I've been in Dubai for 11 years now.
That's a long time.
That's a long time.
Thank you.
Thanks Daria.
Um, yes.
So, uh, thank you for introduction.
Uh, I'm, um, event director and I'vebeen in event space for quite a few

years, uh, traveled all over the world,lived across multiple countries, born
in Russia, grew up in the Balkansand lived the past 15 years in, uh,
in the UK and recently in Dubai.
So, uh, Just literally finishedmy first year in Dubai.
Um, single, um, age.

Um, I'm celebrating my big four zero.
But I think lots of people are quitenervous about it, but I think I'm
actually looking forward to it.
I'm embracing it.
And I think that this is a greatage to be in, you know, you
feel wise enough, but still.

In heart.
You know, a lot of people saynowadays, the Gen Z say the forties
are the new twenties, right?
Oh, okay.
They are.
I have a lot of friends who are40 plus and all of them said
that their life actually becomesway better when they're forties
because they're financially stable.
Their career is all already sortedand now they can do what they want and

they can afford to do what they want.
Yes, but I think there is also achallenge, uh, in terms of dating.
Uh, I don't know whether I'm surethere is a bit of a stigma about
certain ages and for women as well.
The older you become the Almost, uh,more invisible you become as well.

And 4 0, 40s, uh, is quite a mature age.
And I don't know whether somepeople would, uh, specifically
avoid, uh, dating someone older.
It's interesting because the other showthat we, uh, we recorded, uh, the previous
show, we actually talked about that.
Um, there, of course, westill have this stigma, right?
When men are in their 40s and 50s, yes,it's expected that you should have almost

like a younger woman that, you know, it'saccepted, not expected, but more kind of
more socially accepted cross culturally.
But I think one thing that isreally happening nowadays is that
the stigma is slightly, you know,slowly breaking down that when you're
in your 40s and 50s as a woman.
That, you know, um, you should not enjoydating or you should not have options.
And, and I shared some data from datingapps that actually shows that, um,

younger men are very interested in, inwomen, um, in their forties and fifties.
And, and so because they see that they seethe, they're attracted by the maturity,
but also by, by the, the stability.
And the initiative that a moremature woman can bring to the table,
which they can actually learn from.
So that was a very fascinating discussionwe had in our previous podcast.

But is it something that they wantjust to try experience, uh, tick off
their list or do they see this as apotential to build something long term?
Well, I think it goes for everyone, right?
I mean, some of them actually want that.
Some prefer, some guys prefer anolder lady or a more mature woman.
Um, you know, and that may befor the short term or maybe
just for the, for the long term.

So, I mean, I, I, if you ask mepersonally, I think it goes both ways
and definitely there are younger menthat are interested in being more
with a, with a more mature women.
Um, but again, the question is.
What is compatibility?
And, you know, we didn't have this planfor today, but I think it's a really
interesting question though, becauseoften when we look at, when we look
at kind of like age, what they callage desperate couples, where the one

is older than the other, we look atthem purely from an age perspective,
but compatibility is not just age.
There are other aspects that makeyou compatible, such as, for example,
your psychological and emotionalcompatibility, where someone
can say, Hey, I'm 25 years old.
I just can't relate to my peers.
I want to be with someoneolder and more mature.
Or it could be also, forexample, physical compatibility.

A lot of, cause here, especially in Dubai,there's a lot of women taking care of
their, you know, their physique and aroundthe world, more and more people are taking
care of their physique, but you have.
women that are very fit, right?
And they want to have aman that is equally fit.
And that is maybe sometimesharder to find at the same age.
So there's also maybe that physicalcompatibility and the other
compatibility that we don't oftenthink about, but can bring people from

different age groups together intorelationship is sexual compatibility.
And so you might have avery high sexual drive.
at 40 in your 50s, and you won't findthat with a partner of your same age.
And so compatibility is, we, I thinkwhat we need to take away from this is
let's not judge a book by its cover.
There are many more elementsthat we can compare on, right?
On that perspective.
No, I think it's more of a recentconversation that I had with my

brother, who is almost my age.
He's Two years younger.
And the way he was, he's single andthe way he was describing his ideal
partner, he is like, I wouldn'tdate anyone more older than 30.
And I'm like, yeah, that's true.
What are you honing yourself back on?
Oh, lost opportunity.
You should be listening to this podcast.

I'm going to send him the link afterwards.
It's, it's true.
And I, I just have a questionfor you as a psychologist.
Um, because I had experienced alsobeing exposed to different age groups.
And what I noticed also, someof my friends are having a big
gap in, in the couple of age.

Does it has to do something withthe self esteem or self confidence?
Um, because usually like when the man is.
Um, I would say that they'reovercompensating something when
they're dating a younger woman becausethey're less challenging, they are less
successful in life and they, they agreeto the lifestyle that the men can.

That's, that's my point of view.
And I've seen this in Dubai as well.
And uh, like echoing what Daria wassaying, a man who is 40 years old,
and I have this conversation withmy friends openly because I would
like to see how it is on their side.
They would honestly tell me if they're40 plus, they want to consider a
woman, uh, more than 30 plus, like35 is the, is an old for them.

They would look for 25.
They put their filter 90 plus.
Maximum 28.
That, that's the mentality in Dubai today.
So but your questionwas more around, was it?
Yeah, is it the converse, like, Iheard that this is probably like
a psychological cause to that.
Why men prefer younger women?
Um, well, I mean, you know, there'san evolutionary explanation to this.

So, um, evolutionary wise, women aremore fertile when they're younger.
So there's a fertility perspectivethat can be taken into consideration
as one of the explanations.
But there's also a culturalperspective to this as well, depending
on where you are in the world.
Um, and, and so, um, so that'sone aspect of looking at it.
And what's very interesting isthat for the, for women to men,

it's almost the opposite, right?
Women, younger, fine.
Man, who are older, more attractive.
So you probably ask yourself, where'sthe evolutionary component with that?
It's very interesting.
It is within how, um, the older manis able to hold himself at his age.
So if a younger man, and, and again, youknow, this is not only from this kind of
conversations, but also the literaturejumps into this as well, is that.

Young men have shorter mating strategiesand women have more long term mating
strategies and for maybe for the youngerman If he you know, especially in here
in Dubai blinks the Bugatti, right?
Where's the Armani?
It's for a shorter termdating strategy, right?
Sure into a shorter term mating strategyAnd so when you have the younger man doing
that and maybe the more established mandoing that Then if you can still hold

yourself at an older age, that meansyour genes must be better kind of like
the evolution evolutionary psychologicalunderstanding behind that is there.
So that's just an evolutionaryperspective, why that is, but it's
true because if you look into, forexample, in the dating app data, you
do see that there's a lot of matchesthat happens, like when men's age.

Actually, it's from the age of 26.
Ok Cupid, I've cited them before.
They have, they, becausethey share a lot of data.
And, ok, ok, cupid shows that aman's like, um, interest, uh, value.
goes up from the age of 26.
So up to 26, not that interesting,but from 26 onwards, it just
becomes more and more and more.

Whereas for a female, it seems fromthe data, and this is based on, you
know, matches and matching up, itseems like up to 26, 27 or up to 30,
it goes, but then it starts to decline.
So there's, I mean, we could go on forthis for hours, but there's some kind
of, there is an evolutionary perspective,but what I really love about dating

apps nowadays, it helps us to understandthe psychology of dating behavior more
than we ever could understand before.
So it's, uh, interestingto look into that.
Hey, well, I've got some, I've got, uh,before we get started, um, from with
more deeper questions, I have one moreopening question for you guys, and I
think you're going to love this one.
Um, as you know, our, of course,our, Episode today is about

the perils of modern dating.
Um, and, and so, if I could ask you, ifyou could score Dubai's dating scene from
0 to 10, which score would you give it?
Let's start with you, Daria, and thenI'll come back to you, uh, Tania, Tatjana.
Why, why is it a two?
Now you've, you've got all,everyone's ears right now.

Why is it a two?
Um, I think there is a certainreputation about Dubai dating in
Dubai and how challenging it is.
And what makes it also hard is how trainsin this places, you know, people come
here, uh, for some period of time, itcan be one year, it can be 10 years, it

can be 20 years, but ultimately there is.
always, uh, an expiry date.
So it's kind of like short lived.
So I think people tend notto look for anything serious.
So if you're looking for anythingmore than just a plain hookup, I think
that's, uh, um, yeah, it's not, uh,The most, uh, exciting place to be in.

Oh, if you're into hookups,it's the best place to be.
Oh yeah, no, absolutely.
Yeah, absolutely.
And I think you're, I think it'sinteresting because, you know, that
mindset, if we have, and we talkedabout that also in a previous episode,
you have that mindset, you're, you'renot going to think more sustainable.
You're going to think more short term.
Um, and, but other cities in the world,think of like New York, Paris, you
know, Amsterdam, you know, they'realso very transient in that perspective

also, but also more maybe fast moving.
And it makes it a little bitharder to kind of consider
someone kind of more sustainable.
Before we move to Chachana,um, why is it not a one?
I want to give people some hope.
So why is it not a one?
Because I do believe there aresome nice people around here.
And it's just, um, it'sjust a little bit unlucky.

And I've heard it from, Both men andwomen looking for something a bit more
serious, but both men and women struggle.
So I don't think it's justfor women that it's hard.
Yeah, I, I heard the samemen are facing also issues.
Issues as well.
It's just, and I'm like, it'ssuch a paradox, like there
are so many lovely people.

What's happening?
Agendas, what's happenings wherethey're not connecting, you know,
where, where it's breaking down.
That's what we wanna figure out.
Thank you so much.
And, and, and Ana, what,what's your perspective?
What's your score?
Well, I think I would, I would giveit a five because I've been single
in Dubai for more than six years.
And I also tried dating whileI'm traveling, whether it's

for work or a leisure time.
So I would say that Dubai givesa lot of international exposure
and, um, You never know who youcould meet in terms of background,
nationality, uh, like work background.
It's totally different.
And I guess Dubai is one of the fewplaces in the world that that lets you.

be exposed to this different crowd.
Uh, the other thing is that it'strue that even to build a friendship,
not even relationship is difficultbecause Dubai is a transitional place.
People come here to get experience,maybe to earn some money and safe.
Um, and it's, it's kind of difficultto sign, to find something longterm

because you are treated as anoption, uh, just one of thousands.
And, uh, today with all the datingapps, it's easy and people do not
want to invest time, um, and to beemotionally invested as well, because
you'd never know how long it will last.
And you, you don't know exactlywhat is on the other people mind.
And there's always maybe a betteroption out there because of people

are coming in the whole time.
You still, you stillgive it a five, right?
I still give it a five becauseas I said, uh, I actually
make friends out of my dates.
Um, it was a bit weird, but uh,yeah, you, you never know who you,
you could meet because, uh, it'svery international and very diverse.
Hey, and you, you mentioned inyour introduction that you, uh,

you're also, you're a single mom.
I am a single mom.
Tell me about that.
That's also a very unique situationbecause a lot of people that
come to Dubai are often single.
But you're a single mom and you're aprofessional, so maybe you can share
some of your experiences around that.
In terms of dating.
So being a single mom, uh, first of all,doesn't give me enough scores on dating
because one, I would always prioritizemy child and the time with the child.

Uh, I'm also a workaholic, so Iwork a lot and, uh, if I have a
free time, I would always prioritizeit for spending it with my child.
So then being the verylike short time for dating.
Also, it's, it's a good filter for me aswell, because in the beginning I was a
bit careful what I say to, to a strangerbecause you don't want to open up as

well, not to get hurt because uh, somepeople are not nice to be honest here.
So now it's a good filter for me.
I go straight, I'm a singlemother, I don't have time to waste.
So if you're not into somethingserious, thank you, bye.
So it's an additional filter for me.
And so you, do you, soyou date mainly to have.
A potential life partner.
Yeah, absolutely.

Because I don't want to waste my energyfor something that is not sustainable.
I am more into intentional livingwith everything I do, basically.
So not just dating in itself.
And how about you Daria?
Do you date specifically to finda life partner or are you just
okay to have a random hookup?
Well, maybe a hookup sounds abit bad, but you know what I

mean, like to say for fun, fun.
That's the word that's used nowadays.
Like, yeah.
Do you meet for fun?
Um, I, I, I feel that I've had experiencesabsolutely, but I feel that you spend
lots of energy on it and the more.
for fun experiences you have, uh,the more, uh, the less energy you've

got on something more meaningful.
And I think I got to a stagewhere I think I had enough of it.
So I I'd love to find someone that is moreof a, of a partner, more of a partnership,
a potential partner, a potential partner.
But I think different people.
Uh, see partnership ina different perspective.

And I know lots of women andparticularly lots of of my friends
that may be sort of in that thirties,mid thirties, late thirties, uh, um,
range that, uh, single, uh, want tobe mothers, want to have families.
Uh, it's not necessarily somethingthat, uh, I'm looking for.

So it might be also a challenge for, uh,for, uh, a person that, uh, I'll, I'll
may potentially connect with and theymay look for a different, uh, option.
So as a follow up question, and I, Ilike to ask people this, where do you
then, if maybe in dating apps, causeyou know, a lot of people now don't.
I don't believe in dating appsanymore and you know, there's, there's

everything you can find on dating apps.
Maybe in the past there were ways tosocially vet people, but you know,
you've got everything on dating appsand especially the serial ones, right?
That was what sometimes makesit very toxic and scary.
So do you believe that you canfind love on a, on a dating app?
Uh, I think I gave up alittle bit on the dating apps.
I tried a couple of times.

And I met some people, I had something,uh, short lived, let's say, and I came to
conclusion that, um, I think that peoplewho use apps quite actively, they are
serial daters, they are the people that.
I believe that there is always abetter option around the corner.

So I'm thinking going back to, youknow, traditional dating where you meet
someone in a, in a environment be datingsomething like that, or I tried this once.
I tried this once.
Um, I think it's quite awkwardand I think it's really different

and it's, it's so awkward.
I think it's, uh, it's, um,I'm the type of person that
prefers one on one interaction.
So I would like to build that sort ofconnection and, uh, 15 seconds or what
One minute, five minutes, whatever it is.

It doesn't work.
You don't get on this premiseof love of first sight or
attraction or something like that.
Yeah, you can probably feel someenergy initially, but I think it's,
yeah, it's just one thing I've, I'venoticed in Dubai is that, you know,
though, though, you know, the appsdon't have a vetting perspective.
Um, there's a lot of circles here.

Like people call themgroups and circles, right?
Your friend groups, everyone, becauselike you're saying, it's hard to
make friends, but when you do have.
good friends here in the UAE, you, youtend to stick with them a lot, right?
And you, you don't leta lot of new people in.
It's very kind of safe in that way, butdifferent people know different people.
So sometimes you get invited to go tolike a dinner party or something else.

And I hear, and I've seen andexperienced myself that it's a
great way to meet other people.
And actually people are veryopen for dating then because
you're a friend of a friend.
So you must be.
At least, you know, have youexperienced any of this here?
Uh, I've actually have donemyself those matchmaking sessions.

I like, I know a few friendswho are single and I'm thinking.
Oh, I think they mightpotentially connect.
So why don't I organize a branch or justdrinks or some activity and invite all
the friends that do not know each other.
And, uh, um, I haven't beensuccessful yet, but I'm just starting.

So hopefully there's something around.
Me, I've been introduced to, to friends ofmine and I also tried, uh, match making.
It didn't work out so far, unfortunately,but I agree with you that it gives you
at least when you're on dating app,you have no idea who the person is.

You don't know their backgroundand their past, uh, with friends,
it's, you feel much more relieved.
Um, there is a trust aspect to it.
Also for them, there is a responsibility.
They can't mess up because Right.
Friends are involved.
You know, that's, that's always, I'vealways had this idea that dating apps
should have like a dating score, like asocial dating score, like some kind of

score that you can, like with Uber, right?
The rating.
Like I've been, I've been on, I'vebeen on this ride now, literally.
That's true.
How was your ride?
Ride was a two, right?
Or ride was a five.
And then You can kind of, you know,but then again, people could play
around with that and you'd, you know,for the serial daters, you want to
show up, but Hey, if you're just init for the ride, you know, why not?

But I think maybe thatwould have some kind of.
It would work, but maybe not.
I don't know, but I feel that we'remissing this vetting process, you know,
if you feel that you can get away becausethat's what screens do to us, right?
Screens help make us feel that we'reso far away from the individual, I can
treat you however I want to treat you.
No consequences.
Um, or like you were saying, like,you know, I see you as an option, so

I don't see you as something serious.
And so in that perspective, we'relosing that human component to
which then we start treating people.
You know, not, not so,not so well anymore.
And think about all the, uh, married,uh, people in relationships going
on their apps and just, you know.
Having a second life.

That's what they call it nowadays.
Ashley Madison.
Wasn't that the, the, the website?
Oh, no, you don't know.
I think you're much more advanced than us.
Well, look, I've been investigating.
The Middle East, we are safefrom this kind of website.
There was a website.
I think it was.
I don't know.
Please, audience, pleasecorrect me if I'm wrong.
I think it was called Ashley Madisonwhere, uh, and, and in the Netherlands,

they had something called second lifewhere you can basically try and, you
know, it's called ethically cheatingso that your partner knows about it.
You're open and you're opento have more experiences, but
you want to stay together.
And unfortunately, the site gothacked with millions of emails
that leaks afterwards, but that'sa different story in itself.
So, but on that, on that, on that tone oflike kind of that story, you know, people

are changing their perspectives about.
traditional monogamy in that perspective.
How do you see that?
Do you, do you believe that, youknow, are you looking for monogamy?
Do you, are you open tolooking for something that is
not traditionally monogamous?
I am not.
I am very old school and I am intomonogamy because I am a loyal person.

So if I am loyal in my relationship, Iwould expect the same from my partner.
But I think it's interesting perspectivebecause today there are more and
more options, uh, and differentcouples, except for situationships,
uh, open relationships and stuff.
And I think it's Estelle Perel who saidbefore monogamy was one partner for life.

Now it's one partner for onerelationship, that's modern monogamy.
It's, it's not like our parents livetogether for 30 years and never cheated.
It's totally different.
Um, it's quite a complex question.
Um, yeah, absolutely.
If I'm with someone, I'm withsomeone a hundred percent.

Uh, but I, I don't think that you canlook at it as black and white as well.
There are differentsituations and, um, I think.
There's definitely something changingthe way how the relationships are
looked at, uh, you know, it's no longer,um, just, yeah, married for life.

And that's it.
I think people look, beingmore open to, uh, options.
Do you think there's a stigma aroundit by opening up a relationship or?
You know, because nowadays, theoptions that you're talking about,
situationships, now there's thingscalled like, let's be exclusive.
But what does that mean?
And so what's really interesting, whatpeople don't realize is exclusive,

like I want to have you exclusively,but they didn't define what it means.
So what a lot of people are facingright now is like they're sexually,
or sorry, physically Uh, intimatelyexclusive, but emotionally not because
also you can cheat emotionally.
And so what gets lost in that translationis, yeah, let's be exclusive, but
oh, let me be emotional and haveemotional connections with other

people, but not with the person thatyou're being physically exclusive with.
So do you, do you, do you feelthat there's a stigma around
this or do you think that this iskind of becoming more acceptable?
These kind of differentforms of relationships.
I think just more and more people,it's, it's the reality today.

And, uh, technology is theblessing and the curse.
So I guess every coupleis either he or she.
is doing something on the sideemotionally or physically.
I don't know.
But, uh, there is a doubt alwaysin today's in modern dating.
That's probably one of the reasons whysome people are giving up on it because,

um, You, you can't, you can't guaranteethat exclusive is exclusive and what is
exclusive as you said for some people,it's physical exclusivity for someone,
for someone, it's also emotional.
So you're saying in a sense that maybein today's world, we're becoming too
fragmented or maybe you're sayingthat we're focusing on too many.

Whereas before it was this monogamyand now we're saying, Oh no, no, yeah.
I can be physically monogamous,also like physically, intimately
monogamous with you, but on theemotional side, I'll do this.
Or now with cyber, with, you know,cyber dating and, you know, I hear this
a lot, you know, my boyfriend, he's,he's liking all these girls pictures
and I just don't find that acceptable.
And he says to her, like.

Well, come on, honey.
I'm just liking your pictures.
It's not cheating.
And there's also a blurredline because, yeah, many people
can see that as not cheating.
Some people are more sensitiveto that and they might see that.
So there's no clear definition of what ischeating because you're liking someone's
pictures or you're DMing someone.
Maybe you're fantasizingabout them as well.

You know, that's, that's another thing.
Oh, but when you're together with someone?
Yeah, it's, it's probably the case.
I don't know.
But, uh, my point was that.
Even if we don't want to agreewith what is happening, it
is happening, unfortunately.
Yeah, because maybe wehave just too much access.
Jaria, what would you say about that?
I think ultimately wewant to feel respected.

We want to feel loved.
We want to, um, trust our partner.
And I don't think that will change, um,all of those things, all of those options.
Um, it's Yeah, it's become easy.
And I think that the problem is with thesocial media as well, that our attention

spans are no longer seven seconds,they are three seconds, whatever it is.
So with the relationship aswell, we are now struggling to.
Uh, build stronger relationship withsomeone and, uh, we get distracted by
abundance of different options around.

When you were processing thatinformation, I mean, I could
also see an emotional reaction.
Is there anything that you hadexperienced on that, on that note?
I've, uh, I've seen a lot of experiencein my life, in my, uh, family members, in
close friends as well, where, you know,people married, but actually not married,

cheating, um, multiple relationships.
And, uh, I think I'm still figuringout what's actually a right
thing and what's the wrong thing.
It's, um, Uh, yeah, I think, I think youneed to be probably, uh, have an idea
of what, what your values are and what'simportant for you personally, and then

find someone who shares those values.
And as long as those values connect.
I think you're in a good place.
Um, it's, uh, but there are so manydifferent options now and, um, yeah, it's,
it's finding the challenging as well.
It is challenging.
Yeah, I feel that.
Um, so, so on, on what you were saying,Tanya, I thought it was a great point

that you made, you know, we, we're.
People are not choosing,choosing not to date anymore.
And, and when I look on social media,like everyone, cause I, you know,
I, I post a lot of stuff around thenegativity and the perils and challenges
around dating and people are like,doctor, I give up, you know, I give up.
But like, I get it.
But like, don't give up.
Like, no, I've given upafter watching your videos.

So I'm to blame also now in a fun way.
But of course, but yeah, people are givingup and I think this is becoming a trend.
And we are living in a, in a kind of likeself development me movement right now.
It's like, I have to focus onmyself and I need to care about
my, you know, my, my sanity.
And, um, so let me invest inme, let me do the work and,

you know, let me deal with it.
So it's time for me now.
But there are many other reasons whypeople kind of like are choosing.
You know, not to date anymorebecause maybe they've been in
some bad experiences, your selfesteem gets affected, right?
Or you just get too scared towanting to trust another person.
Trust issues come up a lot.
I often get the question,Doctor, how can I trust again?

And I think that's a big thing.
I would love to hear from you why you bothbelieve people are giving up on dating.
Well, I, I am one of these people, Ican tell you, um, I was first introduced
to this dating things, uh, and, uh,social media apps, um, probably like

five years ago and I was very naive.
When I went for the first time on thedate and I got hurt, obviously, and then
it took me some time to process and Ididn't want to experience this again.
I would say that the trauma that youget or the negative experience actually
stops you because you are better off.

Um, being by yourself withless drama, less problems.
And as you said, like today we're allinto self development and, um, I should
say I'm lucky to have a good supportsystem because I, I read also there is
a study that's has a color correlationwith how good is your support system.

Uh, the better is your support system,the less you will invest in dating because
usually we're looking for a partner to.
to go through hardships of lifetogether to have a support.
So if you have a good supportand family friends, your
circle is always there for you.
You are less prone to lookout for a partner because
you are good by, by yourself.

Of course, we all have different needs,like romantic and maybe physical.
But, um, then when you think of itagain, uh, Daria, you could, you
could tell me if it's the same.
You're like, Oh, again, no.
Don't, don't have time, don't,don't have power for that.
So how do you take careof your physical needs?
Um, well, from, I would say Iam probably genetically lucky.

I don't need that much.
But that's where maybeapps come in again or?
Um, no, I'm very much into myenergy and who do I share it with?
So you're selective about it.
I am very selective.
Um, I think.
Yeah, I think there's a lotof changes happening as well.

And we are trying to figure outthis new system and people are
struggling to figure it out.
And there are so many stressesoutside of the system.
relationships are in work and future.
So we had a class on the AI, forexample, and the future can be scary.

You know, are we going to havejobs, not going to have jobs?
What shall we do about it?
Um, uh, social media, theaccess to the information, news.
I think there's a higher level of anxiety.
Uh, around and people feel that,you know, they need to spend

lots of energy on feeling better.
Or maybe having a sense ofcontrol over your environment.
So they feel that, um,It's too much hard work.
And I think people are alsobecome to a degree lazy.
People don't want to investin building relationship.

Uh, and when you've had those badexperiences, whether you tried
something and someone, Gaslighted you ordisappeared, um, or just was there lying
and not for anything sort of serious.
You get tired of it and you're like, well,I can't, I can't have any more of it.

I just give up on it.
And if it happens, it happens.
If it doesn't happen, itdoesn't happen as well.
Safest person to date is yourself.
Well, I guess, yeah, I guess, I guess,but I still believe we are social
creatures and we do need, um, we doneed social connections and, um, yeah,

I think it's important and I'm anintrovert and I prefer to get my energy.
Um, having that alone time, but I stillcrave interaction or still crave intimacy.
Um, I connect with friends and it'sgood to have someone in your life a

bit more long term and share with.
And build.
More complex relationship.
Not just how was your day, but actuallybeing able to deeper connection.
I think that's an interesting pointbecause, you know, we, we need to,
we're social by nature as you mentioned,and we, I remember a Harvard study
that came out, it was like thisstudy that followed people for about.

60 years, 80 years, and they weretrying to figure out what were
those, what were those factors that,you know, um, had a huge impact on
health and on resilience and mindset.
And, and the number one factor thatwas the best indicator for longer life
was your social connections, right?
And we, we, we, and I think in today'sworld where we think social connections

is a, you know, a snap score or howmany people we have on Instagram,
that's not our social connections.
But we're replacing now.
the social interaction, whichcosts time to invest in.
And it's hard and it's not easyby quick and easy, you know, text
messages and, and, and sharingcontent online, but that's not really
where the human connection happens.
And so that's something that I guess,you know, as a psychologist, but also

looking special, look at specializingalso in this field of AI, trying to
kind of bring these two together,because I think technology has You know,
though, it's great for the pockets ofthe people that build the technology.
And look, let's be honest, whenthe technology is built, it's built
with a good purpose, like connectingpeople, making people happier.
But eventually the investor metricstakes over the well being metrics, um,

and then bad things start to happen.
And then.
You know, we're using these apps, butif you look at like persuasive design,
it's there to hook you and keep youengaged and not take you off time,
which the long term effects of that.
I mean, there's so much studies havecome out that show the psychological,
physiological, psychosomaticissues that people are actually
having from consuming technology.

And I think we need to bemore intentional about.
Creating technology that actuallybetters us as human beings.
. Um, you know, that's one of the thingsthat I, I've been looking into for
the future, but I think we need tobe, we need to start changing the
technology and helping it to, tofoster better connections and Yeah.
Strengthen human lifeinstead of honing us back.
That's an interesting point.

And, and so.
I'd love to kind of ask you thisthing because I also address a
lot of questions from my followersand I have this wonderful question
from, uh, from Janice and, and sheasks, I don't feel anything anymore.
Like zero.
It's so strange.
I don't care if a guy ghosts me.

Um, but I also don't feelemotions for someone.
Is this normal?
Like I've heard a lot of my friendswho have similar issues like this.
Is this normal?
Maybe it's a trauma response, you know,when you get through so many negative
experience or maybe it's positive andthen the higher, the highest, the lower

is the low, you know, when everything isnice and then suddenly they disappear.
Of course, you, you kind of buildthis protective mechanism to not
to feel anything, not to get hurt.
I guess it's probably.
The explanation.
What, what do you think it is, Daria?
Um, well, I, I agree to, um, I, I,I think it is, uh, like a protective

mechanism and I, I, I can sympathizewith, uh, Janice, so I, I, I solve.
sometimes feel that way as well.
So you sort of put the shield andtry to protect yourself from, um,
you know, feeling anything becauseyou've been hurt too many times and
you've just, yeah, stopped feelinganything because it's safer that way.

Um, and it is scary and it.
So, um, and it is a bit of a trustissues, I think, to a degree that
you do not trust people anymore.
So you, uh, are not open enough.
You can't be vulnerable.
And, uh, um.
But it helps you not to get hurt, I guess.

I've been looking into this.
I think this is a really interestingquestion because I think there's
multiple factors at play.
So if we leave all kind of like themental issues out of the out of the
equation, what else could be causing this?
Because I've done some kind ofinteresting TikToks and reels on this.
And those reels have gone viral, likeliterally, like, why is this happening?

Like, it seems to be a trendamongst a lot of people right now
that they're not feeling anything.
And, and so if we go back to theapps, because of the apps of the
short term dopamine hits, therecould be also that kind of numbness.
And if you look into the literature,Um, you know, people are feeling less
maybe because of the short term effectsof, you know, these dopamine hikes

that we're getting from our mobile, youknow, from our technology consumption.
But maybe there are otherfactors that we have to look at.
And I think this is aninteresting question.
I also want to further investigate whyare people generally feeling more numb?
We should be more emotional, right?
We're creatures, we have emotionsand What's holding us back from,
from, you know, trying to express ouremotions or feeling anything at all.

And so there's also this kind of thingthat's come up now, which is called,
people are called arrow and ace.
I don't know if you'veheard of this before.
Arrow is a short word or a kind oflike an abbreviation for aromantic.
So, um, people who don't feel anyromantic attraction to other people.
And, and then ace is asexual.
So you can feel arrow, but you can, youknow, you can, you can be asexual and not

have sexual, uh, feelings or attractionstowards another person, but you can feel
romantically attracted to some of them.
And so this is becomingalso of a trend nowadays.
So people are saying, Hey, I'm aromantic.
And it's very interesting because,you know, I reflect on this myself.
And I try to investigate things from a.
scientific perspective, but I also like tohave these conversations with people and
find out what your perspective is on this.

And when I reflect back on my ownexperience, I think, you know, I've,
I've been in many long term relationshipsand, um, and now it's kind of like,
maybe it's because of age, you know,I'm not, I'm not that, What do you
call it, like the little puppy anymore?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Like, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Like, ah, fall in love.
No, no, it's like, you know,that's, I don't have that anymore.

And I'm, I'm, I'm equating it to myselfbecause of age, but maybe I'm also
feeling, experiencing what, you know,what Janice is asking here in that sense.
And a lot of people, and so that'swhy I wanted to have that discussion.
Why are we not feeling as muchanymore and should we, should
we do something about it?
I think that's the bigger question.

If we're all experienced this forwhatever reason, should we not try?
to feel because we're humans, aren't we?
And we shouldn't we feel andwhat could we do about it?
Like, maybe that's a nicequestion to talk about.
Like, what could we do to feelmore besides the trauma and besides
disconnect from social medianews, the, the, the technology

that's surrounding us every day.
I think you mentionedearlier something about that.
Uh, certain the chemicals,the way it works, dopamine.
Um, because we getting that fixed soquickly nowadays through social media,
uh, through watching TV, I don'tknow, getting some, I've noticed as

well, people can't watch anything.
Just watch it anymore.
They, they, they're still on their phone.
They're watching multitasking.
'cause we don't have the, the attentionspan to just dedicate on one task.
So maybe, uh, our connections in ourbrain getting so much fixed that it's

numbing, uh, numbing the way we feel.
Oh, we're just tryingto look for quick fixes.
Oh, quick fixes.
That, that's an interesting pointbecause, um, in 2010 or 2011,
when we didn't know much about.
Internet usage and mobile gaming and thatkind of stuff and, and they, they, they,
the Missouri University for Technology,they, they studied undergrads, so
they followed undergrads, um, onlinekind of internet usage anonymously.

And so they then eventually foundthere was a strong correlation between
negative emotions and internet usage.
And that, that became kind oflike a negative emotion theory
or hypothesis where, and nowwe know that's the case, right?
So when we're, we're using ourmobile phones and technology and,
and gaming as a quick fix becauseit's a, it's a painkiller, but

we're not addressing the actual painthat costs effort, that costs time.
So basically our, our.
Technology consumption has kind ofbecome a painkiller for us and, and
then maybe numbing us for that matter.
So you're saying Daria, let'sget rid of the technology.
Let's have like a digital detox.
No, no.
Get rid of it altogether.

I'm, I'm, I still believe, I stillbelieve there's lots of positive
things that come out of technology, butdetox, definitely technological detox.
Um, um, not using any, anyapps, um, going away, maybe some
retreats, I don't know, recharging.
Um, Yeah.

And being intentional about it, right?
Be intentional.
Yeah, beautiful.
And spend time with peopleintentionally as well, without.
Without the mobile phones.
And it's, it's painful to, you know,whenever you go out and you see those
couples sitting Mm Uh, having a dinnerand they were both on the phones and,
and you like, maybe they just checkthe message, but no, they're like,

they spend for an hour, two hours.
They just sit therelooking into their phones.
There's actually some studies thathave come out, which actually show
that even having the mere sight.
Your mobile phone on the table can loweryour overall evaluation of that date.
The mere sight of it, of a phoneon the table can lower your overall

evaluation of the other person andthe date it's experience itself.
So everyone listening, keepyour mobile phones away.
Be intentional.
Tana, what about you?
Um, so I would say I agree, uh,with Daria as well and I have
done 10 days silent retreat.
Uh, it was a lot of organization, butuh, I actually didn't have my phone.
I completely disconnected.

You can do that in UAE for thosewho listen in UAE, and, uh, it
was an absolute, um, how wouldI say, life changing experience.
And I guess one of the reasons why alsotoday people are getting numb is because
they lost connection with themselves.
They don't listen to their innervoice because, as you said, they,

they, when, when they're sad or whenthey're frustrated, it's easier to go
on social media, watch a video, uh,do something, uh, text your friend
just, just to say hi, you know?
Send it to 10 people andthen you see how many reply.
Uh, I heard that it bringsdopamine as well when they reply.
you feel better for a while and it's,uh, it's easier and less painful than

probably sit and actually feel thisnegative emotion for five and work on it.
For five minutes experiences.
And just let it go through yourbody and it, it'll eventually leave.
But we keep doing these things asa quick fix and, uh, distracted.
And that's the reason why wefeel numb because we're so
disconnected with, uh, with ourself.

And it's funny.
I, maybe this is kind of what I do.
I always pay attention to myfriends and when I see sometimes
that my friends are Okay.
If you guys are responding too quicklyto my message, look, Tik Toks and reels
and it's like, I sometimes I get shocked.
I'll share with you.
I spent 12 hours, apparentlya day on my phone.

Whereas the average like, if youwant to stay within the safe zone,
it's like less than five hours.
But if you go, and I've done my ownresearch on this, if you go beyond
five hours, you can come into thehabit, strong habit forming zone.
And that's when potentialaddiction can happen, unless you're
intentional about your usage oryou're using it for research.
But if you're just mindlesslyscrolling, that's when it can actually

hurt you for more than five hours.
But I, I do it.
So I'm saying I'm doingit this intentionally.
I am doing it intentionally.
All research purposes andproduction content creation.
I spend 12 hours on my phone,but when I see Someone else.
Oh, do you see that?
Like someone in your phoneand your friend group always
responding to your, your messages.
That might be a sign that they're goingthrough some difficulties and they're

using their mobile phone technologyconsumption as a way to deal with it.
So it's a nice thing kindof to be reflective about.
Hey, so, um, one last questionand then we'll go to a fire round.
Um, and then of course your twored flags, green flags and dating.
Um, one final thing.
Um, um, there is this.
happening nowadays, because people don'twant to date anymore, people are falling

in love with fictional characters.
Now when I used to live in Japan, thatwas a big thing because, you know, people
were in a very stressful environment,other Asian countries, I think as well,
but now I'm seeing that in the West.
And recently also when I didsome content around that,
people just went crazy for it.
You, you acknowledge us.
Um, have you seen this happeningin, in your friends or have you

experienced anything like that?
Like falling in love with aprotagonist of a story of a book,
either fictional or maybe cartoon?
I mean like I sometimes fancy somecharacters out there, but I don't,
I don't fall in love with them.
For sure.
No, no.
I still separate the, you know, thecharacter from actor or from reality.

I've never heard of it actually.
People really actually fall in lovewith them like because it's their
escape from reality and you know,things they say actually is that.
God, this character is perfect.
There's nothing wrong about them.
They won't leave me.
They're always there when I need them.
They're not going to hurt me.
Um, you know, and even when they'rethe villain, even that there's

even when they're the villain,there's perfection there for them.
It's interesting.
Tatjana, have you seen this before?
You heard about this before?
I've heard of it.
I just saw today on TikTok,uh, that there is a woman who
actually married an AI character.
She, she created it and she.
That's, that's a whole nother level.
She married it.
I think it is in us.
Um, but I guess it's, it's commonin teenagers when they, when they.

Fall in love with a hero or something,but among my friends, I didn't see that.
Well, I take Japan again asa reference point because you
briefly, you know, Hello Kitty.
Oh, yes.
Hello Kitty has a, she's, she's reachedcult status, you know, I like Hello Kitty.
I love Hello Kitty.
I look at these, I live in Japan,like, you know, but there's adults
that love her, like literally,like, you know, it's just.

There's an obsession about Hello Kitty.
So it also happens, of course itcan happen much more when you're
younger, but it also happens in ouradult years and, and maybe because
of today's world, because we'rebecoming so dissatisfied with this.
And again, this is part of the researchthat I'm investigating and looking
into and writing about it in the book.
But I would, I would, I also wantedto hear your perspectives about this.

Have you had experience?
I've never fallen in love with afictional character because I, I don't
feel that bad about my, of course I'vehad hardships, yeah, in my love life.
But you know, it just, you grow from it.
You learn.
And I look back and I say, look,they're being good experiences.
They're being bad experiences.
I know what definitely what Idon't want anymore in my life.
And I definitely do what I still want,but I, I'm still a hopeless romantic.

I still believe in romance.
Let's bring it to the, Oh,it's getting too personal.
So let's get it to a fire round.
I want to do the fire round with youand just tell me a quick answer to your
coffee, coffee, tea, tea, inner peace.
Cardi B or Nicki Minaj.

Can I say no?
That's what everyone says.
Anyone else?
Um, American Pie or Mean Girls, the movie.
American Pie American Pie.
American Pie, yeah.
I haven't seen Mean Girls.
It's also pretty funny.
I'm a cavewoman.
I don't have a Netflix account.

No Netflix?
No Netflix.
Okay, no Netflix.
Um, online dating or meetingsomeone at the supermarket?
I love this, but we're losing ourabilities to go up to someone and
say, Hey, I like what you're wearing.
I, I had actually a recent experience,not in a supermarket, but, uh,
in a pub where I saw someone, Ithought, hmm, interesting, like,

let me try to strike a conversation.
It was through a friend.
He was with, but it did work out, youknow, no, no, not like nothing serious,
but like as an experience overall, itwas, um, the moment worked out, the moment
worked out just, just overall it wason the trip and all of that, but it was

just, I was curious, like can people stillmeet, you know, in a natural habitat,
you know, they can, you know, you justneed to be a bit more confident, I guess.
But you would like to, to havethat from, from a man, obviously.
Maybe we want to do that more, right?
Maybe we should do that more, like be moreintentional about going up to someone and

instead of getting into a lift and takingout your phone because we feel so anxious.
Hey, how you doing?
Either they freak out.
That's already a filter for you.
That's fine.
They weren't, they weren't the rightperson, but taking the initiatives because
sometimes a life partner or soulmateis just one question away, isn't it?
Um, we're going to wrap up with,uh, two of your red flags and green

flags, Daria, and Tachana, two ofyour red flags and green flags.
So red flags, I guess, um, if, uh, Theyhaven't had any long term relationships.
I think that could be a redflag for sure, you know.

Particularly at my age, you know,you would expect someone would have a
relationship and if they haven't, um,that could be, um, a potential, yeah.
Um, and just sort of generally, likereally being bad at communication.
Uh, I think that's, um, a big,big, big red flag straight away.

Give me an example of whatwould be a bad communicator.
Oh, well, I don't know whetherit's necessarily, um, it's, it's
knowing how to build connection.
So you start the conversation and forme, you straight away can, you know
straight away It's going to work.

If they have a conversation,but they don't ask questions.
Uh, they don't ask aboutyou or they don't listen.
Um, so it, it needs tobe sort of two way thing.
And when you sort of become the onethat asking all the questions you
like, you just give up from that.
That's it.
It's not going anywhere.
For sure.

And, and Tashana, what, whatare your two red flags and your
two green lit flags in dating?
Red flags is the, um, One of thethings is when they talk bad about
people, about their exes, abouttheir family, about their friends.
That's a big red flag for me.
Um, another one, if they're toomaterialistic, you know, when they

start to brag about what they have inlife, um, green flag is family values.
If they like their family and youknow, if they have the cute picture of
their grandma and it shows the valuesof the person and also the confidence
when they know who they are, whenthey are in peace with themselves.
That's a total green flag for me.

Well, they're a piece of themselves.
They feel confident about themselves.
They know who they are.
Because this is the base.
If they're not confident, they,they will mess up with other things.
I forgot to ask you, whatwere your two green flags?
I'd say not necessarily family values,but a good family, like someone who have

got a strong connection with their family.
I think it's so important.
And The type of friendsthey've got as well.
Um, I, I really believe intell me who your friends are
and I'll tell you who you are.
Um, I think that like this idea that youare the average of your five best friends.
And you know, I'm sure There are somestudies around it, uh, I've, I've, I've

read it somewhere that people you surroundwith, uh, you become like those people.
So they talk about surrounding yourself,people you aspire to because you will be.
Striving to becomebetter like those people.
So, if you know that they are,you know, not very good people,
it's straight away a sign.

Yeah, and also a negative environmentcan also have a huge impact on us, right?
Good people can turn bad.
We've seen that happen.
And maybe that's what wesee in the dating world.
Because eventually when these toxicbehaviors become the norm, it's
like you have to behave that way.
Otherwise, you know.
You'll maybe be seen as weak or,or, you know, we just kind of,
we, we adapt to that environmentcause that's become the norm.

And so therefore we treat peoplethe same way we're being treated,
but that can also hold us back.
So green flag is surroundingyourself by good people, people.
And, um, having interests as well.
Uh, I think there are.
Lots of people that they just don'tdo anything and, um, yeah, someone who
is active, someone who's got hobbies.

Oh, we've got lots of green flags here.
Someone who travels, you know, I thinklike someone who, like if I have to
pinpoint someone who travels straightaway, it tells me a lot about that
person because it sort of widensyour horizon and you're becoming.
Um, a bit more open minded and tolerance.

Thank you so much for your time and forjoining me in this, uh, in this episode
of Red Flags Green Flags, where weactually kind of dived into romance and
the perils of today's modern dating world.
Thank you for sharing your ownexperiences, your own challenges,
but also what you see is a waymaybe we can change things around.
Um, I think we've got a long way to go.
I mean, I don't think it'sgoing to change quickly, but

these conversations really help.
And I think the people thatare listening in really.
Just can take so much awayfrom your own experience.
Probably they've, they're thinking sohardly right now after listening to
you guys and thinking, I need to dothis differently, or I can do this.
And I can, I still believe in love.
I'm at a two, but I still believe Ican make it a five where I can go from
a five to a 10 or I just give up andI'll go to a zero and take care of my

kittens and myself, um, and a cup of tea.
Thank you so much for being onthe show today, Daria and Tashana.
Um, and I hope thatyou enjoyed it equally.
So as I did.
And again, thank youso much for being here.
Thank you so much for inviting.
It was a pleasure.
Thank you.
Very interesting conversation.
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