Opening up to someone new is never easy, and we’re all guilty of hiding our vulnerable side when it comes to dating. But how to do we drop the act and really practice emotional availability with a partner – and what do we stand to lose if we don’t? Natalie Lue, dating expert and author of “Love, Care, Trust & Respect” shares her expertise and personal experiences to help us get to the bottom of it.
This is “Save the Date,” a dating survival kit from Coffee Meets Bagel. Each episode, our Chief Dating Officer Dawoon Kang will sit down with a guest expert to tackle some of your most burning dating questions and explore what it takes to ultimately reach your goals: going on great dates that lead to a lasting, serious relationship.
[1:39] Are we actually the emotionally unavailable ones?
[4:27} Why being vulnerable is so scary
[8:20] We can’t judge emotional availability right away
[14:04] There’s no crystal ball for relationships
[15:56] Are we being open, or just pretending to be?
[19:53] Being vulnerable in a safe way
[23:40] Learning to ask for what you need
[27:12] What does emotional availability actually look like?
[31:35] Practical tips for asking important questions
[40:52] The different stages of a relationship
[48:21] How bias affects our dating life
[51:01] When having “a type” creates blindspots
[55:52] The best dating advice Natalie has ever heard
[57:15] Natalie’s one go-to piece of advice for daters
“I thought of myself as miss commitment, miss monogamous, you know, I’m just like, so emotional. I’m so there. But I realized that I am the common denominator.”
“We have to ask ourselves. Why is it that when it comes to dating or being in a relationship, we consistently want to be involved with people who we are in no danger of actually being emotionally available with?”
“Boundaries are also a form of intimacy. Are we willing to say and show the word no? If we’re not, then we don’t have intimacy, because we can’t be real.”
“When we first meet somebody, when we’re dating them, we’re not meeting them. We’re meeting their representative. We’re putting our best forward, we’re giving the big laughs, telling the best stories. You know, we’re bringing our A-game. When we move from dating to being in a relationship, this is where the real getting to know begins.”
“Part of getting into the love bit in a relationship is, we actually have to be willing for the possibility of having our heart broken.”
“Whatever it is that you’re afraid to ask is typically the thing that you very much need to ask. Whatever it is that you’re afraid to say is often the thing that you really, really need to say.”
“Once we’ve now talked ourselves out of asking something that we need to know and then we’re privately anxious or irritated or upset or resentful or whatever it is behind the scenes – we’re now entering into this relationship with this big question mark, or continuing on with this involvement with this big question mark, and it sours things. We are far more likely to forge an intimate relationship with somebody who we were willing to ask the questions that we were afraid to ask.”
“People who are emotionally available consistently feel their feelings, even when they’re not the pretty ones.”
“If you keep doing the things that you typically avoid doing in relationships that you don’t want to be in again, you’re going to be in that relationship again, even if it’s just from how you are behaving.”
“If you only ask questions when your back’s against the wall, then you’re going to feel really intense. But when you’re going on dates and you’re actually there with the person and you’re being yourself and you’re having a conversation – it’s a natural extension to ask questions, right?”
“If we want to be in a loving relationship, we have to be willing to be honest, we have to be willing to ask the difficult questions.”
“In an ideal world, meeting somebody’s parents would mean that you are in a relationship and that this person wants to commit to you and sees you for something serious. But I have an ex who introduced me to his parents on our second date…and after the third date, our involvement was over.”
“Well the thing about dating is that a lot of people are driven by bias. Now, all humans have bias. And every human that says they don’t have bias, that’s just another bias.”
“There is a lot of using biases to make decisions that just do not make any sense whatsoever. We think ‘Oh, I just need to find somebody who is at an Ivy League, who earns this amount of money, who works in this field and if I can find somebody like that, then they’re perfect for me.’ How? None of those things tell you anything whatsoever about what type of partner they could be, whether you’re compatible in terms of core values.”
“Look back at who you’ve dated. Is there a pattern to it? Do they all look the same? Is the criteria pretty much all the same? This is an example of a blind spot.”
“We are often overlooking people who we are far more compatible with because we’re looking for something that actually might be totally irrelevant.”
“If you’re serious about being in a serious relationship, accept no substitutes.”