NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In this bonus edition of The Dig, Elle McLogan follows up with relationship expert Susan Winter on her most frequently asked question about dating:
What’s with all these mixed signals?
When it comes to pursuing a romantic interest, “people do not know how to decode the mixed messages,” Winter said. “There’s forward movement and retraction.” For instance, a new love interest might propose a weekend get-together and, when Friday rolls around, fall conspicuously silent.
Winter blames indecision generated by too many options.
“Think of the technology. Swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe—and that’s just one platform,” she said. “People always want what’s better. It’s natural. So we get something, and it’s good. But then we wonder, ‘Hmm, is this the best I can do?'”
On the receiving end of all that ambivalence, you might feel stuck on a hamster wheel of confusion and disappointment.
Winter’s advice? “Let’s start with you.”
In her view, your solution is to approach the dating pool with deliberate intention.
“State clearly in intelligible language that anybody can understand, on your first date or in your profile, what you want,” she said.
But whatever you do, don’t be vague.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, I love walks on the beach.’ I mean, who are you? If you’re very specific, you eliminate heartache from the very beginning.”
Winter also encourages a sense of confidence and comfort in one’s own desires.
“If I want to say, ‘I am looking for permanent partnership, I like monogamy, I’d like to live with somebody or be married, and I think I’d like to have children,’ I shouldn’t feel ashamed of that. And if I’m speaking to somebody who doesn’t want those things, I’d really like to know right away, not six months later.”
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