Do you ever wonder what science has to say about maintaining a fulfilling long-term relationship? Today on the podcast, we interviewed acclaimed relationship scientist, Ty Tashiro. His book, The Science of Happily Ever After, shows how our decision-making abilities falter when choosing mates and how insights from social science can help us make smarter decisions.
You don’t want to miss an episode of our dating and relationships series! We are going to speak to everyone from Tennesha Wood the founder of the first ever matchmaking firm dedicated to black professionals, to Logan Ury the author of How Not to Die Alone & director of relationship science at the dating app Hinge. And of course we can’t talk about relationships without talking about divorce, so we will interview Chaute Thompson, a counselor who helps couples and families grow healthier relationships.
In This Episode We’ll Cover:
- What “happily ever after” really means
- Why we only get 3 wishes for an idea partner
- Why the seeds of marital conflict can be traced back to your first dates
- How to improve the quality of your existing relationship
- Why is it so hard to date these days?
- What is wrong with online dating?
- What is the best age to get married?
- What is the worst age to get married?
- How to swipe smarter on dating apps.
- What traits make a great life partner?
- What is the number 1 trait to have in a satisfying relationship?
- What is a novelty seeker and why could that be a dealbreaking trait?
- 3 things to look for successful online dating (hint: it’s not compatible zodiac signs).
- Does wealth really matter in relationships?
- Are soulmates real?
- What does it take to make relationships work?
- Should you feel a spark when dating?
- 1 thing you can do NOW to improve your relationship.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Science of Happily Ever After by Ty Tashiro
- The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward by Ty Tashiro
- Ty Tashiro on Instagram
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Jessica Jones: one of your TED talks, you say that love stories that live happily ever after seem harder than ever. And I feel like I would agree , but can you elaborate on that and just what is a state of modern dating and marriage from your perspective?
Ty Tashiro: Yeah, sure. That's. Sometimes it can feel like things are harder than ever. And uh, I know in my own life, just among friends and colleagues, like, everyone's like, ah, this is so hard to date right now. And so part of it was just curiosity. And fortunately there's a long history. A romance. And so anthropologists and sociologists, uh, can provide actually fact-based things about how romance went over the course of, uh, centuries or even the past 5,000 years.
We have some evidence staying back that far. So, um, I, I say it's hard right now for, uh, a number of reasons. Um, one, if you just look at the number of people who are coupled in long-term relationships, uh, it's never been. Than it's been over the past 10 years. So, uh, that as a starting point suggests that, hmm, and maybe something's a little more difficult about this because when you ask people, do you want to be in a lifelong partnership?
92% of people say yes they do. And uh, among people who are still single at any age, the majority of those folks want to be in a relationship. So it's not that people's interests in being in a relationship has waned, it's rather that there's something that seems to be more difficult, uh, about it. Um, I think there's a number of factors that, that go into that.
And one thing that seems to be more difficult that we're still wrestling with, of course, is online dating and the, the app dating. You know, believe it or not, when I first started, uh, writing the, the book for the science pathway ever after, it was about 10 years ago, 9, 9, 10 years ago, app dating wasn't even a thing at that time, which is stunning.
So when we did the, the second edition, I couldn't believe that that hadn't been a thing just 10 years ago. So we have this new technology, uh, it's a source of great frustration, for a lot of folks. I mean, I, I, I support people using it. It's a great way to obviously increase the number of potential partners that you could meet.
Uh, but sure as a frustra, Process for a lot of folks. And one of the things, and we again, this a little bit more is as we go on, but the interface itself kind of encourages. Some of our worst behavior . I I think when it comes to making wise choices about a partner and also just the way we interact with each other, I, I think, is less civil, uh, on some of these platforms.
So I think, I think that's one problem. Uh, another thing that's happening is that, and I think this is a good thing, so don't get me wrong, I think this is a very good thing. Um, women have so much more opportunity now, and obviously there's. A ways to go on on a lot of things, but compared to, let's say like the 1950s, uh, women are much more empowered than it used to be.
And so when it comes to heterosexual relationships, that has disrupted the balance of power, and I am. all about that . I think that's, that's nothing but good. But there's another thing where we're still in this period of adjustment where we have some of those old narratives still lingering around about, um, kind of a one size fits all for relationships.
And then there's this more progressive way. Of viewing relationships and I, I think people should be able to do what they wanna do, but that also then creates a little bit of complexity that wasn't there before. So I could keep going on and on . Yeah. About this topic. But those are a couple things.
Wendy Lopez: It's a lot, I mean, with what you're saying, I'm just wondering with online dating, , do you feel like it is setting us back when it comes to getting to know people?
Or do you feel like it's the way that we approach online dating and kind of like you said, like the behaviors that, um, that we put out when we are online dating because we're behind a phone versus like interacting with someone in person because it's like online dating it. I think it's here to stay . I think it's gonna become a lot more ingrained in our culture.
And so, you know, it's like, well, how do we use it in a smarter, more humane? Way so that it can work for people. Cuz I agree. It's like, it's so frustrating. You know, when I was on the apps, I'm like, oh my God. It's almost like you have to go through this to meet someone now. Mm-hmm. . Whereas before that wasn't the case.
Ty Tashiro: Yeah. It seems like kind of the only option available sometimes. Yeah. . Yeah, exactly. Whatever the old meat cutes and uh, uh, in real life kinds of meetings, it seems really. to hear those now, but, uh, it would be nice to have that option. Yeah. You know, I, I think it's a broader problem with technology in general.
Uh, you know, certainly on social media, for example, , uh, people are having some fatigue and difficult with, with that as well, you know? Yeah. Uh, so I, I, you know, online dating is just another manifestation of this. I think I, I'll give you just a couple things though that I, I think are critical when it comes to online dating.
You know, one, one of the biggest issues is how. Physical attractiveness is so the main feature of a lot of these interfaces. So if you just think about the user experience, you know, over the years what's happened, obviously it's gotten to things like Tinder or these swiping apps where the thing that's, uh, visible on your phone is really just the picture.
Some made up name , somebody has maybe their age, uh, where they're located, may maybe. Job or something like that. But you know, people will make decisions based solely on. That picture, which is basing the decision then solely on physical attractiveness. Uh, someone did a really great analysis of hinge data and they looked at thousands of hinge users and how they interfaced with the app.
And one of the kind of simple questions they asked, I thought was a really interesting one. , which was how long do people spend before they swipe? So say, yes, you're a possibility, or no you're not. And it was only about two seconds that they spend on each person. Obviously if you kind of think through, so what were you able to look at in two seconds?
It's pretty much just the picture, right? Yeah. Um, and I think sometimes this is really the second. , the apps have made us view dating as now this thing of abundance where the grass is always greener. Mm-hmm. . And so we're, we don't treat potential partners like this rare resource or, you know, something that's, that's really special to find.
It's become more this. Almost gamified, almost like commodity. I hate to use that term because that sounds so objectifying, but I think that's partly what that does. Then, you know, if you feel like there's just these infinite possibilities, if you perceive that's the case, um, you know, tho those are, that's a medium then for some bad behavior or some, some less than optimal behavior.
So I think there's the, the quantity. Problem. And then there's also the issue then of the interface itself and just really not encouraging us to focus on the things that matter the most. Yeah,
Jessica Jones: we're actually having the behavioral scientist from Hinge on the podcast as part of this series. I don't know by the time this airs, if that episode will have aired already, but we will get some great data from them as well in terms.
you know, what's going on behind the swipes and just optimizing profiles and things like that. But in terms of happily ever after, right, because we're sold the stories, you know, Disney movies, what does that even mean anymore? Or is it something that's like unique to each individual and you have to figure that out for
Ty Tashiro: yourself.
Yeah. Huh. That's, that's a great question. No one's asked me that question, actually. So, um, we still do have it for sure, even though some of the childhood fairytales things we began in Disney, for example, um, I think have evolved in like some, some healthier ways, uh, less gender stereotype ways. For example, um, the notion of happily ever after still exists, uh, goes.
Really hundreds of years. It, and it's really actually we can kind of pinpoint it goes back to the late 1880s. So just a short history here. But, um, for most of the history of romantic partnerships, it was just this really pragmatic kind of arrangement. It was usually based on strengthening families ties or, or power.
A lot of times there were economics involved. , you know, there would be livestock and land involved in these, uh, marriages, for example, that were oftentimes arranged by folks in the community. It wasn't really until the. Really the late 18 hundreds, whereas the romantic movement, which, uh, pervaded art and music and all kinds of other things, people had this actually unique notion that the moral life, the ethical life was one full of powerful emotion that not to experience powerful emotion was actually to waste your potential as a human.
which was actually this really novel kind of concept. Well, this also purveyed the way we viewed romantic relationships as well. And so, believe it or not, uh, around that time, that's where we start to see people and not only saying that it should be your preference, but that it's actually your moral imperative to find this happily ever after, this euphoric experience that's gonna endure for decades, really.
And um, I think what we found over the. Hundred 40 years or so. That's really hard to do, . If not, uh, I'm not gonna say it's impossible, but it is really hard to do and it doesn't really coincide with I think, what's realistic and and healthy. So I think it's good to say, Hey, I want a relationship that's gonna be very satisfying and maybe not euphoric at all times.
Butterfly in the stomach. happy, but really satisfying. And it's gonna endure for whatever that means to you. And for most folks, that still means for for a lifetime. So a lot of researchers, that's what they look at. They look at is the relationship happy? Does the relationship stay intact? And that kind of maps on to happily ever after, but,
You know, when you look at how many people actually fight happily ever after, it's, it's gets a little bit depressing. So, ,
Wendy Lopez: what,
Jessica Jones: what are the numbers on that? ?
Ty Tashiro: Well, okay, uh, , it's, it's, it's not great. So the, the worst rate for first marriage is, is about, In the low 40%. So 41 to 43% is the divorce rate for first marriages.
Mm. Now, there were some clever sociologists at Harvard who were like, Hey, wait a second. There's a lot of people who never file for divorce, so they don't get counted. But for all intents and purposes, they'll never see each other again. They're gonna live separate lives, but they just don't legally s.
Divorce, um, that's an additional 10 to 15% of marriages will end that way. So permanent separation. So conservatively we could say about, let's say 51% of relationships aren't ever after another, about eight to 10% of relationships are chronically unhappy. So more years are unhappy than happy in the marriage.
And so if we kind of add that all up, , your chances of finding happily ever after are about 40%, which doesn't sound great. And uh, but I always like to say I'm a glass half full kind of guy. And this, in this sense, I guess 40% full kind of guy. Um, but that does mean that 40% of people are. Have this happily ever after idea in mind, let's say a reasonable version of that.
And they're actually making it happen. And that's incredibly, that's incredible that they do that. And we all probably know, um, some couples who are older adults and they, they made it to that happily ever after. And you sit there and you talk to 'em. and you just realize how rare that is for folks to find that.
And you realize all the work too, right? That went into making that happen over the course of decades. Yeah. .
Wendy Lopez: Yeah, I mean, I, I think that those rates actually make sense, , because, you know, I, I think especially now people are getting married older. Um, I think that might change things, you know, when it comes to like statistics too, just like knowing yourself a little bit better and what your needs are, but even this whole concept of like, I mean, I'm not happy.
100% of the time. Just me alone. I can't imagine like adding another person into the mix. And so I feel like that whole concept needs to be reframed, and like just something that's, you know, like you said, more rooted in reality. Um, in thinking about like, I don't know, things that people should consider for having long lasting, um, healthy marriages, um, what do you think is helpful?
Like, is there research. Maybe the age, like maybe, uh, getting married a little bit later in life or, um, I don't know, other things that, that might skew the rates to be more in favor of, you know, sustaining the
Ty Tashiro: relationship. Yeah, your hypothesis about that is a great one. So age, uh, that does matter in some unintuitive ways, I think.
Um, but what is common sense is there's a, a cliff actually around 19 and 20 years old. So if you marry under 20. Uh, done. It's, yeah, not great not great on, not great on average. So, uh, probably doesn't surprise, uh, many folks have some, you know, small percentage will make it, but that's not, not great. It, it seems to be, if you get kind of into the mid twenties around, you know, 26, 27, you get some additional protective benefit for, um, finding a happily ever after.
Uh, but it's not, it's not huge, you know, at, at that point. But yeah, you know, kind of getting to, and I think the. your intuition about why that would be the case seems to pan out into data. So it's like you just know yourself better. Um, you've been through some tough things in life and you've, you've made it through, built some resilience, uh, but you also know what you want, uh, from a partner and what actually might be important to you.
And I think we also, I know for me, at least as I got through my mid twenties, I got just more graceful with people and just more understanding. . Hey, nobody, none of us are perfect. And it's not about like, it's, it's, you get less selfish too, I think. And something, it's more this attitude of like, Hey, how can we help each other out here rather than, how can we be maximally happy at, at, at all times?
So yeah, age can certainly be a good thing. Uh, you know, one of the things that I've been interested in is just the notion that people don't think about relationship problems sometimes. Until they're already in a long-term relationship or a committed relationship. And there's a lot of things you can do actually when you're just choosing a partner, whether it's on that app or the early days of dating, they're actually really predictive of your likelihood of finding a happily ever after.
So I think if people can pay attention to the trait and characteristics that actually matter in a great partner, that's one of the most important things that they can. What are those traits? ? Uh, so there, there's a, there's a handful. Um, you know, in the book I go through nine different things. Let's, let's use maybe personality as an example here.
So there's really dozens of different personality traits. Uh, for your listeners. They could probably think about some of their own personality traits or the personality traits they might want in a partner. And quickly, that list could, could add up to a lot of different things. Researchers over the past couple decades have taken a close look at this.
And they're really clever studies where they'll recruit participants when they're still single and they get personality assessments on them sometimes before they've even met their partner. And what they do then is they track those people over the course of decades. So now some of these studies are 30 or 40 years old, and they can say if you had certain personality traits before you ever met, , what were the odds that you would end up in a happy and stable relationship 20 years later?
And believe it or not, just based on people's personality traits from when they were single, uh, you can really powerfully predict some of their future relationship outcomes. Mm-hmm. So, uh, one of the models that's popular in psychology psychology's what they call the big five model of personality. It's, um, extrover.
Openness to experience. So kind of how interested you are in new things and new possibilities. Uh, agreeableness, it's kind of how kind and, and nice you are. Uh, conscientiousness. How much do you have your act together? , uh, basically organized. Are you and neuroticism or the opposite? That emotional stability and.
When I look at those five factors, uh, there's some really clear findings that emerge. And one of them is that my number one draft choice for a trait in a partner would be emotional stability. Um, because it's so powerfully predictive of. Not only your satisfaction, but also your partner's satisfaction. So neurotic partners are less satisfied with the relationship.
Their partners are also less satisfied with the relationship because neurotic folks tend to be moody, uh, pessimistic, prone to anger. Uh, just a lot of things that would make a relationship difficult. Um, they're also more likely to divorce or, or, or break up. Uh, one of the most, one, one of the studies that I.
I found fascinating was that when neurotic people pair with someone who's emotionally stable, you would think, okay, great, uh, you got. actually exactly the thing that you need , you're kind of emotionally unstable and you found someone who can study you. And what they found in that study over time was that it's almost like the neurotic partner couldn't stand the success of it all.
And so they would actually, the neurotic partner would be the one to terminate the relationship. Um, cause they were just kind of uncomfortable with the, the stability in, in the partner. So that would be, uh, the, the top factor. Uh, another one would be agreeableness. And I, you know, sometimes people are like, okay, that makes sense.
But I also push back on that cause I say I, I think like nice people actually get a bad rap in dating. So let's imagine someone brings out a partner. Uh, to meet the friends, the initial public offering of a partner to the friends, and that partner leaves to go get some drinks or something or whatever.
And then there's that huddle that happens. So what do you think? Uh, uh, and, um, everyone kind of weighs in real quick. If people said, oh, I think he's really. , you'd almost feel insulted that that was like the first thing that they, that they said. Uh, but in fact, in these studies, what they find is that, people who are nice, kind, agreeable folks have better relationships.
They're more empathic, they're more empathically accurate, so they'll kind of get what you're feeling more often. Uh, there's more, uh, relationship stability. There's more sexual satisfaction in those relationships. So there's all these like benefits that come out of it, but is this underrated trait when people select partner?
Um, the last one I'll, I'll bring up is novelty seeking, which is kind of this openness to experience. Um, novelty seekers are so much fun to date. They're, they're kind of the best because you'll do all kinds of exciting things. You'll do all of these spontaneous things, and it's just this thrilling kind of ride.
They're also really likely to get absorbed in, in whatever's novel or new, and so they will be totally into you. Um, now that's all great and it burns bright. Novelty seekers are also prone to boredom. Um, so they'll get bored with things including you. Um, they're also prone to bad decisions, so they make a lot of impulsive decisions that can and poorly things with substances or infidelity or other things that can be real deal breakers and relationships.
So, you know, there, there's a trait. Gosh, it's really attractive at the start, but if you're talking about a happily ever after, it's not a great trait to select on. And so if you tick those three things and you prioritize those, Then you would dramatically improve upon that 40% likelihood of finding a happily ever after.
And you could bump up well above like a 70% chance. Uh, my estimation has been around 78% chance. So you, I think any of us would take that going from 40%, 78%. But when you watch what people actually do, like in speed dating studies or online dating studies, and things like neuroticism fall to like eighth or ninth in the priority list as far as what people are looking for in a partner, they tend to emphasize other things like physical attractiveness or a wealth socioeconomic status, uh, that don't have as much of a return on investment in the long run.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah. Hi, Zodiac. Sign .
Ty Tashiro: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah. It looks like those aren't making the list, huh? No , right?
Jessica Jones: I'm thinking like as you're talking a lot of my, um, exes. we're novelty seekers. Mm-hmm. , um, which is why they are exes. But you mentioned looks and money and this is something you have chapters on both of these in your book, and I wanna dive into them because I was telling my husband about this, and especially the looks.
is those things not being as important as we think they are. And he's like, no, there's no way. And then I played him one of your interviews and he is like, oh, okay. It makes sense . So can you explain why looks and money aren't as important as people think that they
Wendy Lopez: are?
Ty Tashiro: Yeah, sure. Um, well, and, and go on your partner too for being cool about that.
Sometimes when people have that conversation, they're like, what? I'm not good looking. Or , whatever. But, uh, yeah. But no, it's, uh, You know, they, they've done once again, like a dozens of studies on this, and they see how does, what's the return on investment from having a good looking partner? And it's not, that's zero, but it's not great.
There's a lot of better things to choose, like, you know, someone who's kind or emotionally stable. Uh, so looks, you know, I always say you don't want, you don't want kissing your partner to feel like you're eating your veggie. You know, you want to be attracted to your partner, but the mistakes that people made, well let's,
Wendy Lopez: let's not use that reference cuz we actually love eating
Oh you do? Yeah. Oh, I heard you use that, right? Yeah. Sorry. Let's say like eating land. Overcooked
Ty Tashiro: veggie. There we go. There we go. Cook the wrong way.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah. Burned vegetables. Yeah. Got,
Ty Tashiro: we got for a sec. This would be the wrong podcast to use that . Use the example. So, um, yes, , we get it though. We get, we get, yeah.
Something un palatable. Let's, let's, let's say . Yeah. So you, you wanna be a attracted to your partner. Certainly. I'm not saying it's, it's not important, but the mistake that people make is they try to maximize their value on that. So in other words, they're trying to get the hottest partner possible. Um, and when you do that, you're just ruling out.
other possibilities. So for example, let's say someone wanted a partner on a scale of zero to 10. In their mind, let's just use this as a, a simple example. They want someone who's at a hotness level of eight or higher. Uh, that would mean that they would swipe left on 80% of the people. Now they might not think much about that, but when I see somebody do that, all I can think about is that somebody's getting ruled out.
Was maybe of amazing character and who was really interesting and, you know, had all these other qualities that would've been fantastic in a long-term relationship. But they got swipe left cuz they were a six or a seven, you know, and, and sometimes when people just slow down, they think about it, they're like, you know what the, the range of folks I'm attracted to, it's much broad.
Than how I'm behaving in choosing a partner. And so I think that's what I would tell folks is like, Hey, if we can ha have looks as part of it, but let's just move that down the list and let's also be more open-minded, uh, and inclusive about that, then I think that would be the good advice. Uh, same thing happens with, uh, money or socioeconomic status.
Uh, people try to maximize value in that sense and. , the return on investment is not great from that either. And so when couples are strained, so you know, let's say below the poverty line, for example, and I'm not making judgment about that, but I'm just saying that if a couple's below the poverty line, there's all kinds of stressful things that the couple has to deal with.
And some of those things are systemic that, that come with that. But um, in that case, socioeconomic status does seem to matter, but once you get past, um, really, uh, just, just a little bit past the poverty line, wealth doesn't really matter that much at all, and it really caps out at around $75,000 of household income.
So, you know, believe it or not, uh, having a partner who makes $75,000 versus $750,000, there's no difference in your long term happiness or stability. between those two income levels. .
Wendy Lopez: Wow. That, that's great to know. Love to hear it. . Yeah, . I was aiming for a millionaire, but Looks like . No, I'm kidding. Yeah. Um,
No, but I, I really enjoyed what you said about, you know, aesthetics because we've spoken about this on the podcast before. Just like, I think it's also important to question. where these beauty ideals are coming from, where you're like swiping, you know, on these people that don't fit your ideal of beauty when those ideals are usually informed by like white beauty standards or fat phobia or racism.
So I feel like it kind of also warranted deeper conversation. I, you're like, oh, well I'm only into like, I don't know, light skinned guys, or like, I want someone who has a six pack. And it's like, well, you know, kind of start asking yourself some questions about that. , um, I wanted to ask you about, Soulmates because I think as I'm getting older, I'm seeing these conversations about soulmates, dwindle, thank God.
But when I was in my twenties, it was like, how do, how to find my soulmate? It was, there were so many conversations about this and like, I don't know, I've always kind of questioned like, what does that even mean? ? I don't know. Um, but how do you feel about this whole. of a soulmate because I, I feel like it kind of, I, I think you can connect deeply to many people in your life.
There's a difference between connecting to someone and then actually having a long-term relationship. That makes sense. Um, and I think that, you know, it, that can happen several times throughout the course of. Your life, but you know, it's usually promoted as like this one person that's out in the world that, you know, you have to find and have this like, you know, just out of the world connection with.
Ty Tashiro: Yeah. It, it's kind of has this magic imbued, right? Yeah. The, the soulmate idea that there's gonna be some mysterious universal force that brings you together. Yeah. And then everything's gonna be, uh, now you're both like Levi meditating
Wendy Lopez: or something.
Ty Tashiro: That's exactly , that's exactly what happens in the movies, right?
and uh, and as much as we're intelligent people and can be adults about things, Those ideals. You know, believe it or not, we carry those over to adulthood. So, um, Gallup did this really interesting poll and they asked people, do you believe in soulmates? This was, this was about a decade ago, but um, the studies I've seen recently haven't changed much.
About 92% of people said they believe in soulmates. So it is this really pervasive ideal and it's that fate has delivered the ideal person for you. There's usually a one and only, and if someone found. awesome. Like . I'm so happy for them that they, that they did. But there are some potentially damaging things that come along with that because also included in the soulmate ideal are things we call irrational beliefs in relationships.
So you also believe, uh, statements, for example, like level Conquer. Now, I hope that's true. Uh, but , you know, sometimes it takes a little bit more than that. Sometimes it takes compromise and sacrifice and, you know, a lot of hard work to conquer something in a relationship. It's not just that, that euphoric love is gonna fix everything and make everything better.
Uh, people who believe in soulmates, uh, are also more likely to believe in migrating. So there's that ridiculous. I know I've had, so I'm, I'm not judging anybody here, but it usually comes out as well. If you don't know what's wrong, I'm not gonna tell you what's wrong. , I was kind of in buys this idea like, you should know what I'm thinking.
And if you've ever been on a receiving end of that, you're just thinking like, I actually don't know what's, what's , what's wrong here? I'd just like for someone to tell me. Um, but that's also another destructive belief that comes along with the soulmate ideal. Um, it would be nice. Fate delivered someone to you and it wasn't your intentional behavior that was needed to make it happen.
It would be nice if some magical loving force was this balm overall, the challenges you'd have in your relationship. But you know, I think anybody who's had a long-term relationship knows that's that's not the case. And so, yeah, you know, I think it's good for folks just to be like, Hey, I, I, I would. to keep my mind open, to the magic that's to be had in romantic relationships.
Uh, because I think there, there is some and we should enjoy that. But also for everything else, uh, let's apply some, some hard work and some determination and commitment to make things work. And so I think as long as folks can accommodate both of those ideals, that's maybe a healthier way to move. . Yeah.
Wendy Lopez: think with online dating, you know, a lot of us set ourselves up for disappointment because we're like, I didn't feel the spark on that first date. Mm-hmm. , and you know, like, Sometimes that takes a little bit of time. And so it's like you might be cutting yourself off from like so many great connections that, you know, maybe the first few dates were a little cold because, you know, the awkwardness of like meeting up with someone, especially someone that you meet, um, online.
But what are your thoughts on that? Like when should you feel a spark eventually? Like when do you know if you should give this a shot? Um, for people who are, you know, out in the dating. , when do you know that maybe it's time to not follow up with this person because it's just not happening.
Ty Tashiro: Yeah. Yeah.
That's a, that's a tough, that's a tough one, right? And I think we've all been there trying to figure out not a great or like mediocre first date maybe. And is it worth your time to have the second date or, or the third date, even if the second date was a little bit better, but still mediocre? Um, you know, we always say in uh, In social science, it takes three data points to make a trend.
So maybe give it three shots, and, and see what happens. You know, there there's a soulmate ideal and there's that spark idea, and that's, that's, sure, sure. Nice when it, when it happens. But I also think it's really nice when you meet somebody, maybe they're just a friend, not even the online date. Um, and there's not that powerful attraction at the start, but as you get to know, They start to become attractive to you as you get to know their personality and how the two of you interact together.
I think that's sometimes even like more awesome, right? To find that kind of situation. And for when we cut it off after the first state, then we preclude that opportunity from happening. So I, I like to tell folks, Hey, remember that? possibility where someone grows on you and how cool that is, and maybe let that guide your, you know, your, your choices.
The one other thing I'll say about that is sometimes there's red flags that are deal breakers and you've made, you know, along this idea of getting clear in your mind about what's important to you before. , you start making relationship decisions. Uh, it goes this idea of if you've come to certain things where you're like, I'm not gonna tolerate that because I deserve more in my life, and that person has those qualities, then yeah, get out.
It's, it's not worth your, not worth your time. So, um, there's the mediocre or like, just kind of good, that's one thing. But if it's the red flag and you're pretty positive about it, then, then go ahead and cut. That's
Jessica Jones: great advice, , because I feel like a lot of people extend things that they shouldn't extend and they cut off things that maybe they shouldn't cut off too early.
Yeah. So I feel like it's not instinctual and we really need to be potentially doing the opposite of what
Ty Tashiro: we usually do. That's that's right. Just kinda fight our intuition. Yeah. Uh, a little bit on that, but yeah, I think that's, and it, I think interestingly, I think sometimes it's hardest for nice people to enact that latter advice to, you know, the person has a red flag, quality, you know, nice, agreeable, kind.
People wanna give people the benefit of the doubt, which is a good quality. But, um, when it comes to dating, if someone has those non-negotiables, then yeah, uh, it's not, there's much better things you could be doing with your. Run for the hills.
Can I tell you a quick, quick story about that? Yeah. So , I had a, I had a roommate, uh, it was a couple years ago at this, uh, conference and it was this accelerator for these startups and we just kind of been thrust together. He had been on a mission actually, uh, and was of that faith and, uh, it, we had, we had these conversations that were just, cause I'm not, you know, I, I, I didn't.
Uh, with, with that religion. And, uh, but he said something that I thought was really interesting about relationships. So he said, you know, you go around knocking on doors and I'm spreading a word. Um, at the end of each day, apparently there's this list of, I can't remember, it's like five or eight questions or something that you go through with your partner.
Uh, you've been knocking on doors with all day and their relationship focused question. , like, Hey, was there something I did today that was, that bothered you, uh, that you didn't bring up? Was there something I did? Was there something I could have done better today that would've supported you better? Uh, the questions along these lines.
And, you know, as a, as a relationship guy, I was like, what a great idea, you know, to do that. And this fella had, um, continued that habit with his. . And so, uh, it wasn't every day that they did it, but a couple times a week they would sit down and have this really intentional conversation about, uh, the state of their relationship, which I thought I thought was a pretty cool, well, I, I thought it was pretty cool kind of thing.
So yeah. Anyways, it's kind of random, but Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But when it comes to maintenance, it's, uh, just even those two questions, you know, what's something that not, not great or not ideal, and then. , what's something I could do to support you better? I, I thought, wow, that's, that's really a powerful thing to do.
Jessica Jones: Okay. Okay. So in wrapping, what is one piece of advice for people looking to find a partner that they can be happy with
Ty Tashiro: long term?
Yeah. You know, I, I think, uh, we would always do this in my class actually. I taught a class on psychology of romantic relationships, and at the end of the semester, I'd have students just old school on pen and paper . Um, list the 10 qualities they want in romantic partner and just off the top of their head.
And then I'd say, Hey, now go back and rank order that list from what you, when you're thinking with your rational, careful mindset, what's most important for you? For a happy and stable long-term relationship. And inevitably those lists would look very different. And so, uh, for your listeners, I think something, believe it or not, that's really powerful to do.
It just. , it just takes a little bit of time, is to go ahead and make that list of 10 qualities, characteristics you want in a romantic partner, and then just take the time to do the hard thinking about, Hey, how do I rank order those things from most important to least important? And then keep it somewhere that you're not gonna lose track of it.
And if you're single, uh, ask yourself, does this person. Actually meet these characteristics that are so critically important to me. And I think what people a lot of times find is that if they're not mindful about it, those things can fall to the wayside. That's great advice.
Jessica Jones: Thank you so much for being.
Part of our podcast for people who are interested in learning more about you or picking up a copy of your first book. I know you have another book as well, but, um, can you let them know where to find you?
Ty Tashiro: Oh, sure. Yeah. Thanks and thanks for having me. This has been a real great conversation and, um, folks wanna learn more, they can go to my website, which is tie to shero.com.
Uh, the book we've been talking about today is called The Science of Happily Ever After, and they can just find out where books, where books are. Thanks, Ty.
Wendy Lopez: Thank you. Thanks, Ty.