This is not a science post.  This is a rant.

I’m really starting to appreciate that part of the modern ills is that we’re disconnected from people.  Our relationships are shallow and have been replaced by Twitter, Facebook, and Tinder.

In talking with clients and observing people, I can’t help but realize that for many people, this is an under-appreciated source of health issues.

These effects are in part mediated by the vagus nerve, which requires real life connection.

Most guys and girls see dating as a commodity or consumable good.  Most people build shallow relationships that are fun for a few weeks or months and then we get bored and move on.  This is the way of life – until we hit our mid 30’s when we’re jaded from relationships, but feel the need to get married or else we’ll be alone for the rest of our lives.

Both guys and girls are the problem.

I ask girls if they’ve dated really quality guys in their lives, and most girls have come by at least one real quality guy by the age of 30, but they let them go for some reason. Some of them have this subconscious belief that there will be an endless supply of great guys when they get older.

Guys often don’t know how to think past their dicks and have one requirement: will the girl put out? And guys get bored and move on when she does.  Time for the next girl to conquer, they think.

How can we trust others to build a real connection when this is the modus operandi?

Not only are relationships shallow, but people are so judgmental.  Instead of focusing on how kind someone is and what their character is like, we judge people for some dumb faux pas or for behaving in a way we deem “weird”.

We judge people based on their beliefs (how can they have THAT political/religious position???) and their preferences (how could they not like THIS song/movie/activity?).  We care about what our friends and family will think, even if their desires are different than our own.

I used to be stupid enough to care if a girl believed in God, if she had superstitions (like astrology), of her political beliefs or other things that just didn’t matter.  Now I only care about exposing her to my beliefs and seeing how she reacts.  Does she reflexively get upset by a difference in opinion or preference? Or is she curious about why I believe something and is willing to agree to disagree if she has a different feeling/position?  From early on, I tell girls my most controversial opinions – just to see how they react.  I don’t care if they disagree with me.

(((I mean certain things like if she’s into health is important for me because it takes up a large portion of my life and will affect all of our decisions if she doesn’t care about health.  So if you are a musician, then yes, it probably matters if your partner likes your music preferences.  And if a girl is religious and she takes it seriously, it obviously won’t work out with someone who doesn’t take the same religion seriously.  I once briefly dated a girl who took Yoga and other activities to a religious extreme and she was upset that I didn’t.  This wasn’t for me.)))

We are afraid to take chances, be bold and make mistakes.  We are afraid of showing our true selves for fear that we will be rejected when we do.  And people will indeed reject you often, especially if you’re different than them.

I have a different approach to relationships.  I take risks.  I show the true me from early on.  I work on myself so that I attract the best people.  I try to detract as many women by showing who I am with all of my faults from the get go because I’m not interested in wasting my time with people who will end up judging or rejecting me for who I truly am- or having it as a source of friction later on.

I’ve met some confident girls who are like this, but I haven’t seen a single guy like this in my life.  Guys are always trying to inflate their value and keep their flaws secret.

And how can we have normal relationships when almost all of the people I meet just don’t have their mental shit together. People can be extremely insecure, have boatloads of OCD, anxiety, depression, or tons of mental baggage. I’m not judging people with these issues because I had all of them….I’m just saying you need to get over them.  I used a healthy lifestyle, mindfulness and meditation, diet, supplements and anything I could think of.  I’ve blazed the path for my blog readers….You just need to make your own journey, because no one’s going to make it for you.

It’s not always easy to find someone special right away, especially if you choose wisely.  It’s not easy to find your passion in life or even just live in a healthy way.  But I believe that if you plan your life right, you work on sorting out your own mental bullshit, pursue your passion and you project your true self, you’ll end up finding both men and women who are right for you (it could take a while, though, so be patient).

You need mental fortitude, though, because you will detract most people, but this is good. I detract the girls who aren’t for me and I attract the girls who are.  And these girls will be really into you.

My results have been surprisingly very positive.  The more I know what I want and project the true me, the easier the right person naturally comes to me.  This has worked shockingly well.  I started meeting people who I didn’t think existed.  I found people who not only accepted my idiosyncrasies and flaws, but they were attracted to them and embraced them.

Remember, the key is to put yourself out there completely and not try to hide who you are.  The more you show your true self, the more easily people who are ideally suited for you will come.

Showing your true self-requires you to find that true self – or more precisely really understanding what it is your desire, which took me a really long time.  If you’re not genuinely happy, you haven’t found your true self.

The more you’re thinking about the past or future, the less you found that true self.  When you spontaneously start to live in the present naturally and not because you’re making an effort to, that’s when you’ve found your true self to a good degree.  Because then it means that you are at happy and at peace with yourself.

Once you find your true self, you need to be courageous and be ok with the idea that 99.9% of people that you meet may not be your soulmate.

Don’t hide your flaws, positions, attitudes or beliefs (but also be ok to agree to disagree if your opinions differ). Don’t put your best foot forward, either.  A potential mate that’s truly right for you will like you with all of your flaws from the get go.

Here are my tips:

1) Better no relationship than a bad relationship.

2) Focus on the things that matter – mainly her/his character (obviously, you need to also be attracted).

3) When you find a person with those traits snatch them quickly, because they won’t stick around.

4) You will attract and be attracted to the people who are at your “level.”  If you’re a mental wreck, you’re going to attract and be attracted to mental wrecks.  So work on yourself first – including your insecurities, your fears, your attachments, your ego and your emotional regulation.

Letting go of your attachments includes to let go of the need to have a relationship or to have a relationship with a specific person (even though I’m advocating commitment).

So ironically, you will be a better partner when you learn to be happy alone.

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13 COMMENTS

  • celline

    I am wondering Joe, how do you go about actually finding that person? Are you for online dating or do you think traditional friends of friends is a better idea? Would be interested in hearing your take on it.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      That’s a big problem. Bec you want to filter people by your interests and inclinations – people who are similar to you.

      Everyone is lying online and it becomes a terrible mess. Guys are BSing and just trying to get lays and half of the women put up pictures that look nothing like them.

      That’s why I say be true to yourself. If you’re a creative artist type and you become a lawyer, you will meet lawyers, who for the most part won’t be what you’re looking for.

      If you like Yoga, go to yoga classes. Go to quantified self or health meet-ups. Health food stores is a good place. Whatever you like, look out for people there.

      If you’re a girl, it’s easy to pick up guys, but not culturally accepted. If you’re a guy, you need to be secure enough to go over to women you see whereever.

      I meet people randomly, but I find that the people I meet from this site are the best – bec girls already have similar interests and inclinations (open-minded), so it’s not a crapshoot. “Normal” people generally won’t be on board with gluten-free, dairy-free and a grain-free diet. Girls are more likely to be foodies. Girls need to be OK with me keeping to a circadian rhythm, which means not going out after 8PM (or at least not too often) and if I do go out, not being freaked out that I’m wearing blue-blockers. Some connect with me on Facebook. My friends make fun of me that Selfhacked is my dating website.

      Let me know what you discover.

  • robber

    great post joe, #1 is so fucking true

  • Guin

    I agree with this post. From a superficial perspective, my husband and I have very little in common and I’ve actually had stupid, superficial “friends” say that we just didn’t work together. Yes, I get it–we do not share the same hobbies, taste in food, or sense of humor. Heck, we’re from different countries with different native languages. So, after being together for 8.5 years, I’ve concluded that my husband and I:

    1) Have similar world views. For example, we both value science over religion. We have similar political views in spite of the linguistic and cultural divide. These topics are important, and I’m not saying that a successful relationship requires people to be exactly alike, but there needs to be mutual respect, support, and understanding.

    2) Have complimentary personalities. My husband grew up in a developing country and he gently stops me from wallowing in self-pity like a spoiled American brat. On the other hand, I’m curious and antsy, so I push him out of the house (he is a computer nerd) for the occasional adventure. Having complimentary personalities isn’t the same as being incompatible.

    Negative opinions and attitudes from other people used to bother me, but now it’s painfully obvious that most people are lacking self-awareness–they really can’t help it.

  • Erik

    Well said, great post!

  • Sim

    (I’m sorry if you find this a bit off the topic. I am just trying to crack a bit deeper into a couple of important things in there. I do go on. I don’t know how to more concise. Have a go at reading it. There are connections).
    I am an atheist, a bit of a militant one, but there is this guy they wrote about who said “Judge not lest ye be judged”. We have very scant idea of what it is like in anyone else’s shoes, not even what colours they see in their brain-constructed world. Also “You don’t know the hurt I suffered, nor the pain I rise above. And I don’t know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love. And it makes me feel so sorry”. From IDIOT WIND – Bob Dylan; chorus type part “We’re idiots babe”.
    As I said, our brains construct our world. It is some kind of reflection or extension of us. That is what Jesus means… you are judging yourself, always. Your scorn, anger, love, admiration are for you, at least in part. He is not talking about sending you off to hell. That is the stupid human interpretation of his beautiful metaphors.
    I’m 54, bald on top, glasses, invisible to the young except the wise ones. I don’t give a rat’s arse about anything much. I’ve made so many mistakes, embarrassed myself so much, I know I’m pretty deficient. What is to gain by hiding it, pretending? A life of falsehood. Makes me sick. You know what, a lot of times I can’t help hiding it. I deceive myself. It is a bit depressing to discover that, but when you are older, you do! Ya gotta laugh in the end. We are all so stupid, really!
    “The Truth shall set you free”
    Do you know what truth is? It is the “Yes” between two similar things, the harmony, the accord, the music, the beauty. When you like something you are like it. When you feel something to be true you are feeling your resonance with that thing outside. It already exists in you. You are the truth. You already know the truth, it is you. It is certainly nothing to hide.
    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need’st know: _ John Keats
    If you are an arsehole, be it. Jesus said “Don’t hide your light under a bushel” Show yourself.
    But if you start expressing your true self you will soon find you are very lonely and you want to belong to a group. That is bequeathed to us by our evolution in troops and tribes. The following cultural evolution of language, identity and technological knowledge and power has given us a wonderful individual freedom, but it is a freedom we are very very anxious about. We just don’t feel right, we feel wrong, we know we really belong in some garden of Eden and it is lost to us, barred by flaming swords.
    Prior to knowledge of evolution this feeling of anxiousness and wrongness was expressed, again metaphorically, as sin, as separation from our true meaning. The story of the Garden of Eden is a beautiful metaphor of what it feels like to be human. (Ya gotta excuse the sexism in it or you’ll miss the human depth) Not some piece of history. A metaphor created and recorded by some of the greatest poets of meaning who ever lived. Start reading the bible like that and parts of it will start screaming “Yes” to you. Don’t get swept away though.
    An aside. ( The seventies feminists started critiquing the bible as a male document and one written by and for males, whose main spiritual problem is pride or ego, the “looking good” thing. They asserted this was not the female problem. Their version was a failure to love and nurture themselves, to sacrifice their lives to servitude of children and menfolk. Hmmm…there is a lot in that. My mother had a fierce intellect and spent her life in drudgery raising her six catholic prescribed children, cooking, bottling fruit and tomatoes and standing behind us ironing while we watched the new invention of TV. It is so sad.)
    Back to the topic. My point from above is that we feel wrong. There is no escape from it because emotionally we have evolved to be a part of something, called a tribe. Emotionally we need to be a we not an I. But we are an I. There is no going back.
    So, it is impossible to totally get your shit together. It is simply a modern cultural fallacy that we should feel good and be dynamic and successful. Who says that’s true? Ignorami. Of themselves.
    All you can do about this deepest need is to accept that you are in pain, and be honest about it. The good thing is, you are actually really a part of the tribe of individuals who are all in pain.
    It will not be cured. It can be assuaged by social connection. Then you will be less stressed, less anxious, healthier etc. But you can’t have a connection when you are false. You have to admit and show your pain, your need, your despair at its ravages.
    I’m going to finish. The person in front of you, the one behind you, the one in the mirror, the one you meet tomorrow, is in pain. It is sad. It is why Jesus bleeds.
    But we will feel better when we learn to hobble along together.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Thanks for your input

  • lexarflash

    We live in a consumer- digital age of instant demand, defined by your status, clothes, what phone you have, its like high school, you get a label of “jock”, “loser”, “nerd”, I think relationships take authenticity, vulnerability, and humility, unfortunately, being drowned by “mass culture” we have to live up to an ideal to be like the Kardashians or be influenced by what our peer group thinks about us, rather than make our own choices, discover our own truth, and a purpose.. its one dopamine fix for another, status update, I dont know our generation is more entitled, narcissistic, and less empathetic than before (not counting being under the influence of something), even look at people’s FB pages its all an advertisement, real life doesn’t work like this and it takes work, relationships and discovering an identity, people want a quick fix, instant gratification,

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Yes

  • smurfed

    Brilliantly put. Thanks

  • Nicholas Mathews

    Yea man you go boy! So well said! And no one else is saying it! No one else wants to be critical and open peoples eyes to this major folly. But I can’t blame those other bloggers much. Nobody wants to hear it. But thank you Joseph for the fantastic post! Keep posts like this coming. Cheers.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Thx 🙂

  • luke

    I find many people are simply what others have told them to be and the experiences others have given them rather than some independent person who has thought about themselves in an evaluative manner. Take the phrase “basic white girl”, this can be applied to anyone because most people of a culture are similar. There is a lot of herd mentality nowadays and the media exploits it to garner political sway. I feel this is a perversion of journalism as it mixes an objective occurrence with subjectivity, more so than is needed to interpret the event. Altogether, this kind of thinking has led me to a somewhat lonely life but I take responsibility for it. After all, I created this reality by my subjective interpretations. Somewhat related, but I feel as if people’s minds are losing their grasp on reality: such as taking feelings as being more important than facts. Makes me wonder…

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