Hi Life in a Pile readers! I’m back with another LP Exclusive Interview and this time it’s for the 20-somethings. If you’re wondering if holding out on sex makes a difference, if Netflix and Chill is having a negative impact on your potential relationships, or when to have the “what are we?” talk, check out my interview with relationship blogger, Jennifer Decan.
Life in a Pile: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led to you becoming a relationship blogger.
Jennifer Decan: I’m a 30-something gal, living in Toronto. Earlier this year I found myself single for the first time in my entire adult life. I had been blogging about my life and all the adventures I got up to – but this was new. So I started sharing some first date horror stories, and my passion for all things life and love just took over. I love, love and sharing my tips and tricks for finding a healthy balance in life and love.
LP: Do you believe dating has become obsolete? Why or why not?
JD: Much like everything else in life, dating is what you make it. There is a popular quote, “You accept the love you think you deserve,” which is true. If you want to be courted and wooed and get those butterflies in your tummy – you will…with the right person of course. Dating, and courting – is a necessary stage in relationships. You get to know each other, see if your personalities continue to work well together.
LP: What are three things found in an unhealthy relationship?
JD: A lack of mutual respect is a big red flag. If the person you are with doesn’t respect you, your time together, etc. – that’s an indication it may be time to move on. Another sign that your relationship may not last is that you are actually looking for different things. If you are thinking more long-term, and your partner can’t even plan a month ahead – you should sit down and have a discussion about where you both see things going. Finally – I would say a lack of trust. Often times we carry our issues (baggage, if you will) over from past relationships. It can be tough to separate the two. For example if you were cheated on in your past relationship – you find it difficult to trust this new one. However – you have to be willing to let go of the past and have faith in your future. If this person hasn’t given you a reason to not trust them – you can’t bring yourself to actually trust them – this will cause nothing but problems. If this is the case – chances are you’re just not ready to jump into another relationship and you need to take some time for yourself to work on things.
LP: What do you believe are the necessary steps two people should take before entering a relationship together?
JD: Before entering a relationship, you should make sure that you are both on the same page, that you both see things going the same way. You should make sure you’re ready, emotionally – to be in another relationship. Communication is key in relationships – and life really – so sit down and be honest about what it is you want from each other.
LP: Do you believe “Netflix and Chill” has had a negative impact on the dating scene? If so, how?
JD: Tinder, and apps like it – have made it very easy to get caught up in the “hooking up” culture – which is totally fine, if that’s what you are looking for. However, if you want more – it’s out there too. You have to have realistic expectations when using these dating apps. While some relationships have formed from them – there are still quite a few people who use them solely for hooking up. Be honest and upfront about what you are looking for when using them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with quiet nights in, snuggled up with your cutie and watching movies – at the beginning stages of a relationship, you should be courting and getting to know each other…not just between the sheets! LOL
LP: Do you think it hurts or helps to hold out on sex in the beginning stages? Why?
JD: I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this subject. There are people who still follow the 3-date rule, others who wait even longer – and even some people who don’t care at all when they first have sex. It goes back to what I mentioned earlier. If you are up front and honest with each other about what it is you are looking for – when you decide to have sex shouldn’t matter. Sex is a natural thing, sometimes two people will have that chemistry – that connection – and will act on it. You have to do what feels right to you, so long as you’re safe and happy – that’s all that matters.
LP: When is the right time to have the “what are we?” talk?
JD: This is a tricky question. I’ve discussed this on my Twitter page many times. I’ve had people tell me that after one date, they knew they wanted to be with this person exclusively. I say to just go with your gut. If the idea of them going out on a date with someone else makes you feel uneasy – be honest. If you’re honest from the get-go, the need to play these “dating games” goes out the window. There is no (official) dating rules handbook in life. My best advice to everyone is to be honest, be true, be yourself…if that other person is into you, and digs what you’re putting out there – it’ll work…and if not – keep swiping!
Jennifer helps us realize that we control our love lives. No matter how many dating apps or Netflix subscriptions you come across, it is up to you to find someone on the same page.
For more information on Jennifer Decan, visit her site.
Thanks for reading!