It’s becoming one of those almost “olden day” terms and the definition gets fuzzier and fuzzier as the years progress…
There’s always the “first date” – that’s a given. And most of the time it’s like a job interview with cocktails. If you’ve read my previous posts (link here and here) I’ve been a smidgen out of touch with the dating world (dating desert were my exact words I think – here)
Ever since I
finally eventually cut all ties with my ex, I’ve avoided dating (without even really realising). Sure I’ve gone on a handful of dates in the past few years, but I’ve done so with my heart firmly (yet unintentionally) shut. Killing any chance of anything eventuating.
I could/would always come up with an excuse not to go out. I’m too busy. I have to work. I’ve got too many pimples this week. I’m saving money. The Bachelor’s on… ect ect. Truthfully, I really couldn’t think of anything worse than having to go through the whole relationship process again. Having to tell someone about myself. My story. My likes. My dislikes. Who I am and why I am like I am. Having them see me completely. Faults and flaws. It’s uncomfortable. Awkward. And it just seemed like so much damn effort.
Plus getting my heart damaged beyond repair and smashed into a million, tiny pieces again is not my idea of fun.
And then I picked up Nikki Goldstein’s new book –
#singlebutdating aka a modern women’s bible to dating.
And for the first time in literally years I am finding myself actually excited about dating. And relationships. And the possibility of love.
I’m halfway through the book and I’m not being dramatic when I say I could hardly put it down long enough to begin writing a list of questions I wanted to ask Nikki. I don’t know why this book is captivating me so much, but it is. It’s kind of like when you don’t realise you’ve been waiting for something, until it actually happens.
This book is almost like a permission pass. Granting permission to the modern female – which we didn’t even realise we needed/wanted (from ourselves mainly). Just to be – to allow/embrace/encourage our sexual selves. Whatever that may mean – whether you’re a sexual person or you’re not.
Reading #singlebutdating feels like chatting with friend over wine (either that or having a session with a really cool therapist). And with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality – Nikki a very knowledgeable and accredited “friend” (Dr Nikki 2015).
It’s not just about becoming your most dateable self, but getting in touch with yourself.
It’s about being (or for some, becoming) a confident women who creates her own validation from within.
Whether your single, dating, married or it’s complicated, this is a book for every woman.
With no sexual subject to taboo I caught up with Nikki . She’s honest, sassy and isn’t shy when it comes to anything love, sex, dating, romance and relationships…
AliTheGirlWho: Single but dating – it seems pretty self explanatory but can you tell me a bit about what it means and why every woman should be #SBD at least once in her life?
Nikki: “Single but dating describes the current modern dating landscape these days. Women don’t ever seem to be truly single, sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. They are dating – sometimes multiple people – they might be having casual sex or even have a friend with benefits. But they are not in a relationship in the traditional sense. Not only does this describe where I believe many women are these days but I also think this is an important period in a woman’s life where she takes the time to explore what she wants and what she doesn’t want, so she is able to enter into future relationships based on experience and knowledge of what is right and wrong for her.”
AliTheGirlWho: What do you want women to take from your book?
Nikki: “In the book instead of telling women what to do, I aim to empower them and help them to make their own decisions in the dating world, based on their true wants instead of acting in search of validation. My aim is to help them make educated choices instead of feeling like they are dating blind.”
AliTheGirlWho: Are you currently living a SBD lifestyle and how does that look?
Nikki: “I am currently dating one person at the moment and I am very happy, but I feel that I got here because I was able to have a period in my life that was SBD. With writing the book I feel I revised the ten steps and it has really helped me to get where I am in my life now.”
AliTheGirlWho: What’s one thing you tell yourself before going on a date?
Nikki: “To relax and go with the flow and focus on how a person makes me feel, not be concerned about ticking attributes off a list.”
AliTheGirlWho: Most women already have a prepared mental image of how their soulmate looks. Maybe it’s age, hair colour or nationality. Is having a “dream” actually harming our chances of finding true love?
Nikki: “We need to challenge what is on our wish list. Why will a certain age, hair colour or nationality make a good partner? That’s where being able to experiment with different men and challenge this notion can be really useful. If you go out on a date with a guy that is different from your wish list and you find yourself happy, what does that tell you about the attributes you think are supposedly perfect for a partner?”
AliTheGirlWho: With life modern life so online and screen centred, what does it mean for dating? Do we have to be aware and evolve with the times? Do we have to continuously change how we date?
Nikki: “I think we need to be aware of how technology has changed the dating game but also how we can use it to our advantage and work with it. I hear time and time again the negatives of the online and app world but instead of being down about it, we need to celebrate what it can do. Never before has it been easier to meet and connect with people from the comfort of our own homes. We no longer have to go out to bars in uncomfortable heels and clothing to talk to a guy. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice our own fashioned dating skills. We just need to see these online sites as another avenue to meet people, like a virtual bar.”
AliTheGirlWho: Tinder – yay or nay?
Nikki: “Yay, as long as you keep aware that tinder dating can be fast paced, disposable and that if you do meet someone on tinder, just assume they are dating and chatting to people on there too. Also make sure it’s not the only avenue you use for dating.”
AliTheGirlWho: What are your top Tinder tips?
Nikki: “Use photos that describe who you are
Be direct with what you are on there for eg hook up or dating
Keep the conversation going. Make statements that include a question so the other person is more encouraged to keep talking
Be aware that there are lots of people sitting on these apps, so what will make you stick out from the crowd?
Don’t chat for too long on line. Instead swap numbers and organize to meet for a coffee
Just because you are talking on Tinder does not mean you are in a relationship.”
AliTheGirlWho: How much should you give of yourself online?
Nikki: “It’s very much a case by case basis, but enough to interest someone but not enough that they know everything.”
AliTheGirlWho: Okay so sexting – is it a thing? how do we initiate it? And how do we make sure we don’t come across wrong?
Nikki: “Sexting is part of modern day courtship and there is nothing wrong with engaging in it as long as you don’t feel pressured or that you will lose a guy if you don’t. Some people are comfortable with it, others are not. If you want to initiate, test the waters first and see what response you get, don’t jump into the deep end. But always think ahead how you would feel if someone else were to see these messages.”
AliTheGirlWho: A lot of women feel like a slut (either thanks to societies views and ideologies, or just self pressure) but how do we get over that and love ourselves unconditionally? Is that what it really comes down to?
Nikki: “Women will always be punished for having too much sex, with the limit of too much never being able to be defined. If you are called a slut, challenge it. What does it mean, why were you given that label and what right does someone else have to degrade you for your sexual choices.”
AliTheGirlWho: Are “man bans” necessary and how do we know when we need one?
Nikki: “Man bans are great when you recognize that you might need to work on yourself or that things are all over the place. Take a step back, focus on your self and have some time away from the fast paced dating world. Jumping from one man to the next can only be transferring bad behaviors and looking for validation from the opposite sex.”
AliTheGirlWho: I’ve written an article before about the pressure women feel with the “biological clock ticking”. Is this a valid fear? Should we let it affect us? And how do we not?
Nikki: “It is a valid fear. Our minds and the society we live in has progressed but our bodies still fall victim to biology with our best reproductive years not always matching with the right mind set. The question is do you put off children to find Mr Right and live the SBD life, or find someone to settle with who will hopefully turn into Mr Right? We need to be realistic about what our bodies are capable of and even though we can have children later in life thanks to lifestyle and medical advances, if you know for certain you want to be a Mother but are not yet at that stage in your life, something like egg freezing might be a viable option. It’s doing something for your future self.”
AliTheGirlWho: I have several friends who seem to stay in relationships because they think time is “running out” or that it’s “easier” than starting over again. I want to shake them! What would you say to them?
Nikki: “Dating can be hard but so can being in a relationship with the wrong person. I would say to surround themselves with a strong support network and know that if they are single they have more chance at being happy and even finding Mr Right. Mr Right won’t come along when you are with Mr Wrong. But in the meantime, women are ok on their own, they have more strength than they know, it’s just a matter of having faith in that.”
AliTheGirlWho: In dating is it a detrimental mindset to “date for keeps”?
Nikki: “When you are SBD it’s important to just be present and have a period where you date without considering “ I Do”. Especially if you want to challenge the dating wish list, being able to go on a whim and date people that might not normally meet the criteria but you have good banter with can be a great way to challenge certain attributes. Sometimes when we go into the dating game with this more casual attitude, it’s a better way to connect with someone. But if you are in that mindset where a serious relationship is what you want, it’s important to date with that in mind, hopefully after you have completed a time in your life where you are SBD.”
AliTheGirlWho: Is there anything when it comes to love, sex, dating, romance or relationships that’s a non-negotiable?
Nikki: “We will all have dating deal breakers but it’s important to challenge these. Where did they come from, what purpose do their serve in your life? Compromise is important in relationships and in life in general but you need to work out what you can compromise on and what is important to you.”
AliTheGirlWho: You’re a kickass, confident and successful woman, what do look in the mirror and tell yourself every morning when you wake up?
Nikki: “Exactly that! Lol. When you look in the mirror I think it’s important to try and practice a positive mind set. Instead of looking at your reflection and thinking what you would want to change or improve on, it’s important to look and celebrate what you love, no matter how big or small that feature or thing is. This is one way we can start to change our mindset to positive and hopefully that will flow into others areas in our life.”
AliTheGirlWho: So…. what’s it like being a sexologist?!
Nikki: “It’s an interesting job but I do love it. Even though I have this fun title I sometimes feel it doesn’t describe everything I do. There are lots of misconceptions about my life and job, but at the end of the day I’m just a normal girl with an open mind, fun title and a desire to help people to be happy.”
AliTheGirlWho: What’s the best part of your job?
Nikki: “I love that I have a job that allows me to make a difference in someone’s life. When you receive an email or speak to someone whose life you have changed or helped them to think in a different way or to help improve their relationship, there is no better feeling. I also love that I get to work for myself, although it comes with advantages and disadvantages. Some days I miss having a boss, a steady pay slip and sick days.”
AliTheGirlWho: What is your biggest gem of advice for a modern #SBD gal?
Nikki: “Trust yourself and date people because you want to, not because you are searching for validation.”
A big thanks to Dr Nikki Goldstein for speaking with me. Plus comment below and share via Facebook for your chance to win a little “single but dating” gift pack – with a few little presents to get you started 😉