101 Dating + Love Lessons

Christina Weber
Jan 26, 2016 · 17 min read

My heart was filled with hope and love in 2015. Every Underground Unattached questionnaire response received informed me of another human’s desire for romantic partnership. The words read sent me on a quest to learn more about them, their feelings and their desires. I researched relationships, human connection, and love. I often sent inquiries to Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh and spoke to spiritual advisors to ask how we program our experiences to take everyone’s unique personality into consideration. Our intention is to seed lasting relationships.

But the truth is: love and relationships are complicated. Formal matchmaking is difficult. We’re complex-beings. We have stories; patterns. We’ve felt heart break. Yet, we yearn for partnership and connection.

Recently I was inspired to take note of my lessons; to distill them to share with you. Accessing my resources, I reached out to trusted psychologists, dating coaches and matchmakers to include the wisdom they felt most called to share too. The list includes quotes, stats, theories and more. Please add any other concepts or ideas that you think are worth sharing in the comments below. Enjoy!

x, Christina

  1. “We live in a time where everyone expects instant results. If people would give themselves more permission for patience we would have a better relationship with each other. Let it develop in your mind.” ~ Ilona Royce Smithkin
  2. Dating is a part of the human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. ~ Wikipedia
  3. “Would the person you are looking for choose you? If no, why not? Within the no is a reality check; rethinking and self growth that needs to happen. If yes, then what are the chances the two of you will meet? Are you in circles that your potential partner is? Have a strategy to increase your chances to see/be seen by your potential partner. I am surprised how many people neglect this important logistical piece!” ~ Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh
  4. 71% of people believe in love at first sight. ~ Statistic Brain
  5. Building intimacy in a relationship involves emotional vulnerability. There’s just no way to get around it. The two go hand in hand. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable once you believe at your core that you are strong enough to handle any outcomes. ~ Jasbina Ahluwalia, Matchmaker and Dating Coach
  6. “Treat yourself the way you want your partner to treat you.” ~ Barbara Biziou
  7. “Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” ~ Bob Marley
  8. “The purpose of relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness”. ~ Neale Donald Walsch
  9. When strangers meet, their primary concern is to reduce their uncertainty or to increase predictability. (Initial Interaction Theory)
  10. Called “Dating Sunday,” the first Sunday of a new year is the busiest online dating day of the year. And specifically at 8:52pm EST.
  11. 57% of males and 56% of females say that a happy relationship is more important to them than their careers. ~ Match.com
  12. “Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished.” ~ John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
  13. One of the most hurtful things a partner can do is keep you hidden, despite saying all the right things. ~ Ashley Papa
  14. In Relational Dialectics theory, Baxter and Montgomery claim that people want a certain amount of mystery and spontaneity in relationships to “spice things up.” Without variety, the relationship will become dull and too predictable, therefore, “emotionally dead.”
  15. Broken and difficult relationships can be avoided by understanding the principles of communication, and the pitfalls we encounter. ~ Geri Forsberg PhD
  16. “Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying . . . What I’d like to be able to say . . . What for survival I need to say . . . But what I can’t say.” — Unknown
  17. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
  18. Over 500 people completed Underground Unattached’s questionnaire in 2015. Most of them learned of us through a friend.
  19. Commitment can be conceptualized in many ways, but the most fundamental meaning in a romantic relationship is that there is a future. This sense of a future can be based in both a desire for a future with the partner (dedication) and the growing presence of factors that reinforce staying together regardless of that desire (constraints). ~ J Fam Psychol
  20. Leading up to Winter Storm Juno in 2015, Hinge saw a 27% spike in activity. Once Juno hit, activity went up 47%. Ultimately, there was a 56% increase in the number of phone numbers exchanged and a 96% boost in two-way conversations.
  21. Great relationships are designed by the couple, not by society.
  22. As a rose can’t live without the rain. So a heart can’t love without risk of pain. ~ Unknown
  23. Many times we don’t have an awareness of what we project. So we are surprised when we attract certain kinds of people, and we don’t realize that in many ways they are just like us. If you want to change the kind of people you are attracting, it is important to have an awareness of what unconscious message you send out and change it. ~ Yehuda Berg
  24. 57% say texting has made it more difficult to determine if a request to go out with someone is a date or not. ~ Statistic Brain
  25. Each person has one primary and one secondary love language: Gifts, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service (devotion), and Physical Touch (intimacy). Dr. Gary Chapman suggests that to discover a love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, analyze what they complain about most often, and what they request from their significant other most often. People tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love.
  26. The shortage of college-educated men is not just a big-city phenomenon frustrating women in New York and L.A. Among young college grads, there are four women for every three men nationwide, except in those pockets, like Silicon Valley. ~ Jon Birger, Date-onomics
  27. Other cities especially brutal for single women are Houston; Providence, RI; and Raleigh, NC. Better options include Silicon Valley, San Francisco, San Diego and Columbus, Ohio.
  28. “The goal of online dating is to get offline as quickly as possible.” ~ Amy Webb
  29. “The most popular time to sext is Tuesday between 10:00 A.M. and noon.” ~ Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance: An Investigation
  30. Don’t let someone who never had the intention or openness to receive your love harm your spirit. Someone else’s inability to see your essence does not make you any less lovable. ~ Amy Chan, Just My Type
  31. In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence during her TEDtalk.
  32. “Secure attachment in a relationship is one in which there is an open, honest, and loving mutual respect. You allow one another to be freely independent while supporting individuality and personal growth.” ~ Sara Fry
  33. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~ Carl Jung
  34. The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers. ~ Deepak Chopra
  35. To understand love, you must first understand fear. The two greatest fears of all: 1) The fear of not being love. 2) The fear of not being ‘good enough.’ These two fears permeate our relationships, and drive all of our compulsive behavior to get and keep love. These are ego-based notions, and go deep inside of us.The opposite of fear, is love. When you’re in a state of love, you are overflowing with compassion for yourself and others… and this allows you to actually fall in love with someone else. (Sarika Jain, Love Coach for Smart, Successful Women)
  36. 50% of online daters lie. Men lie mostly about age, height and income. Women lie mostly about weight, physical build and age. ~ Statistic Brain
  37. “Part of the process of getting close is sharing the intimate details of who you are and where you have been emotionally, intellectually and spiritually… start sharing right away.” ~ Dr. Debra Castaldo
  38. The most important lesson that I’ve learned with clients and in my own personal life seems simple but it is profound. If you choose to be in a relationship with someone, you must 100% accept them for who they are. If you can’t fully accept them with all their imperfections, you either need to get over them or be unhappy. ~ Rachel Russo, Matchmaker and Dating Expert
  39. Whether measured in terms of income or education, there are more so-called power couples today than in the past, one manifestation of a phenomenon known as assortative mating, or more generally the pairing of like with like. ~ Tyler Cowen / NYTimes
  40. Many times we say we are open, but the unconscious programming is I don’t want to get hurt, so in truth we are shut down. To be truly open to a relationship is to understand that you will get hurt. That life is not perfect and that relationships take work. The reason single people are single is because they are comfortable being single. In order to no longer attract those who want to stay single, you have to be a person who no longer wants to stay single. ~ Yehuda Berg
  41. You are never too old to find love.
  42. When in love the “reptilian core” of our brains flood with activity, like “the rush of cocaine.” We become obsessed, possessed and a total mess. “You can’t stop thinking about another human being. Somebody is camping in your head.” ~ Helen Fisher, The Brain In Love
  43. The “addiction” characteristics in our brains, similar to when in love, are also mirrored during breakups. It isn’t easy getting over an ex when their personal lives are clicks away. Constant fulfillment of cravings make it almost impossible to let go. It’s partly biological, Lisa Bobby of Growing Self Counseling and Life Coaching, says: “Having any contact at all — seeing a picture, or reading a text — gives you a surge of endorphins.” Defriending is one option, or you could also keep track of how many times you “relapse,” and even reward yourself for following through with your “ex-purging” goals.
  44. A study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of 36 personal questions. Inspired by these questions, the essay, “To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This,” captured millions when it ran in the New York Times in January of 2015.
  45. Photos drive 90% of action in online dating. ~ OkCupid founder Christian Rudder
  46. Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  47. It’s beautiful when you find someone that is in love with your mind. Someone that wants to undress your conscience and make love to your thoughts. Someone that wants to watch you slowly take down all the walls you’ve built up around your mind and let them inside. ~ Unknown
  48. Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Affairs are so traumatic because they threaten our emotional security. In infidelity there’s an expression of longing and loss. Esther Perel’s TEDtalk is a must-watch for anyone who has ever cheated or been cheated on, or who simply wants a new framework for understanding relationships.
  49. A woman’s job is to receive and a man’s job is to give. His goal is to make her happy and her job is to let him. He is happy when he pleases her. ~ Yehuda Berg
  50. It’s a real 21st century conundrum: If we’re unable to meet people in real life, but disappointed in what we’re finding online, what’s the solution? ~ Wired
  51. If you love someone, tell them. ~ Unknown
  52. “When a man can listen to a woman’s feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift.
    He makes it safe for her to express herself. The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs.” ~ John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
  53. Youtube was originally a dating site.
  54. Women who take selfies receive 4% more messages but guys receive 8% less. A women who posts a full-body photo receives a whopping 203% more messages than ones who don’t. ~ Match.com
  55. “Hold Out for a Hero: Real-life romance heroes are out there — they really are. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now), don’t settle for anyone who treats you as anything less than the total goddess/god you are. Bonus: s/he makes you laugh.” ~ Hope Tarr, Novalist and Author of Operation Cinderella
  56. Your first priority in a relationship — no matter what kind of a relationship you are in — is to be yourself. ~ Unknown
  57. The average length of courtship for marriages that met online is 18.5 months; offline is 42 months. ~ Statistic Brain
  58. “Unlike phone calls, which bind two people in real-time conversations that require at least some shared interpretation of the situation, communication by text has no predetermined temporal sequencing and lots of room for ambiguity.” ~ Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance: An Investigation
  59. To know the risks of being open and vulnerable, but going ahead anyway with reckless abandon in the spirit of creating something spectacular and awe-inspiring — that, is courage. To allow yourself to sit with the negative emotions that come from heartache, instead of numbing out — that, is strength. To face your fears of abandonment and rejection without allowing the disappointment to harden you, and get back up with hope and a blank slate — that, is resilience. To know that nobody has the power to make or break your baseline of joy — that, is empowerment. And in a time when your heart is aching, to hold compassion for yourself as well as for the person who hurt you — that, is love. (Amy Chan, Just My Type)
  60. There are 54,250,000 single people in the US. ~ Statistic Brain
  61. Maintain your independence. Moving in shouldn’t mean you stop living independently. If you lose what you enjoy, you lose yourself. Separate experiences and friendships are what make you unique, so keep them in your life after the move. ~ Craig Malkin PhD
  62. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Carl Buehner
  63. “What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, [date] and [shape relationships] like game designers, and think about solving [where’s ‘the one’] problems like computer and video game theorists?” ~ Jane McGonigal
  64. If you’re single, create strategies to make dating fun. Recruit friends to help you meet potential partners. Anonymously blog about your experiences. Attend speeding dating events and Underground Unattached so you have stories to share with colleagues. Challenge yourself to try tactics normally outside of your comfort zone!
  65. Popular women use positive, optimistic language in their online profiles, not buzzwords like “future thinker”. Here are the ten most often used words I found: easy-going, love, laugh, laid-back, optimistic, outgoing, fun, down-to-earth, pleasure, adventure. ~ Amy Webb, TED Speaker: How I Hacked Online Dating
  66. “One wonders, in fact, why marriage is a legal issue at all — apart from its relevance to immigration and property laws. Why would something so integral to human nature require such vigilant legal protection?” ~ Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  67. Relationships are about effort, communication, and love; they’re not about timing. — Amanda Chatel
  68. It can be difficult to truly know another multi-dimensional person after just a single date. Instant chemistry may not be as great a tell-tale sign of potential as you might think… [it] may be based on no more than repeating patterns from your past, some of which will not serve you well in the long-term. Also keep in mind that [those] who may be great partner material may not be great daters. On extreme ends of the continuum, a player with a lot of dating practice, motivated to tell you exactly what you want to hear, may very well make a better first impression than a less experienced commitment minded person who may just be nervous during a first interaction. ~ Jasbina Ahluwalia, Matchmaker and Dating Expert
  69. The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs. So… relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth… If we look honestly at our relationships, we can see so much about how we have created them. ~ Shakti Gawain
  70. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” ~ Richard Bach
  71. There are many New York City couples in polyamorous relationships and singles looking to find partners who are open this this type of relationship. They strive to create relationships based on strong notions of trust. So that love becomes defined not by sexual exclusivity, but also by respect, concern, commitment to act with kind intentions, accountability for our actions, and a desire for mutual growth. (Modified Dean Spade thought)
  72. “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and thats what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
  73. Love is friendship set on fire.
  74. “When people say, ‘It’s so hard to date in New York,’ that’s because they’re throwing up a defense mechanism by having this idea of what their love should look like. We do not know what love looks like, we don’t know what magic looks like, we don’t know what God looks like, and what’s special is when it’s unexpected and makes your world bigger. I would never want to reduce my experience with love to what I could imagine, because I think it should be the collective imagination of two people. It’s much bigger.” ~ Amy Van Doran, Matchmaker for Extraordinary People
  75. Tell me about a moment when you find yourself particularly drawn to your partner. ~ @EstherPerel
  76. “The world is available to us, but that may be the problem.” ~ Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance: An Investigation
  77. Your response to “Why did you marry?” shouldn’t be “because I loved him or her.” Many of my clients answer this way. It’s just wrong. We may love our family but not like them! Instead make sure you’re able to shape a long term relationship together and continue to create enjoyable shared experiences. (Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh)
  78. “Men don’t need linguistic talent; they just need courage and words.” ~ Helen Fisher
  79. Say yes to maybe. eFlirt Expert, Laurie Davis, says that her clients who are in relationships are in them with people who they had only said “maybe” to.
  80. “So, a little advice. Relax. You’re not filling a job position. You’re looking for a pleasant acquaintance.. who might become a good friend… who turns out to be attractive to your senses… and a rewarding lover… then a committed partner whose heart will not stray. If you don’t see those signposts and in that order, then you’re probably on the wrong road and getting more lost with every step.” ~ Anthony D. Ravenscroft
  81. “As attentive readers may have noted, the standard narrative of heterosexual interaction boils down to prostitution: a woman exchanges her sexual services for access to resources. Maybe mythic resonance explains part of the huge box-office appeal of a film like Pretty Woman, where Richard Gere’s character trades access to his wealth in exchange for what Julia Roberts’s character has to offer (she plays a hooker with a heart of gold, if you missed it). Please note that what she’s got to offer is limited to the aforementioned heart of gold, a smile as big as Texas, a pair of long, lovely legs, and the solemn promise that they’ll open only for him from now on. The genius of Pretty Woman lies in making explicit what’s been implicit in hundreds of films and books. According to this theory, women have evolved to unthinkingly and unashamedly exchange erotic pleasure for access to a man’s wealth, protection, status, and other treasures likely to benefit her and her children.” ~ Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  82. When dating, 12% of singles said they’re in the market for casual hookups, while 70% said they want a relationship and 11% said they’re searching for their future spouse. ~ Coffee Meets Bagel
  83. 47% of singles research their dates on social networks like Facebook before meeting. ~ Match.com
  84. “To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” ~ Criss Jami, Venus in Arms
  85. The most challenging aspect of a long distance relationship is maintaining the feeling of simply being part of one another’s lives. ~ Long Distance Relationship expert Dr. Guldner, FAQs
  86. Ideas to incorporate into a breakup conversation when “power parting:” Thank you for what I’ve experienced with you.
    This is what I take with me, from you.
    This is what I want you to take with you, from me.
    This is what I wish for you, hence forward. (Esther Perel)
  87. “It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  88. There’s no perfect timing. Life isn’t perfect and neither are human beings. Because that’s the case, timing isn’t perfect and in not being perfect, it can’t be bad or wrong either. Trying to convince yourself otherwise is a weak move on your part; if a relationship doesn’t work out it has nothing to do with time and everything to do with the two people involved. ~ Amanda Chatel
  89. The heart that loves is forever young. ~ Greek proverb
  90. “A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.” ~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
  91. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” ~ Brena Brown
  92. Women who have more self-esteem and greater acceptance of their bodies have better relationships. ~ Tallinn University
  93. There are five stages to all relationships: 1) Romance Stage, 2) Power Struggle Stage, 3) Stability Stage, 4) Commitment Stage and 5) Co-creation Stage. Couples move through the various stages at different speeds and will move back and forth from stage to stage and at times will find themselves in the same stage and other times in different stages. Understanding the stages helps the couple normalize what they are experiencing and make better decisions. (Marina Edelman, M.A)
  94. A lot of people try to use sarcasm to flirt, and it tends not to read well. The best way to flirt is to care deeply about whatever your date is saying and to focus all of your attention on him or her. Ask thoughtful questions. Take a keen interest in the conversation. Be enthusiastic. ~ Amy Webb
  95. Relationships aren’t black or white. They are complex.
  96. “If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he creates expectations for you, and then doesn’t follow through on little things, he will do same for the big things. Be aware of this and realize that he’s okay with disappointing you. Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do.” ~ Greg Behrendt
  97. 76% of men say women text too much. 63% of women say they enjoy texting during work hours while men prefer to concentrate on work. ~ Match.com
  98. “People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to look pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
  99. One’s first love is always perfect until one meets one’s second love. ~ Elizabeth Aston
  100. Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but ‘safe’ isn’t one of them. ~ Mandy Hale
  101. And lastly, what most of us crave to hear: “I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.” ~ Unknown
  102. Keeping score in relationships doesn’t work. Keeping score is a “me-centered” way of operating, by which you’re elevating your role in the relationship to a place of superiority. There is one simple antidote for the habit of keeping score: Give for the joy of giving. Give because it makes your relationship run more smoothly. Give because you see that a task needs to get done and you know you’re capable of doing it. Giving is the love-juice that lubricates the rough spots and takes the squeak out of the wheels. Read here.

Christina Weber

Written by

Discovering my voice by activating my heart. Founder of #FeminineWeapon and Underground Unattached. Host of @YourLoveAccomplice Podcast.

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