Locker Room Talk & Shots Podcast

Do They Really Want You (Back)? Avoid These Dating & Relationship Red Flags

May 24, 2023 She Explores Life Season 2
Locker Room Talk & Shots Podcast
Do They Really Want You (Back)? Avoid These Dating & Relationship Red Flags
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever been ghosted, breadcrumbed, or iced? Dating is full of confusing and sometimes manipulative behaviors. Join us as we unravel these perplexing terms and welcome sex and relationship expert Dr. Deb Laino to shed light on the complexities of today's sex and dating landscape.

From love bombing to gaslighting, orbiting to narcissistic tendencies, we discuss the red flags to watch out for and share our own experiences navigating these murky waters. Dr. Deb also helps us understand the impact of social media on our relationships and offers advice on maintaining self-respect and dignity in the face of emotional abuse.

Tune in to this eye-opening episode as we tackle the challenges of modern dating, striving to improve ourselves and our relationships one step at a time. Don't miss out on these valuable insights and tips to navigate your way through the minefield of modern dating behaviors!

Find out more about Dr. Deb Laino Here:

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Annette Benedetti [00:00:00]:

Today's locker room talking shots topic is from gaslighting to love bombing dating red flags that should send you running And I'm excited about this topic because, well, not only because it's going to help y'all in your dating and sex life, but also a lot of the things we're going to talk about today. We all need to stop and take a look at ourselves because a lot of them, while we like to post about the awful person who's done these things to us, if we're really honest with ourselves, we've also done them to other people. And so this is an opportunity to improve your dating life, but also improve yourself. And I'm extra excited because we have a professional here to help us really understand what they are. My guest is a returning guest from one of my favorite episodes on why people cheat. If you haven't listened to it, you're going to want to. I learned a lot. And my guest is Dr. Deb Leno, sex and relationship expert. She is an author, a professor, and a major media contributor, and she is going to talk us through some of these terms. But Deb, can you reintroduce yourself for the listeners who may not have listened to the last podcast you were on?

Dr. Deb [00:02:05]:

Yes, and thank you for having me back on. It's always a pleasure. So, Dr. Deb Leno, I'm a sex and relationship therapist, and you pretty much honed in on all the big stuff there. Professor, private practice, sex and relationship therapist. And I do some media work and I'm just kind of all over the place.

Annette Benedetti [00:02:27]:

Yeah, and definitely an expert on what we're going to talk about. So I'm having coffee. I'm going to be honest. Dr. Deb asked me prior to recording how I was doing. And here's the truth. Last night, my birthday is coming up in a couple of days. Last night my friends took me out for drinks and I haven't really been drinking that much. And my night's a little brown outy, so I woke up this morning. Now, the good news is, in my brown out, what I chose to do was clean and organize my house. I woke up to all of my chores for today done. No memory of doing it.

Dr. Deb [00:03:04]:

First of all, happy pre birthday. My birthday was last weekend and I don't drink that much. And I went out and definitely had some drinks. And I will tell you I was in bed the next day, all day because I just did not I don't function off alcohol like I did when I was in my twenty s. It was a mess. I had literally wasted day the next day.

Annette Benedetti [00:03:34]:

Here we are, folks. I'm drinking coffee. Cheers. Let's talk about sex and relationships and dating, all right?

Dr. Deb [00:03:42]:

And all those weird behaviors that have probably been going on for many years, but now we have names to it. And now because of dating sites and all of that, they've just come up and they're just all over the place.

Annette Benedetti [00:03:59]:

Yeah. So a lot of these terms are really new. I want to say within the last five years, and I think you're right that the dating because of the dating sites, but I love that we've started to put names to behaviors when I knew they were happening to me. It's like I could never call them out. And now there's a name for it. But I also think we abuse the terms a little bit. So, I mean, let's just dive in. I've got a list and I think we're just going to kind of go through them. I wanted to start with breadcrumbing.

Dr. Deb [00:04:28]:

A lot of these are actually very similar too. Okay, so like breadcrumbing and Icing or Simmering, they're all kind of similar. So breadcrumbing is you show an interest in somebody, right. But you're not committing to anything. And you're not really going out on dates, but you're giving them just enough to keep them somewhat interested. Okay. Like you're giving them breadcrumbs. Okay? And this, I think, is a big one with online dating because it's like, okay, I like this person. But then we've got this paradox of choice that happens, right, when there are so many people to choose from. Most people don't end up choosing anybody, okay? That's why it's a paradox. So I like this person, but is there other people out there that I might like better? So I'm going to keep this person around. Okay. I am interested. I'm going to give them a little bit, but I'm never really going to follow through.

Annette Benedetti [00:05:40]:

Yeah, I've definitely had that done. And I've definitely done that. Both of them.

Dr. Deb [00:05:45]:

Yeah. But I mean, think about it. Never before in history have you been able to have access to all of the opportunities that we have now in the dating world, okay? Like before you would go to the local few bars around your closest area, and sometimes you would step out, but for convenience's sake, right? And you'd probably run into the similar people. Okay? Now there are thousands and thousands of people at your fingertips.

Annette Benedetti [00:06:22]:

So you threw out Simmering and icing. What are those?

Dr. Deb [00:06:29]:

They're actually pretty similar. Well, let's start with icing, okay? Like you convey interest in someone, okay. But you also let them know that right now you can't be with them. Okay. You got other stuff going on all right, so I'm going to put you on ice for now. Now, what the other person has going on could be legitimate, it could be work stuff or it could be other dating opportunities. Right. And then Simmering is expressing an interest but you're kind of stringing them along for a long while and it may or may not end up in something. So they're all kind of similar like icing simmering breadcrumbing. But with Simmering you keep them at more of a comfortable distance. You don't want them all up in your business, but you are talking to them occasionally. You let them know that you have an interest. But I'm doing other stuff too.

Annette Benedetti [00:07:45]:

Yeah. And you know, it is funny. I think everybody does these to some extent at some point of time in their dating life. And I think you're right that the access to so many people has changed things also. Yeah. I think reason because as we're talking, I'm trying to think of when I've done this, why I think I've done these things without bad intention. I think I've done these things just because I'm like, oh, I'm just trying to figure out what you're about. I also have this person who's also interesting to me. But I do think people also do it where it's harmful and where I think I've had it done to me is like when someone is making me feel like they're really into me but they just need time, but they have no intention of ever following through. They're just kind of playing me out or trying to get me in bed or having sex with me and with the promise, now this doesn't happen to me anymore at this point in my life, but I can call these things out and whatever. I just have a different take on dating and stuff like that at this point. But when I was monogamous and when I was young and when I was looking for the one and I know there are plenty of women my age who are still doing that, this was something that would happen to me. But a guy would be using me for sex with no intention of being the one down the road. And I was like, but maybe he will. But he will not ever. That will never turn into anything.

Dr. Deb [00:09:24]:

Yeah. So intention, right, is a big thing. I mean, there are definitely manipulative people out there that will do all of these behaviors with an intention of getting what they want, whatever that is. Could be sex, could be money, who knows? And then just kind of not really having any thought of you in the future. Okay. And then there are the people again that they don't want to hurt somebody's feelings. They do. They really like the person, but they're also maybe they don't know how to tell the person. Maybe they're conflict-avoidant. And if they say, look, I really like you, but I don't want to get into something serious right now. I do want to date. I hope that we can still date, too, so that everything's kind of open and clear and there's no weirdness or anything like that. Some people feel like that's conflict, and so they don't approach it, and they end up doing some of these behaviors. So intention and you know this as well as I know this, but the intention behind the behavior is obviously the thing to look at, right?

Annette Benedetti [00:10:40]:

So let's move on to love bombing.

Dr. Deb [00:10:44]:

So this one is something to really look out for just because it tends to be a beginning sign of getting into a relationship with someone who at minimum, has narcissistic tendencies, okay? And while all of these, again, can be abusive, again, like we talked about, it depends on the intention. But love bombing is in the very beginning of a relationship, and it can last, usually can last up to six months until you start to get to know the person. And then the love bombing goes away and the true person comes out. But the person gets to know you, gets to know what you like, what your weaknesses are. And this is where we can get into narcissistic tendencies, right, where you become the prey. I become very aware of what it is that you want, you like, and I'm going to play on that. Okay? So in the first date, I can tell if you're a romantic or not. If I can tell that you're romantic, I know exactly what to do to get you hooked on me, okay? I'm going to buy you some gifts. I'm going to take you to romantic restaurants. I'm going to eye gaze. I'm going to start to really compliment you, right, and do all of these wonderful things, okay? And it's going to feel really intense. And for somebody that is not aware of that or has some trauma or wants to be loved or is empathic, it's going to feel really good to them, okay? Like, it's going to be like, oh, my God, I found my soulmate. I found my one. Right? And six months later, it turns into a reversal of behavior patterns. They use all of that stuff against you. Okay?

Annette Benedetti [00:12:45]:


Dr. Deb [00:12:46]:

So I always say, just from a safety perspective, relationships, I think, and I say this loosely because I do believe in the love of first sight type things, okay? But I do believe that this day and age, you should be cautious, okay? And I would see that as a yellow flag, not necessarily a red flag. But if things are really intense in the beginning, I would throw some caution up there. That's a yellow flag, okay? Take a step back, look at it, get some grounding, and you can proceed. But you need to proceed with caution, right?

Annette Benedetti [00:13:32]:

So in love bombing, what happened when it is a person with bad intent, what happens after they love bomb, what is the behavior that follows.

Dr. Deb [00:13:44]:

That the emotional abuse.

Annette Benedetti [00:13:47]:

So then they start emotionally abusing you and then using all of the romantic things they've done as, like, some sort of defense or justification. Yeah.

Dr. Deb [00:13:55]:

And weapon weaponry, because it's not very difficult for somebody to get to know somebody else's weak spots. Okay? For example, during love bombing and during that intense phase, there's going to be a lot of conversation, right, because the vulnerability is there, and you trust the person because they're doing all this stuff for you and saying all the right things, right. So all of that information gets used against you as a weapon later on down the line. Right. That's the abuse of love bombing.

Annette Benedetti [00:14:32]:

So that's love bombing. Now, the next one is a word, and I know that this one is kind of close to the other ones, but it's used oftentimes. Gas lighting. Can we talk about gas lighting? And let's be really clear about it, because I think it's used incorrectly often.

Dr. Deb [00:14:53]:

One of those buzzwords, right? Like everything everybody does now is gaslighting, okay? And it's not necessarily true at all. Gas lighting is when somebody turns the situation around on you, okay? There's different layers and levels of it and different ways to look at it, okay? So we'll look at those. But if I'm having a conversation about something that you did, hey, Annette, this really hurt me. And if it continues, blah, blah, blah, blah. And instead of you saying, you know what, Deb? You're right, I shouldn't have done that. That was wrong. I'm so sorry. Can you forgive me? How do we move past this? Right? You instead say, So, wait a second. It's okay for you to do this, but if I do this, I'm wrong, right? Well, what about the time when you did all of this, okay? Or it could show up like, I don't trust you for whatever reason. You're my partner. I look through your cell phone, right, and I found some interaction between you and this other female, and I call you out on it. And now instead of you saying, oh, my God, yeah, I cheated. I'm so sorry, blah, blah, blah, you turn it around on me, and I'm the bad guy because I'm going through your phone. So everything gets off the other person and on to the other person, okay? That's gas. That's what confuses people. It's like, well, wait a second. Okay, shit, you're right. That was wrong. Before you know it, you're thinking your own self is wrong, okay? The other gaslighting move that's interesting is what I call circle talking, okay? And that is you're in this conversation with somebody, and you're trying to get to a resolution, okay? But an hour later, it feels like you're dancing, like nothing's happening. Things are going around in circles. We've said this already. Why aren't we getting to another level? Okay? And that's a manipulative conversation. Somebody's manipulating in that conversation, and that's a form of lighting as well.

Annette Benedetti [00:17:27]:

Oh, God. See, I also don't get into that anymore because, I don't know, it must be age. I just get exhausted really quick when I'm talking to someone, and it's getting nowhere. Like, I get exhausted. And I remember when I was younger and dating, and I would get into these all-night, week-long, circular conversations. Man, I just don't have the energy anymore.

Dr. Deb [00:17:49]:

Yeah, it takes a lot of energy. A lot of energy. And relationships will often not survive with those. And if they somehow do, it's usually a very disconnected relationship.

Annette Benedetti [00:18:03]:

Guys, that should have cleared up gaslighting. It's okay to use it. Just make sure you're using it in the right context. You can't just throw around you're gaslighting at people. I see it online all of the time. People are like, they were gaslighting me. And then they talk about the situation. I'm like, wait a second. Maybe they were just telling you you're fucked up. I don't know.

Dr. Deb [00:18:23]:

Or for that matter, maybe they're poor communicators, right? I mean, I look at that in my office, right, because I'll hear people say, oh, my God, they're so narcissistic, they gaslight me. And a lot of times what I'll find out is that it's not necessarily gaslighting. It's that you guys are seeing things from very different perspectives, and nobody's listening to the other person or trying to understand. I will say this with any of these things, when you feel like something is off, learn to listen to your gut, okay? And bring up the conversation with someone. And in a healthy environment, the conversation should bring a resolution. In an unhealthy toxic environment or relationship, it's not going to bring a resolution. It's going to bring either circle talking or manipulation or blame or any of those types of things, okay? Don't not listen to your gut. People need to learn how to trust their gut, have the conversation, and if it's a toxic result, then that person probably doesn't need to be in your life.

Annette Benedetti [00:19:36]:

Yeah, I'll tell you what, because the relationship I am in currently, it's one of the most growth-oriented relationships I've ever been in, and I'll tell you why it's not because we haven't done some of this stuff to each other. Certainly old habits have popped into this relationship, but what has made it worth, beyond worthwhile and healthy is that I can actually say I'm feeling this thing to him, and he'll sit down, self-reflect, and then we talk about it and figure out sometimes some of it's my stuff. I have anxiety or whatever, my anxious attachment style or his avoidance stuff, and then we work through it. But in the past, when I've been in these situations, it's gone into the circle talking or the throwing everything back on me. It's because you're this way. So, yeah, that is great advice. I want to move on to Hoovering. This was a term that I hadn't heard about. So this is new to me.

Dr. Deb [00:20:43]:

So Hoovering is a fairly newer term, and basically it's an abusive behavior, too, like all of these. But somebody has this deep fear of somebody withdrawing from their partner, withdrawing from the relationship or leaving the relationship, and they Hoover, okay? Like, they are trying to make it work in different ways. They become excessively attached to the relationship out of their own fear of losing the relationship. And they can get manipulative, too, with something like this, okay? So if you don't come over right now, I'm going to hurt myself.

Annette Benedetti [00:21:38]:

They kind of suck you back in, I guess. They kind of keep sucking you back in when you try to yeah.

Dr. Deb [00:21:47]:

Again, very manipulative, very sort of personality disorder-type behavior. You'll see a lot of this with borderline personality disorder. Like, very fearful of losing relationships and leveraging, if you don't do this, I'm going to do this. And again, just unresolved trauma, right? Because borderline personality disorder is now for the most part, viewed as like a trauma personality disorder, right? Unresolved trauma.

Annette Benedetti [00:22:27]:


Dr. Deb [00:22:28]:

And it gets kind of put on the relationship.

Annette Benedetti [00:22:31]:

That's an instant red flag, for sure.

Dr. Deb [00:22:35]:

That is a red flag because, again, it's leverage, it's manipulation, and it's usually with something so big that it would cause a tremendous amount of guilt, okay? And that's the goal, right. If you don't do this, I could make you feel a really bad way, and then that kind of brings the person back. And if those patterns kind of are common in the relationship, that relationship could go on for years like that. Because there's plenty of people in abusive relationships and they have no idea they're in an abusive relationship. They know something's not right, but because they're not getting physically hit, they don't believe that it's abusive. Right. Or they're so used to the emotional abuse that they don't even really recognize that it's emotional abuse.

Annette Benedetti [00:23:28]:

Let me give you an example of how bad this behavior is. The first time I experienced it was my senior year of high school. I was in a relationship with someone who I didn't realize at that time I was so young and naive, was a recovered alcoholic. And when I finally left him and he kept me away from all of my friends, like, he really isolated me. When I finally left him, he started drinking and making sure and doing drugs and all of this scary, self destructive stuff and showing up wherever I was to let me see what a mess I had made. He even at one point, got so violently ill from drug and alcohol that and in the middle of getting sick, he shouted to everyone and me that it was because of me. It was my fault. To this day, this individual will still reach out to me. And this is we are talking almost 30 years later, and it still scares me. That is a behavior. When I see anything, like, with friends, new people in my life, I'm like, I'm just no way. Because even though I know, and you will know that it's not your fault, there is a part of you that's like, oh, my God, if I triggered this, I would say that is a red flag run for your fucking life. Now, this is a new term that's out that I would love to hear you speak to. Orbiting. Now, I just found out about it this morning. I stumbled across it, so I'm glad that I did. And I think in the age of social media, we all have experienced this, where you're into someone, you like them, they ghost you or blow you off or you break it off. And it seems like they're not really into you, but they still look at your stories on Instagram and check out your social media so you know they're still there. And you're like, Do I reach out to them? Do I not? I have had a lot of that happen. Can you explain what the fuck are they doing? Doctor Deb what do they want from us?

Dr. Deb [00:25:49]:

This was, I guess, the old drive by, right? Like, if you broke up with somebody pre social media, you did a drive by where, you know, they hang out, like, are they there? Are they there? What are they doing? What are they doing? Right? So it's the same damn thing, right? It's just easy and more discreet. Orbiting, where you can look at what they're doing, look at their stories, look at all their pictures again, see if they're dating anybody new.

Annette Benedetti [00:26:23]:

But the question is, if they ditched you in the first place, why are they doing that? And and so what, the person sits there and thinks to themselves is, oh, they must actually still be interested. Oh, they must actually you know, I read it wrong, you know, and and so you just keep but is that the case? Are they still interested? They never reach out again? Do they want you to talk to them? Do they just want you to stay hung up on them?

Dr. Deb [00:26:53]:

I think, like, some of the other ones, there's multiple reasons and intentions with this, okay? So, for example, they ditch you because they think they got something going on with this other person. This other person ditches them, and now they're looking at what you're doing because maybe they recognize that they've made a mistake, okay? Maybe they don't know how to reach out. Or maybe they want you to see that they're looking at your stories, and then they expect they want you to reach out, right? It's all this kind of manipulation type stuff going on. Could they still be interested in you? Yes, they could still be interested in you. Are they just nosy? Is this what social media is this one of the outcomes of social media, right? Do we look on people's pages because orbiting isn't just with relationships. It's also with friendships that you're not friends with anymore. I've Orbited. I've got some people that I know that I care less if I'm friends with them or not anymore. Right. But once in a while, I'll check out their page, see what they're doing. I don't know if they see me or not. I don't really care. Okay. But it's almost like I'm curious. On one level, I hope they're doing well. On one level, I'm bored, whatever I'm doing, right? So I just start with social media. I mean, that's look at what social media can do. And anybody that's on social media has likely done something like this, okay? If it becomes obsessive or compulsive or whatever, then obviously it's a problem. But I think these types of things are the result of social media and technology. Yeah, see, it on dating sites, too. Some of the dating sites you can orbit on. We've got all of this access to people's lives, and I think that it creates curiosity and interest and maybe a little bit of obsession.

Annette Benedetti [00:29:01]:

So do you feel that orbiting is an unhealthy behavior? You're right. It used to be when I was a little girl, people were just gone. Like, once you cut them off, especially if they were long distance, you didn't have access to anybody. They were just literally gone from your life unless they decided to write a letter, which I think led to healing faster if that's what you truly wanted. And that's why in relationships or whatever, I'm very aware of when I'm done, I'm done. So do you think it's healthy or unhealthy?

Dr. Deb [00:29:36]:

I think it depends. Okay. To your point there, if you've been broken up with and the person's orbiting and you see that they're orbiting or you're checking out their stuff, that's going to be tremendously unhealthy, and it's going to prolong healing. I see that actually a lot in my office, and I have to tell people, you need to get off of social media. You need to block this person, or you need to get off of social media until you have the strength not to do that. Or for that matter, if you see somebody orbiting an ex or a friend or whatever and that's making you uncomfortable because you're getting all these thoughts, well, maybe they're still interested. I don't know what to do. It's causing you stress. Take your butt off social media. Okay. Because you're likely going to get involved in some toxic communication pattern with this person.

Annette Benedetti [00:30:30]:

That makes sense. All right, I've got two terms left. I'm leaving the big one for the end because it is way overused, and I'm going to have you clearly define it. But before we get to it, maybe the second biggest one is Ghosting. People have so many feelings around Ghosting. I am going to tell you up front, Dr. Deb, I love being Ghosted. If it's early on back when I was dating, like, no, my boyfriend right now could not ghost me. I'd hunt his ass down. But when I was just in the dating phase and trying to meet people, and I'd have some people I'd get kind of excited about, and then they'd ghost me. And I always tell people I was so thankful for it because, A, I don't want to know why you're not into me, because I don't know you well enough to give a fuck. Like, it's not about me. You don't know me well enough to affect my self esteem. You're just not into me. It's about them. It's their stuff. And I don't want an explanation. I don't need to talk about it. You can just fade into nothingness. And I liked that. I was not one who wanted to give someone a chance to say who didn't really know me, to say something kind of that would make me feel bad about myself. I just moved on. In a couple of weeks, I'd forgotten about them. But some people are really man, it really gets to them. I would love to hear what it is, the behavior. What are your thoughts on it?

Dr. Deb [00:31:54]:

So your outlook there is awesome. It's the way it should be, right? And it's the truth. If it happens in the beginning, okay, because there's no emotional tie made, I think where ghosting becomes a problem is the third date. And each date was, like, intense, and it felt good. And somebody, person A really wants a relationship and gets really into person B. Person B being the ghoster. Three dates in, everything's going great. Sometimes people, they fantasize about what the future is going to look like right before they ever should. I mean, we've got all these nuances that go along with this, and then the person just completely disappears. Disappears off social media dating sites, right? And they're left wondering, what happened? Did I do something? Think about it. By the third date, things can be very intense for some people. We could even throw love bombing into this mix a bit, but it can be hurtful, okay? And I think that that's what happens. And it can actually cause all of these behaviors can cause minor to moderate PTSD symptoms. Okay? So, for example, by the third date and I'm not saying this is healthy either, and I feel connected to you, and we're having a great time, and I'm telling starting to tell my friends about you, like, things are great. And I get ghosted. And then I start to question myself. And then I go out on another date when I sort of heal from this, say, a month later, and the same thing happens, right, that becomes, who do I trust? How do I start going on dates? And how do I actually trust people when I feel these feelings? And then this is what happens, right? So therein lies the toxicity of it, when ultimately, if we lived. In a world that I don't know knew how to communicate, it would be more like and some people do know how to do this, but a lot of people don't. And it would sound more like, hey, look, I think you're great. I don't really feel an intimate spark between us. I'd love to hang out, but I just want to let you know that we could be great friends. But this is where I'm drawing the line, right? Because it's almost like they think they're going to hurt the person's feelings. Well, if you ghost them, you're going to hurt them even more. But again, in the beginning you go on a first date, it was okay. You give them a second chance, it was okay. And then they disappear. Your perspective there is the perfect thing to take platform to take. Thank you. Because I know this is about you. It's not about me. And I'm not going to take that personally. But there's got to be I think when you're doing that and you let me know or let us know you haven't given yourself, you're not into it 100%, right. And that person that does get into somebody really fast, they may need to check what's driving that.

Annette Benedetti [00:35:40]:

I'm not someone who will look at the future with someone else until I am way down the road. I'm going to be honest with you. Even if and I did back, and this was back when I was dating quite a bit. I even had times where after we had sex when I say I was ghosted, it wasn't like I was reaching out and reaching out. It was like just silence happened. And I was like pretty sure and it didn't affect me. But I go into things knowing it takes a long time to know when a person is the right person for you. And I am talking a long time. There's some on TikTok, some relationship person woman on TikTok right now selling this book to women and women are eating it up. Three months, no kissing before you kiss a person and then you're in the clear and this is how you're going to find the man of your dreams. And I'm like, this whole three month thing is bullshit. It can take six months or a year before we really start seeing things that we're going to deal with. We're all at my age. Once you're in your man, we're coming with some baggage. And there are things that pop out between me and my partner now we're two and a half years later, new behaviors that we're like, okay, how are we going to deal with this? This is affecting our relationship. But for me, I just really not until I actually sat with a person and we both say, hey, this is something we're doing right and have that conversation. I'm starting to feel something for you. Are we going to keep doing this? Have that conversation before you get invested, right? But I really first worked on loving myself to the point where I was like, I'm not going to let some jackass who slides through my life for, like, whatever, a couple of weeks or a month derail my work. Fuck that.

Dr. Deb [00:37:52]:

You can't give your health away that easy. But Annette, on the other side of the three month thing, there's this I think she's a comedian rolling around on, I don't know, Facebook Instagram reels, and she actually kind of makes a little sense, and she goes the exact opposite. And her basic tenet is this I'm going to fuck somebody sooner, right? Because I need to know if you can fuck with my body before I allow you inside my head and my heart. It was a really interesting take.

Annette Benedetti [00:38:34]:

I love that you bring that up, because I am literally, literally like, I want to know that we have passion. I want to know we connect. I want to know our chemicals come together naturally. These other women are like, you can teach someone to kiss you, right? No, you cannot. People can argue this with me. Yes, you can get better at things. But I want to know that. I'm going to be honest with you. The person I'm with right now, who is the love of my life, went down on my kitty the first night because I asked. I was like, please. And that's how I knew we had something. I mean, maybe the first person ever to in a car take care of my business. Ten minutes flat. I was like, well, that and I was just horny that night. And I was like, I want to take care of some needs. And I'm kind of digging this guy on the state I in no way thought we would end up where we are today. But I would never put three months into someone without knowing how we feel when we touch. And this idea, this idea that you don't get attached to someone unless you touch them and kiss them is bullshit. You can fall heavy in verbal exchange. That's sex. Anyway, we could talk about that, but I know that's not what you're here for. I have strong feelings. I agree with the comedian. Fuck that. Dating coach, whatever her name is. But the final term that I want you to clear up, and you've used it throughout this, I always hear people calling their exes or someone they're angry at a narcissist. And it is a term that I think is dangerously abused, because true narcissism is truly, in my opinion, scary. It's a big deal. And people who are true narcissists, I think, as I understand it and I'm not educated to your level, are really dangerous people. So throwing that out about everyone who treats you like shit is not helpful. So could you define this term as it should be used?

Dr. Deb [00:40:49]:

So I think the most important thing about narcissism is to recognize that there's layers of it, okay? So when someone is a narcissist, technically they should have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, okay? That is, the person that really doesn't have remorse is very self involved, manipulative, okay? Narcissism is usually unresolved trauma. It's not like, again, antisocial personality disorder. Like sociopaths, that their amygdala is 17% smaller than someone who's not sociopathic, right? Like, you get some brain stuff with some of the other ones. Narcissism is oftentimes unresolved trauma, but there's layers of it, okay? There are people who have narcissistic tendencies. There are some people who believe that everybody's narcissistic on some level. So, for example, if I am an alcoholic, I am going to find ways to manipulate you without remorse to get my alcohol, because that's what my needs is, okay? Is that a narcissistic tendency? You better believe it. Okay, so there's layers to it. And again, I know this probably confuses this question even more, but what is somebody's history? What is somebody's intention? Is their intention to hurt you? Is their intention to twist things around because they don't have to deal with something? Right? There's really depth in looking at this. Okay? So you've got the narcissistic personality disorder. And I think when people throw around the word narcissist, they are leading towards that, and there's enough of them, but not the way that people are throwing this word around. The way people are throwing this word around is everybody is a narcissist, okay? Not recognizing that everybody has some layer of narcissism or narcissist tendency. The person, the female, because I see it a lot with females. I see it with males, too, that says he's a narcissist, okay, blah, blah, blah. If she was in the same situation, she probably acts similarly. Okay? So you'll oftentimes see it with affairs, but you'll see it with communication patterns. So she catches him having an affair, which can be narcissistic if you're in a monogamous, sexually exclusive relationship, right? Because you're not caring about the other person's feelings, okay? You're concerned with yourself in the middle of that affair because you fell for somebody, okay? And she finds out and he doesn't have the amount of remorse that she thinks he should have, okay, because he got feelings for this person, okay? But if she was in the same situation, she may actually respond and act the same way, right? So there's some questioning that in that situation she may need to look at, okay? And sometimes it might be, I would never cheat. I wasn't raised like that. I think about other people's feelings, okay? Now, does that mean that this person is a narcissist because they had an affair? No, it means that for a brief moment in their life, they had a tendency towards narcissism because they didn't give a shit how bad they were going to hurt their partner. That does not mean that they're a narcissist, okay? It means they're capable. Like, I believe everybody is capable of narcissistic behavior patterns.

Annette Benedetti [00:44:55]:

Absolutely. I would agree with you at the end of the day, and maybe this is your opportunity to give my listeners takeaways with these behaviors. Like, how can you minimize these behaviors yourself, doing them? But also, I think you've already kind of told people what to do when they're being done to them. But if you want to sum that up for my listeners, how to minimize doing them in their own lives to other people, and then what to do when they feel like maybe they're being done to them.

Dr. Deb [00:45:28]:

Yeah. I think awareness is big. Just self awareness as well as awareness of the dating world. If you go fast, have a reason to go fast, okay? You want to see if there's bodily connection, fine. But don't get your head and your emotions too far ahead of yourself, okay? Because nobody wants to be in that situation where they're looking at another human being like, you hurt me. And most people don't want to be in that situation where they're hurting another person because that doesn't feel good. Right. So awareness in general is just amazingly important. Listen to your gut. Set some boundaries, obviously, is all important. Right. Like, if you don't like a behavior, let it be known. If it continues to happen, then you need to step away. Right. So owning yourself and having dignity for yourself right. And loving yourself. I think you had said that, and I know that is almost cliche to say right now, but for whatever reason, people still haven't learned that that is a very important aspect of life in general, okay? Self respect, self love, care. You don't like the word self love if it sounds too crunchy. Just dignity. Self dignity. Right. Not allowing other people to treat you a certain way. Right. Maybe when I was younger. And this is the problem, right. We don't want to wait till we're older to realize all of this. Right. And that's what happens. Now, hopefully, at some point, the younger people, like, in their 20s will realize this, maybe even a little bit younger, that they don't have to take these behaviors. Right. One of my major gripes is that sex education sucks in this country, right. And certainly relationship education sucks, and we don't know what a healthy relationship is. And people get into these abusive relationships and stay there without understanding that they don't have to.

Annette Benedetti [00:47:42]:

Right. You can leave. So self awareness, make sure you're not doing these behaviors. If you're doing them, go find a therapist and figure out why you're doing them.

Dr. Deb [00:47:56]:

Right. If you're a poor communicator, you're a poor communicator. Work on that communication if you're doing it because you I've had people tell me in my office, I'm doing this because I like how it feels.

Annette Benedetti [00:48:11]:

Oh, shit.

Dr. Deb [00:48:13]:

Yeah. That's different than, like, I don't know how to tell the person. I don't want to hurt their feelings. Right. Or there's different intentions, and that's got to be looked at.

Annette Benedetti [00:48:24]:

Yeah, absolutely. Do the work, man. Do the work on yourself. And that's a life, a lifelong job right there. And if you feel like something's being done to you, don't jump to the conclusion that it's all bad, but bring it up. Trust. You've said again and again, trust your gut. You've gotten listeners, you've gotten great advice here. Trust your gut. It may be you're reading something wrong. It may be that you guys need to work on communication. But bring it up. See what the response is. If it spirals into another one of these terms and the circular conversations, then maybe like bail. Because on the other hand, when it comes to dating these days, you do have access to lots of other people. Go find one that doesn't make you feel that way for sure. We've done a lot here today, Dr. Deb.

Dr. Deb [00:49:30]:

Yeah. And we even missed R1 quick cuffing season. Be careful of this, ladies and gentlemen. So somewhere around September time frame, right? You start to feel like falls coming in, right? And cuffing season is basically September to about little post Valentine's Day, right? Pre spring. So you want to hunker down with somebody for the winter, okay. But then spring, summer comes in, you want your freedom. So the breakup happens so that you go down the beach and have fun, hook up with whoever you want. But during the winter, when there's nothing to do, you want a partner.

Annette Benedetti [00:50:09]:

Watch out. When the weather turns, if someone's suddenly so sweet to you, that's been breadcrumbing you along, you know that they just want someone to get them off through the winter. Oh, man. Wow. These all go together quite interestingly, don't they? It's a puzzle.

Dr. Deb [00:50:28]:

Yes. They are all very interconnected. And you'll see people who have all of these behavior patterns all at once.

Annette Benedetti [00:50:35]:

Ron Deb, can you give my listeners how they can find you and get a hold of you? Whatever you have to offer, let's let them know because obviously it's very clear dr. Deb has a lot of good answers for us.

Dr. Deb [00:50:53]:

Yeah, just go to my and all the information is there.

Annette Benedetti [00:50:59]:

Yeah. And I will have links, of course, in the description. Do check her site out. She's got some great videos up. And I love these talks with you. I learn a lot. I know my listeners do too. So thank you for cutting out some time for me today.

Dr. Deb [00:51:16]:

Yes, thank you for having me. And I will see you again soon.

Annette Benedetti [00:51:21]:

Yes. And listeners, I will see you in the locker room. Cheers. Ring loop.

Navigating Modern Dating Behaviors
Love Bombing, Gaslighting, and Hoovering
Borderline Personality Disorder and Orbiting
Social Media's Impact on Relationships
Ghosting and Communication Importance
Understanding Narcissism and Relationship Behaviors