Why do people sometimes fall in love with someone who is all kinds of wrong for them? Their friends and family see lots of red flags about their partner, but they themselves miss these warnings entirely, sometimes to catastrophic consequences.
My guest today argues that these kinds of errors in relational decision-making happen when someone lets his heart rule without also heeding his head. His name is John Van Epp, and he’s a therapist and the author of the book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. We begin our conversation discussing what society’s default template for creating a successful relationship looks like, and how it leads people astray. John then defines what makes a jerk, a jerk, and the signs that you’re dating a jerk. He then explains why it is that people so often miss these signs, by using a model of how attachment develops in a relationship; I think this model is super useful in understanding relational dynamics and you don’t want to miss it. We then discuss why men need to do a better job in helping to pace relationships, instead of only letting women set the tempo. We end our conversation discussing the things you need to know about a person that you’re forming a relationship with, including their relationship skills, family life, and values, before you escalate your commitment to them.
- What’s the template people often fall back on when it comes to dating and marriage?
- How John defines a “jerk” in a relationship
- What happens if you find out only later (even much later) that your significant other is a jerk?
- How relationships get too intimate too quickly
- The stages of how a relationship should progress (yes, there’s a lot of research on this!)
- What roles do men and women play in this pacing?
- Is it true that “happy wife = happy life”?
- What does it mean to really know someone?
- Why is it harder in our modern world to get to know people?
- What are the 5 key areas in which you should get to know someone?
- What Seinfeld can teach you about conscientiousness
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- How Do You Know When She’s the One?
- Should You Live Together Before Marriage?
- Why Every Man Should Read Jane Austen
- The 14 Red Flags of Dating
- How to Spot Red Flags in a Relationship
- How Delaying Intimacy Can Benefit Your Relationship
- The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli Finkel
- How to Avoid a 3-Car Pile-Up In Your 30s
- The 10 Commandments of Clean Communication
- The Best Ways to Fund Your Relationship Bank Account
- How to Test Your Relationship Without Moving In Together
- DIY Marriage Counseling
- Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
- How and Why to Hold a Weekly Marriage Meeting
Connect With John
Love Thinks website (use code “artofman” to get a 20% discount on courses)
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