Every day, porn star and University of Southern California journalism grad student Tasha Reign wakes up to a curious string of emails from her fans, a devoted group of men and women she lovingly refers to as “Reigndeer.” Said Reigndeer ask her questions — so many questions — about her perspectives on sex, love, relationships and life itself, and as someone who’s had more firsthand experience in these areas than four average adult women combined, she’s become uniquely up to the task of answering them. Every Saturday then, Tasha will select a few of these questions and grace us with her insight, advice and expert wisdom in the hopes that she can help you fuck long and prosper, too.
I’m really busy. Because of this and the fact that I date a lot, I’m looking to streamline my efficiency a bit. What do you think is the most important stuff to go over on a first date? And what’s the best first date for getting to know each other?
I totally understand where you’re coming from. Efficiency is so crucial, especially when it comes to the fast-paced dating culture we’ve created for ourselves. It can also feel wasteful when you go on date after date with people who you can’t see yourself with in the long-term. So figuring out a system that separates the diamonds from the dirt can help make all the dating you’re doing feel more worthwhile. Thankfully for you, I was in your shoes not long ago, and I learned a few tips that kept the weirdos at bay so the winners could shine.
First, I relied mostly on apps, just because they put you in contact with more people than you tend to meet in real life. Personally, I like Hinge because the bios are more thorough and organized, which makes it easier to find people with similar tastes and interests. I also enjoyed Bumble, which allows you to swipe first as a woman. I’m not sure who you are or what you’re into, but the fact that one party is solely responsible for kicking off the conversation also means you get down to talking quicker, and the conversations are (usually) more productive.
What you write in your dating bio matters, too. Lead with exactly what it is you’re looking for so you can weed out people right away. Marriage and children? Perfect. An emotionally intelligent person who just wants to fuck you on Wednesdays at 5:10 p.m.? Cool, put that first. You have to tell people what you want so they can give it to you; so again, the sooner and more clearly you can convey that, the sooner you’re likely to get it. My life changed when I started asking for what I wanted, and I can definitely say it streamlined dating for me.
In terms of what kind of dates you should be going on, that depends on who you’re interested in and what you’re interested in. However, I’d recommend something short that you can talk to each other during. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on a first date to a movie and learned nothing about the person because all the time was spent watching Wild Hogs or whatever. Same goes for something like an amusement park, a flea market or something more lavish like a spa date — it’s just too much chaos and activity with a stranger.
A meal or a drink (or coffee, tea, whatever) in a semi-quiet public location is a much better option. If you want to get really smart about it, curate a list of bars, restaurants or places you’d like to try so you can be decisive and make a plan without all the back and forth of, “So, what do you want to do? Blah blah blah…” Keep the conversation light and flirty, and try to avoid the heavy stuff like money and politics, just because it’s hard to focus on your actual connection when you bring ideological stuff into the mix right away. Bring up your interests and make sure to always ask them about theirs. People love to chat about their hobbies and experiences.
Unless you’re having way too much fun to part from each other, limit it to two(ish) hours so you can get back to your busy schedule. You should definitely be able to tell if you want to see that person again in that amount of time.
Lastly, I like to screen my dates on Google and social media beforehand. That way, I can at least get a sense of whatever the potential suitor is like. And, when I’m face-to-face with them, I can focus more on chemistry and being present than whether or not they’ve got a public record of arson charges.
Is it ever possible to just be friends with an ex?
Maybe in some cases, but in general, the answer is a big, fat “no.” Here’s why: You and your ex once had sex. You had feelings for them, and though one or both of you has moved on, there will always be an underlying emotional connection. I used to think that was fine — who cares if I have an emotional connection with my ex and a partner who I’m satisfied with at home? But you know what? It’s really not.
Hanging on to an emotional connection when it’s not serving you, or when you’re in a relationship with someone else, is serious business. It’s a drain on your energy; it keeps you from moving forward in the best possible way; and it can interfere with your current or future relationships.
That’s why most healthy couples I know don’t stay connected with their ex as a friend. I speak from personal experience as well — I recently attempted to do so, and it went horribly awry. I thought it was reasonable and made perfect sense, but my partner found it inappropriate. That, I think, is where you draw the line: How does it make your partner feel? If the answer is “not good,” it’s probably better to cut your ex out of your life. If you’re single, that’s a different story, but it’s important to ask yourself why you’re keeping this person around. Are you lying to yourself about your intentions with them? Might you be hanging on to maintain some foot in the door with them? Are you really okay with being platonic?
Examine the illusions you have around your friendship and make sure it’s serving you. If it’s not, let it go.
At the end of the day, you need to weigh the pros and cons of being friends with this person and decide who matters most. Is it your ex? Is it your current partner? Or is it you, a person who deserves to have freedom and independence from relationships that no longer serve them?
Most of us don’t have time for a ton of seriously intimate relationships and partners. So use your timely wisely and dedicate your energy to who is important to you now. After all, your ex is your ex for a reason!
What’s the proper response to being ghosted? Should you call them out or just ignore it and try to move on? Every time it happens to me I feel really hurt and like I want closure, but I’m also wary that the person who ghosted me doesn’t want to talk.
This one’s for you Danny… One fine day last August I met a very wealthy, very charming, pretty attractive man. We met through a guy named Alex I’d hooked up with from the aforementioned Bumble app (Alex was his best friend). I guess sharing women was their thing.
Danny and I dated. Danny and I fucked. Danny took me to Lakers games and fancy restaurants. Danny even introduced me to his family.
Then one day, as if out of a modern-day horror flick, Danny ghosted me after months of dating. But you know what? It was so abrupt, illogical and patently insane, that for the first time ever in my ghosting memory, I gave no shits. It was strange. I didn’t reach out to him. I didn’t try to connect over what happened or grill him for answers. I just got the message. It certainly was clear enough.
Ghosts don’t want to see you for their own ghosty-ass reasons that don’t necessarily matter because they probably have nothing to do with you. They, like everyone else, were human at one point and now they’re dead. Or at least dead to you. No need to try and resurrect them from their grave. Let them pass peacefully.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. My ego takes forever to recoup, and in the end, it makes me realize how much I should never do that to someone. It feels cruel, like you’ve been abandoned without food and water on the side of the highway.
Let’s then get a game plan together for the next time you’re ghosted, because let’s be real: It is inevitable. To cope with it, I use the “no haunt rule.” That is, once you’re ghosted, you don’t allow these people to take up precious space and energy in your mind or life. They simply don’t deserve you. Keep busy, do your self-care or continue to date, but don’t mull over whether they want to reconnect, because they don’t. And if you can’t resist texting them, delete their number or block them. Trust me, it’s the only way.
Your closure must come from within when ghosts are involved. Once I learned this, my life seriously changed for the better.
Feel free to send me your sex, love and relationship questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!