Have you been ghosted, or are you guilty of ghosting people yourself? If you’ve experienced either or both, this conversation is definitely for you. Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dig deep into their knowledge and personal experiences to give their two cents on ghosting, whether in a romantic or non-romantic context. Starting with the seemingly innocuous topic of what the inside of an eggplant should look like, their conversation quickly snowballs into a full-scale indictment of this very inappropriate and hurtful way to say “no.” We all have to deal with rejection at some time in our lives, but being left out in the cold is not a very helpful way to experience it. Stay tuned for snippets about dating apps, how to get over someone, finding unconditional love, and more.
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Rejection, Ghosting And The Culture Of Avoidance
I got to be honest. I have no idea what we’re going to talk about. Most of the time we don’t, but now I feel extra unsure. All I know is that I have one thing to start off with.
Was that like as in, “Go ahead or shoot?”
By the inflection of my voice, you can tell that it’s not a, “Oh shoot.” It’s like, “Go ahead. Let it rip, Whit.”
As you and some of our audience know, at the end of our episodes, we have a segment called Frequently Asked Queries. I like to go and prep some of them before each episode. I wanted to start off with one because it’s semi-serious. I’m sure it was meant serious as a query, but it made me laugh just the ways in which we show up in Google results. This query was, “What should the inside of eggplant look like?” I don’t know why it made me laugh but I figure you might be able to give a good answer for that.
It depends on which varietal of eggplant. If we’re talking a regular varietal or even a Japanese eggplant, the inside should be any gradation of color from a whitish, milky-ish to tan even. It should have small seeds. It shouldn’t be gelatinous at all. It should be firm to the touch. If it’s mushy inside, that’s gone bad. Conversely, if you can push your finger through the outside of the skin easily, then it’s overripe. Look for the proper coloration and small seeds. Make sure that the flesh inside of the eggplant is firm and you’re probably going to have a good experience. However, I find that a lot of people don’t know how to cook eggplant properly. They either overcook it to where it becomes mush like baby food consistency, or they undercook it where it’s still rubbery. I find that eggplant is somewhat of a challenging vegetable to make and make well.
I am somebody who dislikes eggplant when it’s cooked poorly, but when it’s cooked well, I enjoy it. Every once in a while, I get to this point where I’ll be eating and enjoying it, then sometimes I get too in my head about it, I’ll get grossed out and I can’t eat anymore. It’s not just with eggplant. This happens to me with mushrooms as well. Does that ever happen to you like you psych yourself out while you’re eating?
I don’t think so. If I get a few bites in and I’m committed, I’m committed the whole way. Is it a consistency thing or a flavor thing for you, or both?
It’s more of the consistency. Sometimes the flavor of the mushrooms, I am into to a certain extent, but it’s the combination of the two. Eggplant is neutral in taste. It absorbs whatever it’s being mixed with.
The only context where eggplant is allowed to be mushy in my book is if one is making baba ganoush, then there’s an expectation. What we’re talking about too is there’s a big part of the expectation that comes into the enjoyment of food. This happens a lot in the plant-based world, the keto world, paleo, the whole alternative lifestyles of eating if you want to call it that. They’ll say, “It’s a burger, pizza, burrito, this or that.” There are a lot of substitutes, meat analogs, and things like that. This is funny because, in my early days of cheffing, I was doing 100% raw for the first three years. The pizzas weren’t pizzas. It was a dehydrated flax, rosemary cracker with some tomato sauce, and dehydrated veggies that are like, “It’s a pizza.” It’s a cat food on a cracker.
It’s like what you would get if you went to Juliano’s Raw in Santa Monica.
It’s like the old school days of gourmet raw food where they were like, “It’s a pizza. It’s a burrito.” You’re like, “Kind of.”
I recall the pizza at Juliano’s to be good like one of the better.
It is? You’re saying this as if it’s still around.
Juliano’s was probably still making food somewhere. We’ve lost track of him. He’s gone off the radar a little bit. The last I heard he was living in Ohio, but that was a few years ago.
Speaking of Juliano’s and raw food, Janabai Owens came up with our keyword analytics. Somebody was searching for her and found our podcasts as a result.
What’s interesting about that is because of all the way back to episode number two, which is my story of Pursuing Music, Acting, and Culinary. I talked about my origin story as a chef and how Janabai, before the Rawvolution, owned the Euphoria company in Santa Monica in the heyday of raw foods. She was the one who recommended the Living Light Culinary Institute for me to go to chef school. I mentioned her in that episode, which is why she’s coming up on Google searches. Janabai was the person who was like, “Do you know there’s a vegan raw food chef school?” I was like, “No.” She was the one who directed me there and a month later, I’m up in Northern California Culinary School. Shout out to Janabai.Ghosting does not do anything beneficial. It is a temporary bandage over a problem. Click To Tweet
There you go, readers. A couple of queries at the beginning of an episode which we save for the end. This brings me to an interesting segue for a topic. I’m very proud of myself right now for this one because you’re talking about eggplants and they are often used as an emoji for something sexual especially with Millennials and younger generations. When you see an eggplant, there’s a sexual image that comes along with it. Would you say that for yourself at all or do you think you’re a little too old for that mentality?
I don’t think it’s about an age thing. It’s about the bombardment and overuse of that emoji. It’s so much in the social media lexicon now of using that to signify a penis. I do think of it every time I see an eggplant now. It’s like, “I got it.”
Even the words that you were using to describe the eggplant like firm and flesh. If you go back and listen to what you were saying, Jason.
It’s got to have a nice curvature to it and good color.
It can’t be too soft otherwise it’s unpleasant.
It’s a disappointment for everyone involved. I’ve been there.
That leads me to something that I wrote down in my list of topics to explore one day for the show. We might as well jump into this one. I have quite the spreadsheet for our show with multiple tabs or sheets on it, lots of tracking and data collection. One of them is ghosting, which is interesting because my notes around ghosting were not just romantic ghosting. Ghosting can happen to us in our platonic relationships as well as professionally, we can ghost people. We talked about this a bit in the sense where you’ll reach out to somebody and they’ll stop responding to your texts. You’ll apply for a job and you’ll never hear from them. Something will happen on a professional level and suddenly, you’re cut out of somebody’s life with no explanation. Through some of my digging into why ghosting happens, some of it is attributed to over-commitment or the inability to say no. It’s a big communication thing. Ghosting is a way that people handle discomfort. It’s like, “This is too uncomfortable to address so I’m not going to say anything or do anything at all.”
It’s almost like it’s become an emotional escape hatch for people where they don’t have to take responsibility or accountability for responding, closing the container or giving people a proper response. That’s an individual assessment but I do think that ghosting has become such a culturally acceptable thing for better or for worse. It’s an interesting thing because as irritated as I get when people don’t respond to multiple texts, DMs or emails, I’m also guilty of that. If I look through my email, I have 21 drafts in my draft folder that I need to send that I’ve been sitting on. As irritated as I get, I supposed it’s an inwardly directed irritation that I also lack. I have to take responsibility myself for not being a great communicator sometimes. It’s not necessarily ghosting people but more of what I do is a delay, which could be interpreted as ghosting.
Some people have the intention of delaying a response. I too have reflected a lot on this myself and I’m trying to work through that. One of the ways that have been helpful is developing more language that feels more comfortable. I found an article from this website, EliteDaily.com and the article is Fifteen Rejection Texts That Are Way Nicer Than Ghosting. This is not about romance. Ghosting is typically attributed to when you go on a date with somebody, then you never hear from them again. It’s nice if you can find a way to communicate and push past your comfort zone. In this case, it’s a romance scenario but you could use some of these messages to send to people in lots of different scenarios.
The first one was like, “Thanks for a fun night. You’re awesome but I have to be honest, I didn’t feel the chemistry. No doubt you’re going to find someone amazing.” That might seem superficial and uncomfortable to send because you’re afraid that it’s going to be misinterpreted or hurt somebody’s feelings. We have to remember that hurting someone’s feelings can happen if you don’t talk to them at all. Even for me, I’m haunted by this one situation I had when I was doing online dating years ago. I did it for a stint of a few months and then I was like, “This is not for me.” I’m glad that I tried it out. I went on this one date with this guy and it still haunts me in a way because I never heard from him again. His whole reaction to me was so perplexing. I’ve told you this story.
Is this the guy that said you didn’t look like you looked in your photos?
He didn’t say it but that was my assumption. I felt so self-conscious because I thought I did a good job using photos that represented me well just like most people. I’m sure you’re pulling in your best photos or whatever, but they were all recent. Some of them were selfies and photos I had professionally taken of me. For years afterward and every once in a while, I’ll still think back. I’m like, “Is it what I was wearing that night? What was it?” I don’t know if that’s how he felt but I remember assuming that because he was immediately weird with me from the get-go and I never heard from him again. There wasn’t even like, “Nice to meet you,” nothing.
That happened a couple of times. There was one other guy that I went on a few dates with, and I wasn’t feeling it so I was grateful that nothing happened. Part of me was offended. I wished that he had said something. It’s so common. People don’t have the courage to say something like, “I don’t feel the chemistry.” They think they’re doing you a favor or they’re avoiding it and saving themselves some discomfort. The reality is some people like me might spend a lot of time thinking about these things, even when it wasn’t a super meaningful connection. That brings up our own insecurities. Jason, this happened to you. We’re bringing out some of our skeletons in our closets here, which is part of what we do on the show. Do you remember when you went on that date and you got stood up?
I haven’t thought about that in a few years. That was the only time that I’ve ever been stood up.
I remember it wasn’t like you were emotionally attached to this woman just like I wasn’t emotionally attached to either of the guys I mentioned. It’s that your ego is bruised when these things happen because you’re shocked by them because they’ve never happened to you before. Also, you sit there wondering why and if you could have prevented them. A lot of those things go through your mind. Is that how you felt about it too?
My initial reaction was like, “Do you know who I am? Fucking loser.” I did have a reaction like that but it was more so that I had been looking forward to it. I had got myself all ready for a hike, put my hiking gear on, I had my hat, shoes, water bottle and the whole thing. The hiking trail we went to is not close to my house at all so I was driving there. It was all of the preparatory steps in leading up to it. It was funny because she had completely forgotten about it. I texted her and I’m like, “Where are you? I’m here.” She didn’t text me back until 5 to 10 minutes after the time we were supposed to meet and then she was like, “It was this day. Could we reschedule?” I’m like, “Fuck, no, we can’t reschedule.” I sent her multiple texts. I confirmed the day and the time. In that instance, I’m like, “Hell no. I did all this. I followed up with you. I told you I was excited about it.” I felt like I did my due diligence and showed my interest. It didn’t seem like it was that big of a deal to her. It was the first and only time I’ve been stood up, but my ego definitely took a hit. I was like, “I’m not giving you a second chance. The hell with you.”
I feel like you were also a little upset about it. It’s not just your pride but you were struggling with it emotionally and it brought up a lot of sadness or something for you.
It was around that time when I was just starting to feel emotionally available enough to start dating after a bad breakup of which you saw me through and you were kind enough to give me a lot of support through that breakup. It was a tough breakup. I was in a dark place processing the emotions behind that breakup. It was also the excitement of like, “I’m going on a date. I haven’t been on a date in a long time,” then that happened. It was a little bit taking the wind out of my sails and getting punched in the gut a little bit for that reason too.
My heart goes out to people because it is hard in these scenarios like, did she forget? Something like this happened to somebody I know on a professional level. He was conducting interviews via online chatting. It wasn’t Zoom, it was another service. This person didn’t show up and 30 minutes went by. I felt annoyed for them since we’re sharing this experience. I’m like, “How dare this person not show up to an interview? That’s so rude. They should be communicating.” They finally did. They said they were having tech problems. My ego got triggered.
I was examining that because I don’t know why I was so worked up about something that had nothing to do with me. It felt like someone was taking advantage of somebody I know. I felt protective over it, but the self-righteous side of me was like, “I can’t believe you would use an excuse that you had tech problems. We’re in 2020 and everybody’s doing video conferencing right now. You should never have tech problems. It shouldn’t take you 30 minutes to communicate that.” I got into this self-righteous pedestal and that fascinated me. I still have to dig in and see like, “What is that all about? Why was I judging this person so much?”
My point is that this can happen professionally too. I get triggered if I have a meeting with somebody and they don’t call me or initiate the meeting right away within a few minutes. It’s so frustrating. I know that we all have our scenarios in which we’re running late for some emergency or a true problem, but it’s the lack of communication. What I was triggered by in that scenario that I just brought up is that, how hard is it to send a quick email or text message and say, “I’m running late because I can’t figure this out.” Why should it take 30 minutes when somebody is waiting for you? I’m sure this has happened to you as well, Jason. This has happened to me both professionally and with friends pre-COVID. It feels like forever ago. We used to do these things where we would meet up with somebody.
Let’s say you say that you’re going to go meet for coffee. I have about a five-minute buffer time. If somebody doesn’t arrive within five minutes or at least communicate with me that they’re running late, I get irritated. For me, it’s the waste of time feeling because if somebody was going to be late, they knew it earlier on. If I get in the car and I plug an address into my navigation, and it tells me that I’m going to run late, I’m going to immediately tell that person while I’m on my way, even if that means I have to pull over or call them, whatever it is. If you tell somebody five minutes afterwards, unless you’re only five minutes away from that place but even that. Let’s say you live five minutes away. If you leave your house at 4:00 for a 4:00 meeting, you know you’re going to be late.
That triggers me anytime somebody is late because this day and age, we have many ways to communicate with people. Part of it is that somebody won’t take accountability for themselves and say like, “I messed up for whatever reason and I’m running behind.” There’s so much shame in that. Some people would rather not communicate at all and pretend it’s not happening. The problem with this is it creates a tear in trust. This is part of the roots of ghosting romantically, professionally, personally on any level. Somebody starts to feel like they can’t trust you or you don’t respect them. They then wonder if something is wrong with you.
This is an interpretation that happens a lot of romantically, similar to what I said. There was something about that situation with that guy that I was ghosted by where it affected me for years, even though it wasn’t a huge deal at that time. It did wound me in some way. That’s what happens in a lot of these scenarios where ghosting does not do anything beneficial. It’s a temporary bandage over a problem, but that wound could still be there for that person. That’s why we need to dig in and have compassion and say, “It’s uncomfortable to communicate this, but I’m going to out of compassion, kindness, and respect for this other person so that they won’t have that wound there that I could possibly leave by ghosting them.”We live in a time of society in which avoidance is very acceptable. Ghosting is part of that culture. Click To Tweet
It’s important that you brought that up because, in my mind, it’s choosing one pain over another. Here’s what I mean when I say that. As you talk about wounding people by being non-communicative or ignoring them intentionally or not by ghosting. I’ve gotten a lot better in the past years at this. I remember in one case, I had been on two dates with someone a few years ago and I wasn’t feeling it. I knew that they were feeling it because they wanted to ask me out for the third time. It was one of those things like, “Let’s hang out on Friday.” I remember sitting in my car and trying to speak from the heart through the text like a more elongated personal version of what you read earlier, “You’re a wonderful person. I had a great time. I’m just not feeling that magnetism or that spark here. I appreciate the time. You have such a wonderful spirit and I wish you all the best.”
I remember feeling in the pit of my stomach that heavy knot in the stomach feeling. Here’s the thing, might they have been hurt by that? Yes. Would they more than likely be hurt by ghosting? Yes. It’s a bit tough because, on some level, it’s pain or pain. You’re choosing one pain over the other, but to your point, if we can be in integrity, respectful, communicative, even if we’re delivering a text, voicemail, or even in person saying, “I don’t think this is going to work out,” then at least the energy is more in alignment with respect and integrity rather than just not communicating at all. There’s a pain but then there’s no integrity.
It’s not like you can go through life without feeling rejected or rejecting somebody else. You might as well practice it out of respect for that person that you’re communicating with. That’s an interesting thing. What exactly do we think we’re getting out of something when we avoided out of discomfort? These scenarios come up in many different forms throughout our life. As I’ve started developing a lot on an emotional level, I try to challenge myself in those uncomfortable situations. One tool that’s helpful for me is talking to someone else. As you were telling the story about communicating with this person that you didn’t want to go out on a date, I’m fairly certain that you and I discussed this like I helped you figure out what you’re going to say, is that right?
In this particular one, no.
It maybe happened a few times.
It’s one of those things wherein those kinds of communications, I don’t want to be flipped into or condescending. I genuinely want to speak from the heart or try to as much as possible. The one that I was referencing, I remember sitting in my car alone semi-agonizing over it for twenty minutes before I sent it. Her reply was like, “Thank you so much for letting me know.” At least through text, she expressed appreciation for that form of communication. That got rid of the knot in my stomach.
I would have appreciated that too. It’s not like that it’s not going to hurt. That’s the other thing. It’s like, “If I go with somebody out, I can protect them from feeling pain.” The reality is that pain will be there no matter what in this type of scenario. You might as rip off the bandage.
I don’t know if it’s as much trying to protect the other person from pain as it is the individual trying to avoid being uncomfortable. It makes me wonder how many people are avoiding a lot of things in life because they’re uncomfortable, not just conversations but taking risks or going after dreams.
Isn’t that the whole point of this show?
It’s the whole point. You can’t avoid discomfort. There are people that try tooth and nail to avoid being uncomfortable and avoid experiencing any pain or resistance in life, but discomfort, pain, and resistance are parts of the human experience. As we might try as we may to spiritually bypass it or act like it doesn’t exist or say like everything is all good all the time. There are a lot of psychological techniques people use to skirt around pain, discomfort and resistance, but they’re there. As Whitney said, one of the things that we like to do here is to encourage you as we encourage ourselves to go into those places and not avoid them.
This leads me to something else that ties into this, which is going back to your reaction of “Don’t you know who I am?” type of thing. It ties into this story you’re sharing about this woman that you didn’t feel into. For all you know, she could have been feeling like “Don’t you know who I am?” towards you. It’s interesting when you step back and examine those words because I’ve been in situations where I felt like somebody didn’t see me for who I am and yet, they decided to reject me anyway. I’m feeling my ego has been bruised because I thought that we could be a good match or whatever.
It’s interesting how some people don’t want to be with you. I’ve been in that situation a number of times with men where I felt like I was a good person for them and I felt confident about it. I was surprised that they didn’t want to date me. I’m interested in exploring that too from both sides. The side of, “I can’t believe you didn’t show up. Don’t you know how great of a person I am? You don’t know what you’re missing out on.” There’s that side. There’s the other side where you aren’t interested in dating somebody and feeling like it’s not a match. How do you get to that point? How do you know that you’re not a match with somebody because even just a few dates, it can take a while to get to know someone?
I know you’ve experienced this a lot in your dating life, Jason. It’s like looking for that spark, but a spark with somebody isn’t always the greatest indication that you’re going to be a fit together. It takes so long. Sometimes you hit it off, you experienced love at first sight with somebody, and then the love fades away. You realize this isn’t quite what you thought it was or things got tough and you weren’t able to weather the storm. This is part of what makes relationships challenging. There are these two approaches of giving somebody a chance or committing to somebody and giving it your best or saying like, “This isn’t working out. I’m not going to waste either of our times. I’m going to move on and try dating somebody else.”
I know that you felt this way too, Jason because you’ve expressed this to me. You’re trying to find the right person for yourself, but you could be on an ongoing quest for your whole life trying to find “the right person.” You can decide to give it you’re all with one person and see if you can make it work. I have this feeling that you can make it work with anyone before you jump in. One other point on this is that I was watching this show called Married At First Sight. It’s an interesting reality show where Americans get matched up through matchmakers and they meet for the very first time on their wedding day. It’s a funny concept, but it is interesting in a lot of ways.
They go into the auditions. The producers and the matchmakers pick some people and then they match them up based on all these different qualities. It’s similar to an arranged marriage where they’re arranging these people to get married to each other. They meet at their wedding while walking down the aisle. The guy is there, waiting for the woman at the end of the aisle and she walks in. That’s the very first time they see each other. They don’t even know each other’s names. It’s super fascinating. You get to see these relationships develop and realize that most of these couples, at least in a couple of seasons that I’ve seen of it, are great matches for each other but they may not be people that they would have considered before.
There’s another show on Netflix called Love Is Blind that had a similar concept where they had to meet and they could talk to each other, but they never got to see each other. The whole point was giving somebody a try based on their personality as opposed to this world we live in that’s so based on looks and superficial things. It’s matching with somebody that you have a connection with and how some people cannot get over the physical side of somebody, their age or some of these more superficial elements of it. Sometimes somebody might be a great match, but you’re struggling against all of these superficial things. Dive into that, Jason. I’m curious about your thoughts.
It’s a fixed sandwich. I don’t know that I could ever have the gumption to do something like that, first and foremost, of a blind wedding show. It sounds simultaneously so American and so bat shit crazy at the same time so it’s perfect for entertainment value. I don’t think I could ever do it. The idea of making it with anyone is an interesting concept.
I’m not necessarily saying, anyone. I’m not saying you could randomly be paired up with somebody and make it work. I’m saying you have enough in common with somebody that you should be able to make it work. There are these extremes because we live in this time where there’s a high divorce rate, I believe. I haven’t looked into it, but a lot of relationships either never get to the point of marriage or people get married and they get divorced versus more of an older school mentality or more of a traditional and oftentimes religious mentality of like, “When I get married to this person, we’re in it forever. This is it and we’re committed to each other.” Some more of them have liberal-minded viewpoints of like, “I’m in it until it no longer feels good or convenient, or until the next best thing comes.” You always have one foot out the door. It’s interesting because I feel conflicted about that as well. I haven’t been married yet. I don’t know if I will get married. Sometimes I wonder, do I not feel sure about getting married because that long-term commitment is scary?
It’s a weird convention. For me, if I look into the patterning that I received from childhood around relationships, my mom and dad were never married, so there’s that. The other thing, if I look at a lot of people in my family, my observation even as a child and now that I reflect on it as an adult looking back, they didn’t seem all that happy. They were together but it didn’t seem there was a ton of joyfulness per se. It is an interesting idea of convention shifting. There’s a lot shifting right now in terms of sexual identities and the offshoots of the sexual revolution that started in the ‘60s. Here we are now in the 2020s. We’re back in the roaring twenties and I share your sentiments, Whitney.
I see myself being with a life partner. I don’t know if that is going to involve marriage or anything beyond that but on a totally pragmatic level, marriage as a social contract with the state is awesome with the tax breaks and the financial benefits. On one hand, if you’re into this person and you are committed, it’s like, “Let’s save some money” That sounds so not romantic, but I do think sometimes about how fun it would be to throw a party, have your favorite people there, and a celebration of love and union. I’ve had thoughts especially years ago when I was catering to weddings and doing wedding cakes. That’s something a lot of people don’t know that I did for a few years when I had a catering business. I was making wedding cakes and catering for weddings. I would see people at their weddings and think like, “I might want to do this. This is cool.”
The wedding itself is something I hope that I get to have. Marriage is the idea of being proposed to, that excitement around that, and having this huge celebration. Those all sound amazing but then there’s the other side of it where you’re in this long-term relationship with somebody and it takes both people to be committed. The older I get without being married yet, you start to see more of the downsides to it whereas when I was younger, it was a no-brainer like, “Of course, I’m going to get married. This sounds easy and lovely.” It was simpler in my mind, but the more relationships I’ve had over the years, I’ve seen how challenging even the best of relationships can be.
That starts to make me feel a little wary. The older you get, the more people you see becoming divorced and suddenly, some of your friends are getting divorced or having tough times in their marriages. They are choosing to stay in it no matter what, but they seem so miserable. That’s tough to witness too. Whereas when you’re younger, if everybody around you is getting married and nobody’s been divorced yet, you don’t have it in front of you. If you were me where my parents seem very happily married and they’ve made it work. They are genuinely in a great place. I can’t imagine them getting divorced, but I have seen them go through their ups and downs. It’s not like it’s been perfect. Having that framework and grandparents on my dad’s side that were very happily married. My mom’s side, their parents got remarried and they seemed quite happy, all things considered.Ghosting is becoming the new normal because a lot of people don't know how to have hard conversations. Click To Tweet
I had a lot of great examples of happy married couples in my life. That added a little bit more of a positive spin versus what you’re describing. It’s two people bringing their unique experiences and backgrounds. Going back to ghosting, it’s interesting. I found this article and it was sharing some reasons that you might be ghosted by someone. This ties into this conversation about commitment as well. We have no idea unless somebody decides to tell us what they’re going through. The first thing on this list is maybe there was somebody else and somebody started dating somebody. This happened to me. This is bringing back some memories. I was dating one guy very casually for a short amount of time.
Suddenly, he ghosted me and I found out through social media that he was dating somebody else. I don’t know if there was any crossover period or he maybe met her and that’s when he decided to stop talking to me. I wish that he had communicated that with me. He took the easy way out and I had to find out through social media, which wasn’t pleasant. That can be part of the reason and not everybody knows how to communicate those things. The next reason on this list is that they’re emotionally immature. That can be very true as we’ve been discussing it. It takes a lot of maturity, inner strength, and confidence to be able to communicate the reason that you don’t want to talk to this person or have this person in your life.
Another thing that is very important for us to consider in any element of our relationships personally and professionally is sometimes people are going through something very personal or they’re dealing with tough emotions like anxiety. There are two separate reasons according to this list. It’s going through something personal that’s a struggle and dealing with tough emotions like anxiety. I’m willing to guess those are two of the biggest reasons why people ghost you, especially on a professional level.
Right now, I know that these are major reasons why I take some time to respond to emails or direct messages or whatever. Sometimes we’re overwhelmed, burnt out or we’re struggling. What are we going to do, tell a business contact that we’re having a lot of anxiety? In the case of romance, are you going to tell someone you just met that you’re having a tough time in your life? Even in committed relationships, people have trouble sharing these things because there can be a lot of shame around anxiety, depression and stress. This is something that you talk openly about, Jason.
I’ll tell you something interesting. Having begun a new relationship at the very beginning of COVID-19. I’ve referenced Laura in a few episodes now who I’ve been seeing since early March 2020. We met March 1st and started dating a couple of weeks after that. We are still dating. Having someone new in my life under the circumstances, it’s not only that I’ve been experiencing clinical depression for five years, anxiety and suicidal ideation. I’ve mentioned these things many times. It’s one of the reasons that we decided to start this show, to have open and frank conversations about these kinds of things. It’s not like I’ve been able to hide those things. Not that I want to, but to your point, Whitney, especially when you initiate a new relationship, it’s extremely uncomfortable. It’s going into a level of tact and respect of, when do I disclose to this person that I struggle with mental health and have a mental illness? How do I broach that with them?
By virtue of being on lockdown several weeks into a new relationship, it magnified and intensified those conversations. When I say the word distractions, I don’t mean this in a bad way, but the normal avenues of distraction in a new relationship like going to the movies, see a basketball game, going to arcade or concert. A lot of the external things you do when you’re courting or dating someone were not available. It was like, “We’re going to hang out at the house, make food, watch movies, and talk to each other.” My situation is a bit unique because those normally uncomfortable conversations or conversations that might have happened at a later juncture were happening quicker as a result of we don’t have these distractions at our disposal. We need to figure out who each other are very quickly. It was unique and unusual in that way.
This is such a fascinating subject matter. I found another article. This one came from The Washington Post and how ghosting is the new normal. One of the big reasons that psychotherapists and researchers have found is that a lot of people don’t know how to have hard conversations. It’s been culturally acceptable to avoid them, or we can find a lot of ways to avoid these challenging things. We live in a time of society in which avoidance is acceptable. We think about a lot of different ways that we avoid, or we have coping mechanisms. This could be distracting ourselves from tough things by drinking, doing drugs, trying to numb ourselves, entertainment, pornography, or any of these things.
None of them are necessarily right or wrong as Jason and I don’t take a judgment about it, but we can examine our behavior and think like, “Are we doing this to avoid? Are we doing this to distract ourselves or numb ourselves?” We have so much access to those things that it’s like, “This is tough. I don’t know how to do this so I’m going to do something else that gives me pleasure and makes me feel better.” Dating apps play a role in that as well. I went on dating apps years ago. I did it for a short amount of time. I found them incredibly uncomfortable. Part of the reason I went on in the first place is I was trying to get outside of my comfort zone. You often have to do this in the dating world.
You can’t expect somebody to show up on your doorstep, especially if a huge part of the population is on the dating apps. You got to meet them where they’re at. Jason was very lucky in that. He met his girlfriend at the Farmer’s Market which is such a sweet story. You didn’t have to go on the dating apps. I know you had some bad experiences there too. My point being is that I did that round of dating on the apps and then I got off them. I ended up dating somebody that I knew from my life previous. He came back into my life. We ended up dating. When that relationship ended, I considered going back on the dating app. I was like, “I’m single now. What am I going to do?”
I remember very clearly thinking to myself, am I only going on this app to make myself feel better while I’m in the midst of a breakup? I bet you that a lot of people do this in some way or another. It’s like going on these apps can help you feel validated, especially because these apps are designed to reward you for looking a certain way or for writing something in your profile. You’re getting all of this instant attention. You don’t have to go and put effort into having a conversation with somebody in person. You don’t have to go to a bar or a restaurant. You don’t have to go outside of your home. You can sit in bed, scroll, and these apps will match you with people.
Even within those apps, you could be ghosting. You’ll match with somebody, you’ll reach out, and say something to them and then you’ll never hear back. They’ll write you back one time, you try to continue the conversation, and it won’t go on from there. This happens for both men and women. It all depends on your sexual preferences, but in a heterosexual dynamic, it’s not like men aren’t always doing this for women or women aren’t doing this to men. Both sides of this happen. The ghosting is a very uncomfortable process of simply trying to connect with somebody in the first place. My point here is that dating apps has this culture of like, “I’m doing this to make myself feel better, to get attention, be validated or to numb myself. I don’t have any intention of taking this seriously and dating someone.” You don’t know if somebody on the other end is taking it seriously and wanting to match. If you match up with them, one person isn’t serious and one person is, that’s tricky too.
I have so much to say in response to everything you laid down. I want to talk about quickly my experience with dating apps in terms of my mental health and what I’ve noticed about dating apps reflecting our collective cultural values. When I was doing the dating app thing, the first dating app I went on was way back in 2002. It was rudimentary as hell back then. For the most part, I wouldn’t say it’s been a success, but it has been a success in being a mirror to me, understanding more about myself. Here’s what I mean by that. I found that I was primarily using these dating apps when I felt lonely.
I noticed that there was a specific time of day that I would start to feel extreme loneliness and it’d be right before bed. I wanted somebody to cuddle with, to be there with me in bed, reading a book or fooling around. The kind of cutesy things you do when you’re in a relationship. I found that was acting as a dopamine dispenser. I was using it to try and allay my loneliness. I would never swipe during the day. Being an entrepreneur, business partners with you, and all the things that we do and have done, I’d be on my game during the day. I’d be working, creating, and doing the things we do. Right before bed, I jumped on that damn phone, and I would be getting those hits of dopamine because I felt so fucking lonely.
The other thing too is blowing this out on a more macro level. There are other major countries that are guilty of this because transnational corporations rule the world. That’s another conversation. As Americans in particular, we are addicted to the concept and the promise of new, better, more and different. The way that these dating apps work is they reinforce the commodification of people. One of the reasons I got off dating apps is it hit me that I was getting dopamine. I was feeling lonely and using this as a drug dealer, but I was swiping on women in these dating apps the same way that I was swiping for a brand-new BMW or swiping for a new cat tree on Amazon.
I was like, “Nope. Yup. I’ve narrowed it down to three. How much is it?” I realized that there’s a reinforcement of the commodification of people and here’s why that’s dangerous. We’ll loop it all the way back to why people ghost. There is an upgrade culture as a result of this new, better, more and different mentality we have in our consumer culture that, “If this one doesn’t work out, the next one will. I could trade up.” We’ve commodified people and reduce them to a material sense and not seeing their humanity, therefore ghosting them. We’re not being respectful, communicative and in integrity because we know there’s another one right around the corner. If we go on a date and you said, “I’m not into him or her.” We jump right back on the app and can shop for another one.
That’s what I was saying earlier. That’s why I was asking your perspectives on commitment.
To me, it ended up feeling like I was shopping for a woman or someone.
Can we pause and point out the fact that your girlfriend now is someone that you met while shopping?
I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. I was looking for bread and vegan cheese. I didn’t even want to go to the booth. You’re like, “These are great pickles.” I’m like, “I don’t need any pickles.” You’re like, “Go to the pickle booth.” I was like, “Okay.” I wasn’t even looking for cultured vegetables. You’re like, “No, they’ve got great cultured vegetables,” and Laura was there.
Lo and behold, you look up and had a connection.
Why that was so wonderful other than how copacetic our energies are is I wasn’t looking. I had no intention. I wasn’t going to the market that day if like, “I’m going to find a lady.” I had no mentality in that regard at all. I go back to my issue with dating apps, the way that they are constructed, their UI, their interface, and how they work. It’s the same architecture and mechanism that people use to shop for things. They’re using to “shop for people.” It is subconsciously commodifying humans in people’s minds. I do believe that.
I agree with that too. This is part of the reason that I didn’t feel good about going on there and I’m trying to tap back in because I haven’t thought about dating apps in a while. I remember feeling like I had to step back and think, “Would I even want to date a guy that’s using a dating app?” Is that the type of man that I want to be with? That’s judgmental because there isn’t one type of person. Just because you go on a dating app doesn’t mean that you’re a certain type of person. I thought like, “This isn’t the kind of environment that I want to meet someone in.” The story of you meeting Laura is so sweet and a lot of us yearn for that. The problem is because dating apps are so prevalent now that you could be in a public setting with somebody who is single, but because both of you are so used to the dating app world or out of your comfort zones with trying to date in person, you might not even strike up a conversation with somebody who could be across the room for you.It takes a lot of courage to tell somebody that you don't want them in your life for whatever reason. Click To Tweet
It’s amazing that you and Laura even connected because of this world that we’re in. We have to practice being very intentional in all of these different environments and not just go into these comfort zones. It’s much more comfortable for me to be in a dating app than to talk to somebody in person or strike up a conversation with a stranger. You do have to step out of that comfort zone and try something different. The other side of ghosting too, coming back to the fact that it’s not just about our romantic lives, it can happen with friends as well. We have talked about this in a few recent episodes about how you can reach out to a friend and not hear back from them either for a long period of time or sometimes ever. I’ve been broken up with by friends.
I remember some situations that were challenging for you.
You haven’t had that experience, Jason? You haven’t gone through a friend breakup? You certainly have. There’s one person in particular I’m thinking of. I don’t know if you would consider it ghosting, but you stopped inviting this person. I’m sure he’s not the only one, but one particular person I’m thinking of that no longer felt fit in your life. You stopped inviting them to your parties. Is that kind of ghosting, would you say?
I don’t know because in some cases, there’s a natural distance that gets created sometimes in relationships. It’s not for any kind of ill will, bad feelings or a fracture necessarily. There are some people you naturally grow apart from, and then sometimes you see them again. I have a good friend, Theron that I hadn’t seen. I haven’t physically seen him for two years. We got together a few days ago, and it felt like no time had passed. We were talking about music, art, all kinds of spiritual things, and getting deep. I spent about an hour and a half with him and it felt like it was yesterday when I saw him. I don’t see something like that as ghosting as much as sometimes things drift apart and they’ll drift back together or they won’t.
It reminds me of somebody else that I ghosted as a friend. It was purely that I didn’t feel like I wanted this person in my life at that time and still don’t. I thought about it a lot. Should I communicate to this person that I don’t want to be friends with them? I didn’t. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that because so much can be cleared up with clear communication, but it does take a lot of courage to share with somebody that you don’t want them in your life for whatever reason.
It takes a ton of courage.
I’m not perfect at it. Luckily, I don’t end up in that scenario very often, but it does feel a lot easier to stop responding to messages.
It’s an interesting thing because I have been reading some articles lately and randomly seeing that we are wired in terms of our social connections for about 100 to 150 primary connections in our life on a neurological level in terms of intimate and connected relationships we can manage, but properly managed to stay connected to. We are still very much wired tribally depending on how society goes. These articles I’ve been talking about says that perhaps community/upgraded tribal living is how humanity is going to continue sustainably on the planet. These large megalopolises and eight billion people competing for resources in a frantic fervent search for more, better, different and new is going to ultimately destroy our societies. We go back to this idea of managing friendships, connections, and social interactions.
I would have to agree. Beyond say 100 people, if you talk about parties, launch parties, and birthday parties, things we’ve done over the years, I don’t think I’ve gotten past 100 to 150 people when I’ve made those lists. My point is when there are people who are like, “Let’s stay in touch. Let’s stay connected. Let’s do this and that.” We have 50,000, 500,000, 1 million followers. We’ve got 5,000 people on Facebook and 4,000 people here. We’re not wired neurologically to handle that many connections on an intimate level. It’s not possible to manage that many intimate connections. You bring that up in the ebb and flow of intimacy in relationships, letting go, or letting them dissolve. It’s unavoidable given how many people we were in contact with in the digital age.
That comes back to the dating apps where you’re swiping through many people, and then you start to have conversations with a bunch of people. That’s unnatural in a lot of ways or not something that we’re used to as human beings. We’re not wired for it. Maybe we will become more wired for it. Social media and technology are still so new for humanity that we have a lot of adapting to do to it. It’s going to take a big shift. As comfortable and familiar as it might seem, it’s still new. That might explain why a lot of this feels unfamiliar territory, risky and scary is because we’re still learning to find the right ways to do a lot of these things.
I still experienced periods of overwhelm when I have a lot of emails in my inbox, the DMs on four different apps, and managing two email accounts, all those things. Sometimes I feel the overwhelm button getting pressed because I supposed some part of my brain is like, there are too many people asking for intimacy and connection. As I go on through life, I want to nourish the deep connections, the more substantial connections that I have, and nourish those and keep those going as opposed to having a big circle where there’s not a lot of intimacy. That doesn’t interest me anymore. Part of my feelings of pushback or wanting to get off social media is because I see this from a social perspective, business perspective, branding perspective, disseminating information, and has a wonderful way of bringing people together for different causes. When there are that many people wanting some semblance of an intimate connection through all the DMs and emails, there are times when I don’t want to respond. It’s too many. It’s too much.
Fair enough. A lot of us get to that place. It sounds sweet and comforting to have a few people in your life. It sounds so much easier if you only have a few people that you’re close to.
Social media has done an interesting thing around language and I know how much you and I love to decode language here on the show. The word friend, the interpretation and meaning of that has become very loose, fluid and interesting. When I use the word friend, what I mean is somebody who I have a deep level of trust, intimacy and connection with.
I can’t agree more. I’ve been intentional about calling somebody an acquaintance instead of a friend because I take the word friend seriously. I take a lot of words that I use very seriously. They might have different meanings for different people and somebody might not mean it in the full extent of the word, but we can take responsibility for the words that we use. There’s nothing wrong with calling somebody an acquaintance, an old friend, or somebody that used to be a close friend. You can phrase it and frame it in a very specific way to clarify what that means. When you do that, it helps you better understand who that person is and what they mean to you. You can pay attention to the words that you’re using.
With Facebook, for example, they call them Facebook friends. With that app and that platform, we started to redefine what it means to have a friend. Sometimes, people use the word friend when it’s convenient like, “I’m friends with this person.” If you’re trying to name drop or something like that and that feels a little weird too. Quarantine and COVID-19 have revealed to us who we’re very close with. The people that I consider friends are the people I think about a lot, I want to text, I want to have FaceTime calls with, and I want to make sure that I’m in frequent communication with. To your point too, going back to your friend, Theron, who I saw on your list of birthday invites and I was pleasantly surprised to see his name after all this time.
There are people that come in and out of your life. Honestly, sometimes it takes a lot of effort to remember to call somebody or text them. I’ve tried to be more intentional about that too. There have been periods of time where I’ve put it on my to-do list, I’ll have a list of people that I want to be in touch with, I’ll write it down, and cross off the list every time I text them or call them. I have to remind myself to do those things, otherwise, I’ll go about my life and not think much about it. That doesn’t mean that someone is not important to me, but it means that there’s a lot going on. We encourage you as readers to do time blocking and socializing on your schedule. It’s something you might have to do it especially if you get caught up in the whirlwind of other elements of your life, whether it’s your professional life, family life or you’re struggling on a personal level. It’s tough for you to reach out to people. Sometimes scheduling it can help you in committing to doing it and making sure that you’re in touch with people, which is an important element of your mental health.
Something we brought up in our eBook release called From Chaos To Calm. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of yet you can get it on our website, Wellevatr.com. If you go to the Free Resources section, From Chaos To Calm is one of our eBooks. We have a whole section about making sure that you’re prioritize socializing, even if it’s as simple as a text message to somebody. Research has found that seeing somebody’s face, being able to take in their facial expressions along with the intonation of their voice causes you to feel more connected to one another. If you can, having that FaceTime with somebody is powerful.
Being with a person and if it’s your love languages for me, physical touch has been an interesting part of this in terms of the social connections during COVID, and staying mentally and emotionally healthy with. Physical touch is my number one love language. With social distancing when I haven’t seen people, there’s that instinct to go in for a hug. I love hugs. There are definitely friends that are world-class huggers. You feel so nourished and embraced by them. It’s been interesting to observe that instinct apropos of going on a socially distance. I’ve seen people with their masks on and whatnot, but that initial instinct of like, “I want to give you a hug but it’s not appropriate at this moment.” That’s been an interesting thing of wanting that deeper level of nourishment and physical connection.
As this episode comes to a close, I have some queries for our Frequently Asked Queries section that ties into this subject matter. Before we get into them, Jason, are there any brands that you want to shout out? Something that we’ve been intentional about doing in each episode is bringing up related brands. Is there any brand that comes to mind that this conversation makes you think of?
I’ve mentioned these guys before on a previous episode, but I ought to bring them up because I got a great surprise care package in the mail. There are a few brands that do this where I’m not expecting a package that is label love on me. I believe it was in the episode with Max Goldberg on Organic Living where I mentioned Gr8nola, the granola brand that you even turn me on to via the Hollywood Super Mart.
I’ve asked if I could have some and you keep hoarding it for yourself. That’s not fair. You need to set aside some right now because I did share my care package, which I’ll shout out that company too when you’re done.
I’ll write your name on it so that I don’t plow through the bag. It’s so good. They sent the matcha green tea and then the charcoal cocoa chia. I mashed them both together. One tastes like an Oreo sugar cookie and the other tastes like matcha tea. I throw them together, I use them on smoothie toppings, I’ve crumbled them into pie crusts, I throw them on top of ice cream. I do the whole late-night, 10:00 PM, I want a small bowl of granola before I go to bed. I love it because they’re clean ingredients. They’re made with coconut oil. They have functional benefits, the detox benefits with charcoal, L-Theanine, brain-boosting mood, and elevating benefits of the matcha. It tastes great. The ingredients are amazing. Checkout Gr8nola. Big shout out to Erica, she’s up in Northern California, hooking up all of the Silicon Valley companies with this granola. We are not the only ones, Whitney, who is proselytizing about the amazingness of Gr8nola.
Since you brought up your care package, I’ll bring up mine too, which I will remind you again, Jason, that I shared some of this with you. Part of our relationship is giving back what you received. I hope that I get to receive some of your granola.
I’m going to take a Sharpie after this episode.
What I shared with Jason is a lovely care package of CBD chocolate bars that I got from this company, Kefla. They’re a Colorado-based company that makes certified organic CBD chocolate and cacao bars. They sent me two flavors. One was their dark and salty, which is my favorite one. I loved it. The other as turmeric, which I like not as much as you, Jason. If you play your cards right, we can do another trade and I’ll give you a few more of the turmeric bars. One of these days, we need to do another giveaway on this show. For you, the readers, one way that you can stay in touch is to connect with us on social media and/or our website.Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Don’t ghost people. Click To Tweet
When you download an eBook like From Chaos To Calm that we mentioned earlier, you’ll get put on our mailing list and that’s how we can keep you in the loop if we have a giveaway. I want to be intentional about giving away some products and we’ll do this with one of these companies. Kefla is cool. They are members of 1% For The Planet, which means that they donate 1% of all gross sales to environmental nonprofits and their chocolate tastes delicious. It’s a full-spectrum CBD. We talked about CBD in-depth on a separate episode. If you’re curious about CBD, be sure to check out that episode. We talked about a number of different brands that we love. This would have been on that list if I had had more experience with them.
Jason did remind me that we tried their products in the past. They have a Matcha Mint flavor that they sell at a local store plus they have a Cafe Mocha flavor. I don’t know if all of their flavors are vegan, because there’s mint chocolate, maybe they are all. I’m not positive just looking at this, but I’m assuming all of their products are vegan but double-check before you buy anything. They’re lovely, very simple, pure ingredients, and they’re sweetened with coconut sugar, which Jason appreciated.
They’re freaking delicious too. I want to have an asterisk, Whitney, really quick because when we were at the podcast studio, which is not accepting guests. Hopefully, it will be some time again soon. You gave me the sea salt and you gave me the turmeric to try. Each one is 25 milligrams of CBD.
I did find out after the fact is two servings. You’re only supposed to have half the bar. I was like, “What?” You’re supposed to take them more like a supplement. The bars are not huge. I assumed that you were supposed to eat the whole bar in one serving, but technically it’s two.
You’re telling me it’s 25 milligrams per serving?
The whole bar is 25 milligrams, but there are two servings. It’s 12.5 milligrams per serving.
I had two whole bars so I had 50 milligrams. About 90 minutes later, I got home and I was like, “I’m buzzing.” I wasn’t high but I was definitely buzzing like, “Whoa.” Two bars, you will feel it.
I’ve been very mindful of when I eat the Kefla chocolate. It tastes so good that I want to have it all the time, but because it has CBD, I’ve slowed down which has helped me be more intentional about my chocolate habits. Now that we’ve mentioned some of our favorite brands and if you’re new to our show, this is a thing that we’re doing where we mentioned brands that we love throughout the episodes. We do this new segment called Frequently Asked Queries. One of the queries happens to tie very nicely into the subject matter. This query was, how to get over someone?
This is super interesting and we could do a whole episode on this. We’ll give our condensed answer. If this is of interest to others, we can dive further in. If you’d like to share with us what your interests are, which episodes or what topics in the episodes you’d like to read about, please reach out to us via email at [email protected]. That’s our email address. You can go to our website and leave a comment at Podcast.Wellevatr.com. You can reply to any of our emails if you sign up for a list and you can direct message us through platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Our social media handles @Wellevatr. We love hearing from you. If you’re reading this blog and you want to read more about our advice on how to get over someone, I should say perspective, not necessarily advice. Based on our experiences and our research, what would you say about getting over with someone, Jason?
I do think that dedicating an episode or a sizable chunk of an episode is a great idea for this topic. A CliffsNotes version of this answer is time. When I say that, I don’t mean time heals all wounds. Time plus emotional or physical distance from that person. Working on any wounds or trauma that you can identify potentially contributed to the disillusion of that relationship or any wounds or trauma that were created by that relationship. I don’t mean to make this sound formulaic because Whitney and I notoriously do not like formulas and think that they are pedantic and too simplified. Time, distance, and working on healing your wounds and trauma, that’s the immediate thing that comes up for me. What about you?
I have two perspectives. One, I agree with the time statement, and doing self-work personal development can help a lot because oftentimes, relationships trigger a lot of these old emotions within us, classically, challenges we’ve had with our parents or parental figures. Relationships can bring up trauma from past relationships. They can bring up issues of self-worth. Even as I mentioned, that guy that ghosted me. That triggered some insecurities within me that I still carry sometimes. I’m wondering like, “Was there something about me that wasn’t good enough for this guy?” Even though it didn’t matter what he thought about me necessarily, I started to apply that to, “Who else am I not good enough for?” A lot of those things can get triggered through relationships and that’s why relationships can be some of our greatest opportunities to learn.
In terms of getting over someone, it’s not that simple. We need to give ourselves a lot of grace when it comes to this because there is no formula and every relationship is different. There is this cliché formula for, “If you’ve dated for this amount of time, it’s going to take you X amount of time to get over them.” If you dated for six months, it should only take you six days to get over. Something like that which is absolute bullshit. I believe that humans are always looking for formula because it’s very comforting. My best advice is based on the concept of this show which is you have to sit with it. It can be incredibly uncomfortable going through a breakup or feeling rejected by someone.
Getting over someone could be romance, friendship or family. Sometimes we feel the need to distance ourselves from family members. It could be a professional thing like getting over the rejection that you had from an employer that didn’t hire you. It could be that you got fired or you had a conflict at work. There are many scenarios in our lives in which we try to get over something, but rushing through it is not the answer. You have to look at this scenario that you’re in, allow yourself to process it, and know that it might take time and reflection. Trying not to force yourself to get over it is a big key here, try to rush yourself through it, or convince yourself out of it.
There have been times where it’s taken me years and years to get over with someone, especially romantically. There was one guy that I met when I was in high school. It took me a solid ten years to work through that because it was so hot and cold. It was on again off again. To Jason’s point, sometimes having distance can help, but I’ve been in scenarios where distance hasn’t helped. I’ve been in scenarios in which it felt like I did everything I possibly could to get over this person and nothing worked. That was an incredibly humbling experience and a huge life lesson that sometimes it is. Part of the spiritual practice is allowing what is versus being in resistance to what is. When you’re trying to figure out how to get over with someone, you’re not letting it be.
You can’t logic your way out of it either. You can’t rationalize or use logic to get your way out of that feeling. It’s something that is a complicated thing depending on your level of addiction, fixation, projection or attachment. There are a lot of layers of psychology around how we bond or get attached to people. There is one thing though, Whitney, there’s always been a moment for me where I will have a feeling that I’m finally over someone. It’s not something you can force, logic your way out of, rationalize or anything like that. I remember having a feeling of finally being over someone like it was a hardcore breakup. It was such a feeling of liberation and freedom. My heart was like, “Thank you.” It was that feeling of like, “I’m not thinking about this anymore. I’m not pining for them.” It’s not like I was. It was a flash that I got. I remember I was in my office, I was working on music, and it was this feeling of like, “I am 100% in every cell of my being over this person.” That is a glorious feeling, but you can’t rush it nor force it.
I know that feeling too. It is interesting when you examine it. Likewise, I’ve been on the other end where I’m like, “I think I’m over this person.” I reflect on it and I’m like, “Nope, I’m still not over him. It’s still there.” I know growing up, there were so much formulaic advice, magazines, books, TV shows, and it seemed like relationships were easy to navigate and explain. Going back to what I was saying earlier, the older I get, the more complex relationships seem to be, which sounds counterintuitive. You’d think you get older and things get easier, but more of life is revealed to you. Through your experiences, you start to see how complex life is for better or for worse. This leads me to my next query, which I think could be its own episode but we can give our CliffsNotes. Do you know if CliffsNotes even still exist? Is that a thing like we had when we were in high school?
I don’t know. I haven’t been in college in twenty years, so I am not the person to say. I’m sure internet search could figure that out quickly.
I’ll give another shout out to a brand called Blinkist. They are a newer version of that where they summarize a lot of business and personal development books. What’s cool is that all of their summaries, you can read in ten minutes or less. I could be wrong but I feel like that’s about right. They have audio versions so you could listen to the summaries as if it was a short audiobook. You have to pay for it but if you like to read a lot of books and you don’t have enough time, that could be a great way to learn a bunch of lessons quickly. The next query that we’re going to try to summarize as best as we can and revisit an upcoming episode was finding unconditional love. It’s a deep one.
For me, I think about the urge to find unconditional love. Is there really such a thing? Do we ever get the type of unconditional love that we experience from our parents, parental figures or even siblings? I know you are an only child, but the closest that I’ve felt to unconditional love is from my sister even more so than my parents in a way. At least in my experience with my parents is that there’s a feeling of never good enough. They always want me to be the best I can be so there’s pressure to be more than I am. That’s how I perceived it, even though deep down, I know my parents love me and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me. With my sister though, there’s a different level of love that feels more unconditional. It’s the closest I’ve had to what I imagine is to have a child and experience that as a mother because with my sister, I love her so deeply and in a way that no one else has come close to. We have a deep connection. We drive each other crazy. That love is so strong and it’s remarkable in a lot of ways.
This is something I’ve sat with a lot and meditated on in the sense that we put parameters, conditions, and agreements on a lot of relationships whether they’re contractual in terms of a wedding or a business arrangement. It’s interesting because there can be boundaries, parameters, and agreements but when you say conditions, it’s almost as if you behave a certain way, act a certain way, or make this series of choices, I will approve of you or I love you, but if you make a decision that is outside of these actions, parameters or conditions we’ve placed, then I’m not going to love you anymore. It goes to the nature of love in general where a lot of what we have been conditioned to perceive as love through media, movies, books, music and a lot of things in culture is it’s not really love, it’s more of conditional affection.
Whereas if you behave this way, you uphold our agreement, and you do all these things to the T, then I’ll love and accept you, but if you do anything outside of those parameters, I’m going to withdraw my love. That’s not unconditional, that’s extremely conditional. It’s a deep examination of what is the actual nature of love. Being not avatars, ascended masters or saints, how do we get closer to removing the conditions around love? If we remove the conditions around love, does that make it purer? You brought up the familial love, Whitney, but there’s also romantic love. There’s Agape, more of universal love or a Philos which is brotherly love. We talked about this in a previous episode, the Greeks had many great words because there were many different kinds of love. When I hear unconditional love, it goes to me toward almost like a universal godlike, spiritual, all-encompassing love that even transcends human understanding.
I keep going back to the desire to have it and how at the core, each of us wants to be loved. A lot of us are yearning for the type of love that we had from our parents or parental figures. We spend so much of our lives searching for it, or if we didn’t have that at all, the lack of that love and want to receive that from a romantic partner. There’s so much fear tied to love and vulnerability. This is what I mean that relationships are tricky and some of us feel we’ll never get the love that we want. We end up in relationships and they turn out to not be what we want them to be because we had all these expectations for it. It’s a tricky thing.
Examining what’s important to you and why it’s important. Where can you find that in your life? Can you find that within yourself? A lot of the times, what we’re looking for is from within. One of my favorite books is called How To Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People). I love that title so much because this book is about learning to love yourself first. Maybe, once you’ve found and cultivated that self-love then sometimes you can love other people as they say. I do think most things begin with us as individuals, as cliché as that might sound. As Jason was saying, if we’ve done that inner work on ourselves, it’s easier to love, accept, and receive love from other people.
Sometimes we have many barriers and walls up because of all that hurt that swimming around within us so we have to deal with that first before we can allow in love from other people. This applies even with our parental figures. There can be a lot of wounding from them and I’ve experienced this myself of keeping certain people at arm’s length because I’ve felt hurt by them. I have to do a lot of work to allow them to love me and to accept their love. That’s the short end of it. We’d like to have a funny query that we include and we already had one at the beginning with that eggplant query I brought up but just to throw in another one for fun. Somebody searched for, “Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
Why the hell that’s related to our show? No clue but I would agree. If you’re going to do it, do it with your whole ass.
I like that too. When I looked it up, that’s a quote from the show Parks and Recreation, which I’ve never seen. Have you ever seen that show, Jason?
I’ve never gotten into it.
I would like to give it a try. It looks like it would be my type of humor. That ties into what we’re talking about here. A lot of us go through life half-assing things because we can get away with it, whether it’s ghosting, commitment or any type of these dynamics we have with people. What if you put your whole ass into things or your relationships and you were brave, courageous, honest, and had great communication with people? If you’re willing to do that work, a lot of greatness can come out of that.
I would agree in the words of a great philosopher and sage of modern times Ice Cube, “You can do it, put your ass into it.” Sage advice is timeless.
You should sing it as the closing moments of this episode, Jason.
I will do it in my classic Vegas lounge singer voice. “You can do it, put your ass into it. You can do it, put your ass into it. What? What? You can do it, put your ass into it, come on, you can do it, you can do it. Put your ass into it.
I feel like you combined some genres there that wasn’t quite a lounge singer. It was a little bit of a jazzy take on it, which I enjoy. I hope other people appreciate it. You’re not going to attempt to do it in the original style, Jason.
I will butcher it. I felt compelled to do the swingy, jazzy, loungy thing which, “You get what you get.” As an aside, some of the strongest marijuana I’ve ever smoked in my life was smoking it with Ice Cube.
What do you mean with?
I did two movies as a personal chef and nutrition coach with Woody Harrelson back in the day. Woody, who is a known purveyor of all things cannabis, CBD and marijuana-related. He starred in the movie Rampart along with Ice Cube. Ice Cube would come on his days on set. I was making all the food so he’d come and eat, and then we’d smoke down. As an aside of the times that I’ve hung out with Ice Cube onset eating food, he had some of the most ridiculously strong and potent marijuana I’ve ever had in my life. The point where you were decimated after one hit. Ice Cube, your weed curation skills, legendary, sir.
I have never heard this story and I’m grateful that you brought it up. It’s funny how you can have these interesting moments with well-known figures as a part of living in Los Angeles. Lots of interesting stories the two of us could share.
Very random, maybe a whole episode and not as a humble brag of like, “Look what we’ve done.” It’s like, “Do you want to hear this story about so-and-so? Buckle up.”
That’s a good one, Jason. Thanks for indulging. It sounds like a good note to end on.
I suppose it is. For you dear readers, thanks for being with us in getting uncomfortable as we do here on This Might Get Uncomfortable brought to you by Wellevatr. If you want to dive into any of the resources we’ve shared here, the books, the articles, the great companies and brands that we love to turn you onto, you can visit our website, which is Podcast.Wellevatr.com. As Whitney mentioned previously, we always love to hear from you. Please send us a direct message or an email.
We are on @Wellevatr on all of the major social media platforms. Our direct email that we will read and respond to personally is [email protected]. Until next time, thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to download our brand-new, free eBook, From Chaos To Calm. It’s got our twelve favorite steps for resourcing, more resilience, connection and peace of mind during this extremely challenging and bizarre time on planet earth. It feels like we’re living in a Terry Gilliam movie from the ‘80s or some psychedelic weird Dali painting, but there are ways that we’re going to make it through together. Check out that eBook at our website. We will see you again for another episode!
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