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I0:00:00.2 S1: Relationship on the rocks.


0:00:02.5 S2: Pushing on your best friend. I'm


0:00:04.8 S1: Not sure how to tell your partner secret. Luckily, you found dear romance writer, an advice podcast from people who write happily ever after for a living.


0:00:14.8 S2: We are zord Avery Flin and Road Parish. You have questions and we have questionable answers. Let's get to it.


0:00:37.4 S1: So here is our first letter of the episode, a year romance writer. So this is not a question about a relationship, instead it's a question about hot-ness, Saxon is what sexy means. So here's some background, thanks to a queer romance how to be a normal person by TJ clone, to be specific and shadow to a good book. I learned about the concept of asexuality after a little research and a shift in my thinking, I suddenly realized that, poof, I am a sexual... To asexuality is very broad sexual orientation with a lot of different flavors and nuances, but overall it's defined by the lack of sexual attraction, FYI, not the lack of romantic attraction or libido, those are different... One aspect of my sexuality, and I think this is common, is I don't really understand what people mean when they say someone or something is sexy, or how do they actually feel something inside that pains and says, Yeah, they're sexy. For example, I can look at a picture of people or see people in person and say That person would probably be described as sexy by many people, but it doesn't mean anything in particular to me, I might as well say they're beautiful or whatever...


0:01:47.5 S1: Does this make any sense? Oh, and his winking ever actually sexy. It always looks like a party or a joke, or the person's being a creep, I mean, if there was a so-called hot tea person sitting across the room and they... Would you take that seriously? I think is the only... A romance novel, I love that. And this letter writers name, I should have said is ACE sounded by sexy, which is not a ton. I love a good fun, I also love a hot winking person, so yes.


0:02:23.7 S2: I'll just go to it when the link is in the Romance film or movie or TV show book, when they're... They can't win. They try to win and I do both, and it's just really uncomfortable, awkward, and they're just adorable because they're trying to wake... And again, that's what I find cute, I don't know. Yeah.


0:02:41.8 S1: Well, and I think that kind of gets to is a little bit to the whole point, which is when it comes to cute, when it comes to hottest, when it comes to any of that stuff, it's... All your mileage may


0:02:51.8 S2: Vary. All of it is. It is. It's like when someone finds one of the crises, the actors tits like the hottest Chris, and I'm like, Okay, that's not hot to me, but talk to you. And that's cool. I don't know, it's also for me, with this letter, I kinda get to the point of wondering, with this letter writer with our lovely ACE... What was the name? Astounded by sexy, donated by sexy is the right title. Yeah, and everything is completely normal. So whether this letter was sent to end is an effort to sort of do a little check base, Hey, is this okay? Yes.


0:03:52.4 S1: Yes. 100%, yes. Different things. If you're asking if somebody who is not asexual, if they do actually get that little zing, yes. But that doesn't mean that if you don't... That it's not okay. Everybody functions and works the way that they're supposed to, so if you don't get the butterfly to the saying, that can actually be a really good thing because sometimes if you do are experiencing that zing, it's very uncomfortable to talk to somebody who's super hot


0:04:36.5 S2: And... Well, you say I'm really stupid. So yeah, obviously, I've witnessed people lose their tongue over people who they considered really hot when my friend, who's a model, Stuart Reid, and we used to go to events to a Gan events together, and people would just... And I have no problem talking him, I never have, but just to have them walk up and they can barely get the words out of their mouth, and I just look at them like, Oh my gosh, are you okay? That is foreign to me. So I kind of understand where the P is coming from, but yeah, it's all... I don't know if they're looking for validation or information or what do you think are on... What do you think that they're yet...


0:05:23.7 S1: Sounds to me like they're great with having a dentist, I think... And it's more like an anthropological question with what is it that... Because as three people who write romance novels, basically our job is to figure out how to convey that Zanetti as interpreted through another character on the page, and so I definitely do get that saying from people sometimes, but it's almost never from what they look like, it's almost always for something they say is that I can see a person and think, Oh, they're beautiful or hot or sexy, like from afar, but it rarely does much for me other than an aesthetic, whereas if I'm talking to someone and their personality, they say something so brilliant and funny in exactly this way, or they sit close to me in a certain way, or you share eye contact in a moment, that's when I feel the same, so I similar to you, so I have no trouble talking to people who are really beautiful, because that's not really what does it for me? But yeah, so I think that speaking anthropological, which I kinda think is owed by sexy, is interrogating, it's asinine to be a romance writer because you're always processing like what are all the different ways that people find other people hot or sexy or romantic, which obviously is a different issue.


0:07:02.6 S2: And also, what's the reaction... The physical reaction, because we have to describe it, we can't say they think they're sexy, to say what the physical... This reaction to that is...


0:07:12.7 S1: Exactly, and when you read romance novels, you can really tell so much I think about what an author thinks is sexy, which isn't to say that all of us are always writing exactly what we think is sexy, but you can really tell over a person of... I would say their body of work, there are certain things that come up again and again, or I have read romance novels where it was super clear that what this author thinks is attractive is definitely not what I think is attractive or not, or sexy or hot or whatever. And sometimes it's like about smells, and sometimes it's about bodies, and sometimes we gender and like everything... For our four arms. Right, yeah. But to the winking question, I do not think winking is how I think it is utterly ridiculous, except the one that you're already dating and you're across the room and you're at a party, like a boring party and you're talking to people, each of you is talking to a different set of people, and you just catch each other's eye over everyone's head at the party and you give a little wink, which totally means like I'm in a fuckin when we get home from this boring ass party and that it's


0:08:20.8 S2: Hot as a... Yes, right. It's a secret language, that separate language. And


0:08:26.8 S1: I would say the opposite of the super hot thing, lot, is when somebody who you initially think is super hot and gives you the little movies, and then they do or say something that you're like, Oh yeah.


0:08:42.2 S2: Wastewater that right there. That is the worst. But yes, what is sexy is different to everybody and you know what? That's okay, that... That's what makes it fun. And interest. Why? It's true. That's why we play the game. In question is awesome question. Thank you. Alright, you wanna hit us with the next one, can you screw it down down... Oh, this is a great one. This one's fun. Okay, this one's from Teddy. Teddy B, that sounds like an artist name or something like... I'm Teddy B, grab the microphone. Okay, my name is teaching it, I can't say it now, I'm gonna be by... My name is Teddy B, and I'm trying to figure out how to date myself... Alright, let me start over. I'm a serial monogamous who has practiced Polly before, but just ended up in a few monogamous relationships at the same time, I identify as an introvert with extroverted tendencies, but I also know that's bullshit, please don't ask my sin. But in all seriousness, I was only able to go here without dating anyone seriously, and that was only because my casual hook-ups and flings and it before they couldn't get serious, I have a thing about boundaries where I don't have any...


0:10:03.6 S2: Okay, how does someone like me manage being in a relationship with themself when All they keep doing is crushing and falling in love with the next pretty person with acute quarter life crisis and to... It's not that I don't like being alone, I just don't like being alone with myself, I know this is like a relationship podcast, so I don't know how well this fits in, it does, but I do think it's a valid relationship being with oneself... Absolutely, absolutely. Anyway, thank you. I'm sorry if I come off like a weirdo, you don't... Sincerely teddy bear, at least in slides in there. Now, you're not a weird now, not away


0:10:38.3 S1: If you are weird or you're in very good company. So yeah, absolutely, I outfitting yourself. Well, I will say I love this question, I think it's fantastic. And I also think that I'm gonna zero in right on... It's not that I don't like being alone, I just don't like being alone with myself... To me, that's kind of the crux of this question, is that when you're alone, you're always with yourself, and so if you don't like being with yourself, you're always gonna have this problem where in an attempt to distance from yourself, you're reaching out of yourself to connect with other people, and it sounds like that might be the issue of your lack of boundaries is not so much that you can't say no to people or that you can't resist people, the next pretty face with a quarter life crisis would be relatable, but more that you're looking for things to distract yourself from being with yourself, and to me, that's where the work is, is if you don't like yourself, you will always try to bury that in relationships or relationship with... And you won't have good relationships with other people when you don't like yourself either, so even if you had the perfect poly relationships that you wanted, or if you had the monogamous relationship that you want, or if you managed to do any of those things like...


0:12:13.3 S1: Yeah, you won't, you won't have much success until you like yourself, which brings me to your actual question, which is How to date yourself, and I think this is such a beautiful reframe of the not liking yourself part, because dating someone is all about getting to know the things about someone that you think are beautiful and romantic and lovely and admirable, and so I think this is the best possible mission for you, is like look at yourself the way you would look at all these people that you can't resist and all these people that you are you keep dating? And like, I don't know, make a list to write them down and save them to a camera, whatever your preferred medium for self-expression is, list those beautiful qualities about yourself the way you would gush to a friend, about whoever the person is you're dating, or call up a friend and say that You wanna gush about someone and just don't tell them that it's you, and list out all of these amazing, beautiful qualities and go through the motions of falling in love with yourself the way you would fall in love with another person.


0:13:16.9 S1: I think that's fantastic. Yeah, that's great.


0:13:20.9 S2: And I think people like to think that the whole concept of finding yourself or figuring out who you are, or whether or not you like the person you are, is confined to when you're younger in high school, college... Just out of college, all that. It happens continuously, because as a human being are continuously changing, so you have... You know, there's not just one coming of age story in your life, there's going to be multiple coming of age stories in your life, so being able to sort of step back and look at yourself and sort of re-evaluate what you're doing, where you're going, and if you notice that you are having those... I speak as somebody who's a workaholic, so I completely understand the enjoyment of getting lost in something else


0:14:15.4 S1: Completely, but being able to sort of pull back a little bit and realize when you're doing that thing... That's huge. That's really us... You should write that down on your list of things that you love about you is the fact that you're like, I now notice when I'm doing this shit. So noticing a step one, step two is sort of pulling back and being able to look around and say, Okay, why am I pivoting right now? What is making me uncomfortable? And it may be that there are things about you that, quite frankly, you need to change, it may be that you were dealing with emotions or something that makes you uncomfortable as somebody who also hates emotions, again, I can identify with that if it's that... But you have to be able to look and see what is making you make that pivot now that you're aware that you do that poet, and that's a huge thing because once you can make that leap, you can start to address the things about yourself that you're... Maybe not so much in love with


0:15:17.4 S2: Or find the things that are beautiful about those things that make you you... Yeah, I agree with with you, I think this is an important step to say, I don't like who I am when I'm alone, I don't like the person that I am when I'm alone, there's some work to be done there, there's some stuff to discover, there are good and bad, it could be that you're over-thinking something, it could be that you have developed a tendency to do something that you shouldn't... And this might be a place where therapy comes in, it could be that you need someone to talk to to work through those issues, but the fact that you even said, I don't like who I am when I'm alone is a big first step because you recognize the pattern that you're in and you wanna get out of it, so as forgetting there... 'cause a lot of people never do. So yeah, I don't know, I think we sort of coop on spending time with ourselves, I think over the last year with the pandemic and everything has become more important or people will become aware of how important it is for self-care and taking care of your mental health and everything, but it still sort of stigmatized, and I think that the fact that people are willing to talk about the issues that they have with themselves and put themselves out there like that, I just think it's a long overdue thing.


0:16:30.2 S2: So I'm really proud of you for doing that today.


0:16:33.0 S1: I totally agree, and I feel like I had never thought of it in these terms, but now that you've given us the term tab, I Feel Like I dated myself for a while, which is like, I love figuring out planning an evening and being like, Oh, today I'm gonna make, I'm gonna make this dinner, and then I'm gonna watch this movie and, oh my gosh. There's a theme, this is so fun. And I feel like those are things that we relegate to the realm of dating, culturally, we think about those as things that we do as dates, but the actually taking pleasure in cultivating or curating an experience that's just for yourself is deeply, deeply meaningful and respectful of yourself, so if dating yourself means thinking through and treating the time that you have by yourself with care and respect and attention and making it special, then I think that's fucking amazing. And everyone should do that, even if they are dating six other people at the same time.


0:17:42.1 S2: Well treating yourself in saying where you would with someone you were dating too, there was a thing on Twitter or the other day where this girl in New York took herself out for a day in New York, like he did a whole, what your favorite restaurant had herring meal checked into a hotel, got a beautiful room and order room service, and people were like teasing her on Twitter for doing that, and I was like, You know what, I'm totally to that, first of al, we're gonna build a pandemic, you can't do that with strangers, so why not treat yourself like... Treat yourself like, why is that a bad thing? Like why do we stigmatize that so... Yeah, you know, I totally free. Well, I think it's easy to be able to... And I think in a certain extent, we are socialized to see doing that as being selfish, and so I think you actually...


0:18:29.6 S1: We...


0:18:29.9 S2: Yeah, so you have to be able to appreciate you before you can appreciate anything else, I mean, it sounds so cheesy, I know that, but it's true, you have be able to... And the other part of that too, is when you are in a relationship with several people or one person or several monogamous relationships or whatever it is, this reminds me of our last episode, the newly wed, who wanted to make sure that he was good enough that they were good enough. And what it really comes down to is being able to say, I appreciate me. And being able to appreciate me makes me be able to appreciate you, Here are all the things that I offer to a partner or partners, and I'm completely self-confident in what I can bring to the table, that's really important, acknowledging your own value is crucial to crises cloning your own self-worth, but you do need to say your self-worth because having forbid, you get into a situation where someone who doesn't appreciate you... You know what I mean? If you don't appreciate yourself. You won't even recognize that. So do the work. Don't be afraid to do the work.


0:19:47.4 S1: Yes, I realize, and I do think... I'm just gonna call it back again, you realize you're making these turns, so now that you realize it, figure out what's making you... Because you're making that train 'cause it's easier... I feel you. It hurts. It sucks.


0:20:04.4 S2: But you... Away from yourself. Yes, you're making that term 'cause it's easier and unfortunately... You can't do that. I mean, you can... You have been, but you see the result of that and you already recognized that it's not healthy for you, so I get healthy


0:20:24.7 S1: And the feeling of having no boundaries with someone else feels so bad or sometimes I can feel good, but you recognize clearly that that's a relationship problem, but I wonder if actually that will be really useful for you in attempting to date yourself, because if you can think of what it is that it feels like to have no boundaries with someone else, what it feels like is allowing that person to set the agenda, being willing to go along with what they want. If they ask for something, you give it to them, or do you give time to what they need, all of those things would actually be great for you to do for yourself, so maybe think about all of what it means to you to have no boundaries in a relationship and attempt to turn those inward as well... Absolutely fantastic. I outtake yourself out in on the most romantic... Lovely day. Ever sounds great to me. Yeah.


0:21:27.2 S2: You get to pick the movie. That's awesome. That's the power right there. The movie, the meal, the one, my God.


0:21:36.9 S1: Alright, thank you, Tony. Me.


0:21:38.9 S2: Thank you. So this week's playlist was inspired by Teddy B, or not, it was sort of inspired by Teddy B, but I just... There's so many great songs about self-love, we'll call it... Yes, our playlist this week is about self-love, and it's got the Divina on it, of course, we debriefed because you provide me of her great track last week, or in the last episode, touch of My hand, we've got... Is there's XTC? There's Charlie X-X story, Amasa have tweet. You remember that song? Oops, there goes Moser. Yeah, so that's on there. So yeah, it's a fun playlist, so you guys have for


0:22:26.2 S1: Self-care all the file that our AIS song about master mating, which is what I was... Oh my god, yeah. For Amos, period is amazing. So Orwell, I have a recipe for us this week aired by astounded by sexy and their use or their question about harness. I love spicy food, and I also love sweet food, and one of my favorite combinations is a little spicy sweet combo, so today's recipe, or this episode's recipe is a hot and sweet potato... Sweet potato. Get it sweet. Like both of us, it's a sweet potato dish made with cyan and brown sugar, and they are delicious and a very easy side dish or could be a main meal if you wanna pop all fried egg on top of that. And I agree with barbecue or, Oh my God, it's so good. I


0:23:32.2 S2: Need to start eating before we record, these were just like We...


0:23:36.6 S1: Tortall. Yeah, I started describing the food in my stomach also outta recipe in our newsletter and on all of our social media and in the show notes on our website, dearne Water dot com and the Spotify playlist.


0:23:55.2 S2: Yeah, that'll be good.


0:23:56.6 S1: Yeah, that'll be in all those same spots, so now it's a fun time of recommendations where we get to share what we've been binging doing, listening, reading, watching, dancing to whatever it may be. I have been sucked into... Lucy Linux is latest book, it is a romance. It is right as rain, it is a sports romance, it is mm, you get to go escape to Colorado, there are lots of abs involved, it's fabulous. It is a slow burn, so be prepped for that, but it is really... It's phenomenal. It's a fun read, it's one of those books that I knew I was going to just straight fall into because I got a chapter two and I could barely keep my eyes open, but I was still reading in bed, so... Yeah, that's when you know. So right as rain by Lucy Linux is my... This week, some session. How about you?


0:24:59.2 S2: Well, I just finished listening to the sins of the cities trilogy from KJ Charles, which I'm not a big historical romance person, but oh my god, I got sucked into the first one and I just devoured all three, it's like a mystery arc over the three books, it's like British aristocracy either. It's just, it's amazing, and I use a lot with Kerala been like stalking them on Twitter is just like, I have people look, but it's really, really good if you try to check that out... Nice.


0:25:28.2 S1: But I love it when somebody asked us... Are you guys and girls? Yeah. No, totally cool. Yeah, I out you around, you're the coolest of A... All her Isle. Gosh, I don't know what to do with that. Well, okay, since we're apparently doing book recs this week, I just finished recursion by Blake crouch, which is a sci-fi urban sci-fi and... It was amazing. I loved it. It's about memory and what presence-ness means, so what is the relationship between memory and the present in the past, and where is the line between them... And I'm being purposefully vague because I don't wanna give anything away, but the premise is that there are two story lines, one of which about a researcher who's a neuro scientist trying to math memories to save them for people who have Alzheimer's, and one, a man who's a cop in the present, when a phenomenon called false memory syndrome has swept the world, and to look at the way that those two things, the idea of false memory syndrome and this research invention that this woman has made into memory and Alzheimer's collide, and I use the word collide very literally, octave.


0:26:55.8 S1: You'll have to read the book to find out. But I will say that, I love that you just... Fourth grade book reported that... You'll have to read the book to find out. I know, nobody really surprised me because at 65%, it totally turned into a romance... I'll just say a time travel romance romanos time Terrance, if you will. But it really had me... I totally cried. So recursion by Blake crouch, Hayden.


0:27:28.7 S2: Tel. Gonna go O.


0:27:35.2 S1: So thank you so much for listening. What did you think? Did we get it right? I totally got it wrong. Let us know and remember to follow us on social media, subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and YouTube, and tell your friends to do the same. Plus, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, a dear romance writer dot com for all the latest and to get access to special Patreon only content as always, keep sending in those letters at Dear romance writer dot com. You have questions. We have questionable answers. See you next time!

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