Behavioral scientist and dating coach Logan Ury has dedicated her professional life to helping others find love. Her book, How to Not Die Alone, provides those looking to form romantic relationships with actionable pieces of advice centered around research related to decision-making. Squarespace sat down with Logan to learn more about her approach to working with her clients, her take on common dating behaviors, and how people can stay connected even when an in-person meet up is not a possibility.
SQUARESPACE: Your book ‘How to Not Die Alone’ focuses on the decisions people make when it comes to managing their own relationships — but many people may not even realize they were making these choices in the first place. How do you help your readers and your clients figure out their own patterns in decision making?
LOGAN URY: In my work as a dating coach, I’ve discovered that many people suffer from dating blind spots — patterns of behavior that hold them back from finding love, but which they can’t identify on their own.
I’ve categorized the most common blind spots into a framework called The Three Dating Tendencies. (You can take the quiz here to determine your type.) Although they seem quite different, the Romanticizer, Maximizer, and Hesitater have one major thing in common: unrealistic expectations.
The Romanticizer has unrealistic expectations of relationships. You want the soul mate, the happily ever after — the whole fairy tale. You love love. You believe you are single because you haven’t met the right person yet. Your motto: It’ll happen when it’s meant to happen.
But here’s the problem: if you expect love to find you, you won’t put any effort into it. You’re plagued by your “soulmate mindset.” Instead, you need to shift to the “work-it-out mindset.” That means understanding love takes work. If it feels effortful — you’re doing it right! Stop yearning for Prince or Princess Charming, and start going after what you want. Stop expecting that there is only one person out there for you and that that person looks exactly as you imagined they would. No one is perfect, including you.
The Maximizer has unrealistic expectations of their partner. You love doing research, exploring all of your options, turning over every stone until you’re confident you’ve found the right one. You make decisions carefully. And you want to be 100 percent certain about something before you make your choice. Your motto: Why settle?
Maximizers want to turn over every stone before they make a decision. That presents a particularly tough challenge when it comes to dating. You can’t go out with every eligible single in your city, let alone the whole world. If you hope to get married or commit to a long-term relationship, eventually, you’ll need to make a decision with the information you have. If you’re a Maximizer, that idea might make you nervous. What if you aren’t happy with who you pick?
Here’s the good news: We have an incredible tool working on our behalf to make us happy — our brain! Once we commit to something, our brain helps us rationalize why it was the right choice.
What’s your goal? To make the “perfect” decision, or to be happy? If it’s happiness you’re after, it’s the subjective experience, not the objective result, that really matters. So find someone special and invest in the relationship.
The Hesitater has unrealistic expectations of themselves. You don’t think you’re ready to date because you’re not the person you want to be yet. You hold yourself to a high standard. You want to feel completely ready before you start a new project; the same goes for dating. Your motto: I’ll wait until I’m a “catch.”
Behavioural science warns us of the dreaded intention-action gap, when we intend to do something but don’t take the steps to make it happen. Your intention is to start dating. But you may get stuck in the gap between wanting to date and doing it. The following techniques will help:
Step 1: Make a deadline - I suggest three weeks from now. That’s enough time to do what you need to do first, but not so long that you lose momentum.
Step 2: Prep - Download the apps, assemble a few date outfits that make you feel great, and ask a friend to help take some flattering photo.
Step 3: Tell others - Let two or three of your closest friends or family members know that you’re serious about dating and share your deadline with them.
Step 4: Start small - Try to go on at least one date a week and make sure that there’s room in your diary for said date.
SQSP: COVID-19 has forced sudden changes in relationship dynamics and the ways people find new connections. How has your work as a dating coach evolved to help people adapt to those challenges?
LU: When the pandemic hit, I wondered. “Would people take this year off from dating?”
The answer, in short, is no.
Through my work as a dating coach, I’ve been blown away by the creativity and resilience of daters.
We’ve seen an explosion in video dating. If you are waiting for a sign to try a video date, let this be it! Video dates are a low-pressure vibe check. They’re the new coffee date.
I’ve also seen some really interesting patterns emerge among modern daters. It’s really hard to break a bad habit and develop a new one. It often takes a jolt to the system. A jolt… like a global pandemic.
It’s thrilling to see daters use this moment to get more intentional about dating. My dating coaching clients are investing more time into figuring out who they are, what they want, and how they’d like to show up on dates.
SQSP: What advice do you have for those looking to make a connection with respect to current social limitations?
LU: Over the last year, we’ve seen that real relationships can come out of video dating. I encourage everyone to get creative when planning your virtual dates! Here are a few ideas:
Shaken or Stirred: Stir things up with a two-person mocktail/cocktail making class. Make it more of an experience by choosing a complex recipe that includes your favorite ingredients — and let your date know what items to pick up in advance. Over video chat, show off your mixologist skills and do a virtual cheers!
Take Things Outdoors: Go for a virtual neighborhood walk. Flip your phone camera so it faces outward and take turns showing each other around your neighborhoods.
Show Your Cards: Play a virtual game together. There are plenty of online versions of common board games. It’s a great way to get to know each other, while keeping things lighthearted and playful.
Room Raiders: Bring back “Show & Tell.” Come up with a series of prompts, like “what’s the silliest purchase you’ve made during the pandemic?” or “what is a piece of clothing you know you should toss but you never will?” Then take turns sharing objects from around the house. Extra credit if you give a tour of your fridge!
SQSP: What role has your online presence played in building your platform and promoting your book?
LU: As cheesy as it sounds, I really relate to the old Squarespace slogan: “A dream is just a great idea that doesn't have a website yet.” I didn’t have a website for the first few years that I worked as a dating coach. Once I made a website, it felt like I was truly launching a business for the first time. The website paid for itself within a few days because friends finally felt comfortable referring me to their networks. Everything felt “real” all of a sudden.
That website served me for a few years, and helped me launch my coaching business, but when it came time to spread the word about my new book, How to Not Die Alone, I wanted a refreshed brand identity and website structure.
I hired Week of the Website to help. I loved that they are a women-owned company that took on all of the project management and process, in addition to being Squarespace experts. Their whole approach is building great websites quickly, in one to two weeks. But the Monday we started working together, I came to them with an exciting but scary challenge: my personal essay was going to be published by a major newspaper at midnight that Thursday. Could we put the whole project together in four days?
Amazingly, we did it. I received six thousand views in the first week my website was up, thanks to a great response from that article. Over ten thousand people have now taken the Three Dating Tendencies quiz on my site. I’m thrilled with the reception the book’s received, and I know my website has helped me put my best foot forward.
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