Episode 156 | February 19, 2019

Dating the Smart Way with Renee Slansky

A Personal Note from Orion

Valentine’s day has come and gone, and whether you celebrated or survived it, the day of love definitely puts a lot of pressure on couples and singles alike, all in the quest for love. And if you’re still looking for love, I get that the pressure never seems to end. From everything to how to reply to a text, what to wear on the first date, and how soon you can have sex, dating has a lot confusing expectations.

Letting go of these expectations will relieve a lot of the pressure, but one mistake that many women make is thinking that lowering expectations means lowering our standards. There is a difference, and being aware of our patterns and what we like and don’t like in relationships is something we need to be aware of as we keep diving into the dating pool.

My guest today is full of the most useful, practical advice when it comes to dating and finding true love in today’s modern world. Renee Slansky consults for popular dating apps such as Plenty of Fish, and shares everything from the most important thing in your dating profile to the number one quality that men love.



About Today’s Show

Hello and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. This episode is about love and dating and how to attract your most incredible soulmate or lover or great relationship ever. With me today is Renee Slansky. She’s the founder of the number one dating and relationship blog in Australia, and top 30 worldwide. Renee’s a professional dating, relationship, and life coach whose mission is to bring love education to a generation and impact at the dating culture. She writes for some of the largest publications worldwide and reaches hundreds of thousands monthly. Now, without further ado, on to the show. Hey Renee and welcome to Stellar Life podcast.

Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

I’m very excited that you’re here. Before we start, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Okay. I am a professional dating, relationship, and life coach. I’ve been doing this for the last seven years when I actually started my blog, The Dating Directory. That is now the number one blog in Australia, it’s top 30 in the world. I write for some of the biggest online dating sites and magazines in the world, giving dating advice, love advice. I speak at international women’s events. I’m all about helping people cultivate healthy relationships, not only with themselves but also people out there. I’m very passionate about love education. It’s why I started my blog in the first place because I know how complicated dating can be and how sometimes it just seems so much easier to give up on love rather than actually know how to date differently and work differently. My mission is basically to bring love education to the world and I do that through all sorts of media such as my writing, my blogging, a YouTube channel, and obviously personal coaching as well.

I watched a few of your videos and you have a very sweet style about you. It’s very real and I love it.

I think a lot of the time, there’s so much advice out there nowadays. It’s nice to have someone that just kind of gets it and relates to what you’ve gone through. I think, a lot of women they come on and they think, “Oh, you wouldn’t have had any issues. You wouldn’t have done that,” and then when they hear all my stories, and they’ve actually seen what I’ve gone through as well, they like, “Okay, she gets it. She’s real, she understands.”

Love and dating is not something we learn in school. No one really taught us how it works. Click To Tweet

What are some of the most difficult times you had while dating?

I’d have to say, the whole reason why I got into this industry in the first place, it was something that I was always passionate about, that it was never really anything I thought I would make as my life’s purpose or career. I was dating a man about eight years ago or more now, who had a child to a previous relationship. Back then, there wasn’t really a lot of help or talk about what it’s like to date someone that has a child. There wasn’t really talk about online dating because that was all very still new back then.

It was a very incredibly toxic relationship. It was probably the most toxic relationship that I’ve ever had in my series of bad relationships. I basically wanted to be able to educate women on what not to do to make them feel that there was a place that they could go to, to learn how to do things without having to go through the trial and error process. I have dated narcissists, I’ve dated cheaters, verbally abusive, emotional blackmail. I mean you name it.

What I’ve gone through is absolutely nothing compared to even what some of my clients have gone through. I think when we all have our own journey, it’s not a matter of who’s got the worst dating story than the other, because someone’s always got some worse dating story than the next person. It was about just going, “Okay, with everything that I’ve gone through, how can I then purpose all that into a place where I can educate women on how to avoid that and how to navigate their way around the dating well?” because, at this time and age, we have more single people than ever before.

We have a super high divorce rate and we have more ways to meet people than ever before at this point in history. Because of my blog, I see a lot of statistics. I have a lot to do with the dating industry as well. I get a lot of dating apps actually come to me before they even reach the public. I actually foresee what’s actually going to come. People assume that because with the access to all these single people, or because we can finally see who’s single, and we’ve got online dating shows, dating radio, experiments, and everything like that, that it should be easier just because it’s there.

Unfortunately, it’s not. If anything, it has become more complicated because we’re not actually educated more so on how to actually love ourselves or how to love one another. I think that’s where the divide comes between assuming that access to all these information about dating and how to meet someone, solves the issue of actually building a relationship with someone and keeping that relationship alive and healthy.

That’s so true. The reason why I turned into coaching women and love coaching women as well, was because I myself experienced an abusive relationship. I ended up in a hospital and then I had to recover for two years. Not from the physical abuse, from emotional abuse.

That put me on the path. It doesn’t matter whose stories are. They’re equally as painful and what’s important is that you get it. You get what they’re going through and you can advise them. Sometimes, we have to experience some pain and difficulty to put us on our path and our purpose, and through contrast, to see what we want and what is our gift, what is the gift that we want to bring the world.

Absolutely. I think also a lot of the time, we just don’t have a standard to measure anything up against. I think a lot of women assume that the moment that they get something remotely better than the last toxic relationship they’ve had, they’re like, “This must be the guy. I’m going to try and make it work,” when it’s still incredibly unhealthy. But of course, because it looks better than the last one, they assume that it’s right, and yet they still wonder why it’s not going anywhere and why they’re still unsatisfied.

No one teaches us this stuff unless you’ve had parents model it to you, on what a healthy relationship actually looks like. It’s not something we learn in school. You learn about sex education and even that’s a minimum. You don’t learn about love education. People are just kind of working it out as they go and find it in as they go. They might look at your relationship and say, “Well, that’s obviously a red flag that he abuses you,” but then, abuse comes in all sorts of forms, or just not being able to.

Someone cannot be abusive but still be incapable of giving you what is necessary to have a healthy relationship. I think it’s great to be able to have this reference to women out there on what the standard should be and what it actually takes to be able to build a healthy relationship, so they don’t have to keep doing it by the trial and error process.

It’s great to have a reference out there on what the standard should be in building a healthy relationship so women don’t have to keep doing the trial and error process.

I’m very lucky right now, I’m married to the man of my dreams. He is the best thing that I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams. A really extraordinary man. You are pretty much international. Right now you’re based in Greece. When you look at Australia versus the US versus maybe other countries, are the dating struggles the same in every country?

I think it depends. They’re very similar because we’re exposed to the same sort of things. I think personalities are affected by demographics and the way that people are. For instance, there are usually more red flags, really red flags like abusive relationships and things in areas that maybe don’t have as high as social economic growth or education. I look at Sydney, for example. A lot of people really struggle with the dating scene in Sydney because they find it quite superficial and they find that there aren’t really many people who are wanting to commit.

I guess you’re getting that in certain areas in the US as well or even in Europe. I think different cultures affect dating in their own way, anyway. But the underlying issues are probably something that everyone is experiencing, such as effects of social media, effects of online dating, brokenness, people not dealing with their baggage, lack of self-love. Those are the same sort of fundamental problems that everyone has regardless of culture and regardless of where they’re based.

I think America, in general, is more open to being educated on love as opposed to Sydney, because there’s a lot more focus on that. I find that Europe is still warming up to it. I know that France is a little bit more open to it now because they’re starting to have some really big recognized dating and relationship coaches. Australia is definitely getting there, but they’ve only been getting there in the last two years when it comes to knowing how to date strategically and successfully.

You’ve probably had this as well that like, “Oh, you’re a dating and relationship coach. What is that? Are you a matchmaker?” sort of thing. They’re starting to become a little bit more aware of what we do but also why it’s needed. People are realizing just how hard dating is becoming. They’re going, “I’ve tried this app,” they get all excited, and then five years on, they’re still in the same position. Then they realize that just going on another date isn’t solving the issues. That’s why they’re starting to reach out to other ways and being a little bit more open to receiving the sort of direction in their love life which they never really thought they would have needed in the first place.

Practice intention over attention and you'll see dating opportunities you've never even noticed before. Click To Tweet

Yeah. I get that you pretty much work on the inner world as much on the, “Do this, do this, go to that app, and that app.” I want to start on the more of the surface-level as far as the simple stuff and then we’ll go deeper. What are some of the best dating apps to use?

It is really dependent. You’re always going to get three types of people in any sort of dating app: someone that is only wanting to play the field and wanting hookups, you’re going to get people who are actually wanting a serious relationship, and then you’re going to get the people in between who aren’t really sure. I think the less users, the better because it means less choice to take. I find that people on apps like Tinder, which has a little bit of a reputation of being a hookup app, are going to attract more of that first category of people that only want to hook up.

In saying that though, I have known people that have found their husband and their wife through Tinder. I think even though I do write advice to PlentyOfFish, I know that they struggle with a lot of the users on that app as well who write really inappropriate messages and things like that. I think apps such as Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Once, Happn, those apps have a little bit more strategic and purpose around them. I always say to any of my clients or anyone that asks me, I said, “If you’re going on an app, understand who it is and the sort of people that are going to be on there, but use it strategically.”

For example, I actually tell my clients, “Okay, if you want to meet a certain type of person, say you’re into fitness or you’re into food and wine, download the app Happn, for example, which actually shows you who’s around you in that area. But use it in an environment of the sort of people you want to attract. For example, if you’re into fitness, you want to go to the gym, and you want to know who’s single at the gym. If you go to the gym on a Friday night, which is when all the guys are there who are single, just a heads up, turn on your app.

If he’s also on the same dating app, then you can actually see, “Okay, this guy is single. I’ve been wondering.” Or if you go to a food and wine festival, or an art gallery opening, or musical, whatever it is, when you want to connect with a like-minded person, if you use that app strategically, you might actually get to connect with someone who is also into the same thing as you. I think that’s a fantastic app.

There’s a great app that has been launched in Australia called We-Date, which is actually all associated with the date, not the amount of people that want to go on the date. A lot of people are just swiping through, they’re connecting, and then they’re never actually taking the relationship offline. That’s become a major frustration and We-Date is all about you choose the date first. You set Friday the 12th, [7:00] PM…

That is so smart.

It is. Then that means that those two people are committed to that date right from the first meeting. I think that’s fantastic. I think the French dating app, Once, is awesome as well because you only get to choose one person a day and that’s it. It limits your options so that you don’t get choice fatigue. For anyone that’s looking for an app, don’t feel like you just have to go to the common ones everyone knows about like PlentyOfFish or Tinder. Bumble is great because obviously, the women are in control, which just puts a little bit of a different spin on it. Do your research first and as I said, use it with intention, use it strategically, and then you’re probably going to be able to get a little bit more out of it than just going on it with whatever’s just walking through.

For anyone that’s looking for an app, don’t feel like you just have to go to the common ones everyone knows about. Do some research and find what’s suitable to your preference.

Let’s say the person found the right app, What are some of your best tips for building the profile and also engaging on the app?

I think your profile is kind of like your business card and you literally have an eighth of a second before someone swipes. That’s just the way it is. The good thing for us girls is there are actually more men on dating apps than there are females. We have a little bit of an advantage because it means that we’ve got obviously more men to choose from. It also means that the men know that there’s a limited amount of women as opposed to men, so they’re probably going to want to connect a little bit more.

I always say that your profile picture is your main attraction. It has to be one that shows you not hidden in the dark or too far away, you got a great smile on your face, and it looks almost like a natural sort of beauty. I actually suggest my clients if they actually want to go and have a friend take a photo of them. Don’t make it a selfie. Invest even in a professional photographer to make it look like a lifestyle picture if it shows you off in the best sort of way. It’s not because you’re trying too hard, it’s just that you’re being, again, strategic about how you’re presenting yourself.

I mean you can be the most gorgeous looking woman in the world and if that first picture is really super blurry or confusing because you’ve got other people in there or it’s just not highlighting you in the best sort of way, then you’re not going to get picked as much. I think that your first picture is basically your main profile picture. Your second picture after that should be one where you are doing something active, whether it’s traveling, whether it’s something that you’re interested in, to show that you know someone who has that spirit of adventure, which what men are actually attracted to.

Your third picture should be one where you’re with friends. This shows that you are someone who is social. It shows that you have all the people around you as well and it means that not every photo is everything about you. Your fourth picture should be the wow picture. Basically, you’re taking him on this journey. You’ve intrigued him with the first picture being this beautiful girl next door, happy, smiling. The next one he sees of yours if you’ve got this interest. Maybe you’re drinking wine, you’re traveling, so he thinks, “Okay, this girl has a bit of depth.”

The third, he’s going, “Okay, she’s got friends. She looks like she’s good fun to hang around.” The fourth one is where you’re dressed a little bit more formal or a little bit more sexy and he can see you as, “Wow, that’s kind of like the finished product of her. That’s what I want to get out to. She looks stunning.” Then any picture after that, again, should just be one where you’re just casual, always smiling and always having a good time. You’re appealing to all of his senses then. You’re appealing to the fact that you look like you’re a grounded woman, that you’re happy, you’re fun, you’re easy-going, you have some sort of character or sense of adventure about you, but you also have the sexy side as well. That’s just in the photos.

When it comes to the bio, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. I think your bio should definitely be a snapshot of who you are, but don’t forget you’re not just putting, “Okay, this is who I am, this is what I want.” You also want to make sure that you’re appealing to the men that you want to attract. A part of that, you say maybe something cheeky or flirty or having some sort of invitation in that bio.

For example, I had a client who loves quotes and her original bio was just all these different quotes. I said, “Okay, that’s completely boring.” I was just being totally honest with her. I said, “He’s going to get bored.” I said, “What you need to do is you need to say, ‘How do my friends describe me?’ You might say, ‘Well my friends describe me like this and this and this. I love food. I love this. I’m a social person but at the same time, I love a quiet night in.’” To show him that you’re this balanced woman, that you’re a little bit independent but you’re also fun to be around. And then the kind of invitation at the end of that bio was, “If you can finish this quote, then you win a date with me on Friday night,” or something. It’s fun, it’s easy.

That’s what men are after. They don’t want an essay and they want some mystery about you. If you can leave some mystery about you by not giving everything away in the bio, then he’s going to want to take you on a date because he’s going to be intrigued. He’s going to want to know more. He sees you as his challenge and therefore he has to take you on a date.

Beyond the wall of text or a profile full of quotes, what are some of the worst mistakes you saw on people’s profiles?

I think some of the worst ones are people that put overly sexual photos and then wonder why they only attract men that send them either explicit text messages or dick pics or basically only want sex. I think women who write essays in their bio, essays on the online dating profiles and the men are just bored. They don’t want to know anything about them. They’re a great person but they just haven’t come across this fun or easy person. I think women who openly say things on their bios where they’re actually being really disrespectful to men as well and derogatory, and coming across as too much of an aggressive, independent female. Again, it’s going to be a major turn-off for men.

I think the majority of the time, it’s the photos that are the issues especially because men are more visual. It’s the photos that they’re going to take notice of first before they go into the bio. That’s why your photos have to be your strongest point even if you’re not really someone who’s into writing. The majority of the time, I see so many beautiful women that just don’t have a great photo up or I see beautiful women who then put these really explicit photos up or photos that don’t need cleavage or don’t need that much skin. They’re disappointed with the men they’re attracting, but it’s, “Whatever you put out there is essentially what you’re going to get back.”

Dating smart is about being strategic in identifying opportunities, and knowing where to spend your energy. Click To Tweet

Yes. A client of mine, she was just beautiful, proud, super successful, super smart entrepreneur, and she just left, I think it was a 6-year long relationship. She was really proud to show me her profile photo. It was a bathing suit with a huge cleavage. I was like, I almost choked, “Girl, let me show you the way.” It was a little bit too much. I think people are influenced by what we see in—

Social media.

Yeah, social media, commercials, videos.

Because it’s the intention. They know that if they’ve got a sexualized set of photos, they’re going to get more attention. The problem is that women assumed attention is with intentions. It’s two totally different things. And because you have social media, you got the Instagram girls, and everything like that, I mean come on, I’m just being completely honest. You will know that if you and I wanted to boost our followers by thousands, all we need to do is put a sexual photo up. We would get it.

We would get the wrong sort of market and we would have it for the wrong reason. Unfortunately, people think that their value is in the amount of numbers that they get or the amount of messages that they get. It’s not. That just means that there’s a lot more fish in your pond, but they’re not the right sort of fish. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to recognize red flags, or you’re someone that doesn’t know how to identify the right man, you’re basically leaving yourself vulnerable to dating the wrong sort of man over and over again.

Yeah, it’s a pool full of poisonous fugu fish. Little fishes that you don’t want to attract because you want, like you said, quality over quantity. You want intention and you don’t want to make this your second job because when you attract so many of the wrong kind, you just end up wasting time, wasting effort, and just getting jaded about men.

That’s exhausting as well. A lot of the time, women come to me when they’re in their thirties. They’re either out of their first marriage or they’re starting again, and they really want this to be the time that they find the love of their life. They’re just like, “I’m just so exhausted by dating.” They’re just like, “I’m over it,” and the reason why is because they’re doing it wrong. They’re approaching dating apps and online dating sites in the first place with the wrong sort of expectations. On top of that, they’re then using them the wrong sort of way. Once they do meet the wrong sort of guys, they do the wrong sort of things. It’s just a negative cycle, hence why people are exhausted by the process, which is not meant to be like that as you know.

Offline, what are some of the best places to meet people?

I think it really depends what you’re into. Again, if you’re really serious about trying to meet somebody in real life. The reason why we get so excited about that is because it has the element of surprise, and we like that. It seems more romantic to us and it means that it’s a little bit securer for us even, because we don’t know too much about that person yet, and no one else knows about that person yet. But for me, what I do is I suggest to my clients, “Okay, think about what you’re into.

Are you someone that’s into sports? Into wine? Into culture?” There’s some great meet up groups that you can go to. Go to places where obviously there is a social community or social gathering, and just start a conversation. You can meet somebody in the grocery store. You can meet somebody at a music festival. You can meet somebody when you walk your dog. I think walking dogs is the easiest way to meet somebody. It’s the easiest way to start a conversation, to be honest. We just got a puppy six months ago and honestly, the amount of people that come up and talk to us.

If you’re single, get a puppy, go for a walk. You will find someone. Like I said, it’s about being strategic, about where you put your energy, and being able to identify opportunities. You can have two women go to, say a music festival. One woman can think, “Oh, there are no single men there,” and the other woman can think, “Oh my God. I’ve gotten five different numbers.” It depends what you’re open to and what you are able to recognize. Are you aware that where you are right now, there could be millions of opportunities to meet a man outside of online dating?

I had a client who was 37 and she never actually had a serious relationship. Actually, she lives in Canberra and she said, “There are no men here. There’s just no men.” When she started doing one of my courses, she emailed me and she’s like, “Oh my God, there are men everywhere. There are hot men everywhere.” It was just because she saw things differently. She was able to recognize what an opportunity actually looks like. Then she realized just how many available men there were around her because it changed her mind and her perspective had changed.

What really changed in her perspective that you noticed?

I think just the fact that she realized that meeting someone doesn’t mean that you have to move countries. It doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily geographically change your location. It’s about again understanding what that looks like recognizing an opportunity. I think when we think I want to meet somebody in real life, we think it’s going to be this magic moment from a Hollywood movie where all of a sudden they’re going to bump into us, the coffee gets spilled, then they catch us, and then we lock eyes.

We’ve turned it into this overly romantic sort of notion when in fact, meeting somebody in real life is just having a conversation with someone, and then realizing, “Hang on a second, there’s a potential for something else.” When you take that pressure off and that almost over-romanticized idea or notion of meeting somebody in real life, you realize that all of this is just having a conversation with a person. That’s something incredibly easy to do and something that can happen so naturally and organically, just by where you are right now, whether it’s your work environment, whether it’s at the coffee store, whether it’s the train station.

For my male clients, I set them a task usually to approach women. It becomes so much easier to do when you realize it’s not about, ‘I have to approach the woman who’s going to be the woman of my dreams.’ It’s more, ‘I’m just going to have a conversation.’ As I said, that’s when your perspective changes and you realize, “Hang on a second. There are men out there who I can talk to. That means there is potential to be out on a date one with of these men. Therefore, I am able to meet someone no matter where I am.”

You got your man to take this first move which makes sense to me. A masculine trait is to be the hunter and to approach a woman. Do you believe women need to do the first move too? How should a woman approach that?

I think the number one quality that men love in a woman is confidence. Showing confidence can be something as initiating this first contact. Whether that first contact is sending a message, whether that first contact is a simple glance towards a guy and a little smile to flirt, it is an invitation for him then to come to talk to you. I don’t think women should be afraid to initiate the first contact. I think a lot of time we think, “If I talk to him first or if I approach him, it makes me look desperate. Am I chasing him?” Not at all.

All of this is about showing and implying to him that you have an interest in him which is what men want to know. To be honest, most of the time, they’re just tired of the guessing game, “I don’t really know if she likes me, this and that, she’s being a bit cold, she’s a being a bit aloof.” Men really appreciate a woman being bold enough to be able to go ahead and make that first contact. Now that first contact to him might not necessarily be like, “Hey, let’s go for a drink,” or just asking him out. Again, it might just be a conversation. It might be something general.

A perfect way to get any man’s attention is to ask him for help. Instantly, he feels like he’s needed, which is what men need and want. He feels like he’s the hero and you’re kind of the damsel in distress, and he’s able to step into that leadership role, a really masculine sort of role. It’s a great way for a woman if she’s met someone or bumped into a guy she likes, she’s made a bit of eye contact with him or she might say, “Can you help me? I’m a little bit lost,” or  “Do you have the time?” or “I’m not really sure how to do this. Can you just show me how to do it?” Again, it’s just a conversation starter. It shows that you’ve come across confident enough to be able to talk to him, but it’s not coming across as aggressive. It’s still coming across as a very feminine sort of woman because essentially, you’re asking him for some help.

A perfect way to get any man’s attention is to ask him for help. Instantly, he feels like he’s needed, which is what men need and want.

I love what you said. Especially with feminism, girl power, and all that. I mean, yes it’s okay, you are in your power, you don’t have to prove that you are in your power, and you have to play the game. Even if you are super strong and you don’t need help, ask for help. It’s not about ego, it’s about creating an opening and that’s the game.

Yeah, that’s it. You’ve got to understand that it’s not just about what a woman wants, it’s also about what a man needs in order to be able to want to continue things with that woman. I think a lot of the time, especially as you said, we’re in a time where it’s like feminism, there’s a real sort of strong, masculine-feminine sort of power going on. Women are like, “Well, I’m just going to tell him what I want. This is who I am. I’m Miss Independent, I’m empowered,” and the man steps back because he’s like, “Where’s my role in this? What am I supposed to do?” It’s one of the big struggles that a lot of my male clients and male followers experience. They’re like, “I want to be this man for her but she’s not giving me an opportunity to do that.”  

You can come across as the balance of both, as a confident woman but as a feminine woman who’s able to communicate what you need, but also understand what a man needs and play to that because it’s only going to benefit you. It’s not about competing with the guy that you’re dating, who’s the strongest person. It’s about going, “Okay, I understand that. My husband or my man that I’m dating is the sort of guy. I’m not a weak person. I may not essentially need his help, but if I ask for anyway, I know that it’s going to make him feel good, which is going to make him want to value me even more, which in turn is going to make me feel good.” It’s a win-win situation.

How did you meet your man?

Very random romantic story actually. I went on a super bad date the night before and I was booked to do a photo shoot because I was in the modeling industry for 12 years before I did coaching. I was booked to do this photo shoot for Valentine’s Day and I thought of Valentine’s Day. I just had been on a bad date the night before and I was laughing. I feel like doing a romantic photo shoot. I turned up and he turned up a little bit later. He already did modeling on the side, but that’s not what he usually does, which was a bit of work on the side in between his other work.

We had this scenario where they were filming us and he had to chase me around this beautiful manor with these huge balloons, eventually, catch up to me, step in, hold hands, and lock eyes with each other. That was a little scene that we were doing. The very first scene that we shot was stepping in, locking eyes with each other. He arrives and I was like, “Oh, he’s quite handsome.” I kinda like, “Hi, hi,” and I was bossing him around a little bit because I went into my professional mode. Then the director was like, “Okay, are you ready? Let’s do this. Step in, hold hands, lock eyes with each other,” and we did. It was from that moment that we locked eyes with each other. It was like you could cut the air between us.

We’ve got to break eye contact, he raised an eyebrow, I raise an eyebrow and we’re both like, “Okay, what the heck is going on here?” The rest is history after that. I even turned to the cameraman that day and I said, “I’m going to marry that man. That’s my future husband.”

Wow, that’s beautiful.

Kind of goes against everything that I teach everyone.

How is that going against everything you teach everyone?

Because it was a really sort of overly romantic situation, very random, and you don’t know that you’re going to marry the first person on the very first day that you meet them. But I guess because maybe I’m religious and also just the feeling that we had. It was something that maybe I just claimed, that I spoke over that moment as well. From that day, we then went through everything that I do teach, which is we courted each other, he courted me, he didn’t kiss me for two weeks. We met out to different places. We did fun things together. We weren’t intimate straight away and we will build a relationship. We had great communication. We involved each other’s friends and families quite early on.

We just had this beautiful courting period. It was a really open communication. It was easy. It was fun. It was always playful and in love with each other. It was just something that, for me, was the first relationship that every experience that was just easy and just a natural progression. There was no trying to force it to make it work. I’ve never had a man like that ever before, that actually valued me in that way and communicated that openly to me. That was definitely an indication that this was a man that was worth investing into.

Men will easily fall in love with an authentic woman who owns who she is. Click To Tweet

That’s beautiful. You had somebody take your first photo with your future husband…


…and actually I had somebody take a photo two hours after I met Stephan, my husband. We met at a personal development event. I prayed for my true love 48 hours prior. Then 48 hours later exactly at [1:00] AM, which was when I prayed for him to show up, we met. Somebody introduced us and nine days later he proposed to me on a hot air balloon in Vegas.


Yeah, and I said, “No.” Nine months later I said, “Yes.” There are rules for dating. It seems like those rules are just for you to develop your inner intention and then you plan on how to do things. Then God or the higher power decides on how it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen when you’re ready. When the universe sees and recognizes that you are ready, then things happen, but you got to do the work and you got to do the inner work.

Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s one of the things that a lot of clients, when they come to me and you probably experienced the same thing, they’re like, “Just give me the rules. Just tell me what I have to do. How do I find a man?” Then they end up finding themselves in the process. By default, an awesome man comes naturally into their lives without them even have to go out and search for him. That’s when it becomes an easy, organic process. I think the rules are more like guidelines.

I don’t like to call them rules. There are things that I obviously, and you’re probably the same, you teach clients in order to be given that point of reference and at least a standard of what to expect in doing dating, to put the best foot forward. But there’s always like each and every person is different.  There has to be that flexibility. There has to be that compromise. At the end of the day, it’s also about your gut feeling, and knowing what’s wrong and right as well for you.

On this show, I had Alison Armstrong and I had Dr. Pat Allen. They’re very big when it comes to dating, relationships, and all that. They have a set of rules and things to do and not to do while dating. I’m wondering what is your take on it. You said, ‘Don’t kiss for two weeks.” What are your guidelines for dating?

I guess when it comes to that, it is more not necessarily, you have to do it like you don’t take up to two hours if he takes you. I’m not about that. I’m about, “Okay, look at the situation. What does the situation require of you in order to be able to make it better?” For instance, if the chase has gone, is it because you’re chasing him or is it because you’re not reciprocating? It’s not necessarily black and white all the time. It’s about just stopping and looking at the bigger picture in going, “Okay, I’m going to analyze the situation before I just do a common rule,” that a book told you to do, and actually ask yourself, “Okay, why is this happening? Am I self-sabotaging somewhere, or is it him?” That’s what I like to do instead.

I like to equip women with the wisdom to be able to know what to do themselves so that I don’t have to hold their hand through the process. I have the four C’s of dating. The four C’s of dating is basically the four different things to actually look for when you’re going on a first date when you going on the first initial couple of dates. For instance, what is he consistent in, which will reveal his character, chemistry, and compatibility? Those sort of things helps give women, again, a kind of guideline on what to look for when they’re going on a date with that guy.

I have obviously a red flag checklist, but I also have a grey flag checklist. A grey flag checklist is basically those flags when you’re not sure could go either way. You just need a little bit of help on knowing, “Okay, he someone that’s just come out of the marriage,” which could be a red flag because maybe he’s not ready for another marriage, or maybe his marriage is actually being broken down to the last five years and now he is ready to commit.

Again, I think I’m someone that personally uses more common sense and logic rather than just a black and white rule because so and so said to you or because it works for them. Each and every person that you date is different. We’re humans dating humans. We’re not rules dating rules. Anything that I do, I always try to get women to this halfway point. The halfway point is basically a balance point in the scale when you can make a sensible decision based on what you know from that person, what you know about yourself, and what you also know to be a healthy standard.

A little bit of mystery. That's what men are after. Click To Tweet

With all you said, is there a right time to say, “I love you”?

I think saying that you love someone can be said through actions first before words, especially if you know their love language. For instance, if you’re dating a guy and his love language is acts of service, it’s an easy way to start showing you love him through doing things for him, if that’s his love language because he’s going to feel loved more so than you saying it. I think whether it’s having sex with someone, whether it’s kissing, or whether it’s being vulnerable with your emotions, you have to do it at a point where you’re comfortable of whatever those consequences are going to be.

Whether that consequence is rejection or whether it’s not. That’s my rule when it comes to that. I personally wanted to kiss my man on the first day, but he didn’t want to kiss me because he wanted to prove to me that he wanted to value me and court me. It wasn’t because we have this rule. It was just that was his way of communicating how he valued me and valued what we had. We ended up saying that we loved each other, I think two months into seeing each other, but obviously, we’ve been falling in love with each other.

We both knew and we were communicating love. Just because someone says, “I love you,” doesn’t mean they actually do. It’s also about how they act. They act with love towards you as well. I was chatting with a girl last night actually and she was just like, “How do I tell a guy that I like him? I’m scared to screw this up. I’m so scared of rejection.” There’s always going to be some risk involved in love. That’s why we love it in the first place. It’s what makes it exciting. It’s what makes it worth it in the end. But if you can minimize that risk by understanding more about the person that you’re dating and how to be confident within yourself to communicate who you are and what it is that you feel without fear of their rejection or their reaction, then you’re going to feel a little bit more in control and you’re probably going to have a better idea of when the time is right.

Do you teach a few milestones when it comes to relationships? For women, it seems to be a little more urgent to know where they stand, because our biological clock is ticking. As soon as a woman crosses 30 or 35, she gets a little more stressed about dating. How soon do you think a woman should initiate the conversation about love and commitment, and how should she go about it?

Yeah. I think this is definitely where there’s a lot of tension between men and women. Women crave certainty. They crave certainty from relationships whereas men crave certainty from career usually, their purpose, their drive, and knowing that they’re leaving a legacy. That’s why a lot of the time, women put this pressure to know from a guy where it’s heading within the first couple of dates. The thing is, a man is not going to know that. He’s not thinking that. All he’s thinking is he’s taking a date at the time, “Am I attracted to her? Do I want to have a second date with her?” That’s all he’s thinking.

Then the next date and the next date, all he’s thinking is, “Am I attracted to her? Do I want to get to know more? How do I feel about myself when I’m with her? Do I feel good about myself when I’m with her? Great. I’m going to continue to date her.” They do have in the back of their mind eventually that they maybe want to commit to the person, but at that point, they’re not going to know if it’s you. At that point, you shouldn’t actually be asking if it’s him either because you barely know the person.

What I try to do is, instead of having these women focus on, “How soon can I ask him this and that,” well, how much do you know about this man to even want to have that commitment from him? You probably won’t know a guy for at least the first 12 weeks. My advice within the first 12 weeks of dating someone is, for the first month, you should only be seeing them once a week. That should be not even necessarily sleepovers or anything like that. I do have a little bit of a time schedule for this as well. If you’ve been dating someone for the first 12 weeks, you’re probably only seeing them between 12 to maybe 15 times during that time, which would be in different scenarios, different locations, you’ve probably been intimate with him.

That’s when you should be asking yourself, “Is this someone that I should continue to invest into? Is this someone that I can have the commitment with and I want the commitment from?” because if he’s the right man, then you’re going to have the rest of your life to spend with him anyway. If he’s not the right man, then you better are starting to identify that early on before you even focus about the commitment, because the last thing you want to do is have a commitment for someone who isn’t able to give you the fulfilling relationship that you want. There’s obviously hints within a man’s conversation.

For example, whatever a man jokes about is usually what he’s thinking. If he’s someone that constantly jokes about never wanting to get married, never wanting to have a relationship, or is feeling under pressure, then that’s what’s on the back of his mind. That could be an indication that he’s just not ready. If he openly says to you, “I’m not ready for a relationship,” it’s not your job to try and convince him that he is. Take that as for what it is. A lot of the time, men will say what it is that they want to say because they don’t have a hidden agenda for, “I’m going to say this to trick her into wanting a relationship with me.”

No. If he says he doesn’t want a relationship, chances are he doesn’t want a relationship. If you can recognize little hints earlier on in the way that he treats you, what he talks about and jokes about, and what he’s consistent in. As I said, one of the four C’s of dating is consistency. Whatever a man is consistent in reveals his character and intentions. If he’s someone that is always consistent in never committing, never following through, he’s not flexible, everything’s on his terms, then chances are he’s not ready to actually welcome someone into his life. It’s all about just what’s working for him and that is a red flag, that a man might not be commitment material.

It goes back into intention, the intention the woman has when she steps into that relationship, because if she is let’s say 35, 36, 37, and all she sees is a house, a ring, and, “I just want to get married, to get married,” she will ignore the red flags. She will become needy and she will not be aware of his behavior because her focus is on getting married rather than on, “Is this the right person? Do I really want it?” It goes back to self-value, the way she sees herself, and how much she loves herself, how much she feels fulfilled with herself.

When a woman is fulfilled, she doesn’t have to be 100% in love with herself. I don’t think there is any woman on earth that is 100% in love with herself. Some days we get up, we have bad days, and we criticize ourselves. But when you have a healthier relationship with yourself, and 99% of the time you love and respect yourself, this will be reflected in your relationship and with the person that you attract. If you love and respect yourself, you don’t even have to analyze the red flags. You’ll see them and you know how to handle them gracefully.

Yeah and that’s it. With women, when they’re dating, they’re not in the dating phase. They’re in the relationship phase which is the end-product phase. They’re expecting an end-product result in the initial first phase of dating, which a man is just incapable of giving her and that you shouldn’t want. Again, you’re focused too much on the commitments instead of the actual person that you’re committing to. It’s one of the reasons why when women do my courses, I tell them I don’t want you to date. Or any of my clients.

When they come to me I say, “I don’t want you to date for the first four weeks,” and they’re like, “What? But you’re a dating coach,” and I’m like, “Exactly, I want you to date yourself first and learn how to survive and thrive more to the point as a single person so that you’re not saying yes to someone just for the sake of saying yes.”

Yeah, do some house cleaning first, clear your baggage, heal your wounds, look deep into your intention and what you want in a partner, have a very strong intention about the way you want to show up in the world, and from that point of attraction, you will attract the right person.

Absolutely. That’s what makes the relationship a great relationship because you’re attracted in a whole person because you’re whole. That’s what’s going to keep that relationship thriving because then your happiness isn’t dependent on that person. It’s just added because that person is coming to your life. That’s what keeps the marriage strong because it’s not two people trying to complete each other. It’s two people that support one another, and also know how to be independent of one another to a degree as well emotionally.

Do you believe a woman should try and get her ex back?

This is a funny one. It’s something that I have experienced. For example, my horrible ex that I had that started this whole journey for me, we had an on and off relationship which was obviously very toxic. If a relationship is on and off all the time, it’s usually an indication of something toxic. In saying that, I have met and worked with clients who have broken up after a 10-year marriage, taken time apart, worked with themselves, going back together, and their marriage is now even stronger than ever.

I personally, with my relationship, was with my fiancé for three years, then we separated for one month because we had both to work out our own sort of things, we ended up working through that for that month, we got back together, and our relationship has been stronger than ever. For us it wasn’t, “Oh, I’m getting back with my ex,” it was more like, we had separated but it wasn’t because of malintentions or anything like that. It was just that’s what we needed in order to be able to continue to move forward.

I think if you’re going to get back with an ex, you have to look at why the relationship disintegrated in the first place. Getting back doesn’t solve the issue. It doesn’t magically make everything better. If those issues aren’t actually resolved before you get back together, if you’re not able to openly talk about them and communicate about them with each other and work on them together, then that relationship isn’t going to work. You’re just going to have the same problems over and over again. Yes, I agree. You can get back with an ex if it’s the right thing to do, you have the right intention, and if the repairing has begun. Otherwise, no.

That was a very good answer. What do you think makes a woman super attractive?

I think one of the major things that excite men—this is a brilliant thing because I work with so many men—they literally tell me what they find attractive in a woman. The number one thing is confidence, absolutely. In fact, it’s statistically proven that men prefer to have sex with women with the lights on rather than the lights off because obviously they’re visual and they love to see the woman that’s in front of them. I think if you’re confident in who you are and your body and as a person, then that’s going to make you even more attractive to him. And being authentic.

I think men really love an authentic woman who owns who she is, who’s able to be real about her faults, and how she can maybe be a better person, but who also is living and loving unapologetically as well because she doesn’t have to prove herself. Another thing that men find really attractive is a woman who is able to be independent and has a purpose, that she doesn’t necessarily need a man to fulfill her, but she wants a man to lead her in some way. That’s probably the three major key things that men find attractive in a woman.

One suggestion is, if you don’t feel comfortable with the lights on, you can always put red lights on. It feels bright and every woman looks gorgeous under a red light. You will feel beautiful and he will be able to see you. It’s a win-win situation.

I’ll try that.

This was such a great interview and I really appreciate you. I can really feel your heart and you definitely know what you’re talking about. You’re full of wisdom. Before we finish, two questions. One, what are your three top tips to living a stellar life and the second one is where can people find you.

Okay. My three top tips. The first one would be, you are your own rescue. That the fairy tale begins with you and not a man. If you want to really thrive as a woman in an out of any relationship, then learn the art of just how magnificent a relationship can be with yourself. Be your own hero instead of waiting for a man to be that. The second tip would be, work out what your purpose is. Your purpose is usually a cross between something that you want to do and give to the world and something that you’re good at. Just fly with that alliance.

There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing what your purpose is in this world. It’ll make you more attractive, it’ll make you happier, and it will give you the missing piece that no relationship can give you, which is contributing something to the world. The third to living a stellar life is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think a lot of the time, we assume we just have to figure this stuff out as we go. You can either work smart or hard in love, and life, and it’s a lot easier to work smart because you save yourself a lot more battles.

Get a hold of love education, get a hold of any resources, tools, mentors, the accountability team around you, and make your life easier. It doesn’t have to be that hard. You can find me basically either on my blog thedatingdirectory.co or any of my Instagram or Facebook pages which is just my name, @ReneeSlansky. I’ve always got lots of free resources for you ladies. My YouTube channel and of course, I’ve got my coaching courses, my blogs, and anything like that if people want to know more.

Beautiful. Thank you so much, Renee. This was great. I appreciate you.

My pleasure. Thank you so much, Orion.


Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Develop the strength to walk away from things that don’t serve your purpose. If you don’t feel happy, empowered, or inspired, you are in a toxic relationship.
✓ Take a breather. Don’t jump into the next relationship too quickly after a break-up. It takes time to heal and spending some time with yourself can help you determine what’s best for you.
✓ Try using dating apps when you feel ready to date again after a break-up. Online dating used to be a taboo, but now everyone does it. In fact, statistics show that more and more couples meet online.
✓ Evaluate which app you’re going to sign up for carefully. Apps such as PlentyOfFish or Tinder are popular but many people use them for “hooking up”. Make sure you consider female-friendly apps such as Bumble.  
✓ Don’t underestimate how crucial your profile is. Think of it as your business card in the online dating world. Remember: you only have an eighth of a second before someone swipes, so make sure your profile makes an impression.
✓ Select your profile pictures carefully. Renee’s advice is that you start with four. First is a great picture of yourself. Second is a photo of you doing something active. Third is a snap of you with your friends. Fourth is your “wow” picture – an image taken at a formal event that really shows you looking your best.
✓ Don’t share everything or write long personal essays in your bio. Leave some mystery so that you entice men into wanting to know more about you. Keep them intrigued so that they keep wanting more even after they ask you out on a date.
✓ Aside from dating apps, a great place to meet people is through meetup groups. If you’re into sports, books, or culture, find a community that holds social gatherings where you can connect with others over a common interest.
✓ Be open-minded and don’t overly romanticize the dating process. If you put pressure on yourself to meet “the one” you will make it a lot harder on yourself, and may overlook opportunities to meet suitable people.
✓ Check out Renee Slansky’s blog, The Dating Directory, for a regular dose of awesome  advice on dating and relationships.

Links and Resources

About Renee Slansky

Founder of the number 1 dating and relationship blog in Australia and top 30 world wide , Renee is a professional dating , relationship and life coach who’s mission is to bring love education to a generation and impact the dating culture. She writes for some of the largest publications worldwide and reaches 100’s of thousands monthly.





Facebook Comments