22nd of June 2015

Helping Joe, Episode 21


This week on Helping Joe, Tucker and Nils call Joe out on his bull***t and question what his mating goals really are when his actions and priorities do not line up with what he says he wants. They go on to explain how to have a relationship talk, why people self-sabotage, and why it’s difficult to actually do the work and change.


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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:

Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe


  • How & Why to have a “where is this going” relationship talk
  • What Nice Guy sexism looks like
  • “People get hurt when the expectations are different.”
  • “Part of the problem is that your behavior and what you think you want don’t line up”
  • How self-sabotage works

@Beginning – Updates to my rooms

Charlie helped me move 2 pieces of furniture into my room and I got the carpets professionally cleaned. But it still sucks and Tucker & Nils make fun of it, “baby steps”

Charlie’s girlfriend is an interior designer so we made plans for her to come over and give me tips on how to improve it.

@4:30 – Having a relationship / “where is this going” talk with girl I’m dating

Sex gets better each time. I’m staying harder longer and not coming too quickly.

But I still feel like I need to have the relationship talk with her just to set expectations and pump the breaks because I feel like she wants more (a serious relationship). It just seems like she wants to hang out with me a lot more than I want to hang out with her.

I’m seeing her 2-3 times a week which is a sign that we’re in a relationship. Nils mentions that she might already think that I’m her boyfriend. And that’s possible because we haven’t talked about it she just might have filled in that information gap with “yes, he’s my boyfriend now,” who knows.

“The less you talk about it and the longer you guys see each other, the more likely she is to assume that.” – Nils

We talked about this on Episode 19.

Tucker and Nils give some solid advice on how to do this (have that talk, tell each other what you want, manage expectations, etc.):

-The worst thing you can do is try to deal with this indirectly. Always better going at it directly (have an honest conversation with her about how things are going)
-It’s your right to understand what she wants and it’s her right to understand what you want. You need to make an accurate decision about your own lives based on that information. This requires a direct conversation.
-Ask her about what she wants, how she’s feeling right now. Let her show her cards first.
-One way to tell her this: “Hey I really like you. I want to keep seeing you the way that we are doing it now. I’m not ready for anything more serious. I want to be clear where I’m coming from.”
-The longer you wait, the worse it is. You have to be prepared for her to stop dating you (potential, but low % outcome)
-If you’re not looking for a serious, long-term thing and she asks “Why not?” you have to have an answer for that. (I tried to answer this here and it kinda sucked. They gave me shit for it.)

@11:00 – Nice Guy Sexism

What this looks like: “I’m responsible for how this woman feels. I have to take control of everything and make sure everything is perfect.”

This is one of the reasons why I get so nervous on dates because I feel responsible for her having a good time and for her liking me which is largely out of my control. She’s gonna think & feel how she’s going to feel and it’s mostly a reflection of her, coming from her, than it is of anything I do, I think.

I look at it as a performance or event (my performance) instead of having an interaction and just seeing this goes, do I like this person, are we similar, do we get along.

@14:00 – Why I don’t want a relationship

Basically, I don’t want to be her boyfriend or anyone’s boyfriend because I want to explore Austin, date other girls, and sleep with other girls.

Nils explains it in a more emotionally intelligent way here.

“Most modern relationships go until you agree that you are dating or in a relationship. When those roads (wanting different things, having different goals) start to diverge, that’s when people get hurt.” – Nils

“People get hurt when the expectations are different.” – Tucker

@16:00 – Feeling guilty and Joe gets called out

I don’t know why but I feel guilty, but I do. That she maybe wants more or likes me more and I don’t want more.

Nils calls me out: “How do you know?!” which was kinda funny but very true. “Give her some more credit as an adult female.”

Tucker calls me out for weird combination of:
1) Feeling bad, guilty, and ashamed unconsciously even though you’ve done nothing wrong AND you are presumptive and paternalistic,
2) Presumptive, paternalistic, assuming she wants you more of you

I think this is just all a consequence of me being too in my head, too self-conscious, over-thinking this… like a chick would… instead of just being open and honest about it and having a much-needed conversation that would clear this up. Then I wouldn’t have to keep running these scripts or playing out these scenarios in my head.

I need to validate or invalidate these guesses that I have about her and how she’s feeling and so we can get on the same page.

“There’s all these rules about when to have this talk… fuck all that… The right time to have this conversation is when you are having a lot of emotional [issues] from not having this conversation… Having these emotions and [crazy thoughts] is very common for guys.”

Nils makes a point about emotionally connectivity and relationship sex which kind of goes over my head.

How to do this: Directly ask her what she is looking for and what she wants & directly explain to her what you are looking for and what you want. Totally upfront and honest, then you won’t feel guilty.

@23:00 – Why I am dating this girl more AND other girls less (mating goals)

That’s not my goal or my stated goal and not having a relationship.

Nils asks a great question here and I have been worried about this for a couple weeks because I know there is a disconnect between what I wanted (what I was saying I wanted) and what I was doing.

I got comfortable dating this one girl and stopped dating other girls or putting in the effort there. To be honest, I was avoiding recognizing this and I’m glad he noticed it and brought it up.

“You’re acting like you’re in a relationship [but you said that you don’t want that]… You have to live your truth.” – Nils

“Look at the evidence in front of you… maybe part of the problem is that your behavior and what you think you want don’t line up.” – Tucker

I was going on a lot more dates earlier in this series but I kinda slowed down. I made excuses about being busier, doing more work, etc. which is kina truth but also kinda bullshit.

I got comfortable and stopped putting myself out there. This is a big problematic pattern I have of withdrawing and treating back into work or whatever instead of consistently putting myself out there and going on dates and metting new people and beign social with friends. I have this work ethic of “If you want to get ahead and be successful, you have to work on the weekends,” which is kinda sad and unhealthy emotionally. I don’t know where I got this but I’ve been carrying it around for a long time. I have probably missed a lot of good times and a lot of opportunities with friends, people, women because I thought I had to work on the weekend.

“If you heard someone else saying this, you would say that they are rationalizing.”
– Tucker

“You say you’re new and you want to explore, except you don’t explore. You want to be someone who explores.” – Nils

Nils is totally right in the sense that here what I say I want and what I do are not the same, not lined up or in sync. I don’t think I’m afraid to explore or to go out with new women, it’s just my default to not go out or to stay home and not put in the effort to meet new women. That’s why I’m on this show because it’s been a big problem in my life and I want to change it but man I keep fucking getting stuck in the same patterns of not putting myself out there enough.

“It’s impossible to be bad at exploring because all it is is going somewhere that you haven’t been before.” – Nils

“It doesn’t make any sense that I say “I’m bad at exploring”

Tucker points out how comical and ridiculous my reasoning is:
“You’re worried that this girl wants to date you more than you want to date her, but you haven’t asked her about it. You keep telling us about how you need to see other people, but you’re not seeing other people.”

Paths that are valid:
1. Date her exclusively
2. Date her and date other people
3. Date other women

Not valid: Walking in between or being in between because there’s not anything there.

Nils points out how I self-sabotaged with the improv girl:
“That was self-sabotage, not just missed opportunity. Timing was not the issue, action was the issue there.”
It’s hard to admit this but I think he’s right.

@34:00 – Logic VS Emotional talk again

I’m still not getting this. I think there’s gotta be a way to logically make sense out of what I do, but there’s not. It’s some deeper emotion, probably unconscious that expresses as self-sabotage or withdrawing or other weird things.

“The idea that people sabotage themselves is about as mainstream as it gets.”

I think I’m just having problems accepting this because it means I’m crazy or stupid.

“The literature on self-sabotage: If people don’t feel that emotionally that they deserve something, a lot of times they will unconsciously, unintentionally fuck it up.”

Episode 7 (@27:00) was a great example of this. I ignored a girl who was into me for no good reason.

“We can’t tell you what you want. You have to figure that out yourself, but we can point out when what you’re doing is not in line with what you say you want.”

This is why this doing this podcast is so great because for whatever reason, I’m not honest with myself about when this happens (actions don’t match up with desire).

@42:00 – My goals are good but I have to keep doing stuff or going out

“What you’re doing is finding a new way to turtle up and escape from emotions and people and the world. It’s amazing. You have figured out a way to look like you’re making progress without doing anything.” – Tucker

Bingo, yep, like I said above, that’s my default, to withdraw or turtle up and that’s I think what I’m doing here.

Nils beats The Path metaphor to death but it’s actually really good, really relevant here: “You have to actually walk the path. You racked up small wins for finding the path, starting down the path, engaging the path… right now you’re just standing still.”

@45:00 – Tucker gets angry that I write more than I talk

In the notes (these notes I’m writing in right here) I have time and space to think about what they are saying, review it multiple times and think more about it and write here. I should be doing this on the show but I guess it just takes more time for things to sink in and I don’t pick up everything they say the first go around.

@46:00 – You don’t like these facts. What are you going to do?

My plan going forward: Make more of an effort. Keep doing what I’m doing.

“Part of this is our fault. Once we got Joe to the point where he was meeting and dating 2-3 women a week, we just assumed that he would keep doing that. He did not.” – Tucker

“The counselors don’t leave rehab after the first week.” – Nils

Tucker takes some blame for this which is kind of funny but also lame because I should be doing this because I want to do it, not because I have other men telling me “Hey go do wtf you said you were going to do or said you wanted to do.” I felt guilty that I needed them to do this.

2 things going on:
Guilt and shame dating this girl.
Self-sabotage, fear, and withdrawal

Do you want to date multiple women or do you wish that you could do that (be someone who does that)?

@50:00 – Tucker shares a story about how he went through a similar experience.

He said he wanted a wife and kids but he wasn’t doing the things he had to do find a wife.

For me, this is a lot easier, just seeing 1-2 more girls a week, not finding a woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.

@52:00 – What to do by next week.

1. Go on 1-2 first dates with new women.
2. Have a talk with the girl I’m dating now.
3. Find new channels and places to meet women.

“You don’t want to find yourself in a relationship by default. Then you beat yourself up (self-resentment) projects onto her and causes shit. Make steps to disengage from the relationship and date other people, or accept that you are in a relationship.”

Same thing as the paths talk, I have to pick one or the other, standing in the middle of the road is where you get run over. Different metaphor but same shit I think.

@Ending – I wanted to talk about other stuff. I had so much other stuff to talk about.

“You always want to talk about nonsense stuff… We are bloodhounds for emotional problems because that’s where the real work is done.”
These are the core issues that if I fixed, a lot of these other more surface problems like being nervous on dates or leaving awful audio messages would be gone.

“We’ll build you a soul even if it kills us.” – Nils
This was pretty funny.

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