Why do people sometimes fall in love with someone who is all kinds of wrong for them? Their friends and family see lots of red flags about their partner, but they themselves miss these warnings entirely, sometimes to catastrophic consequences. 

My guest today argues that these kinds of errors in relational decision-making happen when someone lets his heart rule without also heeding his head. His name is John Van Epp, and he’s a therapist and the author of the book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. We begin our conversation discussing what society’s default template for creating a successful relationship looks like, and how it leads people astray. John then defines what makes a jerk, a jerk, and the signs that you’re dating a jerk. He then explains why it is that people so often miss these signs, by using a model of how attachment develops in a relationship; I think this model is super useful in understanding relational dynamics and you don’t want to miss it. We then discuss why men need to do a better job in helping to pace relationships, instead of only letting women set the tempo. We end our conversation discussing the things you need to know about a person that you’re forming a relationship with, including their relationship skills, family life, and values, before you escalate your commitment to them.

Show Highlights

  • What’s the template people often fall back on when it comes to dating and marriage?
  • How John defines a “jerk” in a relationship 
  • What happens if you find out only later (even much later) that your significant other is a jerk?
  • How relationships get too intimate too quickly 
  • The stages of how a relationship should progress (yes, there’s a lot of research on this!) 
  • What roles do men and women play in this pacing?
  • Is it true that “happy wife = happy life”?
  • What does it mean to really know someone? 
  • Why is it harder in our modern world to get to know people?
  • What are the 5 key areas in which you should get to know someone?
  • What Seinfeld can teach you about conscientiousness

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With John 

Love Thinks website (use code “artofman” to get a 20% discount on courses) 

Love Thinks on Instagram

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The post Podcast #584: How to Avoid Falling in Love With the Wrong Person appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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