It was my pleasure to interview Australia’s top sexpert Dr. Nikki Goldstein about her new book, “Single But Dating – A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age” I love Nikki’s authentic approach to dating – she encourages people to relax and be themselves without the game playing. But there’s something more in her advice. A wise perspective we can all use to improve our intimacy.
What inspired you to write your book on being Single but Dating?
After coming out of a long term relationship and exploring my dating options, I felt as though there was so much shame put on me for not being in a relationship. And I hated every time I had to declare that I was single either getting an offer of a set up or a look of pity when even though I was single there was no lack of men in my life. I felt that there was no label that suited the life I was living or described it in a more positive way. I was also sick of being told what to do and how to date as though there was some rule book. I wanted the freedom to work out what was right for me but didn’t always feel as though I had the tools to do so.
Can you share one of your most successful dates and one of your most disastrous dates that offer valuable lessons?
The worst date I had was with a guy I had been chatting to online. He was a bit older than me but attractive in his photos. We had been talking and texting for a short period of time before he asked me out. When I got to the bar he was very different from his picture ( and looked much older) and there was nothing really to talk about. I knew he wasn’t into me and he knew I wasn’t into him. I sat there sipping my cocktail praying for the end. When we said goodbye, there was no mention of another catch up from both of us and it was extremely awkward. But at least the feeling was mutual. Sometimes it can seem like it would work on paper or from what they tell you on the phone, but if there is no chemistry there there is no chemistry. I really think we need to use the online world as just another avenue to meet people, like an online bar. But you still need to go out and see them in person as things might not transpire.
One of the most successful dates I had was soon after I had frozen my eggs. I had been set up with a guy by mutual friends and whilst he didn’t look like my type, I didn’t think I had anything to loose to at least go and meet him. My head space was a lot more calm and relaxed and I was open to just going with the flow and exploring a connection. We had a lovely first date and he was a great person to be out with. It was the first time I wasn’t analyzing him or the situation or tying to work out if there could be a future . I was just about to be present and enjoy his company. I finally had that lightbulb moment of this is how dating should be and a healthy mind set to be dating someone with. We didn’t work out in the long run but we did date for a bit. Our decision to not continue a relationship was based on factors once we got to know each other better.
Many young women are comfortable using online dating, but what about older divorced or widowed women, what advice do you have for them?
People use online dating these days but many still have reservations about it, young and old. Some people feel as though it takes away the romance from meeting someone. But it gives us more options and we need to utilize the technology that’s there. I think a balance is good. Try dating in the physical world but also have a presence online. Choose a site or app that is right for you in terms of the people you are looking for. Where you choose to date can say a lot about what type of dates you are after. There is now a dating site for every different niche so it might take some searching to find one that is right for you. There is no group these days that has been left out of the online dating world. But when you do jump on line, make sure to use it as just a way to meet people not a forum to build online relationships. When you talk to someone for so long because you are trying to feel more comfortable with them, you can build up false expectations and also a connection with a false version that someone can portray over the phone. Have a chat and then go meet them in public. It’s important to see if the in person connection is there.
How important is sex in a successful relationship?
It’s important if it’s important to you. For some people sex is a must and for other’s it’s just not such a big deal and might not be as present as in other relationships. That’s ok if both people are on the same page and intimacy and bonding can be built in other ways. But on a personal level I do believe sex can be such a benefit to a relationship. It’s a way to bond, to feel close to someone to feel pleasure and intimacy. It’s also a way you can feel good about yourself and your body and benefit from the hormones that are released. If you are not having sex often, it’s important to find other ways to achieve these things.
What’s your next book going to be about?
The areas I’m looking at exploring now are fertility and helping couples solve that question “how do we spice things up.” I feel as though there are a lot of couples out there who are struggling in the bedroom and I want to help that average couple who are scared about seeking sex and relationships advice or don’t know where to start. Keeping things going sexually in a long term relationship can be difficult and I think we need to be more open about the fact that most of us will and do find it a struggle at some stage. I want to help give more useful solutions instead of the fluffy usual ones.
About Dr. Nikki Goldstein
Real, poised and self-assured; she’s Australian’s modern day expert on all things relating to sex, dating, relationships and EVERYTHING in between.
She has a unique ability to normalise the subjects of sex and relationships and her fresh, balanced and candid views make her instantly relatable and approachable.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from San Francisco’s esteemed Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality; and is a highly credible authority on the topics of love, sex, dating, romance and relationships.
She appears regularly on the Seven Network, writes monthly for Maxim and Rescu and is a regular contributor to Cleo, Dolly, Cosmo, Daily Mail, Askmen.com, She Says & Latte Life. She can also be heard across Australia’s airwaves, including 2UE, 4BC, i98, Mix (now KIIS) FM, the Edge 96 and across Austereo’s national network.
Voted Australia’s Best Sex Educator for 2012 and 2013, she’s young, bright, honest and already has a credible background many peers would envy.
Prior to receiving her doctorate, Nikki worked in mediation at Relationships Australia for couples going through divorce. It was during this time she was exposed to a key reason why Australian marriages break down. “These traditional relationships were buckling due to societal pressure to conform, a lack of knowledge and education, little or no positive role models and ultimately a lack of communication.”