Frequent Dating Q+A with Me!

compatibility dating apps dating coach healthy communication healthy relationships online dating questions Mar 07, 2023
Question and Answer with Kelsey Wodnerlin Dating Coach

Dating can be an amazing, exciting experience and it is also often overwhelming. My audience, students, and clients are filled with important and thoughtful questions.  The challenges in the modern dating landscape are REAL AF.  I have collected together a bunch of questions that I frequently receive!  In this blog post - I share with you some of my juiciest answers!  I hope that by reviewing these answers, you'll have the tools to confidently navigate the dating world.

We'll discuss topics like what constitutes a "normal" relationship, why people might start and stop relationships, what to do when you miss signs someone likes you, and more!

You don't need to feel awkward or uncertain anymore; with the right knowledge, you can attract genuine love and trust into your life. So let's dive in and explore this thrilling world together!

advice on dating from relationship coach and life coach


Understanding Yourself in Dating and Relationships

Q: How can I ensure I don't lose myself in a relationship?

A: It is natural to want to invest time and energy into relationships; however, keeping your life and your relationship healthy is essential.

Here are some tips for staying true to yourself:

  1. Limit yourself to 1-2 dates a week on dating apps and 1-2 times per day with the same person.

  2. Don't compromise your own needs or abandon your interests to avoid losing the other person's interest.

  3. Keep up with your existing friendships, hobbies, and self-care practices.

  4. Don't cancel plans for your partner or make them your sole focus.

  5. Avoid obsessing over the apps or whether someone has responded to your messages.

  6. Keep a balanced perspective dating can be an exciting adventure full of fun, but it's important to maintain a balanced perspective.

  7. Keep up with your existing friendships, hobbies, and self-care practices so you don't run into any awkward mistakes!

  8. Pay attention to when you start feeling consumed by the search for a partner or by the relationship itself. This can be a sign that you need to step back and focus on yourself.

With these rules in mind, you'll find success and have an amazing time while dating!

Q: How can I overcome self-doubt in relationships? 

remove self doubt with online dating coach the love story

A: Self-validation is key to overcoming self-doubt and releasing the need for validation from others. When you validate yourself, you empower yourself to tolerate rejection and walk away from relationships that don't serve you.

Here's how to practice self-validation:

  1. Remind yourself why your emotions, interests, hobbies, thoughts, and behaviors make sense.

  2. Remember that you don't have to please everyone and that what one person dislikes about you, another person will like.

  3. Don't give too much weight to other people's opinions.

  4. Practice positive affirmations, which are self-validation in action. The thoughts you repeat to yourself become your truth.

  5. Use an affirmation journal to practice powerful affirmations daily.

Q: How to pick up on hints in dating/relationships? Missed opportunities I didn't know about until much later 

woman thinking about first date hired online dating coach

A: You don't have to be a mind-reader to pick up on hints in relationships!

Here are some tips to help you identify when someone is interested in you:

  1. Don't rely solely on hints. It's reasonable to expect the other person to tell you directly how they feel or ask you out directly.

  2. If you think someone may be giving you hints of interest, take the initiative to further inquire in an appropriate way, such as inviting them to lunch, coffee, dinner, or social activity. Avoid inappropriate methods, such as showing up at their place of work or interrupting them while they engage another activity.

  3. Accept that there will always be missed opportunities and don't take it personally.

Communication Skills in Dating and Relationships


Q: Why is it so hard to have/navigate conversations in online dating? We both message back and forth a few times or even consistently for a little bit then nothing.

A: 2 things:

  1. Dating apps are a numbers game. It is super common that you may be messaging someone. This is super common and part of this is moving along quickly and not taking it personally.

  2. Part of this is having a kick ass dating app bio + knowing what to say in the DMs to create interesting conversation, when you do that, you experience A LOT LESS of this! See this other post or get our freebie 3 things you need to put in your dating app bio

Q: How do you ask for reassurance in a new relationship? Without it screaming, "I'm scared"

A: Listen here ⬇️

The need for reassurance as you develop a bond with a new partner is totally NORMAL! and it's important to be able to ASK for that reassurance healthily (no testing, fishing for it, or hinting and expecting your partner to know what you need)

Even in relationships "You aren't a mind-reader! And neither is the person you are dating!"

Dating App Culture

 online dating finding romantic partners and satisfying relationships

Q: Why have dating apps made people so expendable? 

A: Dating apps have brought access to a large pool of potential partners, leading to the perception of people being expendable. However, this also means that it is even more important to stand out on the app to attract your dream partner.

A well-crafted dating app profile can make a significant difference. It's crucial to adopt an abundance mindset for internet dating and develop self-confidence in your approach to online dating life.

Remember that you are special and unique, and when you meet the right person, they will not see you as expendable.

Q: How can I find a long-term relationship on dating apps?

man with coaching services relationship coaching online dating

A: To find a long-term relationship on a dating site and apps, you need to position your profile to attract compatible partners who are also looking for a long-term relationship.

Starting with surface-level qualities like work, location, or hobbies can create a sense of familiarity, but these don't predict long-term compatibility.

Instead, focus on aligning on big things like values, identities, and worldviews, which are key to your long term relationships and-term compatibility. When you start with interests, you can end up wasting time and getting emotionally invested in things that don't matter.

I recommend starting with deeper things like values, identities, and worldviews, or at least incorporating them with surface-level interests. This is the GPA strategy (values, identities, worldviews, and interests).

Q: Which dating apps should I use to find the right person? 

online dating sites to enhance dating life find right partner

A: The big four dating apps are Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and POF. Deciding which one(s) to use can depend on various factors, such as your preferred age range of partners, format preference, and the values of your dream partner.

For partners under 45, you may consider Tinder, POF, Bumble, Match, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge. For partners over 45, you may consider Match, POF, and EHarmony.

Tinder allows for a free-form bio, but Hinge and Bumble have specific prompts for answering that align with the GPA strategy.

Some apps have a feature that allows you to express interest in someone's profile, like a Superlike on Tinder or a rose on Hinge.

Bumble emphasizes equality and feminism, making it a good option if your dream partner values equality.

Raya is exclusive and meant for famous, wealthy, high profile individuals, but it is not recommended for most people as it can take 6+ months to be approved and is dependent on your number of Instagram followers

The most active time on dating apps is typically November to February, but there is no best time of year to join.

I recommend trying two apps at once and reducing to one if you become overwhelmed. Avoid becoming dependent on the apps for validation and maintain a healthy balance with your individual life.

Understanding Dating and Relationships

guys on first date

Q: What is normal in dating/relationships?

A: When it comes to dating and relationships, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all definition of "normal." Every person has their own unique set of expectations and boundaries, and what might be reasonable for one couple may not be for another.

I'd go as far as to suggest that "normal" is not an especially useful paradigm, and suggest that we consider things from a lens of reasonable or unreasonable.

To determine what's "normal" or reasonable for your relationship, it's key to have open and honest communication with your partner. This way, you can work together to establish healthy boundaries that work for both of you.

Q: Why do some guys initiate relationships but then back away?

A: This is a common phenomenon that often stems from attachment issues.

People with an avoidant attachment style tend to be self-reliant, independent, and guarded and may struggle with co-regulation and intimacy in relationships.

On the other hand, people with a disorganized attachment style may have had abusive or unpredictable parents and may experience a mix of anxious and avoidant traits. This can result in a fear of abandonment and self-sabotaging behavior.

If you're experiencing this, it's important to understand that you can't change the other person, but you can work on recognizing these patterns and learning to manage your attachment fears.

Q: What is the meaning behind gifts in a new relationship?

love bombing in dating world harms self love

 A: Giving gifts in a new relationship can be a way of expressing affection, but it's important to be aware of the concept of "love-bombing." Love-bombing is when someone showers you with excessive affection, attention, and gifts to manipulate or control you. Often love-bombing is an early sign of what will often far down the line become toxicity or abuse. 

An example might be taking you on extravagant first dates that cost disproportionate sums of money to what you know about the person.

It's important to pay attention to the motivations behind the gifts, as well as the overall dynamics of the relationship. Small gestures, like bringing you a coffee or doing something thoughtful for you, can also be meaningful ways to show affection in a new relationship.

Q: How do I figure out how I feel about my partner, are my doubts about him or about me?

A: When trying to figure out how you feel about your partner, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few key questions.

Does your partner align with your values and beliefs? Do you enjoy spending time together and feel romantically attracted to them?

If the answer to these questions is yes, your doubts are likely more about you and your insecurities, rather than your partner. However, if you've had a change of heart and no longer feel the same way, it could be a sign that your attachment fears are being triggered, or that you've simply lost interest.

Q: I like him but I don't get butterflies. Is that bad?


don't get me wrong - you have to be romantically attracted to them (or else it's just friendship). but "butterflies" are not necessary + in fact, focusing TOO much on how it FEEEELS can cause you to pick the wrong person for long-term compatibility

i teach what ACTUALLY matters for long-term compatibility inside the free masterclass


Q: What should I do if I have the fear of a new relationship ending like my past dating history?

A: If you're experiencing fear and anxiety about a new relationship ending like your past ones, it's understandable and normal to feel that way. It's important to remember that you're not alone and that many people experience similar fears. To help manage these fears, you may want to consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor. They can help you work through your past experiences and develop healthy coping strategies for managing your fears in future relationships.

Q: What constitutes a good relationship while dating?

core values underpin deal breakers in love life

A: A good relationship while dating is not just about meeting someone, having a spark, and jumping into a relationship because it feels like a connection.

It's important to approach dating with intention and focus on your potential partner for traits that matter for long-term compatibility. This includes aligning on deeper values, worldviews, and communication skills. In a healthy relationship, both partners should work together to co-create a healthy culture rooted in shared values, personal growth, trust, and healthy communication. It means taking the time to work through conflicts in a constructive and resolution-focused way, rather than relying on fiery make-up sex

Q: What are some of the red flags to look out for in a relationship?

giving advice on healthy relationships about red flags

A: In a relationship, it's important to be aware of warning signs that could indicate trouble ahead. Some red flags to look out for include:

  1. Lack of communication: If your partner is unwilling or unable to communicate with you about important issues, it could be a sign that they are not fully committed to the relationship.

  2. Lack of trust: Trust is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship. If your partner is constantly questioning your motives or behaviors, or if they have a history of cheating or lying, it may be time to reassess the relationship.

  3. Controlling behavior: If your partner is overly controlling, it can be a sign that they are trying to control you. This can be a warning sign of abuse or a toxic relationship.

  4. Disrespect: If your partner regularly belittles, insults, or dismisses your feelings, it can be a sign that they do not value or respect you.

  5. Lack of effort: Consider whether your partner is truly committed to the relationship if they are not putting in the effort to make it work.

  6. Remember, every relationship is different, and it's important to assess your situation and identify what is and isn't working for you. If you're experiencing any of these red flags, it may be time to have a conversation with your partner about your concerns.

Q: What are some tips for maintaining a healthy relationship?


A: Maintaining a healthy relationship takes effort and commitment from both partners. Here are some tips to help you and your partner keep your relationship strong:

  1. Communicate openly and honestly: Communication is key to any healthy relationship. Make sure you and your partner are both comfortable discussing your thoughts, feelings, and needs.

  2. Show appreciation: Let your partner know that you appreciate them and all that they do for you. A little bit of gratitude can go a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship.

  3. Prioritize quality time: Spending quality time together is important for maintaining a strong bond. Make time for each other, whether it's through a date night, a weekend getaway, or simply taking a walk together.

  4. Maintain your independence: While it's important to have a strong connection with your partner, it's also important to maintain your independence and interests.

  5. Work through conflicts together: No relationship is perfect, and conflicts are bound to arise. When they do, it's important to work through them together constructively and respectfully.

  6. Seek support: If you're struggling with your relationship, consider seeking support from a therapist, relationship coach, or trusted friend.

By following these tips and putting in the effort to maintain a healthy relationship, you can help ensure that your relationship stays strong and fulfilling for years to come.

Are we moving too fast? Dating and Relationship Timelines

finding love healthy paced love life

Q: What is a reasonable timeframe to date before marriage?

A: There is NO right answer to this question. There's no magic number of months or years. A few things that DO matter for a successful marriage - basing your decision for who you choose as your life partner on sh*t that ACTUALLY matters for long-term love life compatibility.

Giving the relationship enough time to go through some hard-ass life sh*t together before you make it legal. To see each other stressed, sad, sick, angry, grieving, etc...*at least* discussing important life topics and how you expect to handle things such as finances, illness, and house chores as a couple.

Q: What is a reasonable timeframe to date before engagement?

 A: See answer for marriage!

Q: What matters for deciding to move in together?

A: When it comes to deciding whether or not to move in together, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page about your future together.

Are you both committed to true love for each other and looking for a long-term relationship?

Are you both ready to take this step and make a long-term commitment to living together?

It's also important to assess your current living situation and determine whether living together makes sense for both of you in terms of convenience, practicality, and affordability.

Finally, it's important to have open and honest communication with your partner about your expectations, desires, and needs for your shared living space.

Moving in together is a big step, but with careful consideration and effective communication, it can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for both partners.

Help me Find the Right Person!

dating advice to help find lasting love and your love story

Q: How to find someone that is a match for you? Q: How to find someone that meets your standards? Q: How to find the right kind of person? Q: How to meet quality people?

A: When it comes to finding a partner that is a match for you, it can seem like a daunting task. However, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of finding someone who meets your standards.

Firstly, consider using online dating platforms, but make sure to optimize your profile to accurately reflect who you are and what you are looking for in a partner. This can help pre-select individuals who are a good match for you from the start.

Additionally, it's important to have open and honest discussions with potential partners about your values, beliefs, and goals in life. Asking the right questions can help weed out individuals who may not be a good fit for you.

And finally, having vulnerable and important conversations can help establish a deeper level of alignment and ensure that you are both on the same page in terms of what you want in a committed relationship.

Q: How much should you initiate vs. letting the guy initiate...? 

A: As I say in Magnetic Dating Lab, the only rule is there are no rules old rules about who should text who first, who should initiate dates, etc are outdated and NOT relevant to healthy love. instead, focus on bigger over-arching principles like reciprocity, commitment, + honest communication. i share my full dating guidelines inside Magnetic Dating Lab 🧪🧲

Q: Are there rules as to who texts who first after a date?

A: Nope! For more on texting communication ➡️ checkout this article!

Q: What to text if you want a serious relationship but don't want to scare them away?

A: the fear of scaring them away is so human 💖

AND - this is not the vibe instead of asking "what if i scare them away?" "do they like me?" "what do they think about me"...i want you to be asking yourself "are they a good fit for me?" "do i like them?" i want you to date from a place of confidence + self-assuredness. if your authentic self scares away someone, they are not your dream partner. it's a #thankunext 👏

and we move along ✨

Q: When they don't text a lot, how do I control my emotions and not spiral into self-doubt?

A: this is an EXCELLENT question 👏

i used to struggle with this too, so first of all, you're not alone! it's easy to panic and jump to conclusions when you think you're being ghosted or when someone isn't texting as much as you would like. instead, you want to pause, take a breath, use self-soothing skills (teach these in texting-communication-cure 🔥) and remind yourself you can't assume WHY they aren't texting. even if they HAVE lost interest, remember that nothing is wrong with you and you are so worthy! 💖

if you want to send something to them, you want to make sure it's not accusatory or emotionally vomiting onto them 💯👌

in the Ghosting Guide, I share 3 options for ways to check in if you think you've been ghosted👻🙈

Q: I am in the stage of realizing I don't need to follow socially constructed rules, but also worry about being 2 needy / sending daily texts.

new york communication styles

A: everyone is different when it comes to how frequently they prefer to text, call, FaceTime, etc! ⭐

i recommend discussing this on the front end. some of my fave ways to ask up front: "i'm a big texter. are you a play-by-play texter or a "need-to-know" texter?" "how often do you like to communicate? i know some people prefer daily and others like some space"

sharing LOTS more on this in the course the Texting Communication Cure ✨📱🩺🔥

Q: Is there an appropriate time to bring up certain topics?

A: people differ in regards to when they are comfortable discussing certain things.

my take is: if you're serious about finding your life partner, you need to know the deeper things that ACTUALLY matter for long-term compatibility and it's okay to START with that stuff instead of small talk. if you feel comfortable discussing something and the other person is turned off by it... they are not your dream partner. its a #thankunext + move along.

THAT SAID: if someone responds calmly to let you know they aren't ready to share about that topic yet, that's perfectly okay!

as well, I think it's always a good idea to say something like this regarding sensitive topics (trauma, health, family, politics, religion, etc...): "I'm curious about __. are you comfortable sharing about that? or ask your question and follow it with "and of course, if you aren't comfortable sharing about that. i understand."

I want a Dating and Relationship Coach!

Q: Are your courses fully online?

A: All courses are 100% accessible online + are totally self-paced. 💯 meaning you can watch when you want and at your own pace! 🔥

The community in the courses is fairly active inside the comment section with Q+A. Additionally, we have a free community that you can sign up for access to!

You never have to be available at a certain time 👌even the live courses are recorded in case you can't make it live!

Q: For courses or masterclasses does the time zone difference matter?

A: You never have to be available at a certain time 👌all live courses are recorded in case you can't make it live!

Q: When working with you 1:1, does the time zone difference matter?

A: For 1:1 high-level coaching if it involves "zoom" sessions timezone differences play a part and can make scheduling a bit more challenging.

However, I also offer a service only using Voxer - a walkie-talkie app (also included in the sessions package).

I have had 1:1 clients across the globe using that, because its voice note/walkie-talkie even keeps things personable, allows for flexible and timely responses, and has been used to immense success with numerous clients!

Additionally, for the time that you are enrolled in 1:1 coaching, you have access to the entire suite of courses and masterclasses!

Q: Why are dating coaches so expensive? Can't I just ask my friends for free dating advice?

dating coaching is better for advice than asking friends

A: "expensive" is a relative term. I think trialing and erroring on your own is expensive. "out of my budget" is a more accurate phrase. I was in school till I was 25. I know how it feels to not be earning income.

I charge my value.

  1. I have a bachelor's degree and completed a master's degree in 3 years.

  2. I have 6 years of clinical experience.

  3. I'm trained in 2 forms of specialized therapy (Emotion-focused therapy - EFT & Dialectical behavior therapy - DBT). As such, I have worked as a relationship counselor and know how to help folks find healthy relationships

  4. Multiple years of relationship coaching experience

you're paying for expertise. you can ask your friends for free. you will find that you get different opinions depending on who you ask. friends are well-meaning, and they will project their biases and own wounding onto you with their relationship advice.

Dating and Relationships Challenges and Blocks

dating coaching services help reduce frustration and remove challenges

Q: Dating when other parts of life are not where you want them to be

A: in my opinion, readiness to date isn't about where you live or what your job is - it's about emotional + mental stability and health.

are you in a good place mentally + emotionally? Are you working beyond your past relationships?

If you feel stable and have processed past relationships, then dating may be a positive step for you, even if you are still working towards your ideal living situation or job.

On the other hand, if your current circumstances are affecting your personal wellness, it may be best to focus on self-care and growth before pursuing romantic relationships.

Q: What if you're compatible and find is values etc. are attractive but you're not physically attractive to them?

A:  i always say consider a scale from o-5 on physical attractiveness,

if you're feeling they are a 0, i generally say no.

if you feel even an I or 2, yes!

i talk about this muchhh more in-depth inside Magnetic Dating Lab, including how to tell whether to give it another chance or call it quits, how to know whether to go on a second date, etc *


Q: what do you believe when your partner says they don't have feelings for someone, but you think they have been flirty with them? AND what do you do when you consider your partner's actions flirtatious and inappropriate, but they don't?

lasting relationship have trust and respect

A: woof. these are HARD situations! I have experienced them both before. They involve attachment, trust, and assumptions about your partner's intentions.

the answer? a combo of self-work regarding trust issues and communication between partners to agree on boundaries. it's wayyy too much for an IG story, but i'll be sharing my full response inside Master Your Attachment Style masterclass ✨

About the Author and Dating Coach

best dating coach with life coaching program for dating success kelsey wonderlin

Kelsey Wonderlin is a licensed therapist, mental health professional, and dating coach located in Nashville, TN in the United States. She has been featured in the NY Times, by T-Mobile, and on W Radio. Her courses serve over 6,000 students all across the world hailing from 78+ countries and 6 continents! You can follow her for free content on her IG @kelseywonderlin

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