Defensive Dating — A Challenge for Every Age and Gender

Dr T J Jordan
5 min readJun 7

When we’re looking for love, we need a dose of authenticity as well as some self protection.

Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

Dating is a dangerous game. Our tender minds and hearts get wounded by rejection — and we’re confused about when to engage our bodies. We try to play the game well — but we tire of gamesmanship when we’re seeking long term love.

Knowing when to protect ourselves and when to be vulnerable is a very difficult challenge regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. We need authenticity but we also need safety as we search.

Without authenticity, we cannot be “seen” by our potential partners — and they will be unlikely to let us see them. When we hold ourselves back, we transmit a silent signal of danger — and everyone catches the “high alert” message.

But if we’re using our emotional intelligence well, we know that reveals should happen at a skillful pace — neither everything all at once nor nothing at all. We can enjoy the process of opening the lotus thoughtfully.

We often find ourselves awkwardly trying to strike a balance between getting to know each other and protecting ourselves from each other. We need to be careful about physical protection — and this concern permeates all genders. But we also find ourselves facing some unavoidable risks.

Sometimes we get stuck.

Defensive Dating

This practice is not just for women anymore. Online connections have become the predominant way to meet potential lovers, whether for sex alone or for life partnerships.

The days of in-person meetings were challenged by the internet and murdered by Covid.

But we humans have some built-in threat detection systems that don’t function fully in remote situations.

Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.