Episode 88: Dr. Alex Benzer: The Tao of Dating

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When he was a Harvard undergrad, soon-to-be-Dr. Alex Benzer noticed how difficult it was for the bright, beautiful people all around him to find, meet and attract meaningful love relationships. After getting his Bachelors degree from Harvard, studying Eastern wisdom and getting a Masters in Philosophy from Cambridge, and also getting his medical doctorate from UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Alex collected what he knew about Men, Women, Dating, and the idea of the Tao, the Way, and produced 2 great books- The Tao of Dating for Men, and his latest, The Tao of Dating for Women.

Join us for a fun chat about men, women, relationship, fulfillment, spirituality and so much more. And don't miss Dr. Alex's great exercise for you try at home.

Transcript

Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August, and today on the show we are going to be talking about the Tao of dating. We’re going to be talking about a smart woman’s guide to embracing her inner goddess and to finding her fulfillment, ‘cause we’re talking to Dr. Alex Benzer, who’s the author of the just released The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Embracing Your Inner Goddess and Finding the Fulfillment You Deserve. He’s also the author of The Tao of Dating: The Thinking Man’s Enlightened Guide to Success With Women. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, and he’s got an MD degree from the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, and also I notice a Master’s of Philosophy from Cambridge University. He’s a certified clinical Hypnotherapist and has consulted with fortune 100 companies. He writes for huffingtonpost.com, and he maintains his own hypnotherapy practice in the L.A. area. So welcome to the show Alex.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Thanks for having me Chip. Great to be here.

Chip August: I’m just, I liked your book. I read your book, I always like things which mix the spiritual with the practical. I’m a little curious though, why did you write it, why’d you write a book, and particularly why did you, a man, write a book telling women about how they can find fulfillment?

Dr. Alex Benzer: That’s an excellent question Chip, and there was a general reason and there was a very personal reason behind it. The general came about when I was an advisor for undergrads at Harvard, and I’d sit down with them for dinner just, you know, hanging out with them, chatting and seeing what’s going on with their lives, and dating was a pretty frequent topic that would come up and how little of it was actually happening on campus what was shocking. And so, I was like, “Okay, what’s going on here?”, and I realized, you know, I was in their shoes and when I was one of them I had the same issue, and I’d come a ways since then, I’d figured out some stuff on my own, I’m like, “You know, these are great guys. They shouldn’t have to suffer. They shouldn’t have to go through the same trial and error that I did.” So I thought, you know, it’d be good to give them a book because Harvard kids, they’re pretty good at learning stuff that’s in books. So that was kind of the first step, and that got me moving to write the book, but it didn’t get me to finish the book. What got me to finish the book was actually a dinner I had with two of my old classmates from college, and we sat down and we were eating and one of them, they’d both been divorced, one of them was dating a guy, and this guy that she was dating, it, you know, she was supporting him, he was a starving artist type, and at the same time he was kind of being emotionally abusive, so it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I was like, “Why are you staying with this guy?” And later on it came to light that he was actually beating her up, and that just absolutely broke my heart, and I thought, you know, if the, if this book can help one amazing woman like this friend of mine, kind of gather up her power again and really go after what she wants and what makes her happy, ‘cause she deserves the best… I mean she’s just an amazing, amazing woman, she’s was smart, she’s sweet, she’s beautiful, she’s kind, and, you know, she just wasn’t being treated right. So that was kind of the motivation that got me to finish the book. So this is for all the women out there who are like my friend that was actually featured in the introduction, and yeah, giving them a way to get back their power and really get the fulfillment that they deserve in their love lives.

Chip August: Now I notice you wrote one book for men and you wrote one book for women. Are they, are they sort of the same advice, just one written for men, one written for women, or is there, was it more difficult to write for women? I mean, tell me about that a little bit.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Yeah, the book for men I finished in about three months. So I just kind of set it up, wrote the outline, pumped it out. And I thought, you know, the book for women should take about the same. The book for women took about two and a half years…

Chip August: Wow!

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well actually because I am not a woman, so that was tough.

Chip August: I thought you had a pretty deep voice for a woman, yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Thanks, I appreciate that. Always, the reassurance always helps. But, yeah, for the woman I was like, “Look, I don’t have a woman’s brain. Who am I to try to delve inside and try to figure out what they’re thinking?” So my approach is more from the point of view of the man, saying, “Look, you know, this is how men think, this is what makes you attractive to a man, and these things that you do in the presence of men, you know, makes them feel great, this other thing that you do maybe not so great.” So substantially there’s, there’s a substantial amount of overlap between the two books, mainly because it’s about human beings, it’s about people and the principles of eastern wisdom, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, all this stuff, they’re universal. So those apply. But there’s some stuff in there that’s going to be different from, from what the women and the men… I mean, your average guy probably isn’t wondering how to embrace his inner goddess…

Chip August: I don’t know. You know, I don’t want to jump ahead, but when you were talking about yin and yang, I definitely noticed, I might, I might be trying to embrace my inner goddess, so… But we’ll come back to that, we’ll come back to that in a little bit.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Maybe just on Wednesday’s, but, you know, the rest of the time…

Chip August: I am curious though a little bit here, so all of your background, tell me about this, your own background in the Tao, in Taoism and, you know, like, what’s, what brought you to bring Taoism to dating, you know?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Yeah, that’s a funny story. I used to work in a bookstore when I was a kid in high school, and I always saw this book called The Tao of Pooh, and I always wondered, “What the hell is it all about?” And finally, you know, my senior year I bought it and I read it in college, I was like, “This is really cool.” And, and then in med school I got the Tao of Edging, I read that, and since then I read it hundreds upon hundreds of times and, you know, probably has it permeating every, every fiber in my, in my muscles, and I just always found the philosophy very empowering, and yet, at the same not doctrinare, not imposing in any way. It’s just like look, this is the way the world works; you can go, flow with it in which case you’ll probably be happy, you can try to struggle against it in which case you probably won’t be happy. So I’ve been studying that on my own for over a decade or so. And then, and then I started doing Yoga too. That started about 10 years ago, and there’s a lot of overlap between Yoga philosophy, Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita, Taoism, all these things, they point to one kind of truth. And I found that as a scientist a lot of truths converge, and so there was convergence between the scientific and the Taoist truths. These are, these are two aspects of my studies, which I, which are very close to my heart, and I thought what if I can bring them together so the science would give you the practical aspects of what to do, while the eastern wisdom, the ancient wisdom that’s been around for 2500 years tells you, you know, how to go about how to think about things and how to be.

Chip August: Well I want to say to my listeners, if you’re hearing all this I want you to know that while the book is filled with all kinds of very simple spiritual information, it’s not a heavy tome here, it’s not, it doesn’t read like it’s, like it’s science homework and it doesn’t read like it’s class and spirituality homework. It reads like you’re talking about real people, and some of the basic principles that make for a happier experience dating. So…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Thank you, I really appreciate that ‘cause that’s, that was one of the efforts of the book, which was to bring all the stuff, the masi meseoteric and the strange and out there, and make it really useable. It’s like, you know, this is not some high fluitent stuff that is inaccessible, this is right here right now, and you can just read this and start doing it immediately.

Chip August: So I want to kind of dive into this thing a little bit, and I want you to just, you start with, well I don’t know if you start, but early in the book you talk about sort of five principles that are kind of the guiding outline for what you talk about as the Tao of dating. And could you just kind of mention those principles and then we’ll, maybe we’ll go into a little detail on some of those.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Sure. The first one is wealth consciousness, and I think that if you’re going to take one thing away from this whole discourse, it’s all about wealth consciousness, and the idea that there is abundance and the more you make yourself aware of the abundance, the more abundance becomes aware of you and comes into your life. And the second one is enlightened self-interest. And that’s the notion that the more you act in accordance to you long term self-interest, and that’s a self-interest, not somebody else’s interest, your interest, but in the long term the better off you’re going to be. If you use that as your decision making rubric, you’re going to do well. And the third one is the yin yang clarity, the kind of, the clarity between the masculine and the feminine, which is not the same as man and woman. Masculine and feminine are two different kinds of energy, like positive and negative charge, and there’s a complementarity there and there’s a dance there, and when you know about the dance and you respect the dance and you observe the dance and you flow with it, then that’s bound to bring you more fulfillment. The fourth one is getting out of your own way, and that’s kind of the whole idea of dropping ego and kind of noticing that most of the time between you and what you want there is no physical barrier; it’s mostly some kind of mental thing, some kind of cultural thing, some notion that somebody planted in your head a long time ago that may not really serve you anymore. And, and the fifth one is kind of an operational one, it’s the be/do/have mentality, which is in other words you have what you want, you need to start at the level of identity, you have to be a certain kind of person. So for the woman out there, you want to be a successful dater, you want to be someone who is happy and fulfilled in her romantic life. From there, from already having that will flow reaction and from there will flow the have, the success that you’re looking for.

Chip August: I want to talk about all these in a little more detail, but I also want to pause for a moment to take a break. So listeners, we’re about to take a break, and I just want to remind you that my sponsors are what make this show possible, so I would really appreciate you listening to the sponsors, and if it’s possible for you to patronize them, well that makes a big difference for me and it makes a big difference for the show, and it obviously makes a big difference for them. So please do pay attention to these ads, and if you can support them I’d really appreciate it. Also I just want to say that if you’re not aware, there are all kinds of promotions that we work with our sponsors so that you can save, you can get a free book from Audible, you can save money at ice.com jewelry, there, there’s all, just all kinds of deals, and so you might want to go to the personallifemedia.com site and check out the links on my episode pages, the pages to Sex, Love and Intimacy and just find out some places where you can save some money. We’re going to take a short break, and then we will be right back.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August. We’re talking to Dr. Alex Benzer. He has written kind of nice book, a really good book here called The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Embracing Your Inner Goddess and Finding the Fulfillment You Deserve. And we were just talking about sort of the basic principles of the book, and you kind of listed five; wealth consciousness, enlightened self-interest, yin and yang, dropping your ego and the be/do/have mentality. And I want to, you know, it’s a short show, we can’t really go into a lot of detail on all of it… I notice that the term ‘wealth consciousness’ stopped me for a moment because I, I’d like you to just talk more about it. I think sometimes what happens between men and women, what wealth consciousness really looks like is some expectations of one person’s going to support the other, some expectation of, you know, my way out of worry is to find a rich wife or a rich husband or, you know, somebody who’s making a million dollars a year, and of course that’s not my actual life experience, so can we talk a little about what you mean by wealth consciousness?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right, and perhaps abundance consciousness is a better term for it….

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: so it’s not confused with that. The idea is this; people are looking for a relationship, they’re looking for a partner, they’re looking for companionship, and sometimes they have this notion that, that there is one out there for me, there is my soul mate or all the good men are taken, or these various cultural concerts that are out there, and lets look at the truth. The facts are this: there’s about six and a half billion people out there. Half of them are of the opposite sex, so if you’re a woman that would be half are male, that’s 3.2 billion. So if just one tenth of one percent, one out of a thousand of those guys is single enough and of the right socioeconomic status, whatever, to be your kind, that leaves about 32 million. Lets say your hyper super duper picky and only one out of a thousand of those are eligible enough and are in your country and kind of in your vicinity, that’s 320,000. Lets say only one tenth of those are good enough for you, that’s 32,000. The point is that’s more than, more dates than you can handle in a whole month. So there’s abundance, there’s opportunity out there. So the more you open yourself up to the notion that there is incredible opportunity out there and it’s more about you being open to that and you being receptive to that, to welcome that into your life, then you don’t commit the opposite sin, which is to be needy and to think that there is scarcity, ‘cause that’s the thing that’s not attractive, being needy is never going to help you out.

Chip August: Got it. So really, you’re talking about letting go of that scarcity mentality…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Exactly.

Chip August: letting go of that belief, “Oh my God, I’m searching for a needle in a haystack and I’ll never find the right one”, because what we believe is what we find.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely.

Chip August: Now I want to talk for a moment about yin and yang, ‘cause I think it’s a deeply misunderstood concept of in our culture. Before we do I, I just, I want to say this to my listeners, not so much to you, I just kind of want to say this. Your book, and many books about dating, are very, have a very heterosexual model about how the world works, and so I want to say that as we talk about this I just notice that you really propose a pretty, there’s men and women, and I just want to say that I can talk to you at that level, but I actually think that gender identity is a lot more complicated, and I just want to say to those who find their gender identity more complicated, that there are more choices, that they don’t, that this system of gender polarity, that there’re only male or female, I know how real that is in our culture but I also know it’s not true. But I also know there are certain subjects where it’s easy to just look at that reality and use that as a framework to talk about something. And so we’re using that framework even though I suspect, I believe reality is much broader than that…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: So that’s just my little disclaimer. I always get a little nervous about sort of the image of dating is all about men and women, you know. ‘Cause I know, I have lots of friends where dating is about men and men or women and women, and so…

Dr. Alex Benzer: And so do I.

Chip August: So that’s why I want to talk a little bit…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right.

Chip August: about yin and yang…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right.

Chip August: ‘Cause that exists pretty much, that each of us has some yin…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right.

Chip August: So say more about that. What are you talking about?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well it’s an excellent question, and it’s a whole section of the book devoted to how to be a goddess, and the idea is to just embrace that inner goddess. And it’s not what I say a goddess is, but rather what do you, what does the woman herself think a goddess is…

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: So is a goddess the embodiment of grace, of beauty, of sensuality, of compassion? Whatever it is for you, define it for yourself, and then embody it and do it now. There’s no waiting necessary. It’s not like somebody has to hand you a certificate saying, “Okay, now you can be a goddess.” And the idea is that as soon as you start embodying that, then you are the goddess and guys will turn to putty because they’re just so not used to somebody being that embodiment of grace and femininity and sensuality and all those amazing things that guys actually find very attractive.

Chip August: Yeah, absolutely. So now, you kind of go, there were a lot of different things about this book, I mean we could probably talk for three days…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: But I want to talk just for a minute about you sort of have this, these three stages of relationship… I didn’t actually like the term, but, you know, the, you kind of talked about three different types of relationship…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: and, and that kind of led you into talking about different kinds of guys and…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: what a good guy is. Can you say more about some of that stuff?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Sure, absolutely. So the three stages I borrowed from a, from a teach of mine, David Data and Satyen Raja, both of them, and it goes…

Chip August: Satyen Raja has been on the show, so…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Outstanding, yeah. Great, great teacher. I highly recommend all of his stuff. And the brief version goes something like this; so, you know, you have the very first stage where you have a whole lot, the man is all yang and the woman is all yin, and Satyen Raja calls it, you know, the, the insensitive jerk and the co-dependent woman. Okay, so, and so you got the polarity but there’s something missing there, the guys have a lot of spine but he has no heart, and the woman has all heart but no spine. Not good. Then you go to the second stage and, you know, the guy softens up a little, he’s a little more sensitive, he’s become a sensitive new age guy, and the woman, well she’s taking a little bit of the yang energy, she’s out there working, she’s toughened up a little bit. So now the man’s become more feminine, the woman’s become more masculine, so now it’s an improvement over what we had before, but you’ve lost the polarity, so that kind of flattens out and it’s, you know, what a lot of modern relationships are like these days, kind of the mutually independent phase of things. And then you have the third, which I call the mutual flourishing phase, in which the man has both heart and spine, the woman has both heart and spine, and they’re kind of, the man is very strong in his purpose and the woman is strong in her goddess nature, and they come together and they help one another flourish in their respective energies, and that’s kind of the, the ideal to strive for.

Chip August: You kind of talk about sort of men as warriors of the heart…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Yeah.

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: It’s good terminology, yeah. And, you know, I gave these funny names to the guys. So, you know, the first stage guy is Biff, he’s the macho jerk. The second guy is Lance, you know, he’s a little more sensitive, more feminine. And the third stage guy is the Victor, ‘cause who wouldn’t want to be with a victor, right? So…

Chip August: I noticed none of them are named Rich. So…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well, you know, Rich is nice too.

Chip August: We’re going to, we’re going to pause, take another break, and then we’re going to come back and talk a little bit more with Dr. Alex here. Listeners I just want to remind you, if you like what you hear on this show, the way that my audience grows is when you take a risk and maybe send a link to people in you life, saying, “Hey, you should listen to this show”, so please do feel free to mention my name and send the, send links to the show to all of your friends and… Also we transcribe most of the shows, so if there’s something that you’ve heard Dr. Alex say or something you’ve heard me say, and you’re thinking, “Oh, I need to put that up on my wall”, why don’t you go to look on the episode pages at personallifemedia.com, Sex, Love and Intimacy, and you’ll find a transcript, and why, you can just cut and paste and maybe find the affirmation for you to be saying to yourself everyday. As I say, we’re going to pause, take a break, and then we will be back with more about the Tao of Dating. We’ll be right back.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August. I’m talking to Dr. Alex Benzer, and he’s written a wonderful book called The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Embracing Your Inner Goddess and Finding the Fulfillment You Deserve. In the book you, you talk a little bit about what drives men away, and you did a poll and you’ve got some good information there, and I’d like you to talk a little bit about it on the show here. What does, what does drive men away?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well I’ll tell you, I polled these men and the chorus was nearly unanimous. The top two big ones are neediness and flakiness, and I’ll explain briefly so…

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Flakiness just means not doing as you say you’re going to do. And I live in Los Angeles so it’s endemic to the population that people just don’t show up, they don’t, you know, they’re late or they don’t say as their going to do…

Chip August: Right.

Dr. Alex Benzer: and that will just drive a man up the wall, especially if he’s, if he’s…

Chip August: Drive a woman up the wall, yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Or a woman, either way…

Chip August: Or either way, right, right. I get it.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Whoever’s happening, yeah.

Chip August: Either one of them, either one of them being flaky will drive the other person up the wall, yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely, yes. And, and so those are the two big ones, and…

Chip August: Well wait, wait, lets talk, okay, so flaky I got…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: Lets go back to, lets go back to, what was the first one again? You said…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Neediness.

Chip August: Neediness…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Neediness.

Chip August: So, so I have this experience that all human beings have needs.

Dr. Alex Benzer: That’s correct.

Chip August: What’s the difference between having needs and being needy?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well having needs, well that’s natural, that’s normal, and, you know, you got to drink, you got to breathe, you got to, you got to eat. That’s cool…

Chip August: You got to move. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: However, the idea that somehow you complete me and I need you in order to be complete for some reason is just not appealing. I can’t tell exactly why, but you need me is not attractive. You want me, that is hugely attractive…

Chip August: Right.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Because the idea that I am somehow reduced to the level of, I don’t know, sustenance, food, breath, I mean the water that you need in order to keep on going, I don’t know, somehow that does not turn guys on. So, the more…

Chip August: Yeah, I get it, when somebody, when somebody says to you, “If you go I’ll die”….

Dr. Alex Benzer: Mm hmm.

Chip August: it’s a kind of blackmail. All of a sudden now we’re not really talking about love, we’re talking about a kind of emotional, you know…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Manipulation, yeah.

Chip August: manipulation, right, and I think men and women are both sensitive to that kind of manipulation.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely. And the whole model that the book is espousing is that if two whole people coming together could create something that’s even bigger than both of them and….

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: kind of aiding each other in the process of mutual growth and flourishing. And….

Chip August: You don’t really picture, you don’t really picture Victor our warrior saying, “You complete me”…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Exactly.

Chip August: You picture Victor our warrior saying, “Who you are delights me and I want you and I love you and…”, you know, and you don’t picture the goddess Aphrodite saying, “Well I’m not really a goddess unless you’re there”, you know, so, yeah, I get it.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Chip that’s, that’s a brilliant image right there. That’s exactly what I want the readers to realize, and, you know, and the fact of the matter is you are complete as you are, I mean, there’s, there are no holes, there’s no gaping vacuum inside you, just look around, you know.

Chip August: Yeah.

Dr. Alex Benzer: So you are complete, and the second that you realize that and you start to live that, then, you know, everything else starts to fall into place. Now there’s also some, some other stuff, some smaller scale stuff that…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Dr. Alex Benzer: drives men away and that I wanted to share, and…

Chip August: Please.

Dr. Alex Benzer: It all depends on how you direct your attention to a guy. So attention is a good thing, but for example, if you have overly solicitous attention, if you’re mothering the guy, that’s not the right kind of attention, okay. You have jealous attention, and energy goes, energy flows where attention goes, so if you’re putting attention on the fact that he may not see me like somebody else more than you, well guess what, that’s, that may actually come true and that’s jealous attention, that’s not how you want to direct your energy. Criticism, that’s another one that’s bit. It’s okay to voice your complaints and say, “Hey, you know, this is how I feel.” But to make it some kind of a character attack, which is usually what criticism is, is not that good. Competing, and the idea is that you’re in a partnership with a man and you’re helping each other grow. So to come and say, “I’m, I can do this better than you”, you know, it seems kind of silly as I’m talking about here, but it happens a lot and has happened to a lot of my relationships, so… It’s not a race…

Chip August: Right.

Dr. Alex Benzer: I mean you’re in it together to have fun and…

Chip August: Well, I want to turn that around. When it is a race, race. You know, when you’re playing Scrabble, try to win. You know…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely.

Chip August: when you’re, when, you know… But when it isn’t a race, when it isn’t a game, what are you competing for? What’s the…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely.

Chip August: you know, all you do is you turn relationship into a game.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right. And remember the whole idea of Leela, the spirit of play, and the whole thing is just one big game and enjoy it, and do it in the spirit of play and not, not in the spirit of, “Oh my god, you know, he’s more accomplished than me”, or “He’s making more money than me”, or “His career’s going better than me”, because if anything, if that is a companion who is close to your heart and you love, then his success should be your success, should make you feel even better, so… So those are the stuff you should avoid, that’s the stuff that makes guys run for the hills. It could take…

Chip August: And…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Yeah, go ahead.

Chip August: And can you briefly turn that around? What are things…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Yeah.

Chip August: what are things you can embody…

Dr. Alex Benzer: Right.

Chip August: What attracts men towards you?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Exactly. So if you were to flip those around, then that will make you an incredibly appealing woman and men will absolutely adore you. So give him his freedom for example, you know… So if you say, “You know, you can go and do whatever you want”, as opposed to, “No, you need to be here at so and so time” or “If you do that then I’m out of here”, then the guys going to go, “Wait a sec, she gave me my freedom. That’s awesome”, if he’s a good man. If he’s not a good man you shouldn’t be with him in the first place, right?

Chip August: Right.

Dr. Alex Benzer: So give him his freedom. Give him your trust. Know that, you know, as he’s sitting there in the car driving you around, he can get you to the destination, and voice that trust. Even if he’s getting lost, if you still voice your trust of him and say, “You know, I have faith in you”, then he will grow into that. Energy flows where attention goes, so focus your attention upon the thing that you want, not the thing that you don’t want. So…

Chip August: Right.

Dr. Alex Benzer: praise him for that, okay? And give him your bond, so, you know, make your word your bond, make, whatever you say do, and that guys will absolutely adore you for because it seems to be so much rarer these days than it used to be. And give him your praise. Again, the more, when you see something in him that you really like, then focus your energy on that, focus your attention on that, and he will grow in that and say, “Oh my god, you know, you got us here safe and sound, you knew exactly where to go. That was so awesome.” Even the small things, ‘cause that’s what the guy’s built to do; he’s built to provide, he’s built to protect, and if you don’t give that to him, his whole purpose in life is basically nil. So the more you do that, the more he grows into his masculinity, the more he will absolutely love you. And finally, you know, boys will be boys and every once in a while they will slip. That’s pretty much a guarantee, so give him your grace. Give him the ability to be forgiven and be that source of forgiveness and say, “Look, you know, I know that these things happen. I see it, it’s pretty obvious to me, and I still forgive you because I know you’re bigger than that”, and when you do that he will become bigger than that, as opposed to, you know, trying to beat him down and punish him.

Chip August: This is all great stuff. You know, the only think I don’t like about half hour interviews is that there’s hardly enough time to cover it all, so… If  people want to know more, if they want to get your books, if they want to know more of your thinking or they want to get in touch with you, how do people find you?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Well, it’s pretty easy to do. So my blog is at www.taoofdating.com, that’s t-a-o of dating, dot com. And the book for women is at www.taoofdating.com/women, book for men is www.taoofdating.com/men. All these are on blogs, so just go to the taoofdating.com site, it’s there. And you can email me directly, dralex, that’s d-r-a-l-e-x @thetaoofdating.com, that’s the t-a-o of dating, dot com ([email protected]). And you can also, if you use Twitter, you’re more than welcome to follow me on Twitter; it’s @ sign, dralexbenzer, one word, no spaces.

Chip August: And listeners, we’ll have, I’ll put all the links and ways to get in touch with Dr. Alex on our episode page, so if you go to the personallifemedia.com site, why you can, you’ll be able to just click right through to link to the blog, and also to the books and also to Dr. Alex. As we, as we kind of wind this up, first I want to say to the listeners, I just want to remind you that I really love getting your emails. I don’t get a lot, but I have to say every week two or three people write me and just tell me what the show has meant to them or something that’s really touched them, and it just warms my heart and makes me know that there’s actually somebody out there listening. And so I just want to thank you, and if you would like to let me know how I’m doing, why send me an email to [email protected]. If you prefer calling rather than email, you can leave a voicemail on 206-350-5333. That’s a generalized voicemail line, so please say it’s for Chip August, Sex, Love and Intimacy, and just know that if it’s complimentary sometimes we will lift quotes out of those and use them for our promotional stuff, so if you don’t want that to happen, why send me an email instead. And if you have suggestions for guests, I have to say I find a lot of my guests from my listeners. So if there’s people you’d like me to talk to, please send me a link or send me information, and I certainly will look into it. I don’t promise that I will have that person on the show, there’s a lot of things that happen in between the idea and actually getting somebody on the show, but I will definitely look into it, so please help. We, we always like to end the show or near the end of the show with an exercise that our listeners can do at home, something that will improve the sex, love and intimacy in their life, and I noticed, Dr. Alex, that your book has a bunch of really, really good exercises for people to do. Do you have one in mind, one in particular that my listeners might want to try after they listen to the show?

Dr. Alex Benzer: Absolutely. Thanks for that opportunity because the backbone of the book is really the exercises, and exercise five is called Empower Yourself By Figuring Out Your Core Values, ‘cause the best way to go after what you want is to know what it is first. So lets do that, how’s that sound?

Chip August: That sounds perfect.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Excellent. So here’s the exercise, Empower Yourself By Figuring Out Your Core Values. What are your values in life? From the list below that I’m about to read pick ten values that you feel are most important to you. If there’s a value that is important to you that you don’t see on the list, feel free to add it on. Now write down your ten values. Now if you could have one and only one of these, which one would it be? Mark it number one. Okay now cross it off. From the remaining nine values, if you could have one and only one, which one would it be? Mark it two, then cross it off and continue this process until you have your top five values. So here’s some suggestions for what those values might be: autonomy, beauty, caring, challenge, courage, creativity, dignity, elegance, excellence, excitement, fairness, freedom, fulfillment, fun, grace, happiness, abundance, power, kindness, respect, family, humility, education, bliss, harmony, helping, honesty, humor, innovation, joy, justice, learning, love, mastery, order, perseverance, playfulness, revolution, safety, security, self-actualization, self-reliance, service, simplicity, problem solving, creating change, synergy, truth, uniqueness, vitality, wisdom and zest. So pick them, line them up and then you’ll know what you’re going after.

Chip August: Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s simple to say, but listeners I really encourage you. You know, use your, use your fast forward and your back button to really listen to that list and really, really think about, so what would be your top ten core values and what would be, you know, the five must haves out of those. It’s, it’s an extraordinary thing to learn about your own values, and also to see what you’re looking for, so… I really appreciate you coming on the show, and I really appreciate all this information. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Alex Benzer: Thanks for having me Chip. Thanks for the great opportunity.

Chip August: It was my pleasure. And listeners, thank you once again for listening to the show. I really appreciate your support and I hope you’ll join me again next time, but for now that’s the end of the show. Bye-bye.