Ask Susan Winter: Relationship Expert and Social Futurist
We are proud to present a new feature called Ask the Expert at BestofDatingWebsites. Over the next several months we will be interviewing the world’s top dating and relationship experts to give you relevant and cutting-edge information on relationships and online dating.
In today’s session, we are pleased to welcome Susan Winter, a renowned relationship expert with over 150 interviews as a writer and social commentator. Susan has appeared on numerous television shows including: The Oprah Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, CNN, and more. In addition, Susan is currently a contributing writer for The Huffington Post. You can read her full bio here.
BODW: Hi Susan, thanks so much for joining us. And for being our inaugural expert!
Susan: Of course, it’s a pleasure. Thank you!
BODW: You have a unique viewpoint on love and relationships that opposes conventional thinking. Can you summarize this for our readers?
Susan: I believe we’re in a unique time period regarding dating/mating. The “rules” we all understood for behavior (and the “roles” we assumed in the past), no longer apply. While this is a huge point of confusion for many individuals seeking love today, I see a greater possibility at hand. With no rules in place, we have the opportunity to create our own love models from a clean slate. That’s why being an evolutionary relationship expert exciting. I’m seeing novel pairings and non-traditional partnerships flourishing. Couples are uniting beyond commonality, and creating dynamic partnerships based on uniquely shared values and inner resonance. There’s a sense of truth and authenticity today that I haven’t seen as prevalent in the past. People are really thinking things through; getting clear on what they want and don’t want. From that basis the relationship has a solid foundation.
BODW: For those trying to find love through an online dating site, how can they apply these principles? In general, what is the best approach for people to take as they enter the online dating world?
Susan: Be honest! It’s an old adage but applies beautifully in today’s online dating world: “To thine own self be true.” Know who you are and have the courage to state it openly. Be clear on what you like, what you want, and what you’re looking for in partnership. Think less about how it will be received by the masses. Online dating has an intrinsic beauty. It’s niche driven. Rather than trying to cast a wide net to flatter your ego by getting a greater number of responses, remember that you’re looking for “one” person who’s right for you. This is especially true for online connection. There’s so much lying, posturing and pretending. It can become disheartening. So, the person who’s speaking their truth will have greater impact and draw in the correct type of partner.
BODW: Has online dating changed the way you coach people on relationships and finding love? If so, how?
Susan: Not really. People are still seeking love and wondering how to go about the initial contact, first date, and getting to partnership. Though online presents certain guidelines of behavior (meet right away, read carefully to cull out fake profiles, etc.) it normally ends up in a physical meeting. So my counseling remains the same.
BODW: In your opinion, is signing up to an online dating service worth it for finding a fulfilling relationship? Or does the “old fashioned” way still produce better long- term results?
Susan: I think both formats work. I prefer “in person” meeting through social venues but it’s loosing ground in the modern world. We’re all busy and can’t be everywhere at all times in the hopes of meeting someone. Technology has fused its way into our lives and I believe online will indeed become the norm. It also allows us to discover people beyond our location and social venues.
BODW: You’ve written about the new opportunities mature women have for finding love and romance. What are some of those opportunities?
Susan: We’re finally living in a time period where being loved by a younger man has lost its stigma. I believe in greater choice and greater opportunities for ALL when it comes finding love and romance. So I’m thankful that the world has moved forward into a mentality of greater inclusion.
BODW: Speaking of mature singles, do you find online dating sites becoming more popular with the older people you interact with?
Susan: My core followers are significantly younger, with Millennial’s being the bulls- eye of my target demographic. So, I don’t have much hands-on experience with an older dating group. However, I have noted far more websites opening up to this demographic. While we consider technology a staple of the younger generations, many mature people are adept at using this resource now as well.
BODW: Security is a very common concern for people seeking love through online dating sites. What are some tips you can provide singles to ensure a safer experience?
Susan: I advise common sense in this area of the Internet as in all other areas where we’re receiving information from entities that may or may not be who they claim to be. I don’t give out explicit information regarding address, financials or other specifics. I’ve also used Google image search for photos that seem not to match the writer, or too good to be true. It’s an easy method of figuring out if the person writing you are using a photo of a model or some other widely used fake profile shot. Also, I’ve done reverse search on cell numbers guys have listed. It costs about $10.00 and can tell you if the name, age and location they’re listing is in accordance with what they’re saying online.
BODW: With the evolution of technology, what do you anticipate will be the biggest trend for dating and relationships in the next 5 years? Do you see mobile devices as a game changer? Are we merely seeing a shift in the medium and not the underlying processes of relationships?
Susan: I think you’ve stated it well. The shift is in the manner in which we find each other. I believe that will continue to grow in popularity. As for the biggest trend in dating over the next 5 years I feel it will be the freedom to create meaningful partnerships that work for us. Whatever the formal meaning of partnership was will expand, and individuals will come into agreement as to what they want to create. Perhaps as technology advances, we’ll be seeing more real-time chat with visual options.
BODW: Thank you so much for taking the time with us today, Susan. We really appreciate your insight and I’m sure our readers do as well. If people want to contact you for relationship advice or coaching, how can they go about contacting you?
Susan: I’d love to have your readers take a look at my website and join me on Facebook. I have truly interactive and personal contact with my readers on both sites. My website has over 200 articles on all aspects of dating and relationships. Almost any question you’d want answered is there. Thank you for this interview, and I wish your followers all the best in their dating goals!