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In this video, we talk about dating after divorce as Christians. As people of faith, we have a lot of questions.

    • How do I get started?
    • Can I ever trust again?
    • Will I see the red flags? Are there any good people out there?
    • Am I worthy of a good healthy relationship?

Gina and I tell our own stories, and tackle several questions that were brought up in my private Facebook group: "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated and Divorced Christians."

Like most devout people of faith, we really tried to hold our marriages together. We hoped  and prayed our marriage would be life-long, but it wasn't. We went to counseling. We tried harder. We doubled-down and were nicer, more sexually available, forgiving repeatedly, going the "extra mile" over and over.

Most of us sadly realized we needed a life-saving divorce because our marriage had serious and destructive problems, issues such as adultery, sexual immorality, domestic violence, verbal and emotional abuse, substance abuse, abandonment and neglect.

We needed to divorce; we didn't want to divorce.

Gina Kaye is a former pastor's wife with four children who has started the dating process in the past few years.

Gretchen Baskerville has been a Christian divorce recovery leader for the past 20 years in churches in the Los Angeles area. She was a single mother for many years after her divorce, and remarried in her 50's. She is the author of The Life-Saving Divorce.

To see this video, you will need an access password:  4w#&0N#^

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CONNECT:  Gretchen's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gretchen.baskerville

Transcript for the Video

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Gretchen Baskerville: Hi, my name is Gretchen Baskerville and I'm the author of the book "The Life-Saving Divorce."

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Gretchen Baskerville: You can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook and I have a private Facebook group "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated and Divorced Christians," and today we're talking about dating after divorce and my guest is Gina Kaye. Hello, Gina.

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Gina Kaye: Live from Austin.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Austin, Texas. And what makes Gina so special is that other than that she's just a great person is that she works for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. So she is a fully trained

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Gretchen Baskerville: What do you call yourself?

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Gina Kaye: Our advocates are on the other end of a call, text or chat. But I work in development and leads, special events and create strategic partnerships.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Excellent. Excellent. Well, she reached out to me a while back, because she is interested in these big, big discussions about relationships.

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Gretchen Baskerville: About divorce and about dating and we got to talking. And it was such a great talk. I thought, Wow. She'd be the perfect person to discuss dating after divorce with so welcome welcome Gina

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Gina Kaye: That's how

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Gretchen Baskerville: I look forward to it. Yeah, let's do it.

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Gretchen Baskerville: We're both women of faith and I thought I would start by telling a little bit of my own story and I hope you don't mind if I look down at my notes. It's not that I don't know my own story but you know I

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Gretchen Baskerville: It's important because I want people to know who I am and where I'm coming from. And then, Gina will tell her story. So I was brought up in a wonderful devout Christian home. My parents are happily married for 60 years and counting

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Gretchen Baskerville: And of course, being a good

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Gretchen Baskerville: Rule-following committed Christian girl I wanted to do everything right and it wasn't hard for me because I love the Lord

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Gretchen Baskerville: became a Christian, when I was five years old and I love the Bible. And so in approaching the whole topic of dating. Wow. I was absolutely sure I was going to do everything right and I would be a great wife someday. And I would do that all right, too.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so I went off to Wheaton College.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And got my degree in Bible and Christian education. and lo and behold, I ended up marrying a guy whom I met in my church's singles group. I'm doing everything right!

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Gretchen Baskerville: He asked my father if if he could date me

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Gretchen Baskerville: And we did all that right, and then asked for my hand in marriage. And so I walked to the the front of the church in my beautiful white dress as a radiant virgin bride.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And thought, this is super and but 10 years and two kids later. It turns out that some of the things that I had

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Gretchen Baskerville: swept under the carpet, some of the things that I had hoped that would go away, did not. [Sadly,] the rules I had been taught by my church where that

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Gretchen Baskerville: God could fix anyone, that God and you and me joined together in a marriage before the Lord, we could solve any problem and

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Gretchen Baskerville: I was also taught this formula that if I did everything right. I tried hard I prayed. I fasted, I submitted, whatever it was.

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Gretchen Baskerville: That my marriage would be really wonderful it would be deeply emotionally intimate and we would have mind-blowing sex and so

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Gretchen Baskerville: Those were the. Those are the promises that I was given. And in reality, my marriage was the opposite end. It was very dangerous and finally at year 10 I needed to ask my husband to leave and file for divorce and of course back then.

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, we all believed, at least in in my generation as a baby boomer attending a good conservative church was that even though I was the innocent victim, now, I was a second class citizen.

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Gretchen Baskerville: I thought I had a black cloud over my head. I thought I would never be happy again. I felt that I had the red D for divorce. And so, and I felt like I

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Gretchen Baskerville: With regard to dating here, I had two little children, so I was absolutely confident that, you know, they would be, you know, juvenile delinquents and emotionally scarred and that's that even though I had to get out. I really did have to get out.

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Gretchen Baskerville: I was willing to take that risk. But I saw no hope for us. No one ever told me that there was life after divorce. No one ever told me there was happiness after divorce, only one woman [at my church]

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Gretchen Baskerville: Kind of looked at me with a wink and a smile. She had raised her three daughters herself, and she said, "Honey, you're going to be okay. Divorce isn't the worst thing in the world." And so she gave me some hope. So with that kind of background Gina. Share with us your, your story.

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Gina Kaye: Huh, thanks for your thanks for sharing your story. Gretchen.

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Gina Kaye: Similar to you. I mean, I was raised in a family, a Christian family with many years of marriage that my parents had. One time I counted the years of marriage of my to grandparents and my husband's to grandparents and our parents like it was over 300 years of marriage total

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Gina Kaye: Wow into a legacy of

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Gina Kaye: Of commitment and strong family values and Christian faith. So I was brought up, you know, looking for a young Christian man.

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Gina Kaye: A "spiritual leader" is what I remember being taught. I was brought up in the purity movement that happened in the 80s and 90s, you know, went to youth group church every Sunday went to a Christian college I went to Taylor University. I didn't realize we were that's an Indiana.

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Gina Kaye: Close to our rivals.

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Gina Kaye: Right. And then when I graduated from college. My family had moved to Austin, Texas. And we had never lived in Austin before so Austin became home and I was kind of, you know, that new grad that didn't have a job yet and you know needed a car.

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Gina Kaye: Needed to figure out life but I started going to my parents' church and that is where I met the man that became my husband and pretty quickly, you know,

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Gina Kaye: started dating him. We were both, you know, singles in the church, and a lot of other people wanted to see us married as well.

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Gina Kaye: It turned out he was the son of the senior pastor, so you know when you're the family, the family of a pastor or family member of a pastor. Everyone is well known. People know who you are. So I quickly was identified as his girlfriend.

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Gina Kaye: We had an open invitation to our wedding over 400 people attended. I was 23 he was 25 and, you know, by all accounts, it was a very blessed wonderful marriage, our wedding, I should say, the beginning to a marriage and it checked all the boxes.

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Gina Kaye: And then

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Gina Kaye: Be within the first couple months of marriage. There were things that I started discovering that were concerning and what I came to learn and have in time, you know, come to understand all the more is that I married someone with

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Gina Kaye: That had an active addiction issue yet addiction and depression issues and

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Gina Kaye: We were married for 16 years and had four kids, and those issues, now I know our progressive illnesses. If they're not getting better. They're getting worse.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Which is

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Gina Kaye: Also how I make sense of kind of what happened is that the person I married and the person that I ended up divorcing

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Gina Kaye: It was, you know, it was a progressive thing. It was it was different. There was things that eroded like a cancer.

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Gina Kaye: Him, our relationship over time. And there was a shattering event that happened, 14 years into our marriage that kind of precipitated. It was like the beginning of the end but I didn't know at that time.

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Gina Kaye: Because the thing about being brought up the way I did. I mean, we didn't never said the word "divorce." I mean, it was not even a thought.

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Gina Kaye: It's not, it wasn't something I could even conceive. It's just that wasn't part of my story; that wasn't part of my journey.

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Gina Kaye: And so even when I got really bad and the bottom fell out. And we're free falling in a crisis.

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Gina Kaye: And I still wasn't thinking divorce. I mean, even with the long standing issues that weren't getting resolved with addiction and depression over time.

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Gina Kaye: I still was weathering through that. But I think something about a shattering event, the crisis that melted and happened where and what that was really as I he

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Gina Kaye: We met at church, but he also was involved vocationally in church. So part of our marriage time was putting him through seminary, he became a pastor and then eventually, a senior pastor and the shattering event was when he had a crisis of faith.

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Gina Kaye: stopped believing in God became an atheist and stepped out of his vocation of 20 years

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Gina Kaye: Wow.
Yeah. Like that brought in, you know, a darkness and what I was going to say is sometimes a shattering event.

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Gina Kaye: Helps the blinders fall off and I could no longer minimize what had been happening and the issues of

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Gina Kaye: You know that were there that he had brought into our marriage that are destructive and thank you so much for that language because

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Gina Kaye: That's the thing I was in a destructive relationship, but I didn't know that that's what it was. I mean, I did. I knew something was troubling, but I wasn't able to say, hey, this is destructive. This is not going to end well.

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Gina Kaye: I hope for the best. I prayed. I fasted, just like you. You know, you're just I did the things that I was taught to do

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Gina Kaye: Never fathoming that sometimes it comes to an end and we didn't have much left. And for me, when I filed for divorce.

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Gina Kaye: In 2013 I said I *needed* a divorce. I didn't *want* a divorce. It became something that I felt like I had to do the mama bear and me. That was trying to protect

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Gina Kaye: My family and move forward and right and just come to terms with truth and reality. It was like I was God was just helping me step through that process of acceptance and that was. That's how I ended up divorced. Wow.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Wow, that is a powerful, powerful story. I love how you put that into words because telling your story.

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Gretchen Baskerville: We all have problems telling our story. And you just expressed that so well, just that you know that that event, and for many people, there is an event like that.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Let's jump into the whole issue of dating and I want to just give a, one minute on

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Gretchen Baskerville: How my story is a little bit bizarre. So I want to first of all say that I'm going to tell a little bit about my direction the direction I went in dating, but for, for goodness sake do not take my story as being a you know the the next hot

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Gretchen Baskerville: fad in Christian dating because I did something really unusual and I don't recommend this to everyone and I do recommend that you listen to your own heart and do what

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Gretchen Baskerville: What you think is best for you and your family.

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Gretchen Baskerville: But in my case my divorce took a very long time and I kind of was raised, you know, I live very close to my parents. And so they really have a lot to say about my life.

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Gina Kaye: Which

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, you do have to get away from that later on in life, but my father said, you know, really. Maybe it shouldn't be dating. If you're still legally married and my divorce was

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Gretchen Baskerville: A very

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Gretchen Baskerville: legally involved divorce. It was took 10 years and so

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Gretchen Baskerville: I didn't my my marriage wasn't ended. We bifurcated our divorce, but my marriage wasn't ended until two years after I filed and then we argued for another 10 years on everything else but

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Gretchen Baskerville: What happened was I didn't date for those two years because I wasn't legally divorced and during that two-year time. I really felt like the Lord was calling me not to date at all until my youngest child went off to college and

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Gretchen Baskerville: You have to understand that my youngest child was only four years old.

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Gretchen Baskerville: So I realized that what that meant.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Was I probably wasn't going to date for 14 or 15 years. So I jokingly told my friends that I'm on the 15-year plan. I'm not going to date until, until you know 2010 anyway.

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Gretchen Baskerville: This is something I don't recommend everyone doing but for me it felt right. I felt that it was from God. I felt like that was what I wanted to do.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I really felt that I didn't want to make my children's life more complex by bringing another adult into their life. Now fortunately I also during those 15 years never really met anyone who I was even tempted to to

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Gretchen Baskerville: To marry. So I think it all worked out pretty well, but I just want to warn everyone that that's how I jumped into the dating world in my 50s, fifteen years later.

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Gretchen Baskerville: After I'd already raised my children and they were up and out. Gina to tell us your philosophy of dating and what you chose to do

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Gina Kaye: Right. Well, this is the beauty of conversations like this is every story is different and hopefully we can help others as they're trying to navigate what's right for them.

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Gina Kaye: So,

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Gina Kaye: Yeah, a couple things on that. First of all, I realized after I went through divorce. Well, I should say, as, as I was walking through this, the

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Gina Kaye: Divorce process. I went to DivorceCare®, which is a 13-week program that

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Gina Kaye: Runs in churches. Normally, but it's for anyone. And I found a program where my kids went to the kids program and I went for 13 weeks in a row.

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Gina Kaye: That was really helpful. They encouraged as as we walk through that process that we don't date. The first year and I heard that I heard that advice.

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Gina Kaye: I one thing I realized is that my longings for love and marriage and family had not changed. Like, even though I was walking through divorce. It was like this has always been what I've wanted and that hasn't changed. I also

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Gina Kaye: In time and and within you know that first year, started realizing I deserve love and family and commitment and all those things and one of my core values that I live out of his connection like I am just wired for connection.

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Gina Kaye: Being a mom with four young children. I also have felt very outnumbered.

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Gina Kaye: And hungry for adult connection. It was a very like a lonely experience but also feeling just kind of lost of like losing that partner in life. I felt the loss of that like that is a huge loss to a family.

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Gina Kaye: And so all of those things taken into consideration. I think I just felt open, but I also felt cautious. And honestly I felt asexual for the first like year

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Gina Kaye: And I was separated for a year before filing for divorce, because again, I was fighting for my marriage. Like I I was resisting that answer. And like I said, I had to

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Gina Kaye: Go through a process of acceptance that this was going to be part of my story and I wasn't getting the outcome I wanted. But for that year of like

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Gina Kaye: In the intensity of separation and getting ready to file for divorce. I mean, I felt very asexual. I watched a lot of HGTV drink I fell in love with beer, like one beer a night and HGTV. That was my

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Gina Kaye: Work for you. So after going through DivorceCare® and then spending a little more time to just "single," I think I just found myself preparing for like yeah I felt more and more single, and probably the more single I became, the more open I was to dating.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Well, so tell us when you jumped out in there. What were you looking for and how did you weed out the undesirables and I'm assuming you did some online dating. I don't really know to give us an overview of what what you've done.

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Gina Kaye: Right well in preparation for this talk with you. It is interesting how the stories start coming back. And I was like, Oh, I remember my journey and

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Gina Kaye: So there was a there was someone in the DivorceCare® group which they told us not to date each other, we were going through it.

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Gina Kaye: But there was a guy that I found out we ended up being working in the same business complex, even though we lived on two different sides of town.

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Gina Kaye: Which was kind of this weird thing to discover as we were connecting in the support group. And then it's like, Oh my gosh, we work and in the business complex, there was a coffee shop. So what happened. He was kind of the first person that I

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Gina Kaye: Started connecting with you know single woman/single man, and we were, we had that shared experience of we were both walking through this process and both became divorced at the same time. But I remember one day.

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Gina Kaye: You know, walking up to meet me and just those feelings of attraction that I hadn't felt in a long time. And I mean, I was a very faithful committed wife like I had eyes for one man like

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Gina Kaye: And so to feel attraction for someone else. It was like, oh, wow, what's this feeling of where the heart rate is going and then you walk away and you're like, Oh my gosh, like I want to see him again.

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Gina Kaye: So we continued in a friendship, we'd never dated each other. But we started talking about our dating experiences.

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Gina Kaye: I think because I married at 23, and I had been brought up in a pretty sheltered, I would say, environment.

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Gina Kaye: I had a lot to learn. As far as dating and I was born a very trusting and naive person. And that's something you know I can get hard on myself for that. But the truth is that there's a beauty in that too. It's just been a rude awakening in the world.

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Gina Kaye: That I want to believe that people are operating from some of the same values I am; and they're not always. And so I kind of had this sense early on of I have a lot to learn.

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Gina Kaye: And I'm willing. I have that personality that wants to put myself out there. And I know that I'm going to have to learn through trial and error and experience. Like, I could read as many books, people can tell me their advice, but I'm going to have to

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Gina Kaye: Experience things. And so I shortly after, you know, starting to do coffee dates with my friend. I remember being at my cousin's wedding and the musician on stage and I started chatting during a break and then from stage. He was like, [mouths the words] "Call me."

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Gina Kaye: And I, you know, I'm like, Okay, you know, and I liked that attention. I started as one of

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Gina Kaye: My friends said you have to get your sexy back like I just started like feeling a groove like okay like I've got it. Because the thing about going through divorce too, is that it's so brutal, like it takes a toll on you.

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Gina Kaye: And I needed that I needed to be reminded of my beauty—not just physically—but, you know, the fact that I have a lot to offer. And just because I offered it to somebody that couldn't reciprocate doesn't mean that I didn't have it. And I have a life...

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Gretchen Baskerville: Let stop you for just a second there, because what you said just there [is important]. People should just rewind this video because you're not we're not what the what our exes claimed we were, or accused us of being we really are great people.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah. And if we absorb and identify with their treatment of us, and say, "This is really who I am and I really deserve this," then it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy and we really need to

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Gretchen Baskerville: reject their view of us and capture the fact as you said before, "I was naive and trusting." Well, those are great traits, in friends, you know, if both of you are trusting and caring and loving and generous. Those are the best friends in the world no apologies for that one bit.

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Gretchen Baskerville: So I started to jump in there, but I just wanted to bring that up. I'm so glad you were able to reject

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Gretchen Baskerville: The rejecting messages of you and embrace [the message], "I really am a person who brings a lot to a marriage."

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Gina Kaye: Right, well, and I was doing work behind the scenes. I mean, I went to individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step groups, and that's continued to this day. I mean I that cataclysmic shattering event helped me step into a place of

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Gina Kaye: You know of self-care and growth that I just I hadn't stepped into that prior to that time in my life. And so

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Gina Kaye: It is. It's been this journey of self discovery and you're right like finding, who am I and

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Gina Kaye: ...and where is my worth. And you're right, like I'd been told a lot of things. And I think I've been kept small in different ways, you know, from my upbringing and beyond.

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Gina Kaye: So I yeah I mean I, oh, I'm in that dating journey. I remember to once I kind of was getting my feet wet and going out and frankly, I just wanted to have fun and my opportunity to date was also

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Gina Kaye: relatively restricted because I'm a single mom before we had it. Yeah, that it was all based on the visitation schedule. So once I got my weekend, which was twice a month.

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Gina Kaye: I had 48 hours where it was like I connected with my girlfriends i was i had i was growing a lot more girlfriends though for single women and moms. So we had that commonality and sometimes, you know, we would go out

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Gina Kaye: Together and then start to talk. I remember one time it was shortly after my divorce. I was at a singles dance at our church.

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Gina Kaye: And I was dancing with a guy that had a reputation of not being so great and two single women, who are now two of my closest friends, intercepted me. They pulled me aside and let me know and then we connected as girls and have been looking out for each other ever since.

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Gina Kaye: But something I did, probably in that, you know, within a year after divorce is I tried an online dating site called Coffee Meets Bagel i don't know i don't think it's still around, but

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Gina Kaye: You know I again I was just kind of learning as I went

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Gina Kaye: And thankful. Like I dodged a bullet there because the first guy that I connected with and started hanging out with. He was from another country and in time. I learned. You know, I think he had a family in another country.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Oh wow.

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Gina Kaye: Single man and I was drawn to his accent and his freedoms and, you know, things like that. And he was drawn to my spontaneity. Like, I was like, ooh. Can you teach me how to salsa dance and he you know he liked that kind of

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Gina Kaye: Energy and we would go hiking and things like that but I knew that that was you know that that was not something to pursue that that was not a relationship

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Gina Kaye: worth pursuing. But we'll get into this more later, but it has. It's been a bumpy ride and you know I've done some bullets and then I've also then hit and that's part of how I've grown in my wisdom.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Where I and you brought up something so important and that is these girlfriends.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I don't know how you were raised, but

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, as a person brought up in a conservative religious home.

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Gretchen Baskerville: You're, you're focused all of your from the day you're born that you're going to get married. This person is going to be your life partner.

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Gretchen Baskerville: They will be and you'll have this close and intimate relationship and so other friendships just aren't seen as being that important, because the focus is on this one person who's going to be

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know everything to you. I mean, not quite. Everything but it kind of comes down to that and I to found amazing strength and power and

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Gretchen Baskerville: Just great closeness from meeting another single mom, she had four kids, and I didn't. I was so amazed by her ability to do this on our own.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And we ended up starting a single mothers group at our church at the request of our women's director

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Gretchen Baskerville: And we would pray and walk on the beach every Saturday and pray for one another, pray for our kids. Pray for the women in our group.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And for 20 years this has been my best friend and wow you know we were there for each other. We pulled each other out of funk. So we, you know, talked each other out of dating guys who were pretty obvious to the other one that it wasn't going to be a healthy situation and

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, really having a close, close girlfriend who I saw that regularly and spent that many hours with

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Gretchen Baskerville: Really raised my standard, raised the bar in my own mind, for what a true friend is. And so when I finally went and back into the dating world. I already knew what a great friend was like, and I knew what

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Gretchen Baskerville: great trustworthy people were like.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I knew how they reacted to different kinds of situations.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so when I started dating guys.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I would they would react in a way that I knew was inconsistent with integrity with authenticity.

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Gretchen Baskerville: What I thought right away because like the the the counterfeit versus a real dollar bill.

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Gretchen Baskerville: I had been around real dollar bills for so long. I knew what they were like, so that was a big part for me too.

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Gretchen Baskerville: So, um,

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Gretchen Baskerville: Do you want to jump into these questions from other people, or would you like to finish continue on with your own story?

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Gina Kaye: Um, no. I think it'll come out as we answer some other questions.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Okay, so I posted these questions on my private

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Gretchen Baskerville: Facebook group which is "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated and Divorced Christians." So here's the first one: "Is there any way of writing an online dating profile that won't attract narcissists?"

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I

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Gretchen Baskerville: So my initial response because I can be a little bit snarky is well my joking answer is "Yes, write it this way: 'I'm ugly mean and I have over $50,000 in IRS liens and they're coming after me, and knocking on my door every night'."

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Gretchen Baskerville: That was

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Gina Kaye: Pretty much to do it.

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Gina Kaye: But what would you say, by the way.

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Gina Kaye: Well I you know I mentioned that I unknowingly married someone that had addiction and depression issues that and that's the tip of the iceberg. You know, that's the thing I can point to, I'd be like, Okay, there's more below the surface. But when I was in recovery.

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Gina Kaye: As a partner of someone struggling with addiction, one of the books. The therapist handed to me in time was called "The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists."

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Gina Kaye: And I thought I was in as a partner who had experienced betrayal trauma and was healing from that. And as I started reading that book. I mean,

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Gina Kaye: I was underlining, and it was another piece of the puzzle. It was, it was more language that gave me

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Gina Kaye: Words to attach to my experience and it was, but it was also the sinking feeling of like, Oh my gosh, like this is part of what's happened: he has narcissistic traits.

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Gina Kaye: And so I you know I have come to understand the impact of that narcissistic abuse.

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Gina Kaye: That I experienced in my marriage and then I've had to wrestle with, you know, do I attract narcissists because in the dating world and the dating market. I mean, that has happened again. I've also experienced in my, in my employment and it makes me feel like I'm doing something

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Gina Kaye: This is where I am today in this journey, and of course you know there's no arriving ever, but I am on a path of trying to make sense of things and learn

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Gina Kaye: And avoid. I mean, I think that question comes from this sense of like if I can avoid pain and tragedy. I want to do that. And I totally get that.

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Gina Kaye: One thing to know. You know, like working at the National Domestic Violence Hotline and what I get to learn as an employee, there is that

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Gina Kaye: ... people don't always show their cards like the reason people get into abusive relationships or get taken advantage of, is because that

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Gina Kaye: The abusive person doesn't often show you that side of them. It is a hidden thing. So the deception piece. We have to remember that when someone's deceiving us they're deceiving us and it

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Gina Kaye: It, you know, there's nothing we can do. It's a sad thing to encounter and I hate that that exists in the world that there are people that are deceptive.

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Gina Kaye: The other thing is there are predators and it, you know, those of us that are trusting and naive are prey to predators. I mean, they sniff it out.

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Gina Kaye: And I think they they'll sniff out someone...they see the vulnerable, just like in the animal kingdom. I mean, they

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Gina Kaye: They know it and it is a vulnerability to be a single woman with children post divorce and and I have felt that very strongly. And I think they, you know, some

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Gina Kaye: People in the dating market, they know that. They know that you're lonely. They know that you want to hear certain things like

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Gina Kaye: You know, I'm here for you and you're not alone anymore. And it's okay that you have four children, and these are things I was told by somebody that I met on Christian Mingle that ended up being the most disastrous experience of my

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Gina Kaye: dating history, the last five years, is he knew what to say, and he would pray for me like he paid attention to who I was and he was. It was calculated. He was trying to hook me and he knew how to do it. So,

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Gina Kaye: I learned the term love bombing, after that experience, as I turned to people that are that are psychologists and stuff. I was like, what is this? What just happened to me? And he, you know, showered me with love and attention and

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Gina Kaye: And I had to, you know, part of what I've learned after that is, first of all, this whole thing about learning to trust our gut. In those situations, there's usually always these moments where we [sense that] something's off.

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Gina Kaye: And the more we learn to walk away, despite all the good things. But when something is alerting us like that is part of our

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Gina Kaye: Learning to not date a narcissist again, and not being too trusting. I mean really letting people prove themselves and giving it patience and time.

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Gina Kaye: Not getting overly eager or believing. And I think that's some of us that have been in the dating market for a while you get a little more jaded. If you through these experiences, you're like, Okay, I've needed enough of these now to where I'm like, "We'll see."

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Gina Kaye: Like I'm not overly hopeful.

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Gretchen Baskerville: But we'll see if you really come through. If you really have the character. Yeah, absolutely.

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Gina Kaye: Right. So, but I think something [I've also learn about] dating and trying to prevent like dating another narcissist is

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Gina Kaye: The, the more we can trust ourselves like the more confident and grounded, we get in the fact that we will discover this, you know, we will be able to discern, you know, as we as we get to know ourselves and grow and fall down and get back up.

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Gina Kaye: We can trust our self more so, like, even though I had that terrible dating experience it lasted five months and I saw it and I ended it.

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Gina Kaye: And you know he went out to slander me afterwards because he was a vindictive nasty gnarly person.

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Gina Kaye: And you know, I wish I could have spared myself and others from that experience. But I look back, and I'm like you know what it took me five months instead of 15 years to get out this time and to spot it. So it's progress and he was deceptive and I can't

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Gina Kaye: Fault myself always, you know, so it's this "both/and," and I think I have the trust now in myself that I will spot it. It may take me, you know,

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Gina Kaye: a few dates or something. But I will not get into another relationship destructive relationship again because I have invested the time and learning and I have good girlfriends and I have the support. You know what I mean. So

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yes, I do.

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Gina Kaye: Yeah, and

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Gretchen Baskerville: So I completely identified with the story because I've had two really bad bosses in my life, two narcissistic bosses.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And the first one I stayed with

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Gretchen Baskerville: For a couple of years, and the second one I got out, you know, within about nine months.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I

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Gretchen Baskerville: said to myself, I am doing so much better now.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Exactly. Now I can nail a much faster. And I can walk away faster. And I think that's one of the things

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Gretchen Baskerville: We have to pride ourselves on that we can you we can reject these guys faster than we did the last guy and I think that's a lot to be, you know, we can we can be proud of ourselves for doing that.

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Gina Kaye: And I think that's just to tie back into the church, the church in our upbringing and it I think somehow we get a message that we're super human one more Christian

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Gina Kaye: And the fact is, you know, we're human, and this is part of how we learn we learn and just being gentle on ourself. We're not perfect.

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Gina Kaye: And I think that's where I've had, I've learned a lot about grace outside of the church, honestly, in my recovery.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, absolutely. And, and God doesn't magically protect us from the next narcissist.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Right online dating world is just full of [unsafe people], you can assume that probably 50 to 70% of the people out there are

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Gretchen Baskerville: Are just not safe for one reason or another. Maybe they wish they were safe. Maybe they think they are safe, but they're not safe enough for us. So let me. So let me go back and give this this first person...

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Gretchen Baskerville: A straightforward answer. Is there any way of writing an online dating profile, that won't attract dangerous people? No.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Because they're looking for someone nice,

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Gretchen Baskerville: Christian, loving, and caring.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so you can assume

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Gretchen Baskerville: That probably 70 or 80% of people who respond to you are not safe.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And probably of the remainder

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Gretchen Baskerville: Some you know some of those may still not be right for you. So it's part of this is genuinely a numbers game because by the time

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, I'm a little older than you are. Gina, but by the time you're 50, most people have married. And if you're going to divorce.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Most people have already divorced by age 50 so the marketplace that age 50 you know you know going downhill from the 40s.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Into the 50s and 60s is the the pool of candidates is really getting worse and worse.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so you just need to be aware of that. That's not to say there aren't great people out there. My best friend found a wonderful men out there and several of my good friends have. So, but they were also super cautious.

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Gretchen Baskerville: So Number 2: What are your guidelines on safe dating when when you've gotten acquainted only online. First, in other words, they're not part of your circle at church, but let's say they are part of your circle at church.

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Gretchen Baskerville: I mean, the obvious things that they say on dating sites are "Make sure you meet in public."

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Gretchen Baskerville: "Make sure that your friends are checking on you." "You make sure it's a short first date, you know, maybe just over coffee, not at night."

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, make sure that you've kind of vetted them a little bit with questions. I mean, the first question I always ask is are you legally divorced

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Gretchen Baskerville: Because I found tons of married guys on online.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And I, you know, and they had no problem dating and I'm not even sure that they had ever filed for divorce. I think maybe they were just cheaters. So, and then, of course, Googling people is is always helpful. But what have you found Gina

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Gina Kaye: Well, it's great. You just covered a lot of

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Gina Kaye: Good advice for sure the dating market is full of all kinds of people. And you're right. Not everyone's in the dating market for the same reasons. And that's quite a wake up call too, because I think you can go in with certain assumptions.

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Gina Kaye: Or think that others are there for the same reasons you are and that is not the case. And so, like you said, it's, it's a weeding through that process, whether it's on an online platform or in person.

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Gina Kaye: What I want to get to is being around that person with other people, like, not just the one on ones, but it's like

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Gina Kaye: Am I going to be around people from your workplace? Am I going to get to meet some friends? Am I going to get to see some family? And, of course, that doesn't come right away. But [for the early dates] if you set it up to where those one-on-one dates are, you know, stay in public.

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Gina Kaye: Until, and then there's others that keep coming around because, again, I think the predators want to get you one on one.

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Gina Kaye: And they, they, they're more controlling and manipulative. And that kind of thing. Isolation is a tactic that's used in power-and-control relationships. So I would say keep it [public],

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Gina Kaye: In a way, or try to, you know, see, like, test the waters: Invite them to

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Gina Kaye: An event. I mean that's something I use be like, well, how are they gonna react? If I [say], "I want you to meet a friend"? If they're too squeamish about that.

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Gina Kaye: Then, that to me is a sign [of trouble]. [I wonder,] "Why are you here?" Why [don't you want to meet my friends, or be around other people]? Of course friends and family, and coworkers are some of the most important people to me.

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Gina Kaye: And I feel like it's an honor. When I'm invited into that from someone else it says that is a sign that like I'm interested in you. I'm willing to show up with you.

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Gina Kaye: And to have you meet people close to me. Because if they're playing games, they're not going to want you to have any access [to their personal friends, family, etc.]. They're not going to want you to know where they live, where they work, anything like that.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Right! Anytime you can't get basic information on them. That's a real danger sign, let's jump into this one.

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Gretchen Baskerville: This is another question from someone on my Facebook private group: How quickly do you lay your cards on the table. Would you ever say "Don't waste my time if you are __________. [fill in the blank with a trait that is a deal-killer for you]"

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And

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Gretchen Baskerville: So, what, what would your answer be to that.

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Gina Kaye: Hmm.

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Gina Kaye: Oh, this is going to, I am I have two different thoughts that might be conflicting, but one thing is that

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Gina Kaye: Sometimes laying your cards out there like, and I've, I've seen this play out in my own experiences. Like I know ultimately I am wired for marriage. I want

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Gina Kaye: I want to partner. I want that. I want my person, that person! And that's why we long for these relationships, too, is there's just isn't anything else like it.

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Gina Kaye: No family member or friend even is that day-in-day-out, you know, every morning. "How are you? Good morning. I want to hear about your day." I mean, when you have a significant other.

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Gina Kaye: They are that person. And so sometimes I've put that out there, "Yah, like I know I want I want a relationship. I want marriage someday and depending on the timing." You don't want to put that out there too fast.

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Gina Kaye: Because it can be scary to someone in the dating market, I think,

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Gina Kaye: People are there for different reasons. They're coming out of hard situations, just like we are. Sometimes people don't know like they want and they just want a

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Gina Kaye: Low pressure situation. And pressure can send men running in the opposite direction. So just be sensitive to that. Be willing to let it be a friendship... to grow a relationship and to let it maybe happen in a way that is different.

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Gina Kaye: But yeah, so I was saying, you know, careful with that. But then on the other hand, like, I think. Yeah. I think sometimes there's a time and a place to show your cards and just be like, look, you know,

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Gina Kaye: I don't want any... "I've had enough BS in my life." I'm not going to tolerate lies. I'm not going to tolerate cheating. Like sometimes just putting that out there can be really helpful too — to be like "This is who I am. I'm a strong woman I know what I want...

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Gina Kaye: So let's not waste each others time."

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, I like that. I think if you are marriage minded, it's good to say, "My intention is to have friendships here [online, and get to know people], but ultimately my long-term goal is to remarry.

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And

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so I don't have any problem, putting some cards out on the table. I think that ethically, some people who have long-term issues.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Do need to say something by the first or second date. You know, if marriage is not in the cards for you, [and] you

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Gretchen Baskerville: Definitely don't want that.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Or if you're, if you are asexual or [don't want kids or really do want kids], I think you need...you have an obligation to say something. Right.

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Gretchen Baskerville: To another person or

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Gretchen Baskerville: I'm trying to think if you have a if you have [something usual in your life], or if you have a disabled child who lives with you. And that's going to be lifelong

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, that's got to be out there really early.

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Gretchen Baskerville: But otherwise, it

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Gina Kaye: In a dating profile. If there is a place like you do want to be seen for who you are and whatnot let some of those things to find you.

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Gina Kaye: More let's

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Gina Kaye: give someone the opportunity to swipe whichever direction.

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Gina Kaye: Discarded too early. Yeah, because I'm like, given a chance to be seen and known and then give

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Gina Kaye: Pieces of information.

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Gina Kaye: In the course of getting

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, I mean, and you can you can you can test things out. Okay, so, um,

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Gretchen Baskerville: Oh, let me just say one more thing, you know. So one woman suggested, well, can I just put on my dating profile. Don't waste my time. If you're not able to be faithful and

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Gretchen Baskerville: I went back and forth on this. I mean, on one hand, you know, maybe that would be a good thing to put on on your profile. But on the other hand,

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Gretchen Baskerville: I think that people who aren't ethical don't take themselves off the market, they look at that as a challenge. They don't take that as a stop sign and so they might go, Oh, well, you know, I think I can get past her defenses on this one. So,

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Gretchen Baskerville: I think if the goal is to protect yourself. I'm not sure that's going to protect you.

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Gretchen Baskerville: If the goal is to say, Here's what my values are. That's something different, but do expect predators to [try to cross your boundaries and take it as a challenge], so again you know those 7-or-8 [people] out of 10 to go for it anyway. Because now it's a challenge. Now they're going to see if they can come onto you.

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Gina Kaye: I agree. Well, the benefit of the some of the dating apps and you know is that they have you choose what your

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Gina Kaye: Goal in a relationship is so you know some, some people say, I'm looking for something casual

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Gina Kaye: Other people say, You know, I'm looking for an LTR or a long term relationship. And that's some of the beauty of dating profiles is like right up front.

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Gina Kaye: You answer the questions. You know what you know what each of you ultimately want and

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Gina Kaye: And you should take that at face value. And if somebody fills out a profile when they don't answer the questions I usually don't consider them. I'm like, if you're not that invested

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Gina Kaye: In at least this the simple little app that you're not having to spend a lot of time. But if you don't, if you're not thoughtful about your dating profile and give me the information, then

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Gina Kaye: I take that as a sign that they're not someone that I personally like if I'm looking for something significant I want them to be invested in the process.

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Gina Kaye: But that's a way to kind of ease without saying something so overtly at least just pay attention to those answers that are already embedded in a dating app.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, absolutely. So now here's what, here's one. I'm not sure how to answer, but I'm going to give it a stab.

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Gretchen Baskerville: If you're a sexual abuse survivor. How do you find someone who is willing to roll with that.

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And

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Gretchen Baskerville: So my response is that sexuality and your appetite for sexuality and how you want your sexuality is absolutely fair game to discuss as you get

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Gretchen Baskerville: further into the dating relationship. Yeah, maybe not, you know, the first couple of dates or anything like that, but I really do think that once the relationship

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Gretchen Baskerville: Looks like it's becoming a little bit more serious, third, fourth, fifth date. I think it's really good to start having discussions about sexuality and

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, you need to be clear about eventually and it may not be right up front, I and I say this because when I dated my husband, I felt that I really wanted some answers. And that was, you know what, you know, what kind of sex, how often you know what, in your mind is a positive experience.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Because as

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Gretchen Baskerville: As a young woman and being a baby boomer I had

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Gretchen Baskerville: Had already married and had children and divorced before "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," that book, was ever released. So in my generation.

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Gretchen Baskerville: A lot of us were really looking forward to a great sex life because we hadn't been poisoned by purity culture messages. So I asked all those questions and expected to have, you know, open answers. And I think that's

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Gretchen Baskerville: Really important to have those kinds of questions and and and people who are the sexual abuse survivors. I wrote down a couple of notes.

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know,

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Gretchen Baskerville: You need to be clear about what you expect from that person and what you can and cannot accept.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Now,

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Gretchen Baskerville: You know, a great relationship. Let's face it really can be healing, but it's not a substitute for really good therapy and if this has been a big part of your life: sexual trauma. Boy, you need a trauma- informed therapist.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Now really work on yourself and don't expect a romantic relationship to fix you in this area, or to make up for all the losses that went in the past. What do you think

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Gina Kaye: Well said. I'm glad you covered everything you did when you first asked the question, the first thing that came into my mind too was around trauma.

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Gina Kaye: Because whether it's sexual abuse or some other form of trauma at the heart of it. That's what it is. And they say, you know, with all of us that have experienced trauma.

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Gina Kaye: The question others need to ask is not what's wrong with you. But what happened to you. And so if we're dating someone

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Gina Kaye: I think a healthy sign is that that's their posture towards us: Not "there's something wrong with you," but this curiosity, "Something's happened to you."

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Gina Kaye: And there's a story behind that and there's going to be certain things that are triggering

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Gina Kaye: And like you said it's, it will be near impossible to get through unless that individual has done their own work. And thankfully, like trauma counselors are around and there's all these modalities now that help us resolve trauma,

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Gina Kaye: And heal from trauma. And we can invite our significant other into that process, you know, of what we're learning and healing from

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Gina Kaye: But they they need that sensitivity that we're a trauma survivor and what that means, you know that there are going to be things that are triggering and

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Gina Kaye: And handling that with care and holding space for us is super important. But I would say just lean into the the education and the resources that are there, like all of these topics.

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Gina Kaye: These things we've been through. I mean, there are specialists, there are resources. There are support groups. Oftentimes, we just don't know that they exist. So going to a point of contact, [someone] like you or me, you know, [people who are] aware of people and resources and we can help guide and direct

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. Here's another one. Um, how do we learn to see the red flags and address them rather than making excuses for them, ignoring the red flags, and disregarding our instincts? And how do we learn to run [away from clear danger]?

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Gretchen Baskerville: I'm going to go first on this because I've had a little bit of time to think about this one. But for me, even in the business world. Let's not even talk about dating.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Just having a list of emotional abuse examples [is helpful]. And, I've got a list. I've got about

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Gretchen Baskerville: I've got 150 abuse examples in my book: emotional abuse examples, and spiritual and physical

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Gretchen Baskerville: And they're oftentimes things you wouldn't expect if no one had told you that that is a common method of manipulation.

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Gretchen Baskerville: You'd never know because normal people, you know, do push back and you know do say the same things but abusers have a pattern.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Of using emotional abuse over and over and over again until you're so confused. And so turned inside out, you don't know which way is up. So for me, a both in dating and in the work world.

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Gretchen Baskerville: I just think it's really valuable to memorize or to go over a list of emotional abuse examples.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Maybe once a week during the time that you're dating because it'll make it much easier for you to catch on to abusers. You'll learn how they minimize, how they tell you, "Oh, you didn't hear it right."

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Gretchen Baskerville: Or, "Oh, that's not what I meant." Or "I was just being sarcastic." Or "Can't you take a joke."

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Gretchen Baskerville: And these are all clues that you're being played, that this person is manipulating you and so

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Gretchen Baskerville: I really, really like if you're not aware of what their tactics are you won't see them coming.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And it's, it's the awareness of the tactics and how they make you feel that will reinvigorate your instincts. We were all born with the instinct to run to safety.

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Gretchen Baskerville: But through childhood trauma or through early relationships. But these instincts get disabled and sometimes through our own religious messages that we are given [we hear]

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Gretchen Baskerville: That "You know it's not nice to reject a person." "It's not nice to not forgive them." "It's not nice to ghost a person," "it's not nice to run away." "It's not nice to reject a man who's

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Gretchen Baskerville: an honorable man who's reached out to you." Well, when it comes to our own safety, we don't really need to be nice and that's why I really love.

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Gretchen Baskerville: All kinds of online things, whether it be Twitter or Facebook, you know, learn to block people and feel no guilt.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Because when you can start blocking people and de-friending people and not responding to a friend request and feel no guilt.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Your boundaries are starting to come in. You're starting to listen to your instincts. You're starting to listen for danger. You're starting to listen to that gut and that is a really good sign when you're blocking and de-frending and not accepting friend requests.

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Gina Kaye: I echo listen to your instincts and it is a process of learning what that looks like. Because the tricky thing is not everything's always a red flag. Sometimes it's yellow, orange, just like

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Gretchen Baskerville: Why

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Gina Kaye: Do I need to wait till it gets red

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Gina Kaye: And sometimes that like I know in my own life. I think I just I want to be able to like confirm to myself and have a more concrete.

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Gina Kaye: You know reason for walking away or having a boundary. And sometimes it's that you know waiting and staying in it that ends up getting more and more destructive and unhealthy.

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Gina Kaye: Instead of allowing you know sometimes you that yellow light was enough. You know, it doesn't need to be blaring red, so I'm glad you said, Yeah, listen to your instincts. I also want to say it's like sometimes I think when we talk about people that are

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Gina Kaye: You know, abusive or manipulating or something. It's not this all-or-nothing-thing. There's usually two sides of a person. And this is where it gets

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Gina Kaye: Hard because they have usually some really great charming wonderful attractive qualities. But then you have this experience of this other side or these things that aren't setting right or that alarm you. It's trying to reconcile that.

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Gina Kaye: I think that might be the thing that could tip you off to a concern. If you're reconciling [the good and bad traits in another person] you're like, well, there's this but there's this.

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Gina Kaye: And that back and forth of like trying to give [that person] the benefit of the doubt. If there's a lack of character in some area, or repeated....

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Gina Kaye: ...[feeling] in your gut. That's like something's off, not right. Like even if there's all that good stuff. Let that be enough: [Accept] that they can be great in some ways, [but not in others]. It's never going to be just all-or-nothing.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Right. Right. And we do need to ask some really good questions. I mean,

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Gretchen Baskerville: I experienced this. So I remarried, three years ago and got a really great guy, and

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Gretchen Baskerville: But

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Gretchen Baskerville: We had a moment early in our dating relationship that I just about walked away because

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Gretchen Baskerville: I tell the story from time to time. So we were at his daughter's house and his elderly mother was with us.

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Gretchen Baskerville: And she was struggling to walk down from the second floor of the apartment down to the ground floor and just each painful step.

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Gretchen Baskerville: hanging on to the the railing. And I'm looking at the man I'm dating and he's not leaping into action; he's not running racing up those stairs.

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Gretchen Baskerville: To take her purse or to help her down the stairs, and I am getting mad and I'm getting really upset and I went and talked to my counselor about that. I said, "I'm done. I'm done with this relationship. This man isn't caring. He's not loving."

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Gretchen Baskerville: ...

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Gretchen Baskerville: [I told my counselor]: "He watched he stood there and watched as his elderly mother struggled her way down the steps," and my counselor said something really interesting. He said that may be true, you may be dating someone who's an uncaring. But it's worth exploring that a little bit with him."

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Gretchen Baskerville: And so he said

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Gretchen Baskerville: This is what you should say you should say, "Hey, I want to ask you about last Sunday when we were at his house and your mother was coming down steps.

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Gretchen Baskerville: "And in my family appropriate thing to do would have been for me to race up those steps to offer my mother, her arm, my arm.

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Gretchen Baskerville: "And help her down the steps that would have been the loving kind unexpected thing to do in my family. Tell me how your family deals with things like this." And he said, "Oh, I see what you're asking me, my mother was a professional dancer.

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Gretchen Baskerville: "And my mother is very embarrassed that she is struggling so much in walking."

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Gretchen Baskerville: "And for me to proactively preemptively jump in and help her, before she had asked for help, would have been insulting to her. It would have said, "Mom, I know you're trying, but you're just not good enough at walking

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Gretchen Baskerville: "So let me help you."

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Gretchen Baskerville: And he said, "I was right there. The instant she asked for help, I would have jumped in and and offered her my arm. But I wanted to give her the agency to ask me instead of taking away her agency and just grabbing her arm." And I thought,

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Gretchen Baskerville: Oh, wow.

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Gretchen Baskerville: That was not the answer I was expecting.

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Gretchen Baskerville: What I've discovered is instead of dating somebody who's really insensitive and who's an ogre and really mean to his mom. I've just I'm dating someone who has high emotional intelligence.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Who is really caring and knows his mother and cares about her feelings. I'm so glad I asked that question. I'm so glad my counselor asked me to really push on him [and ask rather than assuming].

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Gretchen Baskerville: And say, what's the difference between, you know, the way you were brought up? And the way I was brought up. So that's just my little story about that kind of thing.

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Gina Kaye: I'm so glad you told that story because you're right of, like, this is part of the dilemma of dating and part of the

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Gina Kaye: I think the growth of learning how to navigate this crazy thing called dating is like how to pay attention to your gut, how to look for warning.

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Gina Kaye: But then also, not to make assumptions and not to be too quick to write people off and realize, you know, we've got baggage. We're carrying baggage. We're all we can be really reactive out of our own trauma and

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Gina Kaye: Like just, you know, continuing to like you said you had a therapist like working on ourself and not just looking to the dating relationship to solve issues, but like being in a constant place of personal growth.

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Gina Kaye: And then using the dating experience to to watch ourselves show up differently, like we get, I see it as a way to practice like I get to learn each time. And I get opportunity to try differently and to grow.

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Gina Kaye: In my communication skills because like we've all heard. I mean, communication is so essential to a healthy relationship.

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Gina Kaye: No matter what topic you're talking about. And so, yeah, giving someone the benefit of the doubt, seeing how they do with difficult conversations is part of I think getting to a healthy relationship.

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Gretchen Baskerville: So I'm going to throw this in here. Another technique, my counselor taught me is when you hear something. Say can I check something out with you. So first you ask their permission.

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Gretchen Baskerville: When you said

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This

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Gretchen Baskerville: "I interpreted that to mean that you _______." (fill in the blank).

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Gretchen Baskerville: And then the fourth aspect of this is asking: "Is that what you meant?" And then let them explain it.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Now you can find out later do their words match their actions or not? But at least it shows the person that you're going to ask questions when something doesn't look right. And I think that's, that's really, really important.

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Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah. Let's, um,

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Gretchen Baskerville: Okay, okay, here, here is a really good question: Two people on my Facebook in my private Facebook or best this

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Gretchen Baskerville: If we've had a history of bad unhealthy relationships. How do we recognize a bad relationship? And how do we keep from just becoming cynical and pessimistic that all relationships are going to be unhealthy "because no relationship is perfect."

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Gina Kaye: Right.

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Gina Kaye: Yeah. Well, the interesting thing to me and and i i'm social I'm extroverted I professionally I network and build relationships for companies.

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Gina Kaye: I have a large network and that has happened and spilled over into this part of my life too, like as far as getting connected and staying connected with people that have gone through divorce [and] are single or dating.

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Gina Kaye: It even kind of formalized in what we call I have a tribe. Like there's six of us that have been doing life together for the last five years, because we stayed consistent like we were like, okay, every Wednesday night.

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Gina Kaye: And it took a few of us being the initiators to make that happen.

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Gina Kaye: But what what I was going to say is it's interesting to see that diversity, when you when you're when you are connected to others that are in the same situation.

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Gina Kaye: How people approach it. I mean, I have friends who don't want to date. Again, they do feel more cynical, they're more jaded, they get thrown off by the attention of a man you know that get that when they have the opportunity

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Gina Kaye: Whereas for me, I lean into it. Like, I'm like, Okay, I'm going to see this as a learning experience. I want to learn.

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Gina Kaye: Want to figure this out. I want to know more about healthy relationships I want one, one day and

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Gina Kaye: I've also been, you know, through the journey of a few of my single friends who then met someone and now they're remarried and they're doing the blended family thing.

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Gina Kaye: And so within our tribe, we have like so many different situations represented and yet we

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Gina Kaye: We all we show up and we understand and honor what each other have gone through and respect each other's different decisions. So if somebody is wanting to date. You know where they're like

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Gina Kaye: Ready for them to tell us where they're going on their date so that someone's in the know.

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Gina Kaye: If somebody [says] "I don't know when I'm going to want to date, or if I am," we can talk about that.

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Gina Kaye: So all that to say like, I get it. Like, I mean, when you've been burned when you've experienced deep loss and grief. I mean we we haven't mentioned that word, but

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Gina Kaye: That is part of what we're living with, I think, in the aftermath is it's it's grieving and we don't want to hurt this way again and

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Gina Kaye: maybe we're not there where we want to trust again or put ourselves out there. But if we do, you know, then

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Gina Kaye: Then it's worth, you know, figuring out maybe taking some baby steps and having good support around you when you do. I do not recommend stepping into the dating market without some really good support in your life.

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Gina Kaye: Yeah.

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01:08:20.850 --> 01:08:24.450
Gretchen Baskerville: Absolutely. Okay, therapists and friends, both

405
01:08:25.260 --> 01:08:27.450
Gina Kaye: That's good, yeah narrowed down to that.

406
01:08:27.900 --> 01:08:34.380
Gretchen Baskerville: You know, and I think that, you know, we talked about it a little bit earlier, when you know the the whole point of

407
01:08:34.920 --> 01:08:44.730
Gretchen Baskerville: Someone who is abusive is they want to undermine your confidence. They want to tell you you can't make it without them. They want to tell you

408
01:08:45.030 --> 01:09:00.780
Gretchen Baskerville: That you're not smart enough, that you're not sexy enough, that you're not beautiful enough and that you're not enough. You're just not enough. And so, buying into that message just

409
01:09:01.590 --> 01:09:13.410
Gretchen Baskerville: Is kind of a, you know, so self-fulfilling prophecy or [abuser-promoted] prophecy. And so we've to be the around people who really care about us friends, therapists...

410
01:09:14.340 --> 01:09:30.930
Gretchen Baskerville: Old friends who really know us and really value us, because that way, when we start hearing these messages we can say, "Yeah, sorry, I'm not falling for that. I'm not going to let you devalue me. I'm not going to let you tell me I have no voice, that I have no vote."

411
01:09:32.160 --> 01:09:43.770
Gretchen Baskerville: And you know that I have no veto. I'm sorry, the answer's no. I'm not going to go out on this date with you. And one of the best things I learned from Leslie Vernick is that

412
01:09:44.340 --> 01:09:55.260
Gretchen Baskerville: She has a really simple test. She teaches people when they go back out in the dating world. And she says, "It doesn't matter if you're dating your best friend's brother....

413
01:09:55.560 --> 01:10:09.570
Gretchen Baskerville: "Or a guy you've known from church for 30 years, you need to test and see how does he deal with your "No," and when you say... So the example she gives on on her video is

414
01:10:11.730 --> 01:10:22.950
Gretchen Baskerville: He says, "Hey, let's go out Saturday night," and you say, "No, I really, I really gotta study for this class," and a safe person says "Oh,...

415
01:10:23.880 --> 01:10:42.960
Gretchen Baskerville: I didn't realize you know your class was this important. Explain that to me." And you say, yeh, my finals are next week. So I really can't. "And they'll go, "Okay, no problem, catch up with you next week or the week after that." An unsafe person [objects and] says "Wait a second.

416
01:10:45.270 --> 01:10:50.460
Gretchen Baskerville: "...I thought I was your special person. I thought I was really important in your life....

417
01:10:51.000 --> 01:11:05.130
Gretchen Baskerville: "And you're telling me that you want to spend time with boring books, rather than being with me? I mean, I want to go out on the town, and I want to go to this party, or I want to

418
01:11:05.850 --> 01:11:13.110
Gretchen Baskerville: "be with these friends and you know if you're not going to be there. It just makes me bad and you know

419
01:11:13.860 --> 01:11:23.790
Gretchen Baskerville: "How can we really be a couple, If you're not going to set [that] aside, so that you put

420
01:11:24.540 --> 01:11:36.180
Gretchen Baskerville: "Us as a couple first?" So you can see, they make it sound so good. They come up with all these reasons, but what they've really done is they've not accepted your "No."

421
01:11:36.780 --> 01:11:37.200
Gretchen Baskerville: They look

422
01:11:37.440 --> 01:11:56.160
Gretchen Baskerville: At everything. Yeah, exactly. Every way they can to keep you from doing what you said you want to do and talking you out of it in every possible and reasonable sounding way. But the bottom line is, they haven't accepted your "No," as Leslie Vernick says.

423
01:11:57.210 --> 01:12:10.170
Gina Kaye: That's great advice. One other last thing to add to this I think is just that growing strong roots in who you are, like you said, being worthy of knowing your worth.

424
01:12:10.620 --> 01:12:23.550
Gina Kaye: That and knowing that you are going to be okay. Whether you're in a relationship or not. I mean, I know I kept hearing like, oh, you have to learn to love yourself. And before you can do anything else. And part of that rhetoric. I'm just like,

425
01:12:24.510 --> 01:12:27.420
Gina Kaye: I don't like some of the little things thrown at you.

426
01:12:27.930 --> 01:12:39.390
Gina Kaye: Because the truth is, like I said, I'm like, No, I'm wired for connection and having a significant other is my heart's desire and there's some there's something about it that's unlike any other relationship. So that's my truth.

427
01:12:39.780 --> 01:12:56.670
Gina Kaye: But at the same time, there really has been something amazing about being a single woman and standing on my own two feet and knowing that man or no man like I'm going to be okay. And I would caution someone that hasn't experienced that yet.

428
01:12:58.650 --> 01:13:08.820
Gina Kaye: As far as dating to feel okay or to date out of fear of being alone or that you're not going to be able to survive on your by yourself. I was like, yah,

429
01:13:09.810 --> 01:13:31.710
Gretchen Baskerville: There is just nothing like the feeling of "I've worked hard. I've paid my rent. I put the food on the table. I got stuff done. I'm taking care of my kids." And there's nothing like the feeling of "I am competent. I'm capable" and

430
01:13:33.450 --> 01:13:45.150
Gretchen Baskerville: It is such a gift we give ourselves and and being back out in the workforce and having career successes and having jobs successes and really loving it.

431
01:13:45.180 --> 01:13:46.410
Gina Kaye: You know as Christian women we

432
01:13:46.410 --> 01:13:53.400
Gretchen Baskerville: Were told that the only thing we can love was being a wife and mother. I'll tell you, I loved being in the work world. Yeah.

433
01:13:53.460 --> 01:13:56.940
Gretchen Baskerville: I would say that what I did. Yeah, you are good at what you do.

434
01:13:57.420 --> 01:14:06.060
Gretchen Baskerville: Man, you know, that is such a great, great feeling. And when you've got that sense of competence inside of you.

435
01:14:06.450 --> 01:14:15.780
Gretchen Baskerville: You know, it's, it's like nothing else. And for those women who, you know, have marketable skills. I think that even women who don't have marketable skills.

436
01:14:16.080 --> 01:14:35.100
Gretchen Baskerville: Some [women] are just great in sales, and I have seen the doors open for people with great sales skills, even for women who are disabled and had no education, it's really been amazing. So it really once you earn that first dollar

437
01:14:36.180 --> 01:14:47.310
Gretchen Baskerville: It's, it's a great feeling. Um, let's, I wanted to ask, there's, there's one last question. I'm going to jump to this question on

438
01:14:48.210 --> 01:15:02.940
Gretchen Baskerville: "What are your standards for how long to date before engagement marriage." And then I would say, "Do you have any comments on how long wait before you start dating again?"

439
01:15:03.720 --> 01:15:13.950
Gina Kaye: Mm hmm. Right. So there's, you know, there's rules of thumb, or that, you know, standard advice out there that's given like in that divorce care cat class where they encourage you

440
01:15:14.610 --> 01:15:26.010
Gina Kaye: Not to date, while you're going through a divorce or to give yourself a year. There's no magic number. And I think I knew that even when I was hearing that advice, you know, just like you can't quantify.

441
01:15:26.730 --> 01:15:39.000
Gina Kaye: This stuff, but it is important to know, you know that there's some caution and some of this is just wisdom of those that have, you know, people have seen relationships start up really fast and

442
01:15:39.450 --> 01:15:47.400
Gina Kaye: And then fan out because they didn't have the time or they were happening and a very vulnerable time of their life and

443
01:15:48.630 --> 01:15:57.990
Gina Kaye: I think I don't know. I mean, having been raised in the church and and you know doctrine is very ingrained in me.

444
01:15:58.350 --> 01:16:02.250
Gina Kaye: I think I'm coming to a place in my life now where it's like

445
01:16:02.490 --> 01:16:12.960
Gina Kaye: My life doesn't fit the neat, tidy boxes like it used to. I mean, when I was married to a pastor and I was a pastor's wife and I had a family and a house and kids you know I fit inside the box.

446
01:16:13.380 --> 01:16:30.330
Gina Kaye: Nothing in my life right now is traditional. It is a different thing. And so I find myself even approaching dating and relationships in a non-traditional way. I'm like, I don't know, there are so many things that are complicated on this side of it.

447
01:16:31.980 --> 01:16:40.860
Gina Kaye: That I you know what I do know is that I'm looking for certain things, and that it takes a long time to get to know someone

448
01:16:41.640 --> 01:17:02.490
Gina Kaye: I mean like trust and like really seeing each other through different life stages. I know for myself. I'm going to need that which I can't even get that in a year's time with someone. It just, there's so much learning that takes place with somebody, with somebody

449
01:17:03.810 --> 01:17:08.130
Gina Kaye: That and I'm in no hurry as honestly and so

450
01:17:09.510 --> 01:17:22.290
Gina Kaye: You know, I find that there's ways to find a kind of relationship or determine it for yourself. Now, what works with your situation? And again, the complexities and every story is different.

451
01:17:22.680 --> 01:17:30.510
Gina Kaye: I mean like my kids have a present father; we have a visitation schedule. I'm not looking for someone to be a dad to my kids.

452
01:17:31.290 --> 01:17:47.250
Gina Kaye: Some people ... I've had friends that their, their ex left them, abandoned them. You know, they're wanting a blended family. They're wanting a family unit. Whereas, I'm more just looking for my person, my companion. That's my partner.

453
01:17:48.510 --> 01:17:57.810
Gina Kaye: And we may, you know, we may find a way to spend time and you know when on my off weekends and journey through life, but

454
01:17:58.890 --> 01:18:06.270
Gina Kaye: I hesitate to put it on a timeline. One more thing I would say, I have watched some people that

455
01:18:07.170 --> 01:18:27.840
Gina Kaye: they they are still very much in the mindset you know of, like, even with the traditions and the doctrine of no-sex-until marriage, where that's the driving force: Like "We've got to get through this dating and engagement quickly so that we can have sex." I'm just like that. I feel nervous...

456
01:18:28.110 --> 01:18:36.720
Gretchen Baskerville: [Oh no!] The formula has come back again! If only don't have sex before marriage, you'll have this wonderful marriage. Well, it didn't for us!

457
01:18:40.140 --> 01:18:51.360
Gina Kaye: Yeah, I mean, when you, when those promises have not led to the outcomes like i just i can't believe certain things anymore that I was taught to believe

458
01:18:52.290 --> 01:18:54.810
Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that

459
01:18:55.920 --> 01:19:05.580
Gretchen Baskerville: You know the problem is what we do is we get rid of the old formulas. The old promises, the rules that our church taught us about how to guarantee

460
01:19:05.940 --> 01:19:12.420
Gretchen Baskerville: That great relationship and we want to replace them with a whole new set of rules and

461
01:19:13.350 --> 01:19:27.360
Gretchen Baskerville: You know, I just feel like you said something at the beginning you said it's really a journey, or maybe when we were talking before we started the recording. It's really a journey and we aren't going with formulas

462
01:19:27.450 --> 01:19:34.500
Gretchen Baskerville: Now we are plowing new territory and doing new things. And of course, we want to keep ourselves safe.

463
01:19:34.860 --> 01:19:38.190
Gretchen Baskerville: So that's the one goal we really have to keep

464
01:19:38.580 --> 01:19:41.730
Gretchen Baskerville: Right, but where it takes us and how it takes us

465
01:19:42.420 --> 01:19:49.470
Gretchen Baskerville: We don't rely on those promises, those false promises, that say if you do XYZ, you are going to end.

466
01:19:49.470 --> 01:20:03.030
Gretchen Baskerville: Up with a great relationship. And I think we've got to be thinking for ourselves and really asking, "Is this person meeting my needs? When I explained my wants to them, do they care about my wants?

467
01:20:03.360 --> 01:20:18.090
Gretchen Baskerville: Do they give me my wants or is it really hard for them to to meet my needs? And do they make excuses for not treating me well? I think those are real, you know, big red flags for us.

468
01:20:19.140 --> 01:20:19.800
Gina Kaye: Well said.

469
01:20:20.880 --> 01:20:32.010
Gina Kaye: Right, well, and I'm a big Brene Brown fan. Her book, Daring Greatly, was the backdrop of a support group that I was in, in 2013 or 14.

470
01:20:32.970 --> 01:20:45.870
Gina Kaye: That was my introduction to her, but she says so many good things that to me, have given me permission and that are also a dose of wisdom. And so I was just thinking when you were talking and this is like this.

471
01:20:46.440 --> 01:20:54.480
Gina Kaye: Hopefully ties into everything we've talked today when she quotes [Theodore Roosevelt]. "It's not the critic that counts. But the man that's in the arena.

472
01:20:55.200 --> 01:21:10.800
Gina Kaye: "Whose face is marred with dirt and sweat and blood." You know who's there. It's like those of us that you know me and you, that those that we're trying to speak to that have known this brutality of divorce that never would have chosen this, but this is where our path led

473
01:21:11.220 --> 01:21:15.570
Gina Kaye: That's still hope for love, who still hope to get out there. We are in the arena.

474
01:21:16.050 --> 01:21:32.190
Gina Kaye: We're on the floor and there are critics and the stands. And there are families and there are friends, and they might be looking down being like they've got all kinds of opinions, but they have not been through this or I mean I'm at least none of my family have

475
01:21:33.390 --> 01:21:40.470
Gina Kaye: Yeah, it's like Brene suggests "If you're not in that arena too, I'm not open to your feedback." Like there's something about

476
01:21:41.220 --> 01:21:49.710
Gina Kaye: ... Sometimes we have to tune down the voices, and we have to just be like, "this is not helpful, like this advice, this doctrine." This

477
01:21:50.220 --> 01:21:55.050
Gina Kaye: You know, trying to live my life like ultimately this life is short.

478
01:21:55.530 --> 01:22:07.980
Gina Kaye: And I've been through a lot and I have things that I'm grieving and losses and this is not where I wanted to be at this point in my life, you know, and I'm like, people can have all different kinds of opinions, but this is MY life.

479
01:22:08.850 --> 01:22:15.780
Gina Kaye: And we are our best experts like we're the ones that know the details of our story and know our truth.

480
01:22:16.560 --> 01:22:26.400
Gina Kaye: And others don't. They see a percentage of what we've gone through there really aren't even enough words in the English language for me to help people, you know, to

481
01:22:26.700 --> 01:22:35.220
Gina Kaye: Help them along. I'm like, I don't. There are, there's not enough words to bring them up to speed and help them understand. So I'm not looking to

482
01:22:35.580 --> 01:22:41.340
Gina Kaye: Others that haven't been through this and that's again, Gretchen, why I'm drawn to you because

483
01:22:42.240 --> 01:22:56.400
Gina Kaye: We meet those, you know, those of us walking this path and on this journey to we need people that that get it, that understand, that we can turn to, to say that that's where we find some safety and some real helpful advice.

484
01:22:57.480 --> 01:23:08.010
Gretchen Baskerville: Well, I love that what you brought up and it really is our lives and there is a time and I had to do it. Even with my own parents and say this is my decision.

485
01:23:08.520 --> 01:23:23.790
Gretchen Baskerville: I you know I don't know if you're on board or not. And to be honest with you, I'm not waiting for your permission. This is what I'm doing. And you can either adapt to it or you or you don't. But one of the things about trauma survivors is

486
01:23:24.960 --> 01:23:35.160
Gretchen Baskerville: That the first step of course is getting to safety. But the second step is finally taking back your voice, having agency and making your own decisions.

487
01:23:35.520 --> 01:23:46.590
Gretchen Baskerville: And not looking to everyone else for approval. It's not their life. They don't have any skin in the game. It's our lives, our happiness, our children.

488
01:23:46.860 --> 01:23:59.160
Gretchen Baskerville: Our future. And so ultimately we're the ones making decisions. So, I love, I love that you brought up the man in the arena

. It's so easy for outsiders to criticize

489
01:23:59.910 --> 01:24:12.900
Gretchen Baskerville: But they aren't in it with us! And I think that's really important. I think we are to the end of this, but I wanted to give you an opportunity if there's anything else you'd like to say that we haven't covered because

490
01:24:14.580 --> 01:24:25.800
Gretchen Baskerville: You know, this is such a big topic, and we could probably go on and on for hours. But is there any encouragement or advice. You want to give to others who are just dipping their toe into this

491
01:24:26.190 --> 01:24:26.610
Hmm.

492
01:24:27.660 --> 01:24:37.440
Gina Kaye: Well, having worked some 12-step programs for family members of those that have struggled with addiction, like there's some beautiful things in recovery.

493
01:24:38.640 --> 01:24:52.650
Gina Kaye: "One day at a time" is probably the one that we know the most but "Be gentle on yourself" and "trust the process" like these are phrases that I got in my journey that I still to this day I remind myself of them often

494
01:24:53.400 --> 01:25:05.370
Gina Kaye: And so I just encourage each of you, you know, be gentle on yourself. You've been through a lot and you're brave and courageous to get back out there if you want to date.

495
01:25:05.850 --> 01:25:17.520
Gina Kaye: And lean into the resources that are there. Listen to some podcasts read some books like that's part of how you have some tools in your toolbox and and grow in wisdom.

496
01:25:18.090 --> 01:25:26.160
Gina Kaye: And know that you're part of this club that you would have never signed up for. But we're a bunch of badass women and

497
01:25:26.850 --> 01:25:33.810
Gina Kaye: We really, I mean I have so much respect and admiration for women that have experienced a life saving divorce and

498
01:25:34.350 --> 01:25:41.190
Gina Kaye: That are, you know, they're usually just really beautiful people, and that there is something about these journeys that transform us

499
01:25:42.060 --> 01:25:56.040
Gina Kaye: And make us all the more real like "The Velveteen Rabbit," we become more real. And so any of these wrinkles and gray hair and things that we have as a result, you know, are badges of honor.

500
01:25:56.670 --> 01:25:57.750
Gina Kaye: Right, you've been through.

501
01:25:57.990 --> 01:26:08.280
Gretchen Baskerville: Yeah, like to quote my daughter. She said, Mom, now she's a millennial mom, you are the badass in the best possible way.

502
01:26:09.360 --> 01:26:13.470
Gretchen Baskerville: And I love that. And I think, you know, that, that's great. I do. I

503
01:26:14.520 --> 01:26:25.830
Gretchen Baskerville: I, I do want to let people know that you're looking for books on recovery, this one of my favorites. If you've really been through some tough relationships.

504
01:26:26.520 --> 01:26:31.500
Gretchen Baskerville: One of my favorite ones. I don't know if you can read this. It's probably upside down and backwards but

505
01:26:31.890 --> 01:26:44.190
Gretchen Baskerville: It's called "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward. So if you've been in emotionally abusive relationships, this is one of my favorites. Also if you go to my website www.lifesavingdivorce.com/links

506
01:26:44.580 --> 01:27:01.500
Gretchen Baskerville: you'll find all kinds of books for your specific situation, [whatever] you've been through, whether it be emotional abuse or if you've been with a chronically

507
01:27:02.730 --> 01:27:11.160
Gretchen Baskerville: sexually unfaithful person, an adulterer, or a severe porn addict. I've got a whole list of books and resources.

508
01:27:12.240 --> 01:27:21.120
Gretchen Baskerville: That will help you get through this and under and fine tune your gut and so that you can see the red flags,

509
01:27:21.390 --> 01:27:38.190
Gretchen Baskerville: When they come, and you know how to respond to them. And of course, one of the things that the very top of my list is the National Domestic Violence Hotline because the hotline is FREE and excellent and the advocates who staff that line are amazing. So anyway,

510
01:27:38.520 --> 01:27:41.190
Gina Kaye: Thank you. Gina.

511
01:27:41.220 --> 01:27:41.850
Gina Kaye: Like before,

512
01:27:42.030 --> 01:27:52.440
Gina Kaye: Because yeah I mean it is the resource that's available 24/7. You can chat with an advocate through the website you can text, you can call and every advocate.

513
01:27:53.040 --> 01:28:00.780
Gina Kaye: Goes through training, they're paid staff, they, they are a resource for having that third-person, unbiased.

514
01:28:01.530 --> 01:28:18.270
Gina Kaye: Specialized voice that you can process the relationships. So they're there for prevention as well as intervention. So take advantage of that. You're deserving of love and safety and every happiness that your heart desires.

515
01:28:18.840 --> 01:28:25.740
Gretchen Baskerville: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate your insights. Have a wonderful day.


For more on this and the Ten Turning Points, read Chapter 5, pages 173-197. 


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Where can I find the book?

Examples of 150 examples of types of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect) and explaining the term "gaslighting," along with many first-person stories, read Chapter 4 in the Life-Saving Divorce.

For a diagram of the Duluth Wheel of Power and Control and The Abuse Cycle, read Chapter 4.

For more on the myths of divorce, buy the Life-Saving Divorce.

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