Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Not only were we not taught about what good love is and how to create it, we often had bad role models. So most of us, whether we mean to or not are unconsciously replicating that normal dysfunction.
Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, and that’s pharmacy with an F. A place for conversations that matter. And if you’ve ever wondered how to have a good relationship or you struggle with relationships or wondered how to find the right relationship, then you should listen to this podcast because it’s with someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about how love works and how it often doesn’t, and how to get love, find love, keep love, and get the right love. So this is the podcast for you and probably everybody on the planet actually. And it’s with none other than Mia Lux, who is I call her my was wife. We are happily unmarried and we are good friends. We had an amazing time together, but we found our past diverging in a beautiful way that has led us exactly to where we need to be.
So we’re going to get into it with Mia. She’s a playful and profound human. She draws on her experience as a startup CEO, a stand-up comedian, personal growth junkie for sure, I can tell you that’s true, and a recovering lawyer. For seven years, she has been an international host, a comedian and facilitator. She specialize in designing and facilitating top wellness and personal development experiences around the world. It’s been her delight to make the world’s most powerful ideas more accessible by making them truly enjoyable. If you’re laughing, you’re learning. And now, Mia is channeling this in the name of love and she’s the co-founder and CEO of a company called La Vette, a radical new platform designed to rehumanize dating in the digital era. I mean, if anybody been on an app and it’s so weird, I mean, I tried it and it was like, oh my God, I do not like this. This is the thing you should be paying attention to. So welcome Mia.
Thanks Mark. Thanks for having me on here for this I think really interesting discussion about something that people often trivialize, right? Love and relationships often get kind of relegated to the nice to have category of life. But I think more and more, these conversations are becoming front and center.
Dr. Mark Hyman:
As a doctor, I can tell you relationships play a huge role in people’s health. Good relationships actually help people be healthy, and bad relationships can make people sick, whatever the relationship is. I mean, I had a patient once who was a 53 year old woman who had all these chronic issues, and she lived with her mother who was like 80 something who was still abusing her emotionally. And I said, “You need a motherectomy.” And so whatever the relationships we have, they influence us hugely and they’re a big part of our health. And we now know through the science of, for example, sociogenomics, how your relationships good or bad influence your gene expression for good or bad. If you have a healthy relationship, it can activate all your healing systems. If you have a toxic relationship, it can activate all your disease pathways. So this is real deep science now, but most of us don’t know how to get to having good love. And that’s what you’ve been focused on for the last two years building this company La Vette. So tell us, why does healthy love matter? What’s the cost of bad relationships to our society on individuals and even generations?
I mean, you nailed it with that connection between relationships being such a contributor to our overall health, and not just physical health, but of course our mental health and just our happiness. I think it was Warren Buffett who said that the most important decision you’ll ever make is who you choose to marry. And if you look at the breakdown, I think Business Insider did a good breakdown on how who you marry is the most important financial decision of your life. I think we, for so long underplayed the impact of the relationships around us. And so because of that, we haven’t put as much intelligence or thought into the relationships we create or how we choose those relationships. And I mean, before we even look at what healthy love looks like, I always laugh when you think about how we approach every other area of our life. Whether it’s looking for a job or whether you’re going to buy a car, the amount of research we do, the amount of effort we put into it.
If you’re building a business, you create plans, you’re intentional. But when it comes to choosing a romantic relationship, our approach is like, oh, we’ll just leave it up to luck. I’ll just trial an era. I’ll just kind of go out there and see what happens. And so we have this extremely important area of our life which affects every single piece of our happiness and we apply so little of our intelligence and intentionality to finding it and creating it. So I think that that has been, I think for the most part of romantic human history, the baseline, but you can see there is a massive shift now because people are looking around at what is considered normal. You’re looking at normal relationships and going, this is dysfunctional.
Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh wait, wait. That’s just funny. So normal means sort of a statistical number means what’s the average, right? It’s like if you go to America, it’s normal to be overweight. That doesn’t mean it’s optimal, right?
Absolutely. And it’s normal to be unhappy in a marriage, it’s normal to stop having sex in your long term relationship, it’s normal to bicker, it’s normal to undermine each other. All these kinds of weird toxic baselines that we have normalized because listen, our parents were doing the best they could, their parents were doing the best they could. And these were the role models and examples of love we saw. I think it was interesting recently, obviously the Amber Heard, Johnny Depp trial was very, very publicized and really brought up I think a very clear example of the type of toxicity that can exist in relationships. But what’s interesting is that sort of publicizing of toxicity was that everyone around was like, yeah, I’ve been in a relationship like that, or I’ve experienced behavior like that, or I’ve exhibited behavior like that. And I think this is amazing movement now to be like, Hey, just because dysfunction is normal, doesn’t mean we want to create it anymore.
There’s a massive shift towards how do we create healthy love. And I love it. Hinge did a study recently of its users, and they found that 91% of people want to date someone who goes to therapy. 97% want to date someone… No, and just by the way, therapy, let’s talk about therapy as kind of like, as you and I know there’s many roads up the mountain, but therapy is being a symbol for someone who’s self-reflective, working on themselves, dealing with their own nonsense. And you can see there’s a shift between the prioritizing mental health and the kind of qualities that make a partner I’d say healthy and connective and able to be in a more sustaining relationship. So I do think we’ve had a really rubbish baseline. We’re moving towards, I think, far more intentional and healthy love. But like you said, I mean, none of us really had a roadmap, right?
And to start with, I would say, I’m absolutely not what I’d call an expert on relationships. But building La Vette, which like you’d mentioned, La Vette is this what I call a conscious response to the dysfunctional world of dating. We’ve built every feature to essentially counteract the bad behavior that goes on. And I’ve spoken to so many incredible experts and we’ve been working with their tried and true psychologies and coaching techniques. And what I realized was that there are roadmaps out there. And I know you’ve seen this too. You’ve spoken to so many amazing experts. There really are sound roadmaps of what creates predictable love, but we have not combined that into the systems we use to find love. I see myself as a translator. No, I’ve gone out there and I’m like, tell me how to do this. I’ve gone and found incredible insights and like you said, these roadmaps. And my job with building La Vette has been to translate that awesome, functional, romantic psychology into a technological platform that sets us up for success versus the gross systems we have now.
Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I mean, it’s true. We never learn the things that are most important to have a happy life, how to have healthy relationships, how to manage our money, how to deal with our health. And I remember when we were together and married, you said something to me once that was shocking. And I just realized that it wasn’t even something that I thought was possible, but you said, “I want to have an exceptional love.” And I was like, wow. Even to have that aspiration or belief, because in my experience, all I saw in my family were really dysfunctional relationships. My parents, my mother, my stepfather, my father and his wife, my stepmother. I mean, it was disaster. And then I saw my sister with her three husbands, and me with my marriages and relationships. It’s just like, I never thought, wow, maybe there is a roadmap to having exceptional love.
And you really helped me open my eyes to that. I think we really did, even though we’re not together, we really did have an exceptional love. We weren’t quite awake in the ways we needed to and we had to learn what we had to learn, but that’s part of what you’re teaching everybody is how do we build the roadmap. Not just have another dating app where you swipe and you like, it’s all kind of weird and fabricated, but have an authentic experience of somebody else in a way that brings out their authentic personality, their beliefs, their values, where you actually look under the hood before you buy the car. I mean, that doesn’t even exist out there now in terms of a dating app or a dating platform, so this is so powerful. It’s so revolutionary. And just full disclosure, Mia is my was wife, I’m her was husband, but I believe so much in this that I invested in La Vette. So I want to just have full financial disclosure, but I think it’s such an important thing because healthy relationships are so key to health and we have no freaking clue how to do that.
Yeah. And if you think about it, I’m sure most of the people who are listening to this podcast are self-reflective, self-aware. They care about living a good life. They care about being happy and healthy and connected. And the joke about the more you work on yourself and the better you become as a person, the harder dating on the apps feels because suddenly you’re experiencing this massive disconnect between cultivating real integrity and vulnerability in your life, in your relationships, but then you’re thrown out to this world. I agree, I think you and I had such a beautiful marriage. We both showed up with such intentionality. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this, but I remember when we first met, you had been working with my co-founder, Lauren Handel Zander on love and relationships. And as part of that, she had taken you through what we call the three Hs, the head, the heart, the hoo-ha, the three voices you can use to guide what you want.
And you shared with me the beautiful list and vision you had created for a relationship. You had been working on this idea of getting super clear and super intentional. Even just beginning with something as simple as that is really key, because again, when people are falling into relationships unconsciously, when they don’t know, they can’t recognize their own patterns and behaviors of what they’ve created in the past that didn’t work. They don’t really know what’s important and what they’re looking for. We end up in accidental relationships and then we wonder why it didn’t work out, right? And so this whole thing of intentional dating, one of the things I’ve really learned working with different coaches and psychologists around this area is that I think when it comes to healthy love and relationships, there’s two parts to it which are really useful to look at. The first part is I think the personal exploration. Part of creating healthy love and looking for healthy love when you’re dating, if you’re with somebody is understanding your role in it.
And you touched on this in terms of not only were we not taught about what good love is and how to create it, we often had bad role models. So most of us, whether we mean to or not are unconsciously replicating that normal dysfunction. And no matter what we try, if we don’t get curious and take on our own nonsense, we will bring that into our relationships. And so it’s like one of the jokes is that we say with La Vette, part of finding love is really finding yourself first. That’s like a bait and switch. No, it’s a total bait and switch because… No, because here’s the thing, if you’re single, you want to meet people. But what we’re seeing is that, I mean, A, the functionality in the apps is boring. It’s swiping, it’s matching. It’s far more a model of social media where you are being driven by dopamine hits.
If you look at the economic sort of structure of those companies, they’re not really interested in having you leave the platform and find somebody. They’re far more interested in you staying on. And essentially they’ve kind of gamified this feeling of like, oh, maybe it’s the next person. Oh, maybe it’s the next person. Oh, if I pay for a boost. And so they work on that system. Whereas with La Vette, I think part of what we were building is this idea that as you’re looking for love, people in that moment are so open to working on themselves. They’re so open to learning new skills. And in this first part of what it takes to create a healthy relationship, which is looking at the personal, giving people the correct tools to look at their lives and be like, oh, what is the pattern I’ve had in my past relationships? What is my accountability for what I’ve created or what didn’t work? How can I heal that? How can I get better? How can I bring more awareness to it?
And I know you and I, when we were married, one of the things I so loved about our relationship was that we would often bump up against us together. Like one of us would have some kind of trigger or pain, and instead of falling into a cycle of blame and this and that, we would often both step back and go, huh. I’d go, I wonder what it is in me that’s having me respond like this. And listen, you and I would go work with people. One of the people we worked with was Shelly Lefkoe where we would find what’s the belief underpinning this. I remember one of the beliefs I used to have when we were married was if we spend time apart, it means that something’s wrong.
And so every time you and I would be apart and we traveled a lot, I would kind of catastrophize and fall into a spiral and conflict and just create drama because I had this belief. Because I saw with my parents, every time they took space, it was because something was wrong. And so taking accountability for those parts of ourselves that can sabotage relationships or pick the wrong person really is the first step. And with La Vette, again, we build it in with the workshops we run, the coaching we provide, the different sort of incredible virtual resources. Because as people are learning, we’re like, Hey listen, what a great time to do a software refresh, right?
Yeah. I mean, you’ve experienced this. So I think when it comes to like we say a picker or exactly that. The picker I think is not so much the conscious part of what we’re picking, it’s the unconscious beliefs driving us into relationships. And listen, if anyone who’s in the dating world, who’s a coach or like me who’s been immersed in it for the last two years, you see this very quickly which is that people say they want one thing. And then you look at their track record with who they actually pick, and you’re like, huh? These things don’t match up. And so even when we have all the best conscious intentions, if you haven’t done the unconscious work to heal your beliefs or bad theories about love, you will tend to end up in those situations which feel familiar. And again, familiarity is not functionality, right. Just because a love, a type of love feels familiar, doesn’t mean it’s functional.
I mean, my version of this is like, oh, familiar love felt like a type of controlling or familiar love felt like a kind of giving up of myself. There were aspects of my childhood which I just replicated over and over again. So it’s such a curious thing. And I know with you, you’ve been working on this a lot. I actually love if you’d share what are some of the key things you found helped to fix your picker. Yeah, absolutely. Just for anyone who doesn’t know the story of how Mark and I kind of separated, we did a beautiful conscious uncoupling. Just because we realized that despite how much love we had together, I wanted to have kids and a family and we just were never in the right life phase together. That experience of having to let go of really good love in order to, like you said, try find the correct lives for each other was for me also a very confronting process.
And then we both realized after the fact, like after we had gone through the conscious uncoupling process, that both of us had unprocessed trauma from childhood. Mine was completely repressed. I had no memory of it. I had to go through very intense sort of PTSD treatments with incredible people to actually uncover those memories. Really looking back now, same thing, realizing that my childhood abuse in so many ways dictated what love was available to me. And you, with your version. I often say, you and I did the very best we could in terms of intentionality. You and I would sit and do all the work to try and make it work with each other. But in our case, the work that needed to be done wasn’t in the relationship between us. It wasn’t the interpersonal stuff. It wasn’t better communication. It wasn’t any of that. What we actually each needed to do was to go heal our childhood trauma. We just didn’t know we had any. We were like, I’m fine. Like you say, it’s just a flesh wound. Like I’m great. Right.
So that’s why this piece of it, the personal piece of healing and figuring out who you are, what beliefs you have, what you’re looking for, this is so key. And then you think about the apps, the apps go to you, Hey, choose from all of humanity, overwhelming, and choose based on symmetry. How symmetrical is somebody’s face? And I laugh because even with the, not just that, but how absurd it is that we think we can make a decision this important on so little data and such poor data. If you look at all the major predictors of relationship success, and there have been enough studies on this. There’s one study that was done over 40 something years with married people, and the predictors all boil down to the same thing. It’s kindness, supporting each other, communication, a healthy active sex life, forgiveness, compassion. All the factors boil down to these kinds of like, I’d say very internal relationship skills and the ways you feel about each other.
There’s no relationship study that goes, ah, it boils down to how good looking the people are, what kind of a selfie they take. These are just not the things that actually create good love, but we’re being asked to assess and choose based on this. Actually, there’s a really, I think quite a striking study that shows that with Tinder, 80% of women swipe on only 20% of men. There’s a massive skewing. There’s a massive skewing mismatch in the algorithms because again, people are just being asked to see us based on looks, right. And people just go, okay, good looking, good looking, good looking, not good looking. But what’s super interesting is that the other 80% of men who are not being swiped on, if you put those men in a room with women and the woman get to see how they behave, how they talk, who has integrity, who has a sense of manner or charisma. All these things you can’t tell from a photo, then it all kind of balances out again.
This was one of the big things that we went back and forth and back and forth about again. I mean, trying to translate the amazing psychology that we see out there into a technological platform is a fascinating process. And in this case, we experimented and there are apps out there who completely remove visual data. There’s no pictures. You have to get to know each other. But the reason why these apps haven’t taken off or don’t work is because, listen, three Hs, right? Head, heart, and hoo-ha. And the hoo-ha is sexual attraction, chemistry. We do want to be attracted to a person. So I realized, listen, if I remove all visual data, that’s not the way. I decided the better cure to this is to give you more information. And so what we were playing with and what you can see now as well with video. Video, even a three to five second video gives you such a better sense for somebody, how they feel, their energy, whether they’re attractive to you than a photo.
And so you can see all the apps are retrospectively scrambling to build video in, but video is vulnerable. So if you don’t have to put video up, you feel kind of like a weirdo being the one to put it up. But La Vette is a hundred percent video. You will never see a photo of somebody. Even your first interaction with somebody is a three to five second video. And so we’ve pushed everyone and made it a rule because just your ability to get a sense of someone’s energy is so much better. And even as I think about all the people out there who feel excluded by the apps in the sense of what I hear over and over again is, I just don’t do well on the apps. I do well in real life. I just wish they could meet me. I just wish someone would jump on the phone with me. That’s the majority of people. Your chance to then convey who you are is jumped.
We have a whole structure on the kinds of questions we ask people to answer in the videos. So there’s a cute profile video, which is very quick. But then the others, we actually ask you to share not just what’s good in your life, but we ask you the question, what sucks about this area of your life? Watching people share quite vulnerably on camera, actually getting a sense of how they talk about difficult things or what’s life for them makes people vulnerable, it makes them so attractive. And so really trying to create a world where even though, yes, we are digitized, we’re trying to create convenience, we want to give people the best possible opportunity to be seen and also to really get a sense of the people in front of them. It’s a really interesting balance to strike for sure. It’s so awkward. Absolutely. Which actually goes to part two.
So we have the personal. We have, how do you create good love. It’s looking at yourself, being willing to take your patterns on. And then you have what I think is the interpersonal. I mean, listen, again, there are so many incredible dating coaches out there who have nailed the stuff. And I again, feel so lucky to have spoken to matchmakers and dating experts and psychologists who’ve been squirreling away at this for many, many years. And again, what we’re finding is that there are just some key interpersonal skills that if you learn this and you cultivate this, not only is your dating life improved, your picker improves, but your relationships improve. And one of the key things is so simple, but it’s just like knowing how to ask great questions. And you know, most people don’t. And when you hear about how people say, oh, dating is boring, dating is this, dating is that. I’m like, well, you don’t know how to have a great date.
And also to be fair, especially in the pandemic, the fear now of actually going and meeting a person in real life, the stakes started to feel really, really high. So one of the things we do is we drive people to video first. We call it a virtual vibe check. We say, listen, if you’ve connected with somebody, exactly you said like jump on a video call. But rather than being awkward, the way we do it is I’ve built a database of three, 5,000 questions, which are deep, deep rapport building questions across every area of life. No, I mean, because the point is this. So Mark and I, at some point in our marriage, I think in the pandemic, we were like, ah, let’s get some of those relationship cards and use it as a tool. But these cards had some seriously, seriously confronting questions.
One I remember was they had the question, what do you least like about the way that I drive? I’m like, that question, that’s going to set us up for… Absolutely. No. I’ve gone through infinities. But the questions we ask are really designed to help people drop in deeper and they’re not confrontational. They’re more about getting to the heart of somebody. Because again, there’s this idea that we are looking for similarity when we date. I think that’s a misconception. If you look at the data on this too, it is a misconception. Superficial similarity doesn’t actually necessarily mean you’re going to have a good relationship. The type of similarity you’re actually looking for is a type which is called meta values. And meta values is essentially how do you feel about feelings, what do you believe? How should anger be expressed? Or how do you deal with things?
This is all about your internal processing and similarity there matters. So then think about dating, asking someone like, oh, what’s your favorite song? Or what’s your favorite food? These are things people ask, but this is not going to find you someone who has a deep compatibility and resonance versus asking how do you deal with a difficult situation. When you are triggered, how do you manage your nervous system? What is the struggle that you’ve had that you have overcome or really proud about? What’s something that’s a little hard in your life right now? Asking these much deeper questions that will shake out if there is a resonance at this kind of meta values level, right. That’s a key thing, that interpersonal dynamic. I really was. I really was.
Absolutely. And again, the way I like to start with dates, and you’re right, I came out of our marriage. I determined to really figure out like you were, figure out my own patterns and do it better. But then also building La Vette, I was like, what an amazing chance to go on every single app at every single level, go on dates and really test the psychology behind what I’m building. So one of the things I would do is very quickly on a, well, first of all, for anyone who’s single, and this is super, super, super important. If you are single and you’re stuck on the apps right now, there’s a very important dating flow, which is that if you connect with somebody and you’re like text chatting, don’t wait more than a couple days of text chatting to say, Hey, listen, let’s jump on a video call.
And the line I used to use which makes it really easy and really just cute and funny is, Hey, I’d love to jump on a video call and just see if we both pass the psychopath test, ha ha ha, right? And no one says no to this. And if someone says no, run. But then you can jump on a quick video call. And this quick call will give you such a sense of whether you have chemistry or not. And so on this call, you get a vibe. And then when you go on a first date, you’re not wondering, do they look like their pictures? Is there going to be any kind of spark? You already know that there’s something there. So you can ask and dive into these deeper questions with no fear. But the questions are, the best ones I found is to start really positive and say, and this is from Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s a question she asked every person she met for a year. It’s such a great question, which is just, what are you most excited about in your life right now?
And the reason this is such a great question is that anyone on a date at that point will light up and share the thing they’re most excited about. A person can go from really boring and two dimensional to really interesting attractive when they share what they really care about. So it’s a way of diving in, but it’s a pretty safe question to ask. And then you can crank up the intensity a little bit and ask somebody, like I said, what is a challenge in the last year that you have overcome? And again, it gives someone now something to share a little bit more vulnerably. And another amazing question I love to ask is, what’s something about you I would never guess just by looking at you? And this is when people can share, they can share their quirks. Things about me are like I was a pistol instructor. I’m famous in Sri Lanka, but only in Sri Lanka. Like little weird things, little weird things. I’ve heard some of the most amazing answers.
Recently I asked it and this guy said to me, he said, “When I was a kid, my sister and I were part of a circus every summer.” I’m like, “What?” “Yeah. We were like eight and six and we would go and juggle for the circus every summer.” So you could learn the most strange things and it just opens up these kinds of conversations. But then the next thing is to ask people about what they’re aligned with, what they’re creating. What are you working towards in your life right now? This will give you a sense of their priorities. And if those priorities line up with you. Is it about relationships? Is it about family? Is it about work? And then it can just be something as simple as like, what’s something you’ve achieved in the last year that you’re really proud of? And again, these are not confrontational questions, but you’ll find that they shift the dynamic of any kind of, whether it’s a romantic date or just in a friendship, it shifts the dynamic from this kind of superficial compatibility familiarity to a deeper level of communication.
And so much of the interpersonal stuff that we teach in La Vette comes down to asking great questions, but also being willing to share the truth. And I know you and I worked a lot on this. We had so much help, especially from Lauren during our marriage about both of us are people pleasers. We would keep the truth from each other because we didn’t want to upset each other. And it just creates such a unhelpful cycle versus having to really learn how to say the truth upfront, whether you’re a dating or in a relationship, and really trusting, really trusting that the truth will shake out the correct outcome. I mean, listen, on first dates. I know a lot of people give advice, don’t share too much on the first date. I shared everything. I’m divorced. I’m dealing with my childhood trauma right now. I’m having some struggles in some of my family relationships. I don’t share it as a complaint, but I own it.
And I’m very clear and I light my freak flag. I’m like, Hey, listen, this is the truth of who I am. And I see, can they hold it? Because there’s no point in me secretly managing all my secret dark truth and then bringing them out one by one, six months in, 12 months in. That’s how relationships get weird, right? And so probably getting part of La Vette I’ll be like, how do you systematize telling the truth? How do you make it fun? How do you make it sexy? How do you make it something that people are excited to do and that they want to share? The apps right now, I mean, I don’t know if you know the dating stats, but with digital… No, listen, with digital dating, I think what people are often not aware of is that people are not just managing disappointment. The disappointment is like ghosting, catfishing, lying, all the stuff not working out.
Most people are also managing danger, physical danger in terms of meeting a stranger in the internet. 560 million dollars was lost to scams, dating scams. Just last year in America, do you remember there was a guy impersonating you in Europe. When I was married to Mark, I would get these frantic, desperate messages from women on Instagram going, “Your husband is cheating on you.” And they would send me screenshots of FaceTiming with Mark. I’m like, what is going on? And we realized that there was a doppelganger, a guy who looked just like Mark who was going on dating websites pretending to be him and scamming women out of money. And this is so common. So you have to understand that with dating… Isn’t it crazy? While it’s meant to be one of the most, it is terrible. And when you hear the stories one to one, thinking about this, this is the most vulnerable part of our lives. We’re trying to open our hearts. We’re trying to be connected. We’re hopeful. It should be one of the most exciting, juicy areas of our life.
But so much of the time because of how the systems are set up, we are managing basic safety. So we can’t even ask ourselves, do I like this person? Is there chemistry? Because we’re like, am I safe? Is this even a real person? Is this a bot? Is this a scam? Well, for women, men and women actually have it equally bad in different ways. Because for men, there’s an enormous amount of catfishing bots and scamming, so there are a whole… Catfishing is like when somebody puts up, well, there’s different types. The worst type is when someone literally creates a profile, puts up pictures and it’s not them. They look nothing like that. And then on the kind of softer end, it’s like these days, there’s so many filters and Photoshop and this, that. The person puts up all these amazing photos. When you meet in real life, they actually don’t look anything like their photos. It’s all filtered. It’s all this, it’s all that.
So this kind of vast misrepresentation about how we look, which is why, again, I love video because even if someone puts a little bit of a filter on, you still have an idea of what they look like and how they sound, it’s a much more accurate representation. But you think about managing the danger of dating. This makes so much sense why people feel afraid of going out there and joining the apps and joining the sites because how do you keep an open heart when there’s so much danger and there’s so much, I guess not just emotional harm, but sometimes physical, financial harm. Absolutely. I think the first thing is this, what we expect of people in La Vette, and I always say, La Vette is not for everyone. Everyone is not in La Vette. That’s what Tinder is. That’s what Bumble is. That’s what Hinge is. Like have fun. This is a very specific community of people who are self-aware, who are building something better for themselves, looking to create whatever version of exceptional love they want. And so because we are so much of people, I just want to explain that the way, like there’s a very intense vetting process to get in.
We are the only dating system that actually background checks people. We have a certified third party provider so we make sure that every single person that comes in is exactly who they say they are. And we have eyes on them because of their video profile. I don’t think you can expect people to do this kind of work on healing themselves, sharing openly, unless you create a container of safety. So the very first thing we did with La Vette was to make sure that we have a process and an application onboarding process that creates that container of safety so that everyone who gets in the door is a good fit. So we start there. But then the world itself, speaking to this point of now what? How do you make this better is think about how you used to meet people before the internet, right. Friends of friends, colleagues. You join a running group. It was always in a socialized context. And the reason why that worked so well was because if someone ends up in the same room as you somewhere, you usually have something or many things in common.
In the terms of like if you’re in a yoga class together, you have similar values around health and lifestyle. If you end up in a workspace together, there’s something that you both care about that’s driven you into the same lane. But we don’t have that so much anymore. And our friend groups, especially if you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, most people are partnered. So trying to meet through socialization has become harder and harder and harder. But the other thing is this shared experiences. If you’re part of a group, you’re having these shared experiences together. So we were like, okay, how do we replicate this kind of more natural model of falling in love and having chemistry? How do you replicate that digitally? And so we played around this a lot. And what we did was we created six incredible virtual spaces. We have a digital speakeasy, a digital temple, a digital gym, a digital playroom, and these amazing spaces we throw workshops. We throw these kinds of amazing group experiences where we’ll bring in like you, we’ll bring you into the gym to talk about nutrition.
We’ll bring in a meditation expert to teach meditation in the temple. And so people have the chance to go in and actually have these kinds of shared experiences. And everyone they’re interacting with in that group is a vetted, qualified, values aligned single. And so as you’re actually learning the skills like we’re bringing in people to teach you about healing your trauma, or how to communicate better, or how to know what you want. We’re bringing in all these experts that I’ve been so blessed to work with over the last couple of years, we’re bringing them in to teach our members. But while that’s of course really helpful, as you’re learning and growing and healing, you’re doing it in a group of people who are also looking for the same thing. So think about that. Think about your chances there of meeting someone who’s compatible with you, like values, meta values aligned compatible. Think about how easy it is to start a conversation.
Wow. How did you find that workshop? What did you get out of it? And our job is to facilitate it. We’re putting people into little groups, into this, into that. I really do think we can find love and find ourselves at the same time. We have to have the right kinds of structures and systems to do it. And then put in the context of the fact that everyone in there is willing to share and be vulnerable. And I think that’s super key. What we ask of you if you are a member is what we ask of everybody. So you don’t feel like a weirdo having to share because everybody’s doing it. I’ve learned this, I’ve built multiple kinds of exclusive communities and hosted many events with the point to get people connected. And again, setting the permissions is key. I just see there’s all the members that are coming into our site. They are people who they have options. They want good love, but they’re stuck in a system that doesn’t allow or create that.
And so we are speaking very specifically to the kinds of people who are just sick of dealing with being stuck on the surface and sick of all the kind of anti-social behaviors that our digital dating culture has normalized and really willing to be like, okay, let’s go back to a healthy social baseline, learn and grow and do it with other amazing people. And then, oh my gosh, who knows who I might meet while I’m doing it? It’s so much more fun. It’s so much more fun. It is totally a magic trick. Absolutely, I mean, I call it a retraining because I think you’re so bang on with that. We have been trained and socialized to lie. Whether it’s a belief that there’s something that’s in us that’s unacceptable or we’re managing what we think the other person wants. We’re living in romantic scarcity so we’re afraid. Oh gosh, this person doesn’t choose me, then there’s no one for me.
Or even worse, most people have this kind of they care what people think and so they try to get every single date to like them, which is ridiculous because not everyone’s going to like you. And so we get stuck in these dysfunctional thinking. So retraining people is such a big part of what we’re trying to do with La Vette. And that starts at the onboarding process where we were very clear. We’re like, listen, in this club, in this social club, no liars, no scams. We are building a culture of telling the truth and rewarding people for doing so. And I think what I’ve seen, just like you were saying is that most people if given the opportunity and they know they’re not going to be punished for it would like to actually share who they are. The amount of people who go dating and don’t even say they’re divorced because they’re afraid that if they say they’re divorced, the person won’t want to date them. These are the kinds of, even just base level things people are hiding.
A lot of practice, a lot of experience. Absolutely. Right? So building a culture where it’s language the whole way through. We have a series of what we call La Vette agreements. Everyone has to click like I agree, I agree. These are agreements around integrity. These are agreements around participation. These are agreements around how one shows up in the experience of the social club. And I think that’s the key is we’re not a dating site. I explain it. We’re not a dating site. We are a vetted virtual social club for singles. It’s being part of a really amazing high end community, it just so happens that everyone in there is single and looking. And so again, putting us back into a safe, socialized context so that we can learn as a community and set our values as a community and say, listen, in this community, in the La Vette social club, we value honesty and integrity.
And so we expect our members to be honest and open. Even with, for instance, ghosting. One of the big pain points of dating is that people just will disappear out of a conversation or they’ve dated you for a couple months and they just suddenly didn’t reply. It’s a super painful process of being abandoned. But if you ask yourself, why do people ghost? And I have asked at the people, and I asked myself too because I committed I would never ghost and I did. I started ghosting towards the end like a few months into dating. And it’s because we’re so conflict diverse. I had made a real effort to say, Hey, listen, thanks, that was a really great date but it’s not for me. But one out of 10 times, the person would blow up at me and send me abuse. Listen, 30% of people on the dating apps report being verbally abused. 10% of people who are on the dating apps report threats of physical violence. There’s a lot of abuse on these systems because it’s anonymous, there’s no accountability. And so people become afraid to tell the truth because of these behaviors, and so it’s easier to disappear than to have that difficult conversation. So this is a big pain point for people.
We solved it by automating it. You just click. At any point, you can click open connection, close connection. And as La Vette, we send the message to the person. We’re like an intermediary to help those conversations and we also ask that everyone makes a choice. If you go on a video date with somebody, you have to tell them where you stand. We say clarity is kindness, but the way you do it is by clicking, interested in more, I just want to be friends, or I’m done talking. Each person gets to make their selection and we navigate that relationship for each person. So we realize that, listen, we want to make sure everyone is respecting each person’s time but we also understand that navigating those difficult situations and having those, writing the messages and dealing with it can be hard for people. So it’s part of our retraining is create the habit of being clear, but we’ll help you. We’ll help you on the way. A supportive community.
Absolutely. Well, it’s by working with incredible experts. So how I see the social club is we are, yes, we are there as a site and we have companion app. People come in, they want to meet each other. You get introductions to members. You can go find people in the gallery. There’s all the dating stuff that’s there. But like I said, the core piece of it is that we have live virtual workshops and we have an incredible virtual date system, which are all designed to be supportive. So you can come in and learn from some of the world’s best teachers on love and healing and sex and have that learning experience. The actual functionality centers around these conversations around what do we need to heal, how can we heal? For instance, we’re in beta right now. We have applications open, but we’ve been running a beta inside. Tomorrow we have an amazing second part of a workshop around how to create safety in sex and why safety in sex is so important.
And her name is Genevieve. She’s amazing. She comes in, she teaches and she’s amazing. She comes in and teaches why safety is the most important part of creating a thriving sex life. This workshop, we have whatever, like a hundred something betas. We have 40 people in there. People are like, teach me. And then the fun thing is you’re learning these skills, which are so foundational to how to have a good relationship or to understand yourself. But you’re learning them with people who are looking for the same thing as you. Everyone you’re interacting with there is single and on the same page. It’s like combining the best world. As you’re dating, you’re learning and growing. You’re also being socialized in I’d say a values aligned community, which is why, I mean, it’s so hard to explain to people what we’ve built with La Vette because it is such a comprehensive platform.
It’s not an app, it’s not, oh, a dating app or a dating site. It is a comprehensive, intentional dating platform, which is, it’s a bold move. But you know, you and I talk about this. I believe in love. And I know you believe in love too. I believe in exceptional love. I believe that it’s possible to create exceptional love, but with the systems we have, it doesn’t enable it. And I think the greatest mythology we have in modern day about romantic love is that it just happens to us. It’s just luck. And if it stops working, bad luck versus no. We know that there are predictable ways to find good love and to continue to create good love that puts the power back in our court. And so rather than just waiting around hoping prince or princess charming is going to show up, we go, huh. All right, let me work on myself and figure out what my patterns are. Do some healing. Let me learn the requisite relationship skills, the communication skills, how to ask great questions, how to navigate conflict, how to have great sex.
Let me learn all the interpersonal skills and really take this on like you would take on you’re upleveling your career or buying a kitchen appliance. Take it on with the intelligence and intentionality that we show every other area of our life. Considering how important love is, it deserves that kind of intentionality. Absolutely. Absolutely. And it starts with awareness. The first thing is the awareness of, like you said, your patterns. How we integrated and systematized it in La Vette is using Lauren’s, her three H system. So every member who comes into the platform, the first thing we get them to do is to go through this three Hs exercise. And it’s such a simple thing but it helps so much because it asks you to go back through every relationship you’ve ever had and rate, where did these relationships land when it comes to your head? Which is everything that makes sense on paper. Are your values aligned for the future? Are you in the right sort of life or age bracket? Do you live in the right places? Do you care about the same things? Do you have the same kind of whatever kind of, I say cultural or intellectual compatibility?
And then the heart is trust and love and kindness. And the hoo-ha of course is what kind of sexual connection do you want. And so going back through your relationships and actually reflecting on like, huh, what were my relationships based on? And Lauren always says, there’s usually one area we sell out in. Usually we are strong in a couple and maybe we sell out on another. And so it starts that reflective process of like, okay, where have I come from? What have I done in the past? And then we get people to create their three HS, their intention list. So they write down what are the must haves for each of these categories? What are the deal breakers for each of these categories? What are the nice to haves? And just that simple exercise of sitting down and getting really intentional helps people to map out what does actually work for them.
And I always say to people as well, it’s not about someone being, like the classic for woman is, oh, he’s got to be six foot something. Does he? Or do you just want to feel deeply attracted to him? Does she really have to have blonde hair or do you want to feel sexually drawn to her? Getting people to stop looking for the superficial similarities, superficial characteristics and dig into this idea of how do you want the relationship to feel. Like all the stuff they say about what makes relationship work, how do you resolve conflict? And so that exercise gets them to really dream up a relationship or whether you want one relationship or many, it’s up to you, a lover, a husband, a wife, you get to choose. But the idea of they map that out. And the cool thing is every time you go on a video date in La Vette, every time you connect with somebody and you do a little, we call it a virtual vibe check.
Afterwards, there’s like a reflection form that pops up and you write. Where did this person land on each one? And you write your notes. It populates as a self-reflective date tracker. So you have your own personal history of every date you’ve gone on so you can be in this kind of self-informed, reflective practice as you’re dating. As you do that reflection, it becomes very obvious. Most people get very clear like, ah, I’m still stuck here. I’m still stuck there. And with that awareness, then you know what should I be working on? It’s like, okay, well, I have like you said, maybe I have some kind of anxious attachment style. Well, I should definitely attend that workshop on how to deal with attachment styles, right? So we encourage people to create their own map of where they’ve been, what they want, where they want to go, and to always be in that critically engaged process.
Yeah, absolutely. Because listen, I always say, if you’re single, there’s a pretty good chance you’re suffering. And so I always say whether you are single, no, the stereotype about dating is it sucks and it’s hard. So if you’re single, I hear you. If you have single people that you would love, send them. It’s a free month trial. Because we’re pre-loading, we’re essentially getting our first group of amazing applicants ready to go. This is a really amazing chance to come and be part of something that could really change the face of dating. It’s really making a stand for quality of good love. And I really deeply understand the frustration and pain of what it feels like to want to have high quality human connection, to be ready for it, to be excited about it, and to be stuck in a system that is punishing and sets you up for failure.
So if you’re single, or you know someone you love is single, yeah, absolutely. Go to lavette.love and you can start the application process there and learn more about us. Thanks Mark for having me on here. It’s been so good to chat too. Well, thank you for all your support, not just for La Vette, but something I so love about you is your, not just your expertise in physical health, but really how you understand the relationship between the social factors and the emotional factors, and really being an advocate for healthy relationships and love.
Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search their find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.