You may remember our friend Quin Woodward Pu. She’s an author, a socialite and she doesn’t mince words! This time last year she was the girl you were warned NOT to date due to a ‘break-up text’ response and thus appearing on Fox Television’s Bethenny. One year later she has a new release entitled The Plunger Syndrome: Gaslighting in Internet-Era Relationships. We caught up with Quin to ask her about her latest book and her love life. This is what she had to say.
1. Tell us about your latest book:
My third book is called The Plunger Syndrome: Gaslighting in Internet-Era Relationships. If you’ve ever read The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up, you can think of it as the millennial response to that seminal book.
I address the changing landscape of dating in a digital world. So often communications happen at hyper-speed, and by the time you finally meet someone for a physical date, you feel like you know them because you’ve been texting, emailing, etc. In reality, none of the infrastructure of an actual relationship is there–they’ve shown you their greatest hits via social media or their own digital communications, but you don’t actually know each other.
The Plunger Syndrome is available on both Amazon and Kindle.
2. Define what a “Plunger” is and how can we avoid them?
I use the word Plunger because they are people that jerk in and out of relationships, moving frenetically from woman to woman or man to man, moving at lightning speed attempting to create deep emotional connections without any of the pesky legwork involved in actually getting to know someone. I outline nine key characteristics of them in my book, but there’s one universal thing about Plungers: They always come back.
Plungers are ubiquitous, and a product of the contemporary social cyber world. You definitely know a Plunger, whether it’s your ex, your boss, or your mother-in-law. They are not restricted to purely romantic relationships.
Avoiding them…that’s a toughie. I myself haven’t mastered that yet; in fact I am still in frequent communication with the guy I blogged about during that viral explosion. The key thing is to be aware of what you’re getting into when engaging with them.
I use the term “gaslighting” in the title because Plungers tend to go radio silent on you when you least expect it, e.g. following months of intense conversation that you think is indicative of a healthy, progressing relationship. They pull back, like a toilet plunger, and you’re left feeling like you’ve made up the whole thing in your head when, really, the Plunger is employing his or her mind tricks to re-establish authority.
3. Best place to meet single men?
Airports. There’s just something so thrilling about the transience of your time there. I love the challenge of winning someone over in a short window of time, and sustaining that ephemeral sensation through a flight, layover, or even just through future communications. I am a strong believer in dressing up to travel!
4. Best internet dating site?
Definitely Tinder. I’ve had some real long-term success with it, and love using it when I travel. Hilariously, while on a first date with someone I met on the app, whom I ended up dating pretty seriously, he told me, “I don’t want to alarm you, but there is a negative article written about me on the internet. I hope that isn’t a deal breaker.”
5. Best DC Power Lunch spot?
Blue Duck Tavern, STK, or Cafe Milano. It all depends on what I’m trying to get out of the lunch!
6. Fall 2014 must have:
You mean apart from a fall boyfriend? I’m all about glam accessories. Can’t wait to trot out my vintage fox fur muff. Also, my mom gave me a pair of aubergine opera-length gloves that I’ll be wearing under capes and trapeze jackets
7. If you could travel back in time, what is the one piece of advice you would tell your former self?
In terms of the blog going viral, I really wouldn’t have handled it any differently. It was a tempestuous whirlwind of publicity, but I’m equipped with the mental and emotional wherewithal to take that on. In fact, you might say I thrust myself into it!
On a more global level, realizing that being a writer comes with a very specific set of challenges–like when your diary becomes your professional portfolio, and the world can be cruel–would be some encouraging, “chin up, girl” words I’d give myself.
Oh, and I had some really bad bangs in 2003 that I’d advise against.
8. What’s next for Quin?
I wrote this book in six months, and it’s my third in three years. As soon as I finished it, I told myself I’d take a break. However, recent experiences have caused me to go back to writing. A fourth book is on the horizon, tales of love and lust from the Orient (really just relationship experiences from men I met traveling to Asia, though it sounds so much more titilating that way).
I’m headed to Hong Kong in November for continued inspiration and a little R&R, and then Bangkok to ring in the New Year. But first, I’m celebrating my 27th birthday with a once-in-a-lifetime (definitely no need to go twice) girl’s trip to fantastically trashy Atlantic City next week.
9. Finally, the question everyone wants the answer to – how hard is it for you to get a date after last year’s media blitz?
Haha! Actually, it is now considerably easier. Sure, the crowd is self-editing, but there is no shortage of men looking for a strong and fiercely independent woman–especially in this town!
10. Favorite Quote:
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” –Maya Angelou.
How many of us would be spared heartbreak or confusion if we applied this to every relationship–romantic or otherwise–in our lives? I spent three years with a guy who told me the night I met him that he didn’t have time to be a good boyfriend to me. I’m learning, though: someone said that to me two weeks ago and I got the hell out of there!