Not a subscriber?

Join 900+ readers mastering their minds and monetizing their knowledge:

Subscription received. If you don't get your confirmation email, check your spam folder. Still nothing? Email dan [at] dangoldfield [dot] com and I'll add you manually 💙
Tech fail 😑 Please try again or email dan [at] dangoldfield [dot] com and I'll subscribe you manually.




Founder, KorteX
3.5M followers top writer






"If you want practical strategies to maximize your own well-being, then create a profitable internet business around your passions, interests and curiosities – Goldfield is your guy."


i used to be needy as hell, which was quite a turnoff for the ladies.

every day i slammed hard against the wall of online dating.

of course, i thought my lack of success meant there was something wrong with me fundamentally, which created a “neediness feedback loop”.

but it turns out most people find online dating a chore. and that’s because, fundamentally, it is (until it isn’t—i’ll get to that).

new hardware, new software, old wetware

“wetware” is a term used to parallel the human brain with computer systems.

computers, as you know, have been developing rapidly. but your brain is mechanically the same as it was 250,000 years ago.

the dynamics of human connection remained basically the same for 249,972 of those years. i.e. it was done face-to-face.

then launched in 1995, spawned Tinder in 2012 and things were never the same again.

if you want a date in 2023 you basically have to learn digital marketing. and the product is yourself.

problem: if you’re like most people you don’t think much of yourself.

roughly 85% of people worldwide (adults and adolescents) have low self-esteem​¹​

if you’ve ever tried to promote a product you don’t believe in you’ll understand why online dating is hard. it’s a very different game to the time-honoured tradition of going out with friends, getting drunk and throwing up on your future wife’s trousers.

so how did i, someone who’d been needy his entire life, end up marrying a psychologist (twice)?

i went on a journey from feeling unworthy of affection, through rigorous personal development to being perfectly happy on my own. and that’s what made me attractive.

but why did i have to go on that journey at all?

codependency: the invisible chain

codependency has become normalized. it’s everywhere. every singer from Whitney Houston to Rihanna to Dave Grohl has sung about needing someone else in order to feel okay.

the model of love presented in classic Disney movies and every romcom ever is based on how the protagonists “can’t live” without one another.

and there’s an ugly reason that so much media portrays this kind of love: everyone relates to it.

timeline of a codependent relationship

a codependent relationship begins with you feeling you’re missing something (which is the condition everyone’s raised into).

so you go on a date and come to believe the person sat opposite you in McDonald’s or Wagamama’s or the Marriott, depending on your budget, can fill the void inside you. (codependency is kind of like the iphone: rich people have it; poor people have it; everyone has it.)

but what’s really happening is simple distraction. social interaction—especially of the intimate kind—releases a potent chemical cocktail in your brain. dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin all peak in a new romance, and each wide-eyed lover forgets they ever had a problem in life.

you like feeling good. so you become dependent upon your new lover in the same way you might be dependent on nicotine. you feel sh!tty on your own, but better with your new partner.

it gets really dangerous when the same dependency is present in your partner, too. this is what the term “codependency” means. and this is almost always the case (because only dependent people are attracted to dependent people).

when you and your partner are fulfilling one another’s needs everything’s fine. but partners don’t tend to do that consistently for very long…

inevitably, one of you has to pick up extra shifts or the other takes a holiday with friends. worse—but still common—one partner begins to lose interest or perhaps even cheats.

but here’s where things get complicated…

because you’re both still living with an underlying sense of lack—because you’ve not “worked on yourselves”—you’re actually not pleasant to live with.

perhaps you have questionable hygiene. perhaps you have toxic relationships with friends. perhaps you’re addicted to video games.

and your partner’s no better.

perhaps they have unresolved trauma. perhaps they complain about their boss a lot. perhaps they get drunk on weeknights.

naturally, you want to keep the good parts of them and change the bad. and they feel the same about you.

you bicker.

you fight.

you break up.

but now what about the void inside that they were filling?

you get back together.

you fight.

you break up.

suddenly it seems Bono from U2 is the only one who understands you when he sings “i can’t live with or without you”. you never even liked that song but now you have it on repeat.

you’re even worse off than before: when you started the relationship you had a void inside. now you have a void inside and a breakup.

like a junkie who can’t get their fix, you feel you’re going to die. or worse, you feel you might want to make it happen yourself.

(if this is you right now, i STRONGLY encourage you to seek support. email me at dan [at] dangoldfield [dot] com if you need someone to talk to, but also establish professional local help.)

99% of people think codependency is the only option

…not even the “experts” really understand.

the usual take is that codependency means “people in a relationship that are bad for each other”. but as you saw above, it’s deeper than that.

it doesn’t help that this is the only kind of romantic relationship in mainstream media.

classic Disney movies were all about that “you complete me” dynamic. the hollywood romcom is built on the premise. and there are far more singers than Bono wailing into the mic as if they just got dumped in the studio.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown even televised their codependent relationship to fund their well-reported drug habit… which eventually led to her death.

codependency is bad news.

the good news is that there is an alternative. two, actually…

independent and interdependent relationships

“Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”

-Stephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

which type of person is most likely to get the success you want?

when i read this, i knew i was only going to be satisfied with interdependent relationships in my life. but this made me aware of how unready i was for them.

i still needed things from other people:

🔹 validation
🔹 affection
🔹 support
🔹 affirmation
🔹 respect

but reading Covey i knew i was only going to be ready for the relationships i wanted once i’d learned to validate myself, love myself, support myself, affirm myself, respect myself. and not in small measure… i’d have to fulfill myself in all these ways to the point that i didn’t need even an ounce of them from anyone else.

so i did.

through a combination of personal development and mindfulness i first became independent, then ready for interdependence.

dating from square 1

once i was ready for the right kind of relationship i knew my old online dating profiles had to go.

previously i’d censored myself in my profiles for fear of missing out on dates. (i wrote about fomo and other mind viruses ​last week.​)

free of that fear, it was obvious that i’d never attract the right partner unless i was completely honest about myself.

within two weeks i met my future wife. we hit it off like i’d never experienced before. it was obvious to us both that we were a perfect match.

we married in 2021 during lockdown, and promised Debbie’s parents we’d marry again with them in calcutta, india. that happened in january this year (2023).

of all the people who’ve married the same person twice (which has gotta be few) we suspect we might be the couple who had the two most different weddings in history. one with 4 guests, one with 400!

Debbie and i live in perfect harmony and we’re aware of how rare and valuable this is. we regularly thank one another for becoming ready for an interdependent relationship before meeting. we even spoke about interdependent relationships on our first date.

but interdependent relationships don’t only show up in romance.

they’re amazing in business, family and friendship too. communication, delegation, perspective and decision-making are all a completely different experience in interdependence than they are in codependence or independence.

i want you to experience this. hell, it’s my mission to help 1 billion and 1 people experience this.

here’s how…

5 relationship tips from a guy who married a psychologist (twice)

if you’ve read this far you might be aware that an interdependent relationship is founded on who you are before you show up to the first date (or interview or dinner at your in-laws).

in other words, when two compatible people who are ready for an interdependent relationship find each other, they don’t need any tips.

so the tips below are really about that great preparation you must make if you want to live in harmony with another human being. they’re about who you need to be (or not be).

follow them in sequence. then when your perfect match walks into your life, you’ll be ready to sweep them off their feet.

i won’t lie: if you’re already in a relationship that’s not interdependent it’ll be harder to do this kind of work on yourself.

integrating this advice will lead to a lot of personal change.

if your relationship is codependent—which, again, most are—then your partner won’t like it when you change.

sadly, i’ve seen lots of relationships end when one partner starts to change for the better. but if your partner doesn’t like you making positive change that tells you everything you need to know about them.

tip #0: mindfulness


if you’ve read my content before you’ll know i’m a mindfulness teacher and you’ll know it was the pivotal practice in transforming my life.

it shows up in every newsletter i write because it makes everything else easy.

and i’m not just talking from personal experience. i’ve seen hundreds of students benefit from it. i’ve seen thousands of peers benefit from it. i’ve seen Ray Dalio and Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan benefit from it.

so here, once again, is the basic practice i recommend. run this daily along with the tips below to make them all smoother, easier and faster.

tip #1: find your “dependency stash”


following your daily mindfulness practice, take out your journal.

pen and paper’s great. a device is fine but you have to be a ninja about dodging distractions.

i recently turned 37. for my birthday Debbie bought me a Kindle Scribe (affiliate link), which is by far the best journal i’ve ever had. i’ve always preferred digital documents, so having a new kind of device i can read and journal on without artificial light or notifications is game-changing.

you’re going to journal on just one simple, powerful prompt:

what 3 things would you have changed about the past 24 hours and why?

do this 14 days in a row and you’ll learn a lot about what bothers you.

tip #2: redraw your social boundaries


most people fall into two categories when it comes to social boundaries.

  1. too soft: the moment someone asks them to compromise they flop over like a fish
  2. too hard: the moment someone asks them to compromise they snap in anger

it’s not pleasant to live in either of these categories.

you want your boundaries to be strong but flexible, like bamboo.

but first you need to know where they are.

what are you willing to do for people? what do you feel is fair to expect in return? few people ever examine this.

so again, following your daily mindfulness practice, take out your journal.

here’s this week’s prompt:

when did i compromise over the past 24 hours and why?

some compromises are good. i.e. mutually beneficial. for example, i broke my deep work session the other day to drive Debbie to work. not ideal, but there were a string of occurrences that morning that meant it made sense for us as a team.

but many compromises you’ll journal about will be bad. i.e. benefitting someone else at the cost of your time and energy. “unpaid overtime” is the most prevalent example of this. (how “unpaid overtime” is even a thing is beyond me. it’s a paradox—work is meant to be done in exchange for money. overtime is meant to be done exchange for more money.)

as you write on this week’s prompt you’ll recall some compromises you feel okay about and some you don’t. please don’t doubt yourself regarding are the only authority on how your time and energy is spent. you may feel your boss overrules you on this, but you’re choosing to show up to work because you want the paycheck. that’s a compromise you’ve chosen to make.

journalling will help you analyze your boundaries as they are and where you’d prefer them to be.

once you’ve redrawn them, you’ll find this article on ​how to say no​ helpful.

tip #3: join a mastermind group


a mastermind group is made up of individuals who come together to discuss goals and challenges they’re facing. they then offer support and advice to encourage personal and professional growth.

the term “mastermind group” was popularized by Napoleon Hill, author of early self-help relic, Think and Grow Rich.

masterminds can be difficult to form, but they’re worth the effort. the internet makes this much easier. head out on social media and look for people who are in a similar stage of life as you are and have similar aspirations, values and ideals.

a mastermind group is often people’s first taste of interdependence. you’ll learn to give and take constructive feedback and see how that creates shared advantage.

tip #4: affirmations


now you’ve done some deep contemplation and started engaging in positive-sum relationships, it’s time for a test.

face yourself in the mirror then read the below list aloud. don’t worry about anyone overhearing. if they’re curious they can ask what you’re doing and maybe they’ll benefit from hearing about it.

🔹 ”i am self-sufficient.”
🔹 ”i am worthy of affection.”
🔹 ”i am attractive.”
🔹 ”i am content.”
🔹 ”i am fulfilled.”
🔹 ”i am strong.”
🔹 ”i am of benefit to others.”

how did you feel when you said these phrases to yourself?

did they feel accurate? or did you feel like you were lying? perhaps you felt somewhere in between.

do this daily over the next 2 weeks and do whatever you feel you must to mean these affirmations when you say them.

tip #5: present yourself authentically


presenting yourself authentically—without censoring yourself or trying to be different—is the only way you’ll ever create truly interdependent relationships.

and it’s made possible by your following the previous tips.

if someone’s not interested in a relationship with you, exactly as you are, then how could that relationship be of a high quality? this goes both ways.

you need to be ready to turn down a relationship with anyone. this isn’t a bad thing. some people are compatible and some aren’t. that’s just how humans are.

compatibility is the jackpot, and you’ll only get a true measure of it when you show up authentically.

rock those tips and watch the quality of your relationships soar. i’d love to hear about your process. if you need help with it, click here.

with love from my sofa,
dg 💙

¹ ​Jennifer Guttman, Psy.D. - The Relationship With Yourself

share this article:

Social Share

Enjoyed this post? Click here to subscribe and get the next one delivered straight to your inbox.

Previous Issues of
The Freetirement Files

How to Win on Social Media

(Escape the Rat Race)

42% of solo business owners earn over $50,000 per year. And "solopreneurs", as a group, contribute a total of $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy annually—with zero employees. Clearly, starting an online business is no longer an unsafe bet. Here's how to build the foundation of your own...

Continue reading →

How to Create Your Ideal Future

(Without a Vision You're Lost)

‍One of society’s greatest lies is that employment is stable. And one of society’s greatest blind spots is that the same technologies which are disrupting the workforce can enable you to create your own stability (from your couch). Here's how...

Continue reading →

10 Mindful Money Megahacks

(Delete Beliefs that Keep You Poor)

I was broke till I was 36. Then finally I found a way to earn money without sacrificing my wellbeing and integrity. Here are the 10 mindset shifts that made it possible.

Continue reading →

Mindful Money-Getting In 8 Steps

(How to Make Your Work A Spiritual Practice)

If you can't earn enough money, it's because you're not spiritual enough. And please don't listen to anyone who tells you that money will disrupt your spiritual practice. Money can't do that—it's just paper and metal. But what it can do is enable great benefit in the world. Here's how...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Killing Your Better Self

(The 5 Self-Help Non-Negotiables)

It's never been easier to settle for an average life. But this makes the winnings that much greater for those who rise up. Learn the 12 problems self-helpers are trying to overcome, the 6 problems with the most extreme solution, and the 5 non-negotiables that'll finally get you to your fullest potential.

Continue reading →

How to Make Dream Clients Come to You

(Without Spending a Single Dollar On Ads)

I look forward to every coaching call I host. Once I knew how to create my dream career it took just 5 months to go from my old life of compromise, fatigue, and selling my time for money... to my new life of passion, purpose and profit. You can make this shift too.

Continue reading →

The Self-Help Cheat Code

(How to Get Actual Results)

$7.52 billion: the current valuation of the self-help publishing industry. Yet only 3% of readers apply what they learn. It's clear: the answer you're looking for is not in the next bestseller. Here's how to get out of the trap.

Continue reading →

How to Make a Living on Social Media

(The Zero-Follower Money Method)

Everyone thinks you need 100,000 followers to make money online. Bullsh!t.There are people with over a million followers making no money. And there are people with 3000 followers doing $10K months (I achieved the latter myself). Here's the quick & dirty way to make it happen.

Continue reading →

The FIRST Thing to do About Any Problem

(How to Struggle Less)

"If you want good things in life, you have to suffer for them." That's what traditional schooling and parenting taught us, anyway. But the highest achievers of the East have been doing things differently for thousands of years. Here's their secret...

Continue reading →

How to Profit From Your Problems

(In 13 Little Steps)

some people never solve their problems. most people solve their problems without thinking about how their solution could be shared with others. but in the "freetirement" economy, we can do better...

Continue reading →

How to Earn Money Helping People

(3 Steps to Your Ideal Future)

People pay me $300 per session for coaching. They pay me this much because I help them solve problems that are costing them more than that. But over the past 6 months people have started asking me to help them with a different problem: they want to know how to help people like I do (so they can quit that job they hate). Here's what I tell them...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

(The Sustainable Way to Motivate Yourself)

You can’t force motivation. The more you try, the more it escapes you. So after 30 years trying to whip myself into shape, I experimented with going the other way. Here's how I 100X'd my motivation (without hustling).

Continue reading →

The One Question You Must Answer

(Before You Can Find True Happiness)

I contemplated this question for a whole year. But it was worth the wait, because once i had my answer, everything changed: I became happier than i ever thought possible, married the love of my life, and transitioned out of my old "time-for-money" business into my new "expertise-for-money" mission. Let me accelerate the process for you.

Continue reading →

How to "Freetire" Yourself

(Without Leaving Your Sofa)

Solopreneurs made $5 TRILLION in 2023. 0.00002% of that will make you a millionaire. Here's how to start your own internet business (with zero experience or capital).

Continue reading →

The Real Reason You Can't Stick to Anything

(Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work)

Only 1 in 100 people will take their new year’s resolution all the way to december. ​So why does everyone keep trying? Because no-one knows about the better option. Here it is...

Continue reading →

How to Stop Working Too Hard

(And Earn MORE Money)

55% of U.S. employees failed to take all their paid time off in 2023.​ They may as well be walking to the ATM, drawing out days' worth of pay and sliding it into their employer's wallet. Don't spend the rest of your life in this trap. Here's how to wriggle out of it...

Continue reading →

How to Get the Ultimate Perspective on Yourself

(Let Go of Your Emotional Baggage)

The way you see things determines your entire reality. So of course it's pretty damn important how you see yourself. In this guided meditation i'm going to lead you through a brief study of the breath, the body, the emotions and the thoughts. Then, finally, we'll relax into the ultimate perspective on all of them, enabling you to let them go and be free.

Continue reading →

How to Take Back Control of Your Life

(In Just 3 Weeks)

1 in 2 people will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime. You do NOT want to end up on the wrong side of that statistic. Here's a simple process for keeping yourself in control and off the psych ward.

Continue reading →

How to Get, Have, and Be Anything You Want

(Without Even Trying)

Since 2017 I've married the woman of my dreams, 5X'd my income and tripled my energy. But no-one in my own culture could've told me how to do so. I had to look elsewhere. Let me save you 7 years and give you the solution right here...

Continue reading →

5 Relationship Tips From a Guy Who Married a Psychologist


In 2016 I was needy as hell, which was quite a turnoff for the ladies. But by the time I took my wife on our first date in 2019 I was 100% self-validated. Here's what I learned in those 3 years...

Continue reading →

How to Delete The 6 Mind Viruses That Keep You Poor, Sick & Miserable

(In Just 12 Weeks)

I get up at 5, do creative work for 4-8 hours, develop new ways to help people, share my ideas, go to the gym, coach, talk to my audience and other creators, have dinner with my wife, study, read, go to bed, then get up and do it all again. 7 days a week. I’m effectively retired because I’d be doing this same routine if i were already a billionaire. But this was only possible once I did what i’m going to share with you here…

Continue reading →

How I Meditated My Way to Freetirement at 36

(Retirement Is For Losers)

Imagine i approach you right now and say i want 40 hours of your life every week for 47 years. If you make it to the end of those 47 years I’ll set you free. Any wear and tear on your body, mind and spirit is forfeit. I won’t guarantee you’ll make it to the finish line. Nor will i guarantee how long you’ll live into your freedom. Sound like a good deal? No? Ok, here's a better offer...

Continue reading →

How to Earn More Money By Relaxing

(Why Hustling Is No Longer Optimal)

The most harmful belief in work culture is that simple effort is the magic spell for earning more money. This is harmful not only because it builds up heart attack levels of stress… but because it doesn’t f¥cking work—not in the 21st century. Here's the better way to boost your income (without busting your balls)...

Continue reading →

3 Lessons on Happiness From a Senior Monk

(And How They Saved Me From Depression)

i spent the whole of my 20’s in chronic pain. and the solutions i was trying were digging me into a pit of depression. 29,366 hours of mindfulness later, things are pretty f¥cking different. Here are the 3 best lessons I learned on happiness from my ~300 hours in one-to-one conversation with a senior monk.

Continue reading →

How to Release Trauma In Meditation

(Heal Your Inner Child)

I grew up terrified of sex. But millennial British culture told me i had to get as much of it as I could (and more). So for 15 years I tried everything to get laid—for all the wrong reasons. Much later, in deep meditation, I had an encounter with my inner child that put everything right. 2 weeks later, I met the woman who would become my wife. Here's what I did to make myself ready for her.

Continue reading →

How to 48X Your Meditation in 4 Weeks

(Without Going On Retreat)

The average meditator aims for 15 mindful minutes per day. So what about the other 945? If you really want true happiness, you're going to have to learn to be present in EVERY moment. Good news: this isn't as hard as it sounds. Let me explain...

Continue reading →

10 Mindfulness Success Stories

(For The Doubters & Procrastinators)

If mindfulness feels like a chore you're doing it wrong. You need proper motivation. And nothing is better motivation than a good success story. So here's 10...

Continue reading →

Here's Why You Need "Spiritual Practice"

(It's Simpler Than You Think)

I have a student who feels free and easy for a while but then falls back into a familiar mental trap. If this sounds like you, we need to make sure you're clear on what spiritual practice is, what it can do for you, and how to proceed with it (so you're not just going round in circles).

Continue reading →

1 Step to Instant Enlightenment

(The Direct Path to Effortless Wellbeing)

You don't have to meditate for years. You don't have to develop wholesome qualities. You don't have to contemplate the nature of reality. All you have to do is recognize what's already true. Here's how...

Continue reading →

Do This When You're Stuck In Life Or Business

(7 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Mentor)

Without the guidance i’ve received throughout my life i’d be a drunk, broke, fat, lazy mess. Intelligent co-operation is the unique edge of our species, and nowhere is this more obvious than in our ability to learn from one another. if you’ve never had a mentor, you're WAY behind where you could be in life. But it’s not too late. Here's how to get the guidance you need, step-by-step...

Continue reading →

How to Perform Like The Top .1%

(Without Beating Yourself Up)

Millions of people squeeze a 20-minute meditation into their morning routine, then hope it’ll sustain their performance throughout the day. They may as well believe in magic. Here's how to GUARANTEE consistent peak performance (without hustling yourself into burnout).

Continue reading →

3 Steps to Realize Ultimate Wellbeing

(The Simplest Way to Ditch Your Emotional Baggage)

Most people overcomplicate spiritual awakening. But in the 21st century, we're finally able to cross-reference wisdom from different cultures, ditch the baggage, apply modern science and get down to what really works. Follow these 3 steps to cut the cr^p and ditch your anxiety, depression and self-hatred for good.

Continue reading →

The Biggest Challenge In My Spiritual Journey

(Save a Year by Skipping This)

If you've ever been confused about which spiritual practice to commit to, you're not alone. I spent a whole f¥cking YEAR looping on this. But the solution was right under my nose the whole time. Let me give it to you right now (and save you a lot of headaches)...

Continue reading →

How to Make Friends & Enjoy Win/Win Arrangements

(Without Even Trying)

Everything great that humans have achieved has been achieved by teamwork. Unfortunately, many people struggle to unlock their true friend-making potential because of insecurity, doubt and anxiety. Here's a simple 3-step process you can use to delete your fears and start getting all the benefits of collaboration.

Continue reading →

How to Stop Wasting Your Time In Meditation

(7 Insights to Save You 1000 Hours of Practice)

Over 8 years, I spent 29,366 hours experimenting with every mindfulness technique available. I checked my results with a senior monk and a neuropsychologist. Want to know a secret? Meditation isn’t necessary. Contemplate these 7 insights. If you understand them, you can save yourself a lot of time.

Continue reading →

How to Avoid The #1 Cause of Stress

(3 Steps to Avoid Early Death)

A 2012 study by NHS Scotland found that "psychological distress is associated with increased risk of mortality from several major causes." It's proven: stress is literally a matter of life or death. Here's how to get out of the trap (and stay out).

Continue reading →

How to Get What You Want In Life

(3 Steps to Stop Feeling Lost)

Unless you know what you want, it’s impossible to get it. Sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many of my 1,000+ one-to-one students have been confused on this subject. Here's how to find your north star and get on the road to a life of wealth, freedom, love and inspiration.

Continue reading →

How To Attract Your Perfect Life-Partner

(Avoid the #1 Killer of Attraction)

A strong romantic partnership is the ultimate team. Sadly, most people never even meet their perfect partner—let alone attract them and make them happy for a lifetime. Here's how to make sure you don't miss out on the most significant relationship you'll ever have.

Continue reading →

How to Maintain Healthy Social Boundaries

(The Power of Saying No)

The main reason you struggle to say "no" is fear of what will happen if you do. But have you ever seen things going badly for someone who has their boundaries dialled in? Me neither. Here's how to value your time properly and take it back (before you run out of it altogether)...

Continue reading →