Reader Q: Staying Positive While Dating.

Reader Q: Staying Positive While Dating

I’ve had a very specific post in mind that I’ve wanted to write for quite some time, but recently got a reader question via email that I thought was just perfect. So here we go!

hello Grace! 

First off – thank you for what you do. your blog is my first stop every morning and I greatly appreciate your attitude, outlook and perspective. I’m 33 and single and you have been such a positive voice and a wonderful reminder that it is OKAY to be single! (I’m also equally obsessed with clean skincare and I really just feel like we’d be dear friends!)

So my question is – you have spoken about online dating a few times, and i find it SO intimidating! I’ve tried it a couple of times and hated everything about it – from creating a profile, to awkwardly messaging strangers, to the uncomfortable first date. 

I would love your advice on all of those things – even your thoughts on how to have a positive mindset about it! 

thanks!! 

Okay, let’s discuss! I have a lot of feelings and a lot to say (but also thank you for the kind words and for reaching out)!

It may be easier in my shoes as I am pretty sure I don’t want kids. You never know, things could change and maybe one day I will be in my forties and really want one. In that case I will either try to have one biologically or adopt one. Right now though, kids are a HARD no and aunt life is the best life. For me. (PLEASE no judgements/comments on my stance here; we don’t have to all want the same things; that would be SO BORING!)

So that definitely makes it easier from a timing perspective but also harder in it’s own ways (Most men I meet want children, and want them sooner rather than later.)

I think not rushing, and not being under the gun to meet someone to start a family and have babies by XYZ date makes it easier to stay positive. The bar is high and will stay high, and I have a life that I really like. IF it felt like my life were missing this huge thing and I were looking at babies the way I look at kittens and puppies, it would be much harder.

I recognize that.

That being said – I still feel like I have something valuable to say that everyone can benefit from. Or at least I hope. I’m going to be brutally honest (as I always am) and give a bit of tough love as I want this post to actually be helpful.

If you had told me ten years ago (when I was 27) that I would one day be 37 and single I would have had a complete conniption. Like, lost my mind and dramatically stayed in bed for days. Being over 35 and “alone” would have been my literal WORST NIGHTMARE. I placed a lot of weight on my relationship. And when I was 29, 30, 31 and in a committed relationship where I thought I had met “the one,” I was definitely v v smug. I’d look at my single friends and say the sort of stuff I hate hearing now. “Don’t worry you’ll find someone,” etc etc.

SO yes, I have been on both sides.

I’ve been the smug coupled off friend. I’ve also been the puddle of a mess of a friend who was so heartbroken she couldn’t eat. There are a lot of Graces that you don’t know because you read this blog, where I don’t talk a lot about this stuff. While I do share a lot with you, I also omit a LOT. So I think it’s easy to look at me and where I am in my life now and think I’m this positive, perennially happy person and that isn’t true.

The single girl in the city caricature, if you will. The reality is that there are ups and downs, and lots of them! I give you this background so that you can understand – it didn’t happen overnight, and of course there are times where I am like “WHAT THE H*LL THIS TOTALLY SUCKS.” But honestly, mostly yes, I am very positive. So today we will talk about that.

I think something happened to me when my longtime ex and I broke up

Losing him was my worst fear, and when I lost him, in a way, having my greatest fear come true made me a little bit fearless. Don’t get me wrong. It totally sucked at the time. Honestly, I didn’t think I would recover. I cried for months. I thought at times I would die because my heart just hurt so much. But time heals everything and without all that dead weight (sorry kidding sort of haha) I started to really succeed in my career.

Rather than staying in and eating takeout on the couch with him, I got out there and networked. I worked my butt off at my blog and ultimately left my day job to pursue what had been just a fun project full time. Things started to really fall in place for me and I can’t say that would have happened if we were still together.

The first step doesn’t have anything to do with dating.

Build a life you are proud of and excited about. On your own. I wrote a post about how to be single last year and it went viral. So please go read that post before you even download a dating app or talk to a guy at the bar. This is the most important step.

I’ve always been really proud of my life but for me it wasn’t until we did our live show at Caroline’s and started booking other live shows that I became a lot more confident. It was this amazing feeling of “Wow, I’m really onto something that people seem to really like and am just so proud of what I am doing.” Confidence doesn’t come from being the hottest person in the room – or the funniest – or the smartest, or whatever.

There will always be someone funnier, smarter, prettier, richer, more charming, etc. than you.

BUT I like who I am and when I want to do something I will work my butt off to make it happen. That is where I get my confidence from. Not from being the prettiest or the cleverest but from knowing that I can do pretty much anything if I’m willing to work for it, and knowing that I will always land on my feet regardless of whether I am single, in a relationship, (or just embarrassing myself on stage).

The live show was my big a-ha moment and we are all different and you will find yours from something else. I think it’s just about knowing your worth and believing in yourself and knowing you will be okay with or without a guy. Work on your own confidence and love your life – the rest will follow. I don’t have any anxiety that I won’t meet “my person.” I know I will, it just may take time. I also realize that my ideal relationship might not look like someone else’s ideal.

Choosing an app.

My friend Jess had a very funny post written about why she hates Bumble. If you listen to our podcast you know I am not a huge fan of Bumble either. I really think it’s encouraging laziness in men (and feeding their egos having all these women chasing them down – my male friends admit to this too). Not my app of choice.

Hinge has been my favorite app so far. It’s the only one I have. I feel repetitive saying this but the reason I like this is the questions + prompts. I feel like you can very easily get a sense of someone’s personality, sense of humor, and overall world view. It’s also a LOT easier to have a conversation as it generally gives you something to talk about.

I also like The League but it’s a little slow moving. Also at one point they told me I had gone through everyone in New York and started giving me people in Philly. LOL. So I deleted it.

And does anyone even use Tinder anymore? Serious question!

I was not accepted by Raya, but am good with that – I went on a friend’s to see what the hype was and it felt v. pretentious. Also I would be SO STRESSED if I had to set my photos to music. I’m bad at music!

Creating a profile.

I got asked if I use professional photos on my profile. NO!!! Never. My dating app photos are all iPhone photos, mostly candids that friends have snapped, or pics from trips.. I would probably swipe left on someone using professional photos which is why I use iPhone photos. I’m also of the mind that I want to look worse in my photos than I do real life, so that the guy is pleasantly surprised when they meet me. I don’t want to show up on a first date and have the person be disappointed.

I’d recommend making sure you have one close up of your face, one that shows your whole body, and then use the rest of them to show your personality. Maybe you love yoga, so something of that. Maybe you are silly so something goofy. Or, maybe you love to travel, so show photos of your adventures. Skip the sunglasses when possible!

Reaching out + The First date.

The reader above references “awkwardly messaging strangers” and “uncomfortable first dates.”

I hate both of those things and try to avoid either.

Honestly I don’t really reach out. It really depends on your personality type. Reach out if you want to and are good at initiating conversations but I personally don’t really have a lot of interest in being the initiator or chasing someone. On Hinge I might “like” someone first, leaving a comment on one of their photos if they say something funny but I almost never message the guy first. This is totally a matter of personal taste – do what makes you comfortable. (It sounds like the reader above feels uncomfortable reaching out, so I would tell her:”like” all you want, but let them message you first.)

As for the first date, keep it simple, stress free, and low pressure. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable. I like to start with coffee or a quick drink. I look at a first date as a screener and a chance to meet someone new and leave it at that. No pressure. Sometimes that coffee or drink turns into more drinks or a meal but I really don’t like committing to dinner or a big activity with someone I’ve never met. That’s when things feel awkward and stressful. If you are feeling stressed about it, try to just look at it as a meeting and remember that if you’re not having fun you can leave. Try not to put too much pressure on things.

Before going on a date I’ll make sure to have read the news that day and I will think about the book, movie, and/or TV show I’m really into right now so that I have something to talk about should the conversation stall.

Staying Positive While Online Dating.

Okay THIS is important! We can’t change the apps (or maybe you can – if you are reading this and have a better idea, I’ve been saying forever that someone needs to find a way to create IRL experiences of the apps), but we CAN change our attitudes. And that’s been my whole take on it. If I feel like my attitude is getting negative I take a time out. The dating app will always be there. But if you have a negative attitude you probably are going to have a bad experience. (There’s also nothing wrong with taking a break, deciding to work on meeting people IRL or just taking a general dating time out. I once took three months off of dating after realizing I was only meeting lunatics – I met someone I really liked right away after.)

I personally only use one app at a time. Otherwise if feels like a job. (It’s probably harder as a social media person – responding to dating app messages can feel like responding to DM’s – oof.)

The apps are pretty cool when you think about it. They give you access to so many more people than you’d ordinarily meet. Of course this means more work/screening/messaging; but it’s mostly worth it. Lastly here, for what it’s worth, I really liked Matthew Hussey’s book. The title (and cover) are super cheesy so maybe rip the cover off or pretend you’re in high school and make a book cover, but read it – it’s packed with a lot of smart info.

Handling Rejection.

Don’t take it personally. Of course you can be annoyed – we’re only human. But realize it literally has nothing to do with you. Someone might stop talking to you but maybe they just deleted the app. Or started dating someone exclusively. You really don’t know. I think the thing about the apps is that you get exposed to SO MANY PEOPLE. Which as I mentioned above, is pretty cool when you think about it. You meet so many more people than you ever would but will also wind up being rejected by so many people, too! It’s okay.

(I’d definitely recommend listening to the Jared Freid episode of our podcast – he talks about this in a way that is both hilarious and smart.)

Be a little ruthless, especially when it comes to indifference.

This is something I wish I was better at when I was younger. My best friend always says that people show you who they are if you pay attention. If a guy wants to get to know you better, he’ll generally make a decent amount of effort to make a plan or see you again. I say decent amount as the dating bar in New York is so low – ha!

I’ve been the doormat a bunch of times and trust me from SO MUCH EXPERIENCE when I was younger: even though romantic comedies might tell us otherwise, the doormat never finishes first and it does not pay to be persistent and/or put up with bad behavior, even if the bad behavior is just indifference. (You deserve better than indifference… write that down on a post-it if you need to!!!)

Here’s an insignificant but still teachable moment:

I got ghosted last week. The guy and I had been messaging for a while on Hinge earlier and he dropped off. I was pleasantly surprised when maybe a month or so later he resurfaced… in my DMs. I was so impressed that he took the time to track me down (NOT HARD, this is something that took him two seconds but we always give men so much credit for something so easy) and we made plans to hang out on Friday night. Usually, I don’t make plans on Fridays but it was my only free night.

I sent a note on Thursday and asked him if we were still on and he didn’t respond. (The annoying but also awesome thing about DMs are that I could see that he’d seen it, but hadn’t bothered to respond) Is this bad behavior? No, not really? It’s bad manners, but it’s more about indifference, which is usually a red flag. And on that note I will leave you with this Mark Manson piece – it’s the best and breaks things downs o simply!!!!

(And as an aside, if YOU are feeling indifferent about someone, nip that in the bud too.)

Okay I think that’s all for now. Longest post ever but I hope this was helpful!

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Comments

  1. I love your strength and courage, Grace! Your positive mindset about the whole situation is super inspiring. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Erin says 4.30.19

    THANK YOU for sharing your stance on kids. I feel ambivalent about having them too, and it means so much to have someone else saying it aloud as well. So much respect for whatever your choice is!

  3. Sarah says 4.30.19

    I want to be supportive of my friends who are dating. I generally avoid asking them if they’re seeing anyone/how dating is going because 1) they have so many more interesting things happening in their lives and 2) I don’t want them to be uncomfortable if they are going through one of the “lows” you mentioned. Obviously, if they bring it up, I’m ready to dish, but I wanted to know if this a good way to support them or should I be saying or doing something else?

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Honestly the best thing you can do for your single friends is just spend time with them! I miss my married friends so much (I think a lot changes after babies and it becomes so hard to get together). I think letting them be the ones to bring it up is best. Instead, focus on all the other stuff they probably have going on! For example last year all my friends were way more interested in my dating life but I would have preferred to talk about my (then) new podcast, an award I’d won for my blog, a trip I had planned, etc etc!

      • Wendy says 5.1.19

        Yes to all this! I find myself especially annoyed by friends who also didn’t get married until mid-late 30’s being the ones to ask if I’m dating anyone. You were recently out there too-you know it’s difficult! I had someone I wanted to speak about, I would, and I’m certainly more interested than just who I may be dating!

        I firmly don’t want kids, I’m 41, and I will say that for me, it definitely takes the pressure needing like I have to find a partner right now! On the apps, I get a kick out of the mid 40s men saying “someday” to the want to kids questions. lol ok dude.

  4. Nora says 4.30.19

    Loved this post, as I’m struggling a bit staying positive with online dating after taking a long hiatus last year. I still use Tinder (I’m in Zurich where we’re generally about three years behind New York on any given trend, and dating in Switzerland is its very own circle of hell) – and inadvertently stumbled upon a really great hack. A few weeks ago, I put “I love fun facts – send me one!” below my one bland intro sentence, and I am getting SO many interesting messages and am learning so many fun facts along the way! Who know, for example, that butterflies can taste with their feet? It adds whimsy to an otherwise potentially stressful experience and I get a lot more messages now. Highly recommend!

    • Abby says 4.30.19

      Just posted the same about Tinder usage in Europe ^^
      Great advice on the intro sentence!
      I went with something along the lines of “Tell me, where can I eat the best ice cream/pizza in town?” and also got a lot of great tips this way I later either used by going on the first date there or just with my friends – online dating can be a great resource!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      I absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Marta says 4.30.19

    This has definitely been a very interesting post. I’m only 22 but I feel extremely insecure about being single when the truth is I don’t really want a relationship right now, I just want to have fun, study, work, save up some money and then I’ll worry about a relationship. But that pressure to not be single has gotten to me a few times and I have been on dating apps before, particularly Bumble and I actually liked it, the only bad thing about it was that not that many people in my area were using it so I ended up not having any more matches after a while. Currently, I have uninstalled from my phone and I won’t be going on it for a while now, I’ve accepted my singleness and I’m happy like this. Let’s see how long that confidence lasts haha

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Girl you are so young! Live your life and focus on you!!!!!!! Sending you a hug! xx

  6. I also want to add that apps are great for meeting people– but don’t use it for actual communication. I learned (quickly) that some guys are great texters and horrible talking IRL and that some guys SUCK at texting, but they’re great in person. It’s so easy to judge someone based on how they text in an app, but it’s not how they would be sitting across the table from you (which I think is what really matters).

    I’d try to get that in person meet up fast (even just a simple coffee date), and limit the texting!

    • Abby says 4.30.19

      Agreed! Meet up soon and Limit texting. That way you also don’t spend weeks investing in someone by texting when they turn out to be horrible in real life.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      YES – I completely agree. Thanks for adding your thoughts Carly!

  7. Melissa says 4.30.19

    I love this post but I disagree about the end. This guy tracked you down and then blew you off about your plans. That’s bad behavior. I am tired of us giving dudes a pass for everything. I know Jared says nothing matters until you actually meet but I personally disagree with a LOT about what Jared says, particularly in regards to his treatment of other people. I’m in a Facebook group about dating and someone posted that it was a win that on a third date, the guy was honest enough to let her know at the end of the date that he decided to be exclusive with someone else, and she praised him for his honesty. How is that a win? Why wouldn’t you let the woman know that before you took her on a third date? Our standards are so low. Or maybe I read all of “the idea of you” last night and I’ll never be attracted to another man in the wild again

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Hahahahahaha okay wait. I just meant he didn’t do anything terrible/that I wasn’t upset. I put on a documentary and ordered some sushi and had a great little night. Let’s be clear; I blocked him and will never talk to him again.

      As for Jared, I actually disagree. We asked him about this on our podcast- I think he’s trying more to just give the perspective of the guy NOT justify bad behavior. Just my .02 – I find his honesty super refreshing.

      And your FB group situation is very WTF-y. Why would he waste either one of their time!?!?

      • Melissa says 4.30.19

        Ah ok got it. I actually wrote in when you guys had Jared on and Jared “answered” my question about guys being assholes and not striving to be better people. I think Jared is really funny and I like a lot of what he says on the pod and I appreciate getting the male perspective but a ton of it I kind of sit slack jawed at.

  8. Rachelle says 4.30.19

    I’m 33 and single, good for you for getting to that place Grace. You are so much more than your relationship status. I’m not saying that being in a good relationship is not important and for people who want kids I know this is a tad more complicated. However, I do hope that people would understand that there isn’t a blueprint that we must all follow. Get to know yourself, that was the biggest change for me. Being really comfortable with who I was and knowing that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. This is such a great post, thank you!

    xo
    Pinksole

  9. Jackie says 4.30.19

    This might be my favorite post you’ve ever written Grace. Online dating was so hard for me for years and it took me the longest time to get to a place where I could do it without getting discouraged and feeling really down about it. It can be really tough and a real downer!

    On another note, I appreciate your honesty about kids. I’m not sure if you’d ever want to write about it but I would love to hear about how you made that decision, if you always knew, etc. It’s been on my mind lately and I just don’t understand how some people know definitely that they do or don’t want them. It seems like an impossible decision!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Thanks Jackie!

      I don’t know if I could do a whole post about it. I will just say that I think I always sort of knew and as I get older I am becoming more comfortable with it? I am also not definite – but in true Libra fashion I’m never definite on anything – I could change my mind, I just think that at my age (37) I probably won’t. But you really just never know!

  10. Abby says 4.30.19

    Thank you for sharing your view on having/not having kids! How is it that in this day and age we women still have to defend our choices when it comes to having kids?!? It (unfortunately still) takes people like you to “normalise” any kind of lifestyle a woman chooses by speaking out publicly about it, so thank you!!!
    On another note: I found my boyfriend via Tinder, so people are still using it, but I think in Europe it is different than in the US as we don’t have as many dating apps as you guys and are a little bit behind on these things.
    While I have many things to share on this topic I would like to add one advice when it comes to online dating: Do something you really want to do/ will enjoy whatever the company on the first date! This really helped me with online dating fatigue and always left me fulfilled after a date however it went (many weirdos out there!). In the end I would have been to a new bar I’ve wanted to go to for ages, been to a Museum I really liked, a gallery I wanted to check out, or experienced a flower show that was open in town that week. So no matter the date, I had done something for myself and had another experience from which I as a single lady could profit from.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Haha I don’t really know. It’s a weird thing to write down but you’re right – it needs to be normalized!

      Totally agree with your advice!

  11. Norma says 4.30.19

    Loved this post and I agree with you. I divorced several years ago, and then all my friends started pressuring me to introduce me to their friends, to set up dates for me an all that. I did go on a few dates but all were a disaster, I realized the problem was that I had not learned to be single again, I didn’t enjoy it, I felt like a failure… a lot of changes were going on in my life at that moment and I don’t know, I didn’t like being on my own. Then something clicked, and I started to enjoy Friday evenings on my own, reading or watching a movie, I was able to go to a restaurant or the movies on my own! I started to like my life and embrace it. When I felt I was ready, a few years after that, I said: ok, I’m ready, I’d like to meet someone. I met someone at my previous job and it was not love, but chemistry at first sight haha… we dated for a few years and are now happily married. So I agree with the first part, you have to learn how to be single and enjoy it. ( I still read the whole post even though I have no need/interest on an online dating app :P, but I truly enjoy the way you write).

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      I love this story, especially the “not love, but chemistry at first sight!” part! Thank you for sharing!!!!

  12. Lisa Autumn says 4.30.19

    Oh I loved this post!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  13. Nicole says 4.30.19

    IMHO, this post is so spot on. So, thank you Grace!! I really, truly believe happiness starts with yourself first. Find the time/strength/courage to build a life you are happy with, before seeking external validation from being in a relationship. As someone in their 30s who spent most of their 20s either in toxic relationships or lamenting being single, I have to say it was not until I started focusing on myself first that the dating part later fell into place. (Btw – I’m now married, and I met my husband on The League haha). And on the topic of focusing on yourself first… therapy is SUCH A GREAT TOOL. And there should be no stigma in seeking it out! I found a really good therapist in my late 20s (only after spending most of that decade really unhappy with myself), and it was a game changer. It’s also worth mentioning that, like dating, you might have to try out a few different therapists first before one “clicks” with you. Having a professional to regularly talk to has helped immensely with both my romantic and non romantic relationships. Basically, it all comes back to knowing yourself, which therapy (in my experience) has really helped with. Once I had a better grip on how to handle my triggers and insecurities (we all have them!) it became so much easier to decide what I was and was not willing to “settle for “in a relationship. And as a final comment – what Grace wrote about indifference is so spot on. If someone likes you, I promise they will make the effort.

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      Thanks so much for sharing, Nicole!

    • Elle says 5.2.19

      Nicole, Love this! I’ve had very, almost scarily :), similar experiences to you! I also turned to therapy in my late 20s and it changed my life. Still dating and in my early thirties. If you don’t mind me asking, how old were you when you got married and how did you let go of your relationship past? Something I’m currently working on so thought I’d ask… I sometimes worry about how long it will take to find the right person but I also trust that things will happen as they’re meant to.

      Grace, love all your posts as per usual. Keep up the positivity and good vibes! Xoxo

      • Nicole says 5.3.19

        Hi Elle! I met my now husband when I was 29, and we got engaged almost exactly a year after our “first swipe” and married a year after that (so, I was 31). I think things moved relatively quickly with me and my now husband because by the time we met we each had a really good sense what we wanted in a partner and out of life. I think it helped that (in addition to my own self work in therapy) we had each a lot of experience dating others, working at different companies, living in different cities, etc. All things that I’m glad I got to do in my 20s in retrospect because even being married presents its own challenges. For instance, I can’t as easily pick up and change jobs! So, not to sound too “woo woo” but I do believe that if you’re working on being your best self, while being kind to others and open to new experiences, I think everything will fall into place eventually. As for letting past relationships go, once I “raised the bar” in terms of what I would settle for in a relationship, that helped immensely. (This I all credit to therapy). There was someone I dated before my husband for ~6 months who was genuinely kind. We weren’t a good life match, but he was nice. Having someone treat me for the first time in a manner that was kind, respectful and loving was kinda mind -blowing. I know that might sound sad but it’s true. I look back on that experience as such a helpful transitional relationship. After that, I was like oh hell no will I settle for any of the nonsense that I used to with guys!!

        • Elle says 5.19.19

          Love this! Thanks Nicole!!

  14. Aly says 4.30.19

    Love the post and the general sanity about dating. Your perspective aligns so much with me and my talented, beautiful, successful all single 30 something NYC GFs and it is nice to see it affirmed in ~the media~ by people we follow when so much seems to be trying to bring us down.

    Question/comment/thought (that I’m not exactly how to verbalize but will try!)… I want to dig into the “not reaching out first on Hinge” as not just being a personal preference but also being variant for us based on what kind of traction we are getting? I swear most of my aforementioned lovely gal friends and I have barely no likes coming through and I’d say when I do match like 10% or less ever write something and then the funnel continues through the getting number to actually meeting up. Very impressed by your general hotness/desirability if this is not the case for you?? :p

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      HA – I don’t think it’s hotness and desirability at all. I get a lot of matches but do think it’s making sure to spend time on the app. Could also have to do with being based in New York – more of a pool? I make sure I go on and swipe for at least 10 min a day. I am pretty selective in who I swipe right on (I read their whole profile, etc etc) but notice I get better matches when I use the app consistently! Hope that helps!

    • Mk says 5.1.19

      Hello! Chiming in with some reassurance that you’re not alone in having almost no matches! And few conversations with matches I do have. I’m starting to wonder if dating apps are dying off. I’m in NYC.

  15. Caitlin says 4.30.19

    Love this post! It’s funny though, cause I have the exact opposite feelings about Hinge and Bumble- I actually feel like guys on Hinge are more lazy, since most of the time they just like my first picture, whereas guys on bumble really respond well to just saying something boring like “is that your dog?” Bumble actually added questions and prompts too! Also, I’ve had better experience with getting guys to be more truthful about if they just want to hook up or are actually looking to date/ be in a relationship on Bumble. Maybe it’s cause Hinge really markets itself towards getting you a relationship, but there are a lot of guys (and maybe girls) on there that definitely aren’t, and aren’t upfront about that. So…idk maybe give Bumble another try? Only if you want to of course!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      That is so funny! In all honesty I barely have time to date right now between the blog and the podcast. So one app is MORE than enough. But maybe I’ll give it a try if I get tired of Hinge? Have had pretty good luck with Hinge so far so tend to be of the “if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it” mindset!

  16. Melinda says 4.30.19

    I really appreciate this post. I’m in my 30’s, single and know I don’t want children in the future. How early do you discuss that or bring it up to a date (if you don’t mind sharing)? I find it hard to meet men who also don’t want children and don’t really want to waste my time or theirs. Thank you for sharing what you do and for staying so positive!

    • grace at the stripe says 4.30.19

      I think it is just something that comes up naturally.

      With my last ex I realized I needed to end it because he was getting serious so quickly and about half of the things he talked about/got excited about involved kids. That was 3-4 months in. I think it’s a hard thing because if a guy was perfect (perfect meaning perfect for me) and exactly what I wanted and really wanted a child I would consider it, so I don’t want to bring it up too quickly.

      So maybe my approach isn’t the best one and wastes our time but I just want to be totally sure before ending something that has potential! It really just depends upon the person!

    • Wendy says 5.1.19

      I bring it up pretty early on, between 4-6 dates, if it feels like it’s going someplace interesting, bc I don’t intend to have kids and am not changing my mind. I could be ok with dating a guy who has kids, but even that isn’t my preference. All that to say, I dated someone who knew from date 3 that I didn’t want kids, and he said he didn’t either. 10 months later he claimed to change his mind and maybe he did want kids. He was 43 and I was like i’m out, i’m not going to be that one who gives that to you.

  17. Ro says 4.30.19

    Grace, what a compelling post. I met my husband when I was about 18 in my freshman year at college. I was in Philly and he lived in North Carolina. It began as a long distance relationship where he would drive 8 hours each way to come see me at least once a month. He put a lot of effort into the relationship and in his pursuit of me, and I wasn’t the easiest girl to deal with. I think every woman deserves this level of effort and should not settle for anything less. If a man can’t make the effort at the courtship stage, what makes us think he will once the relationship has progressed. After I finished reading this post, I turned to my husband (together for 18 years) and told him I love him.

  18. Shibani says 5.1.19

    I’m not single but I love this post and this comment really resonates with me “Build a life you are proud of and excited about.“

  19. BG says 5.1.19

    Thanks so much for this Grace. I am 30, single and have been consistently for the past few years. For the most part, I am in the same boat as you and usually feel great about my life without a partner with occasional bouts of being bummed out by my solo-ness. One thing I really struggle with though is that I have a few friends who ONLY seem concerned about my relationship status and none of the other stuff going on in my life. What is a graceful way to redirect the conversation when they keep asking me about dating and (worse) make comments like ‘we need to find you a husband’ or ‘its ok that you don’t have kids, you can be the fun aunt’?

    • Yes yes yes 100%!!!!! We talk a lot about this on next week’s episode of our podcast with the Girls Gotta Eat girls. I think I would just say something like, “well I actually haven’t been dating a lot as I have X, Y, and Z” going on but did I tell you about this < insert thing you are excited about sharing. >

      Honestly though (maybe this is harsh) but it sounds like that friend needs to go. “We need to find you a husband!?” Is this the fifties?

      • BG says 5.1.19

        Thank you!! That’s the perfect response. And preach on the backwardness of the husband comment – I was shocked to hear those words come out of her mouth. How aren’t we all feminists by now?! Excited for the next ep!

        • Seriously that makes my skin crawl. UGH. Sorry that someone would even say that to you!!!!

  20. Lane D. says 5.1.19

    ILY Grace. It took me to 29 to have a moment of ‘this isn’t making me happy’ with an ex and I have to say, it is really damn hard to shed the troupes, expectations, perceptions, well-meaning friends/family/dentists who want to assure you ‘your time is coming’. And (again, now 31) I always wondered WTF these people were talking about…being in relationships is some of the hardest shit I’ve ever done. From about 5th grade-an imaginary relationship, but still very intense-until adulthood, my brain was permanently digging for the one. I.am.taking.a.GD.break. While I sometimes feel left out as my pals are in swipe frenzy’s, I am blissfully enjoying figuring out my own likes/interests/netflix preferences. Brava!

  21. Meghan says 5.1.19

    I truly never felt ok to date until I was at a place where I was proud of my life and so content in it! Now if I meet someone that compliments NOT completes my life – GREAT! And until that happens, I’m happy living a life I’ve built and am fulfilled by. Always love your take on the topic and nodded along throughout this post!

    • Couldn’t agree more!! Thank you Meghan! xx

    • Abby says 5.7.19

      That is exactly how I felt. Started dating at 28 for the first time when I felt truly somewhat accomplished and happy with myself and actually met my boyfriend super shortly into it. He still says he is fascinated by me and my “well-roundedness” in all kinds of topics – totally a credit to all my single years spent completely on building my own character, knowledge and experiences!!!