Valentines or Galentines? (with Lane Moore)
When Tinder first came out in 2012, former Cosmopolitan sex and relationships’ editor Lane Moore knew she needed to turn it into a comedy show. Now, she tours the world riffing on ridiculous profiles, swiping right alongside a live audience, and sharing in the humor and misery of online dating. Sam asks Lane what to watch out for in dating profiles, when it’s time to end things with a friend, and how writing books like her latest, “You Will Find Your People” caused her own relationships to improve.
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Elaine Moore, Samantha Bee
Samantha Bee 00:00
You know, sometimes you have a job where you make real friends, and you get to gossip while you refill the Carraig. Maybe you have a co worker who you cutely call your work wife, or your work husband, which is fine as long as their actual partner also thinks it’s cute. After, well, after a string of questionable relationships, I ended up meeting my husband at work. I am far more proud of our relationship than I am of the job that led us to each other. You see, the year was the late 90s at some point, and I was touring around various Canadian pumpkin patches and cider fests and shopping malls performing an children’s theater show of Sailor Moon. For those of you less culture than I sailormoon is a Japanese anime show where the characters were less of the Navy uniform associated with actual sailors and more of the underwear that is left. Once you, you know, badly cut up a pair of spandex shorts, plus, you know, thigh high boots. It’s super cool. The point is, I was the star of the touring company, and Jason my now husband of almost 23 years. It was in the second string cast, he was the understudy of the character named Tuxedo Mask. Why did we even meet if I was like, 10 Hierarchy steps above him, I guess because of a little fellow named Cupid. But tossing aside my A Cast status for someone in the B Cast was probably the best choice I’ve ever made. I have to say, I just say that there is no love truer than someone who has seen you just wriggle and rive into tights that are too small for you, in the name of children’s theater, just like behind the flats of a makeshift stage at the Bolton cider Fest in southern Ontario. That is how I know how strong our love is it was forged out of the absolute lowest low point of our careers like rock bottom, you know, career rock bottom, nowhere to go but up. Just there’s no way to be more embarrassed in front of another person than we were at the time of our meeting, which turns out is actually foundationally pretty great. At least it was for our relationship. For me, choosing the right person. Um, I think that Jason would say this to meant finding someone who didn’t like dominate the relationship with their own choices or their hobbies only, or their moods, whatever they were someone, it was someone who I can be my whole self worth, like you can be happy and you can be sad and you know, your ideal partner is like a soft place to fall. But also they are your biggest cheerleader, they’re additive. They make you a better version of yourself. Even if that is embarrassing to say, for me, the choice was easy. It was the second string guy and an ill fitting cape, spouts a top hat and a mask swoon.
Samantha Bee 03:43
This is Choice Words, I’m Samantha Bee. Today I spoke with Elaine Moore, a former sex and relationships editor at cosmopolitan. She’s a comedian and host of the hilarious live show Tinder Live, which you can see at Littlefield in NYC on February 13 and a tinder live livestream on February 15. She is also the author of How to Be Alone If You Want To and Even If You Don’t, and you will find your people how to make meaningful friendships as an adult as well as her latest title. You’re not the only one fucking up breaking the endless cycle of dating mistakes. She gets us in the mood for both gallon times and Valentine’s Day. So take a listen and make good choices.
Samantha Bee 04:34
Thank you so much. I’m really excited to talk to you.
Elaine Moore 04:39
Yeah, me too!
Samantha Bee 04:39
So excited. Yeah, it’s gonna be fun. Okay, we’re gonna have this episode is gonna land. It’s a pre Valentine’s Day, which just as we know, a made up holiday.
Elaine Moore 04:51
It’s not even a holiday.
Samantha Bee 04:53
It’s not really anything at all, we would it’s always timely to talk about like this especially relationships, humans, interpersonal relationships, why not? And we all, we all make decisions in our different ways, especially when it comes to love relationships, friendships. How do you feel when you have something big, like a big decision that you have to make to like that? Are you like this is I’m going to wrestle with this.
Elaine Moore 05:24
What kind of I have follow up questions? I guess that’s a lot about my brand. I’m like, no, I want to know the specific type of big choice. Is this a choice I really don’t want to make because sometimes you’re asked to make a big choice. And you’re like, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this, and those I don’t like I don’t like surprise choices. If it’s like an empowering Eat Pray Love decision, I’m gonna admit, I haven’t seen that movie. I don’t know if she makes a big decision.
Samantha Bee 05:50
I think she just she mostly makes the choice to eat more spaghetti than she normally what happened.
Elaine Moore 05:55
Those are choices and big choices I like to make should I eat a second dinner? Yes, I feel good about this choice. But like a big choice. I don’t like it, I tend to be a big deliberate or ask several people. Usually I don’t like it. Because I have I think a lot of us have this, this idea of like, there’s one right choice. And if you do it wrong, everything is bad. And that’s why I don’t like it. I don’t I feel like I’m being tested. I feel like I’m at like the eye doctor. And they’re like, which one looks better? And I’m like, I don’t know, do I? If I get it wrong? Did I just mess up my eyes? Like, I feel like that.
Samantha Bee 06:29
Yeah, no, we’re going to take your eyes out. You’re not using them responsibly, you’re going to leave here without them.
Elaine Moore 06:35
Right? You can fail an exam? I don’t know, but I don’t like the idea that there is one perfect choice. And then I do I try to remind myself like, okay, whatever choice I made was the perfect choice. I kind of go down that road, and that […]
Samantha Bee 06:51
That’s good, it’s like I made the best decision that I could make, all the information I had, and it felt right in my so it’s kind of, there’s something organic about the process for you.
Elaine Moore 07:06
Yeah, it kind of has to be and then you just have to trust yourself, which can be so hard, because everybody has messed up, everybody’s made a bad choice. And then you’re like, well, I don’t want to make another bad choice this time. It feels like the pressure I can put on myself. But then I have to remind myself, I’ve also made really good choices. Maybe this is a time when I’m making a good choice, we just don’t know, nobody can come in and tell us like you did it right. Like, we don’t know now.
Samantha Bee 07:34
Kind of like sitting with uncertainty, so and sometimes something will happen in the outside world that just like, disturbs your, like a disturbance in the force for quite some time, and you’re like, Oh, my, oh, my choices are ever I can’t do anything today.
Elaine Moore 07:51
That’s a big choice, especially when you have a lot of big choices that it’s like, now you have to decide this and you kind of don’t get a break. I feel like over the last couple years. And I know I’m not the only one on this, but I’ve had to make so many choices. I’m like, I just would love to have a time period where everything’s just really chill. And I don’t have to make any big choices and I just kind of coast, is that real? I don’t know.
Samantha Bee 08:16
I don’t know that, but it is something I feel like we’re all kind of like striving for it’s it’s almost like you’re like, you know when you watch a science fiction movie, and it’s supposed to be terrifying that you just see like an empty beach. And and you’re like, well, this is very peaceful, I think it usually means something very dreadful. Yes fiction movie, because there’s definitely like Armageddon is on the other side of that horizon. Now tell me okay, how do you when you can you name if you look back at the spectrum of your life, you can you name a big choice that you made, and it can be for the for the better, for the worse, a big choice that you, you feel like you’ve really changed the trajectory of your life. Something, even if it was small, sometimes it is something super small. That kind of changes everything or reframes the whole waye verything played out.
Elaine Moore 09:08
Yeah, there are a couple that I’m thinking of. One was, and this has been a very recent development because it took me a long, long time to get here, which is choosing people because I choose them not because they chose me. Do you know what I mean?
Samantha Bee 09:26
I do, so much oh my God, I need you to say I need you to say a lot more about this.
Elaine Moore 09:33
You know, I grew up and had you know a lot of frustrating friendships and you know, I didn’t have the perfect like, oh, like the best girlfriends and we never fight and no one’s ever mean to each other. Like I don’t know who had that, but I didn’t. And so I think for a long time I really just if anybody wanted to be my friend, I was like, Oh, you want to be my friend? Oh my god. I can’t believe you think I have value, and would just go in that direction and be like, well, they like me, so I surely will like them. And it took so much work on myself, the more I did work on myself, and you know, even writing these books and giving other people advice, and I started to realize, like, wow, I really need to, the more you develop that self love and that respect for yourself, and that relationship with yourself, where you’re like, I really love being around me, I, I really like spending time with myself, the more you start to realize, Oh, I am valuable. And if I am valuable, then I get to choose who comes in. And I don’t have to just sit there like anybody can come in because I was doing life that way, was creating a pattern where the friends that I was attracting were like, thrilled with the relationship, they were so happy they were getting their needs met. I really had some notes about my friendships, I didn’t really like them. I wasn’t really getting what I needed, and I didn’t really feel very good. And then you have that awkward moment, or someone’s like, Oh, I love our friendship. And you feel that thing in your gut where you’re like, oh, I don’t, this is what’s wrong, and what was wrong was, you know, I wasn’t, I wasn’t choosing them because I was like, I love who they are, I love how they make me feel, I love what they add to my life, I just loved that they liked me. And that’s just never gonna be enough for a friendship. And while really romantic relationship, I did that to where it was like, this person asked me out, oh my God, and to be fair, like to be fair to myself and anybody else who has done this, we tell women to do that. And anybody has to come along and choose you. Oh my god, a man chose you, who are you to pass him up? You gotta take it, you’re gonna run out of them, you’re gonna turn a certain age and no one’s gonna choose you anymore, hurry. When I tapped out of that.
Samantha Bee 11:56
Finite, you have a finite number of people who will court you? You’re gonna run it out. You got to pick one quick can’t be too picky.
Elaine Moore 12:05
Who are you? Someone with values? Someone with self esteem? Someone with a choice agency? I don’t, I thought.
Samantha Bee 12:11
Elaine Moore 12:12
Samantha Bee 12:13
That is so interesting. I that really resonates with me, I feel like there were so many relationships that I was in, in the past where I was like, he likes me, then I am in love.
Elaine Moore 12:24
And he’s a man, a man has chosen me at all. That’s what we’re supposed to wait for, right?
Samantha Bee 12:31
Ring a ding, ding, ding dang.
Elaine Moore 12:36
Like, it’s just because we’re still operating on this, like, kind of centuries old idea that like, Oh, someone has come to rescue me from my family. And he’s, he’s taking my dowry. And like, it’s, it doesn’t look the same, necessarily. But it is the same, it is still that like, a man wants me at all, I have to go to him. And whereas we have men who they could be 50-60 years old, they’re like, I want a 20 year old model, and I’m not settling, and that’s why I’m still single and, and no one will give him notes on that. They’ll be like, yeah, you have it, Gary.
Samantha Bee 13:12
Yeah, they’re like, that’s the dream parent had, you’re gonna achieve this.
Elaine Moore 13:17
Yeah, that’s why you don’t settle. You’re a hot bachelor.
Samantha Bee 13:22
What is it as I mean, you’ve obviously write about this extensively, but it is different to choose as an adult to choosing friendship as an adult is a total is it really different, it’s a different experience, it’s a different kind of transaction. It requires risk. And it’s like a leap into the unknown, what does that what does that choice feel like? Or what can that look like?
Elaine Moore 13:45
Yeah, because you know, it’s tough, because one of the things that happens is you can choose somebody and their behavior. Even if they really like you, they’re not giving you the same energy that’s so much of, of what friendship is. And it’s and we don’t talk about that’s what so much of friendship is we make it seem like it’s this really easy thing. And it just comes together. It is just as complex as romantic relationships, if not more, I would argue. Because I’ve definitely had friends where I’ve been like, Oh, this is so cool and good, I really like this person. I’m going to ask them to hang out next week. And then maybe they can’t but they don’t ask you the next time once they pass it up, and then you’re still kind of chasing them, doesn’t mean they don’t like you. But eventually I’m just like, oh, okay, I really liked this person, but they’re not giving me that kind of mutual energy. We both have kind of driving this together. Otherwise, I’m just like, chasing a friend and it feels bad. So I think there’s so many things that can come up but, you know, I still think it’s, it’s it’s worth trying even if it doesn’t, because it might just be an alignment thing. Like maybe right now they’re too busy or they don’t have the capacity for new friendship or whatever it is, you don’t know. And then a year from now, they’re in a better place you hang out all the time, you don’t know. You know, right.
Samantha Bee 15:09
I think that’s a great way to see it. That when, when you’re talking about friendship, you’re driving it together. Like you each have a steering wheel. And you just, you’d have to be going in the same direction a little bit to make it, I think it makes sense.
Elaine Moore 15:24
But you don’t, but if you are used to, like I was feeling like, they like having friendships where either they were really driving it and I was kind of just along for it. Or I was really driving it and then that felt bad. That’s why it’s like you both need to, you know, it doesn’t need to be completely 50-50 might take turns like in any relationship. Sometimes you are drunk, you’re gonna drive for a while because they’re tired and they take a nap. And you know, or you take a nap or whatever, but in the beginning, it has to be like matched energy, I think.
Samantha Bee 15:56
Right? Oh, that totally. That makes so much sense. We’ll be right back with Elaine Moore after this.
Samantha Bee 16:20
I should preface my next question by saying that I been married for a super long time. I’ve never actually used a dating app.
Elaine Moore 16:27
Samantha Bee 16:28
They didn’t, well, they didn’t exist at the time. They just were all lost in bars, I guess. Which is really why you’re here to give the advice not me, but I do look, I do look at the landscape now. And there are so many choices. And it’s so different. It’s so much more.
Elaine Moore 16:52
Because I’m like they’re not always good, they’re not all good. They’re not always good.
Samantha Bee 16:55
No, it’s like, it’s like when you go to you know, sometimes you go to a restaurant and you’re like the menu is too big. You don’t know what you’re doing.
Elaine Moore 17:02
Right, like, I don’t trust any of it.
Samantha Bee 17:06
Yeah I don’t believe that you know how to make souvlaki but, and a […] it a lot, is there is there? How do people sift through that? I mean, that is seems really daunting. It’s it does seem very difficult.
Elaine Moore 17:31
Yeah. So when Tinder first came out, and it was like dating apps had just begun. The second that I went on Tinder, I was like, oh, this is insane. This is immediately to me, this is a comedy show, we would project this onto a projector screen we would swipe live with the audience. They would choose who we swipe right or left on yes or no. We would riff on these profiles, because they’re all especially heinous. They’re just so strange, especially the men’s profiles are just so so wild. The women’s profiles are mostly people who are just alive. But the men’s profiles are just like yelling at women, naked man, cuddling dead deer, like it’s just so why it’s so much weirder than you would think it would be. And so very quickly, like that same night, I started pitching it to comedy venues and now, I’ve been doing it for years. And I like tour around the world with it. And we have like special guests come on. And it’s always really fun when I have guests on the show who have never been on dating apps before. Because they just you just don’t know until you do it. You just don’t know what you’re expecting but so for when you’re using a dating app, on your own, it can feel so isolating so exhausting. Because you know, you might match but then they don’t message for me. I found when I was swiping through, and I was being myself, you know when I had like a sense of humor and needs and emotions and was a three dimensional person. Man, we’re not that into it, man were not that into it and.
Samantha Bee 19:17
That’s great, totally great.
Elaine Moore 19:19
I want a woman with a sense of humor, and by that she thinks I’m hilarious. So but when I do I do a character on Tinder live who is basically what I think it’s sort of a social experiment in a way who is basically what I think a lot of guys want on there. And she is like, very young physically, and mentally, super horny, super drunk, not very smart, doesn’t understand anything just real. What are you talking about? I’m just like so drunk and horny and like, men love her. They love her. I a guy once had a profile and he said no feminists. I don’t want anybody who identifies as a feminist, he did the typo, like twice.
Samantha Bee 20:05
No, I’m a feminist, you should not be a good man.
Elaine Moore 20:09
We all I swiped right on him, because that’s exactly the type of Tinder life profile that we would do. And I was like, What’s a feminist? And he wrote back I kid you not, and it was it was on a live show. And he was like, it’s when women believe in equality among the genres. And I was like, yes, this is why I do this. This is so good, so good.
Samantha Bee 20:35
Yeah, that’s why you’re married today. Together, and forever.
Elaine Moore 20:40
I applied notes, like, Oh, you mean like comedy and drama or the scene, then I am not feminist. I don’t agree that the genre should be the same at all. But like, just what I love about it is when I’m swiping through it as this for the show. And when people watch it, especially women, it’s empowering because I have the power in these situations, I’m able to call out these things, I’m able to out weird, these weirdos. And I don’t, I’m able to see it as something funny and cathartic, because so many women, when they’re using it just feel like they’re the only ones seeing profiles like this that are really, that some of them are really, really bad, and they take a toll on your soul, and you’re like, I don’t want to get messages like this or see this. It’s it really weighs on you or to do this much work, and then not magically fall in love. But it’s like to be able to do this show where people are like, Oh, you’re like empowered, and you don’t take it that seriously, and it reminds me I don’t have to take it that seriously, and if someone is being weird, I can see it as funny instead of kind of triggering all these kind of similar experiences that we’ve had in our lives where you’re like, oh, great, another guy like this, who you know, sees a woman who’s funny or has needs as a burden.
Samantha Bee 22:03
Right, I mean, I will say that in the past, like when I was dating, I guess the another issue was that you would date that man for six weeks. And then the end the seventh week, he would be like, you’re not a fruit, you seem like you’re more of a feminist. Like what? And but you already like he already had the key to your apartment or something like that. And you were just like into tape.
Elaine Moore 22:26
Well, what’s funny is sometimes you can talk too much, because a big thing that I’ll see a lot of men on dating apps say is there’ll be like, I don’t want to talk forever on here, I don’t want to pin pal okay, if you actually want to meet up, which I love, I love the men yelling in their profiles., it’s a favorite I love it so great, you’re already mad at me what a great how romantic start? Yeah, but here’s the thing. Women want to do that, because we don’t want to get murdered. We want to that you we don’t want to get assaulted. But what can happen is to be fair, you can talk too much in the first and you become like in love with who they are in the messages. And then you meet them in there not that or you have the relationship not for six weeks, but it can play out over text in this way where you’re like, I have imagined in my head who this person is, and then they say one thing very similar moment where you’re just like, I didn’t think to screen for that or like that didn’t come up sooner and.
Samantha Bee 23:27
Elaine Moore 23:28
And then you’re.
Samantha Bee 23:29
Like, god dammit, this was trash.
Elaine Moore 23:31
So it’s still I think those things still, I think those things still happen I mean, I think it’s really hard because the idea of it is good. I know a lot of like, introverted people, especially like I had thought like, why can’t I just like, somehow flirt with people without ever having to leave my house? It’s a It’s good in theory, but it is hard having all these options and feeling like surely this should be easy, surely I will be you know, this will go really well and if it was going really well. You know.
Samantha Bee 24:08
I like that movie where Jeremy Renner comes back from Afghanistan and his in the cereal aisle. You know, he’s like, the he’s the the guy who takes apart the bar.
Elaine Moore 24:20
I haven’t seen this, but I’ve never been more invested in a movie scene, please.
Samantha Bee 24:23
Okay. Well, he goes mainly because of the theory from the well, yes, the cereal, he comes back from the war. He’s so completely traumatized by the things that he’s done and seen. Okay, and then he goes into a grocery store, like in a big American style grocery store, he hasn’t been in one years, and there’s just so much cereal, there’s so many different types of cereals, and he is completely unable, just like paralyzed paralyzed by choice, right and here’s your match.
Elaine Moore 24:55
So here’s the thing about that, too. Now, what if you didn’t know what was inside any of those cereal boxes, because that’s the thing about about dating apps and all this stuff, you’re swiping through. All you’re seeing is the is the cereal box. You don’t know what’s in it, you don’t know the ingredients, you don’t know if it actually, the cereal even looks like that.
Samantha Bee 25:17
I can run with this while I can tell but yeah, you’re like, oh my God, I didn’t know the honeycomb kid is […] Find out you don’t doesn’t see that on the bar.
Elaine Moore 25:26
And sometimes you can eat a couple bowls of it and not know. You know, the fourth bowl, you get the prize inside, which is racism. So you just don’t you don’t know, and, um, you know, I think that’s the thing and and one of the things that we have to admit is true is that these dating apps, all these things, it’s gambling, that’s really what it is. It’s a slot machine, it’s a slot machine, we keep playing the slot machine, maybe we’re gonna win, we’re gonna win some money. But we keep what we’re spending our time we’re losing money, too. And like, it’s kind of feeling exhausting. And one of the things I hear so often from people, like so often is they’re like, I’m kind of burned out on this, I get I’m really exhausted doing this. And I think what they expect me to say is what a lot of advice people say, and I hate it. It’s a very specific type of advice, that’s like very girl boss, which is like, you just got to get in the game and get your head in the game and keep going and remember that like what no, no, I always tell those people take a break. It’s not supposed to be like this. That’s right, it’s not supposed to like, and also that doesn’t, it doesn’t like make love happen faster. But we do tell women specifically, you better be treating this like a full time job trying to find your soulmate, or else you’re gonna end up alone, and it’s your fault. That’s disgusting, that’s not true.
Samantha Bee 26:49
It definitely feels like we make romantic decisions so differently from how we make other kind of like more rational decisions, lives, like the part of the heart that is just driving this bus is so it is different, and there’s a lot of other, there’s a lot of other factors involved, of course, and conditioning is a big one.
Elaine Moore 27:14
Yeah, and it’s not, it’s just not something that you can make happen if you try harder, like I think maybe the only thing you can make happen if you try harder is like developing a bicep or something, you know what I mean? Like, like, there are things that you can, if you do this, you will get this. But when it comes to emotional stuff, timing and luck and love it like there was nothing I’m sure you know, with meeting your husband, do you feel like you could quantify what you did to get those results? Like what I would assume no.
Samantha Bee 27:48
Absolutely not. I was trapped in a car together. We didn’t even really like each other, we’re just trapped in a car together and we were like, what are you into, like, forced us. But whatever the we would never have had those conversations if we hadn’t been trapped in a car.
Elaine Moore 28:05
Right, and that’s just that’s just luck and fate and destiny, and that’s it but what’s so funny is there’s so many people out there giving advice, and they’re like, well, I was trapped in a car with my future husband, so get trapped in a car ladies. And it’s like, what? No, why does this, there’s no one way and it can’t be duplicated. That’s not like advice you can give. Do you know what I mean?
Samantha Bee 28:28
There’s only one place to meet man and that’s in a weird rideshare to Alberni so, get on it, girls.
Elaine Moore 28:36
That’s where all the girls are, and if you don’t do it, well, you I tried to help you like, I don’t want that that is not gonna work out for most people if that was your story, and that’s why it worked out.
Samantha Bee 28:47
My God, do you think? Maybe we should all just maybe it would work better if we just all let our friends decide for us. Who should we should be with? We should just be like nominations of a friend.
Elaine Moore 29:01
Have you ever been set up though?
Samantha Bee 29:04
Elaine Moore 29:06
Well, I some people like anything else. Some people get stuck in a car and it works. Some people get set up and it works. But you know sometimes too, you get set up and you’re like, what do you what do you think of me? Do you ever do we have issue? Why did you?
Samantha Bee 29:23
No, I don’t trust our friendship, you don’t? It’s clear to me that you don’t know me.
Elaine Moore 29:28
And why did you think you thought this was what I what I’ve wanted. And it’s not that it’s bad, but it’s so funny, and especially when it’s men. I think maybe I’ve been in the unique position of having guy friends tried to set me up more than girlfriends which is I guess what you see in movies and stuff. But men when they’re choosing like who they think a friend of theirs would want to date. They’re not looking at their guy friend. From the perspective of a partner. They’re looking at this like my buddy Josh rule. He’s so rad and you’re like, okay, I’m glad you have a good friendship. What about this is good for me? I don’t know. He’s like, he’s like, not a rapist. It’s like, really cool, do you know what I mean? Like, how low was the bar for you? Like, I don’t think he’s violent. Do you like him?
Samantha Bee 30:15
Elaine Moore 30:15
I like him. He’s not violent.
Samantha Bee 30:18
Yeah. On your website, laymore.org.co. You, we’ve all accepted.org now. It’s fine, you offer a package where you will redo someone’s dating app profile. I think this is a very valuable, very needed resource. I think sometimes it does take a stranger to reveal how they see you from the outside looking in, do you have a lot of people? […] people must be so excited for that.
Elaine Moore 30:59
I genuinely love it because it’s like, there’s a little bit of therapy almost involved, and I’m not, you know, not a therapist. But I really, I think as a combination of like spending so many I’ve definitely done my 10,000 hours on dating apps because of Tinder live so I, I know and I also, it’s so much easier to see other people’s stuff when it’s not yours, especially for me, I see. I’ve seen so many profiles, and I’ve had so many Tinder live profiles, where like, some guy has come up and his profile is like, real all over the place, not great. And then we talked to him, and he’s lovely. And that made me realize like, oh, people don’t know how they’re coming across. That guy who’s yelling in his profile, doesn’t know he’s yelling, he’s just sick of being hurt, and it’s coming out wrong. And, you know, so I see what I what I love about it is that the people who hire me to do this are always great, because here’s the thing. If you’re like, there are people on dating apps, specifically men really, who are just like, no, I’m not getting any matches or having any luck, because these these women are stupid, and they’re ugly, and it’s like, yeah, okay, he’s never gonna hire me, and that’s okay, I don’t want to work with that guy who thinks that he’s perfect. And all women are bad, you know? But the ones who are just like, alright, maybe I’m doing something, and it’s so funny, because you start to realize all the ways that like, our past hurts all the ways that we’re trying to be. We’re trying to be cool, we’re trying to be chill in our profile. But then we’re not giving any information about ourselves, there’s no vulnerability. We want to say, hey, I have a kid and going through a divorce, we don’t want to freak somebody out. I love being able to be like, I know the exact wording that is, like, honest enough so that you can reveal what you want to reveal, b ut it sounds like you it sounds and also just even getting like through talking to somebody, you’re like, oh, you’re like really kind and funny, and well, what do you like, oh, you like this, put that in there, that’s great because even myself, even when I, you know, first did my dating profiles, and I was like, well, I’m gonna put some jokes and some references in these things and, you know, I think one of the things that men tend to face is like, yeah, I think just like kind of coming off the wrong way. Or, like a lot of them will seem kind of cold or angry in their profiles, and they’re not like that. And or, like, the photos are really bad. And I know why this is I’ve realized why this is because men are not socialized to be observed. Women are socialized, since birth, you got to know your angles, you got to know how to how to look the hottest and the most appealing. Men are not told this so they don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how they come off. Women are so aware of how they come off. But then sometimes even with women’s profiles, then it becomes about vetting. Because they’re like, I’m I keep ending up with the same person on this date. Who’s who acts like this? Or does this thing and I don’t want that. And how do I get that out there. So you know, the person who’s always been obsessed with psychology and sociology and how people interact. I really love being like, I think I can get you to that, and I’m very proud of this. One of my first ones that I did, because I started doing it, I think during the pandemic. They’re like getting married, and they were like, he was like, maybe we’ll name our baby after you. And I was like, how is this real? That’s really cool.
Samantha Bee 34:31
That’s really cool. I bet you’re so good at it like it is nobody I mean, nothing is more intimidating than having to. I mean, you know, I’m sure you’re asked to do it all the time. Just like write a bio for yourself, when someone asks me to just like write a quick bio for myself. It takes me all day to write three sentences about like, it’s very, it’s hard to give yourself a compliment. It’s hard to describe yourself. You’re like, I don’t now […]
Elaine Moore 35:01
Because then you read a white like, I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but if you ever read a white guy’s bio who’s a little less, like maybe even very, like less experienced than you, and his bio makes it seem like he’s three times as experienced as you are, that’s helpful. That’s when you’re just like, oh, I should be like this dude.
Samantha Bee 35:22
I feel like he might be an astronaut. But could he isn’t old enough for that like.
Elaine Moore 35:28
For Grammys, he didn’t say it, but it’s an unknown, he just wants an open mic and Hoboken. I don’t know I’m getting Grammy from him.
Samantha Bee 35:36
Oh my god, unearned confidence is something I feel that we can easily say that we experience. So very often in the world of comedy.
Elaine Moore 35:46
I want it and I want it. We’ve already heard it, but I still want. I want the unearned confidence. Because even when you earn it, I feel like if you’re any kind of marginalized person, it’s just like, you still you’re still working through these weeds of like, do I say it like that? I don’t know, that seems like a little much at but, you know, these guys are just like, the best in town who said that me? My mom? And you’re like, oh, I guess that’s a reference.
Samantha Bee 36:14
Let’s hold that thought more with Elaine Moore after one more break.
Samantha Bee 36:37
Now you you’ve written so much, okay, you’re the you wrote a book, you have multiple books, but in you will find your people is really about building friendships. And choosing I mean, we have to choose friends in the same way, like carefully in a curated fashion as you’ve spoken about, do we also need to end friendships that aren’t working in the way that we would, and a romantic relationship. I’ve heard you talk about it. And it is very interesting, and I don’t think I ever really thought about it that way before.
Elaine Moore 37:12
Yeah, I mean, so I mean, part of the reason you and lots people I think haven’t thought about it is because we are really told in a very strange way, once you start to analyze it, that friendships are forever and look, when you’re when you’re like 13, that sounds really nice. You know, it sounds really nice even now. But it’s like friendship shouldn’t be forever in in like a punishing jail way. You know? Right, it shouldn’t feel like a life sentence. It should feel like oh my God, I hope this lasts forever. But what I’ve heard from so many people, well, you know, when I was writing this book, and even when it came out, and I would hear from people I wouldn’t have expected to hear from where they were like, you know, I do have a lot of friends who I’ve known for 20 years, and we don’t even really get along that much anymore, but I can’t stop being friends with them, we’ve known each other 20 years, that sort of, I like it to like a the sunk cost fallacy, you know, where you’re just like, I put in so much and it’s like, but what is what are you getting? Now at this point, like, you just keep putting in more to this, because you’ve already sunk in a lot of time into it. But part of the reason we don’t do that, too, is I love you know, I’m obsessed with TV. And I won’t say all pop culture, but certain certain segments of pop culture, and it’s like you watch these TV shows. And you see, you know, I talk in the book about like Sex in the City. And those four friends never, there never would have been somebody who never would have been a friendship breakup. If Kim Cottrell like hadn’t left the show, because of some real life problems that never would have happened. Rachel and Monica never would have stopped hanging out like there never would have been this. The most common, you know, friendships that we see depicted in movies, TV, we never see, like, they’re just off the show. And that friendship ended because it’s that taboo, that we wouldn’t do it. It’s so rare for us to see that and that we’ve all internalized that and so we’re like, we can’t end a friendship that’s not done to our own detriment, though, you know.
Samantha Bee 39:21
And there is so much shame around that. I think that has like created an atmosphere of shame like.
Elaine Moore 39:28
Samantha Bee 39:29
I agree with you so wholeheartedly, you don’t often see a friendship-schism, in pop culture, in any kind of, we just don’t often see it unless it’s like someone cheating on someone not unless it’s like a big white, unless it’s an operatic level of problem and even then you don’t see it.
Elaine Moore 39:51
You don’t see it because and it’s so funny because, you know, when you’ll find your people first came out I remember We’re seeing this tweet someone, like shared it on Twitter, and they were like, I’m, you know, so excited for this book, I actually have like, really perfect, great friendships, but I’m gonna buy this book to support lean, and I remember reading that and being like, who’s going to tell this person the truth? Because and if not, and I’m not saying that to like deny, you know that they might have really good friendships but I truly believe even if you feel like your friendships are perfect, perfect, perfect right now, they will change it is a certainty, they will change, you will go through weirdness, they will, they will get married and things get weird, they’ll have a kid and things get weird, you’ll have a kid and things get weird, you will grow and change in different weird ways. And you’ll have to learn these skills so it’s so funny to me that people can think that they’ve just solved it, like every even when I first started writing the book, I had a bit of that where I was like, oh, I’m in such a good place to write this, I have like the best friends I’ve ever had and I’m really doing great. As I’m writing it, and I’m writing about like red flags and things to look for and things to work on. I was like, no, like, some of these are not good. Some of these have some issues we need to work on. You know, it’s just the way it is with even with a long term marriage, like I don’t think anybody can sit there and be like, I’ve solved it, like people are complex stuff comes up, right? And it’s like you have to, we have to not be afraid of that but of course, we’re going to want to project that, of course, we’re going to want to attach to that, when we see TV shows. We’re like that person never like doesn’t handle something the right way doesn’t show up for us in the way that we needed them to show up, kind of messes up, or they mess up on the TV show. And then they’re like, hey, I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I treated you really poorly the other day. So I bought you a trip for 16 of your friends to go to France, and you’re like, that isn’t never happened to me. Usually I have to bring it up six months later, because they didn’t realize it. And then it’s awkward and we drift apart. There’s no I’ve been given no trip to France. Sometimes, the conflict of that just makes things weird with us like there’s work involved, because they’re not TV shows yeah.
Samantha Bee 42:10
Sometimes people aren’t good friends to us. They don’t give us what we need, and sometimes we don’t give our friends what they need. We don’t meet their needs. And it is so painful to know that. And both parties have to want to do better.
Elaine Moore 42:26
Yeah, and it’s it really is so and you know, like, literally like you said, I’m glad that you said it takes work. And we don’t I talk about that in the book because we don’t talk about that when it comes to romantic relationships for like, you know, it’s great, but it takes work, you never hear someone say that about a friendship. Like, I love being Sara’s friend but you know, it takes work. If you heard that you’d be like, get out of that sounds real dark. But we understand that with romantic relationships, and I really want to encourage that. People to do that work and to realize it takes work. Because then I think that takes maybe some of the disappointment out and also opens up those conversations. Because I think that’s a lot of people’s friendships, they’re like, I think it takes work now I don’t want to do it. I’ll just alter how often we talk and then it kind of fades. Yeah, you do sometimes you have to have those conversations that are hard.
Samantha Bee 43:22
I think this it’s just perfect timing for Valentines day coming. But it is actually like having this conversation with you. And and reading this in your work is actually it’s like instructive for me. I’m like, oh, yeah, I should kind of look back and go, where am I? Where have I actually not been? Where have I not been a good friend? Where have I been so busy that I could be doing better? And where are places where I can like repair wounds. You know?
Elaine Moore 43:53
Because it’s ever it’s like, nobody’s perfect about it, and that was something that was so important to me to talk about in this book, even when I talk about my own past friendships, I made a concerted effort not to be like, anyway, as I have stated in this essay, she sucked, and I was great. Like, that’s not it’s so easy to do that. But it’s like no, we just weren’t a good fit. I could have spoken up about this. I didn’t like to not look at it as like who’s right or wrong, but to look at how you’re engaging with each other is really, I think that’s really what it is like you would you know, in a relationship you wouldn’t.
Samantha Bee 44:03
Any relationship, why are these? Why do we separate out these relationships to specifically not attend to?
Elaine Moore 44:37
Yeah, and also why? I think a lot of us, myself very included. When we look back, we tended to have a lot of the same types of people come through like even when I was writing the book, I was like, oh, I’m actually going to combine three of these people into one story because they were all basically the same person.
Samantha Bee 44:56
Elaine Moore 44:57
They were doing I was in the same dynamic way with them and it just looked a little different.
Samantha Bee 45:03
Oh, wait, one final thought. How in the world were the Sex in the City women always available for lunch?
Elaine Moore 45:13
Samantha Bee 45:13
Stop it. I know no one’s never.
Elaine Moore 45:16
I thought that was so funny. And it was one of the things that when I was writing, I was like, oh, I have internalized that, like, in order for me to have a friendship that counts. That is like actually really good we have to see each other at the same hot lunch spot every day at noon, no matter how far we live from that spot. They all live in different neighborhoods, so I was thinking about I was like, are they all in cabs are on the subway for like two hours? Are they being given three hours for a work lunch?
Elaine Moore 45:16
How do they just effortlessly swan into the same place to share fries?
Elaine Moore 45:51
And there was no group text. They didn’t even have group text. I feel like every group text I’m on is like, what do you want to do next week? Well, next week’s bad for me do you want to do a week […] ? Let’s just do 2026 like, but they were every single day, like let’s make a pastiche or whatever, and I was like, sure we’re all free at the same time, even though we have wildly different lives, and Miranda has like five kids, it’s so, it’s so strange.
Samantha Bee 46:15
We all make so much money at our various jobs. And part of our job requirement is that we must have this lunch box. Just very free to toggle over in our heels.
Elaine Moore 46:28
And no one ever really came in like oh my god that train socked or whatever. It was just always like, oh, yes, we have so much time I feel very refreshed, like I just I felt like I’ve showed up to lunches with friends and it’s been like, I don’t know, I’m kind of depressed like, or like […] socked and like somebody flashed me on the way here like, I don’t know, like that never happened.
Samantha Bee 46:48
I don’t know, someone pooped on the subway, we all get off the subway. And I’m really sweaty because I ran last three blocks here.
Elaine Moore 46:56
They all took Lincoln Town cars, I don’t even have a limo. I’m not sure, yeah, I don’t know how they were free.
Samantha Bee 47:04
Well, this was awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this conversation, and I’m so happy to meet you after all these years and all these, all these missed connections.
Elaine Moore 47:14
Yes, truly, yeah, me too. Thank you so much for having me, this was wonderful.
Samantha Bee 47:25
That was Elaine Moore and I had no choice but to look up one thing, how many actual dating apps exist in the year of our Lord 2024. And I learned that there are over 1500 currently. So yeah, that’s a lot of cereal, and good news. While you’re swiping the fun continues with more Choice Words on Lemonada premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, like a special outtake from this very episode. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts.
Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.