This week on Everything is Fine

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We’ve got journalist, author, and documentarian Nancy Jo Sales on the podcast today, and we’re talking about her fantastic and brave new book: Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno. Her take on the corporatization of romance is fascinating, and so is this conversation, IMHO. If you’re an over-40 lady looking for love on the apps, or just somebody who is curious about what it’s like out there for single folks, this is a must-listen. Hear it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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41 Thoughts on This week on Everything is Fine
    Emily M.
    26 May 2021
    8:38am

    I have been with the same man since 2002, and it is horrifying to me to learn that since that time, men choking women has become normal. What is wrong with these men! Thanks to Nancy Jo for setting them straight. I wish more young women would do the same. Thanks for a great episode.

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    Sara
    25 May 2021
    4:55pm

    Thank you so much for this episode — so much truth in here that is liberating to hear. I’ve been single for most of my adult life, and that time has also coincided with the rise of the dating apps. I absolutely despise them for all the reasons Nancy Jo lays out in here and then some. They have rendered people interchangeable and they have provided a haven for bad actors and endless negative reinforcement for people with attachment issues (I count myself among the latter.)

    What’s insidious too is that all your well meaning partnered friends cannot wrap their heads around why you can’t/don’t just go out and pick from a buffet of potential partners that these apps offer. But that’s just not how it works. I’m still on the apps and occasionally use them to meet new people, but I am skeptical they’ll ever work for me. Though they do sometimes for other people, so you never know! Otherwise, my strategy is just to try to get myself in rooms with like-minded people and hope to make a connection that leads to a *real* connection. Good luck to us all!

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    cw
    27 May 2021
    7:14am

    When my last relationship fell apart I vowed to never date again. A year and a little more past that breakup day and I haven’t regretted my vow even a little bit. This podcast did nothing to deter me from my decision! My only question is…Nancy Jo said she was no longer participating on dating apps––I was wondering why––permanent relationship?Dating exhaustion? Truthfully, none of my business––just something that made me curious. Loved the podcast. Nancy Jo is fascinating. (I would love to be at a dinner party with all the women y’all interview.)

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    Liz
    26 May 2021
    7:33pm

    I haven’t listened to this yet but can’t wait. I met my husband online back when it was embarrassing to admit that. I mean, these were the days when I didn’t know how to upload a photo and used AOL. Our local alternative paper had a personals website. Everything I’ve heard from my single friends makes me think it’s VERY different now and kind of awful, but what I liked about it then was that It allowed me to choose guys who were totally my type looks-wise and interests-wise at a time when I was meeting lots of guys in real life who just weren’t my type, and the guys who were my type weren’t approaching women in bars. I felt like I could get a really good sense of who the guy was based on his writing style, and of course even though I had no photo, I only chose hot guys who did. Anyway, I went on three dates, all fun in their own ways, one of which was my husband, even though he strangely brought his best friend to our first date without telling me.

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    Viajera
    26 May 2021
    7:40pm

    I liked the session. My experience has been different bc I do not recall ever enjoying the dating process, nor was it easy for me to bond with people even when I was young. So I do not have this golden period to look back on semi-wistfully, like the guest. Meeting people was always difficult. … … … The two things that have worked for me in terms of making new friends have been volunteering (esp for political campaigns) and group exercises. Ime men like sweaty women. Or, we are more approachable then? I think there are plenty of nice guys out there. The odds are not thaaaaat much worse in terms of making a soul connection. Those are just rare. Meeting someone while you are doing something increases odds of success, I think. Though, it does not solve the issue of character references. Maybe someday there will be a matching site with reviews???? Or, is there one? That might get interesting. … … … Or, I may be completely and entirely wrong! Just my two cents on what I find works.

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    Margaret
    27 May 2021
    9:07am

    A reporter like Sales prowling the mall and bragging about talking to kids “away from the watchful eyes of parents and children” is creepy AF and borders on unethical.

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      Margaret
      27 May 2021
      10:07am

      I mean to quote her as saying “parents and TEACHERS,” of course. Wish I could edit comments!

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      Lori
      1 Jun 2021
      10:30pm

      Do see your point; though from my own experience, must disagree. Sometimes parents and teachers are the evil, abusive ones who need to be escaped from in order for teens to speak freely — which they absolutely need to be able to do!

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    Viajera
    27 May 2021
    11:51am

    Hey my response got eaten! Bummer.

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    Rachel
    25 May 2021
    12:16am

    I haven’t listened yet but I LOVE her books, buying this for the kindle immediately! Also, anyone else out there think of her phone message from that crazy chick from “Pretty Wild” whenever you see her? LOL

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      Gemma
      25 May 2021
      10:16am

      Yes. It’s an automatic trigger back to Pretty Wild. “Hi Nancy Jo…”

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    JenM
    25 May 2021
    12:03pm

    Nancy Jo Sales is an AMAZING, brilliant badass feminist and I love hearing what she has to say about virtually anything. But dating apps? Burn ’em down, Nancy Jo!

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    Amy
    25 May 2021
    11:33pm

    Thank you for this episode! I found Nancy Jo so engaging and interesting—and I appreciated hearing someone over 40 talk about online dating. I also appreciated you and Romolini sharing your own dating experiences. Sometimes it’s just knowing you’re not the only one wading through a sea of fools that keeps you sane!

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    Mae
    25 May 2021
    7:23pm

    I married young and stayed that way, but I am privy to a lot of the bullshit mentioned on this podcast. First: My husband has three male friends in their 50s who are divorced and trolling Tinder and are happy to relate their latest conquests to him, like (literally) fucking frat boys. Secondly: My 65-year-old brother, who’s been married for 35 years, recently bragged to me about his 25-year-old son’s super-sexy dating life on Tinder, like my brother was getting vicarious thrills from it. WHAT KIND OF AN ASSHOLE TELLS HIS DAD ABOUT HIS TINDER EXPERIENCES, I wanted to scream when my brother told this to me. Do these young women know that my nephew lived in his parents’ basement playing video games all night as recently as 2 years ago? Oy. Things are so messed up.

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    Cathy
    25 May 2021
    7:20am

    I really enjoyed this episode and learned a lot about the dating app space. Unfamiliar to me as someone who has been married for 25 years but not completely unknown since most of my 25 yo daughter’s friends rely on dating apps to meet guys. Worrisome to me given what Nancy jo describes- but I will read her book. Another reason this episode was enjoyable? Not much JR- sorry, I said it. I find her to be overbearing and really miss hearing Kim during these podcasts- I got Kim this time and liked it so much more than recent episodes.

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      Sarah
      26 May 2021
      1:11pm

      Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

      I’d encourage you to ask yourself why you thought that was ok to call a cohost “overbearing” (which honestly just reads as veiled sexism) on a post about said podcast. It’s easy to hide anonymously and speak quickly out of frustration or jealousy. Do better next time.

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        Jessica
        28 May 2021
        9:38am

        I hope it won’t read as “veiled sexism” if I admit that I wanted to hear more from Kim in the past few podcasts. As for whether Cathy’s comment is “true” (to her? to you?), kind, necessary, helpful, I can only say that I was going to quit the podcast b/c I felt Kim had become a sidekick. It was cheering to me to see someone speak up. It was depressing to see someone chastised–by a woman–for doing so. Alas, in my own life, I’ve recently had male colleagues email me to thank me for speaking out in meetings. My contributions, those very same contributions, drew rebukes from women. “Do better next time” was their theme. I will refrain from calling my disciplinarians sexist. I suppose they just want to help.

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          Jessica
          28 May 2021
          10:24am

          A postscript, because the context may indeed matter: I was calling out our CEO (male) for lying to us.

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          RQ
          28 May 2021
          8:51pm

          I think you’re missing the point. This site is not supposed to be a place where women tear one another down. I’m all for constructive feedback but that remark about Jenn reads as mean spirited and not especially constructive.

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            Jessica
            28 May 2021
            10:06pm

            If I understand correctly, the following is no teardown, but Cathy’s comment was at odds with the nature of this place: “It’s easy to hide anonymously and speak quickly out of frustration or jealousy. Do better next time.” (“Jealousy”–really?)

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              Liz
              29 May 2021
              12:42am

              Oh, I agree with Sarah. There were lots of ways for Cathy to state she’d like to hear more Kim without choosing to attack Jen’s personality. The fact that she chose to be a jerk does make her look great and there’s nothing wrong with point that out. Jen handled it gracefully. For the record, I love Jen and her opinions and the energy she contributes to the podcast.

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                Jessica
                29 May 2021
                9:53am

                Wait—we can attack other commenters in ways that aren’t notably kind (“chose to be a jerk,” “veiled sexism,” “Do better next time,” “jealousy”[??], and, way down the thread, for someone else’s remark, “toxic”), we can declare open season on almost everything about a guest (Cat Marnell), but we cannot briefly, directly criticize one of the podcasters. Maybe it’s a guest/host thing. It *isn’t* nice to attack the host of a dinner party, but imagine if the guests observed this rule and then went to town on one another.

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                  Liz
                  29 May 2021
                  2:56pm

                  Yeah, if a woman chooses to attack another woman, I think it’s more than fair for people to come to her defense and say, “hey, don’t be a jerk.” You clearly disagree, but it’s not like that’s an odd thing to do. I’ll drop it, but I don’t quite understand your desire to defend Jenn being called overbearing. It was rude.

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                    Elle
                    29 May 2021
                    5:47pm

                    I guess I read this somewhat differently… that the calls for kindness weren’t…kind, and that Cathy, however objectionable her lone adjective, was being unfairly accused of sexism and inexplicably accused of jealousy?

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      Jennifer Romolini
      25 May 2021
      10:51am

      thanks for the feedback, Cathy. We’ll try to keep things more balanced in the future! And I’ll try shutting my big mouth more 🙂

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        RQ
        26 May 2021
        12:11am

        Everyone’s entitled to their opinion so here’s mine. Am so very glad you came onboard—the show is far more fun with you in it! Though this episode was indeed fairly grim.

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        Eloise
        25 May 2021
        12:40pm

        Jen, just wanted to let you know that this fellow “big mouth” appreciates you and really likes what you bring to the podcast. I, too, really enjoyed this episode.

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          Jennifer Romolini
          25 May 2021
          2:23pm

          thank you Eloise! FWIW I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with me/my mouth :). I think Joy Behar once said that if you put yourself/your work out in the world you have to accept that 50% of the people won’t like you (and they won’t be shy about telling you!). That said, after we recorded this episode, I told Kim she was amazing because I agree with Cathy that Kim’s insights are the best. I genuinely want the interviews to be balanced—more Kim is always better. x

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            Lori
            1 Jun 2021
            10:38pm

            … Just adding two cents that I love hearing Kim’s voice, *and* I love hearing yours, Jennifer – you always sound so wise and yet somehow fresh, and have a great speaking voice. Please don’t be quiet! Thank you for what you bring to the show! (-:

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    Lisa
    25 May 2021
    10:21am

    wow this episode confirmed my worst suspicions – the influence of porn, the imbalance between men and women, the disassociation of social media…with 3 daughters in their 20’s it was hard to listen to a lot of this. Better armed with the truth than ignorant. My last date was 30 years ago and I hope it stays that way, and so far my daughters all seem to be making good choices. I will seek out Nancy Jo’s books, as I really enjoyed her unflinching view of this world!

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    Heather
    25 May 2021
    8:26am

    Agreed. I know there are decent guys on those apps, either because I met them myself in my online dating years (and am still friends with a few of them), or because I have a number of guy friends who use them. I’ve heard horror stories from them as well.

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    Heather
    24 May 2021
    8:26pm

    Loved this episode!

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    SC
    24 May 2021
    9:33pm

    Fascinating.

    For all the feminist strides – why do so many women waste so much time on awful dudes? If a guy writes ‘ethically nonmonogamous’ on his profile – I’m running the other way. Sprinting.

    I’m no supermodel – but I’m smart, funny and most importantly, confident as hell. I always knew I was a f*cking prize and acted like it- friendly – flirty (so fun!) – but I never brought a man to my bed (or his bed – or no bed ; ) that I didn’t genuinely like. Which means, it takes TIME to get to know someone/ whether they are truly worth even hooking up with…

    I met my husband online 15 years ago -but we went slow – and we are still happily married (funny and smart matter, but so does KINDNESS – what’s that saying? “Character is destiny” yep yep yep).

    I’d rather be alone than be with someone shitty. Even for one night.

    I know relationships are complicated – there are awful dudes (and some good ones) – but I can’t help thinking women really underestimate their power in this arena…

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      Heather
      25 May 2021
      8:24am

      I don’t think ‘ethically nonmonogamous’ immediately identifies a guy as a bad dude – this was one area in which I was critical of the speaker. Indeed, it seemed that she was herself practicing nonmonogamy, though she didn’t use the word, and I’m not sure how ethical she was about it (not sure if she was or wasn’t – the point is she didn’t clarify that). ‘Ethical nonmonogamy’ simply means that you’re open about dating others. The speaker herself acknowledged that she was on the apps looking for dates or hookups rather than a long-term relationship, so I was surprised that she was so critical of this concept.

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    Mimi A.
    24 May 2021
    9:33pm

    Kim said it perfectly – Nancy Jo is brave! Great episode! We’ve known about toxic bachelors for a long time. As she was describing the types commonly found on dating sites, I wondered how a group of men would categorize toxic bachelorettes they’ve encountered. A 64-year old divorced friend told me some horror stories, I.e. the woman who ordered nearly everything on the menu at a nice restaurant he invited her to. Then she took most of the food home in doggy bags (yes, plural.) She didn’t even try to disguise that she was stocking up on food for the week. And she wasn’t poor. Just a shameless, rude user.

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      kimbersam
      26 May 2021
      10:59am

      What I find really toxic is this comment. Do you know that she wasn’t poor? Did she send you her bank account details? Why didn’t your non-toxic friend tell her he wanted to split the bill? That you listen to a podcast about modern dating, relationships, and toxic masculinity and smugly comment on a blog with a female audience about “well, women are a problem too…” is not cool. At all….

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        Viajera
        26 May 2021
        11:39am

        I think it is okay for Mimi A. to contribute her views. (And I have heard such stories too. Women who want to know what car a man drives, etc etc … I told my friend he should just politely excuse himself the next time it happened. Get out of there!) I like to hear people’s reactions. … … … Now I tried, quite briefly yesterday, to figure out how to use the web version of spotify, so, I haven’t listened yet, so people can get mad at me about that if they like. (I have a weirdo reluctance to be constantly downloading new stuff onto the tablet … I should probably give up.) I’m sure I’ll get it though, and I am looking forward to learning more about online manhunting, at which I historically am very very unskilled. I would rather meet someone IRL if possible. I never get much response online. And even back when I was younger, I found eharmony kind of overwhelming. … … … As for complaints about men, I am totally open to those too, and I’m right there with people. Here is a Not Nice thing to say – I am not sure most men are capable of real love with a partner. Many people in our society just aren’t raised in the way that prepares them. And we have to admit, our popular culture is pretty garbage-y. They aren’t going to learn it there. However, maybe I just need more coffee. I don’t like to give up on people.

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          Viajera
          26 May 2021
          11:57am

          Ooooh, there it is , this is fun …

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          kimbersam
          26 May 2021
          12:46pm

          And, equally, it’s OK for me to point out women critiquing other women, who they don’t even know (in a conversation about toxic masculinity) is a level of “bothsiderism” that doesn’t add to the discourse. Next up will be “oh, I don’t really like other women.” and “All my friends are men, I’m a guy’s gal.”

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            Viajera
            26 May 2021
            7:33pm

            True, but then again I think using the word “toxic” is a bit much. Still it is Kim’s blog and we are all guests here. I don’t decide what is OK or not. It isn’t the first time that I’ve run into this idea that we aren’t supposed to disagree … even about disagreeing? Annnnd now I’ve confused myself. Ooopsie.

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        Mimi A.
        28 May 2021
        10:50am

        Wait a minute! Men on dating apps behave badly and women are perfect? That defies credibility and reductively insults feminism. My comment sprung from genuine curiosity about men’s dating app experiences – no smugness intended. Men and women are human, complete with flaws. My friend was being a gentleman when he invited his date to dinner. That didn’t mean he expected to foot the bill for multiple meals, on a first meeting.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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