We Met At Acme is a popular go-to resource for all of your dating questions, as well as questions you never thought of! Lindsey Metselaar answers our questions, and she had some dating questions / scenarios for us.
- Would you rather be cheated on or the cheater?
- How can you tell if a relationship is working or not?
- Dating apps, over-filtering and tips to find the right person online
OUR GUEST – LINDSEY METSELAAR, “HOST OF WE MET AT ACME”
Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS DIVORCE etc… Podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re Jessica and T.H.
Jessica: Today’s podcast, we’re really excited to have Lindsey Metselaar, who is the host of ‘We Met at Acme’. I’ve personally been following her podcast and account for a while. She has really great dating advice, dating tips, and super fun polls in her stories. Her whole Instagram feed is filled with all of these four tip videos on every topic related to dating that you can possibly think about. As people are getting through divorce, we know it’s happening at all ages. Getting back out there and looking for someone new and dating is obviously a huge part of the next phase after divorce, so it was perfect to have Lindsey come on. Thank you, Lindsey, for being here with us today.
Lindsey: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to chat with you ladies and talk all things dating.
Jessica: Exactly. Let’s start off with for anyone who’s not following you yet and doesn’t know the history, can you tell us a little bit about where were you working before and what was going on in your life?
Lindsey: Definitely. Before I started my podcast, I was doing social media management for brands, which was great, but a bit unfulfilling. Something that I always came back to was dating. Being the dating person out of my friends to guide all of them and to text for them, I just found myself so obsessed with dating. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw energy about it. I was always asking questions and starting conversations around dating at dinners and things like that. When I found myself totally dumped out of the blue on my 27th birthday, I was like, clearly, I have a lot more to learn than I realize. That’s when I started, ‘We Met at Acme’.
Jessica: You had said that the initial conversation was just a random recorded conversation with a guy friend of yours?
Lindsey: Totally random to the point that I’m embarrassed that it’s still up. It’s so unfiltered. We were talking about things–I named names of people. That’s how much I didn’t think that anyone was going to listen.
Jessica: Then what happened that made you realize that the podcast was really resonating with people?
Lindsey: It was actually, to continue the naming thing, when I got a call from someone whose name I had mentioned, and they were like, ‘I can’t believe you talked about me on your podcast.’ My first thought was I can’t believe you listened to my podcast.
TH: Right. I’m so glad you listened.
Lindsey: Right! I was so flattered. Probably not the best response, but I was just so shocked that people were listening. That’s when I realized that, wow, if you put something out there, people might actually listen to it.
Jessica: How long have you been doing it now?
Lindsey: Almost four years. It’ll be four years in October, which is mind blowing, because it feels like podcasts are still so new, but I guess they’re not.
TH: Well, also, it just goes to show how much there still is to talk about with dating for four years and all of your posts and all of your interviews. I mean, it’s awesome. I have to confess, I thought ‘We met at Acme’ was the supermarket Acme. I’m like, oh, that’s so cute. They met over avocados or something. Do you ever hear that, because not everybody’s from New York?
Lindsey: I hear that all the time, and I say Acme is whatever you want it to be. That’s what’s fun, right? It can be the supermarket, it can be a club, it can be a bar, it can be the Cartoon Network, whatever you want it to be, you meet at Acme.
TH: So you didn’t actually meet someone at Acme? You just use that as your name and the image and stuff like that?
Lindsey: I did. I actually have met people at Acme but nobody to like write home about, more so just people on nights out and things like that. I just felt that it symbolized what the podcast is about. So just like meeting, ‘we met at’ because everyone’s first question when they see a couple is like, oh, how did you guys meet? Everyone is just so curious.
Jessica: What’s your best meet story?
Lindsey: Oh, that’s a good question. Well, I have a good story with my partner now. But I will say somebody that I didn’t end up dating, I met at Acme actually. I’m sober now, but at the time, I was so drunk and I was out and whatever. I lost my friend that I went there with to the bar. I was like, I need to find her. How do I find her in here? It’s packed to the brim. And so I went up to the tallest guy in the room and I said, ‘Put me on your shoulders, I need to find my friend.’ And I did. He literally just put me on his shoulders no questions asked. I found her, and apparently gave him my number, which I don’t remember. Then the next morning I woke up to a text that was like, ‘Hey, you were on my shoulders last night.’
Jessica: That is a good story. That would be really fun to be able to tell that moving forward, if that was actually your meeting story.
Lindsey: It was a good story. He’s a friend now, so it’s a friend story now, but really funny. My story with my partner now is we had kind of known each other. He went to high school with one of my best friends from college, so we knew each other’s name. We literally happened to stumble onto the dance floor at the same time, at a New Year’s Eve party in Miami, which neither of us lived there. I mean, that’s kind of cute that of the thousands of people that were at a New Year’s Eve party that we stumbled there at the same time.
TH: Do you believe in the universe at all, as far as finding someone?
Lindsey: I really, really do, but I hate when people say like, ‘Oh, you know, my person will come to me’ and they do absolutely nothing in their life, like barely even leave their house. You have to put yourself– it’s like 50/50. You have to lean in 50% and then the universe leans in 50%. You can’t just like, oh, they’re just going to bust down my door and they’ll be the person delivering my package. No.
TH: I totally, totally agree with that. I was on a tare with dating, and then I decided I had to stop because I was getting caught up in someone I knew for three days. I mean, it was just ridiculous. I blew off this guy, and then I saw him at the vet to picking up my dog. He walked in and he’s like, ‘How was your trip?’ And meanwhile I’m moving in with him, and it’s three years later. It was the universe. I was totally putting myself out there, and I was like, this is out of control. Then we show up at the vet. I’m like, he is really hot.
Lindsey: The universe was listening. 100%.
TH: I should give it a shot.
Jessica: Where does all of your dating advice come from? Is it mostly your own experiences? Is it you crowd sourcing to get popular opinion combinations? Something else?
Lindsey: A combination. I think, because as I mentioned before, I realized at 27, I had so much to learn. Once I started doing the podcast and interviewing people of all walks of life, experts, and professionals, I really learned through my interviews with these people so much amazing invaluable information about dating that has helped them, or that they have taught and in turn I’ve taught myself that. It’s really that. It’s also my mom is amazing at giving advice when it comes to dating, and even though it’s a different generation, I really resonate with all of her advice, and so I had that. I had the interviews and kind of a mix like therapy, all of that tied into one.
TH: Who is the most interesting interview you ever had?
Lindsey: It’s a really great question, and it’s so hard. It’s like choosing a favorite child. It really is.
TH: That’s not so hard by the way. I can tell you my favorite kid today. Tomorrow might be different.
Lindsey: That’s really funny. Oh my god. They need to not know that.
TH: They know it.
Lindsey: That’s why we’re all in therapy. But I have learned a lot and from so many different interviews. The one recently that I learned the most from was this woman, Emily Morse. She does a podcast called ‘Sex with Emily’.
Jessica: It was just last week, wasn’t it?
Lindsey: Exactly. We just recorded it and it hasn’t even aired yet. I just learned so much about sex and the female orgasm. I had talked about this subject before and I’m very lucky, knock on wood that I am able to have an orgasm from sex, but so many women are not. We really dived into that hard and just like talked about you know how to make how to fix that and how to change that. I got a lot out of that and I think our listeners will get a lot of that but–
Jessica: You could be changing people’s lives with that podcast.
Lindsey: I hope so. I’m so excited to air that. I wish we didn’t have a backlog, because all I want to do is teach women how to orgasm before the summer begins.
TH: Totally. I keep pushing that for us for exEXPERTs. I’m like, listen, you’re divorced or getting divorced, you probably haven’t had sex for years before you’re actually separated right? And you only had sex with that guy for however many years. You need a full revamping and figure out your shit out before you get out there and go find somebody else.
TH: Yeah. I’m all about that.
Jessica: You mentioned that you resonate with your mom, and she has such great advice and stuff. You have rules that you adhere to, and that you suggest that other people adhere to. I know that there are some people who are like, really? Isn’t that old fashioned?
Do you feel some of that comes from conversations with your mom? And also, just tell us about your rules, and what some of the biggest ones are, so people know what we’re talking about.
Lindsey: It definitely comes from conversations with my mom. It also comes from me kind of trial and erroring in every kind of way to do something, and that was really working. I also did an episode with one of the writers of the book, ‘The Rules’. That one also, it’s outdated and it’s from 1995, but it also applies in so many ways still today. My rules are really simple. Don’t have sex with them on the first date. No more than two drinks on the first few dates, because nobody likes someone who’s sloppy. Don’t text them thank you after the date, because you already thanked them on the date. Let them come to you. Don’t initiate plans with them until you’re official. You can talk, just don’t–
TH: Just to be clear, this is a woman with a man? So the man should always initiate, and the man should–
Lindsey: A woman with a man in a hetero situation.
TH: Right. Okay.
Jessica: Do you feel like your rules apply to same sex couples?
Lindsey: Not so much. I really don’t think they do. I think maybe more for gay couples than lesbian couples. The reason I say that is because we have all kinds of listeners. In as far as I know, in a gay relationship, one person acts like more of the pursuer, and the other one is like pursued. For that, they could follow the rules. Whereas in a lesbian couple, it’s more like we’re both equal, and so then it’s harder to figure out. But I will say for example, I think that in a hetero situation, the man should always pay. I think that in a same sex situation, the person who asked for the date should always pay.
Jessica: Okay. But then if they like start dating, do you feel like it’s sort of a back and forth? I agree with you, I think the guy should always pay. But I’m 49, and in my stage of life, I also feel there are guys in my age range who feel women should at least offer to pay. I do kind of use that as I’ll do the reach for the wallet [oh, always reach], but if I actually end up paying then I’m like, yeah, we’re done.
Lindsey: No, you definitely need to reach.
Jessica: But I do feel there are so many guys out there that are when they’re older, who feel like, I’m not interested in a woman who just wants me for my money, which I think is a little bit of a different situation than someone who’s in their 20s and isn’t really established as someone who’s 50, and you have an idea of where they’re coming from financially. But I really am torn about when do you feel like it’s okay that you reach and they let you pay?
Lindsey: I think when you’re official, or at least more than seven dates in.
Jessica: More than seven?
TH: So you need seven dates in to be official?
Jessica: No, she’s just saying he should people the first seven dates.
Lindsey: Exactly. They need to be courting you. If you own a Fortune 500 company then obviously you can pay. If you know there’s a clear divide, if they’re in med school for some reason, and they’re not having an income at the time. There are always exceptions. But if you’re dating as someone who’s 49, you’re most likely dating people who are established in this world. They should take care of you. If they don’t then why would you want to date them anyway?
Jessica: Although when I first got out of my second relationship, I was really surprised. I was like, I just want to laugh and have fun and go on dates where it’s an easy flow, and I don’t have to stress about it. I was really surprised that a number of the guys that I was meeting were really looking for serious relationships. I was kind of like that’s so contrary to what I would have thought. I would have thought these guys would be like it’s so refreshing to meet a woman who is not looking to settle down right now, and who is easygoing and just wants to date and have fun and wants her own time with her kids and whatever. I was speaking to my therapist and I’m like, ‘It’s sort of stressing me out.’ I feel like I go on two dates with these guys, and they’re like, ‘I don’t want you dating anyone else.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god, relax.’ [That’s crazy] She was like, ‘You should start dating younger guys.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with younger guys.’ I changed my profile on the weekend, and all of a sudden, I was inundated with all of these young 30ish something guys. I did end up going out with a couple of them, and then I was torn. They did pay, but I was torn when I was going out, I was like, ‘Oh, my god, I don’t know. I’m so much older than them. Should I be paying it?’ But then I’m like, I’m not their fucking mother, so I’m not going to. But I felt the age gap, to some extent, was a factor.
Lindsey: Definitely. I mean, an age gap, it’s so dependent on maturity levels I feel, because you could date younger, and beyond the same level, you have this youthful spirit, and they have this old soul. But for the most part, I feel the ideal situation is being the same age. [Agreed] The person that you’re moving in with, are they the same age as you?
TH: Yeah, he’s just a few years– yes, but–
Jessica: Age appropriate.
TH: Age appropriate. But also, our kids are kind of in sync, which makes it all work. We could be the same age, but if I had a kid under the age of 10, this was never going to work out. My kids are in college and away in boarding school. His kids are already grown and out of school. We can live that life. I know for me I wouldn’t have dated someone with young kids. I’m not going back there, I’m done.
Lindsey: No, no, I totally get that. My uncle is single, and he has a 14 year old. He would not ever date someone with a kid younger than 14. Jessica, do you have kids?
Jessica: I do. I have a 17 year old son, he’s a senior. I have a daughter who’s a freshman, and she’s turning 15 tomorrow. I’m dating someone totally age appropriate. His kids are 10 and 12, and I was first like, ‘Ah, that’s young.’ He’s like hands on. I live in the city, and my kids are out and about. I don’t even know where they are half the time. It’s like they’re so independent. There is definitely a difference in that with age, but I will say and I’m curious as to what your thoughts are about this, in terms of dating advice, but I know for TH and I, when we started dating, someone that has kids was a requirement. Because someone who doesn’t have kids, you can’t understand all the shit that we have to deal with. So that was definitely part of it. I’m curious what your thoughts are with people who are younger, haven’t been divorced, and who needs someone who’s divorced? As the divorced person, you meet someone who’s single, never been married, and has no kids. What do you think about that?
Lindsey: I mean, I’m not in the situation, but I would imagine that you’re right in that you have to relate to one another. I think it’s ironic, because a lot of men, who have kids, don’t want to date women who have kids because they don’t want any more kids, if that makes any sense. They have this fear if they date like a younger woman–
Jessica: She’s going to want kids.
TH: And also, she’s going to want him to support her kids. You don’t know what that ex situation is. If I were the guy, I’m not looking to support more than my own kid.
Lindsey: Right. Exactly. It’s tough, and I think you’re right. You want to be able to relate to each other whether that means you both have kids, or you both grew up in, I don’t know–?’
Jessica: New Jersey?
Lindsey: Wherever it is.
Jessica: Do you feel like the rules that you have would be applicable and the same for someone who’s been divorced? Or do you think there are certain things that should be different?
Lindsey: I think that inevitably, it becomes different. As you get older, there’s more like at stake and you care less about games. It’s more straightforward and less bullshit. I think like conversations that I probably wouldn’t bring up until like, the seventh date, like you should be talking about earlier.
Jessica: Like what?
Lindsey: Like, what someone’s really looking for? Like where someone sees themselves in the next five years? But again, I’m the kind of person that like, I’m not afraid to have these conversations on the first second or third date. But a lot of people are, like if you want to have more kids, if you’re done having kids, where you want to live, when you want to retire? Those are conversations I feel like that happens sooner when you’re divorced, as opposed to just meeting someone for the first time.
TH: I think it also depends, because if you’re just separated, in my mind I was divorced the minute I separated, even though I didn’t have the seal. I was on a tear. I wasn’t talking about retirement and other stuff. I just wanted to go out and party and have fun and feel pretty and all that other stuff. I think if someone started asking me those questions, I might be like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t even like do anything.’ I think it’s also a matter of where you are in the path, but I do agree that if there are things on your mind that are important to you, get it out there early, so you don’t waste your time. You don’t get caught up in somebody who never–that may be more of the post divorce mentality where you’re a little bit on it. You’re not, for a lot of people, your biological clock isn’t necessarily ticking any more. This shop is closed. I’m not fucking having kids anymore, so I don’t care about that. But you’re on a clock in terms of, are you wasting your time or not? You know what you’re looking for? When we’re out on a tear, it’s like, we’re not looking for anything significant, but then when you decide you’re interested in meeting a partner, and then it’s like, yeah, let’s ask those questions now, and are we even on the same path?
TH: What do you think about when you’re going online? We were talking about filters and stuff, and my filters were, you must have kids, and you can’t have a cat? Those were deal breakers for me. I am not a cat person. I am allergic, but I have to be honest, that’s not even why. They scare the shit out of me.
Lindsey: They’re scary.
TH: What do you think about that over filtering?
What if he has like long toenails when he takes off his shoes? What if he’s got a–?
Lindsey: I wish you could filter based on toenails, but I really think that you should filter as much as you want. That’s why you should pay for extra features on apps, because especially if you’re looking for someone on a dating app, you deserve what you want. We have the technology to find exactly what we want, so why not take advantage of it? That doesn’t mean that you should be close minded to someone who has one thing that you don’t want, but why not use the tools and the resources that we have? That’s what they’re there for.
Jessica: But then you feel some people are in fact really close minded and way too picky. I agree with you, everyone deserves to have what they want. But I definitely have some girlfriends, some have been divorced, some never been married, who are so specific, and dare I say, judgmental about who they’re willing to meet off of an app. I’m curious to know your position. I feel like I would go on and I would be willing to meet someone, even if I thought their pictures were like ehh, because I think there are a lot of times people look better in person than they do on the app. But I know that there are girls who were like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t have blue eyes. Forget it.’ Or ‘I don’t want to go below 5’9 and he says he’s he’s 5’8? Forget it.’
Lindsey: I hate that. I really do. I hate that people are that picky, especially women. I’m doing matchmaking now and I can’t tell you how many women who are like 5’1 write in and they’re like, ‘must be over six feet.’ I’m like, girl–
TH: How are you going to make that work?
Lindsey: You need to stop. I hate that. I mean, supermodels date guys who are shorter than that. Why are you any different? I really think that is what holds so many people back, but I think that’s the kind of the problem with apps. Because if you met someone in person that was 5’8 that you vibe with, you would be down. But I think when you have so many options on the apps, you get cocky about like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to see anyone under six feet like. Don’t even show me anyone under six feet.’
TH: I’m sure I did that.
Lindsey: And you’re like, where’s my Prince Charming?
TH: I definitely did that. The guy who I’m with is like 5’9. That’s why maybe because my superficial filters weren’t all being satisfied, meanwhile, he lives half a mile from my house. It took him to show up at the vet for me to be like, he’s pretty hot. I should definitely give him a chance. All my filters literally went out the window the minute I saw him in person. I would definitely say to people, don’t limit yourself, but definitely stick to the things that you just can’t have in your life like long toenails and cats.
Jessica: Then what are the acceptable filters?
Lindsey: I think the acceptable filters are things that are needs for you versus wants. My therapist, when I was single was like, make a list of things that are non-negotiables versus things that you actually want. The things that you want don’t really matter. It’s only the things that you need. If you need someone who is Catholic, then sure, throw that in there. But you don’t need someone that’s over 5’10. You don’t need someone that’s British. Be real.
Jessica: It’s ridiculous. Back to dating, divorce, and that kind of thing. I think that this is a question that goes to whether or not you’re divorced or dating, I know I’ve seen some of the polls about it, but should you be friends with your ex?
Jessica: Such a quick answer.
Lindsey: I honestly don’t think there’s any reason to be friends with your ex, unless there’s some other attachment like they were like your family friend first, or you have a kid together.
Other than that, it’s sad and it sucks, it’s like really losing a friend in so many ways, but there’s no reason. There’s just no reason, and it’s not going to help you in your next relationship. You have to close the door.
What do you guys think?
Jessica: I do think it’s different when you’ve been married, because especially if you did have kids, then you do have this lifelong connection with this person. You have to at least be able to have types of conversations with them if you’re dealing with the kids and stuff like that. I am friends with both of my exes, and legit, we talk and I can hang out with them. I’ll tell you something really interesting. I actually learned the first time that someone who isn’t okay with that about me, I can’t do that. Someone has to understand that the way that people get out of divorces is totally different. Some people are going to be friends with their exes, and some people aren’t. I happen to be fairly close with mine. That’s the way that it is and the way that it’s going to stay. If that’s uncomfortable for somebody else, then I can’t be with that person. I’ve learned through my own experiences that actually, I would have to give up the new person in exchange for the old person. Not because there’s any part of me that still wants a relationship with him, but it makes my life easier, it makes my kids more comfortable, and it makes us all be able to hang out. Tomorrow night’s my daughter’s birthday and we’re all going out to dinner together with his new girlfriend. That’s the life that I need. It alleviates the stress in my life, and I can’t deal with that kind of negativity. It’s not that I believe it’s a rule that you should be friends with your ex, but I personally think that there can be a major upside to being friends with your ex post divorce, but I think that TH has a different opinion.
Lindsey: Before TH shares, I just want to say that makes complete sense to me. As I did like an addendum before, you need to be friends with your ex if you have kids together, or you don’t need to, but it’s better have a good relationship with them. If you have kids together, it’s a totally different story. I’m talking about dating someone for two years and they’re your boyfriend. You don’t need that person in your life anymore. You have nothing tying you to that person [100%], but I’m interested in what you have to say, TH.
TH: Jessica, back to you for a second. You’re not friends with your ex-boyfriend though, anymore. You’re only friends with your ex-husband.
Jessica: I’m not. That’s true. My ex-husband, that’s true. But I don’t have any kids with Leo. It’s still really, really, really recent, but I foresee that we will continue to be friends for the long term because he was a part of the family with the kids even though he’s not their dad. I actually think there are a lot of redeeming qualities about him and I think he’s a value add in all of our lives. There are things that we really love and appreciate about him. Maybe that’s extenuating circumstances, but yeah, it’s true ex-boyfriends not so much.
TH: After my separation, I had a two year relationship and then a six year relationship. My kids were young at the time, so during that time, there was parenting time. I was in a relationship on Wednesdays and every other weekend, and all the other times, I was mom. Everything was very in their place. I do not speak to him. I don’t really feel bad about it, and I almost feel bad that I don’t feel bad, because it was such a long time, but I don’t. I don’t think about it at all. I do miss his family, because I really adored his parents. I don’t wish anything bad, but no relationship, no communication at all. I actually just saw him and I was driving past him. He was in the car and I was like maybe didn’t see me. I’ve got my sunglasses on, I’m in a new car, and I like zip by. He tears around the corner wailing on the horn. ‘Hi!’ and I was like, ‘Hey’, and turn right out. I just literally ran away. I didn’t want to know about it. So no, I’m not into it. There’s a reason they’re an ex.
Lindsey: Yeah, I hear you. I think both of you make really good points. I have to ask because I’m so curious, because I’m into astrology, when are your birthdays?
Jessica: I’m February 11th. I’m an Aquarius.
TH: And I’m a Taurus, and he’s a Cancer.
Jessica: What’s my best matching sign?
Lindsey: As an Aquarius woman, you could do well with a Libra man, a Gemini man, an Aries man, a Capricorn.
Jessica: What’s January?
TH: Who should she stay away from?
Lindsey: End of January or beginning?
TH: Oh, Jessica.
Jessica: More the end than the beginning.
Lindsey: That’s Aquarius, and it’s a good match.
Jessica: Oh, it’s whatever is before Aquarius.
Lindsey: Oh, that’s a Capricorn, which I mentioned.
Jessica: Oh, okay. I don’t know nearly as much as you do about astrology, but Lindsey’s always posting about Mercury in retrograde and then how is it affecting your energy? I know you believe a lot in–
Lindsey: And that’s the guy that you’re seeing now?
Jessica: Yes. And TH, what about your person you’re seeing now?
TH: I’m a Taurus and he’s a Cancer.
Lindsey: Oh, I thought you were saying the ex was a Cancer? No, I don’t really know.
Lindsey: You love a Cancer man.
TH: No, this is my guy. This is my guy. I would never be making all these moves and changing my life like I have. It’s been almost 16 years since I’ve lived with someone. It’s a big step, but it feels different and really right, so that’s why it feels good.
Lindsey: I love that.
Jessica: That just made me think about the polls and stuff that you have, which I love doing. What’s the biggest surprise answer you’ve gotten from one of the poll questions in your stories? Or some of the most surprising answers.
Lindsey: I am always surprised by so many of the answers. We have like a highlight about the closest polls, and one of them, and this is interesting, I’d love to hear your take, is
would you rather cheat or be cheated on?
That one has been heavily dissected.
Jessica: What was it? How did it–?
Lindsey: It was 50/50.
Jessica: It was literally 50/50?
Lindsey: It was literally 50/50.
TH: Could you see if it was a man or a woman within the 50/50?
Lindsey: You could, but that’s too much work, personally.
Jessica: Having been cheated on.
TH: Yeah, both of us.
Jessica: I know this is going to sound maybe crazy, I still would say that I’d rather be cheated on, because I wouldn’t be the person that’s going to cheat. Knowing what I know about being the cheated on person, the idea of doing that to someone else, I just don’t think I have it in me.
Lindsey: Well, I think that is the ignorance is bliss argument. Because it’s like you didn’t know that there was a problem until you knew that there was a problem. Do you know what I’m saying? The cheater carries the guilt in that situation. Potentially they cheated because they were unhappy, I don’t know. At least you weren’t the one that was unhappy or had an issue and now has guilt.
TH: And you’re not the one when people talk about it when they talk about people. It’s not like he cheated, or she cheated. Nobody cares about all the other stuff that went into it and behind closed doors, all the shit that was going on. [Totally] He cheated.
Jessica: That’s right. The marriage could have been over for two years, but he cheated and that’s when everyone–
TH: Right. She could have been abusive and horrible or whatever, nobody cares because he cheated.
Lindsey: But I’m going to throw a plot twist in here, which is that I would rather have been the cheater.
Jessica: Because you control the situation?
Lindsey: No. Maybe? The way that I think about this is I compare it to would you rather break up with someone or be broken up with?
Jessica: I would rather break up with someone.
Jessica: Exactly. Having been on both ends, I would rather break up with someone. And so to me, it feels like the pain of having to get over someone cheating on me is worse than the pain of having to get to the fact that I cheated on someone.
Jessica: I’m not sure.
Lindsey: That’s the thing. That’s why it’s such a difficult one, because it’s like, I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve been cheated on, obviously, but not in a marriage situation and like a boyfriend/girlfriend situation. It sucks regardless, but I don’t know, part of me is like I’d rather cheat. Also because I know I wouldn’t, so it’s like I feel I’d never be in that situation.
Jessica: I also wonder if part of that is like, I really do think to some extent, it depends on how much you actually like your partner. I know that part of the reason why I was able to have such an amicable first divorce, and the reason that we’re close today is because he was so remorseful about the fact that he had cheated. He was not arrogant, and he was not a dick about it. I mean, he was a dick that he did it, but he wasn’t like, ‘too fucking bad’.
TH: He took responsibility.
Jessica: 100% from the very beginning. He was so devastated that that’s what he had done, and that actually helped me to be able to get through it the way that I did. But I think that if you are the cheater, the way to be able to get through the guilt or any of that is if you don’t really care. If you’ve gotten to a point in your relationship, where you just want out and you don’t give a shit, I don’t think it’s going to sit with you that long. I think that you may have a lot less guilt about it. But if you made a mistake, I can’t even rationalize it, but if it’s someone that you really care about, and then that’s what you did to them, then I think that that guilt is going to sit with you a lot longer. It’s going to be a lot harder to get over as the cheater.
TH: Unless you really don’t care like my–
Jessica: That’s what I’m saying, if you don’t care.
TH: Zero remorse. For all the collateral damage that he caused, he literally feels totally fine, because still to this day doesn’t take responsibility. It was actually my fault, so he’s able to live with himself just fine. So it depends on who it is. It can be complicated, but when you first asked the question, the first thing that came to my mind, which makes me feel a little weird, is that I would rather be the cheater, knowing what I went through as being cheated on, and I was thrilled to get out of my marriage. I wasn’t thrilled for the kids, I wasn’t thrilled for my family and all the shit that went with it, but I was like hallelujah, I am out. I feel like he put it together totally subconsciously, but it was an easy way out for him of the marriage. It was harder for him to say I want a divorce than to go and do what he did to that extent.
Jessica: But Lindsey, don’t you think that’s actually what anyone who cheats is really kind of saying? They’re trying to get out of it.
Lindsey: Not necessarily. By the way, I would never take back someone who cheated, but Esther Perel, who’s like a genius and talks about this all the time, talks about how cheating can bring you closer and some people cheat because there’s something missing and then you fix the something missing. By the way, I’m with you guys. I see you rolling your eyes like, I am not forgiving a cheater, but there are these weird instances when it does bring you closer. Again, not for me, but I’ve heard this.
Jessica: So here’s a question.
Would you date someone who admits to you, that in a prior relationship that was already going sour, that they cheated in that relationship? Would that affect whether or not you would date them?
Lindsey: 100%. I’ve been in that situation, and it led to a lot of trust issues for me.
I think that’s very cowardly. I think if you’re in a situation that’s going badly, fucking man up. Sorry.
TH: I know, but they don’t.
Lindsey: But you know, man up and break up with me.
Jessica: It’s so interesting that you’re saying that, because that’s of course the expression, man up. Don’t you believe that there’s so much more of a stigma against women that cheat versus men that cheat?
Lindsey: Totally. Women that cheat are fucking ‘whores’.
TH: Yeah. They’re a slut, and they abandoned their family.
Jessica: Right. She must not have been blowing enough or they weren’t having enough sex.
Lindsey: Right. Exactly. But women who cheat are disgusting.
TH: She’s crazy.
TH: That’s a whole other conversation about how it’s not fair, women versus men in dating. I have a question for you. Do you think that people around your age who are getting divorced, that divorce is as scandalous as maybe it was–when Jessica and I got separated, our whole situations were scandalous anyway, they could be a soap opera. But just the idea of getting a divorce was like, ‘oh my god’. Do you think that still applies today?
Lindsey: I think it’s still like gasp, because I think people love to shit talk and like love to see relationships break up, because people suck. People love to like watch people fail, and that will never change. I don’t think that you’re like this–
TH: Like a scarlet letter?
Jessica: Like a pariah.
Lindsey: Yeah, you’re like this ‘oh my god’. You don’t have a scarlet letter if you’re divorced. I know so many people that have gotten divorced and remarried, and it’s just not like that, ‘Oh my god. Did you know she was divorced?’
Jessica: So you think there’s less of a stigma today?
Lindsey: I do, but I just got a DM on Instagram the other day from a girl who was like, you found out the guy you are dating was divorced. Red flag or deal breaker? I did not entertain it. I was like, wait, neither.
Lindsey: Like, human. Human.
Jessica: Right. That’s so weird.
Lindsey: I thought that was so stupid. I was like I’m not like putting this poll question up because neither. Green flag, he knew that something wasn’t working.
Jessica: What if they’ve been married more than once? When I was starting to get ready to start dating again last fall, I’m like, I’m like Ross Geller from Friends. I am going to have a scarlet letter on me. Everyone’s going to be like, ‘Oh my god, what’s wrong with her? She must be really high maintenance.’ And I’ll tell you, it literally has not affected or fazed, even one guy that I’ve spoken with, but I was shocked by that.
Lindsey: I’ll say if you were divorced three times. Three or more.
Jessica: Okay, which is why I’m not getting married again.
TH: That could be a problem.
Jessica: But it doesn’t seem to be hurting J-Lo.
TH: But she’s J-Lo.
Lindsey: Well, J-Lo’s a celebrity. That’s very different. Celebrities have to be divorced three times otherwise they’re not considered celebrities. I feel for like a normal woman or man, three plus is where it gets creepy. Two is like, you know what? You believe in love and you tried, and you’re fine. But I think over three, that’s rough.
Jessica: What ages are you seeing now that people starting to get divorced? Are you seeing it? You said before that you weren’t seeing it within your own friends group, but you were saying that you could tell who is going to end up divorced?
Lindsey: Yes, exactly.
Jessica: What do you think the telltale signs are?
Lindsey: I think a wedding where no one makes a positive speech about these people is just so obvious.
TH: Oh my god, that’s awful.
Jessica: That’s depressing.
Lindsey: You’d be so surprised, because this has happened at two different weddings and they both got divorced. I think also the couples that break up and get back together and you’re like, what are you doing? Just like stop. But then they fix the problem by getting married. Those people are getting divorced.
Jessica: Do you feel like sometimes with couples just the dynamic between the two of them, and you’re like, yeah, that’s not going to work out?
Lindsey: Yeah, I think–
Jessica: What should people be looking for within their own relationships do you think that are potential red flags?
Lindsey: Again, I have not been married, so please don’t take this too strongly, but for me, I’m an extrovert and I could not be with an introvert. The extrovert/introvert pairing never really works out to me. When I see a couple and the guy wants to stay home and just like hang out on the couch and not like be social, and the girl is a social butterfly, I’m like good luck with your future divorce because it is for sure happening.
TH: We should have spoken to Lindsey five years ago, Jess.
Jessica: That was literally my second marriage. Totally incompatible.
Lindsey: That sucks for you. Or one person is really warm and the other doesn’t match that warmth, that kind of stuff. Also, and this one’s very controversial–
Jessica: I love controversial.
Lindsey: I usually bring it up close to the end because we can now talk about this forever. It’s not that I don’t think that the woman can be the breadwinner, because I do, but when the man feels inferior because the woman is, that also tends to crumble, in my opinion.
Jessica: What do you think about when she’s not the breadwinner, but for some reason, he’s always thinking that he is the one who pays for everything, even in a marriage.
Lindsey: That’s also horrible. My mom and my boyfriend’s mom, they don’t work, but that was a conscious choice that they made to leave their careers to be a full time mom. My dad and his dad were like let’s consciously agree to do this. And so in that case, obviously, we’re spending money and it’s technically the man’s money, but they never hold that over the other person’s head ever. That is an agreement, right? But as you said, Jessica, when the man reminds you, like this lifestyle’s because of me, but they asked you to quit your job and be a mom, that is not going to work either. There has to be an agreement that it’s our money. I am putting in the work with raising the kids and all that shit, which is just as important as you going to work.
TH: I have a wrap up question for you. Looking back on your relationships, good, bad and ugly, what do you wish you knew? We have we are paying forward as real life experts in divorce. What I wish I knew, I have a list of things that I knew I wish I knew that we can then tell people
what are the things you wish you knew.
Lindsey: I gave you a different answer on email that I’m going to give you now. What I said was like, if you’re confused, they’re not interested. I’m actually going to even get a little deeper here. What I wish I knew is that you have to want to be like your partner. Just hear me out for a second. You can’t just like your partner and love your partner, you also have to want to be like them, because you spend so much time with this person that you end up taking qualities that they have, and vice versa. If you don’t admire them, respect them, and want to be like them in some way or another, I don’t mean look up to them, but want to have qualities that they have, and if you don’t immediately agree with the fact that you want to be like them, then I think that’s a huge, huge red flag. It’s something I wish I had thought of because I didn’t want to be like any of my exes. It’s not that I want to be my exact partner now, but he has so many qualities that if I picked up, I would be okay with.
Jessica: I think that is such a great thing. It’s so true. It’s so true. Because I feel like there are a lot of people and they’ll be with someone and they will like them, they will love them, and they’ll respect them, but I feel you have to admire them and you have to want some of them to rub off on you. That’s really good.
TH: I think he’s definitely rubbed off on me. I drive a quad now, and I’ve got tools in the backseat.
Lindsey: There you go.
Jessica: Totally. I do want to ask one more thing, though, just with regards to dating for people who are listening.
What do you think are the best dating apps? And do you think it matters versus age?
Lindsey: I think Hinge is from what I’ve heard and experienced, the best dating app. I don’t think age matters. I think everyone from any age is on every app.
Jessica: And whether divorced or not, although we were saying we should create a divorce dating app, because there are people who legit get divorced and only want to date other people who’ve been divorced who have been down that road.
Lindsey: You should absolutely create that app.
TH: I’m going cut this part out so no one can steal our idea.
Jessica: Anyway, well, this is really a great conversation. It’s so much fun, so informative. All of Lindsey’s information will be on our website at www.exexperts.com. You should definitely go follow her on Instagram and listen to her podcast. Her stuff is amazing, and you will learn so much. We just really appreciate you taking the time to be with us.
Lindsey: Thank you guys. This was such a great conversation.
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