I think we can all agree that dating is hard. Thanks to dating apps, we literally have the world at our fingertips. But dating can be an isolating experience if you don’t have people to turn to for advice. This is where @wemetatacme comes in.
A safe space for all of the questions we have but are too afraid or embarrassed to ask our friends, the account posts daily polls like, “When is it okay to start being a little freakier in bed?” Answer options for this poll included: after you are official or the fifth time. Sixty-one percent of followers answered the fifth time. The account also posts questions that you can sneakily DM to your partner for their answer like, “When is it OK (if ever) to ask your partner how much they make?”
The puppet master behind this account is Lindsey Metselaar, a millennial dating expert. In October 2017, after a heartbreak, she launched her podcast “We Met At Acme,” where she speaks with therapists, sexologists and people like Nick Viall from “The Bachelor” or Danielle Bernstein from We Wore What. While the title of dating expert was assigned to her by her friends who always turned to her for advice, after 95 episodes she really has become an expert in the world of dating. Her interviews touch on the topics we don’t typically discuss, but all want to know about. Metselaar’s goal is to help people become more self-aware and be a big sister to all of her listeners.
Since Instagram launched the poll feature shortly after her podcast launched, she began to ask her podcast followers her dating questions. “It still shocks me that we haven’t run out of polls to do. That just goes to show how many questions people have about dating, dating etiquette and all of the crazy things that you go through as a millennial dating today. It’s been really interesting,” says Metselaar.
The questions often prompt you to think of something in a new way or to ask a partner important questions you wouldn’t have brought up on your own. But my favorite part is being on the winning side of the polls and knowing I am not alone in my opinions.
“The questions matter because we as millennials love validation. A lot of these questions help you realize that everyone is messed up in a lot of ways and you’re not the only one,” adds Metselaar.
Even before the podcast, Metselaar was always the one in the friend group who people went to for dating advice. The one who crafts the perfect response to your crushes’ last text message, and the one to help you when you are dealing with unrequited love.
“If you’re not getting what you want from a situation and you’re just allowing it, I would say just move on … because oftentimes nothing is going to change,” she says. “If you move on, either that person will have the realization, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ or at least you’ll go out and find someone who does need what you have.”
In 2019, finding that person usually takes place on a dating app. In fact, a 2019 study done by Stanford students shows that today about 39 percent of heterosexual couples meet online. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” she says. “No one is going to break into your apartment and ask you out. You have to make the effort. Today, with millennial dating, that means going on a dating app.” And Metselaar has seen her share of bad profiles. “Any selfies, mirror selfies are terrible … Also, saying things that are too intense instead of keeping it lighthearted. Don’t be intimidating. A lot of the people coming to me have missed the mark and aren’t showing their funny side or their personality. I think people need to step back and [create] a funny profile because that’s what gets people.”
And remember to enjoy yourself — dating should be a fun experience, not a task! “You should look at it like, ‘I’m meeting as many people as I can … and I’m potentially making new friends,’ and you are more likely to get a better outcome.”
But Metselaar is aware that there are times a relationship just isn’t meant to be. Never ignore the red flags:
You can’t trust them. “The biggest one [of all] is trust. If you feel like you can’t trust them or they’re sketchy about their phone or they wouldn’t feel comfortable if you grabbed their phone to make a call, then that’s a red flag.”
They don’t put you first. “If they make decisions and weekend plans without consulting you like ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ instead of ‘What are we doing this weekend?’ when you are an established couple.”
They don’t want to introduce you to their family. “Being hesitant to introduce you to their family after a lengthy amount of time, I think that just shows that they aren’t super serious about you.”
There is no algorithm to dating, and even your favorite would you rather questions won’t give you the answer. Metselaar knows this. But she is a strong voice for women navigating this world. “I’m really open and vulnerable about the dating experiences I’ve had in the past and because of that I think a lot of people look at me like an expert because I’ve been through so much and come out on the other side,” she says. “I’m admittedly someone who is learning from [her] own dating mistakes and learning as I go.”