Not Even A Global Pandemic & The Oldest Lead Ever Could Change ‘The Bachelorette’

The Bachelorette is back! After months of waiting, about a million spoilers, and one very heinous stand-in called Listen to your Heart that could only be punishment for something I did in a past life, our heroine Clare Crawley has finally embarked on her journey. And it was a bit familiar, no? I was hopeful that this season was going to be different.  

After Peter’s season of The Bachelor, it was obvious the franchise had to change. The women were immature, Peter let his conscience penis be his guide, and the whole thing felt like an audition for an Instagram sponsored ad. And so naturally it led to a broken engagement and then a 30-hour relationship with the runner-up. Penises make bad choices! So I was heartened when production did not choose a 22-year-old influencer with more filler than a Real Housewife as our Bachelorette, but instead chose Clare, a 39-year-old who seemed to be serious about finding a husband. And look, guys, I know this show is mostly fake. Like Clare, I was not born yesterday. But I do appreciate the show at least attempting to put on a better charade. But unfortunately, as last night showed, the charade was the same. We’ve all been through a lot leading up to this premiere. And it seems that not even a global pandemic and the oldest Bachelorette in history can make The Bachelorette into something a little less absurd. Let me elaborate.  

Of course we began with Chris Harrison giving the obligatory “unprecedented times” speech. I mean, the last thing I need during these unprecedented times is a rich dude that probably spent these unprecedented times on the golf course sipping scotch reminding me about it, but okay. And we see our contestants gallantly suffering through COVID tests just so that they can swallow Clare’s face whole in a hot tub somewhere. 

Me when the guys are shrieking through their COVID tests:

And then after that, the show was off and up to its old tricks. 

First, we had the drama between Yosef and the dude from West Virginia. It is too early in this season for me to remember everyone’s name so you get what you get, okay? Mr. West Virginia knew that Yosef was DM’ing girls before coming on this show. My god, my generation is embarrassing. Like 90% of our TV drama is based on DM’ing; history will look back on us with disgust. This virus would be cured if only we would stop wasting time DM’ing! Imagine what our brains could do!

The drama was brought immediately to Clare, and at first I was impressed that she shut them down to go talk to the other men. But of course, at the rose ceremony, she ended up picking Yosef anyway. What are you doing, Clare? He looks like a Batman villain! This is going to end badly! If I know how this storyline plays out on a Bachelor franchise show (I do) there will be more drama to come with Yosef. 

Me too. It’s that you get kicked off after starting drama.  

Then we also, of course, have the men who complain they didn’t get time to talk to the Bachelorette. There were a few that complained throughout the night, but Tattooed Chef really takes the whining to the next level. He says that she “could have met her husband tonight” and he wanted to show her his heart but not literally, and then points to the tattoo of a heart on his chest. That’s still not literally showing her your heart, pal. Just a little free grammar lesson for ya right there. I just can’t believe it’s 2020 and men are still complaining about not getting time to talk to the lead. C’mon guys! Take that confidence you all have to apply for jobs you’re not remotely qualified for, and bring it to this show! If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that time may be stagnant but we’re all still getting older, so if you have the opportunity to actually meet someone, just f*cking talk to them. I have no sympathy. 

The men also have the same old ridiculous entrances. I’m sorry, but when I get out of quarantine after not seeing a man for the last seven months, the one that opens a ring box that farts at me will be immediately executed. I’m bringing King Henry VIII energy to post-pandemic dating, and I really wish Clare had channeled more homicidal maniacs herself. We also have the guy that wore a straitjacket the entire night, which fine, respect, and the guys that drove up in different cars. This parade of men could have been any other year. Even the guy in the bubble could have happened in the before times, because people seem to think those things are fun, and not vomit-inducing. Where are the guys that are going to impress me instead of make me want to watch the rest of the show through my hands while shrieking? Clare has waited this long, can’t we at least give her some men that didn’t first appear on America’s Funniest Home Videos?

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It’s the night one confidence for us 😏

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I know that this season is going to be the “most dramatic ever” yada yada yada Chris Harrison’s bullsh*t, but even in the previews it felt familiar. Clare’s season is short and unconventional, but they’ve still managed to cram in some of their favorite overplayed things. Like Colton’s virginity and Peter’s pilot status before her, Clare’s age seems to be the subject destined to be harped on all season. If I had taken a shot every time I heard “oldest Bachelorette in history” in the five-minute season preview, I would actually be dead right now. Or at least so incapacitated my dog would have to write this article and then the whole thing would be about how I never brought her to a resort filled with men who would pet her and do I have to be such an anti-social troll? In that preview I also saw men who are not there for the right reasons and dramatic yelling. So nothing new to see here. 

Look, I’m not saying that because we’ve had a global pandemic and Clare is 39, The Bachelorette had to do a 180 and no longer be fun. But this is a reality show. And reality has changed. I know mine has changed! In February I had a job, an apartment, and a daily workout class. I no longer have those things, so the way I approach things is different, and the things I talk about are totally different. But if ABC hadn’t given us Chris Harrison’s dramatic intro, it would honestly have been like nothing happened. Like all things, The Bachelor/ette must adapt or die. My tolerance now for petty bullsh*t is a little bit lower, and my desire to hear about the banana bread someone baked is a little bit higher. Were there chocolate chips in it? Did they add pumpkin? Just give me a little something!

In all seriousness, I hope that as we move on in the season that we do see a little perspective from the contestants and a little more authenticity throughout the whole process. This year is already bonkers! No need to manufacture all the same old drama as before. I’m giving you another episode (okay fine, the whole season), so show me what you got, Bachelorette.

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Images: Giphy (2), bacheloretteabc/Instagram; ABC/Maarten de Boer

5 Socially Distanced Ways To Meet People

Quarantine has made it hard for us to meet new people. My single girlfriends all complain that they can’t date right now because it’s unsafe to hang out in person, and because everyone’s stuck at home, they can’t meet guys anywhere other than dating apps.

That isn’t necessarily true, though. If anything, quarantine is just forcing us to be creative with the ways we meet people and think outside the box. So let’s talk about places to meet people that aren’t dating apps or bars, that are still relatively safe as far as pandemic concerns go.

Nature Trails


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Tbh, kinda prefer 2020 // by @betches

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I’m lucky to live in such an outdoorsy city. Austin is full of awesome nature trails to get lost on, and on those nature trails are usually cute guys walking their dogs.

Trails have been my go-to for getting out of the house, getting my steps in, and meeting new people all in one. They’re great because you don’t feel claustrophobic; everyone can safely distance and still have space.

If you don’t have any trails nearby because you live in, say, Manhattan, then long walks can be just as effective. Just be sure to make that eye contact—extra crucial now that we can’t smile at anyone from across the street in our masks.

Dog Parks

Fun fact about me: I met the last two guys I dated at my apartment complex’s dog park. (Guess my dog is my best friend and my wingman.)

Okay, so it may be a little creepy to just show up at a dog park if you don’t have a dog (but also, it’s a pandemic, who cares?). If you do feel self-conscious, you can always accompany your friends that have dogs to the park. Dog people are incredibly social and friendly, it’s just a fact, and I’ve met best friends and romantic prospects alike through my dog.

Or… and hear me out… you could just get a dog! There’s no better time to adopt a dog than now, since we’re going to be home all the time anyway. Clear the shelters, quell your loneliness and up your chances of meeting a guy all in one by adopting. Just be sure to do your research on breeds beforehand, and bring a mask to the shelter.


Who’s been slippin’ and slidin’ into your DMs? It’s time to pay attention to those sneaky little bastards. 

A few months ago, I started following a guy on Instagram who lives in my city and who is in a similar field of work. We had been commenting on and liking each other’s posts ever since. Just a few weeks back, he asked me if I wanted to hang out—to which I happily said yes. And it’s a good thing he did, because I was crushing on him. 

Who’s been persistently DMing you? If a guy’s been actively engaging with your content for a while and you’ve started to develop an unofficial rapport, that guy may be worth asking out. (Please note: I’m NOT talking about the creeper persistently in your message requests asking if you want a sugar daddy. Unless you’re into that.)


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i respect the hustle // @taylajacksonn

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We all have guys that DM us. And while you’re definitely not obligated to answer any of them, it might be worth noting who the cuties are. Yep, I’m giving you full permission to stalk their profiles…just don’t accidentally like any of their posts from 2011. 

Plus, meeting guys on Instagram can be less creepy than meeting a rando off of Tinder. If you get a DM from a follower, you most likely know them (or at least know you OF them). Plus, you already know what they look like, so your odds of getting Catfished are much lower.

Group Workout Classes

As a yoga teacher, I feel like I HAVE to talk about the power of group workout classes. Both for your health and wellness and all that, but also for your love life. Potentially.

While you shouldn’t go to a yoga class with the intention of meeting a romantic prospect (and go instead for the amazing post-workout endorphins), you can build an incredible community of people by continuously going to your favorite group workout classes. Plus, you’re more likely to meet a guy that prioritizes self-care at a class than off of an app, just like you.

So if you feel comfortable enough to sweat alongside others, start going back to group classes. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to the gym or studio just yet, look out for outdoor group workouts happening in your area. Just don’t forget to bring your mask and stay six feet apart from your fellow exercise peeps.

Waiting In Line For To-Go Food & Drink


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Based on my dating history, this couldn’t be more spot on // by @saralememe cohost of @natcpod

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A great place to meet people that you may not think of is waiting in line for your to-go order. In line, people tend to be on their phones. But think of it this way: How would you like to be approached out in the wild? Approaching someone in line can be intimidating, but someone’s got to make the first move. It’s 2020, and that person can be you.

A simple “I can’t wait for this food! Have you tried it before?” or “How’s your day going?” can go a long way—really, any commentary on the line, the restaurant, and/or your general surroundings will work. It doesn’t feel forced, and shows you’re still open to connecting with people during a time when connecting feels really hard.

If you don’t take a chance on someone who strikes your interest, you may be missing out on a great connection. Remember: You’ll always regret what you don’t do so much more than what you do.

Images: Jon Flobrant / Unsplash; uuppod, letmefinish / Instagram

How Are People Actually Dating During The Pandemic?

Over the past few months, the most consistent topic of conversation has been how we will adjust to the ~new normal~ that we’re living in thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Obviously, we’ve all had to make a lot of changes, but what does that actually mean? Coronavirus hasn’t gone anywhere, a lot of stuff is still closed, and pretty much nothing feels normal. That being said, I know I’m not the only one desperate to have a personal life again, and we’re all trying to figure out how to get back into the dating game while not risking our lives.

As we move through the phases of reopening, everyone is assessing how to move forward in dating and everything else. This spring, we conducted a survey with our dating app Ship about dating during the pandemic, and we uncovered some interesting trends. Some of these things seem like common sense, while others are more surprising, but hey, you never know what to expect in 2020.

Dating Apps Are More Popular Than Ever Before

Most of us haven’t been able to do much in-person dating in 2020, but with so much free time on our hands, dating apps have been lit. The majority of people who took Ship’s survey said they’ve used ~the apps~ more during quarantine, and messages on Ship doubled after shelter-in-place orders went into effect. 

We’ve all been busy building our virtual rosters, but what happens now? 62% of people said they plan to meet their quarantine matches IRL, and with all that time to build a virtual bond, I have a feeling we could be seeing a lot of new relationships between now and Labor Day. Everyone that missed the memo on a quarantine bae the first time around will be eager not to make the same mistake again.


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Download our dating app @getshipped. The devil works hard but your friends will work harder to find you a match.

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The Bar Is Higher

Now that we’re all being forced to pick and choose who we want to see, it makes sense that we’re getting more selective in our dating lives. Before, meeting someone for a drink was pretty low stakes, and going on first dates was an easy way to weed out who actually had potential. But now, 50% of people say they’ll be pickier than before about who they meet IRL, and 31% of people say their standards are higher in general. We may be desperate in quarantine, but I guess some of us aren’t that desperate.

F*ckboys Are Struggling

With casual hookups pretty much off the table for the near future, it’s easier than ever to tell who’s open to something more serious. In the past, f*ckboys could string you along with the idea that they might want a relationship, when they really just wanted someone to text late night. Survey respondents said this is one of the perks of virtual dating, because it “cancels out the people that just want something casual” and offers “an excuse not to have to meet up right away.”


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We all have that one friend, so tell them to download our dating app @getshipped and chill tf out.

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Video Dating Is The New Normal

And of course, as we navigate the ongoing pandemic, it’s still a great time to use virtual dating resources. Zoom happy hours are played out at this point, which is why we launched Ship Party—it’s like Houseparty, but for dating. A simple phone call, FaceTime, or virtual Ship date are also still great ways to determine if someone is actually worth meeting IRL. It might be a little awkward, but at least you won’t waste one of your precious social interactions. 54% of Ship users said they’ve gone on virtual dates, and if you want to spice up  your virtual date, check out these Zoom backgrounds we made for any occasion.

Safety First

I hope this goes without saying, but sadly, your dating life shouldn’t be going back to 100% normal just yet. With cases once again on the rise in most states, it’s important to follow social distancing guidelines if you’re meeting someone new, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. If they’ve traveled recently, or have been in a high-risk situation, maybe keep things virtual for another week or two. Once you’ve been hanging out for a bit, then you can make an educated decision about hooking up. Don’t take your mask off around someone you don’t trust, no matter how tempting it is. First date kisses just aren’t going to be a thing for a minute.