If you would give up your Netflix password, Co-Star notifications, and beloved tie-dye sweatsuit in exchange for a single perfect afternoon trading ridiculous dating horror stories with your best friend in person, I feel you. That might not be possible right now, but I can suggest the next best thing: Listening to the dating podcast Girls Gotta Eat captures that same energy. Co-hosts (and BFFs) Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine are high-key hilarious. Since the podcast's launch in 2018, they've amassed a dedicated fan base, receiving more than 2 million downloads a month and performing more than 50 sold-out live shows around the world.
Equal parts raunchy and insightful, Girls Gotta Eat feels extra special because it acknowledges the most important love of all is the kind you have for yourself — meaningful romance and sexual escapades are the cherries on top. That outlook is even more important these days, now that a "hot date" simply means a FaceTime in which your phone doesn't die halfway through.
I spoke to Rayna and Ashley for Elite Daily's How I Take Care feature, which explores the ways your favorite TV stars, influencers, vloggers, TikTokers, musicians, and politicians are taking care of themselves during the coronavirus crisis. Here's what Rayna and Ashley had to say about missing human touch, dating over Zoom, and deleting dating apps.
Where they're quarantining: Rayna's in New York City and Ashley's on a farm in Delaware
Who they're quarantining with: Rayna's solo and Ashley's with her new roomies, her parents
The date spot Rayna wants to hit up when it's safe: Bua in New York City. "They have great cheese curds."
Ashley's biggest love lesson of 2020: "Love and fulfillment don't have to include a romantic partner."
Rayna's biggest love lesson of 2020: "Love yourself. Build a life you're proud of."
Ashley's friendship motto: "If something really bad happens, Rayna is going to be the first person I call."
What do they miss most about pre-quarantine life? Sex.
Rayna: I miss hugging the people I love more than anything in the world. Touch is absolutely one of my love languages. I had a fantasy dream the other night: I was hugging a hot guy, and we went to sleep together. I woke up and was like, Wow, what a hot dream! Hugs!
Ashley: It sucks a little bit. I had an opportunity to have sex with this guy one last time before I quarantined, and I didn't because I didn't see this coming. I regret it.
Rayna: If I can redo my answer, it's orgasms.
Not even dating podcast hosts know how TF to date these days.
Ashley: I was casually dating somebody before the quarantine, and I would say it has fizzled. We did a Zoom date, but it's just not my preferred way to date. I don't feel sad over it, but it's a bummer. I feel for people who are experiencing a "what could that have been?" type of feeling.
Rayna: I don't even know that I would be the best partner to talk to right now. Every time I take a walk and see literally any man between 25 and 45, I'm like, "Maybe I should go in his apartment."
Be warned, your ex might casually propose to you, too.
Rayna: I have not texted any of my exes, but all of them have come out of the woodwork or broken the door down to talk to me in varying degrees. One of my pretty serious exes called me a couple of nights ago to talk to me about problems he's having with his current girlfriend. It was nice. He was just like, "I want to make this relationship better." Another ex called the night the shelter-in-place stuff started. He told me that he messed up and thinks we should get married. He calls once a week and we'll have a three-hour phone call, then I'll hang up and he'll call me back to say good night and that he misses me. And then I don't hear from him for six days.
Don't feel guilty if dating apps aren't your jam.
Ashley: When I first moved to New York, I felt rejected on the apps. There are so many more people, and they move at such a quick pace. There are a lot more non-responses after matching. I haven't had a lot of success with dates from apps, and I've gone on a lot. Everyone that I've ever worked out with, whether it's been for a month or two years, it was somebody I met in the wild. When I realized that pattern, I stopped going on the apps and started doing other stuff. And I felt great about it.
They're so grateful to be single.
Ashley: The best thing is the podcast, and I wholeheartedly think it would not have happened had we not both been single at the time.
Rayna: I'm really proud of the life that I've been able to build outside of a relationship. I had relationships all through my 20s, and I didn't really travel, or have many hobbies, or have many friends. When my really serious relationship blew up, I was able to 100% dedicate myself to building a food blog, learning photography, traveling the world, and building the podcast. I don't know that I would have been able to give another person the time they deserved in a relationship at that time. That doesn't mean other people can't do both — I just didn't. So, I'm really proud of all the other things I get to have in my life.
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