Kristin Cavallari is entering her podcast era, and recently sat down with Yahoo Life’s The Unwind to talk about her latest project, Let’s Be Honest.
"Since I was 17, my voice has been controlled to some degree," she said. "So to be able to have a podcast and have it be 100% me and be able to talk about whatever I want talk about ... has been a lot of fun."
One of those “fun” things is her dating life. As a recently divorced, single mom of three, who happens to be a celebrity, there’s no shortage of conversation there. Kristin has been open about having gone on dates since her split from Jay Cutler and says that being a mom has led her to having “high standards” when it comes to commitment.
"My kids really haven't met anyone I've dated," she said. "They met one person because they were a fan of his and they were excited to meet him, but they haven't, like, actually met someone because I've been serious enough with them…It's going to take someone amazing to be around them. My kids are the most important people in my life. It's definitely made me have high standards, which is a very good thing, I think."
I mean, it is a very good thing until it isn’t. In her podcast episode, she discussed her dislike for dating apps, saying she prefers to meet people in person.
“Anyone can be great on paper, but it’s really about that chemistry, that connection that you have with someone. And so that’s obviously impossible to tell just on an app or through a photo.”
She’s not wrong, but I think there’s a lot that she’s not mentioning. First of all, what dating apps are we talking about here? Is she out here in the Hinge and Bumble streets like the rest of us, sifting through the mom’s basement-dwellers and unemployed less than average Joes? Or has she found herself on an app like Raya, designated for “elite” singles that have some element of celebrity?
Whatever the case may be, we know that dating has become more difficult in the last decade. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of women, and nearly half of American adults agree, are citing the fact that dating these days comes with more risk. People have a genuine fear of being catfished or scammed. And if these are fears that exist for everyday people, imagine how heightened those concerns are when you’re a celebrity, with kids – and tons of money.
"Even on a first date, and I know I shouldn't do this, but I am sitting there going, ‘Could you be the stepfather to my children?’ And a lot of times it's like, ‘No, you couldn't be.’ So if I can't see you as a stepfather of my kids, then why am I even entertaining this, because that means you're not good enough for me.”
I don’t think anything Kristin is saying here is exclusive to being a celebrity in the dating game. There are tons of single men and women who can relate to what she’s expressing in terms of considering whether someone could be a step-parent. But given that she’s got at least an idea of what she’s looking for and what she wants, perhaps that’s the reason she’s got what seems to be tunnel vision. The next thought she shares, though, proves that maybe she still has some figuring out to do.
"I would hope in five years I'm settled down and I'm not still talking about dating. I'm not putting a time limit on myself, it's not necessarily something that I'm like 'I need to find a man.'
You can’t say you’re not putting a time limit on yourself when you’ve given yourself a window of five years. Even if it was ten years, it’s still a window. And the second part of that thought about not necessarily ‘needing to find a man’ is her hyper independence poking through.
Look, I get it. You got married fairly young, divorced fairly young (EmRata would be so proud) and now you’re navigating life as a single entrepreneur with three kids. It’s human to want companionship. But I think what Kristin is showing us is something that happens a lot with celebrities, which is them wanting, so desperatel,y to date the way normal people do, not realizing just how big of an impact their fame and wealth have on the way they date.
After my breakup in February, I dated. And I mean dated. It didn’t take much for me to say yes to dinner, coffee or drinks with men. I followed all the women with hot tips on TikTok and Instagram, I watched all the ‘sprinkle sprinkle’ videos by SheraSeven about how to find a man with money (and I learned how to not feel ashamed about it, either!) But no matter who I was out with or where we were going, I didn’t ever have to worry about the possibility of cameras and articles chronicling our evening. And in that sense, I am happier than ever to not be famous.
This just doesn’t exist for celebrities. There’s hardly a place you can go without having to worry that your photo will end up on PageSix or TikTok, and that can speed the pace of your relationship up more than you ever signed on for. That’s probably another reason Kristin immediately begins considering whether someone could be her children’s stepdad. One date is all it takes for rumours to circulate that you’re a couple. If you’re not sure about him, it’s hardly worth the risk of being pictured together in the tabloids, let alone trying to lend more time to them proving themselves to be step-parent worthy.
In mentioning hyper independence, it’s something Kristin is aware of, too.
"My life is very full. I'm very happy. And so, you know, I don't need a guy for anything. So I really just want to be with someone because they make me happy. They bring me joy. I want a buddy.”
No matter what Kristin is looking for, income disparity is a real thing. Have you ever gone on a trip with someone who was on a budget? Or travelled with someone who had more budget than you? It can be just as difficult to slow down as it can be to keep up. Romantically, unless you’re completely okay with footing the bill for everything, which as a woman, can be nuanced because of societal expectations, it could be a recipe for disaster, especially over time when the honeymoon phase wears off.
I hope Kristin takes her time. Five years is a long time, but it can pass by in an instant. I hope she keeps practicing how to date casually and take each experience for what it is. She said that no matter what, she always learns something about herself on every date – and that really is the point of dating. And who knows? By the time that five-year window is up, she, like an increasing cohort of women, might decide that she’s better off single.