The Scoop: When it comes to dishing on dating, there’s a lot to talk about — and friends Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick cover everything from app swiping to zombie-ing with their Dateable podcast. Since 2015, these two women have delved into salient topics that impact modern singles and couples. Some of their podcast ideas come from personal experience or pop culture, and others draw inspiration from user questions and conversations in the Dateable Facebook community. Every Wednesday, Dateable hosts a panel of real daters and guest experts as they discuss sex, love, and relationships in a fun and relatable way.
The Dateable podcast started with two new friends gabbing over their love lives.
Six years ago, Yue Xu was a TV host and dating coach in New York City when she decided to make a change and move to San Francisco. Meanwhile, Julie Krafchick was working on an app called 500 Brunches to help local singles network in more fun and engaging ways.
The two women met at a 500 Brunches event, and they immediately had a lot to say to each other. Both women have been through their share of experiences in their dating life.
Yue and Julie became fast friends and frequently shared their dating stories — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to gain insight, get sympathy, or have a laugh. The more they talked about dating, the more they realized how beneficial it could be for a single person to get a different perspective and learn from someone else’s experiences. So these two talkative friends launched the Dateable podcast.
“Dating was top of mind for us in general,” Julie said. “There was lots of dating advice out there, and it gave a lot of prescriptions but not much about what people were going through in dating. Those raw unfiltered conversations. We were unique in our situation, and we wanted to create a safe place where people could share stories, perspectives, and situations so that modern daters didn’t feel as alone.”
Singles and couples alike enjoy listening to Julie and Yue discuss a new topic each week on their podcast. This dynamic duo investigates all kinds of romantic situations from a nonjudgmental perspective. Their curiosity leads them to explore dating trends, relationship habits, and other ideas that resonate with them.
This thought-provoking discussion doesn’t end when the podcast is over. Julie and Yue have created an online community, known as The Sounding Board, to encourage listeners to add their points of view and ask follow-up questions.
“In the beginning, we had no idea who would be listening. We thought mostly women who were single and dating,” Yue said. “Now, we have a really diverse range of ages, sexualities, genders, and relationship statuses: single, dating, divorcees, traditional, polyamorous, and open relationship.”
Started by Two Friends With Different Dating Backgrounds
Prior to leading Dateable, Yue had a lot of coaching experience in the dating industry. She has worked with clients in New York City, Beijing, Los Angeles, and other cities around the world. But when she started dating in San Francisco in 2015, she realized that some of her strategies for “winning dates over” were outdated.
Yue got into the podcasting world to learn more about what singles were going through and help them succeed in real-life scenarios.
Julie also was curious to talk to other daters to hear their experiences as she saw first-hand all the challenges that came with modern dating and how much trauma the ghosting, breadcrumbing, and flaking can cause for people. Despite it all, she still believed that finding true love is one of life’s greatest gifts and wanted to help other people form deeper connections and create the love life they always wanted.
The Dateable podcast approaches the dating world with one central message: You aren’t alone. A lot of people go through rejection, uncertainty, frustration, and confusion in dating scenarios, but they don’t always have an outlet to share what it’s like to be a modern dater in a fast-changing world.
Julie said Dateable listeners can be any age, but the majority tend to be 25 and 45 years old. Some are looking for a serious relationship for the first time, and others have just gotten out of a divorce or a long-term commitment and need a refresher course on dating.
“They have different life experience, but a similarity of curiosity and exploration,” Julie said of their listeners. “Regardless of your age, we have a community where people are active on Facebook and the premium community as well. People really learn from others with all kinds of experiences, age brackets, and diverse backgrounds. It’s a really beautiful thing.”
Dateable airs a new episode every Wednesday, and every topic is taken either from that week’s headlines or the Facebook community’s hottest topics.
Topics Include Fetishes and Mental Health
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, dating has changed dramatically, and the Dateable podcasters have been tracking every trend and nuance. Julie and Yue actively engage with people in the online community to keep abreast of the latest concerns, challenges, and issues facing today’s dating population. Their goal is to provide advice and insights that encourage singles to build happy, healthy relationships.
“Mental health is a big topic for discussion. We’ve had episodes with the founder of a mental health startup and recently with a dater talking about dating with depression,” Yue said. “Those topics resonate with people. We also cover more risqué topics, like sex parties.”
Dateable sometimes conducts its own social experiments in the world of dating. For example, Yue and Julie hosted an episode where they set a single guy up on three blind dates over the phone. He didn’t know what his dates looked like or even know their real names. The experience tested the theory that “love is blind” and gave insight into how people relate to each other when they can’t rely on looks or reputation.
Dateable has also hosted “exit interviews” for people who have just gotten out of a relationship or just gone on a first date. One episode solicited feedback from five women who had all recently gone on a first date with the same single man.
In 2020, politics was a huge talking point — and sometimes a sticking point — for daters, so Dateable conducted an investigation into how political opinions could influence relationships. The podcasters set up a blind date that introduced two people who were exact opposites when it came to politics.
“We experimented by matching up people with opposing political beliefs to ask if romance was possible,” Yue said.
“People love living vicariously through those experiments,” Julie added.
Dateable Aims to Grow Its Online Community in 2021
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of new questions and concerns for both singles and couples in 2020 — and the Dateable podcast discussed it all. Julie and Yue talked about video dating, virtual sex, and how to stay safe while seeking casual hookups or new relationships.
“The overarching feedback is that listeners love how the podcast helped them date differently and view dating differently,” Yue said. “It means opening themselves up to different perspectives and new ways of dating — and new types of people. We like to bring a balance of experts and people in the trenches of dating.”
The Dateable podcast is all about connection. Whether they’re discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, social distancing, or how not to die alone, the Dateable podcasters make sure to share a lot of different hot takes in the dating community.
“Our community has been the saving grace of 2020 for many people. People want support, connection, and a sense of community,” Yue said. “We’re just so starved for that in society — especially during the pandemic. When we hear stories of people who were struggling with dating and met someone amazing, or didn’t meet someone but is falling in love with themselves, that’s so rewarding for us to hear.”
Julie said they’re always looking for new topics to explore, and they’re also brainstorming other ways to help people find the relationships they desire. These podcasters have seen for themselves the benefits of sharing personal experiences and emotions, and they’re motivated to keep the conversation going any way they can.