Amanda Bradford talks about dating as the founder of The League. We discuss the reasons she created the app and dive into changing gender roles in society. We also hear about her own dating life as an alpha, career-oriented woman.
S2E12 A league of her own Part 1
00:00:00 - 00:05:00
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
And i move so i loves. We are excited. You've join us for an older episode. While our earlier seasons were all about dating in san francisco we quickly realize all the themes. Learnings are universal for all daters so we shifted to covering dating from all around the world as the seasons. Progress to the fun part. Is things happen. I san francisco the tech epicenter and counterculture capital of the world. We love for you to keep tuning in to our older episodes. But there's no set order to listen in so feel free to jump to more. Recent seasons are relevant episodes for you. Enjoy the show. The dateable podcast is hosted by you. A that's me and my co host. Michael vargas michael's dating coach who holds a masters in clinical psychology. And i a former dating coach in new york am now an active data in san francisco. This episode of dateable is brought to you by five hundred brunches. Five hundred brunches connects like minded people with similar interests to meet in real life over brunch. You answer a questionnaire about your interest and how you spend your time. And then they'll match you in small groups of six to eight at a brunch spot in san francisco get a free entry into a brench now by signing up at five hundred branches dot com and using the code date able everyone. Welcome to another episode of dateable. Show that a candid. Conversation about dating in san francisco on each episode dissect a dating story and today we have a special treat because not only. Are we going to get to here dating stories. Hopefully we get to hear them. From the founder of a dating app called the league we have. Amanda bradford in my studio clock a ton of people in the studio. The crowds going wild asian. So amanda first of all. Let's just you know. I just want to talk about you. You're an actual person. You're sitting here in front of me. She drinks wine as well. You know she's like an chocolate covered pretzels. She's a real person. Tell me about why you started the league. I mean i think there's a combination of things. I was in business school towards the end. And if you've ever been to business school it's sort of like a mad frenzy to up the first year. And i was actually in a relationship of five years so i kind of miss. The feeding frenzy So you know business schools ending. I was about to go into the real world. And i tried online dating for the first time. I had never done it. I'd always been in. I was in a three year. Relationship jumped right into a five year relationship. Side always kind of been in some sort of relationship cereal monogamous. I mean i tried online dating. And there's a couple of like that. I had with a lot of the apps and the sites out there. And then i think coupled with the fact that i was leaving this kind of awesome really close knit community at stanford and kind of wanted to prolong that or i. Guess if you've been to college. It's the same experience when you graduate college. You know that community feeling really falls away. So i think i wanted to like both kind of recreate the college experience and then also improve my dating life and kind of fix some of the issues that i had with like tender. And okay cupid where you feel like you're losing yourself on this meat market and people think you're kind of saying. Hey i want a one night stand when that's not really what you're saying and so kind of rebranding like what online dating is and like saying it's okay to use online dating and doesn't mean you're trying to get laid that night it doesn't mean you're trying to hook up you could actually be looking for for someone to date and this could be high-calibre people that actually have interests in doing something other than a hook up and so i think it was kind of a combination of those things that i like. Look to my left and look to my right. And i was like well. I should just build this. You were in a relationship when you were in this school and then ended after towards towards the end and this person was not in business grade. Okay which is a very common situation. Yeah because most people break up within the first year right. I'm really go the extra mile you really. You're really loyal now. After business school level you just got out of this five year relationship. Didn't you look back at your classmates. And you're like actually that guy could have been pretty good. Or i mean you have to really good inventory. Don't you take from on think you should have to do that.
00:05:00 - 00:10:16
I guess my issue is like why do we have to pay two hundred thousand dollars and go to sleep away. Camp to meet other driven single high-achieving people what was the reaction. You got from your peers when you started talking about it with them. I mean i think a lot of the same issues i had. I didn't know i of thought we're pretty niche. Like maybe it was just me. And i'm like super type a. And weird and private and have all these like weird qualms about things. And i actually found out that it was very much. You know a common issue that a lot of both women and men had around like feeling like you're listening yourself on a meat market worried about who's screen shotting your profile feeling like you're kind of saying that you want to hook up just because of the certain brand of that site so i think one time i described as like we don't want to be like the all you can drink bar in cancun. He wanted to be like a nice cocktail lounge. Where you know. You can't be screaming with your shirt off and doing kegs dams right on. We got good ching. A woman who started a dating app is a lot different than a classmate right. I mean i dated a guy from the league for a year. Who only knew me as like the dating app was still a new identity to me. I was like oh mike. I used to be the volleyball player. Man or google amanda and so it was like a new identity. And i remember he was like yeah. You're like the league girl. And i was like i don't even know what that is and he was really interesting. He he had a really hard time like grappling with it. Felt like i needed to be this certain person. Then i was really. He's like yeah. What is a certain person. Know like i felt like i wasn't like successful enough like we've been dating for a year. I think you clearly. I think you're successful. Like michael woke. Do you think if you mash. Amanda on the league and you found out she was the founder of the on my profound. What is on your profile okay. Well it's a little hard to hard to hide. You are right how i used to hide. I used to just say. I used to lie. Your pictures are on there. But it uses sales like i still like google and ab tested and my score went up. When i said who. I was because i think people are nervous. Kick them out if they reject me all the way more likes after. I put that. I tested of course you but i want to know from a male standpoint michael. How would you approach. Amanda if you guys match on the league really like a little nervous but also excited so this is someone that already has a status right and in this environment. I wouldn't have a status so clearly as going into someone going to someone like that. There's a little bit of a soffer status differential. Sure i get some weird. I mean my biggest pet peeve is that when as soon as will match me they start assuming that. I'm like looking at all their data as if i have the time and be the interest to like. Go ask the engineers to like you know unencrypted. These joins to go and see who their message. I don't think they mean it that way but it always works me. Because i really don't think i have more important things to do than like stock. Someone i've never met. That's when i when i expire when i go see we'll that's usually. Why do i love to hear more of you. Talk about is the idea of this alpha female curious as to what is your perspective when you call yourself an alpha female like as as a whole or is it a section or is a aspect of you or is it an underlying question. I guess i guess it could translate into like all aspects of life. But i guess i think of it as more of a personality like an ethos if you will like who you are and i think that you know i do make the first move. I do message i. I do invite myself to people's party is when i'm not invited like it's almost like a. I think it's just a little bit about like how you live your life. And so i'm not going to change my plans to do something for a guy unless you know he really tells me. That's important or whatever. I guess there's just some aspects of your personality and that comes across in business it comes across dating comes across like how you even interact with your friends. I liked michael's breakdown of are you an alpha female as a whole or you alpha female million certain aspects of your life and i like this idea. I mean in your lincoln article you wrote as an over educated career obsessed wannabe tyke. Exact with little interest in playing traditional doting girlfriend. You wanna be the one redefining role relationship. So i want to know. What is your idea of a perfect relationship. What is your role in that relationship. I just think of it as i joint joint partnership where there's like very open lines of communication. You know they wouldn't expect you to cook anymore than you expect them to cook. There wouldn't be these sort of hidden hidden expectations. And i think one of the guys. I dated i remember told me he was like i always thought i was gonna end up with a woman that cooked for me because he had like a really hard time dealing with the fact that i was like the roi on cooking is not there for us especially as one person even when there's two ab was like i don't find joy in it.
00:10:17 - 00:15:02
I don't think i cook any better than sprig. So let's just use. What's there. I find paying three dollars more than i would pay by cooking the raw materials. Whatever so i just don't understand the value proposition of it. One of the things that as you're talking kind of brings up for me is the idea of feminism and for me i consider myself a feminist and from what i've learned there's different styles. Feminism there's one that's about bringing equality for the sexes. There's another one about being the rights of women to the surface because for so long women have been put on the back burner. And i'm curious as do you find yourself so be in any way shape or form a feminist. I think it's a tough word. Because it's loaded with a lot of history and miss representation about what that word is. I remember talking to my mom. About feminism's it's interesting. Like she was always brought up to believe that like feminists where people that burn their bras and said like they should have kids without men and they don't need men in the world would be better without men at all. Because what do we need men for except for their sperm and like very late cra- not crazy but like very much. Extremists became what feminism represented. And so now everybody including myself is like scared to associate with aks. No no one's saying that we don't want men or husbands or fathers or anything like that. And so i think it's a it's a tough word and i actually consciously didn't use it in my blog posts just because of the kind of reaction people have with that word but i think if you actually research the word in his these does a great job of talking through this and master of none. It's a great show of anyone present but if you look at it like actual definition of it is it is like exactly what you said. It's it's just you know equality and we shouldn't and just because women in general have done this for you know decades if not centuries doesn't mean that that is like your role with them in his them with the last couple of decades we've been trying to redefine the female role but we've forgotten about the male role we've been forgetting to empower men to step up to the plate. I really think that men have no idea what to do anymore in relationships i. It's hard because i mean. I do like everyone likes getting flowers right so i mean i'm not gonna lie and say i don't love getting flowers from a guy that shows he's interested but at the same time like why shouldn't the guy got something from the girl when she's interested in why is it so one sided and just because in the past. That's how males were trained to find. Their way is to like them presence. Does that mean that. That should be alive and well as a tradition in today's society. I don't know. I think if you really sit and think about it like you know is courtship. Well what if you actually look. At the history of courtship men. Were trying to find a wife and a mother for their kids and to provide for so they were sending gifts or show how much money they had and they were wooing the girl and the guy with the most money would be able to provide the best families stability. I mean there's a lot of like deep century long kind of embedded traditions. That i don't really make sense anymore. So back in the day the idea of what men had to do versus what women had to do and like the when you mentioned earlier. How men are kind of becoming more obsolete. It's it's i didn't say that. I don't know who said that but it's true minutes none of ours here. I'm sorry i that was a little too harsh. But the general ideas that the value of men. I i believe what i believe is at the value of men have gone down tremendously because what we used to have to do was provide one of the jobs of a father wisdom make sure his daughter was safe and alive and the one way that he could do that was to make sure she married wealth. That was one of his jobs now. Women don't have to worry about that as much. So that makes men a little less necessary and One of the things. Is that what you were talking about earlier. You as men are getting confused because before they had like a defined purpose of defined role of a specific economic stability and that was sort of part of the package that you were evaluating. And now i mean i think it's for the best. I think it now that that's off the table. As far as like how. You're scoring a potential match than i think you can optimize unlike personality compatibility and like sexual compatibility and you know intellectual compatibility and there's like so many other aspects that now you can put more weight on then like you know how much money they make like. That's like my biggest pet peeve when people are like oh the league is for women that are looking for rich.
00:15:02 - 00:20:04
Men makes me so upset. Because i'm like it's like the opposite of why this is even like sugar. Daddies dot com. Sorry you're right. I think men are confused because they've always had this sort of other role and so now it's like now it is about personality and now it is about like just compatibility and finding that person that you really just want to hang out with this brings question and not to get too deep into this but i feel like it's making marriage obsolete it's not making men on necessary making marriage on a sery- back in the day you get married for stability for economic stability. You need a shelter. You need a food thing now. We we date purely for a partner reasons for companionship. And if that doesn't work out then we move onto the next one. So i guess i i. I'm going to change the subject a little bit. Because i'm more interested in you manda. When was the last time a man made you happy. What did he do. Oh wow you know. All my relationships have been really positive. And i'm still friends with every person i've dated so i actually don't have a ton of negative experiences. I think yeah. When i think of like someone who's made me happy i think it's someone who's there when you're down and who you have someone to talk to and it's less about them and more about kind of they're giving something away to you right. They're giving their time. They're taking themselves away from something to show that you're really important to them. It happened. i was you know had to fire someone like my first time. Firing someone. I was super sad and Yeah my boyfriend at the time. Like know came over even like a super early thing to get ready for and just kind of like hugged me and stuff and i thought that was really sweet. Could you date someone who made less money than you for sure i have have the men been okay with that. I think it's i think they are. I do think it. It came up a lot during the relationship and so i do feel that it wasn't just like we never thought about it right so it was something that i remember him mentioning like i always used to like kinda of the girl following me around like i sometimes feel like i'm your like trophy or something 'cause i'd bring him to events or whatever and so yeah and i. I couldn't go out with a lot of his friends. But then i would have an event in like you need to come to this one. This is super important or something. So i i definitely had a little bit like more power in the kind of social structure and i do. It was a little bit tough. I think for him in. And we're not together. And i don't know if that's the reason i don't think it is because i think he would have told me if that was the reason but Definitely i don't think it's totally for guided. Do that they still have to deal with it. In anything in san francisco that you think is different than other cities with like men in their openness to alfie females. I think san francisco is full of guys that are really confident and actually opened a dating alpha females. I mean i guess they just swipe left me. So i don't know maybe i just don't meet the ones that aren't but you know all the guys i've met for the league are like totally cool. That think it's awesome like that's so cool. You have your own company. i wanna have my own. Company will talk about their dreams. And i think i think san francisco is like the future like we are living in literally you know fifty years ahead of every other city. We're in some sort of utopia so i've had a really good experience at the. There's some of the issues that you're still facing here and a little bit of like everyone's pretty selfish like myself included. Like if i could choose you know doing something that's gonna help my company or your friend's getting married or whatever it's all about you and your little world and it's sometimes hard to fit someone new into your world and that takes time and then if you don't invest the time like you never really get that person in your schedule till are you in a place to date right now. Not really disclaimers. Like i'm dateable. Which is funny because this is the. That's funny that is funny disclaimer. I'm not really dateable right now. Right but when will you be dateable. I dated founders of company is where i'm like you're never gonna be fucking dateable. And where they what happens they. They're not dateable because that's their wife. That company is wife. I will always be second priority. I mean i think that's the the you hit the nail on the head like are you okay with that. Being second priority are andrea like that. Was you know the reason. I broke up with We broke up mutually casey's listening. You know he. He was really. He really had a hard time being like second fiddle and he didn't like that and so you know we ended it because i was like i can't give you. I can't be like the girlfriend. You want where. We're going to hang out three times a week and i'm going to go to concert with you on monday nights at seven.
00:20:04 - 00:25:03
That's no i work till one. Am on monday is like that's just not gonna isn't that a catch twenty two the guy who would be okay with your schedule would play second. Fiddle that guy wouldn't have the the to be your boyfriend. Well that's a big argument doesn't albany beta like if you look at the comments on my article. Like a ton of them were like girl. You need a beta male. Like call me and i was like a bunch of like. I don't know retired old men that are on linked in. I don't know. I don't know if i agree with that. I think is okay. Playing second fiddle is okay. Kind of not being number one. Maybe they're out home painting. Yeah you need a data painter but a really famous one the president. What's his number one priority right. But he always says that first lady behind him the role that first lady plays his tremendous too. I mean the amount of political power that she has an all their work that she's doing. I'm she puts her that as a priority and maybe the relationship the second in a way. She's working with it. Yeah she's still pushing his. you found. That would be like in the league with you like maybe my co-founder is finally out there. And i can date him there. To the founder's dilemma. No i mean it is a really interesting question and i don't know how it plays out. I mean i like to think that. Like yes if i dated someone that was super into running their company and made plans once a week to meet each other but I remember my ex-boyfriend said this. I feel like you're going to be one of those women that are like with guys that you guys like. Don't even see each other and you're just sort of revolving and you're like on paper this perfect couple but then you have those remote vibrators where he s alike control vibrator through zap. Because he can't be there with you. I mean that's like that's relationship building at least for me. I hope i'm not you know. I hope at some point. It's not as crazy and like the older you get. Maybe the more you want to slow down and focus on family and relationships and maybe it's just not right now. That's not a priority for me but maybe in five years it will be in san with them so it's sort of like you're like dating with for potential for the potential of settling down kind of person. I mean that's like the terrible way today dating for someone's potential that's like working on a project but dating someone who's like listen all spend the next few years helping you but after you take off you get to a point where you're really happy with your company. That's my turn to build my own house of cards. Have you been watching this. Clair's like it's my turn you know. And then he's like what she's like. It's about me now come along. You're my first lady. That's why i brought up the whole presidential thing right casey. I think the whole thing is so new that like there's not enough like case studies out there to be like okay. It worked when one person was at home in one wasn't to power couples. Like i mean. I think sheryl sandberg is one of the first like power couple. I kind of saw that was somewhat not a celebrity power couple. Or whatever and i think there's not enough out there to really draw any conclusions on lake. Is it a good marriage to the kids. You know well adjusted did they you know. Was it better than if she was a stay at home. Mom or we don't really have kind of data to prove against it. I mean if both people lean in you just bought heads. I feel like one person used to lean in and the other one stood bracy. I don't know if i agree with that. I think that's like a common phrase. But i don't i don't know if there's again like where's your data like why. Why do both people watching both lean in. Have you seen it like self destruct. Like what where cheryl sandberg did it. And they worked well so what what is to say that. Both people can't lean in. I guess like defining what lean in is right. Are you leaning in just for your own career on the other person's leading for their own career or you leaning in into this relationship and then i guess it goes to the. What is it that we're using the relationship for. What is the purpose of the relationship like to further our careers. And i'm kidding some point you do think about that right. Could this person further my career politicians to now is again if we go back in history. That's how people partnered up. It was like oh. The queen of spain is going to america. You know some other country and then they'll join it so i do think that Yeah i don't know. I think it's it's interesting i. I think we're still new to this. Whole like eagle -tarian power couple kind of world. So it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. And if it can kind of work. But i i hope it can cause that's sort of what we built our company around. I mean i hope so too. I don't want to die alone with my five cats own. No are you my cat my cat. I'll be your earlier. We were talking about the female. Now was curious as how does that. Show up in the bedroom. Hey hey hey as we pour more wine down. They're totally decoupled i do.
00:25:05 - 00:28:40
Yeah i think that like sexual. Chemistry is totally different than what someone does nine to five and how they show up in the bedroom so i don't i don't think it's you know i know plenty of people. I have girlfriends that can play both roles and like you would never know if they're you know. This is getting awkward. Now grab does well. What about you. I mean i don't know if maybe it's like after you're working hard all day. You do want to just be not be the decision maker and all that so the reason i bring that up because it's so interesting when we bring the idea of of the alpha energy but it's like different roles in which we play and so what is more your core. Is it more of like someone who does want to be dominated or is it someone who wants to be very dominating but i'm not going to use that word you use those words. Whatever synonymous z like. Yeah when you just because you're alpha female and like the working world and again. I hit kind of using that word. Just because it's it's just you know. I don't actually think you need another word for it. I guess i'd almost like i said in my article i was like all us because it resonates with people but at the end of the day i was like just because you're a girl and you're assertive and you go after what you want and you say what you think doesn't mean you need to have like a special label So i'm kind of against that word in some ways but I think that there are a lot of sides of people and yeah you don't wanna have to make if you're making decisions from nine to eight pm every day and you're stressed out about one hundred things. Yeah i wanna go home and have my boyfriend like kind of say you know take charge. So yeah i think that is that is like a common thing with people that do work really hard and do what that's given that heat and have a busy day right. So how do you control that. It's your turn to be dominant. Yeah now it's now have the whole leg both. Meaning in like yeah. You'd be on top. No you know you do the work. I met what happens right by licence. Watch porn born at that moment. If that happens it's your turn to step up step up yeah straddle sideways up doggystyle up whatever style up you want but up. Let's talk about. What is it like writing your own dating up. It's super weird. Everything like ten years ago. Did you ever think. I'm gonna. I'm gonna start my own deigning up. No and i think the people that are in that industry are crazy. Join us next time on dateable as we continue our conversation with amanda bradford. We'll get to know the inner workings of the league app. What your league score really is how the author long waiting lists who gets kicked out of the app and find out what happened when amanda created a profile for herself in new york and san francisco. Also we want to hear from you our listeners. If you have a dating story jaap allied remember. We can always keep unanimous. Visit us at dateable. Podcasts dot com last but not least stay dateable. The most efficient way to meet new people is a combination of online and offline. Five hundred branches has your offline covered connect over brunch with new friends. Come alone or bring a buddy. There's always a table full of friendly faces. Moses and eggs benedict sign up at five hundred branches dot com and use the code date able for free entry.