Monique Kelley is the high-powered Hollywood player and blogger behind the popular site, Confessions Of A Serial Dater in LA. She initially chronicled the trials & travails of her post-divorce dating life anonymously until she stepped out from behind the keyboard and revealed her identity to her huge following, creating a phenomenon among single ladies in LA.
We have so many juicy questions to ask, but let's start with your pivot from a graduate in performing arts to turning your pain from divorce into a creative outlet with your popular blog, Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA.
Although my marriage was short lived, my divorce was DEVASTATING. Not because it was the wrong choice (my ex-husband and I just were not equally yoked). But I had always been someone who thrived in doing the right thing, reaching and maintaining goals, and getting divorced certainly wasn’t in the cards for me. Believe it or not; I was not excited or even happy about having to be back on the dating scene. When you get married (at least for most) you don’t get married thinking that you’re going to get divorced. So dating post-divorce, especially as a new divorcee was a tough pill to swallow. Also, I was the first in my group of friends to get divorced. So at the time; I didn’t really have people who truly understood what I was going through. My friends were understanding and supportive, but this was new territory for all of us. I guess you can say I was a pioneer! LOL! Even before I got married I would tell my friends all my dating stories and they would crack up. And post-divorce they got even better because I was in a space where I was unapologetic and no longer tried to appease or make excuses for fools. One of my friends was like, “You should write about these dating stories! They are next level!” And it resonated with me. So that’s how my blog Confessions of A Serial Dater in LA started. It became healing, self-reflective, and purging. I was able to take an honest, hard look at myself. Through this it grew into something bigger. It became a safe space for so many women. Especially since at that time Sex and the City had just ended. My blog became the new spot for women to have relatable content.
How many people did you have to date in order to become a “serial dater”?
Love this question! Because often times the term “Serial Dater” is misconstrued. Being a serial dater isn’t about the number of people you date. It’s about dating unapologetically and on your OWN terms. It’s about not making excuses for bad behavior and ignoring red flags. It’s about setting boundaries and sticking to what is important to you. If you are dating someone and it isn’t right you KEEP IT MOVING! You do no settle for mediocrity when dating. You keep dating until you meet the person who is right for you. You date as though you have options. Being a serial dater is about not settling for less than you deserve. You don’t settle down out of fear you won’t find better or get your needs met. You keep dating until the right man comes along. All women should be serial daters until they meet the right man for them! It does not mean you expect perfection. It means you do not settle for what is not right for YOU!
How did you take your personal experiences and turn them into becoming a credible dating expert who millions of women follow and depend on?
I always say my advice is personal NOT clinical. Women follow me and refer to me because I am honest and authentic about my own dating journey as well as what is really going on in these streets. I am not judgmental and I understand that everyone’s dating journey is personal. I am also hopeful. I try to advise from a positive perspective. I consider myself to be America’s Girlfriend. I am the girlfriend you reach out to when you need a hug, feel understood, get a pep talk, while giving real loving advice. I talk about what it really going on. It’s hard to get dating advice from someone who has been married for 25 years and doesn’t truly understand what it is like to be single and dating in today’s world. Lots of times that advice is coming from a “general/detached” view point. Women follow and depend on me because they feel seen and understood. And they know I have been in the dating trenches with them!
Every week, there are 3 billion searches for relationship advice and billions of questions about which dating sites are the best. Is this the only thing women think about?
Let’s face it; love is what bonds us. You’re ether in love, looking for love, getting over losing love and trying to love yourself. All people long for THEIR person. And that’s okay! It’s okay to admit that you long for a loving, sustainable, forever love.Women by nature are nurturers and ultimately want to be in a relationship. Even those who are enjoying the single life and dating. That is a goal eventually.
Relationships are hard, as we know, and dating online is fun for some but a nightmare for others. How do you prepare advice for women when there are so many different personality types to deal with? Are there standard rules that apply across the board?
The most important thing to remember… Dating apps are NOT for everyone! Lots of people have tried dating apps and they just don’t like it. And when they tell people this they question them “Did you do it right… are you being too picky… you need to give it another try… blah-blah-blah!” It’s okay to admit if dating apps just ain’t your thing. Now, or those who are on dating apps; remember the ultimate goal is to get out of the dating app ecosystem. A lot of people started using dating apps more during the pandemic and lockdown. That was really the only option for singles. But now that we are in this new normal of life… a lot of people are using the dating apps as a crutch and not getting out there. Dating apps should be used in addition to going out and meeting people organically. That being said here are some general rule:
- Facetime saves time- if you’re concerned that the profile picture is not the actual person; schedule a facetime so you can speak to them and see for yourself
- Make sure you're not dating a virtual enigma- that’s my term for men who text with you, call and Facetime you, but do not make a date.
- When vetting a guy on an app-make sure the answers in their prompts show some sort of emotional intelligence and depth.
- Beware of the guys with only selfie profile pics, only pics of them in their car, and too many shirtless pics, and pics with other women
Questions such as “how do you know if your ex is dating someone” to “how to find out if your boyfriend is on dating sites” shows just how little trust exists between people who are in relationships. What advice do you share when someone wants to be in a lifelong relationship yet has trust issues?
The moment I feel like I have to go through your phone and go to those types of sites; is the moment I know I am in the wrong relationship. 8 times out of 10, trust issues do not come from nowhere. Typically your Inner Loving Diva (a term I use for intuition) is telling you something just doesn’t feel right. You feel it and you know it. However, at the same time, when you end a relationship with someone who has violated your trust by cheating on you, it hits your self-esteem and you begin to second guess everything about yourself and the relationship. You even beat up on yourself for ignoring red flags and not leaving sooner. When a relationship ends with a cheater it is so important you take time to heal. Therapy, journaling, meditating. You have to stop second guessing yourself. Once you get back in the dating world remember there are more good men than bad. Until someone gives you a reason not to trust them, go into it with optimism. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.
If you’re an anti-social person, how do you recommend someone turns dating into a fun experience?
Find hobbies you enjoy. So you’re out and about and ultimately meet someone with similar interests.
Ask friends to introduce you to someone so you have a reference.
Find a workout you enjoy and start doing it regularly. You’ll meet people at the gym, yoga studio, and/or bootcamps and build a rapport so it take the pressure off.
What are some of the key relationship concerns you hear from your followers?
- Bad text message etiquette
- Slow responses
- No response at all
- Lack of courting and planning dates
- Emotionally Unavailable men with commitment issues
- Social Media mishaps
- Active communication with exes
You’re featured in magazines, talk shows, and you host bi-annual events for women to get together and talk candidly about dating. That’s a lot of different outfits you need to have not to repeat the same look. What’s your go-to-style and color of choice? What outfit makes you feel the most confident? Does beauty and confidence go hand in hand?
I am a girlie girl. I love dresses that show off my legs and arms. And I love pops of color. It’s very rare you will see me in all black. White has always been my staple and signature color. But lately I have been all about the jewel tones. I work hard at my body, I work out 5-6 days a week, I don’t eat meat or dairy, I am mostly plant based (with the exception of fish here and there), I drink at 88 ounces-a gallon of water a day. I’m 45 and it takes a lot to look like this. So I like to show off my body in a tasteful classy way!
Beauty and confidence does go hand in hand. If you don’t feel beautiful you don’t feel confident, and if your don’t feel confident you don’t feel beautiful. There are certainly days when I just ain’t feeling myself. Those are the days when I allow myself to have the feeling. But I still put on my lip gloss and keep it moving. I’ve learned that from my grandmother who passed away at 92 the day before thanksgiving this year. No matter what, even if she as in the house all day. She put on her jewelry, got dressed up, made sure her eyebrows were perfectly arched, and had on her Ruby Woo red lipstick from Mac. Every single day! She never missed a beat. So when I am having a bad day, I find putting on some red lipstick does the trick!
When you host these in person talks, do you share fashion or styling advice for women who want to date after divorce?
I sure do! I empower women to be the best version of themselves.
One33Social was created by women, for women. What have been your favorite One33social dresses and why?
ONE33 Social has been a guiding light in my career from the very beginning! They accentuate my best features and hide my flaws. I love the short sequin purple dress, the wrap dresses with bright colors.
If there’s one piece of advice you’ve been given that has been a magical gift to your life, what would that be?
God never says no. God says one of three things
- Not right now
- I’ve got something better for you
On those days when I feel like nothing is going right or I am utterly frustrated, sad, depressed, or just in a mood. This get me through those days.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2023?
Life is so damn good right now. I have worked so hard to accomplish this dream. I look forward to ultimately having my own show and continuing to help empower women.
Where can we tune in weekly to hear your words of wisdom?