Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You

Post Divorce Support Groups: Are We Dating The Same Guy?

January 18, 2024 Attorney Billie Tarascio
Post Divorce Support Groups: Are We Dating The Same Guy?
Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
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Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
Post Divorce Support Groups: Are We Dating The Same Guy?
Jan 18, 2024
Attorney Billie Tarascio

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How do you get back into dating after a divorce while avoiding poseurs, thieves and players? Can an intelligent professional woman find someone decent online?

Modern Law Attorney and 2016 Marathon Olympian Lanni Marchant joins Modern Divorce host Billie Tarascio to talk about online support groups for women: specifically the "Are We Dating The Same Guy" group. 

As an attorney, Lanni has a special interest in watching the areas that overlap into family law, and her involvement in the group brings some interesting insights for newly divorce women looking to jump back into the dating game after being dissatisfied with dating apps filled with questionable hookups and men pretending to be something they're not.


Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

How do you get back into dating after a divorce while avoiding poseurs, thieves and players? Can an intelligent professional woman find someone decent online?

Modern Law Attorney and 2016 Marathon Olympian Lanni Marchant joins Modern Divorce host Billie Tarascio to talk about online support groups for women: specifically the "Are We Dating The Same Guy" group. 

As an attorney, Lanni has a special interest in watching the areas that overlap into family law, and her involvement in the group brings some interesting insights for newly divorce women looking to jump back into the dating game after being dissatisfied with dating apps filled with questionable hookups and men pretending to be something they're not.


Are we dating the same guy???

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Billie Tarascio: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast. I am your host, Billie Tarascio, joined today by an attorney with the firm, an Olympian, a single attorney woman, and we are going to have a really fun podcast episode. Today, welcome to the show, Lani Marchand. 

Lanni Marchant: Hi, thanks for having me.

Billie Tarascio: So, thank you for being here. First, I did say Olympian. How is, what? Explain that. 

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, so I competed for Team Canada at the 2016 Olympics in two events. I did the 10, 000 meters and the marathon. I had 46 hours between both events, which was grueling. But yeah, it's something I worked for, obviously, for a very long time.

Lanni Marchant: And Yeah, I'm hopeful someday to still be able to compete for Canada again. Yeah, 

Billie Tarascio: you are, um, headed probably, right, to the 2024 Olympics? [00:02:00] 

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, I have a few qualifying races coming up to try and attempt. I, after the 2016 games, unfortunately, which happens to a lot of athletes, I got injured, I got sick. I had a lot of family stuff that happened.

Lanni Marchant: So it took me down, but never out. And so now I'm trying to climb back up to the top ranks. Uh, there's no guarantees in sport, but this is probably the most momentum knock on wood I've had in quite a while. So I'm excited for it. Very, 

Billie Tarascio: very exciting and I, we could talk about this for the entire episode, but we are not going to.

Billie Tarascio: We are going to be talking about Facebook groups that you have talked to me about and their overlap with family law. 

Lanni Marchant: Yeah. So what's going on? Yeah, so there are these groups that women can join on Facebook, and they're in a lot of the major cities. Um, there are We Dating the Same Guy, X, Y, and Z, depending on the city.

Lanni Marchant: There's one for, like, pilots and air travel specialists. Um, and [00:03:00] what it is, is the purpose of it is for it to be a forum for women to say, Hey! Like, red flag, red flag, red flag, this is this, what this man has put me through. Or even say like, hey, I have this date coming up with this guy, met him on an app, met him somewhere doing something, is there any, you know, are there red flags I should know about?

Lanni Marchant: And then it's also just like a support group for women where they're like trying to leave an abusive relationship or, so it's meant to be for women only. You, you know, there's parameters to be accepted into the group. And it's meant to be this platform to help women help women. 

Billie Tarascio: Love it. All right. And it's called, Are We Dating the Same Guy?

Billie Tarascio: Yes. Okay. But it sounds like the scope is, is quite a bit beyond that. Yeah, 

Lanni Marchant: it initially, and I'm a newer member, um, it, it was initially meant for just that, like, because unfortunately, in the today's [00:04:00] dating world, uh, people overlap and double dip and aren't forthcoming with their partners. And so the whole point was to be like, all right, we're all in this like realm of casual dating, but that means something different to everybody involved.

Lanni Marchant: So it was a way for women to go, are we actually dating this guy? Or like. Like, what's going on? He's telling me it's just me. I'm suspicious. You know, as much as we're all in big cities, they're not that big, unfortunately, that's what these men are learning, and they're not that big. Okay, so have you seen 

Billie Tarascio: where people actually end up dating the same guy, and what is that, what happens when, when you find out?

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, so what usually happens is someone will post, and then someone will comment and be like, Oh my gosh, yes, I know his girlfriend, or I'm involved with them as well. A lot of the times it is friendly, and it's just like, okay, DM me, let's like, compare notes, make sure. Some of the times, it's [00:05:00] a woman going, you know what, I am seeing him, he was forthright with me that he is playing the field, he is dating others, I'm doing the same thing, I'm so sorry you got caught up in it.

Lanni Marchant: So there are those positive interactions. There are the, what I've been deemed, I think it's from Grey's Anatomy, the pick me girls, the girls that are on there, they, and they're on there to, and they share. what's being posted with men, or they, you know, puff their chest and if there's another woman posting about their man, they get a bit negative and attacking, where like, that's not the purpose of the group.

Lanni Marchant: So I have seen it kind of unfold where there's these positive interactions of like, thank you for letting me know, he's not for me, I'm out, versus these ones where the women can get a little harsh towards one another. So it, but it, It's emotions, like no one, there's, there are obviously people out there that it's purely casual and they're not out there looking for a relationship, looking for love.[00:06:00] 

Lanni Marchant: There are plenty of women that are. And so it's delicate that if you're dating someone and you don't care who they're dating, but they're dating someone else and they very much do care. Like that's what you need to be respectful of. It's not just how you deem the relationship. What that man has done to other women that should be important to you as well.

Billie Tarascio: Interesting. Okay. All right. So and you said that this has come up in your family law cases as well. 

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, so there's been some intersection there where there's been some potential clients or current clients who mentioned that, you know, someone put my ex partner up on This platform has mentioned that they, he's a red flag because he's caught doing nefarious substances and other things.

Lanni Marchant: And we have a parenting plan and a temporary order where he's supposed to be getting drug tests. Mm hmm. And you're like, oh, okay. How does this play in? Is it [00:07:00] relevant? Is it admissible? Mm hmm. How do we get around the rules of the group themselves, like, where we say that everything remains confidential in that group?

Lanni Marchant: Like, there's just, it just started swirling, and I think that's when I mentioned it to you. I was just like, oh my gosh, this is not how I ever saw these two worlds colliding in my mind. Right, yeah. 

Billie Tarascio: So, alright, a client comes in and they say, I have information from a confidential Facebook group that shows that my ex is using drugs, even though He's supposed to be drug testing.

Billie Tarascio: And the question is, can we use that information in family court? And the answer is, yeah, absolutely you can, right? You absolutely can. It's relevant. It's admissible. Um, it's hearsay, but hearsay is admissible in Arizona family court. If it relates to the best interest of the children, certainly a parent using drugs is related to the best interest of the children.

Billie Tarascio: Um, but the consequences, you might get kicked out of the group, right?

Lanni Marchant: [00:08:00] They, they do police it. They take it quite firmly. Um, there are conversations that are had with the moderators where they say like, we understand, like, find a more creative way to disclose this information. But that's if you're going to confront Buddy for being a jerk.

Lanni Marchant: I don't think when they're saying, be creative on how you disclose this information, you can't be creative in how you bring evidence into the court of law. Like you, you can be, but you can't. At that point, you're weighing, are you, is being a member of this group more important to you than putting forth evidence for the best interest of your child?

Lanni Marchant: And like, obviously my sway would be on the other side of that. Right, right. But 

Billie Tarascio: you could also just reach out to the, um, to the member and ask them to DM the information, right? And then you're not out 

Lanni Marchant: in the group. Yes. You can do that. The problem is you can't post anonymously. So sometimes if they posted anonymously, the best you can do is say, Hey, [00:09:00] anonymous user.

Lanni Marchant: If you wouldn't mind, can you DM me? Right. There's people who post anonymously on behalf of other people. So then you, you are dealing with this telephone game of the chain of if I'm anonymous and you ask me, Hey, Lani, can you DM me what you just posted? Well, now you're gonna have my name and the whole point was for me to be anonymous.

Lanni Marchant: So I might ask another user to DM you, but then we're getting into this telephone game. 

Billie Tarascio: Right,and also if I am gonna bring evidence into a court of law and my evidence is an anonymous If this poster says X, Y, and Z about somebody, that's weak.

Billie Tarascio: Like I would object all day long to that information because you do have a due process right to confront your accuser to know who's bringing these accusations against you.

Billie Tarascio: So it's going to weaken the case for sure. 

Lanni Marchant: So that's, and that's what spins in my brain when I hear this, I'm just like, oh, like, and then for me, [00:10:00] I always look at it. Do I go look for that post? And I was like, I'm just gonna. Leave it for, let the client do the, like, do the legwork if they want to let me see it.

Lanni Marchant: That's one thing. I am a member of some of these groups. I can go looking, but just to make sure that there are these procedural steps in place, I try to just let the client, if you can figure out who the anonymous is, excellent, but anonymous doesn't really provide the strength and weight that we would want it to.

Lanni Marchant: Right, right. 

Billie Tarascio: And lawyers absolutely can and do participate in investigation cases. It's absolutely one of our roles. But most of the time in family law, a client can't afford to pay us for our time to be an investigator. And it's cheaper to pay a PI or anybody really. It's cheaper to pay anybody to investigate than a lawyer.

Billie Tarascio: But it is absolutely something that we can and do participate in sometimes when people [00:11:00] want us to. 

Lanni Marchant: It's interesting being a member of the group because I do want to respect the integrity of it. So being in the group and it being for personal use versus investigatory. Yeah. It's, it's interesting because it is.

Lanni Marchant: Again, like, as a single woman that is dating in these communities, it's a very interesting landscape out there. And then this now has just become this whole interesting level of it that I just didn't, I just joined the group to make sure that I wasn't accidentally going on dates with someone else's man.

Lanni Marchant: Right, right. Okay, 

Billie Tarascio: so tell me, dating as a divorce attorney, are people constantly asking you for legal advice about their exes? 

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, I'm mostly on, like, child support modifications, and I'm just like, dude, I understand at our age, like, people have a history and you have kids. I've already signed on to agree to go on a date with you when you have children.

Lanni Marchant: I've elected to remain childless. That was my decision. You made yours. I'm [00:12:00] happy to be open minded, but I'm, you know, you can call the law firm and pay for a consult. Like, I, like, there's no amount of dinner you're gonna buy me to give you free advice on how to modify your circumstances. 

Billie Tarascio: Okay, so you're, you're hardcore, like, no, I will not talk to you about your legal issues and your ex.

Lanni Marchant: No, because it's, that's not the introduction I want to, if, if I'm dating for a long term relationship, I don't want my introduction to your family to be the person that was feeding you tips or giving, you know, review on things. Like, if the goal is someday that you're gonna have your new partner assimilate into the family, I don't want to start out as this contentious woman that was, going up against your ex wife, changing things for your children, etc.

Lanni Marchant: So I just think, especially early on into dates, like, just leave that for, like, when we're actually attempting at a relationship. Yeah. Maybe we can broach it then, but those first couple of dates to, like, pull out, I, you know, this is what [00:13:00] I was set at for child support payments. I'm like, okay. And your income is?

Lanni Marchant: Yeah, I feel like I wouldn't come up to the date and be like, What kind of car do you drive? Right! Don't ask me, you know, what my, what, what I can do for you. Like, I'm not a woman out for your assets, but you're going to have to tell me about them if you want me to actually review this. 

Billie Tarascio: Totally. Totally.

Billie Tarascio: It's, we're going to get real 

Lanni Marchant: invasive real quick. Yeah. All right. So we are now eight months into dating. Excellent. Yeah. 

Billie Tarascio: Yeah, definitely. Okay. So tell me, is it hard as a highly educated, successful, professional woman to date? 

Lanni Marchant: I would say, like, I will be 40 in April, and I will say I definitely date different now than I did, because I, I might, I guess my answer to that back in my early 30s would have been like, no, it's fine, and I'm learning as I'm getting closer to 40, it is more difficult, um, with [00:14:00] the Olympian, with attorney, um, I am, you know, I'm a very Google able person, so I find I end up on dates with people where they kind of already know a lot about me or they assume they know a lot about me.

Lanni Marchant: And so I find that aspect really different in this, this phase of my dating life. Um, there are plenty of really intelligent, nice men out there and you just have to dig a little bit more. They're not going to be on the dating apps. They're not going to be out and about in the same way that when you would meet someone in your 20s and 30s.

Lanni Marchant: Like you really do have to put in a little bit more effort to find the quality people, but they are. out there. And if they are intimidated by Olympian Lanny, Lawyer Lanny, or just like plain old knows a lot about Beer Lanny, then like they're not going to be for me anyways. So 

Billie Tarascio: how do you find them if it's not on dating 

Lanni Marchant: apps?

Lanni Marchant: Um, I really believe in like Candid meetings and meeting [00:15:00] people in person, so I really do try, I'm a homebody at heart, but if a friend invites me to go do something, I really do try to go, because then you're going to meet people, especially if you're with a friend and you're doing something of like interest, you're going to meet someone of like interest, like I love live music, I love sporting venues, am I going to like, think I'm going to find Prince Charming, you know, at a grunge bar watching football?

Lanni Marchant: Not necessarily, but if I do, then he's totally going to be like a rad person. So, I really just try to be out in the community and engaged that way. Um, I really try to avoid any kind of social media platform dating, like the apps and stuff, because they're all the same people, and it's, I would rather have a candid conversation than, I'm a terrible texter, so I'm not going to be responsive on those.

Lanni Marchant: on those apps very well. Got it. 

Billie Tarascio: Got it. Love it. Okay. So tell me what type of cases are your favorite to work on? 

Lanni Marchant: Oh, I really, I, [00:16:00] my background from criminal law was appeals. So I really like the, the thinking cases, the appellate work, the like getting in on research, coming up against a wall where it says like, we're, we're done.

Lanni Marchant: The case is done. There's nothing else we can do. And being like, uh, in my gut, I feel like there's something. And I like to kind of put it on the court to tell me now. So, I like that kind of approach to a case where, like, there's the, you know, standard, you go in, you have your hearings, every hearing is different, you have to prepare very differently, but it's when the court says no, and then I'm like, is that a hard no or soft no?

Lanni Marchant: Can I find a way around that no? Um, so I really like those kind of cases. Um, I I do really like the ones, obviously, when the partners just realize their relationship doesn't work and there's no real need to create major strife and complication in each other's lives. Obviously, emotions still run high.

Lanni Marchant: There's still going to be some, some bickering because nobody [00:17:00] enters a relationship with the expectation that it's going to end. Right. Yes. And so I, but I do really, I, it gives me some faith in humanity to see couples that can amicably. separate on most issues and realize there's still love there.

Lanni Marchant: There's just not enough to keep this going the way it's been going. Awesome. Lani, 

Billie Tarascio: thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been a really fun and interesting episode and um, I appreciate it and we'll make sure to have you back 

Lanni Marchant: on. Excellent. Thank you. Bye! 

Billie Tarascio: Thanks so much for listening to the Modern Divorce Podcast.

Billie Tarascio: Remember, anything you've heard today or anything you read online is not the replacement for actual consultation with an attorney and does not create an attorney client relationship, even if you called in and we spoke. Spoke to you. You are anonymous and we don't have your details and you have not become a client of modern law.

Billie Tarascio: However, we would love to speak with you, or you should seek out the advice of [00:18:00] legal counsel or counseling, or any other expert near you. And if you have an idea for a show topic or you need to speak with an attorney in Arizona, you can reach me at info @mymodernlaw.com.