Payal Patel is the host of The Dating Culture podcast, a show that de-stigmatizes the sometimes taboo realities of the dating world. Along with her guests, Payal discusses the impact of sex, heartbreak, cultural traditions, and so much more on singles looking for love in the modern world.
Payal worked in the pharmaceutical industry for years until she pivoted to follow her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, makeup artist, and reiki healer. After feeling pressure to get married and seeing so many brides go through the same thing, she created The Dating Culture podcast to break down barriers and open up the conversation. She now has over 18,000 followers on Instagram who rely on her for real, raw advice in all walks of life.
Read more from Payal Patel below and listen to The Dating Culture at the streaming links below (leave a review while you’re there)!
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
The Dating Culture Podcast explores the real, raw perspective on dating! We all have unique paths to love that are sometimes held back by baggage, commitment issues, cultural traditions, or simply heart ache. Payal Patel, the host of The Dating Culture dives deeper into taboo subjects of dating.
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Treat your soul like your best friend.
One thing on your bucket list:
Build a healing center.
“To Me” by Alina Baraz
Last text message you sent:
“He saw aliens in Bucks County.”
What was your first job?
Working the concession stand at my community pool.
Any unusual hobbies?
Watching tarot card readings on Youtube, if that’s a hobby?
Biggest Pet Peeve:
Men who dissapoint.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
I was inspired to start my podcast out of frustration from (also) being a Makeup Artist in the wedding industry and seeing a lot brides experience unnecessary stress from cultural traditions being forced onto them, while getting marriage pressure at home at the same time.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I run a business as a Makeup Artist, and also do energy healing via Reiki. I graduated with a degree in Public Health and somehow landed a job in the pharmaceutical industry for ~4 years until I decided to leave for good and fulfill my passion as a Makeup Artist/Entrepreneur. I started the podcast last year as I was “getting older” and dealing with marriage pressure at home. I am not a full-time podcaster…yet.
What is your show’s USP?
I wanted to show my friends, family members, colleagues, and fellow singles the different perspectives of the dating to hopefully teach the world that love can be found with a little introspection and self-work. It is about diving deep into ourselves and learning our individual makeup to make better decisions with love, as it is such a complex emotion.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
I try and push the limits with the topics I discuss. Some episodes have been a bit touchy. I think there are so many ways to approach the dating world, but perspective is so important. I didn’t want to hold back on these subjects, as it really does comes down to storytelling and feeling the emotions behind the discussions.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
My favorite episode: Checklists, Mental Health and Dating, Culture Pressures, Childhood Trauma, Attachment Styles and More w/ Individual and Relationship Therapist, Alanna Gardner. This was my favorite episode because Alanna was also my therapist at one point and she does an incredible job at breaking down attachment styles, all while keeping culture in mind.
We forget that we are humans with emotions and we are born with specific attachment styles which we develop from birth to adulthood. It is an incredibly informative episode.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
I’m proud of starting it off, and being one of not many female South Asian podcast hosts to be unafraid to talk about taboo subjects…like SEX.
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
Pay attention to breaks in the conversation when your interviewee is really taking the time to think about their answer. Usually their answer makes for a good quote that could be useful for an Instagram post.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
Interview people with an Instagram following. So far, I have mainly interviewed friends, and therefore I feel like I’ve had some incredibly authentic conversations. The more authentic, the more emotion.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
Left the pharmaceutical industry to be a Makeup Artist full-time.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
Mental Health and Anti-Racism
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
This podcast is about dating, but what I really try and get listeners to do is think about their thought processes while dating. I want listeners to be okay with prioritizing their mental health while dating, and learn themselves on a deeper level.
Stay connected with Payal Patel and The Dating Culture podcast on Instagram.