Lane Moore — a New York-based comedian, writer, actress, and musician — knows that it can take great courage and patience to be a single person in the world.
It’s one of the themes of her long-running comedy show, “Tinder Live,” which features her swiping and communicating with suitors in front of a live audience.
In her new book, “How To Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t,” Moore — who is also the former sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan — goes deeper into what it means to be alone and looking for company. She shares personal stories about her past and how it influences her place in the world as a single person today.
After celebrating the release of her book this month, Moore talked about the book, the myth of coupledom solving all problems, and what it was like to bring “Tinder Live” to Boston last year.
Q. You are very open with your audiences in “Tinder Live,” but I imagine that releasing a memoir feels very different.
A. There’s so much vulnerability in all the work that I do. But, yeah, man . . . writing a book by itself is very intense. Writing an incredibly painful book where you’re dredging up your most painful wounds, and you’re not sure you can plug that bleeding, gaping hole again once you’ve taken the scab off . . . [it’s a] little bit different, you know? I imagine one day when I write a way lighter book, it’ll be hard — but not like this hard.
Q. When you write about being alone, you bring up questions about how we connect. Humans interact a lot these days — but through social media and messages, and maybe not in person.
A. We talk about loneliness as this very passive thing, where all anybody says is, “It’s so crazy, with the Internet; we’re more connected and more alone than ever.” And then you move on to the next story. It’s just a throwaway thing that people say and nobody looks at why, nobody looks at how, nobody delves any deeper. I was always obsessed with why people do the things that they do, why our brains work this way, why we interact this way, how we connect or don’t connect.
Q. So many of us were taught that success means being coupled, no matter what. Your book does not support that theory.
A. Most books like mine would have ended with “and then I met ‘Greg’ and now I’m totally healed!” And, it’s like, that’s not a thing!
Q. Greg is not a thing.
A. Who keeps reading books like that? Yeah. Greg is [expletive]. Sorry, Greg. The idea of Greg is [expletive].
Q. When I explain “Tinder Live” to people, they look scared — maybe because dating apps require such vulnerability, and the idea that someone like you might have their profile on a big screen in front of an audience is deeply scary. How do you explain it to people so they understand the show’s mission and tone?
A. I had to come at it with this serious, very protective kindness over the people that I’m talking about. The idea is not to troll some beautiful, wonderful man who thinks I’m his soulmate and then it’s like, “Ha ha, I’m not.” That’s not funny, that’s cruel. I would never do that. . . . And, the beautiful thing is, as you’ve seen, I would say 99 percent of the time the guys are laughing along, and that’s what’s so great. The aim is to make light of online dating, which feels so lonely and frustrating and awful for so many of us, myself included. . . . There was a guy’s profile that came up the other night and everybody loved his profile so much, it was just really weird and silly and specific and everyone was really rooting for him. And, I was just like, screw it, I’m gonna tell him. I was like, “You’re on the show.” And he was like, “Oh my God, I heard about it! I almost went tonight, but I had to work.” And I was like “Yes!” And so we sent him a video of everybody cheering him on.
‘I was always obsessed with why people do the things that they do, why our brains work this way, why we interact this way, how we connect or don’t connect.’
Q. I remember that at the Boston show last year, one person you swiped on wound up working inside of the venue. He was right downstairs at the Wilbur.
A. Yes! Dude, that’s right. And I went out on a date with that guy.
Q. You did? Are you madly in love — or was it just a date?
A. No, he lives there, I live here. But, it was really nice and he was really cute, and that’s the thing: I am open in these situations if I find someone who’s great. If I was coming at it from this purely negative place, that wouldn’t be fun or funny. But I really am coming at it from this place where every now and again somebody comes up and I’m like, “Oh my God, I would date this person.” And that’s, I think, really funny and weird.
Q. You’ve spent so much time on Tinder. Any tips for people who aren’t having luck on dating apps?
A. I really would encourage people to keep an actual conversation going. Conversation matters a lot because I love words, and I think that’s so important.Meredith Goldstein can be reached at email@example.com