Cheap Chat

Rume Ugen, Nush Cope & Carlotta Constant are the trio behind Cheap Chat, the podcast that serves up dating advice straight, no chaser.

What’s the plan now that season 1 is finished?

Rume: We’ve only just wrapped up, so we’re looking forward to having a break and figure out the direction we’re heading in with season two.

What’s the feedback on the first season?

Carlotta: Really positive. We get lots of nice messages from women saying how much they can relate. My friends love it too - and they’re not just listening to support me, they’re listening because they like the podcast. Some people have told us that it’s rare to find podcasts that showcase a mix of opinions from different women, and that means we can reach wider audiences.

Rume: Weirdly, we’ve also had positive feedback from guys. They’ve found it quite insightful. And even if they disagree with what’s said, they find it entertaining.

What’s the story behind the name?

Nush: We were sitting in a pub with one of our friends and she was talking about a guy who was treating her badly, and I said it was ‘cheap chat’.

Rume: People actually use it to call out guys now! My friends have sent me screenshots from dating apps where they’ve received cheesy messages, and told me that they suspect the guy of cheap chat.

How did you all meet each other?

Nush: Carlotta and Rume have been friends for a long time. They know about all of each other’s previous relationships! At the beginning of this year, Rume dropped me a line because I worked on a podcast with her sister last year…

Rume: I knew I wanted a third girl to come on board, so my sister recommended Nush because she’s feisty and bubbly.

Nush: I’ve had a million failed relationships and a sh*t tonne of experience with men in my brief 25 years, so we hit it off straight away.

What was it like recording the first episode?

Rume: The first time we were all in a room together was when we recorded the first episode! That was the first time Carlotta and Nush met. But we had such good chemistry, and we’ve all grown a lot since then.

How did your backgrounds help you get into podcasting?

Rume: I used to work for Global, who own radio stations like Capital and Heart. I came to them with the concept for this podcast, and they loved it!

Nush: I’ve been a TV presenter for nearly five years, mainly in the online world. I work for a channel called the Wall of Comedy. I did a bit of radio and of course a podcast with Rume’s sister, and that lead to this.

Carlotta: I’m probably the one person who you can tell is not from this background! I haven’t done any presenting, but I’m just a real person with honest opinions. It’s nice to have Rume and Nush teaching and guiding me.

What’s your dating experience in a nutshell?

Rume: How long have you got?

Carlotta: I always seem to be in a relationship. I fall into them and I can’t help it! I’m in a relationship now. Rume and Nush call me cute but psycho, which is a nickname that I hope doesn’t stick! It should be ‘cute, but a tiny bit psycho’.

Nush: I’m kind of the same as Carlotta. I’ve had a lot of relationships.

Rume: Nush is the trusting type.

Nush: It bites me in the backside a lot. I’ve gone from an office job to chasing my dreams with presenting, and it has been interesting to see how my relationships have adapted to that change. It’s been hard balancing a career with male egos and their insecurities. But I’ve found someone I’m really into, and we’re having a good time at the moment.

Rume: I’m the token single and I always have been. I haven’t had any long term relationships; I’ve had lots of situationships! There has been a lot of disappointment, but also a lot of situations where I’ve said, ‘this isn’t for me, either’. Some people think I’m a bit weird because I’m ‘too comfortable’ being single, but I think that means I’m a bit more certain about what I want in a relationship.

What do you think of dating shows like Love Island?

Nush: I don’t think those shows are the best for finding long term relationships. It’s unhealthy to whack a bunch of people in a close space for two months and tell them to find love.

Carlotta: Then again, you’ve also got shows like First Dates. So many of my single friends are desperate to go on that show. They do the best research and everyone is so well-suited.

Rume: I think you can find love on a reality show, but it depends on the intent behind that show. Love Island isn’t about finding long term relationships, let’s be honest. It’s about putting beautiful people in a villa and hoping that we see them shag.

Nush: I was asked to be on Love Island, but I said no. None of the men on that show appeal to me. I don’t like flashy men.

What’s your advice when dating starts negatively affecting your mental health?

Carlotta: You’ve got to step back, assess the situation and take a break. Nothing is worth putting your wellbeing at risk, and you’ve got to put yourself first.

Nush: Watch Girls Trip. One of the characters discover that her partner is cheating on her. At first she tries to act like she’s fine with it, but her friends make her realise that she’s worth so much more and that she shouldn’t allow herself to be treated like that. It’s so empowering.

Carlotta: Girls need to realise that they don’t need to stand by labels. You don’t have to be the person that everyone thinks you should be.

Rume: You need to know your self-worth. There’s a perception that love has to be hard, but when you meet the right person it should feel like breathing. Love should feel like an exhale; it’s effortless. You shouldn’t have to fight for it. When you’re young, you should be living your best life, and if your guy isn’t helping you be the best person you can be, then kick him to the curb.

What’s your favourite dating app and why?

Nush: I haven’t had great experiences with dating apps. I’ve had catfishes and weirdos.

Carlotta: I met my first boyfriend of four years on Tinder. But that was a while ago so I feel like it’s very different now.

Nush: I like the idea of Bumble because women have to speak first. It puts the power back in your hands.

Rume: You can tell that a woman came up with Bumble. Speaking first helps you set the tone for the conversation.

What do you do when he doesn’t message back?

Carlotta: You’ve got to see whether he’s worth it, and remember that he doesn’t yet know whether you’re worth it. So you’ve got to make him see that you are.

Nush: I think that if a guy wants to talk to you, then he’ll talk to you.

Rume: I’m quite stubborn with texting, unless I’m drunk and I find something clever to get the conversation going again.

Emoji experiences?

Nush: I met the guy I’m currently seeing at a party and he followed me on Instagram. We were chatting for over a month and he kept asking for my number but I didn’t give it to him. Eventually, he sent me an emoji story. He said, ‘translate this’. There were two lines of emojis, and translating it by text would’ve taken so long, so I asked for his WhatsApp and sent him a voice note. So he got me, there!

Carlotta: Once, I got sent a dog emoji. Then a message saying ‘Max, get back here! Sorry, he just runs into people’s DMs’.

Rume: Me and a friend used to play ‘shoot your shot’. We’d send a hand and basketball emoji to the person we were shooting for.

Nush: I definitely think the aubergine, peach and water squirt should be avoided.

Rume: And the eyes. I hate the eyes!

If you had to chat up a guy using only emojis, what would you use?

Carlotta: 🤤

Rume: 😏

Nush: 🙈

Listen to Cheap Chat on Spotify here.

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