They said it couldn’t be done, but I met my fiancé on Tinder.
“You’re too old for Tinder.”
“People your age aren’t using apps.”
“Dating apps are just for hookups.”
Guess what? In real life, there are also people who are looking to just hook up. Apps are vehicle that delivers single people into the palm of your hand. Who would turn down something that makes dating so much easier? Not me! So on my 40th birthday, I joined Tinder as another avenue to meet single guys. I was finally getting serious about finding someone, but I was running out of places to look.
Once I downloaded the app, my marketing mind went into full sales mode where I started by setting a goal to meet someone before my next birthday. 365 days. I broke that down into smaller goals to keep myself motivated so I aimed for at least one date per month. In order to make that happen, I had to be pretty active on the site. I got into a routine of swiping over breakfast and messaging guys over dinner. I started out being pretty picky, but needed to be a little more open minded as the months went by in order to get a date each month.
I picked photos for my profile where I was doing some of my favorite things and I wrote a catchy “slogan” to show a little more of my personality. I let them know that while my photos show my obsession with sports, “I always get a pedicure on the way to the fantasy football draft”.
With most people swiping based on that first photo, the slogan under that photo definitely helped. I also found that the photos and slogan gave guys something to talk about when they messaged me, instead of just writing, “hey”, “sup” and “hi”. The time I put into setting up my profile is what contributed to me getting those first dates.
Oh, those first dates. With that guy who agreed to meet me out to watch the Cubs playoff game and then asked what sport that was. The one who asked our waitress if she had any weed as we were getting our check. A widower who moved at warp speed because “life isn’t guaranteed”. The one who was late because he was looking over his (insert any curse word here) divorce papers.
None of the dates were a match, but because I was able to effectively tell my story through my profile, those first date conversations flowed. How else would I have found out that he wanted our first date to be at his son’s high school football game even though both his ex-wife and son asked him not to attend?
It was about being memorable among the dozens of girls they were messaging. I know this because I was trying to keep all of the guys straight too, like that guy who asked if any of my “hot” friends were single.
Through the process, I realized that I stood out just by being me. When I went on a first date, they almost always started by saying, “you actually look like your pictures,” and ended with “you made this date fun”. Basically, they knew what they were getting because my profile told my story. It wasn’t a crazy-exciting story, but I was true to myself and that made me unique.
Eleven dates and 362 days later, I was exhausted. I worked hard to hit that goal of one date a month, and worked even harder to stay motivated as none of those dates turned into anything more. This is why dating can be frustrating, but by setting a goal and sticking to a plan, I swiped right on one final generic profile. I wasn’t even sure which person he was in all of the group photos he posted. The one photo that wasn’t of a group was one of just his dog. And I don’t really like dogs. But I had to take a chance if I wanted to have that twelfth date.
The messaging that followed was pretty fun, but after a jam-packed weekend visiting Nashville, I didn’t feel like meeting him for our date when I got back. But that deadline was approaching in just three days, so I forced myself to go even though I didn’t think we would connect.
I was wrong. From the moment I walked into the bar, I was hooked. We laughed until our faces hurt. We didn’t leave until they kicked us out. On a Tuesday. It was the start of dozens of dates on random Tuesdays.
Two years later, he got a job in Nashville. Excited to move to Music City, I downloaded a bunch job search apps. I had never used these apps before, but there was something very familiar about them. I built my resume with the most interesting and proud moments of my career in hopes that someone would want to hear more. I also scrolled through open positions, stopping on a limited few that seemed to fit my experience and vision for the future. I was looking for something I could commit to for years to come.
Because of that, I found myself being so focused, picky even, that I only applied for jobs that checked off all of the boxes for me, but also those where I had everything that they were looking for too. I didn’t want to waste time meeting with people if it wasn’t going to go anywhere.
That’s why it all felt so familiar … getting a job is like getting a date. The standards women set for what we think we deserve means we could miss out on something/someone else that could actually be amazing. We pass on something/someone because we don’t think we have everything they are asking for on paper. We put too much emphasis on checking every single box.
On the flipside, my guy friends are swiping right on every girl and then weeding them out after chatting with them. They are applying for jobs that they aren’t even halfway qualified for, but they have no doubt they could get them. They aren’t letting the checklist hold them back. They aren’t phased by potential rejection. They aren’t expecting everything to be perfect. They are sharing their story with whoever will listen in hopes that it will resonate with the right people whether that’s personally or professionally.
So that’s what I did. I began sending out resumes and cover letters to dozens of companies that on the surface I had no business even applying. I didn’t have all of the specific qualifications, but for those who took a chance on the interviews, they started with, “I’m glad you applied for this position,” and ended with “this interview was more than what we expected”.
Once I ditched the checklist and stopped listening to other people, that’s when I landed my best first date and my first job in the music industry. It’s okay to ask for help to get a date. It’s okay to use technology to to fall in love. It’s okay to do whatever you want in life.
If you need help throughout your dating journey, drop me an email at Tracie@HitzAndBranding.com or share your question via social media: Hitz & Mrs on Instagram(@HitzAndMrsBlog), Hitz & Mrs on Twitter (@HitzAndMrs) or Facebook. You can also sign up to get my weekly emails or purchase my new dating book to keep you inspired and focused on your goal!