I RESOLVED TO STOP DATING IN 2018 – HERE’S WHAT I REALIZED

Even though I did a really solid clean up and assessment of my life in 2018, there was still something under the porch of my soul, rotting.

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Read my blog post about this resolution here.

I wondered many times what it would feel like to write this, and let me tell you, it’s nothing like I thought it would be.

One of my many resolutions for 2018 was to avoid dating. I envisioned staying single, by choice, for a whole year. I even went on a podcast called Now or Never and talked about it.

For context, I had gone through a breakup in early Oct. 2017 so I was not in a place where I wanted to date.

As much as the resolution was to avoid going on dates, the underlying goals were to check some things off my bucket list, create a life I love, learn to love & accept myself without validation from a partner and do some soul-searching.

I genuinely feel that I had the biggest year of my life so far and achieved these goals on my own terms. I did things I didn’t think I was capable of doing. I made decisions to build a life I love on my own instead of waiting for someone to come along and do it with me.

Here’s the truth: I did end up going on some dates toward the end of 2018. I had some flings. None of them progressed anywhere, and that’s ok. So I guess you could say I “failed” at face value.

I’m still single, but I do not feel like the same person I was when I made this resolution. I learned so much about myself from each of those interactions. As much as I didn’t keep the resolution to not go on dates, I don’t give a shit. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I know I also said I wouldn’t download dating apps, but I ended up using Bumble (which is MUCH MORE than a dating app — it encompasses friend-finding, networking and dating).

I also ended up working for Bumble Canada starting in August 2018 as a community marketing manager in Winnipeg. Getting a job with a company with such strong values that I believe in so much was a total dream come true, so I feel really good about using the app.

Besides, that’s some Big Dick Energy if you ask me.

I also use it from time to time because I’m human, and when you have the perfect combo boredom and loneliness it’s easy to reach for your phone and swipe through the deck while you’re watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Not the worst thing I could be doing on a Friday night.

In the summer someone I knew saw me out with a guy and made a comment to me about breaking my resolution, and the shame kicked in. Hard. I felt called out. I felt like a failure.

The shame hit me hard that I didn’t plan to recap this resolution. I was so afraid of opening myself up and giving people the opportunity to hit me where it hurts. I thought I couldn’t handle it.

Where does it hurt you might ask? I’m getting to that.

The fact that I didn’t perfectly follow through on my resolution bothered me for a while because when I say I’m going to do something, like go sober for 60 days, I usually follow through. But I quickly found out these feelings of failure and fear were rooted in something more significant.

Even though I did a really solid clean up and assessment of my life there was still something under the porch of my soul, rotting. I knew it, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it until Dec. 2018 when I started reading I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown.

It was the main reason I decided to not date in 2018.

I was trying to avoid the shame I had internalized from being labelled a slut and ‘the girl with the f*cked up love life’ my whole life. 

I figured if I could avoid dating for an entire year then I couldn’t be shamed further. I could finally grow apart from these labels in the eyes of others. If I could be perfect and avoid dating altogether, then nobody else could call me out or belittle me for my choices. I was trying to protect myself.

Shame is the fear of being perceived as unworthy of acceptance or belonging. The more we internalize shame, the more we feel we deserve it and believe we are inherently flawed.

The sad part is that the only person who was still making me wear that label, was myself.

Previous to this realization about shame, people who met me were always surprised when I called myself trashy. I joked about it, but it came from a place of pain. I stopped fighting it after a while and continued to wear the labels, stitched inside my blazer, even though they didn’t fit with my outfit anymore.

But that’s what happens when you internalize shame. It becomes a part of you, undetectable.

My shame didn’t come from thin air — I’ve internalized it from a decade of comments, remarks, judgment, societal pressure and events out of my control.

I’ve talked about this before on my blog but it’s been a long process building back up my self-worth from nothing and learning to fight for myself.

I am ready to do the work to stop forcing myself to wear these labels going into 2019. I am ready to let go of the judgment directed at me, intentionally or unintentionally. I will no longer joke that I am trash. The resilience that I have built up from this whole experience has made me so much f*cking stronger.

Building strength to combat against shame is a skill, and I truly believe we can learn to not let the shame others throw our way absorb into our being — like water off a duck’s back. But it’s not easy, and it requires support.

The truth is that you can’t put yourself out in the world and be vulnerable without some level of exposure. But is that going to stop you? Or are you going to have the courage to continue regardless? Do you have the strength to know that what they say about you, isn’t who you are?

Here’s what I want to leave you with: the antidote to the poison of shame is genuine compassion and empathy.

Without that kind of non-judgemental support throughout this journey, I don’t know if I would have been able to come out whole on the other end of this. I feel grateful.

This resolution I created around not dating was a surface solution to a much deeper problem, and I’d encourage you to examine your 2019 resolutions and look for signs of shame. Take a peek under the front porch of your soul and see if anything is rotting down there.

Thank you for following my journey in 2018, and hopefully beyond.

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I GOT A JOB WITH BUMBLE BY MAKING THE FIRST MOVE

How I landed my dream job by believing in myself and sending an email.

I first heard the backstory about Bumble when I listened to an episode of the How I Built This podcast with Whitney Wolfe.

I won’t rehash it for you, but I will say I related deeply to Whitney’s story for a number of reasons. Ultimately, she didn’t get crushed under the weight of an onslaught of online hatred. She took the hit emotionally, but her drive didn’t die.

Most of all, I related to the way she saw the world: it can be a cruel and judgemental place (especially to women and marginalized groups) but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be. Whitney used her experience as fuel to create something that is charting the course to radically change that way people connect.

After I heard her interview on the podcast I thought: yeah, that’s how I feel and what I want to do. I related to her vision and her rejection of the status-quo way people treat each other.

So I started following Bumble on social media, and watched closely what they did on the PR and marketing fronts. My background is in PR and marketing, and I was immediately impressed and quickly realized that they walked the talk and did things differently. Few examples: they banned guns in users profile pics after the Parkland shooting and partnered with the L.A. Clippers on a campaign promoting gender equality. 

They take risks, maintain their belief in making IRL connections despite scaling massively (they place a lot of importance on activating at a grassroots level) and speak to their audience in a way that empowers them.

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If you know nothing about the brand, read this letter from Whitney Wolfe about the Bumble philosophy and you might start to understand why I feel so strongly about Bumble.

I remember I had a sticky note on my cork board in my first apartment that said “email Bumble about being an ambassador.” I eventually took the note down when I moved. From my research, I knew they had something called the “Queen Bee” program in the US, but I figured it was a long shot.

With all of that being said, in April 2018 I found out that Bumble had created a Canadian Instagram page. I was excited, to say the least.

I found an email address for the Canadian market lead. There were no job postings or calls for resumes. I just figured “you don’t ask, you don’t get,” so I may as well just sincerely show my cards. I sent her the email below.

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I got an email back from someone at Bumble HQ later that day, and had a conference call later that week. I explained where I was from and why Winnipeg as a market was awesome and unique. I talked about the potential to promote the Bizz and BFF verticals in Winnipeg because most people in the city still think of Bumble as just a dating app, but I knew from experience it represents much more than that.

I remember I took a call with the head of field marketing (for Bumble as a whole) while I was at the library downtown and as soon as it ended I started crying because I couldn’t believe any of this was happening.

After some back and forth with Bumble, I plucked up the courage to talk to my boss to see if there was a way I could keep working in my position and also work for Bumble. It was funny actually because my boss and I both listen to The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, and a few weeks prior Whitney Wolfe had been his guest. He understood it was important to me, and we worked something out.

So now I’m the Community Marketing Manager for Bumble in Winnipeg.

BEING ABLE TO TYPE THAT IS SO SURREAL AND I STILL HAVE ZERO CHILL ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

I am so proud to represent a company that stands for equality, kindness, safety, respect and inclusivity. It’s more than an app – it’s a movement. And I feel so fortunate to be able to bring this brand to Winnipeg.

I could write some whole big thing about how dreams come true to those who work blah blah blah but believing in yourself is the key to manifesting some next level stuff in my opinion. Before, I would have never sent that email because I didn’t think I deserved to work for a company I admired like Bumble. It’s cheesy, but self-love and acceptance can move mountains within you — I can truly say that from personal experience.

Also, don’t be afraid to make the first move.

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‘ello London. 👋🇬🇧 @thetimes

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If you wanna stay updated on Bumble events in Winnipeg you can follow my personal Insta or Twitter, and/or follow Bumble’s Canadian Instagram account.

Oh, and download the app, of course.

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