Are you ready for a powerful conversation?
We have an exciting interview with a TikTok star who may have predicted her own wedding in a video. The inspirational Alexa Carlin is here today to tell us about how she cheated death at the age of 21 and the lessons from her harrowing experience that prepared her for success in love and life.
DATING DISH (2:15)
(2:15) Crushin’ on your coworker:This Forbes article reported on a new study finding that 50% of US workers have a crush on a co-worker, and 33% are currently involved in a workplace romance. And get this – that 33% is 6% higher than before the pandemic.
Two things are happening here. One, we’ve become used to talking to people digitally, and become more skillful at expressing ourselves over text and video chat. Two, people aren’t under the watchful eye of Big Brother. So, there is more freedom to pursue a playful workplace romance.
But even as work relationships are coming back, is it still worth risking everything you’ve worked for to date that person? D’s take is that even though working from home makes the rules feel more flexible, it’s still important to consider the pros and cons when pursuing any kind of relationship at work.
(7:01) Could TikTok be your new matchmaker?
Turns out online dating doesn’t just have to happen through a dating app or website. The Cut recently published an article redefining online dating as any space online where you can connect with others. Because of Covid lockdowns, social activity (including dating) has increasingly funneled into platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.
On the one hand, dating apps increase your odds of meeting someone because people go on them with the purpose of meeting someone. But when you are using alternative platforms to make a connection, you start building off of a foundation of some sort of commonality (versus on dating apps, where you are self-starting a conversation).
For instance, the article featured a couple that met because this guy is a musician who used to play on TikTok, and the algorithm was like the matchmaker that recommended him to her. What’s also empowering about this approach, is that you get to self-report what you are about and what’s important to you.
If you are eager to start experimenting with online dating, offline of the apps, then Damona has some hot tips for you:
- If you’ve just discovered someone you want to DM, make the connection in the public space before transitioning to DMs. Otherwise, this can come off as creepy. Establishing connection and commonality will also give you something to comment on later in the DM.
- If they have a private account, being active in the public space will make your DM request more likely to be accepted. On a lot of platforms, being openly active in the community will keep the algorithm from seeing your DM as suspicious, and your message won’t be left unread for weeks or months.
ALEXA CARLIN (13:40)
Alexa Carlin is a public speaker and TV personality who has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, FOX, ABC, CBS and TEDx. She is the founder and CEO of Women Empower X (WEX), and the author of “Adaptable: How to Lead with Curiosity, Pivot with Purpose, and Thrive through Change”.
Alexa credits her success and the community she has created to surviving a near death experience. She came out of a medically induced coma after being incredibly ill at 19 years old. She had been given only a 1% chance to live.
Hers is a powerful story, and you can feel Alexa’s power when she speaks.
(15:11) How Alexa met her man:
Here’s how it happened: Alexa was headed to a speaking gig in 2019, when her flight was delayed and she was left sitting in an airport. She had recently deleted all the dating apps on her phone, feeling kind of overwhelmed with the online dating scene.
During her wait, Alexa opened her phone to find that she had forgotten to delete one last dating app. Out of boredom she opened the app, and the first profile looking back at her was her future fiancé, Colby.
Alexa remembers what caught her attention about Colby’s profile, and what led her to swiping right. First, one of Colby’s pics was of him and his mom – Alexa wanted a partner who was super family oriented. And second, she was struck by the answers to the questions on his profile. One said that his goal is to retire by a certain age (which told Alexa that he’s driven), and he was into similar hobbies as hers like tech and finance.
Alexa also mentions how she felt something more intuitive – “His pictures were not trying to look a certain way. I think it was more the energy I felt from him on this app that just spoke to me.”
(18:38) What was the moment?:
Damona asks Alexa that age-old question – what was the moment she knew she wanted to be with him for the rest of her life? Alexa remembers one moment roughly four months into dating her fiancé in 2019.
She was hosting a conference for her business Women Empower X, which helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This was the first time that Colby had come to the event with her, along with the rest of her family.
Alexa remembers watching Colby man the merch table, while chatting with her grandma pretty much the whole day. “And I looked at him and I just felt this overwhelming feeling that I am so in love with him, and he’s the man that I want to marry. Because at this moment, it was the first time in my entire life that someone meant more to me than my business.”
(21:47) Nice-to-haves vs must-haves:
Alexa lists the three things that she believes helped her find her person.
- She let go of the thought that she couldn’t have both a demanding career and a relationship. She thought about all the powerhouse women in the world who have both, and told herself “if Beyoncé can do it, then I can find a way.”
- Alexa opened up about having an autoimmune disease. In college, Alexa had a near death experience that left her in a coma. After being diagnosed with this debilitating autoimmune disease, she remembers thinking “how am I going to find love? Because at any moment, my autoimmune can flare up.” With her fiancé Colby, she made the change of being open about her disease right from the start – and evidently this made the difference. Opening up to Colby in this way taught Alexa that your partner may never understand exactly what you’re going through, but what matters is if they can be empathetic and compassionate, and just be there for you.
- She wrote down her list of relationship non-negotiables. One thing Alexa noticed while writing her list, is that a lot of her supposed must-haves were more like “nice-to-haves.” For example, she first wrote down that she wanted to be with someone that was well-traveled and had all these cool experiences. But what she more realistically wanted was someone that would want to travel with her for work.
(26:00) This may be your last first date:
Damona brings up a TikTok Alexa made in the Summer of 2019, literally RIGHT before her first date with Colby. Alexa’s grandmother would always say “put your lipstick on, maybe today’s the day that you meet that person.” So in the video, Alexa states very optimistically “you never know, this may be my last first date!”
Not only did the date go well, but they ended up closing down the restaurant before even ordering their food. “So right away, I knew I wanted to go on a second date, because we had so much to talk about.”
(29:59) Let’s pivot with purpose:
Things come into your life that you can’t control, so how do you keep on going and not give up? That’s the whole purpose of Alexa’s book, Adaptable. In the same way that we’ve seen ourselves adapt to a new normal amidst Covid, being adaptable is an important quality in your relationships or when you are growing as an individual.
Alexa recounts that when she had her near-death experience, she ended up in a dark place struggling to find the hope to keep her going, now that she had been diagnosed with this lifelong disease. Eventually she came upon a new perspective – if hope isn’t possible, maybe she could exchange hope with curiosity.
Becoming avidly curious about what may happen if you don’t give up, or if you go on one more date, is enough to push you through your most challenging moments. Alexa adds, “I believe our obstacles can do one of two things, they can hold us back or fuel us forward. And the beautiful thing about that is the choice is always up to you.”
Grab a copy of Adaptable: How to Lead with Curiosity, Pivot with Purpose, and Thrive through Change here.
DEAR DAMONA (34:51)
- IG Message from Mo – Hi Damona! I love your podcast and I’ve been binging from as far back as Google podcasts would let me go. I have a question: what’s your take on empty bios on swipe apps? Especially if they have a bunch of pics that fulfill your 3 C’s. I’ve seen a lot of guys will have empty bios, minimal bios or just put their height. What do you think? Should I just swipe left on these guys?
- Email from Sarah – Love the podcast, thanks for all of your thoughts and insights. I have a really hard time with the emailing that happens between the initial phone call and the first date when meeting through an app. “Good morning,” “Happy Tuesday,” “Hope you had a great day,” and the list could go on for miles… To me these little bids are pseudo intimacy and annoyances. I do not work the kind of job where I can be on my personal phone all day. I have had the experience where a connection has gone sour while my phone is not even with me during my workday because of his expectations of texts. Even if I could text all day I do not want to until after I have actually met someone and know if I want to create a closer connection. Is this just a part of app dating that I have to change my mindset around and learn to get into this? Or is there a better way? Would love to hear your thoughts.
- Download the OkCupid Dating App for free today!
- Get 10% off your first month of online therapy with BetterHelp by visiting BetterHelp.com/DatesandMates
- Try Damona’s free First Date Starter Kit at DatesandMates.com