This Everygirl Is Going on 50 First Dates to Find Her Person

written by EMMA GINSBERG
Source: @feyzayildirimphoto | Pexels
Source: @feyzayildirimphoto | Pexels

For most of us, 50 First Dates is the name of a fantastic romantic dramedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore—not a way of life. In fact, the very idea of one first date might be intimidating, much less a full 50. For Liberty Schultz, the 24-year-old who is documenting herself going on 50 first dates with 50 strangers on TikTok, first dates are becoming second nature, restoring her faith in the dating scene and introducing her to some great guys. More than that, the sheer volume of first dates she’s going on is inspiring her followers to get back on the scene and believe in romance again. It’s a beacon of hope in a time when dating apps feel dismal, and the idea of meeting someone in the wild seems, well, wild.

Whether you’re fed up with situationships, are getting back on the dating scene after a long hiatus, or simply need to switch up your approach to romance, Schultz’s TikTok has a message for you: Volume dating might be the answer to your romantic woes. Since last September, Schultz has been using scratch-off date prompts from The Adventure Challenge date book (originally intended for long-established couples) to decide her dates with stranger after stranger and sharing her journey on social media. The result, both for Schultz and her followers, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Though you may not need to go on 50 first dates, Schultz’s challenge provides a new framework for seeing your dating life, especially if you’re stuck in a rut. So, if you’re curious whether you, too, should turn to volume dating, I chatted with Schultz about whether she thinks others should give her challenge a shot. She also shared who might be a candidate for volume dating and her tips for taking this challenge on with confidence. Read on to discover whether or not this dating strategy can save your love life in 2024.

What is volume dating?

In short, volume dating can be defined as going on as many first dates as possible. Technically, most volume daters try to achieve a certain number of dates in a short period. Schultz hasn’t given herself a strict deadline, but her followers are holding her accountable to hitting the big 5-0 number of dates, so she has an incentive to keep up a steady pace of first dates. Volume dating differs from roster dating in that a true roster involves multiple casual romances with people you’ve met more than once. Volume dating simply looks like meeting as many new prospects as possible.

What are some of the benefits of volume dating?

It can reinvigorate the fun of dating

Being fed up with the dating scene is by no means a new feeling, but it feels especially persistent amid the loneliness epidemic. Meeting new people is becoming increasingly important, but when those connections don’t turn out exactly how we’d hoped, the let-down feels bigger. Schultz’s project of getting out there and meeting new people (and adding a creative activity to each first date) has served a purpose beyond regular dating. It’s reinvigorated the fun of the experience of going on a first date. “The fun and exciting part of dating is connecting with someone over common interests. That is the fun of it—it’s not just the activity. Talking to someone and getting to know them is the true root of the fun,” she said.

It can give you a new positive outlook

Anyone who has experienced a prolonged period on the dating scene knows there are moments when the idea of meeting new people feels thrilling and other times when it feels like truly the last thing you want to do with your time. Dating is a journey, and to make that journey enjoyable, we have to switch it up on occasion. This means taking breaks, trying new methods of meeting people, and, as Schultz has done, ramping up the first dates sometimes. “The journey has been a big part of it, and it’s kind of revamped my viewpoint on dating,” she said. “The biggest and best takeaway has been that there are such good guys out there. It’s given me a new positive outlook on dating.” A new positive outlook on dating? In this day and age? Yeah, I’ll have what she’s having.

It can help you find true romantic connections

Aside from using volume dating to encourage yourself to get out there, this strategy also works for creating real connections. One look at Schultz’s TikTok, and you’ll see that there are undeniably some true sparks flying between her and some of her suitors—and she’s not in it just for funsies, either. Most of her friends are engaged, and she’s looking for someone to start a relationship with. “The idea is to meet someone I have a genuine connection with and who I would want to date,” Schultz said. “I think that would be awesome and incredible.” Volume dating can be a strategy for getting yourself back in the game, but it can also be used by those who want to find real romance. Think of it kind of like a DIY Bachelor series, except way less toxic.

Volume dating can be a strategy for getting yourself back in the game, but it can also be used by those who want to find real romance.

Who is volume dating right for?

If you’re wondering whether going on 50 first dates is worth your time, the answer for Schultz has been, undeniably, yes. Her motivation for starting the challenge of meeting 50 strangers in a romantic setting was disappointment with the dating pool. She found that the guys she was meeting were either uninterested in going on real dates or would only ask her to do super boring activities that weren’t going to bring the two of them closer together. “I found myself getting into situationships back-to-back, and it was frustrating,’” Schultz said. “I wanted to get into a relationship, but I was stuck in these situationships with these guys who didn’t want to date.”

Volume dating isn’t going to be right for everyone, but according to Schultz, there are a few telltale signs that you might be a prime candidate. The first is that you’re feeling a lack of confidence in your ability to get out there and take initiative within your own romantic future. Going on a ton of first dates does more than just introduce you to new people—it also bolsters your confidence and shows you how capable you are of bringing cool new connections into your own life. “If you’re like a hermit by yourself, locked in your apartment, you’re never gonna meet anyone,” Schultz said. “You do need a little push. You can’t just sit at home and expect Prince Charming to come to your house.”

Volume dating could also be right for you if you’re feeling like you’re in a dating rut. Whether you’re sick of the scene itself or your confidence is on shaky ground after a hiatus, kicking up the first dates will snap you out of it in one way or another. You might meet your soulmate, realize that you love putting yourself out there, or end up making 50 new friends!

Tips for volume dating

Check in with yourself, and don’t be afraid to slow down

Even Schultz herself has had to take breaks and time off from her 50 first dates challenge. After all, being in touch with yourself and your gut is crucial throughout all kinds of dating. She’s been doing the challenge since September and is only on date 25, and she’s putting no pressure on herself to reach a certain number of dates in a specific amount of time. “There have been times where I’ve been like, ‘Oh my goodness, I really need a break and take a girls’ trip,’ and I’ve really had to listen to that,” she said. “You have to pay attention to how you’re feeling.”

Since the point of volume dating is to restore fun to the practice of going on dates, if you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, honor that feeling and take a break. Especially if you’re going on mostly first and second dates, it’s unlikely that any of your prospects will take it too much to heart if you’ve decided to lay off the texting and meetups for a while. On the flip side, if you end up meeting someone who gives you butterflies and you feel like pursuing that over other prospects, don’t feel bad about slowing down for a while with that person. The point, after all, is to find that connection that stands out among the rest! Just make sure you’re staying aware of how you feel: journal, gab with friends, and stay aware of your own emotions.

Take the pressure off of first impressions

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a seasoned first dater or not, there’s no point in pretending that first dates aren’t a little anxiety-inducing. With that said, volume dating is helpful in that it eliminates much of the pressure surrounding that first impression. When you know you’re probably going to go on a different first date soon, there’s no reason why you should feel like you need to decide whether this person is your soulmate. “People put so much pressure on first dates, but really, it’s so much more chill than that. I feel like further along, with third, fourth, and fifth dates, definitely go into those intentionally. But with a first date, you’re just getting to know someone,” Schultz said.

If you’re feeling nervous as you start to add first dates to your calendar, remember that these aren’t full-on betrothals. You’re likely going to leave the date with a new friend who may or may not develop into a true romantic prospect, and that’s wonderful! Remembering that the point of meeting for the first time is simply to get to know each other better will both boost your confidence in new situations and alleviate some of the stress that inherently comes with dating. Plus, it will allow you to have more fun in the moment instead of spiraling about the potential future.

You might meet your soulmate, realize that you love putting yourself out there, or end up making 50 new friends.

Get creative with how you’re meeting people

One of the biggest questions I had for Schultz when we chatted about her 50 first dates project was: How on earth are you meeting all of these guys?! As it turns out, not just through dating apps, although Schultz did admit that about 25 percent of her first dates thus far have been through Hinge. However, her preferred method for meeting strangers is through a Google form that her friends share with guys they think she should meet. “Most of my friends are engaged or married, and their fiances all have friends, so that’s how I’ve met a lot of the guys. That way, they’re kind of vetted, and I have a character reference,” Schultz said.

If you’re starting your volume dating journey, think outside the box when it comes to getting set up on first dates. Yeah, you can always put your trust in the dating app algorithms, but stay open to meeting people in the real world, too. Have some community-based hobbies, go to group events, or get a Google form started like Schultz has with her friends. Heck, you could even test out the date-me-docs trend and send out a “dating resumé” to your network! You never know when a potential romantic prospect is going to stumble into your life or when a friend-of-a-friend might be waiting in the wings. Once the matches (or the Google form submissions) are flowing in, all you have to do is stay open to let the magic happen with as many first dates as your heart desires.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been on dating TikTok, you know that the extreme highs and lows of shared dating stories can be, frankly, super discouraging. Social media is clogged with tales of bad dates, ghosting, and situationships gone wrong…but by sharing her 50 first dates project on TikTok, Schultz is rewriting the narrative for her followers. No, your venture into the world of volume dating is not going to be beautifully edited and set to a Taylor Swift soundtrack, but Schultz’s message is still empowering: There are great people out there to meet, and you do have control over your own dating life, especially if you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone.

Whether you’re in a dating rut, want to switch up the ways that you’re meeting people, or simply need a vote of confidence in the romance department, volume dating just might be right for you. Find a pace that works with your life and feelings, come up with creative first-date ideas, and get out there! It’s a big world full of so many interesting human beings who would totally fill out your dating Google Form.