Innovative Introductions

A meet-cute way to meet people IRL

Last updated:
February 2, 2024
Contributed by:
Alex Honadel
Hi! My name is Alex Honadel (she/her), and I feel like I am the only person on earth who hates dating apps.

My Dating App Dilemma

With an overwhelming 100+ matches per month, you'd assume my dating life would flourish. But in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

For me the biggest issue is that dating apps only sort by distance, rather than interests or personality. 

As a queer gardener who spends most of her free time urban foraging, going to open mics, and hosting walking groups, I’m an outlier looking for an outlier.

Of the 300+ first dates I’ve been on, over half of them had only one hobby: watching TV 🤦🏻‍♀️. There’s nothing wrong with watching TV, but if that’s your ONLY hobby… we’re not going to get along. 

Dating apps just want your money!

Despite their clever marketing tactics, at the end of the day dating apps are profit-driven companies. Because they cater to a monogamous audience, why would they help you find love when their revenue relies on your continuous engagement?

The dating app industry is set to rake in $3.12 billion in 2024*,

toeing the line between helping you find love and convincing you to keep giving them money. YOU are the product.

Navigating Dating Apps

I’m a unique type of gal, and eventually I realized that the carousel of virtual dates with not-unique people left me feeling unfulfilled, prompting me to explore meeting people in the real world—the old-fashioned way—at events, preferably those related to my existing hobbies. 

The only problem was, between my quirky interests, unabashed confidence, and the fact that I stand extremely tall at 6’1”, I came across as intimidating to my potential partners. This caused seemingly every ‘available’ ;) person to trip over their words in my presence.

18th Century Charm of Calling Cards!

Enter the calling cards—a way to express interest subtly and save folks from the safety hazard of rejecting someone or being rejected on the spot. Calling cards were symbols of status and refinement in the 1800s, but they have evolved! Today, in a world full of dating apps and digital interaction, business cards have a similar purpose but with a professional touch. Either way, you’re still pitching yourself!

My calling card text, on the front:

“Hey! I’m Alex :)” with a little cartoon picture myself. (I've got cool, artsy friends, that helped).

And on the back,

“If I just handed this to you, I find you alluring! If you are available & intrigued by my shenanigans, message me on Instagram, and let’s get a milkshake! My Instagram is public, so you can see who I am :) IG:@AlexHonadel.”

The approach…

Picture this... Someone casually approaches you at a cafe, slides you a card, and says, "Love your vibe!"

When was the last time that happened? I’m going to guess never. Confidence is the key here. But beware, it might make people’s jaws drop!

Dating IRL...

Using calling cards portrayed me as unshakably confident while also putting the ball in their court. The intention is that they would feel disarmed enough to reach out, knowing I will say yes to at least one date, as my card suggests we get milkshakes.

Why milkshakes? Because I’m not like everyone else! Coffee and alcoholic drinks dates are overused. In this small card, I aim to showcase as much of my quirky and creative personality as possible.

Mini Business Cards | MOO 

I used a mini business card from so it didn't look like a business card. As for the reason I included my Instagram?

Since I’ve curated my Instagram to what my friends really want: more pictures of me in my garden with overflowing bowls of cherry tomatoes, my jeans pocket with 8 lemons from a tree on my walking group path, and the 18 foraged peaches on the grill at a bbq party, the people who had my calling card and checked my instagram would be able to see if our vibes matched right away.

How Would You Respond to a Calling Card?

It’s an unconventional move in American society today. It would probably spark your curiosity. Would that be a story you tell at your next dinner party? Possibly.

Would it be the most interesting thing that happened to you this week? Maybe. The impact of this small gesture can be unexpected and curiosity-inducing.

How would you react if someone handed you a calling card at a cafe? In a grocery store? Walking down the street?

Calling Card Mishaps & Triumphs

Not everyone likes my calling cards though. Picture this: One day I was getting milkshakes with a friend when a woman complimented my hair clips from about 2 inches from my face. 

Once I recovered from my personal bubble being invaded, my friend mentioned that she was cute! I hadn't noticed, but I looked over to confirm or deny, and she is indeed cute, but she’s sitting with a man, and I don’t want to interrupt. 

Perfect card moment! Or so I thought.

I walk over, set the card in front of her, and then walk back to my friend. A few minutes later, the man walks up behind me and drops the card back on my table. Except it’s ripped up into a bunch of pieces!

How rude! As he returned to his table, my friend and I looked at each other and laughed. “Girl, run!” we shouted—toxic behavior for sure.

Weird Responses

The only other weird responses were from when I first started handing them out, and I was a little nervous, so what came out of my mouth was, “You dropped this.” They said “No that’s not mine,” and kept walking while I stood there like a robot trying to process what just happened.

Confidence for Calling Card Shenanigans

Friends swore they'd faint at the mere thought of handing out a single card— but my confidence game is strong. Eventually, my confidence paid off, and I met someone just as confident as me who I’m lucky enough to call my partner. We met in person, at a hobby that we both like doing, and I used my card to subtly hit on him. 

Innovative ideas are my specialty, and I have the confidence to implement them. You’ll have to grow the confidence to do it yourself, or hire me! I’m now a recruiter, check out my link! No cost to job seekers ever.

Sure, I still sweat bullets during tough phone calls, but hey, I’m dripping with confidence, even if I’m also dripping with sweat! 

*dating app industry estimation for 2024

Photos from Unsplash: Robot photo by Rock'n Roll Monkey, Phone Photo by Andrej Lišakov

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