A woman who hadn’t been on a date in 10 years after losing her partner in a car accident has shared how 138 dates in three years led her to her husband — teaching her some valuable lessons in love along the way.
In 2012, at 34, entrepreneur Rebekah Campbell decided to start dating again after realizing she was ready for a relationship and a family.
“On Christmas morning I woke up on a pull-out bed in the garage of some of my parents’ friends and thought ‘I have to change something,'” Rebekah told the Daily Mail Australia.
“I knew if I didn’t do anything, I’d be alone for the rest of my life.”
Rebekah jumped into the dating world and set herself a New Years resolution to go on one date every week for a year to find her perfect match.
After ten years, entrepreneur Rebekah Campbell (pictured) decided to start dating again after realizing that she wanted a relationship and a family one day
Rebekah, now 43, hadn’t dated for ten years after tragically losing her partner in a car accident.
“Dealing with the death and grief of someone I loved at such a young age really upset me and I didn’t go out for a long time because I was grieving,” she said.
During the 10 years, she had built a successful career and was the brain behind huge technology companies, including the popular coffee-ordering app Hey You.
Although it was initially daunting to date again, Rebekah was determined to stick to her mission.
“I’m not the smartest or most strategic person, but I’m good at sticking to and achieving goals,” she said.
“I didn’t know if the strategy would work, but I was willing to give everything I had and one date a week gave me 52 chances.”
Rebekah described her strategy as a “huge learning experience,” as she was “ghosted and friend-zoned” on several occasions.
After remembering the details of her journey, she also released a book called “138 Dates”
To speed up the process and “filter out” possible bad matches, Rebekah used what she described as a “screening process” where an appointment was made for a phone interview prior to a face-to-face meeting.
“I would message people on eharmony during the week and arrange phone calls for Sunday afternoons,” she said.
The process made it easier for Rebekah to determine who was using the platform to find the right partner and who was not.
When meeting someone in person for a date, she always met at one of the two locations in Sydney, and if things went well, they would order dinner at the restaurant.
Rebekah said she had no set “dating rules,” but would always offer to pay her half the bill and only kiss on the first date “when it felt right.”
“During the dating process I really grew into myself – I stopped doubting, started being more open with people and if they didn’t come back I knew they weren’t the right choice for me,” she said.
“I’ve learned so much about dating, like how to be flirty and what to signal body language or physical touch.
“I originally wanted someone who was smart, tall, and fun, but dating made me realize that I wanted a nice guy instead who is empathetic, self-reflective, and committed,” she said.
On reflection, Rebekah said she doesn’t regret anything because her actions and choices were made at the right time and led her to the right person.
On the 139th date, Rebekah went on a date in Sydney with a Sydney university teacher who is her husband today
Rebekah and her husband Rod now live in New Zealand with their two young children (pictured)
On the 139th date, Rebekah went out to dinner with a college teacher from Sydney, who is her husband today.
She knew he was the right person for her because they had a genuine connection, shared personal values, and were an all-round “nice person” that she was looking for.
The couple now have two beautiful young children and are enjoying their lives in New Zealand.
Going on 138 dates also made Rebekah understand the “dating market” and made her realize that the dating pool gets thinner with age as most people tend to be in a relationship in their early thirties.
After remembering the details of her journey, she wrote and released a book called “138 Dates,” which is now available at Big W, Target, and book topia.
Red flags to watch out for when dating:
* If they are not interested in your opinion or what you have to say
* If they are not empathetic
* If they have narcissistic traits
* If you have to change yourself for them
* If they don’t seem ready for a committed relationship
What to watch out for when dating:
* What is this person really like?
* Do their goals and values align with mine?
* Are they kind, empathetic and self-reflective?
* Are they narcissistic?
* Do they want children?
* What is their 5-10 year plan?
With major cities in both Australia and New Zealand currently in lockdown, Rebekah offered her helpful advice to singles.
Her number one recommendation was to use phone calls and FaceTime chats before, or instead of, meeting someone in person through dating apps.
“You can save so much time by simply calling people instead of meeting in person – and it’s perfect for a lockdown,” she said.
When dating, Rebekah said it’s “so important” to find out if your goals and values match the other person — because this will help determine if you’re compatible and if you want the same things in life.