In 2016, we chatted with Director of Operations, Julia Armet, about her role at Tawkify. She gave us the inside scoop on her background, her day-to-day at Tawkify and on the characteristics she looks for when hiring new matchmakers.
It’s been two years since we spoke directly with Julia on Heartalytics, and it’s time to pick our main matchmaking Queen B’s brain again!
V: Julia, has your role changed since we last talked?
J: We’ve expanded a lot since our last conversation. With our frontline team of matchmakers having tripled in size, I have adjusted my leadership style to impact at scale. My focus is on empowering our matchmakers as entrepreneurs who can have great purpose in their contribution. I spend my energies educating on personal and professional development — while also shaping the frontline culture. I am committed to the community, the cause, and the expansion. I see my role as an opportunity to impact exponentially on a national level as we diversify our service providers and dating pool.
V: Have you learned anything new that surprised you since we last talked?
J: Wow! I learn something new everyday that surprises me. Growth happens to be one of my strongest needs. I’ve always had deep curiosity about the human condition, so I study a lot of psychology, sociology, social politics, energy leadership, to name a few disciplines.
"Even 5 years in, I am still just as challenged by human behavior on both sides of the marketplace: the matchmakers and the participants."
There’s a lot of problem-solving from my vantage point.
V: It’s no mystery that dating today is tough. We enjoyed your comments in the recent Bustle article about how to stay positive when dating has you down. Specifically you said, “The pressures of dating stem from the need to uphold a dating mask. We all fall into the game of dress-up, with social masks being one of the greatest blocks to establishing true intimacy.” Do you have any specific suggestions to help daters who struggle with this?
J: This is such an existential question, so you know I’m going to get real in my answer. I think the challenge is showing up authentically. Whether in dating or even in long-term relationships, authenticity can be a gateway to building intimacy. For me, I focus on transforming self-consciousness to self-awareness: What am I feeling right now? Am I honoring my truth right now? Am I being myself? When I’m not entirely, I notice without judgment and try to be a little more authentic in that moment. Authenticity is unique to each person, so start with exploring when, where, and how you are most YOU. We are works in progress. I definitely can relate!
V: I can as well! Since we last connected, you were also featured in an article about pick-up lines. We’re wondering, do you have any other juicy pick-up lines for us to try on handsome strangers?
J: Handsome strangers! You are funny, Valerie. Can we reframe this question? In the spirit of showing up authentically, let’s call them “show-up” lines. What do you want to lead with that feels true to you?
"I say 'Hi' or 'Nice to see you!' realizing that it can go a long way. It’s refreshing when you lead from a natural place versus relying on scripted lines."
V: Good point! We’ve been talking to a lot to single men on the Male Mind column about how they approach women. We’d like to hear from you on that. What types of ‘pick-ups’ (male to female) do you appreciate most?
J: You know... my sentiments hold true for any gender or sexual identity. I’m all about showing up authentically. What I’m going to say is general advice. I want all audiences particularly those who don’t conform to hegemonic norms to receive it too. The best “show-up” line is one that you’d say to your best friend when you see them after a long absence. After all, we are potentially walking up to a significant other.
V: You know a lot about the dating industry. What separates Tawkify from 'the pack' most in your opinion?
J: Tawkify differentiates itself with our modernity, our diversity, our scope, and our collaborative aptitude. Given we are have over 150 matchmakers active on our team — and over 300 people who can say at one point in time they contributed to the growth of the Tawkify community, we’ve created an encompassing marketplace of service providers and daters. I’ve heard it’s the largest in the country, but you’ll have to fact check that.
Editor's note: She's right!
One of my more abstract goals for being at Tawkify, and being a thought leader in general, is transcendence.
"I hope other matchmaking service providers are thinking outside-the-box in the same way, as ultimately we’re all in this together to break dating barriers and spread love."
V: That's a nice way to look at it, Jules! If you could remind the matchmaking team all at once, of one thing, what would it be?
Since our matchmakers are virtual contractors, the greatest accomplishment and perhaps largest source of motivation is Tawkify’s strong sense of matchmaker community. I would remind the matchmaker team that we’re all in this together. I host one-on-one individual strategy sessions called “Collective Wisdom” that I then share with the entire team recognizing that one person’s work can inspire many more.
V: In that same vein, if you could remind our clients of one thing, all at once, what would it be?
J: Hi daters! Despite every city having nuances to dating culture, our process remains true.
"I’d remind them that this is more of a rollercoaster than a merry-go-round. Embrace the highs and lows; the greater the risk, the greater the reward."
V: You’ve said before that matchmaking is different from online dating because “it’s exciting, but also serious.” I was hoping you would elaborate, maybe tell us why you think that…
J: Happy to elaborate. I’d say there is uncertainty in dating on all platforms.
"But around every corner there are opportunities as well."
In having matchmakers as the gatekeepers — doing the screenings and assessments — we strive to identify more commitment than you may be able to suss our on your own. Does that capture it?
V: Yes, thank you. One of the most common questions we receive via the ask page is how and where to meet people in-real-life. Do you have any IRL dating tips for our readers?
J: Meeting, better yet, connecting with people IRL can happen if you are consciously being present. When you are at work, on the town, at the airport, the possibilities to connect are endless when you are showing up authentically (and paying attention!).
Editor's note: This reminds me of the first Meet Cute article, where we were reminded to be more present and aware of our surroundings when hoping to meet IRL, i.e. take your headphones out!
Know what you want, what energy you are presenting, and what you are giving to the world. From there, people will automatically be receiving you... so that’s already winning! Then when you allow for energy exchanges grounded in your values — kindness, intellect, integrity, whatever they may be — you’ll find positive reception. Hopefully that leads to reciprocation, but you never know. All you can do is show up!
V: I’d like to ask something personal to close, if that’s OK… Has working for a dating service affected your personal life? If so, how?
J: Thank you for asking, Valerie. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Putting dating aside, I came to this arena because personal development, growth, connection, and contribution have always been priorities. People who meet me, who really see me, validate that passion and value far outside this industry.
Regarding my own love life, I’m like anyone else looking for more love. Finance people are in finance because they are looking for more wealth. Fashion professionals are in fashion because they are looking for more style.