Julie Janus is 27 and single.
She wants everyone to know it—and get her some dates.
Janus’ mission this year is to go on 52 blind dates—one each week.
“I'm sick of being single! I don't really think this is going to lead me anywhere, but it's a good start,” she wrote on her blog chronicling the project. “My counselor (back when I thought I could afford to have a counselor) once said to me, ‘If you wanted a new job, you would probably spend at least an hour a day looking at ads, filling out applications, and interviewing. If you are serious about wanting a relationship, you need to put in the same amount of effort.’”
So effort it is, the Richfield resident said with a deadpan tone. Janus spoke about the project openly and matter-of-factly. She constantly joked and laughed about it while still taking it seriously. The gimmicky project is a reflection of her eclectic personality. Outgoing and sure of herself comes from her work in Inver Grove Heights with a theater company.
“It started as a joke,” Janus said recalling a day last November when she and her girlfriends were talking about a dude she was seeing who wasn’t working out. “I just said ‘Next year, I’m going on 52 dates.’ At some point it stopped being a joke.”
The ultimate goal, she said would be to meet someone who she is compatible with and develop a relationship.
“That very well might not happen, though, so I have some secondary goals. I am hoping to expand my understanding of what I'm looking for in a relationship by meeting people that I wouldn't normally consider as romantic possibilities,” she wrote in her blog. “I'm also looking forward to going to new coffee shops/restaurants/places in the cities that I wouldn't usually frequent.”
Her blog talks about each date, using aliases for the men she’s seeing as well as detailing some of her frustrations about the project.
One of the biggest frustrations, Janus admits, is finding men to go date.
“I’ve lived here for 4 1/2 years and all my friends have told me they have no single male friends to set me up with the entire time,” she admitted. “But I guess I didn’t really listen and thought when I started this project they’d come up with single male friends. It’s been a lot harder than I thought.”
The difficulty isn’t coming from a lack of effort, though, Julie said. She’s a member of a few dating websites and does her own amount of man searching.
“I’m not a passive person, it’s hard for me to sit back and be demure,” she said. “I’m not waiting for things to happen. People say when you stop looking for love you’ll find it but that’s hard to hear. I’m not a terribly social person and this is my way of looking for what I want.”
She said she continually hounds her friends to develop some single male friends, searches online each night and tries to keep bugging people.
Her project, though, isn’t an act of desperation. She openly talks about the project to anyone who asks—and discloses her plan to the men—who were just numbers or ideas until she actually started meeting them.
“It’s hard trying to not get emotionally attached to the men after the first date knowing there are many more blind dates to follow,” she said. “It’s weird to sit across from someone and think about how they’re not just a number in the project—they’re a real person.”
Her dating history has been relationships. As nontraditional as she may seem about this project she wants what most people want.
“I like relationships a lot,” she said. “I take relationships fairly seriously. I’m not the kind of person who just dates. I was hoping I’d meet someone and call this project off before it finishes.”
Without discrimination, Janus is accepting suitors and looking for dates. She can be reached through her blog.