‘Tik Tok Bachelor’ Matthew Wurnig shuffles into Park City
‘50 Dates 50 States’ is filming its new season
Matthew Wurnig, known on social media as the “Tik Tok Bachelor,” was in Park City last week to enjoy a hike and other recreational activities with a woman named Mallory Seymour.
Videos of the outing will be edited and showcased later this month as part of the second season of the 25-year-old’s social media phenomenon, “50 Dates 50 States,” which chronicles Wurnig’s goal of taking a woman from every state on a date and highlight some of the fun unique to the different areas.
While the Park City segment is scheduled to be released sometime in mid-July, depending on how the editing goes, The Park Record caught up with Wurnig the day before he explored the Wasatch Back.
“I haven’t spent time in Park City or in the Salt Lake City area before,” he said. “So this season, I really looked into things, and I wanted to make sure I ended up in that area.”
Wurnig remembers when his mind sparked the idea for “50 Dates 50 States,” which now boasts
more than 465.5 thousand TikTok followers, 21.6 million likes, and more than 164 million hashtag views.
He was sitting in this little apartment during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in South Dakota and hopped on some dating apps.
“A lightbulb went off in my head to see if I could go on a virtual date in every state,” he said.
The idea resonated with a lot of people, including members of the media.
“I got a news interview the day after I announced I was going to go on a virtual date with a girl in every state and created 50 Dates 50 States,” he said. “My phone was also blowing up with text and comments. So, I knew the idea had a lot of potential.”
After participating on those virtual dates, Wurnig decided to reconnect with the women and meet them in person when the pandemic protocols relaxed.
The idea to start posting his adventures on Tik Tok came from some of the women Wurnig virtually dated.
“I didn’t know what I was doing with the platform at the beginning,” he said. “I was trying to create videos, edit and put out content, but as you throw enough darts at the dartboard you will eventually hit a bullseye.”
Wurnig’s life changed when “50 Dates 50 States” hit Tik Tok.
“It is pretty crazy how fast you can grow an audience and your credibility on Tik Tok, compared to other platforms,” he said. “With that growth, I was able to trickle the credibility into other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to help build a brand and fan base.”
In July 2021, Wurnig started the “50 Dates 50 States” podcast, where he discusses the dates, hotels, food and travel.
He soon began creating and selling merchandise, as well as setting up contests to get more people involved.
“It’s been cool when people who follow us pull up and take pictures and talk with us while I’m traveling throughout the U.S.,” he said. “It’s been a cool part to see this evolve through technology.”
Switching to in-person dating was quite the challenge, Wurnig said.
“A lot of planning comes in to make sure we’re on the same page,” he said. “We have to know when I’m picking her up, how long the date will be, what we’re going to do, if I need to make reservations, if we’re going out to eat, and if I need to buy or book tickets.”
Wurnig also needs to be aware of traffic and how close his hotel or Airbnb is to the point of contact.
“I need to know if I’m going to pick them up or if we’re going to meet somewhere,” he said. “I also need to know if they want me to meet their roommates or families.”
One of the things Wurnig has learned is that he needs to be flexible.
“No matter how much you’ve planned, nothing is ever going to go according to that plan,” he said with a laugh.
While he doesn’t have a single memorial date, Wurnig said he has some memorable moments.
“I’ve been frog hunting, taken a salsa dancing class, visited the white sands of New Mexico, ziplined in New Hampshire and last year, in Utah, I was in Cedar City, and we did some four-wheeling in the mountains,” he said. “I feel blessed and fortunate to be able to travel and share these experiences with new people and the girls I have met.”
This season of “50 Dates 50 States” is a little different from the first season, Wurnig is using a Dodge Challenger rather than the trademark Ford F150 to tour the country.
“I didn’t trade in the truck, because it has too much sentimental value,” he said. “While it’s collecting dust at my parents’ place in Montana, I don’t think I will ever get rid of it.”
Another difference this season is the inclusion of an actual season finale that will take place sometime in August, where he will proclaim a winner, Wurnig said.
“That will spark a little more interest and competition, and we’ll see what the endgame is,” he said.
Wurnig’s biggest takeaway throughout the evolution of “50 Dates 50 States” is believing in himself.
“I was working for a baseball team when I got out of college, and once this gained traction, I wanted to do it,” he said. “It was a huge jump, but I wanted to go out and meet new people. Now, I’m traveling around the country meeting new people and experiencing new things.”
Meeting all sorts of different people has shown Wurnig people’s similarities rather than differences.
“I have found at the end of the day, we all like to sit down, relax and share a meal or a funny joke,” he said.
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