Nothing But Net
Tavis Kelce shot his shot with Taylor Swift.

In 2023, Shooting Your Shot Finally Paid Off

Viral meet-cutes have proven it’s worth it to take a risk.

Halfway through his daily afternoon motorcycle ride on a sunny day in June, Matthew, 21, pulled into a nearby park to catch his breath. There, he locked eyes with a “cute girl” on a walk, and they made flirty eye contact as she climbed into her car and started the engine. “I just said f*ck it and drove up to her,” Matthew, a student in Ohio, tells Elite Daily. He asked for her number, but she had a better idea: “Can I go on the bike?” she added, in a playful conversation caught on Matthew’s dash camera. He darted back to his house, grabbed another helmet, and returned to the park, where they shared their first motorcycle ride. It’s a meet-cute straight out of a #BookTok romance novel.

Mind-blown at his success, Matthew shared the behind-the-scenes video on social media, labeling his efforts as “the worst rizz in human history.” However, the video’s 32 million TikTok viewers passionately disagreed. One commenter said, “You have respectable rizz. Boys, take notes,” while another said, “I would faint if a dude on a motorcycle pulled up and asked for my number.” Five months later, his 2 million followers — whether they’re tuned in for the motorcycle content or because of his “shy guy rizz” — are still asking for a relationship update. Here’s the exclusive: “We started dating as of a month or two ago, and even though it took us some time to get here, she’s been awesome,” Matthew says. “This was one of those extremely rare times when I came out of my shell for a second, and it most definitely paid off.”

Matthew certainly wasn’t the first Gen Zer to shoot his shot this year, and his charming encounter was just one of the many success stories that came out in 2023. This year, shooting your shot took many different forms: liking a crush’s Instagram story, sending a carefully worded DM, or buying someone a drink at a bar. Or, for Travis Kelce, staging a friendship bracelet-themed encounter at the Eras Tour.

It’s Cool To Take A Risk

People have been shooting their shots for years online — whether they’re responding to a Hinge prompt or commenting on their old high school crush’s Facebook post. It’s certainly not a new concept in the dating world. But, in previous years, a random DM might’ve been left on read, or Matthew’s motorcycle rizz might’ve come across as more creepy than endearing. In 2023, mainstream celebrities made shooting your shot cool, no matter how you did it.

Most notably, it was the go-to dating move for Kelce with Taylor Swift. As Swift revealed in her TIME Person of the Year interview, the two started hanging out right after Kelce talked about her on his podcast, confessing that he hoped to give her a friendship bracelet with his number on it at her concert. Four months later, they’re riding off in getaway cars after NFL events, Swift’s wearing his jersey number on her game day ‘fits, and the PDA just keeps on coming.

At this point, Kelce is practically synonymous with shooting your shot — exhibit A: The Travis Kelce Effect, a dating strategy coined by TikTokers to inspire people to implement Kelce’s shameless approach to romantic gestures. However, the movement toward being bolder kickstarted in late 2022, when Kelsea Ballerini first hit up Chase Stokes in early December. In a Feb. 22 Call Her Daddy interview, the “Blindsided” singer admitted that after not wanting to get on dating apps, she just “dove right in” to his IG DMs with a cheeky first message sent at 1 a.m.: “Hiii Chase Stokes.” The Outer Banks actor responded less than two hours later with “Hey there how u doing?” The sparks flew instantly, and they met up in person in January.

Catherine Powell/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

There must be something in the air with the Daddy Gang, because Ballerini isn’t the only CHD guest who shot her shot and had it pay off. In February, while at a Great Gatsby-themed party in Miami, Alix Earle went up to Braxton Berrios (aka NFL Man) and said, “You wanted to meet me?” Another TikTok sensation, Monet McMichael, was on the receiving end when her now-partner Jalen Noble, Love Island USA star, slid into her DMs in November and ended up flying out to see her in New Jersey.

Need more proof that shooting your shot pays off? Look at Gabby Windey, whose girlfriend Robby Hoffman shot her shot via “rapid-fire questions” to the former Bachelorette star when they met outside a bar in LA in the spring. The couple made things official less than two weeks later.

Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

You’ll Never Know Unless You Try

Shooting your shot requires confidence, but that doesn’t mean you have to go way out of your comfort zone — or that you’ll meet the love of your life immediately. Manny, 20, was scrolling on TikTok one day in October 2022 when a Jacob Elordi doppelganger popped up on her FYP. “I thought he was super cute and I got this burning feeling in my stomach, but I didn’t really think much of it and just moved on with my day,” the Bellevue College student tells Elite Daily.

A few days later, she saw another one of his videos, but this time, she took it as a sign to reach out. “I scrolled down to one of his old TikToks and commented ‘hi!’ just to see if he was also interested,” Manny says. He responded, so she brought the conversation to Instagram, but her messages went unanswered.

When, within a week, he appeared on her FYP again, she followed him for the second time. “It took him about another week to reach out to me, but funny enough, we had both just moved to Washington, so the conversation flowed pretty smoothly,” Manny says. Finally, the duo first met up in December 2022 with a meet-cute that Manny describes as one of the best days of her life. “The first meeting was super natural, and it felt like I had known him for a really long time,” Manny says. They upgraded their relationship status to dating in February 2023 (a similar timeline to Stokes and Ballerini) and have been on an upward slope ever since.

Now, almost a year into their relationship, Manny believes one key to her success was having no expectations. “I knew that I found him attractive and wanted to know him, but if nothing came out of it, it wasn’t meant to be,” Manny says. The worst that could happen was that he didn’t respond — and if that happened, so be it. “If he had never messaged me back, I would’ve just forgotten about him and moved on,” she says. “But him messaging me changed everything, and we now can’t imagine what our lives would be like if we didn’t meet.”

You don’t need to be a two-time Super Bowl champion, chart-topping musician, or fearless motorcyclist to channel this energy into 2024. Manny says to be yourself and to go after the people you truly want. “Having a no-regrets approach to dating is the ultimate way to go,” Manny says. “You never know what can come out of simply shooting your shot. It can end up being the person you’re meant to be with.”