"It’s about being bold in who you are and overcoming fear and living your authentic life," Lashawnda Becoats tells PEOPLE
Devoted Bob Marley fan Lashawnda Becoats is looking for her One Love and hoping an Instagram post and an invitation to see the movie about the Jamaican reggae star will help her find her prince charming.
The 52-year-old mother of three grown children says she’s tried dating apps but hasn’t had much success, so she got creative in her search for love this week.
“I turned to my Instagram followers to find someone to date because I was burned out from my Bumble experience and wanted to do something different.," Becoats, of Charlotte, N.C., tells PEOPLE. "Bob Marley's movie drops on Valentine's Day, and of course, I don't want to go see the movie alone.
"I was hoping by creating a contest and sharing it with my followers, I would meet someone and uniquely celebrate Bob Marley and Valentine's Day," she explains.
Becoat’s post shows pictures of her wearing a Bob Marley tank top and sneakers the color of the Jamaican flag, and the caption says, “Looking for Bob Marley’s #2 fan.” She tells potential dates to “impress me with a photo of you in your favorite Bob Marley tee or tell me your favorite song and why.”
The part-time model and talent manager says she got the idea for the Instagram appeal after a friend invited her to a group outing where couples would see the movie and enjoy a Jamaican dinner on Valentine’s Day. Becoats says she wanted to go but didn’t want to go alone.
“I don’t have anyone, so then I thought, let me put it out there. Let me step outside and do something different," she says.
This isn’t the first time she’s shared her journey for love with her more than 21 thousand followers. She often posts about what she calls her “crazy dating life.”
“It’s fun for me to share my experiences with my followers to let people see you can date after 40 and what you should expect when you get back out into the dating scene," Becoat explains.
Do you have a sweet story the world needs to know? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in Real-Life Love, People.com's series dedicated to sharing extraordinary connections and heartfelt gestures.
She says she loves getting messages from people who find her stories inspirational.
“I think everybody wants to love and be loved, and people think at a certain point in life it should be easier because you’re at a certain age, but because of the way things are now with dating apps and people not meeting organically the way they used to, people want alternatives, other ways to connect," the 52-year-old shares.
So far, she says she’s gotten a ton of support for her Bob Marley post, but no dates — yet.
With two weeks until Valentine’s Day and the movie’s release, Becoats is staying optimistic, and she’s willing to travel for the right guy.
“I say all the time that fortune favors the bold and when you try traditional things and they don’t work, what do you have to lose? The name of my Instagram is Run Toward Your Life because I say, ' don’t live your life in fear," she adds. "It’s about being bold in who you are and overcoming fear and living your authentic life.”
Sounds like something Bob Marley himself might have said.
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