Talk about a cool concept… and a great URL. I have interviewed his band, but during the interview we talked about another project he was working on called To My Future Spouse. It’s a great idea, and one that he has been able to capitalize on. The man behind this blog is Cory Copeland, and he has been able to take this idea and turn it into a blog that is attracting all walks of life. Imagine the ability to write a letter to your future spouse, and have it shared with the world… thus enter tmfs. On the site, you can submit your letters, and they will get posted for everyone to see… future spouse included. I have written a few letters, and have spent many nights reading others. This is a great idea, and I just had to learn more. So I sat down with Cory again, but this time put music aside. I wanted to focus on the website. What would you like to say to your future spouse?
An artist interview wasn’t enough… now I find out you are running this SICK blog concept… rather than me recapping what you are doing, tell us a little bit more about tmfs: to my future spouse.
TMFS is a site that allows individuals to write anonymous love notes to their future spouse, whether they know who that person is or not. I started the site last July and I have to say I’m really proud of all it’s accomplished this past months.
Since you are writing about marriage, are you married?
Not anymore. I got married when I was nineteen but divorced when I was twenty-two. I actually had a book published about the whole ordeal. (laughs)
Do you see more men writing in, or women?
Definitely more women. I think most men are afraid to access the part of themselves that allows them to be “mushy” or romantic on a regular basis. Most women don’t have that problem because it’s what they want from their man, to be treated like the queen they believe themselves to be.
I bet some of these comments can get pretty naughty… do you try to moderate this at all?
I have certainly had a few risqué notes slide into the inbox. As a writer myself, I never like to censor someone, especially when their writing from a vulnerable place but I do try to keep TMFS at a certain level of class which means editing for misspellings or maybe rewording to make the note flow a little better. Nothing wrong with a little sass though. (laughs)
Your use of Tumblr. has simply impressed me. You are on here… the band you are in uses it. tmfs uses it. What’s your obsession with Tumblr? (For the record, that’s not a bad thing.)
You’re absolutely right. TMFS is the first blog I opened on Tumblr but it was so easy to use that I moved my own personal blog over soon after. It’s just one of the better, more simplistic blogging tools that I’ve seen so I’ve stuck with it.
So in all of the notes that you have read, what are some of the most memorable?
Over the past year, TMFS has posted almost 3,000 notes. During that time, the most memorable are the ones that divulge a deep, sometimes traumatic secret about themselves or relay a wish they only want their future spouse to read or see. I count it a great responsibility and honor that people trust me with their notes. I don’t take that lightly by any means. I take the confidentiality of the submitter as serious as possible. I think that’s one reason the site has been as successful as it has been.
Have you ever had someone contact you, getting married, and having been influenced by the site?
The biggest influence I’ve seen is people sending in thank you notes to me personally for giving them a site that shows them that there are good men and women out there who care about marriage and aren’t just all about sleeping with as many people as possible. TMFS is about decency and in today’s age, decency isn’t as rampant as we’d like to think.
How does this project come up in conversation? Do you just tell people, “Hey, write a note to your future spouse… here’s how!”
Well it started out like that! (laughs) I began by posting on my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts multiple times a day that I had a new website I was running. It kind of took off from there. TMFS’ growth has been almost entirely word of mouth which is incredible to think about.
Every now and then I’ll alert my new Twitter followers about the site or post a random status about it on Facebook but that’s about it for “advertising”.
How many of these notes come in on a daily basis?
I’d say an average of ten notes a day come in.
Surely there has to be a way to make money on this… or is that even your goal here?
This question makes me think of the line from The Social Network when Timberlake’s character tells Zuckerburg, “You don’t know what it (Facebook) is yet…” That’s where I’m at now. I figure I’ll just let the site run an organic course and if it turns a buck in the future, then great. But if not, then that’s okay too.
All blogs have haters… have you had anyone try to tear your dreams apart with this project?
Absolutely. People call it “stupid” or “too mushy” because they don’t see the point but to each their own, right?
You know, I bet this is a good way to pick up chicks. “Hey honey, why don’t you write me a note…” You then could explain it… how cute? Anyway, how do you stay motivated with this project?
(laughs) I’ve actually been accused of starting the site solely to meet women but that doesn’t bother me. Yes, I’ve attached my name and face to the site so people will know who they’re trusting with their notes but I just enjoy the romanticism of it all. I’m proud of TMFS and the hope if provides for people who want to find love.
I bet you could work with some dating services, or even have your own events, where singles get together and write their notes while drinking and hanging out… sort of an organized excuse to meet singles. Ever thought of that?
I’ve thought about that but with TMFS being known for its anonymity that may be kind of tricky. That and the readers are spread out all over the United States and the rest of the world for that matter. To get a concentrated group of TMFS readers in one spot this early in the site’s history would be challenge, I’d think.
You are using the blog, Twitter, and Facebook to promote this… which one of those social services has proven to be the most successful for you?
We have more followers on Tumblr but I’d say it has to be Twitter (@tmfspouse). Mostly because individuals will tweet notes with the hashtag #tmfs and TMFS will retweet them. This way TMFS’ followers can put a name and face with a note. I’ve witnessed friendships built through these connections and it’s amazing to see. One day, we may even have a couple get married who met only because of TMFS. That would be awesome.
You have a disclaimer there on your website. What’s the reason for making that known? Have you ever had any issues with people challenging you using his or her comments?
I haven’t had any issues yet. I put the disclaimer up simply for liability purposes. I try to avoid any and all issues that would threaten the site.
Why do you keep it anonymous? What happens if, say, in five years someone wants his or her note back… how would you know?
I keep all the notes that have been posted to the TMFS site in a folder in the inbox. I keep it anonymous because I think most people find it easier to submit their personal thoughts and dreams if no one knows it was them that submitted it. Plus, it gives the site an air of intrigue and that never hurt anyone. (laughs)
Let’s pretend you are not married… not dating. And you stumble across this site. Go ahead; write your note to your future spouse.
Actually, I write and post my own notes from time to time. But if it was on the spot, I’d have to say, “To My Future Wife: I’m not ready for you just yet but when I am, I plan on wowing you every chance I get. Prepare yourself, woman.”
You have some TMFS apparel… what all can I buy associated with the project?
Well, I actually had some t-shirts designed but ran in to some issues with the printer so we had to postpone that for now. I’m hoping to get it off the ground soon.
I keep calling it a project… sorry, that’s what I call it! What’s next for TMFS?
I haven’t decided just yet. But whatever it is, I’ll be sure to get the readers’ input beforehand. TMFS has become its own little community and I love that. I like to think we’re all in this together. Hopefully, the readers feel the same. (laughs)