Una Nedeljov on Dating Life & The Single Scene as an Instagram Model: The Struggle Is Real
“I can't do surface level conversations, like ‘hey how was your day?’ No, because I can get that from anyone else."
Una Nedeljov’s Instagram bio reads “model, actress, TV personality, host,” which hardly covers all that she does. Being an Instagram model with nearly one million followers (1.2m), the 25-year-old proves she can do it all. While her main thing is modeling where most of her bookings and work reside, her presence online and in real life can hardly be overlooked. With so much going on, it seems the only thing currently missing from Una’s life is a love interest.
Describing herself as “literally one in everything,” Una is an all-around entertainer, which includes hosting events, shooting commercials, and doing comedy skits on the regular. Hailing from Serbia and coming to the United States over a decade ago at age 14, her name rings bells both locally and globally.
But of course, she comes from humble beginnings. “It was definitely very different, she states. “I spoke zero English. I came to the States, went school, went to college. Modeling was always offered just being in LA, but I wasn’t ever going to take it serious because my family’s very traditional. They’re for the corporate jobs, nothing in the industry. But it come to me so often that at one point I was like ‘let me try it, why not?’”
Once she realized she could make a lot of money doing modeling, she quickly ditched her then job working in finance. Landing various press shoots and bookings left and right, one evening at a movie premiere when she met Trina who owns Izma Entertainment, a boutique agency out of LA, who just so happened to sit next to her.
“She’s like ‘Oh my God, can I just book you for a shoot?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even model, it’s not my thing’. I was going to turn it down but she said ‘no please come in, I think you’ll be awesome. I’ll pay you.” So I went in and just fell in love with it. At first I wasn’t as good as I am now obviously. I wasn’t too comfortable in front of the camera, but slowly it just developed.”
Soon, Una committed full-time. So what does it really mean to be a social media influencer? One word: money.
“We’re making real money from it,” she explains. “For me, it gets me bookings. I’m able to make money off of Instagram. The bigger I grow, I can make money off of that. It’s not just about money, it’s collaborating and building a relationship with brands. It’s an amazing platform to have people see your brand, see your resume that are in a completely different country.”
From there, IG opens the doors for endless opportunities to come. Before you judge, just know that this takes a lot of hard work. She states, “People look at it like it’s play fun, but it really is a full-time job. There are certain hours you have to post, certain number of words, certain hashtags. Versus just ‘oh I’ll just post whatever,” which I used to be like starting out. I used to wonder ‘what’s the big deal?’ Now, every caption, every picture has to make sense. Because I’m thinking of someone looking at my page potentially wanting to book me.”
Una’s secret to her rise to fame: consistency. This isn’t about just posting pictures, she spends at a minimum 3 to 4 hours a day on the app. Of course, being an “IG model” comes with its pros and cons. One being the dating scene.
For one, Una’s normal day is pretty sporadic. “It’s different every day,” she states. “One day, I have an event that wraps up at 3am, sleep at 5am, and call time is 7am. There’s 2 hours of sleep. Other days, I’m off for 2 days and I’m preparing for the next thing. It’s always a prep, whether it’s a fitting, hair, nails, makeup.”
It’s never just one thing, which Una’s potential man has to be okay with.
“[Dating is] definitely different because a person has to be comfortable with what I do and okay with that. Some men may act like it at first, but aren’t necessarily always okay with it. To me, it’s about connection. If you genuinely get what I do and are cool with it, then we can take it from there.”
Una is currently single, as of a few months now. Her last relationship dating a man outside of the entertainment industry eventually took a left turn once his insecurities surfaced.
“At first, it was totally fine,” she explains. ”He’s like ‘oh that’s great, keep doing that.’ A little bit into it once we got more serious, he started being like, ‘Oh, could you not post that? You can’t post pictures in bikinis, your whole butt is out.’ I was like, ‘Whoa.’ ‘Cause I’m comfortable doing what I do and can’t even work because you’re insecure.”
Industry or not, dating-wise, Una’s suitors have to be okay with her lifestyle. Una’s goals at this point in her career are to do everything she’s doing, but on a larger scale.
“I’m so focused on my career, my goals, where I want to be, that you have to have the same thing. You’ll never understand me if you’re just home. I’ve never dated anyone with a 9 to 5. I don’t know if I can, they wouldn’t necessarily understand. If they do, I’d totally be open to it but not everyone would understand. They might think, ‘This girl is coming home at 2 in the morning, I have a corporate job in a few hours.’
Obviously, it’s harder for people who aren’t accustomed to the entertainment industry to understand. In fact, Una met her ex at one of her events in Long Beach, claiming “we just organically met.” All bullshit aside, one things remains a necessity: connection.
“They don’t have to be in it, but they have to get the lifestyle. You just have to feel it. I have to be able to be on the phone with you or talk to you and the conversation has to be very organic and genuine, not forced. None of that. Obviously, you have to be attracted to the person, the physical has to be there, but it shouldn’t be everything.”
Sometimes as women, we think “Oh, it’s okay, maybe he didn’t meet all my requirements” — but no. Una has learned that if there are things on the checklist that he doesn’t meet at this point, she doesn’t have time for it.
“You have to meet the basics or I’m not doing it. Since I’ve become single, I want to make sure all those things are checked off for us to move forward. No matter who you are, what you do, it’s not just the physical. I don’t care how much money you have. It’s awesome, but you have to be a gentleman. You have to manners. You have to treat me at a certain level for me to even acknowledge you.”
Call it picky if you want, but Una knows wants she wants. On the flip side, she reveals the biggest misconception that comes with being an Instagram model.
“I hear this so often. People always tell me that I’m not who they expected me to be, meaning I’m so in tune with myself. I’m very spiritual. I meditate everyday, do my affirmations. Energy is huge. It’s everything, whether it’s business, personal, or relationships.”
Don’t worry gentlemen, this doesn’t mean you have to be spiritual to get her. But you do have to upkeep a certain wavelength.
“I can’t do surface level conversations, like ‘hey how was your day?’ No, because I can get that from anyone else. Tell me something crazy. Tell me more about you, before life, after life. I want to hear about all the weird stuff, I’m into that. [laughs]”
At the end of the day, Una doesn’t put pressure on anything. She goes with the flow, firmly believing “whatever aligns will align.” Her ideal date is probably something you’re not used to. Instead of dinners, take her into nature. Even better, the words “let’s meditate” might swoon her.
“If I’m already attracted to you, you’re a gentleman and attentive, I’m all for it. If I like you, I’m so needy. I need all the attention. Call me everyday, tell me everything.”
And don’t worry, we all have horror date nights. Una remembers going to dinner with a man before he last relationship, in which she had to have her best friend bail her out. This was similar to a scene out of a movie.
“We’re driving to dinner, he’s staring at my feet the entire time. I’m like ‘whoa are you okay?” At dinner, I’m thinking maybe there’s something on the floor, but he’s still staring at my feet. I was so weirded out. It got to the point I said, ‘Hey, are you okay? You’re looking at my feet a lot.’ He’s like ‘Oh my God, I love them so much, I want to take you shoe shopping. I want to touch them.” I texted my best friend to call me and say it’s an emergency. It was insane, so creepy.”
For anyone who’s seeking dating advice, the golden rule is to just let it flow organically.
“When we look for a mate at that time, if it does flow, it’s never necessarily a person for you. It’s something forceful because you feel like you’re missing a piece. I’m focused on my career. If you come with me and radiate on the same frequency as me, we’re both happy together, then let’s do it. If you don’t and I have to wonder about you, next.”
When we don’t look for it, that’s when it comes the quickest.