By Erika Ettin Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) So what exactly is keeping you from finding a great person to share your life with? Erika Ettin, founder of the online dating consulting agency "A Little Nudge", shares some tips on why you might be single and how you can change that.
Tribune News Service
As we approach Valentine's Day, many people reflect on the fact that that they are single and don't necessarily want to be.
While we obviously can't control chemistry or the longevity of relationships, we can certainly control our approach to finding someone.
1. You're not using online dating sites effectively. Almost daily, clients and friends alike complain about being single, yet when I ask what they're doing to change that, I'm often met with a shrug, a blush, or a response of "not much, I guess." Dating takes work! We can't rely on serendipity. We can count on hard work... and even then, there's no guarantee. What does "work" mean as it relates to dating? Once you have a profile up, you have to reach out to people ... and then actually set up the dates. Swiping endlessly with no conversation will get you nowhere.
2. You have unrealistic expectations of how you should feel on/after a first date (and too strict criteria for going on a second). I know everyone wants the fireworks or the elusive "spark," but when nerves come into play, it's often difficult to gauge how well you might get along with someone. The first date should not determine whether you can spend your future with someone. Rather, it should simply be a chance to see if you have some rapport. And the criteria I advise for a second date is, "Do I want to have one more conversation with this person?" If the answer is yes, or even maybe, then I encourage a second date. Take some pressure off of yourself to "feel it" immediately.
3. You're not holding yourself to the standard of the person you're looking for. Are you looking for someone fit and active? Then it will help to be fit and active yourself. Someone who reads 15 books a year? Then you better get cracking on that reading list! I see clients all the time who have a wish-list, but they don't look inward to see what they have to offer to a partner. Ask yourself, "Would I want to date me?" If the answer is no, then it's time for some self-improvement.
4. You complain about dating a lot. Yes, dating can be frustrating. But talking about how frustrating it is all the time is not a turn-on, especially on a date itself. Try to stay positive, and if you can't, take a hiatus from dating until you can.
5. You're not putting your best foot forward. I meet with many clients in person. When I see how they present themselves, I sometimes ask, "Is that what you'd wear on a date?" or "Would you be chewing gum like that on a date?" (I definitely practice tough love.) I'm often met with, "No, I knew I wasn't planning on seeing anyone today I'm trying to impress." While perhaps true, we are always presenting ourselves. Whether at a coffee shop, at the gym, or on a date. Remember this: first impressions can't be redone. ___ (Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating)