8 Dating Tips that Will Change Your Life

Love Ideas and Tips for DatingBy: Erika Ettin

Every so often, you read something that has a lasting impact. Maybe it’s an advice column, maybe a newspaper article, or maybe a piece right here on our dating advice section. I hope this is one of those times. There are a lot of dating coaches out there giving a lot of advice, some better than others, but I’m here today to share the 8 dating tips that will change your life.

1. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

People have no problem getting together a resume, going to practice interviews, and even hiring a headhunter to help them find a new job. Getting the job you want is hard! You know what else is hard? Finding the partner you want! Yet, for some reason, people think that it will, and should, come so easily. Rather than working for it—through online dating or other means—they just hope and “put things out into the universe.” Remind me of the last time the universe listened to you.

2. Use everything in your toolbox

If you’re single and you don’t want to be, then it’s important to try all of the tools available to you. What are these tools? Online dating sites and apps, speed-dating, clubs, classes, friends and their networks, group activities, and the list goes on. If it’s a way to meet someone, then it’s a tool.

3. If you’re online dating, don’t go halfway

In order for online dating to “work,” whatever that means to you, you have to actually market yourself well—through pictures and profile—and then be proactive in the process. Many people slap up a sub-par profile with even worse photos and are surprised when they’re not getting dates! Or, maybe they do that as a defense mechanism to say that it doesn’t work even if they “tried.” If you’re going to do it, it’s only worth it if you’re proud of what you post.

Market Yourself Well Online Through Great Profile Pictures

4. Be present, even if it’s not a match

Sometimes you walk into the bar and just know it’s not a match, and then you turn off, like a light switch. You might be thinking of your grocery list, your date tomorrow night, or your puppy at home who needs a good tummy rub. As tough as it is, try to remain present for the remainder of the date. You’ll never know what you might get out of it—a friend, a colleague, a new fun fact—if you’re ignoring the other person.

5. Remember that no singular person represents all of online dating

Everyone knows someone who has either a horror story or a love story—or both—with someone from an online dating site. Remember that no singular person could ever represent the entire world of online dating. So don’t quit based on one bad experience. The next one could be the best one.

6. Treat strangers like friends

If you need to be late, tell your date. If you need to cancel at the last minute, call your date. If you don’t want to see someone anymore, tell that person. Just because you met online or you don’t go way back doesn’t mean this person has fewer feelings than someone you know well.

7. Speak up

If you have an issue, speak up. One of my clients keeps going on these dates and then complaining to me that she’s hungry when she gets home. I told her to either eat a snack first or suggest getting a nibble on the date. Say what you need, especially when it’s as simple as ordering an appetizer. As another example, if you prefer that someone calls you to confirm the next date, politely mention that. People are not mind-readers, as much as we might want them to be.

8. You get what you allow

If you allow someone to treat you a certain way, for better or for worse, that’s what you get. If you want to make a change, refer to #7, and speak up. If you’re thinking about saying it, then it’s best to say it. You may not get the answer you like, but at least you’ll know.

If your life’s not changed quite yet, give the best dating sites a try now!


About Erika Ettin

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge and author of Love at First Site: Tips & Tales for Online Dating Success from a Modern-Day Matchmaker. She offers services to guide people through all aspects of online dating, from first click to first date. Erika studied economics at Cornell University and received her MBA from Georgetown University. Her company, founded in early 2011, has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, News Channel 8, and AskMen.com, and Erika currently writes a syndicated column for the Chicago Tribune. Learn more about Erika here.


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