Life Advice



Barton Goldsmith: Waiting for some good news

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

A writer's life can be a very quiet one -- perhaps that's why some choose it. For me, it can be a little too quiet, which is one reason I continue to practice therapy and consult for the entertainment business. I like to keep busy. I also like to stay energized, and that can be hard to do when it's just you and a laptop at high noon, staring ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Do people even read profiles?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Both questions below deal with people reaching out to my clients online who don't fit into their search criteria. The answers are quite different but both useful.


I am frustrated. It seems like no one is even reading the online dating profile I put out there. Men are sending me messages from all over the country even though I ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Living with depression and anxiety

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

In the April issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers issued a dire warning about the mental health effects of the coronavirus that "immediate efforts focused on prevention and direct intervention are needed to address the impact of the outbreak on individual and population-level mental health."

According to a survey conducted in early ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Blending is for cooking, not dating

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Let's say we're in a room full of 100 people. (Well, OK ... a Zoom call of 100 people these days.) We look around, and everyone seems fairly different, right? But before knowing a thing about anyone else, we are all basically the same... just people in a Zoom room together. Now, what if we try to split the 100 people into categories? For example...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Everything has a life cycle

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Understanding that everything has a life cycle makes it a lot easier to deal with endings that we all have to face, even our own mortality. Do you remember record stores? I used to spend hours in them. What about 8-track tapes? I believe that there is one Blockbuster Video still open somewhere in Alaska, but whatever happened to answering ...Read more

Erika Ettin: 7 quick tips for mastering the dating apps

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Whether you're new to the dating apps (hello, isolation dating) or it's old hat, it never hurts to refresh your knowledge when it comes to the dating apps with these seven quick tips:

1. Pictures, pictures, pictures... numbers matter

Some dating sites and apps allow too many pictures (I'm talking to you, Match), and some are more on the right ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Got the lockdown blues

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

When you wake up crying and feeling hopeless, it does not bode well in terms of "having a good day." When you are really depressed, there are no good days -- only OK, or relatively pain-free, moments. Depression sucks all of the joy out of your life, and there is no room for actually feeling good.

I have had several bouts with depression in my ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Digital date ideas to get you through coronavirus

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Coronavirus has been a double-edged sword when it comes to online dating. Pro: You suddenly have plenty of time to read profiles, swipe and message with potential matches. Con: No one is sure when meeting in person will be possible again -- and even when restaurants and bars reopen, it could be longer until you feel comfortable hugging a ...Read more

14 quarantine date night ideas and tips, no matter what stage your relationship is in

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Being locked in the house together means couples have to find creative, intentional ways to spend quality time with one another. Whether it's a game night, movie night or something more romantic, nurturing your relationship and cultivating meaningful connection, especially in the midst of a world crisis, is critical.

Michelle Herzog, a licensed...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Visualization for success

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

It's been three or four years since a publisher asked me to write a book. I've had plenty of other writing projects to keep me busy, my blog, this column, and research papers for journals, not to mention my practice and taking care of my wife and pets. I'm not looking for more to do, but I like having a book in the pipeline, and the fact that I ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Is dating online actually easier than in person?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

With coronavirus quarantine about to enter its third month for many, in-person dating is beginning to feel like something you read about in history books. Of course, being confined to your house (and the occasional walk outside) means plenty of time for browsing dating profiles on your computer or swiping on your phone, despite being unsure when...Read more

Erika Ettin: A date in the hand …

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Below are three conversations I have had with clients, all with a similar theme:

Client 1 (Judy): "I joined two weeks ago, and only creeps and crazies have written to me!"

Erika: "That's annoying! But you're a great catch, so of course lots of people are interested in you."

Judy: "Yeah, but they're not the RIGHT people."

Erika: "...Read more

Erika Ettin: 5 rules of thumb for your dating profile photos

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Whether you're actively using the online dating sites or not during this time of self-isolation (though video dates are still a valid option), it's at least a good time to review your profile to make sure it's ready to go when the time is right.

For better or for worse, we know that people often judge a book by its cover. But we're not talking ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: The emotional and financial stresses of the 2020 pandemic

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

If you are not financially and emotionally stressed in the current environment, then you are either very blessed or in very deep denial. None of us has seen anything like this. We can look to history, but so much has changed that very little of how they got through the last world pandemic will work for us now.

We got out of the Great Depression...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Neighborly helping hands

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

My neighbor Stu is a car guy. He toys with, details, and drives his new Range Rover with such pride, it's like a member of the family. On most days, rain or shine, you can find him working on his car, making it even nicer. It's his thing, and I appreciate it, but it kind of makes me look bad, because our SUV has seen much better days in its 12 ...Read more

Erika Ettin: A few more coronavirus dating questions

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

People have been asking me about trends I'm seeing in dating while coronavirus is going on, and I thought my readers might be interested in the responses:

Question: Do you see any trends in who's been amenable to switching to FaceTime/video dates versus who's decided to postpone things? Does it seem generational, or gendered?

Answer: It's ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: 10 ways to keep social distance and still have social a life

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

The new social distancing guidelines are helping to keep us safe. The only problem is we need to be social; it's part of our DNA. Here are some ways to maintain physical distancing and still be a little social.

1. Front yard BBQs. Simple idea: everyone brings their grills into their own front yard. Someone is the designated DJ, and you have a ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Coronavirus - The current state of the date

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As I've mentioned in previous articles, COVID-19 isolation, or social distancing, has two conflicting impacts on the dating world: 1) People are using the online dating sites more, and many sites have reported the surge in usage (Bumble reported a 21% increase in sent messages in Seattle, a 23% increase in New York City, and a 26% increase in ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Pros and cons of video dates

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I wrote last week about what dating might look like in this unprecedented time. And last week, I was also on a Zoom call (if anyone's business is thriving, by the way, it's Zoom) with 39 other matchmakers and dating coaches to brainstorm what to suggest to our current clients and how the industry might change going forward.

THE CASE FOR VIDEO (...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: It's normal to be afraid

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

We are facing an unprecedented and life-changing event with the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who choose to listen have heard most all the info that is out there at the moment. Staying in is the order of the season, as is social distancing, but I wanted to offer a few pointers to help if things are emotionally difficult for you.

First, it's ...Read more