Life Advice



Erika Ettin: It's the little things …

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I went to my high school reunion last year (remember when there were in-person events?). At the reunion, I ran into a friend whom I hadn't seen, well, since high school. Out of the blue, he started telling me about a woman he was seeing -- and whom he had brought as his date. (Because of my job as a dating coach, people tend to open up to me ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Waiting for backup

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We've all seen the cop movies. The situation is tense, the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, and instead of waiting for backup (as called for by the commanding officer), the hero plunges in headfirst to save the day.

In my case, it wasn't so dramatic. I had to carry a 50-pound bag of kitty litter upstairs, and I just wanted to get it...Read more

Erika Ettin: Ghosting is not the answer

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I got this question recently from a client:

"I wanted to share the details about my date on Saturday. It was OK – nothing to write home about – just OK. He's not someone I would like to get to know further, but he sent me a text a couple hours after I got home asking if I'd like to do it again. Do I have to answer it, or can I just let it ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Everything has a life cycle – money, survival and COVID-19

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Nothing lasts forever, a fact that the coronavirus has driven home very hard. But what happens to each of us when something creates global change? The obvious external changes can be easily seen, but what about the internal ones?

You may become depressed, anxious, traumatized, sleepless, or even just stop caring. If you recognize that this is ...Read more

Erika Ettin: A dating app conundrum: Why men don't reply

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You're swiping through Bumble. You see a handsome and well-spoken gentleman. You swipe right. You match!! You message him (on Bumble, the woman has to write first)... only to get no response. The 24-hour period where responses are allowed is up, and -- poof -- your match goes away just as quickly as he got there.

The question is this: If ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: A lesson in friendship

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We all know the possible pitfalls of doing business with friends. Unfortunately, we mostly hear the sad stories of how friendships, some of them lifelong, got lost because a business deal went sour or someone broke up the band. But what if you don't want to do business with anyone who isn't a friend? It's ugly out there, and I won't work with ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Things have changed — and this is just the beginning

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People use the TV-inspired phrase "the new normal" like we will all just naturally adapt to whatever changes are coming, like changing the channel. I don't like being the negative one (ever), but I don't think people shift that easily. Here are some things that could hold some of us back from reengaging in the world. And I'm totally willing to ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Texting makes dating difficult

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I have an app that tells me the keywords people use to get to my website. When I checked the list of keywords recently, the top results (excluding the name of the business and my name) were:

- Text before first date

- Text after date

- How much texting is too much

- Texting before the first date

- Texting before meeting in person

- When to...Read more

Erika Ettin: Women more likely to swipe left on men with cats … fur real

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

It turns out that your beloved kitty does not make the purr-fect dating profile picture.

There have been countless studies on what makes people more attractive in their online dating profiles, but new research from Colorado State University suggests that men should leave their pet cats out of their photos if they want to increase their "date-...Read more

Life skills: How to decide if you should have sex with someone you don't live with during the pandemic

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Q: With stay-at-home orders lifting in some areas, how can you have safe sex with someone outside of your home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: If you are thinking of having sex with someone you know or someone you have been in a relationship with, and you trust that this person has practiced social distancing and hand-washing, then great, go ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: 8 ways to be better in 2020

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If nothing else, 2020 has shown us that we can all do better. We can be better citizens, more understanding of those who seek equality and of those who are feeling the pain of the past and the present. We must learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. Here are some ideas to help make that happen.

1. Be more tolerant. To mask or not to ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Time for tough love

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As a dating coach, I get daily questions from clients surrounding the entire dating process. This week, I have chosen three recent questions, all very different, and my responses, which express honesty and a bit of tough love.

Question: Could we brainstorm some more about what I can do differently to meet Mr. Wonderful? I know we may have ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: Reactive abuse

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I just received an advertisement for a new app that allows you to make anonymous harassment reports in just three minutes over the internet, and that seems like a reactive abuser's dream. Reactive abusers are people who abuse other people by accusing them of abuse, and in our current culture, it has become all too common. It is also a way that ...Read more

Erika Ettin: Your dating cheat sheet: 25 tips you can use TODAY!

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dating can be hard. There's no disputing that. But, it doesn't have to be as hard as you make it. Let's look at these 25 dating tips to make the world a better place. Some are intuitive, and some may make you scratch your head. Regardless, even if you pick up a few new pointers, it'll be worth it:

1. Focus on today, not tomorrow.

So many ...Read more

Dating Advice: Focusing on the big picture

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Having to put your personal dreams on hold is hard, even emotionally painful, but not as difficult or painful as the lack of equality people of color, the elderly, the homeless, and others endure every day. What we are doing by peacefully supporting the cause of equality is creating more opportunity for everyone.

My personal goals are going to ...Read more

Dating Advice: The 'talking phase' turn-offs that may stop a potential match in its tracks

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There's an important period in a relationship that's often overlooked in online dating: the point between finding an interesting profile and actually meeting in person. While there is an art to crafting an interesting opening message -- although anything more exciting than "Hey" or "How's it going?" will often suffice -- keeping the conversation...Read more

Erika Ettin: Do you know your dating lingo?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Anyone in the world of dating today, especially online and in apps, will tell you that there are a few words you may have to add to your vocabulary. By now, everyone knows about catfishing -- A.K.A. pretending you're somebody online who you're not. But did you know there's also practices called benching, breadcrumbing, and even kittenfishing? ...Read more

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