Life Advice



Erika Ettin: You're single because...

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

First, we clean out those matches. We look at the profile and decide whether to send a message or not. For the ones who don’t interest my client, we “unmatch” them (meaning, they are no longer listed as matches in the app), and for the ones who do, we send a short, often humorous message to catch that person’s attention.

Once we go through the matches, we swipe a bit. I like the rule of thumb “50 swipes or five matches — whichever comes first.” (On the larger sites like, try to send at least 10 messages a week.) Once we get any new matches, we write them a message immediately. Usually by the end of the hour, the client will have a date lined up for that week. A little bit of work, either with my hand forcing it or not, to get a date or two lined up seems worth it to me.

I have a friend who is 43, accomplished, and beautiful. She often complains about dating, saying, “It’s so hard” every time I see her. I love my friend, but it gets exhausting to hear, especially when she’s complaining to a dating coach!

On a weekend trip away with her, I saw her swiping through Bumble numerous times. More than numerous, actually. Pretty obsessively. But for all that swiping, I never saw her send a message to anyone. Not one. And she has no upcoming dates on the calendar.

Unfortunately, this is how too many people do online dating... by not doing it. Whether it’s laziness or a just defense mechanism to then say “I tried and it didn’t work,” I don’t know.


I encourage you to do anything you want — dating or otherwise — in a strategic manner. If you need a new job, you take the time to put together your resume, maybe do some practice interviews, buy some new clothes and send your resume out to as many appropriate positions as possible. People don’t browse job postings simply to see what’s out there, never send a resume, and then get upset that they haven’t gotten a job. And then, of course, there’s the interview, or, in this case, the date.

So much comes down to people realizing anything in life that’s worth it takes effort, time and sometimes money. As a coach, I get frustrated when someone has these amazing tools isn’t using them efficiently because “it’s hard” or “it should just happen.”

If I waited for things to “just happen,” I’d be sitting in a cubicle at Fannie Mae right now, watching my life pass me by. If I waited for things to “just happen,” I wouldn’t have had all of the wonderful dates and relationships I’ve had. And if I waited for things to “just happen,” I wouldn’t be writing this article.

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