Over the last four and a half years of writing for Gather the Jews, a job which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I’ve addressed a lot of topics—some serious, some silly, and some in between. In the 100+ articles from “Erika E.” we’ve talked about when it’s time to take your profile down, what to wear on a first date, who should pay on a first date (a lively discussion ensued!), and how soon to reach out to someone after a date. We’ve also talked about dating during the high holidays, online dating fatigue, and which profile pictures to use… and which not to use. (For a list of all of the articles, have at it!)
Throughout the course of my time writing for GTJ, I’ve also gone through a number of milestones in both my professional and personal life. Professionally, I am proud to say that my business, A Little Nudge, has taken off since Day 1. I have gone from working from a fold-up table in my apartment to renting office space in Chinatown and from a payroll of one (me!) to having two employees who help behind the scenes, one in DC and one in NYC. I have now written almost 600 profiles for clients—amazingly, no two of which are the same—and can feel proud about numerous client weddings, engagements, and the pure confidence some people needed to know that online dating can work for them. I feel very lucky to do something that I love.
In my personal life, since I’ve started the business, a lot has changed. While I’ve never addressed it head-on in my articles, when I started my business, I was in a serious, long-term relationship. When it ended, it was very jarring. The thought of both running a dating business and going on dates myself had never crossed my mind. (You can only imagine what kind of a conversation starter that is on dates!) But, having had the experience of heartbreak, a sudden change in the direction of my life, and the need to pick up the pieces not only made me a better person but also made me so much better at my job. I have an empathy for my clients that I never could have had before. I also have my finger on the pulse of the dating scene first-hand since I’m in it (it’s always funny when I tell people I have to download all the dating apps and DVR Millionaire Matchmaker for “work purposes”). While I never wish a difficult breakup on anyone, I can only hope that everyone comes out better on the other side. Oh yeah, and I got the cutest dog in the whole world, Scruffy.
If I were to sum up all of the dating advice I could ever give, then here’s what I would say, in no particular order:
- Be yourself. Don’t let anyone compromise the essence of who you are.
- Along those lines, let your quirks shine.
- Ask questions. No one likes someone who talks too much, especially on a first date.
- Be gracious. Even if you don’t like someone, what goes around comes around.
- No “ghosting.” Honesty (within reason) is the best policy. Better to be tactful and honest than cowardly.
- Stop asking people, “Why are you single?” It implies something is wrong with them. Single by choice is a valid choice.
- Don’t be generic in your profile. People would rather read that you like to eat chicken pad Thai and drink single-malt Scotch than you like to “stay in with dinner and a movie.”
- All dating sites are as effective as you make them. Put in the work, and you’ll be more successful.
- Limit your dating deal-breakers. Try to decide if it’s really that important.
- Confidence is sexy.
- Every bad date is a good story.
- Don’t talk about sex or your ex in your dating profile.
- Keep a positive outlook and attitude. People can smell negativity… and it stinks.
- Send unique messages to people, not a copy/paste job of “I liked your profile.”
- Everyone loves to blame their own city for lack of dating success. It’s time to look inward… or move.
As sad as this is to say, my time writing for GTJ is coming to a close with this article. I have LOVED writing over the years (especially when people comment on my articles at the happy hours!), but now that the business has grown quite a bit, I need to move in other directions. To continue to follow the business, please feel free to join my mailing list. And please share in the comments section which articles you particularly enjoyed over the years.
I’m sure I’ll see you around town, but for now, happy holidays, and best of luck!