View from the Trenches: Advice from a Dating Coach

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(c) http://www.PhotographyByAlexander.com

When I heard about dating coach extraordinaire Erika Ettin, founder of A Little Nudge, I thought she would be a great resource for Dating, Sex, and Life in your 60s.

Erika helps her clients with the world of online dating: writing a unique profile, composing emails that get answered, choosing the best photos, and planning dates. She also offers date coaching to clients.

Erika has a background in business and economics. She applied her professional and people skills to achieve great personal success with online dating. Since starting A Little Nudge, she has worked with hundreds of clients who have gone on to date confidently, marry, get engaged, or enter a relationship.

Let’s relax and learn from an expert while enjoying grilled halibut with mango/avocado salsa.

What is the best way for a 60-something woman to meet a man? Is it online?

As I tell all of my clients, there isn’t a best way to meet someone. There are many options—online dating, singles’ events, classes, groups. The important part is to put yourself out there in some capacity, online or otherwise.

Do you have any recommendations for meeting men in the wild?

Be approachable. Oftentimes, a man wants to approach a woman, but her nose is in her phone, or she has a scowl on her face. The best way to attract someone is to smile and show that you’re open to meeting new people. Men get scared, too!

What is the single biggest complaint you have about online dating from women? From men?

Bad pictures!! I recommend 3 to 5 photos—at least a clear headshot, a nice full-body shot, and a photo of you doing something interesting. In addition, make sure you’re alone in your photos because the last thing you want is for someone to compare you to your friend or family in your own profile. And NO MORE SELFIES!

Is there anything you would do differently now if you were dating (based on what you have learned from your business)?

Have a list of about five non-negotiables and beyond that, give people a chance.

Do you ever “match” your clients?

I do! I have what I call “matchmaking mixers” to get my clients together. It’s always a well-attended, fun time! I’ll be holding another one in DC in June!

What do you think about matchmaking services?

Some are great, and some are not so great. Try to get recommendations from others who have used the matchmaker to see if they were satisfied.

Do you have any tips for writing a great profile?

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/02/he-likes-me-for-me/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/03/the-curse-of-the-empty-adjective/

What are your tips for the first date? What if the first date is not spectacular? Should you see him again?

Start with just drinks or coffee (no dinner!) to see where it goes and if you have some rapport. Also, it’s important to go into a first date with no expectations. Simply having a good conversation should be considered a success.

I tell my clients if they’re on the fence about someone to give it one more date. More here:

http://www.gatherthejews.com/2013/11/whats-the-whole-point-of-dating-gtj-dating-series-with-erika-e-no-78/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2011/03/the-rule-of-two/

How should one handle corresponding with 2 or 3 guys at once? How long can a woman date more than one guy?

This is a personal preference and everyone feels differently, but generally, the point of dating more than one person is to find the one who you like best. Once you do that, there’s no need to keep seeing the others. Don’t just see them as a fallback plan, because that means you’re already assuming the outcome of the one you want to pursue… and it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How can one keep from losing hope?

I do recommend taking a break if you’re feeling jaded… just as long as you get back on the horse. And, as hard as it seems sometimes, remember that it only takes one. 

Is a man who has been married 2 or 3 times someone to be wary of? What about a never married man? Should a woman stay away? 

Everyone has a story, and nothing is black and white, so rather than making generalizations about people based on their prior marital status, I would hear the story and then use your judgment. 

Do you have clients in their 50s and 60s? Do you have any particular advice for women in this age group/stage of life?

Sure do!

http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2014/06/the-five-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-dating-over-50/

Can you share any photo advice? Should one invest in a professional photo?

Check out: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2012/03/a-pictures-worth-a-thousand-words/

If you proactively reach out to a guy, is it a good idea to comment on what you have in common or does that look desperate? Should a woman reach out first? Don’t men like to pursue?

See: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/05/online-dating-email-etiquette/

Desperate? Not at all! What man wouldn’t be flattered when a pretty lady reaches out to him? J

What if you find out before you meet that a man lied about his age in his dating profile? Should you address it before you meet or during the first meeting?

I generally do not recommend too much “research” before you meet your date, however, I know as well as the next person that, if given enough information, people are going to do their due diligence.  If you do, in fact, find that your date has lied, first decide if you’d still like to meet this person.  Ask yourself if the lie was too egregious, if you think he’s lying about other things, if he had a good motive, etc.  (For the record, I never recommend lying about one’s age.)

Now, if you do decide to go on the date, it’s up to you whether you want to address it or see if it comes out organically.  If you think it’ll eat at you the entire time, preventing you from enjoying yourself, then bring it up.  He’ll have no more right to be upset with you for bringing it up than you have to be upset with him for doing it in the first place.  But ask with some tact.  Rather than, “Why did you lie about your age?” which will put him on the defensive, instead perhaps say, “Since I had your info, when I looked you up, I noticed that your age differed a bit from what you posted online.  It made me feel a bit uneasy, so I just wanted to address it.”

Are there any games worth playing? Is it important for a woman to play it cool, not be too available?

The long and short of it: No games! We’re all adults, and the mature ones will appreciate that you’re straightforward with your feelings.

Are the “rules” for sex any different for 60 year olds? Do you think baby boomers are having sex any earlier in a relationship?

Just as with a 20-something, 60-somethings all go at their own pace. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, and that will differ for every two people. But, it is extremely important to build a foundation with someone before you go too far in the bedroom because once you start having sex, it’s harder to go back to learn about this person’s ins and outs.

Should women lie about their age to compensate for the age bias that exists?

Nope. A lie about your age (even a small one) starts out a relationship on the wrong foot. And it makes your date think, “What else is she lying about?”

Thanks to Erika for providing this guidance! Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

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