Ah, online dating.  Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  I’m in the former category.  (Or else I wouldn’t be writing this article I guess!)  I always tell skeptics: If you meet the love of your life online, you won’t care how the heck you met – you’ll just be thrilled that you did!

My name is Erika, I have been in the Washington, D.C. area for almost eight years and I always knew that the man of my dreams was out there.  But sometimes you just need a little nudge to find him.  So, I decided to join JDate, and I wasn’t going to quit until I had found what I was looking for.  I had dabbled in the past, but this time I was putting all of my efforts towards it and nothing would hold me back.  I perfected my profile and both my initial e-mails and e-mail responses to a point that my “hit rate,” or percent of guys who responded to my initial e-mail (I kept a spreadsheet tracking my results – I’m an economist by training), was well over 60% –almost unheard of in the online dating world.  (OkCupid even calls a 36% response rate “nicely above average.”)  And then, finally, after over 120 dates, on December 4th, 2009, I did it.  I walked into the bar and met Jeremy – my last JDate.  We have been happy together ever since and plan on moving in later this summer.

When people tell me, “You’re so lucky you found Jeremy,” I have to laugh a little.  Yes – I am the luckiest girl in the world for having found such a thoughtful, smart, and (not to mention) good-looking guy.  But was it luck or persistence that led me to him?  I’d venture to say a little of both.

Online dating isn’t easy, which many people don’t realize.  They think they can just throw a profile up there and wait.  No way, Jose.  That’s like walking into a bar and just plopping yourself on a stool without even trying to make conversation with anyone.  It’s just not going to work.  I also realized that many people do not want to put in the work, which is what led to starting my own business, A Little Nudge.  I give people a little nudge in their online dating lives because I truly think it’s the way to meet.

The naysayers, of course, always have something to say about it:

–           “I can’t write about myself,” is a common argument.  No problem!  Let’s chat for an hour and I’ll ask you some questions, and based on that, I’ll suggest ways to make you shine in your profile.

–          “None of my pictures look good,” is another one.  You know there’s a good smile in there somewhere!  Less is more when it comes to pictures.  A nice close-up smile goes a long way.

–          Another good one is, “But none of the people who I like are writing to me.”  Who cares?  You need to write to people too, which some people (especially women) find to be a novel concept.  Why not take control over your contacts?  (I wrote to Jeremy first.  Don’t tell :))

–          “But what will I say?”  Don’t worry about it.  Just write something short and sweet, taking into account both your personality and something from his or her profile.  I’ll even give you suggestions if you want on who to e-mail and what to say, based on what you’re looking for in a mate.

It doesn’t seem so bad anymore, right?  Yes – online dating takes work.  But then again, so do most things in life that are worth the outcome.  I’m here to lighten the load and guide you through the process.  Trust me – it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, helping people find success in online dating and getting them excited about its possibilities. “Like” A Little Nudge on Facebook, or read Erika’s blog for more information and fun and useful dating advice.
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