Is there a dating lemon law?
You're on a date. It's going fine. Or is it? You're kind of bored. She posted old profile pictures. His jokes are offensive. You got into an argument over the first person who landed on the moon. He was rude to the bartender. She started talking about a potential Martian invasion and possible future wars between humans and aliens. Whatever the reason, you want out. Herein lies the question: Is there a polite, socially acceptable way to end a bad date and extricate yourself quickly and gracefully? there a polite, socially acceptable way to end a bad date and extricate yourself quickly and gracefully? Now, I’m not necessarily talking abo
The actress Emma Watson brought attention to singledom, not simply by saying that she is happily single but by naming herself as “self-partnered.” I have to tell you, the fact that I’m a dating coach aside, I love this. It acknowledges the fact that being single can be a choice — and a valid one at that.
Too often, society puts undue pressure on people — particularly women — to find a partner. Anything short of that seems incomplete. I beg to differ. While most of my clients come to me wanting a partner, I truly believe that you need to be a complete person on your own first. Rarely do people take the time to explore that side of themselves … the side that has to occupy their own time, find the things that truly make them happy, and live a life not of yearning but of content. This is what Emma Watson is showing us, and I’m glad.
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Another now-famous person who is embracing her singledom is none other than the Bachelorette herself, Hannah Brown. In all of her recent interviews, when asked how her dating life is going (Is she dating Tyler Cameron, the runner-up on her season? How about Alan Bersten, her “Dancing with the Stars” partner? Maybe even Nick Viall, the Bachelor old-timer himself?), she responds that she’s focusing on herself right now… as she should.
Whether the best term is “self-partnered,” “happily single,” “in a relationship with myself,” or just plain “happy with myself,” I’m glad stars are shedding light on the fact that it’s not just okay to be without a partner, but you can thrive that way.
How to date in December
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (is it possible that I'm still full?) and radios are playing Christmas music as if it's the only station in existence, it's time to think about this time of year when it comes to your dating life. In other words, has the "turkey drop" led to the Christmas jitters? While not the most reputable source, sometimes Urban Dictionary says it best: “Turkey dropping occurs in adult life where if you’re not in a great situation at Thanksgiving then you better get out then. If not, then you run into the problem of being a cad for dumping someone around Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s day. And heaven forbid they have a birthday November-February too.
Does what I’m saying go against my daily job of helping clients partner up? I don’t think so. I think everyone should experience some alone time in life, whether between relationships or just when the time comes, not because they can’t find someone but because they want to live their life for themselves for a bit and know that they are enough. You don’t need another person’s love to validate you, and you certainly don’t need someone else to show you how much you’re worth. We all have value — single or in a relationship. The more important piece is whether you’re happy with where you are in life.
I get asked daily, partially because I’m a 38-year-old woman and partially because I’m a dating coach, “Are you married yet?” or “Are you still single?” There are so many assumptions wrapped up in these questions, especially the use of the words “yet” and “still.” These two seemingly innocuous words imply that there is a one-size-fits-all way to live, and that is to find a long-term partner. But as we’re seeing with millennials and younger generations, that assumption is getting flipped on its head. There is no straight path. In fact, it’s that path — or the mere pressure to be on that path from family, friends, and strangers alike — that often leads people to be miserable or lonely, even when they’ve found “the one.”
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So, good job, Emma. Despite the cheeky hashtags and memes that now exist about being “self-partnered,” I’m glad you’ve shown people that living and loving a single life is not something to hide. It’s something to embrace and honor.
(Erika Ettin is the founder of, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter,
©2019 Erika Ettin
Related video: The benefits of being single (provided by GoBankingRates)
What to do if you hate dating .
I just got off the phone with a potential client. She's in her mid-60s, lives in New York City, is accomplished, and wants to find a partner now that she's been divorced for a number of years. All of this sounds par for the course in terms of my regular clientele. Most people I work with are in the same predicament: divorced or widowed and looking to spend the rest of their lives with a loving partner.© Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS Rather than looking at the dating process like something you have to slog through in order to get to a relationship, try to think of it as forming the necessary building blocks to a relationship.