Family & Relationships Erika Ettin: When is the best time to online date?
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
As we approach Thanksgiving and then the Christmas season (though, I’m already starting to hear Christmas music … too soon!), I want to talk about whether there is a best time of year to do online dating or meet someone.
People ask me the same question all the time: “Is there a best time of year to do online dating?” In short, the answer is no. I would first say that the best time for you to do online dating is when you’re emotionally ready and available for it.
Remember that online dating takes time and energy, both the literal kind and the emotional kind. Online dating is not simply about writing a few lines as quickly as you can and posting it to see who writes to you … or doesn’t. It’s about being creative, proactive, and patient. Once you’ve crossed that emotional threshold and you’re ready to take the online dating plunge (the prerequisite, if you will), there is one time of year that it may suit you well to log-on: the week between Christmas and New Year’s. And if that goes well, ride that wave all the way through Valentine’s Day.
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Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and eHarmony have all reported in the past that their usership goes up during the holidays, with the first Sunday in January now deemed “Dating Sunday.” What used to be an interesting phenomenon is now a self-fulfilling prophesy — if you think everyone is online on a certain day, then you go online that day!
Why might it be the case that the holidays foster the desire to use an online dating site? For starters, family has a huge impact. If you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table, and Aunt Mildred can’t resist the urge to ask you when you’re “finally going to bring someone home to meet the family,” you might just start swiping on Bumble to put you out of your misery. (Though, as we all know, it’s not her business. Too bad it’s not socially acceptable to say, “When are you finally going to leave Harold?”) Alas.
Erika Ettin: Is it too cold to date?
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful." And the dates? It's that time of year. The time when scarves and gloves become a priority. The time when you look out your window at 4 p.m., and it's already pitch black outside. When the weather sinks below 32 degrees, the thought of planning creative date ideas can be a bit daunting. Somehow the combination of sweatpants and Amazon Prime (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel anyone?) always want to have a say in the matter. But have no fear.
Also, with little or no work to do over the holidays, there is simply more downtime — to watch football, finish that jigsaw puzzle, and, of course, get back into online dating.
Lastly, as we all probably know, some of the top New Year’s resolutions out there are to work out and find love, in addition to saving money, spending more time with family, volunteering, staying organized, and reading more, to name a few. (I know mine for the last three years has been to drink more water and go to bed earlier … still dehydrated and overtired over here.) In order to find love, though, you have to do something about it, and that something, according to the statistics, is to look for love online. And when you do, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with flattering, accurate pictures (five recommended), a profile that truly represents you without sounding too generic (“I love to laugh and have fun” will sadly not make the cut), and a positive attitude about what the future might bring.
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.
Maybe this year is the year to find a partner and maybe it’s not, but for what it’s worth, signing up with a brand spankin’ new profile this holiday season — or simply being more proactive about it — isn’t a bad idea. At least you know you’ll be in good company.
Erika Ettin is the founder of, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.
©2019 Erika Ettin
Related video: Why dating apps are causing burnout (provided by CBS News)
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