Welcome to Online Dating Bootcamp: Day 13! Today is all about how one online dater became an online dating coach , featuring a personal essay by YourTango Expert Erika Ettin. (Wanna brush up on Bootcamp Days 1-12? Start here.)
Ah, online dating. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I'm in the former category, and 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, and I live in Washington, D.C. 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. I had dabbled in the past, but this time, I was really going for it. I perfected my profile and e-mails to a point that my "hit rate," or percentage of guys who responded to my initial e-mail was over 60%, almost unheard of in the online dating world. YourTango Experts Presents ... Online Dating Bootcamp!
I found it fun to test which e-mails worked, switch my pictures occasionally to see which drove more traffic to my profile, and even signed my e-mails differently every time. Basically, I learned what worked in my own personal experiment. 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.
Jeremy and I always joke about the fact that I went on so many dates, yet I was only his fourth JDate ever. I was of the philosophy that you never know if you'll click with someone until you meet in person, so I erred on the side of meeting more people, which I still believe is the best way to do it.
Before I founded A Little Nudge, where I help people with all aspects of online dating, I was an economist for over seven years. While I liked my job for a while, by the last year and a half, I was itching to leave. I didn't even realize it was that long, but Jeremy reminded me that very early on in our relationship, he had asked me how my work day went, and I actually got angry with him. Over the next year, I would get frustrated every time Jeremy asked how my day went, which is, of course, not normal. And if you know me at all, you know that I'm happy 99.872% of the time. Top 10 Tips For Designing Your Online Dating Profile
I had considered different options for a career change, but when it came down to it, I always went back to online dating. It was simple — I loved what online dating could do for people, and my love of it made me want to help others with the process. Friends were already coming to me to ask for help with their pictures, profile, and e-mails. This was my calling. One fateful night at a Thai restaurant in Georgetown, as I was lamenting about life in a cubicle, Jeremy said, "Why don't you just quit your job and start the dating business? That's what will make you happy." And the rest is history.
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