Posts Tagged ‘DC Life Magazine’

Love at First Site, the Interview

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Erika EttinErika Ettin is a local business owner and author who specialized in helping her clients be successful at online dating. Her business is called A Little Nudge and her book is entitled Love At First Site. I met Erika a number of years ago through a dating site and recently interviewed her for DC Life Magazine. She is friendly and charming.

C: “In what way does your advice differ between male and female clients?” (I asked this question because the dating advice and profile help that I give clients does differ between the sexes.)

E: “I give the same advice to men and women: be yourself and you will attract the right person.”

C: “What suggestions do you have for the first date for avoiding being friend zoned?”

E: “Start and end with a hug, not a handshake. Sit side-by-side or catty-corner. Don’t lead with talking about work, but instead lead with fun topics; it should not feel like an interview.” (I agree with her about topics and sitting side-by-side when possible, but am not sure about catty-corner.)

Clothing suggestions for women: dress a touch feminine and if in work clothes take off your jacket and wear some color. For men: dress to match the venue.”

C: “Do you have any recommendations for local photographers for profile pictures?”

E: “I recommend having professional photos taken because people will not care as long as they look good. I have a photographer that I work with for my clients. The pictures should be taken outside or in a natural setting.”

C: “Do you have recommendations for specific DC area bars and cafes for dates?”

E: “I like both cafes and bars for dates but you shouldn’t choose generic ones. Northside Social, Chinatown Coffee, Busboys & Poets, The Wydown, and Tryst are good café choices. For drinks: Ardeo Bardeo (wine), City Taphouse (beer), and the Dignitary (whiskey — ask for Tom) are good choices.

C: What are some of your suggestions for second dates?

E: “Hiking, dog parks, H Street Country Club, Union Market, Eastern Market.”

C: “Are there taboo questions for dates?

E: “I don’t have overarching rules about this. It should come out organically.”

C: “What do you think about if a date goes well, asking for the next date on the current one?”

E: “I’m OK with that and he would say something like ‘I’d love to do this again; I’ll reach out tomorrow.’ This way he is not putting her on the spot and he does what he says he will (follows up tomorrow) which is a ‘win-win.’ If not interested, say ‘no’ and don’t just ignore.”

C: “What dating sites do you recommend?”

E: “For those who are more serious, use pay sites because people are more invested. If not particular about ethnicity or religion, try Match or Eharmony. Some good niche sites are Christian Mingle, Black People Meet, Our Time (age 50+), Catholic Match, Jdate.” For free sites, OKCupid is good because they analyze their own data and are user friendly. The biggest apps are Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and JSwipe. Hinge uses Facebook connections and last names, which can be too much information.”


Note: I wrote this article for the August 28th edition of DC Life Magazine. It was a bit rushed because the deadline came out of nowhere.

How To Meet Women At The Gym

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

This article is my portion of the January 2012 “He Said/She Said” Dating Column from DC Life Magazine.The “she” perspective will be in the final article and is from a DC Area Matchmaker.

Edit: DC Life is a bit behind with the January issue. I’ll post a link when the issue is out.



Clients often ask me how to meet women at the gym, since it is a place where they spend a lot of time.  Plus, generally they share common interests (fitness and living a healthy lifestyle) with other people at the gym. So, how do you meet women at the gym? The gym is a social environment, a place where people spend a lot of time and often know the staff and other people who are there working out.  Below are my tips for meeting women at the gym:

Choose your gym carefully. You want a gym that meets your needs and interests. This could mean joining a gym with pools, running tracks, saunas, basketball courts, specific classes (see below), rock climbing walls, etc. The happier you are with your overall gym experience, the more successful you will be meeting people there. And, you could have fitness preferences and conversation topics in common with a potential match–you both like to swim, run, rock climb, or practice yoga.  Tour the gym to see if it has the equipment and facilities you need, and see if the type of women you are interested in work out there.

Dress well. In a gym, I wear cool t-shirts (as far as design, logo, or message), but that isn’t the only way to go. You want to show that you have style. Don’t wear worn out or ratty sneakers or clothes.  I have seen people wearing clothes with stained armpits or holes and that is not the way to go.

Get to know the staff.  If you want personal training to jump start your workout, consider scheduling time with a trainer. Many gyms give free sessions with trainers to get you to join; some even offer discounted memberships and/or sessions with trainers through daily deal websites like Personal training sessions put you in more of a direct client-trainer relationship with the staff member, making him or her more interested in helping you in general. These trainers might even introduce you to people, or give you intel without you even asking.   Be friendly with all the employees you encounter (trainers/instructors, assistants, front desk, etc.); it will be helpful when women see you getting along well with the staff, especially (but not exclusively) female staff.

Talk to women you are interested in. You do not have to start a conversation based on working out. Do not start conversations with “excuse me” (because you are then assuming that you are interrupting them) but simply start the conversation with a situational topic or general theme. My gym conversations tend to be about music (what is playing, if I can change the music, what I’m listening to on headphones, what the other person is listening to on headphones), TV (what is on it, if I can change it, similar shows to what is on the TV, new shows), or food (because I’m into food), but you could just as easily talk about movies (probably not horror), hiking, adventure sports, or a variety of other subjects. You are leading the conversation, but if a subject consistently doesn’t work, try new ones.  Humor works as well as long as it comes off as natural and not forced or nervous. Some more specific info about talking to people at the gym:

Talk to women in different areas of the gym to see what works for you. I have had success talking to women who are on the next treadmill, as well as women on weight machines near me, with the former being longer conversations with people who often would rather talk to you than be bored on a treadmill, and the latter being shorter conversations that you drop and pick up again as you move around the gym.  You can also talk to them again another day. I’ll pretty much talk to someone anywhere (except areas that are for women only), with the understanding that some of the conversations will be longer than others.

Pay attention to how responsive she is. If she is really into her workout, she may not be responsive to conversation, but may actually be more open talk at other times, such as the beginning or end of her workout, during a break between different types of exercises, or on another day.

Attend classes. Gyms have a variety of coed classes, which can be a good way to meet people. Check out a variety of classes (yoga, jujitsu, strength/flexibility, body pump, etc.) and see what works for you, both for your workout and meeting people. I know a lot of women go to Zumba and Pilates classes, but I’ve never attended those particular classes. Show up to the classes early so that you can chit-chat with others while waiting for the class to begin.

Have a plan. Think about possible dates or activities that you can do with her if she is responsive. Knowing where good nearby cafes, bars, and restaurants are can be useful. You can also take her to events or plan activities such as hiking.

Get to know other gym-goers. Be friendly and talk to people even if you aren’t interested in a date with them. You don’t want to talk people to death (especially if they are not responsive), but be friendly. Keeping a relatively stable workout schedule will help you see and talk to the same people, but you can also run out of new people to meet that way (unless it is a large gym).  I go to the gym very often and without a set schedule, which allows me to meet a larger variety of people.

I hope this column improves your success and comfort level meeting potential dates at the gym. The more you practice being social (regardless of environment), the easier meeting people becomes.