It’s interesting that, as a dating coach, I always seem to know when former clients aren’t happy (break-ups, ghosting, etc.), yet when they are happy (lots of clients have gotten married), I sometimes don’t find out until years later, and it’s usually because someone else tells me!

Along those lines, I received this email recently from a client who I worked with late last year:

“I quit. I can’t do it anymore. I’ve been on about 30 dates since I enlisted you to help me with my profile — it helped, I got some good positive feedback from it, but I can’t continue to put myself out there anymore.

The rejection. Ghosting. Being cancelled on last minute. It’s a pretty (crummy) way to meet someone special. People are incredibly inconsiderate. It’s not real life.

I’m not looking for a pep talk or anything but thought the feedback might provide some helpful insight into your coaching.”

My reply:

“This was hard to read. I know you said you’re not looking for a pep talk, so I won’t give you one. I’m actually going to agree with you that some people can be terrible in terms of disrespecting others’ time, in dating and in life. (But yes, more so in dating.) I honestly wish you were alone, but you’re not. It’s not okay at all, but this bad behavior happens to everyone. All I can do is teach my clients proper behavior.

For what it’s worth, I’m glad the profile has yielded such good results! Was there no one good in the mix? That’s hard for me to believe.”

What I was getting at here was that, while he may not be happy overall at this moment, there were likely still promising women he met. Anything short of finding “the one” is not a failure, which I instill in clients daily.

His response back to me:

“It is what it is, I suppose. I didn’t keep track but I think the numbers broke down like the following:

  • 20, both not interested, neither followed up after first date
  • 5, I was interested, asked for a second date, the other person wasn’t interested
  • 5, went on 2-4 dates, but didn’t work out

Thank you for the response. Perhaps I’ll circle around and enlist you for a fresh profile later in the year."

In the end, my client had 10 out of 30 people he actually liked. This is not just good — it’s incredible. No one can control chemistry or feelings. And sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. But to think of the whole process as a failure is simply inaccurate. This client was only seeing the negative — no girlfriend — and not the positive, which was 30 dates in such a short period of time! He could have never met all of these women without the help of online dating.

The main point here is to look at the good with the bad, the successes with the letdowns. To only look at the final outcome isn’t being fair to the process. Yes, some people are awful in terms of disrespecting other people’s time. Those people won’t be your partner. Be thankful they showed their true colors early. I have a feeling that in another 30 dates, this client will find what he’s looking for … and I’ll never hear about it.

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.