“Its time.”

I had heard a lot o f this a few years ago. My response was always, “I’m happy. I have my routine, my space, my running buddies, my work.”

I honestly did not even know how to get back out there. I went on a few ‘set-ups.’ You know, with the one weirdo single friend that each of your married friends have. The one that comes with family-sized pressure to ‘give it a chance.’ Those always made for some awkward BBQs down the line…

I also tried getting out with my party girls. I’m still in shock that my stellar dance moves and sweat-soaked dresses never landed me in a happily-ever-after relationship.

It took a significant push, along with a significant amount of wine, one New Year’s Eve for me to allow friends to set me up on an online dating site. After we had completed my dissertation explaining why I was such an enormous looser and had to search for love online, we went live. I lasted less than 36 hours until my insecurities & anxiety got the best of me.

I resided in my anti-dating dungeon for another few months. As time passed, I realized that I ALMOST had the life I wanted. I deeply missed having companionship and physical contact. After I was certain that I had left no self-help book unread, and with the encouragement of a few very compassionate friends, I decided to give the online world another go. This time I was in charge. I left all of what I considered to be ‘my garbage’ behind. My profile showed no sign of my past life. My anchor had been cut free.

I don’t mean to imply that I had easily transformed into another person. I absolutely appreciate my failed marriage, and the broken spirit that followed – as it led me into this amazingly introspective period of my life. But I could no longer let that fiasco define me. There was something about not seeing it attached to me in my profile, that allowed me let it go. It was also refreshing to socialize with others without each of them knowing all of ‘my garbage.’ Overall, online dating was, and continues to be, extremely positive for me. I have met some amazing people. I’ve had two very positive relationships, gained many friends, and even made some professional connections in the past few years.

It’s not all roses, of course. I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve learned some lessons. I’ve heard crickets chirp in response to my perfectly executed one-liners. But that’s OK! It has continued to help me grow and be energized. It has also allowed me to help others in their online journeys. I hadn’t even realized that helping my friends and family with dating had become ‘a thing,’ until a few months ago.

Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic. Or, perhaps I am just such an extrovert that I believe that everyone wants to have more social connections. I come from a gigantic family and work in healthcare, so I am constantly surrounded by people. In many cases, I have only a few moments to gain trust as well as to size someone up. This certainly comes in handy in a sea of selfies, edited photos, scripted bios, and pick-up lines.

My mission for SMARTStart Dating is to help both men & women overcome their barriers and have a positive experience with online dating. My approach is very simple – it is largely focused on you, and then dating will come together. All programs & profiles are individually created, during our one-on-one session. I will guide you with list-making & goal-setting, which makes the search for potential suitors extremely straightforward. Having intention with your dating places you in control. My method is extremely successful – and incredibly rewarding for me to see my friends, family, and clients gain confidence and be successful in their love lives.

I know firsthand how many reasons there are for you to not join in, but I know that there are so many more to do so. Think of who is missing out on meeting you! Remember, no one wins if you don’t play…