Adventures in Online Dating, Volume 1

I had just completed the second week of my Online Dating Bootcamp, when my amazing intern, Amy, recommended that I share with you the inner workings of the process. Namely, she said, I should have one of the bootcampers keep a running diary of her six-week transformation. I thought this was a great idea – both to demystify what dating coaching is all about, and to illustrate how focusing on your love life for a few months can have incredible long-lasting effects.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you Joanna. Joanna is a single 47-year-old in Orange County, California with a daughter in high school. She has been reading for a long time and finally decided to reach out for guidance. I’ll let her speak for herself from now on – and post her successes, frustrations and revelations over the next four or five Mondays. Joanna?


Earlier this year I made a vow — if I was ever going to try online dating again, I’d do it with help from Evan.

Thanks, Evan. I’ve been online dating off and on for the past three years. While I’ve collected my share of funny stories (has anyone else gone sheepherding for a first meeting?), I’ve yet to meet my man. Earlier this year I made a vow — if I was ever going to try online dating again, I’d do it with help from Evan. I’d been reading Evan’s books and blog for a couple of years now and learned a lot about solving dating problems. But I still hadn’t found the right partner for a long term relationship. Evan pointed out that the common denominator in all my bad dates was… me. I was willing to work to change all that.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to sign up for Online Dating Bootcamp. I knew that the profile writing and professional photos would be a big help, but I wasn’t sure how the weekly calls would benefit me any more than simply being an avid regular reader of Evan’s posts. Any doubts I had were quickly put to rest in the first couple weeks!

Week One’s call was chock full of information about “telling stories in a sentence” instead of using adjectives to describe ourselves and who we want to meet. We’d use these stories to fill out our E-Cyrano questionnaires, which would be used to develop our profiles. I’d read this advice before in Evan’s posts but hearing him describe how to tell stories on the phone really brought it all to life. I got it! I’ve never spent this much time or effort thinking about who I am and who I’m looking for, and I’m so glad this was part of the process — it’s a great framework for this kind of reflection. And the stories are fun! They come to me while I’m riding my bike, on the way to work — I keep pencil and paper close by these days.

Week Two started with time to ask Evan questions about the process so far — photos, questionnaires — and I learned not only from the answers to my own questions but also from the other participants. Evan talked about photo selection and what assortment of photos to post, about different dating websites, and how to write our secondary essays. He explained how to use the reverse match type of search, and another light bulb went on. I’ve never done a reverse match and yet now it makes perfect sense — as Evan said, all that really matters is who is looking for me! He left us with homework — taking a stab at writing secondary essays, and compiling a favorites list using the reverse match. I’m looking forward to working with my E-Cyrano writer to bring that questionnaire to life as a full fledged profile.

What’s my biggest revelation so far? I’ve learned there is a world of difference between sitting passively on the sidelines and getting into the game. Even before my first date, I’ve come out a winner.

Can’t wait for next week’s call!


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  1. 1

    So basically he is coaching people on how to really Start Love online? That’s a great idea! A lot of people need that kind of help, especially when you end up going on a date with someone who turns out to be the complete opposite of who you got to know through the profile pages and emails.

  2. 2


    That’s fabulous! I admit, I didn’t have any clue as to what the process is. That is very informative and positive. Best of luck to you on finding the one!

  3. 3

    Joanna, thanks for sharing.

  4. 4

    Aww man, I really wanted to hear about the sheepherding! Hahaha.

  5. 5
    Karl R

    Joanna said:
    “I’ve never done a reverse match and yet now it makes perfect sense as Evan said, all that really matters is who is looking for me!”

    In an ideal situation, that would be true. This may be just a problem in my area, but I’ve run into a problem with Reverse Match:

    A surprising number of women apparently are looking for any man with a pulse. By that I mean, they don’t list any criteria that they’re looking for. I realize that a person might select “Any” for some (or even most) criteria, but there has to be something on that list that actually matters. (Men may be guilty of the same behavior, but I don’t routinely search their profiles.)

  6. 6

    Karl: yeah, that’s exactly why the reverse match feature doesn’t work that well. At least for guys. Most women have ‘any’ listed.

  7. 7

    Karl & Ben-that’s not me-my only two any’s are hair & eye color. Reverse match has was worked for me with varying degrees of success. A lot of the matches I get from there are out of state which is not something I looking for.

  8. 8

    For me reverse matches are usually much older.   Most women are searching for someone roughly their age or older and most men are searching for women ten years or more younger, especially men my age (55). Apparently 75 year old men think I’m a young hottie…..

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