Elana & Tom: An Online Love Story

Online love is possible at any age

By Erika Ettin

Online dating can be hard. For anyone who has ever tried it (and I’m guessing that’s the majority of the readers), you know that when it comes to putting pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard—even if you’re a professional writer, it’s hard to write about yourself. And online dating is time-consuming. Oftentimes, the last thing you want to do after a long, hard day at work is to sit in front of your computer and send online dating emails. And sometimes, even when investing the time, it still seems to take a while to get some traction.

Knowing that these two obstacles often stop people from trying online dating, or from doing it well, I hatched an idea… help people with these things. And my business was born. Friends had already started asking me to help with their online dating lives. “Will you write my profile?” “How do you make time to work all day and then online date at night?” “Why aren’t my pictures attracting anyone?” So, I helped. I wrote some profiles, chose some flattering pictures, and doled dating advice. One of those friends was Elana.

Elana and I had known each other for years. We weren’t close friends, but we were more than friendly acquaintances. When I decided to move forward with my business in 2011, I needed some practice, or Beta, clients to make sure I had my process down pat and my pricing structure figured out. Elana was the perfect person to serve as my guinea pig since, as a friend, she could give me honest feedback, and she had been struggling with online dating on and off for years.

You too can create your own online love story

In our initial meeting (March 25, 2011—I still remember since I bought my first iPhone that day!), I asked her questions about herself and what she was looking for in a partner so that I could write her the best online dating profile possible. Her two major deal-breakers were that her partner be Jewish and want to have children. When I asked what was holding her back, she said, “I’ve been on JDate for about a year this time around (on and off for eight years total), and I’m just not meeting anyone. And it’s really hard to stay on top of JDate with my long work hours.” With these things in mind and a brand spankin’ new JDate profile highlighting her love of cooking, the importance of Judaism in her life, and her love of travel, her dating life re-started.

At the time, Elana was 36, and her age limit in her JDate search was set to about 10 years older. Tom was just a hair over that limit, but he thought, “Why not?” In his first email to Elana, using her brand spankin’ new profile, he commented on a line he particularly liked about Elana’s involvement in her faith, Judaism. She was hooked. This just goes to show that sometimes we put arbitrary restrictions on who we want our partner to be, but when the right person comes along, none of that seems to matter anymore.

And that brings us to October 12, 2012. I got a call (on that new iPhone) from Elana. I knew she was on vacation, so getting a call from her clearly meant there was big news. I had my fingers crossed. She called from Maine to tell me that Tom had proposed… and she said yes, of course! If hearts could smile, that’s what mine did at that moment. I changed someone’s life doing something I love. Wow.

This love story goes to show that sometimes we put arbitrary restrictions on who we want our ultimate life partner to be, but when the right person comes along, none of that seems to matter anymore.

So, I put on my dancing shoes, and two years ago, I danced the Hora at her wedding. And now they have a sweet son, making a family of three. Life is good.

Curious about which sites you should use to meet “the one” online? Read about online dating sites versus apps to help make that decision a bit easier.



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