As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, there is a sense among singles that it’s time to find that special someone and park yourself for the chillier months. Who will you have on your arm when you show up to Thanksgiving dinner this year? Who will you kiss under the mistletoe in a few months’ time? The clock is ticking!
While the single life can be perceived as unfavourable, we have our very own home-grown dating expert actively redefining how we generally think of singledom. Enter Suzie and her award winning blog, Single Dating Diva, “dedicated to single & dating people everywhere”. By combining knowledge derived from her academic background in Interpersonal Communications and Human Interaction (B.A, M.A) with her own adventures in dating, Suzie provides valuable insight and real, honest, relatable advice.
With her lessons and practices grounded firmly in her dating golden rule, “be happily single!” (yes, it is possible!) , Suzie sheds light on popular topics ranging from common modern dating dilemmas to online dating fraud, “textationships” (never getting beyond the texting/instant messaging phase), dealing with the baggage that comes from unresolved feelings towards exes, and first date conversation starters. Given the variety of content, Single Dating Diva really does have something for everyone.
With so many options available to those taking their dating lives to the web, it can be difficult to find the right fit. When asked what makes Single Dating Diva a standout resource for singles, Suzie explains that it is “relatable, no-nonsense advice from a real person who’s been through the same things they have and ‘gets it’”. Suzie’s sense of understanding is enough to help even the most cautious of daters open up, and she shows no lack of support. “I am responsive and present to my audience, answering questions and engaging them whenever I can”, she says. “I also try and find unique ways of getting people together by partnering with various local businesses such as my Singles Grocery Night at Whole Food Market at Lansdowne on September 29th”.
Suzie has understanding her audience down to a science, especially when it comes to our city. She characterizes the dating climate here as “unique”, given that “we are primarily a public service and IT oriented town which means that people have more docile personalities rather than business oriented ambitious types”. This has an impact on Ottawa’s dating scene as people are able to hold down steady careers and can live independently. “This has led to people being more passive in their dating lives”, Suzie explains, “It’s rare that people will approach someone they’re interested in when they’re out, and there is a strong reliance on the online dating world”. This dating world is one that Suzie has observed and engaged with for years, so despite this seemingly unpromising description, she clarifies that “Ottawa has a great single community with quality partners”. Even though she admits Ottawans have a tendency to be “non-committal”, she remains optimistic: “There is hope, however, you get what you put in and you just have to keep trying and you will get there.”
This awareness of her audience has allowed Suzie to pick up on particular trends in terms of what kinds of advice people often seek out. The main concern she encounters is how to turn casual sex into a relationship. “I get countless emails about this topic with women and men who are distraught because they’ve fallen in love with their casual sex partner who hasn’t reciprocated the feelings”. When asked what solution she offers, her no-nonsense approach surfaces: “I tell my readers and clients that safe sex is being safe physically, emotionally and mentally, so, if you can’t handle unemotional sex don’t have casual sex. This isn’t Sex and the City and you’re not Samantha”, she jokes.
As a blogger who keeps it honest and real, she is no stranger to controversy and debate. Aside from her stand on casual sex, (i.e “if that moment of pleasure is going to cost you weeks of grief then don’t do it”) a topic that sparks debate concerns who pays on a date. “I am traditional and think that the man should pay for the first couple of encounters (dates, don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu!)”. Her solution is once again quite simple: cost effective dates. “Some of the best dates I’ve been on have cost little to no money”. For argument’s sake, however, she adds that “a general rule of thumb is whoever invites the other on a date pays for the date”.
Despite Ottawa’s reputation as “boring”, she has a difficult time narrowing down her top three date suggestions for a night out in the Capital, arguing that it is actually an excellent place for daters. “There are so many fantastic venues at little to no cost to explore any time of year”. Exhibiting her ability to make dating simple and fun (and cost-effective!), Suzie offers ideas that anyone can enjoy. “A great date is grabbing a coffee and being a tourist in your city. Another great idea is taking in a museum (which are free and open late on Thursdays). Lastly, for all the foodies, trying one of the many wonderful restaurants that base their menus on locally sourced food”.
As the Single Dating Diva, Suzie deals with people from all walks of life and is well versed in any dating-related topic. What makes her truly stand apart is her desire to help others, whether it is with finding love or healing from negative experiences. As her following grows and demand for her advice increases, she always believes her work is worthwhile. “I truly believe that if, whatever you’re doing, you’re not impacting the world in a positive way then it’s all for naught. We need to put light out into the world”, says Suzie – a sentiment surely appreciated by those who keep the faith thanks to her unique light.