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The Short Version: Daters who need a little help to get their romantic lives back on track often visit Arkady Itkin’s website, PracticalHappiness.com. There, they can find advice and plenty of tough love. Arkady encourages daters to improve their online profiles, minds, bodies, and lives as they seek to find that special someone. With articles on everything from texting to jealousy and break-ups, both men and women can find answers to their questions as they navigate the modern world of dating.
Dating wasn’t always easy for Arkady Itkin. When he was younger, he had many of the same difficulties other young men have — including acne and a lack of confidence that often kept him from talking to girls. He said he went on one bad date after another, but he knew he wasn’t the only one. So he set out to find the answers to his dating problems, and he discovered a surprising lack of resources.
“I was inspired by my own challenges when I was looking for guidance. I found a lot of answers that were misleading,” he said. “But when I started coming up with my own answers, I was very eager to share them with others who I thought might have the same problems.”
In 2005, he started PracticalHappiness.com, through which he shares advice articles on a wide range of topics. As the site grew in popularity, he added a YouTube channel to impart knowledge about modern elements of the dating scene and relationships.
“I am a big believer in constant learning. I think it’s one of the things that makes life the most interesting. The world of dating continues to evolve with cultural and technological developments,” he said. “For example, back in 2005, guys were still struggling to make that first call to a girl they met. Today, that’s no longer an issue since texting seems to have replaced calling almost entirely.”
Arkady also welcomes questions on the site, so he can stay connected with trends and have a more significant impact on his readers.
Readers can find a well-organized list of advice articles answering a wide range of questions on PracticalHappiness.com. For men, Arkady has written articles on how to approach, meet, and attract women, as well as how to gain confidence and avoid common mistakes. Men can learn the basics of online dating and understand how to have a successful first date and avoid “the friend zone.” The site also features articles on dating older women, sex, and understanding women better.
For women, articles focus on avoiding common mistakes when attracting and meeting men. You can learn good online dating tips, having a great first date, and the ins-and-outs of dating younger men.
Many articles address topics relevant to all daters, including texting issues, jealousy, and breakups. Questions about online dating are some of the most popular, Arkady said.
“A lot of people believe that nobody reads anything when they’re dating online, and all you have to do is say ‘Hi,’ wink, or click,” he said. “I find that high-quality people do read. They also look for exceptional people on the other side. So you want to make sure that your Match.com, OkCupid, or eHarmony profiles stand out from the rest — it will attract the best people on the other side.”
Because there’s such a growing desire for singles to feel comfortable dating online, Arkady offers a one-on-one online dating profile review service. He provides feedback on everything from the pictures they chose to what they wrote about themselves and, importantly, how to respond to messages they receive from potential matches.
“I ensure they make the most of the online dating process,” he said.
PracticalHappiness.com differentiates itself from many advice blogs because Arkady isn’t afraid to tell it how it is. He said he believes that, sometimes, people need a little tough love to move forward and find success.
One of Arkady’s main focuses is to clear up misconceptions that have become common myths in the dating community. One of those common misconceptions, he said, is that you should love yourself for who you are and not change for anyone for any reason.
“If you remain yourself, with all the flaws that prevent you from making the most of yourself, then how can you expect any change? You can’t sit around and wait for someone to fall in love with you and not do anything to make yourself more attractive,” he said. “Whether it is a bad style or not having professional accomplishments to make yourself attractive. If you stay where you are and expect better results, you’re not going very far.”
Another notion he dispels is that dating is a numbers game, so going on as many dates as possible improves your odds. That is an especially common belief among singles living in large cities. Arkady said that approach to dating isn’t smart.
“That’s led to a lot of confusion and emotional disappointment for men and women who go on too many dates, see too many people, and get too much attention. Eventually, they’re unable to develop any attachment,” he said. “That goes against the idea that you should put your eggs into many baskets to achieve the best results. It should be a limited number of baskets, not too many.”
Arkady said his readers tend to be from the US — with some in the UK and Australia. The site caters to both men and women between their mid-20s and early 50s. Some just emerged from long-term relationships or divorces and are back on the dating scene, but confused about the new digital landscape.
Others are looking for solutions to tough problems in their current relationships.
“People experience difficult circumstances, like cheating, fights, and physical abuse, with their partners. Or they may want to know how to overcome their jealousy, or how to handle a partner who is jealous. That issue has always been one of the most popular, and perhaps most painful, topics,” he said.
For those issues, PracticalHappiness.com offers short, solution-focused articles which are often supported by real-world examples from people Arkady knows. Some topics spark a healthy discussion in the comments on his blog — or in his YouTube channel comments. He said he enjoys when people ask questions, because, if one person has a question, others likely need the answer as well.
“In one article, ’20 Relationship Laws,’ I talk about basic things that could go wrong and the easy, or at least practical, ways couples can resolve them,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of comments about how helpful that article was for people who thought their relationships were ruined.”
Arkady is hoping to turn his advice blog into expert speaking opportunities at personal growth conferences — or even a dating television show.
But, Arkady said, it’s the feedback and knowing that he helps others that makes it all worthwhile.
“All I desire is gratitude, and a compliment makes my day. It makes me feel great,” he said.