I sat on a panel of dating experts recently, and someone in the audience asked: “Why should I hire a dating coach? I’ve got tons of friends that help me out.”
I explained that your friends, although well intentioned, are attached to your outcome. They know you well. What they tell you is often either what they think you want to hear or informed by their own fears and biases. The result could be no result at all… and there you’ll be, still dating the wrong person, or stuck in the first date cycle, always looking for that next “special someone.”
Let me tell you about Shannon. She and Forrest had met online and had been dating for three months. Shannon was confused. She wanted the relationship to go somewhere, but it felt stalled. Forrest didn’t think so, though. He seemed perfectly happy with how things were going. They usually had a good time together, but she could not figure out if this was the guy for her. Shannon tended to pull away. Forrest was a little oblivious about the niceties. Were they just hanging on because the alternative was stressful? Were they compatible or not? Shannon was losing faith in her instincts. She started to reach out to friends and family for advice.
Her sister, Danielle, was in a shaky relationship—a ten year marriage that included two kids. Danielle’s message, conveyed to Shannon in many different ways, was: “Stick it out.” Basically, do what you have to to make this new relationship work. After all, Shannon wasn’t getting any younger, and did she really want to go back online…?
Shannon’s best friend, Kit, is single, a career woman and world traveler. She had a different take from Danielle’s. Kit claimed to be hugely sympathetic to Shannon, and reminded her daily that she didn’t need to put up with anything less than the best, that she could do better, and that she—Kit—would be there to support her through a break-up. Cut the cord, she said, before you get in any deeper.
There were plenty of other people with ready advice for Shannon—her mother, colleagues, her Aunt Maggie, a 67-year-old nun…. They all had their own agendas. It was kind of a mess…. Then Shannon called me.
So what can a dating coach do? For one thing, give honest feedback. A coach has no personal agenda. Dating coaches are trained professionals with toolboxes packed with skills and resources that will be at your disposal. They provide encouragement, accountability, and a safe place where you can discover what is holding you back in the dating arena and suggest steps to move you forward.
Think about it. We hire coaches to guide us when we want to be physically fit, find a job, advance in our careers, become public speakers, learn to write etc. etc. Dating coaches serve the same purpose—to help you become proficient at something you aren’t…yet.
40 million Americans date online. It can be overwhelming and frustrating to make a meaningful connection with seemingly unlimited choices. But help is out there. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you need the help of a dating coach.
♦ Are you new (or newly back) to the dating pool and unsure where to start?
♦ Do you repeatedly find yourself in bad or blah relationships?
♦ Are you unsure where to meet people?
♦ When you date someone, is it hard for you to tell if it’s a good match or not (like Shannon?)
♦ Are you ready to find the one?
♦ Do the number and variety of online dating sites feel overwhelming?
♦ Are you confused or unsure about how to write a profile and what pictures to include?
♦ Do you understand how to date safely?
♦ Are you shy, insecure, or afraid of rejection?
♦ Do you have no clue what to say or do on a date?
♦ Is projecting the best version of your true self a priority for you?
Some of the many benefits of a having a personal professional dating coach:
♦ Coaches are experts in all aspects of dating.
♦ You’ll receive professional, unbiased input to help you identify destructive dating patterns.
♦ A coach will help you identify what you want and need in a relationship.
♦ You’ll experience increased self-confidence and social skills, including how to approach someone and read indirect messages.
♦ You will optimize your online dating profile, with help writing or re-writing, photo critiquing, objective feedback
♦ A coach will support you in vetting partners and identifying those who are incompatible.
♦ You will receive image consulting, training in how to read and use body language, and other useful dating skills.
♦ You’ll gain knowledge of where to meet like-minded singles.
♦ Your coach is your accountability partner. If you fall into old habits a dating coach will get you back on track.
♦ You will develop a dating strategy to get the love you so richly deserve and your dating success will skyrocket.
When hiring a dating coach, check both credentials and experience. If your dating coach is also a certified life coach and certified singles coach—that’s a bonus because we look at the total you – who you are and how you can be successful at dating.
Check it out! Most coaches offer a free session so you can get a feel for how the process works, as well as their abilities and compatibility with you.