I love my female clients, and in truth, they are the bulk of my business. But every now and then a guy will sign up for my coaching program and it’s a very nice change of pace for me. It’s probably no surprise to those reading this, but when it comes to coaching men, the challenges that arise and the strategies we employ are totally different. Recently I was reminded of this when I gained another male client who was having a hard time getting matched on Tinder. Most guys complain that it takes twenty to fifty swipes to get just one match, and the chances of meeting up with said match are only 50-50 at best. This can lead to frustration, fatigue, and in some cases, feeling like a failure. The good news is that this is a workable problem. No, you will never achieve a 100% response rate when it comes to online match-ups, but there are many things that a guy can do to up his odds with women he’d like to meet.
You might think you need more hair, or less flab, but truthfully, whether a woman swipes on you or not has more to do with the feeling she gets from your photo – do you seem interesting? Confident? Sexy? Or is she about to tip off America’s Most Wanted because she is pretty sure she’s seen you someplace before and it’s not good…Ok, so that might be stretch (but those guys are out there). It’s more likely that your photo is simply not doing you justice or perhaps giving off an awkward or unappealing vibe. Here are some of my best photo-tips that are sure to up your swipe rate.
Contrary to what I tell women, for men it’s much better not to look directly at the camera and smile. Look just to the right or the left, and show just a bit of teeth. Call it creating mystery, intrigue, or just a sense of non-desperation, women find this appealing and are more likely to swipe right. However, if your second photo is a big mug shot of you, grinning like a Cheshire cat, you’ve blown it.
Have you ever noticed how big a face only photo looks on your phone? That’s usually okay if you are female but for guys, you are just asking a girl to run you over with a fine-toothed judgment comb. (Is that the beginning of a unibrow, I see?) Take your pictures from the waist up at minimum, but a full body shot works well, too.
It is assumption at it’s worst but it happens every day. If you are at a bar or holding a drink in your hand, women will assume you’re a party boy or an alcoholic. If you are standing with a bunch of women, she will assume you are player. If you are shooting a fire arm or at a gun range… yeah, even if she is a gun enthusiast, no woman is going to want to meet up with a stranger that she knows has access to a deadly weapon. Keep your photos simple. Just you, perhaps doing something outdoorsy (and non-threatening.) The only prop that women respond well to is of the canine persuasion. Sorry, no cats.
4. Learn to take a flattering selfie
If we have learned anything from Kim Kardashian (which may be the only thing), it’s to take portraits with the camera angling down. This doesn’t just apply to selfies. Make sure whoever is taking your picture knows how to use a camera and captures you from your best angle, in the best light, with your best outfit. Yes, all this stuff does make a difference.
datingquestionpicLast week I attended a neighborhood party. Having just moved to the area with my family, I was eager to get to know the people on our street. I geared myself up for the usual get-to-know you chitchat and hoped to make a few friendly connections. As I moved around the room introducing myself, a very friendly young woman suddenly interrupted me.
“Don’t I know you?” She asked. “Didn’t you write a book or something?”
Soon several other guests joined our conversation, which became very centered around my work. It shocked many of them to know that with two books out and a third on the way, writing was not my primary job, and that I spend most of my day coaching men and women on their relationships.
“So are you a dating or relationship coach?” One asked. “What’s the difference?” “What kind of services do you provide?”
I’m used to telling people that I’m a coach, but I never really go into detail about what that exactly means. I always assumed that the title spoke for itself. After that party I realized that people infer different things about what coaches do and the truth is, I’m not only a coach, I’m also a counselor. Coaches don’t typically offer expertise. Their primary function is to help the client figure out what they want to do, and how they should go about doing it. While that is a part of my job, I also help clients break harmful patterns, become more self-aware, and avoid relationship and dating pitfalls. That makes my job a little more unique, and I thought it might be a good idea to lay out in more detail how I go about helping people, no matter what their relationship status, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions from the party last night.
Are You A Dating or Relationship Coach?
I am both. I usually start as someone’s dating coach because they are single, or just getting out of a relationship, and they need to mentally and physically heal and then move on and try to meet someone else. Once they do meet that someone and become exclusively involved with him or her, I become their relationship coach.
What Specific Services Do You Provide For Your Single Clients?
As a dating coach and counselor, it’s my job to help clients find love. And although it may not seem like it, there is a lot that goes into that. First, I assess if someone is emotionally ready to start dating, especially if they are just coming off a bad break-up. Then, I have to find the right venues both on and offline for that person to make new romantic connections. Together we may select one or two dating sites, create a profile, take some photos, and begin the process of sorting through and answering messages from prospective dates. Once the dates start happening, it’s my job to help deifier who is a good match, and more importantly, who is a real candidate for a relationship, and who is not. There is also a good bit of strategy involved in dating. Now a day, almost every interaction is done through text or email, which means easy and instantaneous access to everyone. So, if you text too much, too soon, or reply to fast and frequently, you can kill the mystery and pursuit so often needed in the early stages of getting to know someone. So dating strategically has never been more important that it is right now.
What Help Do You Provide Once Someone is in a Relationship?
Many of the clients I work with have developed habits that frequently sabotage their relationships. We start working on understanding and correcting those habits before they even get into one, but when they eventually do, my job is to make sure they don’t unconsciously backslide. It’s easy to react out of habit and everyone has certain relationship triggers. That is why the more involved my clients become with someone, the closer and more in contact we need to be so that they don’t unintentionally ruin their chances for love.
I also assist in the big milestones that all relationships hit: when and how to have the relationship talk, when to stop dating other people, when to have sex, how to have important conversations (For example, I have an STD, or I want to remain a Virgin until marriage) and of course, when and how to move from “committed” to engaged.
What Is The Most Common Problem You Encounter With Single Women Today?
There are a number of common problems. People are not that different, so I tend to see the same five or six problems over and over again. A woman might complain that she is rarely attracted to anyone and therefore doesn’t go on many online dates. I hear this a lot. The problem, however, is that most females who say this are judging whether or not they are attracted to a man based solely on a one dimensional snapshot of him. When you are unable to factor in characteristics like humor, confidence, charm, personality, wit, and integrity, then you are left with only judging a guy on his photo. And if that’s all you are basing attraction on, then you will only be attracted to roughly 5% of the men you see. The bottom line is that you do need to be attracted to someone, but the best way to glean if you are, is to meet in person and then decide. In person you can factor in all the wonderful qualities that make a man who he is, and what you end up loving about him. Women tend to forget that physical appearance is only a part of what makes you attracted to someone.
If you want more information on coaching with me, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You’ve got your reasons for being single. You’re picky. You’re career-focused. You just haven’t found the one. Whatever excuse you’ve given over the years about why you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t matter. The truth is you’d like to be in one, and as Valentine’s Day approaches yet again; you are reminded of just how much you really want to find your person.
I understand your plight all too well. I’m a dating and relationship coach and every day I talk to dozens of singles that are trying to best navigate the dating sphere in the hopes of living happily wedded-after. Like you, many of my clients have a lot to offer. They are smart, attractive, well rounded and thoughtful. And with so many dating apps rife with potential prospects you would think coupling up would be quick and easy. So why isn’t it?
The truth is that most of us go about looking for love the wrong way. Our culture of instant gratification has us impatient for anything that takes longer than a few nanoseconds. While you may be able to get a date that quickly, building a relationship with someone still takes ample time. We can’t order up our perfect match like a Starbucks drink, and yet that’s just what we try to do. We want what we want and we want it now. If you can let go of these bad habits, however, and embrace some important new ones, this can be the very last time you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
In 2008 it was all about “playing hard to get”. Ten years later we’ve that replaced that strategy with “go after what you want.” Gone are the days of waiting with anticipation to hear from someone. If you like them, you text them. Doesn’t matter if you said goodbye thirty seconds ago and they are still within eye shot. That’s what we do now. When we want something we go after it like an Olympic athlete goes for gold. There’s no holding back.
The problem is that as fast and furious as we make connections today, they burn out even faster. We have lost our restraint and will power to the technology God and he is royally screwing us over in the love department. If we want to make something last, we have to pace ourselves. Relationships are not built overnight, so regardless of how badly we want someone, making them wait a little is still a good move.
Try Someone New
Keep ordering your grande, iced, sugar-free latte, but when it comes to dating you need to branch out. You might daydream about someone who’s six feet tall, or curvy and blond, but love doesn’t always come in the package that we expect. Just because we are attracted to a certain type doesn’t mean we won’t be attracted to someone outside those parameters. Rosey, a 38 year-old stay at home mom remembers the day she met her husband at a local bar. “I started talking with him because he was standing there. Not because I was initially attracted. He had facial hair, which I’ve never been fond of, and he looked like he lived at the gym. But I said yes when he asked me out, and after our first date, I fell in love with him. We’ve been married for five years.”
A common mistake, especially with online dating, is to narrow your search preferences down to your seemingly “ideal match”. But we don’t fall in love with someone because their eyes are blue, they went to Dartmouth, or they live in a swanky part of town. We fall in love because of how we feel when we are with them. And that’s something you cannot tell until you actually go on a date. So widen your search criteria and sample date as many people as you can.
Ask The Right Questions
All too often I see my clients fall for someone that embodies a lot of what they want on the outside, but that they really don’t know on the inside. “If he’s Catholic, and we have chemistry, what else do I really need to know?” Said Jenna, a twenty-three year old graduate student at the University of Virginia. Actually there is a lot more that you need to know, although many singles today are focused only on physical attraction and have a fear of digging too deep. In an effort to seem fun and datable, women especially are keeping the conversation very light; sticking to non-controversial topics and steering clear of anything too personal. But getting personal is how you not only get to know someone; it’s how you form a real, genuine connection. If you don’t ask the right questions, neither of those things can happen.
In my book, “Was It Something I Said: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas” I stress the importance of asking meaningful questions on dates. Questions like, “When was your last relationship? Why did it end? What kind of men/women do you find yourself most attracted to?” These questions will give you good insight into the most critical aspect of the person sitting across from you – what they are like in a relationship. Other questions to ask, “Are your parents still together? What’s their relationship like? What was the last argument you had and with whom? While driving to and from work, what do you think about most?” There is no reason to fear asking any of these questions, and you should ask them early, before you fall for someone that isn’t your cup of specialty coffee…
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I read your book “You Lost Him At Hello” three years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, and it was eye opening for me. I have definitely fixed a lot of my mistakes, but the main problem I would say that I am still having is keeping guys interested and making them excited about me. I don’t think the problem is that I am too clingy because I definitely mirror their texting patterns. I feel like I have a lot to offer, but they are not seeing this or feeling like they “have” to be with me. I guess I would say that I am not good at “selling myself.” I sometimes find myself pointing out my flaws, downplaying my accomplishments, or being self deprecating because I am worried I will intimidate them. I don’t think I always used to do this and I’m not sure when it started.
Also, I thought that once I graduated college, people would be over the “hook up culture” (which has never been my thing) but that appears to not be the case. That being said, another problem I have is getting guys to ask me on dates instead of just asking me where I’m going out on a Friday night. There is one guy in particular who I think is interested in me, but I don’t know what I can do to pave the way for him to ask me on a date instead of how this usually goes. What can I do to make it very clear that I am interested, but also turn down “those” kinds of offers in the hopes of a date?
Thanks for your question and for reading my book. I’m so glad it helped. I think your recent situation with the guy who won’t “officially” ask you out also points to your overall problem of not getting guys overly excited to be with you. I have good and bad news for you. First, the bad…due to social media, texting, and everything in between that keeps people so easily and instantly connected at all times, the dating culture has drastically changed, and men have changed right along with it. In the past, it took real work to see a girl and get her to meet up with you. You had to get her number, call her on the phone, and actually make plans to do something together. But now, a guy can incorporate you into his already laid plans…and this is to his benefit for two reasons; one, he risks no sort of rejection by just seeing what you are up to and where you might be on a friday night, and two, he can up his odds of getting some sort of female interaction by asking multiple girls what they are doing on the same night. Depending on how many girls respond, and who is at the top of his list, he can then cancel (or just not follow through, most likely) with the others. This is what’s happening everywhere and to every female under the age of 30 (and some who are over.) There is little you can do about the way things have changed in respect to dating, but you do have control over how you respond to guys and that can make a big difference with the good ones (the bad ones will just move on to someone who’s easier).
Here is what you can do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting a guy out with his friends when you first start talking with him. Whether you’ve met him in person, know him from school, or have only interacted online, you can accept an invitation to meet up with him and his buddies. Standing firm that he has to ask you out in a traditional sense in order to see you is risking him either not getting the hint, or losing out because he just doesn’t have the nerve or motivation (yet). What you should do is meet up, have fun, dance, laugh, flirt, and then LEAVE. If you have read my book, you know all about the height of impulse and that is a very powerful move that will help you in this situation. When you are leaving, and the guy is asking you to go back to his place, or trying to kiss you, you have the opportunity to say in a cute, flirty way, “Sorry, I haven’t even been on a date with you yet. I just don’t go around making out with guys at bars. But you have my number, so if you’re interested in going out, text me.” Give him your best “you-know-you-want-to” smile, and walk away. As I said, the good guys will respect the fact that you respect yourself. The bad ones will be annoyed that they aren’t getting laid that night. How your guy responds to this will tell you which category he falls in.
As for the problem of not selling yourself well…you definitely don’t want to point out your real flaws to a guy you just started having a thing with. You can downplay what you know is not a true flaw, though. Think Ariana Grande telling a guy, “I’m just kind of an average singer.” You don’t want to brag to a guy, of course, but you also don’t want to pick yourself apart in front of him. Neither is attractive. And here is some final good news for you. If you and all your friends decide not to allow guys to “get” you without any real work, you will actually help them learn how to be true gentleman. If all women require a proper date, all men will comply. So when you tell the guy at the bar, “You gotta date me” you aren’t only helping yourself, you’re helping other women, and the entire male population.
For more answers to questions like this, check out my Q&A book, “Was It Something I Said? The answer to all your dating dilemmas.”
Natalie had finally met someone she liked. After months of being online and going on multiple first dates, she met Henry. There was instant chemistry on their first date. He wasn’t the necessarily the best looking guy, but there was something about him she was definitely attracted to. Their second date was great too. They went to an Art exhibit and spent hours talking about their passions in life and dreams for the future. On their third date, Henry brought her flowers, took her to a five star restaurant and told her that he found her to be one of the most captivating women he’d ever met.
And suddenly Natalie wasn’t sure if she was that interested anymore.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself becoming less interested in someone because they became more interested in you? If so, then it is very likely you have a strong affinity for the chase… and it could very well keep you single or unhappily married for the rest of your life.
Many women today have become increasingly addicted to the chase without realizing it. These women claim to want a happy, healthy relationship, however, when the opportunity presents itself in the form of a emotionally available, interested man, they turn their nose up and walk the other way. Instead they repeatedly gravitate towards the guy that shows them just enough interest to keep them hanging on but not nearly enough to ever realistically plan a future with. Why? Because they find these guys challenging, exciting, and stimulating, and to a degree they are. But what you may not realize is that when the guy you are dating doesn’t call you one night it’s just annoying and frustrating. When your husband does that, it’s absolutely crushing. Marry the guy who makes you chase him, however, and that’s what you are signing up for.
For centuries, it was only socially acceptable for men to chase women and for the most part, females were more than happy to sit back and let their pursuers do their thing. Women wanted to be called on often, and delighted in hearing professions of love. Nowadays however, their are a large number of women that only feel comfortable when they are avidly chasing the object of their affection. They might claim that they are open to being wooed and won over, it just “has to be the right guy”. What they don’t realize is that the minute a man begins to act like he should when he’s truly interested in a woman, no matter how great of a guy he is, he has just turned himself into Mr. Boring, Mr. Predictable, Mr. Smothering… and finally just Mr. Wrong. But that’s not the guy’s fault, it’s yours.
Can you be fixed?
If this sounds like you and your beginning to wonder if you have an addiction to the chase, don’t despair. The first thing you must do is acknowledge the problem. Without awareness, you’ll be a victim to your unconscious emotions time and time again. For the most part, this love of the chase can be broken like any other addiction. It simply takes works, discipline, and time. Realize a good relationship stems from a good dating experience – and that means a man treating you well and showing you that he cares. It may take some getting used to if you have always shied away from this, but the first step in the right direction is going against what feels natural to you. Say yes to the man who is reliable, stable, consistent and available and no to the one who is challenging and erratic. It will take some getting used to at first, but keep in mind this is supposed to be a relationship, not an extreme sport. The high’s and low’s, twists and turns you’ve grown accustomed to don’t work well in a marriage. In fact, they usually lead to messy break-ups.
If you think you may be addicted to the chase, it may be time to consult a dating coach! End your self-sabotaging habits by contacting Jess McCann and inquiring about her coaching rates and packages.
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Between writing for Washington Life, and getting ready to start my next book, I am seeking out experiences and memories you have had in your search for the perfect mate. Continue reading
My friend Lucy remembers very vividly the day her boyfriend became unattractive. He didn’t gain weight, grow a beard or stop showering. No, nothing like that. In fact, he was only getting in better shape lately, hitting the gym six days a week now instead of three. But as he was finishing his shower and beginning to meticulously messy his hair one morning, an overwhelmingly nauseating feeling struck her deep in her gut.
I hate this man, she thought. Continue reading