We see doctors for health checkups and accountants to help us get our finances in order. There are also those of us who may even have regular sessions with a fitness instructor, therapist or career coach. Yet somehow, when it comes to matters of the heart, we neglect to get treatment.
While dating may come naturally to some people, there comes a time in every persons’ life when they can use a little refresher, learn new tactics or improve on old ones, and even benefit from a little support to get through a breakup, drought or the emotional vicissitudes one must deal with as they search for Mr. or Ms. Right.
Just take Jake Pavelka, “The Bachelor” du jour who claimed in episode one of this season’s show (subtitled: “Wings of Love” for this series) that, “he had hundreds of first dates but never any second ones.” Were it not for 25 women and a television deal with ABC setting him on a course of scenic dates and courting that leads to the altar, I am willing to wager that Pavelka would have been a prime candidate for a real-life dating coach to help him figure out why he could not land any follow-up dates. In fact, depending how things turn out for the flying ace with the fab abs, the jury may still be out on the matter.
Though help is out there, many singles still balk at the thought of investing in a dating coach, and as a result may date with blinders on. That’s why, “people must learn accountability, action and consistency,” according to Lisa Steadman, author of It’s a Breakup Not a Breakdown. She offers that “a good dating coach will hold a vision for your long and short-term goals, help you see where you might be sabotaging your chances of success and co-create a plan to experience those goals.”
There is certainly an upside to getting your very own love doctor but if you are ready to invest, one must proceed with caution. With so many people hanging a shingle and touting their attributes as a professional dating coach, how do you find one that is right for you? It’s your life, your heart and your future, so this is an area where you would be wise to do a little research and planning. Steadman advises, “You’ll want to find a coach whose style, personality and approach you respect. And you want someone who will push you beyond your comfort zone, because that’s when results really happen.”
Here are four more tips to consider while making sure you select a dating coach that is right for you:
1. Check Your Library: Yes, it’s always important to check references, and many of today’s dating coaches are authors of books and/or articles. You can learn a lot about them based on what they have written. Checking their website as well as customer reviews on third-party sites like Amazon.com or BarnedandNoble.com is a good way to get background information that’s not impartial.
2. Access Their Approach: The Millionaire Matchmaker’s tough love tactics may work for some but not everyone, so it’s important that you find someone with whom you will mesh. Don’t be shy to inquire about methodology and how their approach aligns with your personality and relationship goals. And be sure to get everything in writing so there is no room for debate if you are dissatisfied.
3. Evaluate Services Rendered: In order to get the best bang for your buck, you will need to find a dating coach that offers the type of help you are seeking. For instance, some people prefer group workshops and clinics to individual sessions; while for others, getting a professional makeover may be more urgent than having their online dating profile rewritten. By the same token, life stage, age and individual circumstances such as being newly divorced may dictate the type of counsellor you will want. Familiarize yourself with the types of services available and select a coach who can help you based on subject matter, specialty and services.
4. Check Cancelation Policies: Many independent professionals require 24 to 48 hour notice if you don’t want to be charged for meetings missed.