Recently I was waiting for my coffee at Starbucks and I looked up at the bulletin board, where there was a flyer for a dating coach. On the one hand, I rolled my eyes at the idea of a dating coach. I think that when I go on a date, I should go as myself, not as someone who's "coached" into being the type of person who guys want to go out with.
On the other hand, I thought of all the articles I'd read in women's magazines with titles like, "How to Get a Second Date," or "How to Make Him Want You," or "If He's Not Texting Back, That Means He Likes You." (Okay, I made up that last one, but there ARE articles out there like that.)
People go to coaches or teachers to learn a lot of things. For example, people hire personal trainers to help them lose weight or strengthen their muscles. Athletes hire coaches to help them develop their skills and win competitions or games. My students come to me for help with writing or over-analyzing authors. So why not go to a dating coach, who could tell people what they're doing wrong (or right) when it comes to dating? At the very least it might help to have some support.
I Googled the name of that dating coach. This person's services cost almost a hundred dollars for a one-hour session! Obviously, I can't afford a dating coach, though I probably could if I gave up my coffee habit. (But then I'd end up flipping off a LOT more people than I already do, so I should probably not give up coffee any time soon.)
I did, however, think of some questions that I would ask a dating coach, if I could afford one.
1. How do I get a second date?
2. If he says, "I'll call you," does that mean, "I'm going to delete your number from my phone IMMEDIATELY" every time?
3. When guys don't put pictures in their online dating profiles (and there are a LOT of them), does that mean that a) they're self-conscious about their looks; b) they don't want their girlfriends/wives to know they're online; c) they're in the Witness Protection Program?
4. Would the phrase "I work for the IRS, and I'm going to audit you if you turn out to be a jerk" be a good headline for my online dating profile?
5. When guys write stuff like, "I don't want to date any heavy girls," or "If you weigh more than 135 pounds, don't e-mail me until you lose weight," (I'm not making those up, but I wish I was), is it okay to e-mail them pictures of Victoria's Secret models with the message, "These are the women you will spend years pining for but who will never settle for you"?
6. Why do I only attract the guys who criticize me for not dressing up enough for dates, wait several weeks after our first date to call me, or try to touch me so many times that I have no choice but to "accidentally" trip them?
7. Since everyone is emotionally and physically attached to their cell phones these days, why do some guys take hours to text back?
8. Would the phrase "My biological clock is ticking louder and louder" be a good headline for my online dating profile?
9. What are some good places to meet guys my age who don't reject all the women in their thirties for women in their twenties (or teens)?
10. At what point do you give up on a client and buy him or her a lifetime supply of ice cream?
Maybe the problem isn't just the guys I've gone out with. Maybe it's me. After all, the one common denominator in all those relationships is me. Maybe a dating coach could give me some valuable insight. But right now, of course, hiring a dating coach is not an option for me. I haven't even thought about dating anyone in months, since I've been focused on my dissertation and the job search. I have resolved, though, that once I've secured a good, full-time teaching job, I'll put myself out there again.
What about you? If you could ask a dating coach a question, what would it be? What do you think of people like dating coaches and matchmakers?
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