When you think of a dating coach, you may picture someone whispering in a client's ear and telling them all the right lines to use in order to land the partner of their dreams. But according to actual dating coaches, their work involves a lot more than that. So what can a dating coach actually do for you? And, should you consult one?
It's no secret that dating can be really tough. While more and more people are meeting their partners online today, research has found that it can negatively impact mental health for some. In fact, a 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that picture-based mobile dating apps like Tinder or Bumble can lower one’s self-esteem and increase the risk for depression. The most recent Singles in America study by Match even found that more people are experiencing dating burnout, and described dating today as "overwhelming" and "unkind."
One of the most common pieces of dating advice you'll hear is to be confident and just have fun. But it's hard to be confident when dating is leaving you burnt out and disappointed. It's even harder when you're actually looking for a relationship. That's where a dating coach comes in.
What A Dating Coach Can And Can't Do
"It's hard to be objective in one's own life," Channa Bromley, elite matchmaker and certified dating coach, tells Bustle. "A dating coach is able to strategize and position their clients effectively on the dating scene."
In addition to that, a coach's job is to help you manage any dating-related anxiety and fear. According to Bromley, the goal is to help a client move away from sabotaging beliefs and behaviors, so they're consciously dating.
"Everyone has blind spots in dating and we do things that may come across differently than we intended," Bromley says. "A dating coach is able to spot patterns that are not in alignment with the clients' dating and relationship vision and guide the client back onto the path where their greatest level of happiness will be found."
A dating coach can help you with a lot. But they can't make anyone fall in love with you, nor can they force you to fall in love with someone else. They won't "coach" you during dates, and they won't teach you any manipulative tactics either. According to Bromley, "There are pickup artists that have given dating coaches a bad name." But a legitimate dating coach will work on their client's "inner game" so that they present themselves in the best way and from a place of wholeness.
How A Dating Coach Can Help You
Each dating coach has their own approach to coaching, and will help clients in many different ways. For instance, Bromley can help to interpret and respond to texts. She'll create online profiles that are effective, manage accounts, and teach clients how to message others in a way that gets results. She'll also do image consulting and prepare mock dates to help her clients feel confident when they're getting out there on their own.
Most importantly, dating coaches are there to offer emotional support. "I'm their sounding board and their confidant, who will give them the tough love they need to enter into the relationship they have always desired," Bromley says.
According to her, we've all experienced heartache at some point. These wounds often turn into limiting beliefs that "take the steering wheel when we date." A dating coach will help you to identify these limiting beliefs so you can reframe them and feel more empowered while you're navigating the dating scene. In doing so, you'll be better able to identify the right people for you, let go of the ones who aren't, and avoid self-sabotaging behaviors so you can have the healthy relationship you want.
Who Can Benefit The Most From Seeing A Dating Coach
"Going to a dating coach isn't always about not knowing how to date," Stef Safran, dating coach and matchmaker, tells Bustle. "It's a lot like going to a personal trainer. You see them to get a better workout than you can on your own."
So you don't need to be "bad" at dating to seek out professional guidance. Anyone can benefit from getting coaching. Whether it's helpful or not really depends on you. It's a lot more inner work than anything else. It's not just about getting a complete makeover and knowing the right lines to use. You really have to be open to making positive shifts in order to see results in your dating life. It may get uncomfortable at times, but it's usually well worth it in the end.