If you’re ready to find love but are sick of online dating, it might be time to hire a dating coach. Dating coaches can help you every step of the way, from writing a profile, to choosing your first date outfit, to maintaining meaningful communication with the person you’re seeing. Here are the things you need to know about what a dating coach offers so you can decide if it’s worth it.
- An in-person evaluation One of the selling points of a dating coach is that they tailor their approach to suit their clients’ individual needs, something that even the most sophisticated dating app algorithm can’t achieve. They will ask you about your dating history, your reasons for seeking expert guidance, and what you hope to gain from their services. It may feel more like a therapy session than a dating consultation, but the more they know about you, the better their coaching will be.
- Figuring out your type (hint: it’s never who you think it is) One of the most common reasons people are unsuccessful with dating is because they go for the wrong people. According to experts, the people who we think are our “type” are often totally wrong for us. Part of a dating coach’s process is to get beneath the surface of who you say you want to date and figure out what type of person you will actually be happy and fulfilled with. Some dating coaches even have an in-house psychologist for this part of the process.
- Creating a dating strategy Once you’ve agreed upon your dating and partner goals, your coach will craft a strategy. This will usually involve dating apps, but do not despair: the purpose of a dating coach is to revamp your entire approach to the dating game, so your experience with apps will be totally different. There are so many options out there besides the big ones that everyone’s tried, so you may have missed a few that are better suited to your needs.
- Writing your profile Most of us struggle with writing dating profiles. Trying to sum up your entire personality, life, and aspirations into a few sentences is literally impossible, and yet, we’re forced to try. Dating coaches are experts at crafting the most eye-catching, succinct, and memorable profiles that will attract the people you’re looking for. Armed with the in-depth evaluation they’ve had with you, they know you better than you know yourself and can articulate your best qualities with objectivity and clarity.
- Photography Some dating coaches offer professional photography services to enhance your profile even further. Anyone who’s swiped through hundreds of faces on dating apps knows that photos are the first thing you see and the first thing you use to judge a person’s eligibility. Even if you have the world’s most enticing bio, no one will read it if your photos don’t keep them from swiping left.
- Vetting matches In keeping with the unfortunate reality that we often don’t know who’s good for us, dating coaches also vet the people you match with to determine which are worth reaching out to. Their expert analysis will keep you from wasting hours of your life texting into a void at a potential relationship that will never materialize. This vetting process will help you conserve emotional energy and avoid becoming jaded by dead ends.
- Banter coaching Once you’ve selected the most promising matches to reach out to, the pressure is on. You don’t want to be the person who says, “Hey, how’s it going?” as an opening line to the person who you hope will be the love of your life. Most people are so freaked out about saying the wrong thing that they wait for the other person to make a move. Your dating coach will not let you do that. They will give you the conversational skills (for online and in-person interactions) to strike up casual yet captivating banter with anyone.
- In-person approaching For those who struggle with in-person communication, some coaches teach interpersonal skills such as body language, spatial awareness, and reading the room. They also offer guidance on how to approach someone IRL, such as in a bar or at a coffee shop. This is a particularly useful skill for men so they can avoid seeming creepy or aggressive when approaching women they don’t know. Many couples have met this way, but in a time when flirtation often starts online, it is more important than ever to get the tone of an in-person approach pitch-perfect.
- Role-playing A common method that dating coaches use is role-playing. Most clients will seek some kind of training for in-person interactions, because no matter how well-crafted and polished their dating profile is, they have nowhere to hide on a first date when they come face-to-face with their match. A lot of people freeze in these moments, paralyzed by anxiety and awkwardness. By having you act out these scenarios over and over, your dating coach will make sure that you get to the point where meeting someone in person for the first time feels fun and rewarding rather than terrifying. By giving you the confidence to respond to every type of situation on the fly, your coach will make sure that you always put your best foot forward.
- Fashion consultation Many coaches offer fashion advice to make sure you look your best when your date sees you for the first time. They will not only build specific outfits for first dates, but they will also give you a style makeover by evaluating your tastes, body type, and personality. If you’ve ever wanted to overhaul your wardrobe but didn’t know where to start, this service will have you feeling fresh, confident, and hopefully more like yourself. Going into a first date with an outfit that makes you feel this way will give you a major advantage.
- Post-date analysis. It’s one thing to secure a few dates, but evaluating those dates is another story. Your dating coach will discuss your successful and unsuccessful dates so you can tweak your strategy going forward. They will act as your cheerleader, advisor, and shoulder to cry on when things are rough. Consider them a best friend who also happens to be an expert on finding you the perfect partner.
- Long-term guidance. Many dating coach packages cover a certain number of months. Within that time frame (one to 12 months usually) your coach will give you ongoing support through one-to-one sessions, text, and email. You can reach out to them after a terrible date or gush about a new partner. You can talk to them about any changes you might have in your dating goals or seek more coaching for anxiety or lack of confidence. Because it takes time to meet the partner of your dreams after you develop a new strategy, your dating coach will guide you through each stage to make sure you are successful.
What to consider before hiring a dating coach
Now that you know what you get from a dating coach, here are the facts you need before deciding if this path is right for you:
- The price tag Dating coaches are not cheap. The average cost is about $5,000, but in some places such as New York City, they can charge anywhere from $300 per session to $50,000 per year. People who rely on largely free dating apps or chance encounters IRL to find love may find this price tag shocking, but for some, the cost is worth it if it leads them to their forever partner.
- How long it takes There is no standard time frame for how long it will take you to find love after beginning your journey with a dating coach. You should be prepared for it to take time, though. Whether or not you believe in love at first sight, lasting relationships take time to develop, and learning to break unsuccessful dating patterns requires long-term effort. Most coaches offer packages that last from four weeks to one year.
- The success rate The success rate is difficult to judge because people approach dating coaches with different goals and coaches vary widely in their expertise. However, some coaches self-report success rates of up to 95%. In comparison, Eharmony, one of the most relationship-oriented dating apps, reports a 70% success rate on average, with a cost of between $35 and $65 per month.
- Is it worth it? It is up to you to decide whether the cost of a dating coach is outweighed by the success rate. The most important way to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck is to do your research and read through website testimonials and online reviews. Ultimately, if you have the financial means, find a reputable dating coach, and feel like you’ve exhausted all your other options, you are likely to find success.