There is something about the words "dating coach" that disturbs many men. Whereas women gobble up tons of pounds of self-help literature, men prefer to take stabs in the darkness when it comes to dating advice, and go at it alone. Most are convinced they do not need help even if they have been single and trying for decades with not much to show for it. What is it about the suggestion of dating coaching — or just dating help —that sets men running?
Unfortunately, the answers are hidden very deep below the surface, in a traditional society in which we live. As progressive as we may consider ourselves in 2014, when it comes to roles of men and women, as much as the world had changed, that's how much it has stayed the same. Men are hunters and women are gatherers. It is expected of men to go out and drag a damsel by the hair into his cave, where she will submit to him and will be his loyal companion forever and ever. It is assumed that all men know just what to do and how to do it instinctively — because they're men!
Take a look at the self-help books on love and dating for women. There are thousands of them on the market. I compiled lists of them for my female clients — organized by category, age and need. When it comes to dating-help books for men, on the other hand, there is only one category and it is very short. There are less than a hundred books that I could recommend that help men enter the dating world and become attractive to women.
Our society continuously frowns upon men who are not in touch with their feminine side. Yet, even men who got over that hurdle, the ones that are sensitive, great, all-around guys, may need help when it comes to dating. Do we cut them slack for the second because they succeeded in the first? Not at all. How many of these men are willing to sit across the room from a friend, or a therapist, and not be afraid to admit they need help dating?
There is still a stigma attached to men who are not "pros" at dating. We expect every man to graduate high school with a PhD in courtship. When they fail, we, as a society, shrug our shoulders and secretly wonder what's wrong with them. What went wrong in their upbringing that they are not successful in dating like the rest of us? We drill that thinking into men's heads so effectively, many of them are even afraid to be seen reading a book about dating, never mind discussing it with somebody.
There is an expectation of men, especially successful men, that when they achieve a certain standing and status in society, the least they should be able to do is attract a woman. Why? What is it about performing heart surgery, running a corporation and meeting a woman that we find similar? If someone is a great pianist, we don't expect him to also be a great chef, do we? But a successful man? Of course he should be able to meet women, by virtue of his success.
Sadly, most men believe in the myth. Of those men, two categories are most common.
Type 1: Believes that women should be flocking to him for the sole reason of his success. When they don't, these men assume something is wrong with the women. They continue to be quite baffled at the amount of women in this world that just don't get it.
Type 2: Believes in the "Almighty Man" myth, but is not sure why it doesn't apply to him. He thinks something is severely wrong with him, but as a successful businessman, he cannot share this revelation with anyone. So he shuts himself behind the doors of his house or office, using the excuse that he is too busy or too tired at the end of the night to meet anyone.
Another humiliation that men percieven is in the words "coach" and "coaching." They both imply need for help. Coaching suggests that you have not perfected a particular skill and need further training. Coach infers someone is better than you at this skill. In a competitive world of Alpha Males, how can one justify reaching out for help? That would require admitting that there is something you have not excelled in. That admission is unthinkable for many men.
So what happens as a result? These men go through years and years of loneliness and frustration. They blame everything and everybody but themselves for their failed love life. Unfortunately, no one can convince them to see the help of a dating coach but they, themselves.
What is my solution to help these men? Perhaps we can get them to seek professional services by removing the stigma of being coached. From now on, a "dating coach" can be a "dating optimizer." A "relationship coach" can be come a "love adjuster." I, for one, will volunteer to take the first leap into the new label. I can tolerate this "rebranding." I will put out a call to my fellow coaches, to become optimizers to help many men who are truly in need.