The Problem with Online Dating and Love Coaching


It's not the process or the people but a matter of logistics

Dating coaching may be helpful for some but for it to be truly effective, the person needs to practice what they are learning. If a dating coach partnered with a matchmaker who sources dates like an executive recruiter, then the person is set up to break through their inner and outer stumbling blocks to love.

Another thing that I will also say is that some people have been deeply wounded in their bonding through abuse and neglect and very hurtful early rejection that was repetitive. These people may have unprocessed trauma that is best dealt with using a method like EMDR. EMDR is a trauma therapy often used to help those suffering from PTSD. The reason I mention this as well is that such people, while highly motivated and desiring of a true love, are likely to resist love with equal intensity. Unless a dating coach can perform EMDR to remove this resistance, it's a waste of time and money. Most of the EMDR therapists I have met are licensed psychotherapists, which cost as much as a typical dating or love coach.

In a March 2012 Harper's Bazaar article by Alix Strauss, the author shared how EMDR helped her heal from the pain of a painful breakup. For anyone interested in finding love again after a divorce or end to a long-term relationship that was hurtful, EMDR may be something to look into. Men and women handle the end of a love union differently but both can carry the pain for too long to be available for a new love should they show up one day.

The loss of love is a form of trauma because it is the destruction of a primal bond. Mothers and infants have a powerful bond. So do spouses and other significant others. Divorce is like an emotional death. Sometimes it is a gradual and mutual decision. Other times one spouse is blindsided by the other. My ex-fiance was abandoned suddenly by his ex-wife. She just moved her things out of their home one day and had him served with divorce papers.

After undergoing a custody battle for their toddler son at the time, his divorce was final, but he was emotionally destroyed by the experience. By the time I came around two years later, his unresolved grief and anger persisted into our relationship, so much so that I reluctantly ended our engagement and moved out West for good.

Needless to say, I too was left devastated even though I ended things, and needed EMDR myself. For two years I dealt with his constant comparisons between me and his former spouse. She was always the elephant in the room no matter where she physically was. I simply felt I had no choice but to extract myself from being more of his social worker/therapist than significant other. He also refused to get professional help for his anger towards his son's mother. As a direct result I left him because I was a container for his feelings and developing hypertension while he admitted that he wanted to stay mad at her.

I have come to think that dating coaches who don't partner with matchmakers are not 100% in the game of finding love for their clients. Some may actually want clients to stay single so they will keep paying them. Ditto for online dating sites.

As for Internet dating, my only issue with online dating are the websites themselves. The people and process are not so much the problem. If the sites cleaned up their data and deleted inactive users as soon as they unsubscribe or have not been active on the website for more than 90 days, then the data integrity would increase the effectiveness of successful matches. I personally think that online dating should be more regulated and be required to verify accounts as authentic users, and even have users be required to undergo a background check before their profile is approved.

There are online dating insiders who actually left the business and have come out and said that the dating sites are operating from a business model of keeping a person dating but single. It's better for business that way. The strategy for certain dating coaches and online dating sites is to break a person's confidence down to a point that they will feel that they need to keep doing it until they get a breakthrough. They convince the person that they have mental blocks and are scared, etc... it's not true. In reality, the sites and coaches are not getting these single clients out there and in the game enough.

What online dating websites don't realize is that if they actually operated their sites to maximize the number of users who no longer need their service within one year because they found the right match, these online dating sites would be more successful. By keeping people single through an algorithm that is faulty and not cleaning up user data, online dating is only sabotaging itself in the end. Pretty soon it will be the vortex of the black hole of dating.

A recent Huffington Post article by Neely Steinberg hit home for me by her emphasis on proper planning and action when it comes to manifesting love. Her comment on being a doer is on the mark. It is a major part of achieving your love goals. Many "love attraction" programs do not work because they are often not helping you work smart, just hard, to find love. Others go too far with the law of attraction philosophy that it ventures into the lazy approach, such as my experience was with Kathryn Alice's Love Will Find You method.

Finding love, I have come to believe, requires the right beliefs, a genuine self-love, an effective strategy (meet lots of people who are compatible with you and generate rapid rapport), and aligned powerful and intentional ACTION. The only dating coaches worth investing in are those who partner with a matchmaker who uses the Patti Stanger method of finding a match. This is what San Francisco matchmaker Anni Powers does. Anni works like a recruiter and does the due diligence to make sure a person is single for one thing, and other things. So this article was right on in how it summarizes the basic but potent method for finding love.

Based on my own knowledge about how some matchmakers really work, I am a firm believer that The Real Matchmaker approach should be industry standard. It boggles my mind that some matchmakers are actually trying to sell $5000 dating coaching packages in disguise before ever introducing you to a match! This was what I encountered when I looked into more high profile matchmakers. Another matchmaker in San Francisco wanted me to go through a series of dating coaching/therapy with her before she accepted me into her client database to meet a match. These experiences are exactly why I advocate that coaches partner with a matchmaker and not try to do both. Successful results require focus.

If your beliefs are out of alignment with love, then a program like "Engaged In A Year" by Debi Berndt is excellent. If your interpersonal skills need help then find a good networking and conversationalist workshop. Social skills and emotional intelligence are critical to fostering good connections throughout life. Other ways to be effective are to know what kind of person is truly compatible for you. A good match is not just looks but a personality assessment of who you are and what best works for someone with your combination of personality traits and temperament. This is where professional therapy can be very useful, such as the Imago work for Dr. Harville Hendrix. If meeting people is challenging because of your schedule or you just don't know where to start to find a new social network, then check out Matthew Hussey's Get the Guy program. His work is all about maximizing your odds and NOT through online dating.

Charlie the Matchmaker in New York is right when he tells his clients to get out there effectively. Two weeks ago I went to a conference that my friends were at and made a new friend. Nothing romantic happened but now I am helping him with an Asian-American language teaching project for immigrant children and adults who want to reconnect to their ancestral heritage. He also gave me a lift to my meeting in Newport Beach one Friday because my car broke down. My new friend happened to live in the neighborhood where my meeting was held and it was on his way to work.  Goes to show that if you want to meet quality people, get out of the house, go where such individuals congregate, and strike up a good conversation. If you have no agenda things will flow. By the way, this new pal looks like Danny Pino from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Had I been on surfing profiles that weekend I would have not met him.

My new friend also agreed with my perspective. He said that it is too easy to hide behind a laptop and not develop social skills. We were talking about how one person you met in person leads to 3-5 new friends. So just make friends and see where it goes. Also be totally OK when you get a no in life, not just dating, because like rejection ... the more you get you will eventually become immune to it. Now I am so glad that I got off last week. The best online dating is often through websites not dedicated to dating at all. One person I know met their spouse through a Meetup group for dog trainers in San Diego five years ago.

The simple equation to finding love is: meeting lots of people who are likely to be compatible as friends with you AND master rapid rapport techniques with a genuine intention to connect. It's really that simple.