Dating Coaching Questions:
Best Dating Coaches
If you’re looking for the best dating coach, you probably already understand how hard dating can be. The process of finding and attracting new people is already daunting enough. Then, if you do manage to find someone and start spending time with them, the early stages of a relationship can feel like a minefield; every new day, conversation, and interaction seem like a test you need to pass – if you don’t, your budding relationship just blows up.
Far too many people feel sad about being single, and struggle with dating but remain hesitant to seek professional help from a Denver dating coach or an online dating coach or dating consultant. Why? I believe it’s because of this myth: “Relationships just happen.” That is not true. In my experience, the people who have great relationships have them because they got help, and they worked on it. That’s what the best dating coaching is for: Helping you learn and grow.
The truth is that we all have blind spots when it comes to many things in life – and dating is no exception. We don’t know what we don’t know. If you’re not seeking outside (professional) opinions about the way you show up when you meet and interact with new people, you may be presenting yourself in a variety of ways that make it difficult to be vulnerable, or form new connections. You may be repeating old patterns in relationships, without even realizing you’re doing it. (More signs you need a dating coach here, if you’re interested).
Finding The Best Dating Coach
There is no shortage of dating coaches available, but you need to be very cautious about who you choose. It’s important to educate yourself about what is a dating coach, and learn how to find a good one. The best dating coach will have a wealth of training and experience and be able to provide valuable insight and instruction in a number of areas that you may not have even thought of. The worst of the bunch won’t have any training or experience. With dubious strategies and philosophies, they may set you back even further.
With all this in mind, it should be clear that your choice in dating coaches is an important one that deserves an informed perspective. That’s why I’ve written this article: So that you can make the best choice and find the best dating coach for you.
Find The Best Dating Coach By Understanding…
How to Become a Dating Coach
Before we get into exactly what a dating coach does and how to find the best dating coach, I want to explain a bit about the current landscape of dating coaching.
Dating coaching — like all “coaching services” including relationship coaching or life coaching — is completely unregulated. A therapist typically needs to get a degree, past tests, accumulate clinical hours, register with, and become licensed by a state regulatory agency. There is nothing like that when it comes to coaching. This means that literally anyone can call themself a dating coach and start seeing clients with absolutely zero education, training, or experience. And people do this all the time.
Uneducated “dating coaches” often start with a simple profile on Instagram. They post quotes and make aspirational videos. Their content is either backed up by zero research or, quite often, stolen from others. With these guys and gals, you’ll see a lot of gimmicky, slick marketing. They’ll talk about “results” in terms of numbers of people you’ll date to entice you into signing up with them, but they won’t talk about the deeper issues at play in dating and relationships.
If you’re tempted by one of these “dating coaches,” I don’t blame you; they utilize marketing that can be very persuasive because it plays on your desires and fears. What you need to understand, however, is that dating and relationships are far more complex than these people make it out to be. Their surface-level (at best) overview of dating will not help you make genuine connections. They’re not equipped to provide that type of growth work.
Once you understand a bit more about what’s really required to find the right person and have healthy relationships, you’ll have an informed and empowered perspective. This perspective will protect you from flashy marketing and help you see the vast majority of “dating coaches” for what they really are.
The Best Dating Coach: A Relationship Expert
The best dating coaches are, in my opinion, true relationship experts.
An expert is an individual with authoritative knowledge or skill in a certain discipline. In my opinion, a person would need a comprehensive body of education, training, and experience in relationships, specifically, to truthfully call themself a true “relationship expert.” So in the same way that you’ll encounter “dating coaches” with no demonstrable education, training, or experience, you’ll encounter “relationship experts” with similar lack of credentials. These people should be eliminated from your list of potential choices immediately.
So what do credentials for a bona fide relationship expert look like? This list will give you a good overview:
- Master’s degree or PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy
- Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
- Training and experience in evidence-based practices
- Years of experience helping couples and individuals create healthy relationships
The above credentials exemplify the authoritative knowledge and skill required for someone to call themself a true relationship expert. In my opinion, everyone seeking help with dating – from those looking for an online dating coach or online dating class to people looking for a dating coach in Denver – should absolutely be looking for these credentials.
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The Best Dating Coach Offers True Personal Growth
Are you ready for a real truth bomb? One that highlights the value of working with a therapist who specializes in relationships to be your dating coach?
Many people date before they are ready to have a healthy relationship.
The biggest, most important thing that most “dating coaches” ignore (or honestly, don’t have the education or background to even consider) is that dating is about far more than attraction and flirting; it’s that finding love is not often not even about “dating” at all. It’s about learning how to create a healthy relationship that endures.
Many people throw themselves into dating without ever taking the time to explore or work on their own personal growth first. Things like not fully getting over an Ex, having trust issues, struggling with healthy boundaries, having low self-esteem, trouble regulating your emotions, attachment styles that get in the way of emotional intimacy, a pattern of dating jerks or getting addicted to toxic relationships…. none of that stuff goes away when you date someone new. Unless you work on yourself, you bring it all with you.
To think that “you just haven’t found the right person yet” is an incredibly self-limiting thought. Of course, compatibility in relationships is important, and character matters when it comes to finding a life partner. But many people who haven’t yet worked on themselves will feel very frustrated in relationships: Either they’re trying to date the wrong people and it fizzles before it starts, or they’re unknowingly pushing people away, or they get into a string of disappointing relationships…. without ever knowing why.
In order to get different results in dating and relationships, you have to go deeper. That’s why finding the best dating coach often means finding a good therapist who specializes in relationships… and who also offers dating coaching services.
Here at Growing Self, we have so many clients that come to us after failed attempts with other dating coaches. These are men and women that find that they’re able to meet and date new people, but that their relationships seem to perpetually follow the same patterns. The problem is not their dating strategies; it is a variety of deeper individual issues (“competing goals” is a big one, which we’ll get to later).
This is why the best dating coaches will begin with an assessment of who you are as an individual before teaching you how to meet and interact with someone new. A true relationship expert will be able to identify and address key issues that are holding you back from making the connection you’re looking for.
Find The Best Dating Coach By Understanding…
What Is a Dating Coach? What Does a Dating Coach Do?
It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way that a coach can help you with your dating or relationships is to start by shining the light on you.
As we mentioned in the previous section, any worthwhile dating or relationship coaching will start with an assessment. The assessment is critical; when done correctly, it will help your coach get to know who you are on a deep level, which is essential for them to begin helping you get ready for dating or a relationship. Any “dating coach” or “relationship coach” that does not start with an assessment – or breezes over it – and jumps right into giving you directives about what to do differently does not know what they’re doing.
Cookie cutter approaches don’t work, because you are not a cookie. You have unique life experiences, perspectives and feelings. You have hopes and dreams and core beliefs, and ways of being that are yours. Without understanding who you are, what you want, and what you’ve been doing historically, how can a dating coach possibly provide you with meaningful insights or a plan to get you better outcomes?
For this reason, high quality dating coaching starts with an “assessment phase.” So, what does the initial assessment consist of?
Relationship History and Patterns
In order to help you move forward in a positive direction, your dating or relationship coach should learn as much as possible about your relationship history and patterns. Your experiences have shaped you into who you are today; they play a crucial role in the way you show up when you get to know new potential partners.
There are a number of different ways that your relationship history can impact your future dating and relationships. Here are just a few of those ways:
- Level of Prior Experience: Imagine Billy, who’s been in and out of long-term relationships for decades. Now, picture James who has never been in a romantic relationship, period. Clearly, a good coach would approach these two clients in vastly different ways.
- Past Relationships: Unfortunately, unhealthy relationships are common, and it’s important to consider how your past experiences have impacted you — particularly if you’re dating after divorce. If your last relationship hurt you in some deep way – which is not uncommon, at all – then your dating coach should know about it and spend some time helping you process, build self-love, and move forward so that your past experiences do not negatively impact your next relationship.
- Patterns: People often find themselves encountering the same problems and issues in their relationships. Over time, their partners change, but somehow, they seem to keep dealing with the same difficulties with each new partner. Until these patterns are understood and addressed, it’s incredibly likely that they will be repeated endlessly. Good coaches can help break patterns.
As I mentioned above, these are just a few reasons that it’s important for relationship and dating coaches to understand their clients’ relationship histories. This list is far from exhaustive.
Before we move on to another critical part of any assessment that relationship coaches conduct, I’d like to spend a little bit more time on one absolutely crucial cause of unfavorable relationship patterns for so, so many people.
During my time as a relationship coach, I’ve met so many people with extremely similar issues. Many of them say they want one type of partner – and they do! – but then when they meet someone with all of the traits they want that shares their goals, they sabotage their potential relationships. For example, they’ll mistakenly prioritize “chemistry” over character. On the other hand, when they meet someone that seems to be the exact opposite of what they want long-term, they’re attracted like a magnet. In many cases, situations like these are caused by something that I refer to as “competing goals.”
Let’s talk about Sarah for a minute. Sarah’s in her late twenties. She has a great career, but her primary focus is finding love. More than anything else, she wants to be in a stable relationship with a great guy who loves and cares for her. Unfortunately for Sarah, she seems to keep meeting the wrong guys. Time and time again, she’s met a guy who’s been so cool and confident and charming, fallen head over heels in love with him after a couple of dates, ignored “red flags” along the way, and then been discarded by him and left heartbroken.
Actually, over the years, Sarah’s been approached by quite a few nice guys who may have been caring, reliable, and willing to treat her very well. Just last month, a friend of Sarah’s friend named Jake – who she had met several times – asked her to have coffee, but Sarah turned him down. Although Jake seemed attractive, polite, and attentive, Sarah just didn’t feel any spark towards Jake; she wanted something else that she just couldn’t put her finger on…
Maybe you know someone like Sarah. Maybe you’re like Sarah! I wouldn’t be surprised; there are Sarahs everywhere.
Anyway, the heart of Sarah’s problem is her competing goals. Her long-term goal is feeling worthy of love and respect, but she’s unaware of another goal — the one that’s actually influencing her decisions when it comes to guys. That goal is her insatiable desire for romantic fantasy, drama, and Hollywood-esque “love” stories. This makes Sarah vulnerable to losing herself in relationships, and feeling attracted to charismatic, sexually exciting men… who have a very different type of personality than the ones who would make genuinely good long term partners and husbands and fathers.
These competing desires of Sarah’s are fairly typical, but there are many other sets of competing desires that people can fall under the influence of without realizing it. In fact, most people have competing desires they’re not aware of. Without help from a competent dating or relationship coach, they may never be aware of them.
Family of Origin
In the same way that your past relationships may greatly influence your behavior with future partners, your personal background going all the way back to birth has a massive impactive on your thoughts and actions.
Your parents, where you were born, the culture you were brought up in, your religion – all of these things and many more are factors that deeply flavor your personality and the way you present yourself to the world. Of course, it should be said that this is not a good or bad thing. There should not be judgment around anyone’s family of origin. While your own personal history is not necessarily good or bad, however, it matters for your dating life and any relationships you get into.
We all had roles in our family of origin, and our attachment styles are influenced by our earliest relationships. These always play out in our dating relationships too. The best dating coach will be able to help you identify the impact of your culture, your family, and your life experiences on your love life — and make positive changes accordingly.
Your Values, Goals, Hopes, and Dreams
What matters to you? What do you want to do with your life? What do you see for yourself and your potential partner(s)?
Many people want the traditional “white picket” fence life with children and secure jobs in a location close to their families. Many don’t. These things matter a lot. The best way to approach dating and relationships can vary a lot depending on exactly what you want. This is why your coach needs to understand these parts of you.
What Is Your Ideal Partner Looking For?
It’s easy to get too selfish when thinking about your ideal partner or relationship. After all, you’re thinking about what you want. Have you taken a moment, however, to think about what your ideal partner wants?
I want to take a quick moment to mention and dispel a toxic myth that – unfortunately – gets repeated constantly. If you go to one of your close friends or family members and explain that you’re tired of being single and you don’t know how to find someone – or maybe that you have found someone but you’re a bit confused about how to interact with them to take it to the next level – you might get the following advice:
“All you have to do is just be yourself.”
Of course, it’s true on some level. You don’t want to be fake and it’s entirely unproductive to present yourself as something that you’re not. On the other hand, “Just be yourself,” isn’t really helpful, is it?
And what if you are not currently growing, or living as your best self yet? What if you’re someone who’s recently lost your way in life? Maybe you’re unemployed and directionless, not pursuing any passions. Maybe you’re not taking good care of yourself. Maybe you’re subconsciously looking for someone else to bring energy and positivity to your life because you struggle to create it on your own. In these cases, “Just be yourself” isn’t good advice… because you’re not being your best self. And that’s what your ideal partner wants and deserves.
A far more useful piece of advice may be, “Be the best version of yourself.”
Easier said than done. However, if your goal is to find a certain type of person that you consider your ideal partner, this information may help your coach assist you to grow into the person that your ideal partner wants to be with.
This type of personal growth work is important, not just for your love life, but for you too. While working on yourself will help you be a better partner it will also help you have a better relationship with yourself. You’ll feel happier, you’ll be healthier, and you’ll enjoy your life more — whether or not you’ve yet found your person.
The best dating coach will challenge you to have a good relationship with yourself too!
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Working With a Relationship Coach
The Best Dating Coach Starts With an Assessment
In many ways, looking for the best dating coach should resemble the way that someone would find a marriage counselor, therapist, or any other professional in a related field. Professional help in these types of fields can be seen as “growth work.”
When trying to connect with a professional for growth work, you deserve to feel that you’ve found a good fit. For this reason, I see it as absolutely mandatory for ethical, effective dating and relationship coaches to offer free consultations in the beginning. You should not feel any pressure to commit with any dating or relationship coach – especially when you’re not even sure that they’ll be able to help you!
If you’re interested in connecting with someone here at Growing Self for help with your dating and relationships, you’ll start with a first free consultation. This way, you won’t have to commit until you’re sure you’ve found the right professional to help you.
After your relationship coach conducts your initial assessment, they’ll be able to proceed from a place of genuine and intimate knowledge about who you are, how you show up in relationships, who you hope to be with, and how to proceed.
The Best Dating Coach Helps You Connect With New People
Teaching others how to connect with new people is one of the most obvious things that a good dating or relationship coach will help with. Today, there are more options for finding potential new partners than ever before – but it’s still not easy. Even if you install every dating app available and go to every single’s event in your city, it may still be very difficult to meet and attract a new partner, especially if you’re inexperienced and unsure of yourself.
The best dating coach will help you understand how you’re presenting yourself in online dating and how you might improve your dating game. Whether you’re attempting to meet new people in the physical world or in the online space, first impressions matter and your coach will certainly help you optimize yours.
Once you’ve actually made contact with a potential partner, making a genuine compatibility connection is an entirely different challenge. This, too, can be made significantly easier and smoother with the help of a good dating or relationship coach.
Some other areas that will be addressed by any competent dating or relationship include:
- Online dating strategies (if applicable)
- First date Dos and Don’ts
- Attachment styles
- New Relationship Anxiety
- Red lights – or early warning signs
- Green lights – signs that a person may be a good match
- Communicating your value
- Moving from dating into a commitment or beyond
The Best Dating Coach Helps You Choose the Right Partner
Just because you can connect with someone and create a relationship, however, does not mean that you should! In fact, many people would benefit from being far more selective and aware of how they make their choices for potential partners. Remember Sarah, whom we talked about above with her competing goals? Every time Sarah got involved with a guy and ignored early red flags, she set herself back emotionally and wasted valuable time. Choosing the right partner is not a simple task.
Working with the best dating coach can help you develop a system to identify red light, yellow light, or green light characteristics in prospective partners. Then you can more easily identify the people who probably won’t be good partners for you and instead, spend your time and energy on the ones who have greater potential.
The Best Dating Coach Helps You Understand “Compatibility”
One of the most challenging roadblocks for people who desire a fulfilling relationship but can’t seem to create and maintain one is genuine, authentic connection and how to find true love. Tragically often, people choose the wrong partners, reject the right partners, and misunderstand compatibility.
Misunderstanding compatibility happens when people focus on the wrong things in potential partners. Some people think that their ideal mate needs to have all of the same hobbies as they do. Actually, sometimes the opposite would be better. The truth is that the best person for you might like all the same music – or they might not – there are far more important factors for you to focus on.
People who mistakenly believe that great relationships are based on “compatibility” miss a core truth about genuinely loving, healthy relationships: They’re based on appreciation of complementary strengths — not same-ness.
Working with the best dating coach can also help you avoid another trap that many people fall into while dating and searching for the right partner, which is something called “dating aspirationally.” Dating aspirationally occurs when people decide to be with someone not for who they currently are – but for who they could be.
Dating aspirationally is extremely common, but it never works. When you look at someone as a project for you to “fix up,” you’re ignoring the reality of the person in front of you. When you do that, any sort of intimacy or genuine connection becomes impossible.
These are just a couple of examples of the types of core beliefs or relationship patterns that can stand in the way of someone developing the type of healthy, long-term relationship they desire. Working with the best dating coach can help you become aware of your subconscious beliefs, patterns, and expectations so that you can learn how to cultivate new ones.
Do You Need a Relationship Coach?
If you’re even asking yourself the question of whether or not you need a relationship coach, it is a sign you could use support. More signs you need a dating coach here. Let’s face it: None of us can see our blindspots without support. None of us can possibly know what we don’t know about relationships, or the subconscious beliefs and patterns that we bring into our relationship systems. A good dating coach can hold up a mirror that allows you to see yourself in a different way, creating new awarenesses and insights that empower you to grow.
One of the core beliefs that can hold people back from actualizing their full potential in relationships is the thought that they “shouldn’t need a dating coach” at all. That, somehow, you’d arrive in adulthood simply knowing how to have healthy, positive relationships. Let me ask you a different question: Why should you know how to have healthy positive relationships? Did your parents have healthy positive relationships? Have you had a “how to have healthy relationships” class?
Very few people can answer “yes” to those questions. Working with a dating coach or relationship coach is actually how people learn how to have healthy, positive relationships. This is the class. You’ve arrived at the point where you’re ready to learn, and that’s wonderful.
But the bigger question is who do you choose to be your teacher? As you’re looking for the best dating coach to guide you on this journey of growth, remember that it takes education, training, and experience to become an expert in something. As explained above, a genuinely competent and effective relationship coach will have a wealth of knowledge and skill to draw from.
A marriage and family therapist with a master’s degree or doctorate in couples and family therapy, plus years of experience in helping couples and families create positive relationships, plus training and experience in dating coaching…. That’s a true relationship expert. That is the type of professional dating coach you deserve.
Is The Best Dating Coach Worth It?
While pride is one thing that holds many people back from seeking out a relationship coach, cost is another. Even before people begin researching the cost of professional growth work, they assume that it will be expensive and procrastinate, even though they know on some level that it would be worth it. If you’re considering getting help from a relationship coach now, I urge you not to procrastinate. Working with a relationship coach is a wise investment in your long term happiness.
Among other things, an effective relationship coach or the best dating coach will help you:
- Address issues affecting the way you show up when meeting new people
- Connect with new people faster and more effectively
- Choose better partners
- Improve the quality of your relationships
Think about it. Even if you hired a relationship coach and they helped you with just one of those things, it would still be worth it. In the same way that people who wonder how much marriage counseling costs and are pleasantly surprised by just how affordable it is, you’d probably be shocked to find that dating and relationship coaching is extremely affordable, too. And as I’ve just explained, the results and growth that a good coach can help you with is valuable beyond any dollars and cents you might spend.
You Deserve The Best
Thanks for taking the time to learn about the art, science, and profession of dating coaching with me today. I hope that this article has helped you understand the different kinds of “dating coaches” out there, and how to find the best dating coach for you.
Dating and relationship coaching can go very deep, and I believe that is where the most important work happens. I also believe that you deserve the opportunity to work on yourself with the kind of professional who can offer you a valuable and meaningful growth experience. That’s the kind of work that leads to healthy, enduring relationships — and that’s the end goal of dating coaching.
I hope that this perspective helps you make informed decisions about where you’d like to grow, and how to partner with a great coach for support and guidance along the way.
Wishing you all the best,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self. She is a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a board-certified coach, as well as the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
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