In the United States, love coaches face the merciless world of dating 2.0

In the United States love coaches face the merciless world

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    To get by in the jungle of 2.0 dating, some singles call on a “dating coach”, a sort of love guide like a sports coach.

    After a long relationship, Katia finds herself helpless in the “uncharted territory” of applications and the new codes of romantic encounters. How to describe yourself well on your profile? What words, what photos to choose? What messages should or should not be sent? What to write after a first real face-to-face? How to show interest without getting too attached? How to react if no message comes after the first meeting? To answer all these questions, the 43-year-old executive called on an online love coach. A new trendy profession.

    A “dating coach” to better understand online dating

    “It’s exhausting!”, laughs Katia, who did not wish to reveal her full name. From men who abruptly disappear (the famous “ghosting”) to standardized questions on applications as if you had to “check boxes”, she is “shocked by certain behaviors”.

    For several months, she has been following a dating coach. If social networks do not provide data on their numbers, they abound online, in the midst of the personal development boom. “She helped me understand the modern definition of an asshole“, laughs Katia, insisting however on the conversations with her coach”most important and profound questions I’ve ever had about the logistics of my love life: What are my needs? What are my criteria?“. What makes the difference for Katia is the very practical aspect: “she helps me with everyday details like ‘no, that’s normal’ or ‘that guy, it’s true, he was a bit of an asshole’. She helps me put things straight“. Katia has “a guide to love like she has a sports coach“.

    Help for managing the strategic world of dating apps

    With more than 450,000 subscribers on Instagram, nearly 800,000 on TikTok, Sabrina Zohar says she is neither an influencer nor a therapist. Initially dreaming of being an actress, she then began unfinished studies in psychology, then business. After a difficult relationship, she launched a podcast and videos about love. “I’ve been that anxious girl who couldn’t sleep at night waiting for a message“, confides the coach, explaining how she juggles her knowledge of the human brain and her personal experience to give her clients “confidence”, from her living room in southern California. “I combined it all and created a new way to help people by giving them practical tools and solutions, not just nice words“, she says with the rapid and direct tone which she has made a trademark.

    Sabrina Zohar then helps her clients, who have difficulty “finding their way”, to manage the strategic world of messages or to make good use of dating applications because, she says, online seduction ” It’s the Wild West.” Sabrina Zohar says she does around fifteen sessions per week. The majority of its customers, as many women as men, are between 27 and 44 years old, paying between $35 for a quick question and $6,600 for unlimited follow-up.

    A subtle mix between the therapist and the “friend who wishes you well”

    The success of these coaches does not surprise sociologist Amanda Miller, a specialist in romantic relationships. Because two phenomena have “coincided”: the explosion of dating applications, with sometimes contradictory expectations among their users, and the pandemic, which has disrupted social interactions.

    Those who have the means have “become much more comfortable” with online services, notes this professor at the University of Indianapolis, who also highlights a link with “the American model of efficiency and capitalism”. “Does that take away from the romance? Not necessarily. In the past, our elders or friends would give this kind of advice but today we consider it a professionalized skill set“, observes Amanda Miller. It is precisely for this professional and rapid aspect that James, who did not wish to give his real first name, decided to call on a “dating coach”, however ensuring that he leads a “deep emotional work.” “She has most of the knowledge of a therapist, but her approach is more focused on ‘how can I apply this in everyday life NOW‘”, says this 54-year-old single man who manages a startup in California. His coach, he says, helped him in a few months to improve manage your anxiety and to feel more confident in the ever more complicated dating market.