Don’t you wish it were so easy? It’s not – you know that, I know that, everyone knows that.
Yet we’re still suckers for books that promise to unlock the secret to everlasting love. They’re like get-rich books – irresistible.
I was browsing the shelves of a used-book store recently and saw Always Talk to Strangers: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life. I was drawn to the 218-page paperback, in part, because it was written by a so-called dating coach. Soon, I’ll publish a piece on the popularity of these coaches – an occupation I didn’t know existed.
This author, David Wygant, says he’s one of the country’s most successful dating coaches whose clients – “everyday people, celebrities, and millionaires alike” – pay him up to $10,000 for a private counseling session. He says he’s appeared on TV shows such as Dateline and Inside Edition and been featured in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and New York magazine.
So what does David say?
His book is a straightforward, easy read. It’s divided into three chapters: how to prepare mentally and physically to meet someone, when and where to find eligible people, and how to approach them. As easy as 1, 2, 3, right?
Actually, I found David’s advice sound, if not groundbreaking. For instance, in Chapter 1, he says a lack of confidence dooms more men in dating than a lack of looks.
“Want proof?” he writes. “ Look around you. Every day you see people coupled with someone not their financial or physical equal. You see chubby, balding men with thin beautiful women.”
But physical appearance is important, he adds. His advice: Get in shape, cut your hair, fix your teeth, trim your nails, lose the moustache or beard, buy fashionable glasses and improve your wardrobe.
In Chapter 2, David covers dating — blind dates, Internet dates and trolling for dates around town. Again, I can’t quarrel with his advice.
He encourages people to try blind dates, even if friends and family have set you up with losers. “You never know where love is going to come from, and you should never turn your nose up at an opportunity to meet someone new,” the book says.
On Internet dating, David says go for it. There’s power in numbers, and there’s no better way to meet a lot of people in a hurry than on the Internet. “You can’t wait around your entire life for that one date, hoping it will be the one to change the course of your life,” he writes. “It’s insanity. Instead, you have to go out there and aggressively get dates for yourself …”
Amen. This has been my approach for years – go on date after date after date. You learn what you want and don’t want – and you gain confidence. “People who go into a date in desperation reek of it,” the book says.
Finally, David talks about meeting people around town. Now this is the approach I’ve had the least experience – and success – with. I’m reluctant to approach a hot woman in the grocery produce section and say something lame like, “The bananas look great, don’t they?”
But David gives us men a pep talk, saying meeting women face to face in a variety of settings is the greatest challenge – and can yield the best results.
In Chapter 3, David tells us how to lose our anxiety and confidently approach a woman. “Hesitation can be deadly in the meeting game,” he warns. But that doesn’t mean walk up to someone with a tired pickup line. “Remember, pickup lines don’t work!”
Instead, David says to approach a woman you find attractive – and tell her that. “Assuming you don’t smell like a cesspool, I can’t think of many women who wouldn’t be flattered to hear such words,” he writes.
This is good stuff.
Finally, David talks about handling rejection. Hey, it’s inevitable. Get over it. Everybody who’s playing the dating game gets rejected.
His advice: Take a chance. Aim high. Ask her out.
“Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you fear rejection,” he writes. “Go after what you want. At the very least, if you don’t succeed, you’ll have closure.”
There’s no magic formula for finding true love. But there are sound guidelines. This book (and others) can open your eyes and increase your chance of success.