After ending a long relationship, Katia finds herself lost in the “unknown territory” of apps and new codes for romantic dates. To remedy this, this 43-year-old California executive turned to a “coach” online love (coach).
How to describe yourself well in your profile? What words and what photos to choose? What messages should or should you not send? What to write after a real first date? How to show interest without getting too attached? How to react if messages do not arrive after the first date?
“It’s exhausting!” says Katia, who preferred not to give her full name, laughing.
From people who disappear abruptly (the famous “ghosting”) to standardized questions that seem taken from a form in which you “check boxes”, she is “shocked by certain behaviors.”
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He has been following a dating coach for several months. Although social networks do not offer data on how many there are, these “professionals” abound in times of peak personal development.
“She helped me understand the modern definition of an asshole,” Katia jokes, yet she insists that the talks with her “coach” have been “the most important and profound ones I’ve had about the logistics of my love life: What “Are my needs? What are my criteria?”
For Katia, what makes the difference is the practical aspect: “she helps me with details of everyday life, like saying ‘no, that’s normal’ or ‘really, this guy was a bit stupid’. She helps me clarify things.”
Katia says she has both a guide to love and a sports coach.
With more than 450,000 subscribers on Instagram and almost 800,000 on TikTok, Sabrina Zohar does not define herself as an influencer or a therapist. Initially she dreamed of being an actress, then she began – and did not finish – studying psychology and then a business school.
After going through a difficult relationship, she launched a podcast and videos about love.
“I was that anxious girl who couldn’t sleep at night waiting for a message,” confesses the “coach”, who explains how she combines her knowledge of the human brain and her personal experience so that her clients “feel comfortable” in her consulting room. San Diego, south of Los Angeles.
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“I mixed everything together and created a new way to help people, giving them practical tools and solutions, not just pretty words,” he says in the agile and direct tone that has now become his trademark.
Sabrina Zohar helps clients who are having trouble “finding their way,” navigate the strategic world of messaging, or put dating apps to good use because, she says, “it’s the Wild West.”
Zohar attends to about 15 consultations a week. Most of his clients, both women and men, are between 27 and 44 years old and pay from $35 for a quick question to $6,600 for unlimited accompaniment.
The success of these “coaches” does not surprise sociologist Amanda Miller, a specialist in romantic relationships. She says that two phenomena have “coincided”: the rise of dating apps, with sometimes contradictory expectations among their users, and the pandemic, which disrupted social interactions.
Those who can afford it “feel much more comfortable” with online services, says this professor at the University of Indianapolis, who also highlights the relationship with “the American model of efficiency and capitalism.”
“Does this kill the romance? Not necessarily. In the past, our elders and friends gave us this kind of advice, but today we think of it as a professionalized skill set,” Miller says.
Just because of that professional and fast appearance, James, who did not want to give his real name, decided to turn to a “dating coach.” However, she says hers does “deep emotional work.”
“He has almost the same knowledge as a therapist, but his focus is more on ‘how can I apply this in everyday life NOW,'” says the 54-year-old bachelor who runs a startup in California.
He says that his “coach” helped him in a few months to better manage his anxiety and feel more confident in the increasingly complicated dating market.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.