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Hiring a Dating Coach in 2024 • Everything You Need to Know

All the questions you have about hiring a dating coach, answered.

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

Dating is hard. It’s one of the most impactful things we do in our lives, and yet the process can be tiring, frustrating, and, well, lonely. If only there was someone who could help you make things better…

Enter the dating coach. Dating coaching as an industry has become massive since the advent of online dating. In fact, a recent study found that 53% of singles have considered hiring a dating coach. Since you’re here, maybe you’re one of them. And you probably have questions about the whole process—it’s not something you do everyday.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the most commonly asked questions about hiring a dating coach, including what exactly they do and how much they cost. We’ll explore topics like how to identify a good dating coach from a bad one, and what gender coach is right for you. And finally, we’ll give you some alternatives to hiring a dating coach in case you decide it isn’t the right path for you.

What Does a Dating Coach Do?

woman in black long sleeve shirt sitting on brown wooden chair

So before you run off and hire someone to help you fix your dating life, you’re probably wondering, what exactly does a dating coach do? Do they help you write messages on Tinder? Do they tell you exactly why you keep getting ghosted? Do they give you a remote earpiece and tell you what to exactly what to say during every date?

A dating coach tries to get the best version of you to come out during dates—they don’t try to change you or find people for you on their own (that’s a matchmaker.) Different coaches will have different styles, strategies, and dating advice. They may specialize in working with a specific group of people, for example, the recently divorced or young professionals. Coaches will differ greatly in the types of services and sessions they offer, but in general, there are several things they will help you do:

  • They can help you understand yourself and what you truly desire in a partner.
  • They might come up with ideas on how to find the kind of person you’re looking for.
  • They can help you analyze your dating patterns, dating faults, and even your wardrobe.
  • They can teach you how to have better dates, conversations, and interactions, sometimes through role-playing, and sometimes through talking through what’s been happening on your dates.
  • They can give you honest feedback on things like your dating profile or dating stories that a friend or family member may not be willing to give.
  • They may give advice on different aspects of dating that you’re having trouble with, or point you to resources that would be most helpful.
  • They help you boost your confidence when it comes to dating, and address any worries you may have.
  • And most importantly, they’re your cheerleader and confidante when it comes to all things dating.

It’s important to note that a dating coach is often not a licensed therapist, and so more complex issues, like recovering from trauma related to dating, sex and relationships, should be handled by a licensed mental health practitioner.

Is a Dating Coach Worth It?

Dating has the power to change your life drastically—choosing and finding a partner is one of biggest decisions you will make in your life—but we don’t often treat it that way. If your dating life isn’t going as well as you’d like it and you find a really great coach that helps you out immensely, the positive impact on your life could be huge. Alternatively, listening to and following through on bad dating and relationship advice has the power to hugely impact your life—negatively.

Whether you get your advice from the internet or personally from a coach, both scenarios are possible. At the end of the day, it will be up to you to decide if what you get from the coaching experience is positive, healthy, and beneficial to your life.

Should I Hire a Dating Coach?

We don’t believe there’s one-size-fits-all advice on hiring a dating coach. You will need to determine what you hope to get out of the experience before deciding whether or not to hire a coach. If you have a specific issue that keeps coming up that you’re hoping to address, a coach might be a good idea—they may give you perspectives you haven’t yet thought of. If you have absolutely no idea what is going wrong and can’t get any helpful advice from friends or family, it may be worth talking to a coach—at least to help you pinpoint the issue.

Finally, if you’ve truly tried all other options and nothing seems to be working—your dating life is still not going as you’d like it to be—it might be time to hire a dating coach.

Why Not Just Listen to Dating Advice on the Internet?

google search engine on macbook pro

There are so many different ways to access dating advice—Google can answer your specific questions. YouTube can give you fashion advice. Reddit can answer your every query, giving you multiple different perspectives. And there are advice websites themselves, often made by coaches or other dating and relationship influencers. We believe there’s a time and a place for all of these sources. They’re great for ideas to try and trying to pinpoint what your issues may be. They’re great for commiserating about crazy dating stories and wild dates. But they aren’t great for specific, actionable advice tailored to you.

It can be tempting to crowd-source dating advice on a place like Reddit—anonymous, easy, fast. There’s a community of other people who are all in the same boat together. But there are downsides to such an approach:

  • Most of the people answering can only give you the advice that worked for them—good for ideas to try, but not always helpful.
  • Some of the people answering may not be people you would ever listen to advice from in person—they could be a fifteen-year-old trying to advise you on dating in your forties—or they could be someone who doesn’t have healthy ideas of relationships themselves.
  • Many of the people browsing and answering questions on the forums are people who are having trouble dating themselves.
  • And of course, despite how long a post you choose to write, the internet will never really have enough context about you and your life. A face-to-face assessment can be so much more illuminating than a two-thousand word post.

How Do I Find a Good Dating Coach?

Finding a good dating coach can be tricky—and it depends on what you are hoping to get out of the process. “Good” is subjective—what’s helpful to one person might be useless to another.

Adding to that, unlike in therapy or other mental health care, there isn’t any professional qualification or training needed to become a dating coach—anyone can call themselves one and start marketing their services. You’re going to find an entire field of different types of coaches out there—from licensed professional therapists to people that make you wonder why on earth they became a dating coach. Some dating coaches do a professional coaching program, take training courses, sometimes specifically about dating, and become certified coaches—and others simply start advertising.

What Should I Look For When Finding a Coach?

  • Recommendations from friends or family who’ve worked with the coach in the past.
  • Positive reviews from people the coach has worked with in the past, and a willingness to provide references.
  • Experience with the issue you are specifically having. (ie. You are a certain religion and and trying to date within your religion but having trouble—a coach who understands your religion will likely be more helpful.)
  • The coach is generally personable and seems like someone whose advice on human relationships is someone you can trust.
  • Many coaches will offer a free short intake consultation so they can know what you’re looking for and so that you can find out if they’re a good fit and ask them any questions. This is a good sign—you can see a bit what they’re like one-to-one before committing.
  • Tailors their advice to you and what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re someone uninterested in sports who likes to stay indoors, play board games, and read—your coach suggesting you join a co-ed softball team (because it worked for their other, more athletically-inclined clients) isn’t responding to you and your needs—instead, if they were, they’d be suggesting you check out a local board-game meetup or book launch event.

What Should I Avoid When Finding a Coach?

Dating coaching is an unregulated industry, so it’s important to do your research before working with someone, and to make sure you find someone you’re comfortable with.

Some red flags include:

  • Not bothering to get to know you and the issues you’re having, but giving you a standard lecture and advice.
  • Trying to going outside of their professional scope, like giving medical advice, diet and nutritional advice, or handling trauma recovery or other mental health issues. (They should encourage you to see professionals when needed.)
  • Trying to change everything about your personality. They shouldn’t be trying to turn you into a mini-version of themselves.
  • Comments disparaging the gender you’re trying to date.
  • Comments such as all men do X or all women think Y.
  • Comments that show emotional immaturity.
  • A coach whose only claim is that a certain strategy or advice “worked for them.”
  • Being un-personable themselves. As a dating coach, they should be a relatively good communicator.
  • A coach that immediately tries to sell you more material, like a course or another program.
  • A coach that doesn’t seem like someone who has positive, healthy relationships around them.
  • A coach that you just don’t like or respect for whatever reason.
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What Should I Ask A Potential Dating Coach?

To vet potential dating coaches, you’ll want to ask them a few questions about their dating philosophies and their style of coaching, as well as understand what exactly you’ll be doing each session. Here are a few questions you may consider asking them:

  • Have you worked with clients with [my issue] before?
  • What’s your success rate like, and how do you know you’re successful?
  • What led you to becoming a dating coach?
  • How long have you worked as a dating coach?
  • Do you specialize in a certain profile of client?
  • What will we do in our sessions?
  • What can I expect from working with you?
  • What’s your coaching style like?

A great coach won’t be cagey with their answers, and they’ll have solid, thought-out answers to these questions.

How Much Does Hiring a Dating Coach Cost?

Finding an affordable dating coach, or a dating coach within your budget, can be a difficult experience. There’s a huge range of what you might pay to hire a coach, and it depends on different factors such as experience, location, type of practice, qualifications. In general, we’ve seen dating coaches range from $60-$400/hr, with popular ones even going for an hourly rate in the thousands. It’s likely that more affordable dating coach options will have less experience and fewer clients, and may not work full-time as dating coaches.

How Do I Find a Dating Coach Near Me?

If you do decide to hire a dating coach or dating consultant, there are a few ways to find one near you. You can search Google/Yelp/Thumbtack—you can find a nearby coach online. If you want recommendations but don’t know anyone who has worked with a coach, asking a local community forum (like NextDoor or reddit/r/yourcity) might help. There are also online coaches that can do video sessions with you. Most coaches, whether online or in-person, will likely have social media content about dating so you can see what kind of advice they give and what their general philosophy is beforehand.

Should I Hire a Male Dating Coach or a Female Dating Coach?

person sitting in a dating coach session

If you are trying to date people of the opposite gender, then you need to make a decision: do you want to hire a male dating coach or a female dating coach? There are upsides and downsides to hiring a dating coach of the same gender as you, or of the same gender you’re trying to date. Depending on the reasons you are interested in hiring a dating coach, a male or female dating coach could be more or less helpful to your growth.

For example, let’s assume you’re a straight man looking to date women, and your problem is primarily that you get anxious around women during dates. You could hire a male dating coach, but they’d really only be able to give you advice on the topic and cheer you on. With a female dating coach, you could practice being in the situation you’re worried about in a more realistic way. Or, perhaps you’re a man who has been listening to the advice of his female friends and getting nowhere. Then perhaps it’s time for a different perspective.

re. Gender & the quote about the fisherman

There’s a quote about heterosexual dating that gets thrown around a lot—”If you want to learn to fish, you don’t ask the fish—you ask the fisherman.” While amusing, we must unfortunately remind you that human relationships are a tad more complex than fishing. You need to assess what it is you most need help with and base your decision off of that.

*In case you don’t get it, the quote means you should ask the person of your own gender for advice, not of the gender you’re trying to attract.

Alternatives to Hiring a Dating Coach

If for whatever reason you decide not to hire a dating coach, that doesn’t mean you need to give up on a path of self-growth. There are several other options you can choose to try, and we list some of them here.

Finding a Therapist

A licensed therapist or psychologist can help you more generally for things that may be affecting your dating life—for example, if you’re suffering from severe social anxiety. Their training is much more comprehensive and stringent than most coaches, and they often specialize in certain areas such as anxiety, depression, or relationship issues. They also must have a certain amount of supervised hours before being able to practice on their own. (The number of hours depends by state.) Therapy can be covered by insurance—but not always.

The difference between a dating coach and a therapist is that most therapists aren’t going to be giving you dating advice, helping with your dating profile, or critiquing your wardrobe—instead, you’ll work with them to better understand yourself. However helpful they may be, a dating coach is not a licensed psychologist (in most cases) and it’s important to go to the right people for the right type of help.

Asking Friends and Family

This is obviously usually one of the first things people try. Your friends and family know you, so they may be able to see your blind spots. However, your friends and family may not want to be brutally honest with you, and they may not have experience with the issue you’re having. Your friends and family have their own biases and may only give you advice about what worked for them, rather than what’s worked for a lot of people in your situation.

Finally, many things about dating are subjective—if you ask three different friends whether your profile is “good,” you might get three different answers based on their own personal preferences. (A good coach will work with you to make your profile reflect who you are and attract who you want to date, not just tell you whether they personally like it or not.)

Being Your Own Dating Coach

Wait, what? Isn’t the whole point that your own attempts at fixing your dating life aren’t working, and you need outside help?

Yes and no. If you decide you have truly done everything in your power to fix your dating life, nothing has worked, and you’re completely out of ideas or solutions, then yes, an outside perspective can help. But most of the time, we haven’t dedicated deep reflection time to figuring out what’s going on in our lives and what we can do about it.

At Strategy Journaling Co, we believe that thoughtful journaling can help you with some of life’s biggest challenges. We know the kinds of life-changing transformations that can occur when you sit down and put pen to paper: increased motivation, improved problem-solving skills, and better mental health, just to name a few. When you spend the time to journal and reflect on your goals, desires, and behaviors, what you learn will be more valuable than what any online expert can tell you. We believe that keeping a dating journal can greatly benefit your dating life.

You can journal on your own about your dating life, asking yourself the types of questions a dating coach might ask. If you’re able to be honest and truthful with yourself, you can learn a lot. You can make your own plans for change and see what works and what doesn’t. You can track your progress, log your dates, and talk yourself through the challenges that come up. And you can do all of this in any old notebook or even online—the structure is up to you. Or, if you want a little guidance, we can help.

The Date Book: A Guided Journal for Your Dating Life

We’ve created a guided dating journal to help you improve your dating life. It’s an affordable alternative to working with a dating coach, or perhaps something to try before investing in coaching.

Our journal will help you reflect on your dating life, process what happens, and create plans for change—all the things you might do with a dating coach. It has:

  • Guided prompts to help you discover who you’re looking for and how to find them, as well as understand your dating patterns and improve your dating mindset;
  • A section for logging the dates you go on and reviewing how your dating life is going and what changes you can make;
  • The kinds of pep talks you might get from a coach in certain situations like rejection, burnout, and ghosting.

If you decide that a dating coach isn’t right for you but would still like a similar experience, we think it will really help you.

Our Final Thoughts on Hiring a Dating Coach

Choosing to work with a dating coach has the chance for a lot of potential upside. If you’re frustrated with dating and are looking for a new perspective, finding a great coach can help immensely. It does have some downsides—it can be expensive or it may be difficult to find someone you find helpful—but all in all, if you feel your dating life is in need of some drastic change, it can be a turning point in your dating journey.

We hope this guide helped you clarify your thoughts on whether or not to hire a dating coach. If you want more of our dating advice, you can subscribe to our dating blog, or you can check out our dating journal. Thanks for reading and happy dating!

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