“So how does it happen, great love? Nobody knows but what I can tell you is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One moment you are enjoying your life and the next you are wondering how you ever lived without them.”
I caught the ending of Hitch (2005) today and it made me wonder about relationship coaching for men. Specifically, it made me wonder whether men are interested in relationship coaching and how far they would go to get the attention of a woman. A Google search reveled over two million results in under one second. The first website was from a self-proclaimed relationship expert. As far as I could tell, they did not have any professional training. This did not prevent them, however, from charging nearly $600 for one hour of coaching. To put this into perspective, highly trained therapists (i.e., those with a Ph.D.) do not charge that much. The second website was a list of mistakes that men make, which were actually not that bad. And the third website, along with the fourth and fifth, were from other self-proclaimed relationship experts. These experts also charged anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for coaching. There was no doubt in my mind that the prospect of love sells. Well, I would not necessarily call that love. It is more or less preying on vulnerable men who would do anything to find someone. If it was possible to change yourself that quickly I would not have spent nearly six years in graduate school.
As an adolescent, I read several of these books. They were not, however, about relationship coaching. They were about dating and hooking up. While there is nothing inherently wrong with casual relationships or hooking up, they are different parts to a satisfying and healthy relationship. The first book I read was The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss. It was written by a former journalist turned pick-up artist and chronicles his development from a self-described virgin to playboy. Again, interesting but not for men looking to have a satisfying and healthy relationship. I would even go as far as saying that going from a self-described virgin to playboy is not development let alone a change (i.e., they are essentially the same). The second book I read was Rules of the Game, also by Neil Strauss. While the apparent intention of this book is to improve yourself in thirty days, which is one of the building blocks to a satisfying and healthy relationship, its hidden intention was to sell (i.e., research has demonstrated that changing patterns and habits takes a lot longer than thirty days). The third book I read was The Mystery Method by Mystery. In addition to being Neil’s mentor, Mystery was the host of The Pickup Artist on VH1, a show that “transformed lovable losers into successful pick-up artists.” This book was drastically different than the first two. It was technical and to a certain extent obsessive. It tired to distill human interaction into functions. While it is possible to predict patterns in human behavior – which is the basis for change – it is impossible to distill human interaction to formulas. There were, unfortunately, several other books that I read.
This leads me back to the beginning and the purpose of this entry. Are men interested in relationship coaching? I am going to write another entry with more information – but in the meantime – I have a proposition. I am willing to offer five hours of relationship coaching, whether it is over the phone or e-mail, for free. There are no conditions or signing up. The only request I have is that you give me your honest feedback.
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