This is part 5(a) of my review series with Lunch Actually, a lunch dating company in Asia, after trying out their service in 2012. If you haven’t, check out part 1: Joining Lunch Actually, part 2: Initial Consultation and Membership Enrollment, part 3: Going Through Image Coaching!, and part 4: The Date Process! before reading this post.
Hi everyone! 😀
In the next few parts, I’m going to share my experience going through date coaching, one of the premium services offered by Lunch Actually. Like the image coaching service, this date coaching is not part of their dates package and it costs a separate fee. My entire dating and date coaching has been sponsored by Lunch Actually (though I’ve not been paid to write this review series; it’s something I already wanted to do before they kindly offered to sponsor me).
The date coaching is expected to be 7 sessions long (one session every fortnight). I’ll be blogging about my experiences going through the sessions, so take it as a way to get date coaching insights through my eyes!
Foreword on This New Series
If you’re currently single and open to being in a relationship, I reckon this series will be highly useful for you, as I’ll be sharing my lessons from undergoing the date coaching. Take it as you receiving free, top, advice from a dating coach (Kydon) through a life coach (me) that’s presented in a way that’s relevant to you (through my writing). You’ll be experiencing date coaching through my eyes and will probably learn things that will be relevant to you too.
For those who are not single and/or not looking to be in a relationship, simply skip past this series and to my other articles, though I think you can learn something from reading this series (I’m sure anyone would). My plan is to share substantial dating thoughts with each entry.
It is important that you recognize that relationship/dating is a part of life and growth, and why I’m even covering these topics to begin with.
Personally, I’m writing about LA and date coaching because PE is about me sharing my life’s lessons with you. I’ve come to the point where having a relationship has become a priority on my intentions list, and hence these articles on dating. I also feel that dating and romance is a topic often fuzzed with misguided advice, so I’d like to share first-hand advice with you as I openly embark on this journey.
Hopefully you will learn a thing or two from this series for yourself. 😀 Thank you and enjoy. 🙂
Date Coaching: Introduction
What is date coaching? It’s coaching to help someone present his/her best self during dates, get the best out of his/her dates, and maximize his/her chances for relationship success.
Is it necessary to have a date coach? Most people would probably resist to the idea of having a date coach (or even image coach for that matter), as it would suggest that he/she has issues with his/her dating skills (or image).
I’ve never thought of getting a date coach, to be honest. However, when Violet (CEO of Lunch Actually) asked me if I would like to get date/image coaching to complete my LA experience, I thought, Why not?
As a (life) coach myself, I know that coaching isn’t about “fixing” someone, but about betterment. There is nothing “right” or “wrong” with anyone, only a well of potential to be harnessed and released. Throughout my years of running PE, I’ve continuously coached very talented, capable, and intelligent individuals to reach elevated levels of success; in fact, many of my clients are more successful than people I know who shy away from or resist coaching. I’ve come to realize that it is the people who openly seek my coaching who become stronger achievers than those who resist being coached, because the former group is open to change and seeks valuable feedback to improve and achieve their personal goals, while the latter group closes itself off from feedback.
Hence, I’m gamely opening myself up to date coaching to improve myself, uncover my blind spots in the area of dating, and (hopefully) become a better date and relationship partner! 😀
Date Coaching with Kydon
For date coaching (not part of the default LA package, but a value-added service which a member has to sign up for), Lunch Actually has partnered with Kydon Tay from Courage Gym. (Uh, no, it’s not a fitness center but the name of his company which specializes in dating and relationship coaching).
Kydon is a date coach in Singapore who coaches and trains people on how to go from “forever single” to happily married. He started his date coaching business 2 years ago in 2010, which has since grown quickly to become a successful coaching business today. Kydon has acquainted himself with the art of dating and relationship success since over a decade ago, and having achieved success in his personal dating life (Kydon is happily married today!) and helped his friends to achieve relationship success, he decided to start Courage Gym to help other singles out there do the same!
So far, I’ve one pre-coaching session (3 weeks ago) and one official date coaching session (this week) with Kydon, and I love him! He’s a really funny and sincere guy. While each session is supposed to be 1 hour long (there are supposed to be 7 sessions, not including the pre-coaching session), Kydon has been very gracious in his time with me. Our pre-coaching session lasted almost 3 hours long, while our first official session yesterday was about 2 hours long! I appreciate him spending all this extra time with me, as I know that timeliness is quite important in coaching (especially when you are billing by the hour).
Key Lessons I’ve Picked Up So Far
For my date coaching series, I’m going to focus on lessons I’ve learned, rather than a step-by-step account of what we cover, as that can be quite redundant.
In our first 2 sessions so far (pre-coaching and first official session), Kydon and I discussed and shared many things with each other. Below are the top lessons I’ve picked up:
1. Be a more open dater (and how to do so)
I used to be quick (and harsh) at evaluating whether I would want to go out a guy (on a date or subsequent dates). It was part of having a terminal view (as opposed to a nurturing view) in relationships, something which I wrote in Step #10 of 10 Steps to Attract Authentic Love. I’ve already changed this mindset before I started the whole Lunch Actually thing, but speaking to Kydon helps to reinforce the importance of this view.
Kydon gave me a date evaluation framework which I found useful.
- When dating, open yourself to a first date if the person gets a score of 4–10/10 on your interest/”like” scale. Meaning, if you utterly detest this person and he/she gets a 0, 1, 2, or 3/10 score from you, then no, don’t go on a first date with him/her; otherwise, open yourself up to a first date.
- Use this same approach when it comes to deciding whether to go on a second date.
- Only make conclusions about whether to continue dating him/her when you’ve gone for at least 2 dates with him/her.
2. Everyone can be the “right” person
Many of us commonly cite the reason of “not meeting the right person” for our single status. While this reason is perfectly valid, Kydon made a comment which really caught my mind. He said that there are people everywhere and all these people are potential relationship partners.
I know some of you are probably balking at this statement, thinking, “But those people are not compatible with me,” or “I’m not interested in those people at all,” or “I have certain expectations for who I want and these people are simply not that.” These were the same viewpoints I adopted in the past, so I totally understand where you are coming from.
Sure, it is true that we want to be with someone who shares compatible values. Sure, it is true that the other party should have at least some fundamental commonalities with us so as to build a meaningful bond. These are also what I call the “big rocks” of a relationship, i.e., you need to have core fundamentals in place for a relationship to work out in the long term.
However, I feel Kydon’s point is that rather than be enclosed about who we can (or want to) be with, we should consider that everyone is actually a potential relationship partner, and that it’s a matter of whether we want to make things work out. Adopting this view has opened my mind; I see this as a huge step up in embracing a nurturing vs. a terminal view in relationships (reference to Tip #10 of 10 Steps to Attract Authentic Love again). This is undoubtedly critical in increasing your odds of being in a healthy, long-term relationship.
3. People are always changing, so never say “never”
Still in the same line of thought about how we should have a more nurturing than terminal view, know that people are always changing, all the time. We change as we enter different phases of life; we change even on a daily basis. You change, I change, and so do other people.
Hence, just because someone isn’t compatible with you today doesn’t mean he/she won’t be compatible with you tomorrow. So don’t be quick to write off someone when it comes to dating. You never know how things may be in the future. 🙂
4. Create solutions, not focus on problems
There’s a tendency for us to obsessed with differences when with someone. Always focus on creating solutions, rather than harping on the differences. There will always be differences and it’s up to you to work through them with the other party.
(These are in line with what Principles #2 and #7 in 10 Timeless Principles for Lasting Happiness.)
5. See the person for his/her potential, not who he/she is today
What do most of us do when we want to assess if someone has what we are looking for as a relationship partner?
Most of us would probably look at the person’s accomplishments, life history, current career, physical appearance, possibly income level, current assets (such as house, car, and wealth), personality, etiquette, behavioral patterns, and so on. These are external aspects of the person that have already been realized and are part of the person’s makeup today.
However, how about seeing the person for his/her potential instead? How does that sound?
Kydon introduced this idea to me which I found very insightful. I’ve never really thought about assessing potential relationship partners this way; it was an eye opener for me. So rather than consider the person for what he/she has done or who he/she already is today, evaluate the person based on who the person can be in the future. See the potential in him/her (and everyone has infinite potential, no dispute about that). Then, inspire the person to be their best.
The funny thing is that this is the exact attitude I adopt in my coaching, personal development, and people relationships. So really, it’s a matter of transferring this attitude I have for my usual relationships to my romantic ones as well!
I suppose this is why people become so much more successful and accomplished when they are in a fulfilling relationship—because their partners are able to inspire them to achieve their highest potential. Kydon shared with me the example of Rosa Lee Beeland, Napoleon Hill’s wife. Napoleon Hill was the author of the critically acclaimed Think and Grow Rich! (1937), one of the best-selling books of all time.
When Rosa married Napoleon Hill, he had not reached the peak of his success yet. Rosa married Napoleon because she saw the potential for greatness in him; she subsequently inspired this greatness out of him. It was with Rosa that Napoleon wrote Think and Grow Rich!, which was initially balked by Napoleon’s publisher; it was under Rosa’s insistence that Napoleon’s publisher gave his manuscript a more thorough reading. Think and Grow Rich! was subsequently published, became Hill’s greatest work, and is now regarded as one of the greatest self-improvement book of all time, with more than 70 million copies sold worldwide!
So rather than size people up for who they are today or what they have done, now I focus on seeing the potential that lies in people, specifically with regards to romantic connections. This will be crucial in helping me to meet the right person and be with him.
Kydon and I have touched base on several other topics which I’ll share in upcoming entries.
I want to make this dating series digestible rather than stuff everything in one post, especially since the 5 lessons I’ve shared above are already critical lessons in themselves. I think simply taking these 5 lessons to heart and applying them rigorously will increase your “dateability” by like, 2-3 times at least.