Here’s part 5 of the Thought Leader Interview Series, this one featuring dating coach Evan Marc Katz. Evan is based in Los Angeles and has been a successful dating coach and online dating expert for years. We’ve had some stellar interviews from the past thought leaders but I thought this was the real deal rockstar interview. You won’t find better insight anywhere on the ‘net. Read every word and share this post.
1. What is your perspective on modern dating and how has it evolved in the last decade or so?
As much as I am an advocate of online dating and casual sex, I think that we’ve lost something important in the past decade: respect and decorum. I’m not saying I was above it when I was dating prolifically, but I think it has insidious effects that can’t be fully grasped. Specifically, dating has become all too much of a game. You’ve got pick-up artists feeding lines to men who have no confidence. You’ve got women advocating for “Rules” to manipulate men. You’ve got unlimited internet pornography which demystifies the excitement of sex. You’ve got AdultFriendfinder and Craigslist and webcams creating instant gratification. You’ve got airbrushed media images and 24/7 coverage of celebrity bikini shots that create a snarky, unrealistic image of how women look. And yet we spend countless hours wondering why men don’t respect women, why they don’t appreciate their bodies, why they’re afraid of commitment, etc. It would be impossible not to be tainted by the society.
As a dating coach, the biggest issue I see is that people have unrealistic expectations and a very poor understanding of the opposite sex. Men giving advice to men and women giving advice to women just furthers that distance. This is why I give straight advice to women about men, and to men about women. It’s not about having “game”; it’s about having knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power is control. Control is success. Success is happiness.
2. How has online dating affected the playing field?
Online dating has leveled the playing field for men and given them a great deal more power than they’ve ever had before. This is a classic double-edged sword. The good news is that men who aren’t comfortable in the pick-up scene have a greater opportunity to succeed, as do older, divorced people who aren’t as likely to be hitting on strangers at bars. The bad news is that the perception of unlimited choice has enabled us to think that the grass is always greener. Online, there’s always someone younger, cuter, smarter, richer. Yet we ignore the fact that younger, cuter, smarter, richer doesn’t always make for a healthy relationship.
You can’t build anything when you’re always moving – and online dating – for all of its merits, turns both men and women into unintentional players with unrealistic standards.
3. Where do you see dating & courtship headed in the future, like in 10 or 20 years from now?
“The Paradox of Choice will be in effect – infinitely more choices, but considerably less happiness. Happiness is driven by connection, not by choice. Yet we’re headed to world that is all about unlimited choice – and we’re becoming increasingly isolated and lonely.”
I think it will be more of the same – and I don’t mean that as a good thing. Technology will be the single biggest driver of hookups, but it will be that much harder to forge a real connection. Dating sites will be all video. You can get on and have a “date” in a matter of minutes. No connection by webcam? Move on to the next person. Gone will be the days where you could get to know someone organically over the course of time and ask her out. Why bother when you could search through thousands more people, screen through the ones you don’t think are hot, and not have to spend time or money getting rejected in person?The Paradox of Choice will be in effect – infinitely more choices, but considerably less happiness. Happiness is driven by connection, not by choice. Yet we’re headed to a world that is all about unlimited choice – and we’re becoming increasingly isolated and lonely.
4. What are your thoughts on pickup and PU artists?
I think that PUA’s serve a purpose in the universe. They’re like scientists. They’ve done the research and they report back to the community, ostensibly for the greater good of the group. And if a few lines or sets or garish outfits give inflated confidence to some guys who struggle to talk to women, I’m all for it. Where pickup breaks down for me is that it can often be inauthentic. It becomes about phone numbers, hook-ups, random sex, and game, as opposed to teaching guys to get to the next phase.
Understanding pickup is often limited to successfully exploiting the insecurities of women. As a result, it works especially on women who would not make great partners. This becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy – where the only women that PUA’s meet are the ones foolish enough to be manipulated by PUA’s. So while there’s nothing wrong with spending years hooking up, eventually, this wears thin. And if you have no experience connecting with women, understanding what they truly want and need, you are going to be handicapped in finding a stable relationship. There is a reason that most PUA’s aren’t married – and it’s not simply because they’re so devoted to their craft. It’s because they may understand how to charm a woman into bed, but don’t always have the skills to navigate what happens the day after.
5. What’s your best piece of advice for someone looking to find love and get into a healthy relationship?
Happiness is when your goals and your actions are aligned. If you want to find love, ask yourself: what steps are you taking to find love? Most people who want love don’t do anything to truly make it happen. If you’re a woman, put yourself out there: ask friends for setups, post a profile online, go out to bars a couple nights a week. If you’re a guy, start paying attention to the kind of women you court. If all you do is covet beauty, don’t be too surprised when the relationship sputters. Things based in pure attraction have a short half life, compared to common values like humor, friendship, trust, and loyalty. Finally, for all the guys who are reading this, if you really want a relationship, you have to be attuned to the needs of women, not just yourself. They’re not the enemy. They’re not something to conquer. And if all you do is get sarging advice from PUA’s, you may have a key to the door, but you still can’t get inside. Read questions from real women at http://www.advicefromasingledatingexpert.com/ and you’ll be able to achieve any goal you want. 70% of my readers are women, and they stand to learn a lot from your participation in my forum as well.
6. What’s on the horizon for the Evan Marc Katz in 2009?
Last year saw the release of my first product, Finding the One Online, a 7 CD series that empowers ANYONE to have success in online dating. It also saw my blog jump in popularity, even if the name is a bit outdated after my marriage.
In 2009, I’m completely overhauling my business to reach hundreds of thousands more singles. My new website is just a start. But what’s on the horizon is incredibly exciting: Affiliate programs for Finding the One Online and E-Cyrano profile writing. YouTube videos. A members only forum for access to exclusive material, interviews, and podcasts. But most immediately, I’m going to be offering group teleclasses on dating and online dating at ridiculously low prices. It’s all about reaching as many people as possible and utilizing the amazing power of the Internet. Finally, I hope to do live events from my new home in Los Angeles. My wife can’t really cook, but she does pour a mean glass of wine for our guests.
Here’s the original post that inspired the interview series. Be sure to check out the interviews with the other thought leaders:
- Thought Leader Interview Series: Sinn
- Thought Leader Interview Series: 30
- Thought Leader Interview Series: Asian Rake
- Thought Leader Interview Series: David Wygant