Interview With the Director of “My Dating School”

Q: Why did you start ‘My Dating School?’

A: I started, ‘My Dating School’ because I had many clients who were attractive, successful and happy in their work, friendships and family life, but they were frustrated that they could not find a life-mate. They kept picking the same type’ of partner with different packaging. They were frustrated because they said that they wanted one thing but kept attracting and choosing something else. I wanted to help them become more conscious and successful in their love relationships.

Q: What is your background?

A: I am a psychologist and an empowerment coach (CEC) and I specialize in dating. I started holding classes for singles around dating issues and taught a monthly class at The Learning Annex for two years in Manhattan. Then I started ‘My Dating School (http://www.mydatingschool.com ).’ I also wrote a book for singles who could not come to my classes. It has exercises and takes them on an inner journey so they can do this work from home. My book is called, ‘Dating From the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart,’ published by Atria Books and winner of the National Best Books 2008 Award for Self-Help: relationships.

Q: What does ‘Dating From the Inside-Out’ mean?

A: ‘Dating From the Inside-Out’ means that we start creating our love relationships on the inside before we manifest them out there. If you have powerful limiting beliefs about the past or the opposite sex you will not be a happy dater no matter how much you go out or how pretty you are. This is where the books that focus upon outside things like your appearance or flirting miss the boat. The most important way to open up the possibility of love is to start from within. Only after this happens will right action follow, if there is fear there.

Q: Why would someone pay for dating classes or coaching?

A: People pay for things they value and most people value having a life mate. It makes sense to invest time, energy and money to manifest something significant and wonderful in your life. If you wanted a great job you would invest in someone to review your resume, a career coach, pay for job posting sites and invest in a good interview suit. Yet when it comes to love we mix a cocktail of hope, luck and destiny and pray that it will transform our lives, without wanting to take responsibility and do the work.

Q: How does dating coaching help singles?

A: Dating coaching helps singles figure out the necessary ingredients that create success in love. I help my clients look at their past baggage, patterns, parental blueprint, limiting beliefs and their dating ‘type’ and context. We make those conscious so they do not continue to direct their love choices. We look at who they are, what they want and what they will offer in a relationship. And lastly, we create a conscious dating action plan so they take consistent action to meet a partner who is a good fit for them.

Q: Does being a psychologist add to your power to your niche as a dating coach?

A: Many dating coaches set goals about what a client wants in a mate and helps them alter their looks, behavior and actions to meet someone. As a psychologist, I address things on a deeper level, helping clients understand why they choose the mates that they do over and over and I help them to create a relationship that is different from their past dating psychology, one that is healthier and more realistic for them.

Q: What is a ‘Defensive Dating Type’ and how would someone find out their dating type?

A: I have devised a ‘Defensive Dating Style Quiz’ in my book, ‘Dating From The Inside-Out: Using The Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart.’ A defensive dating style is the way that you protect yourself from being hurt in love. An example would be, ‘the romantic date’ that imagines herself being married to a prospective date on their second meeting and starts planning a year ahead. She is ‘in love with love’ and does not let the relationship unfold enough to really know and love THAT person. This script protects her from being disappointed in the short-term because she will not see anything negative. Long-term it does not work because she is living in a fantasy world not in the reality of the moment with that other person. My quiz has 15 Defensive Dating Types and you can take it to see which one you have. Once you know, I make some suggestions about how to work with it, so dating can be more successful.

Q: What makes a date successful?

A: A successful date is one where both people are themselves and respect each other. It is great if you have mutual fun, chemistry and both people are kind and good listeners.

Q: Is there is a correlation between dating well and marital success?

A: According to my dating philosophy there is some correlation between dating well and marital success. To me success is not just marrying someone; it is marrying a great partner for you! Therefore, if you know yourself and are clear (and realistic) about what you most want in a partner, you will be better prepared to co-create a life with someone. Also, by dating you will be learning what you do not want and becoming aware of what you do need in relationships. Sure, marriage will present many new challenges but you will start out better prepared then people who just ‘fall in love’ and act only on chemistry and feelings. Who you marry affects everything-children, lifestyle, spirituality, finances, your sex life, job and leisure. Shouldn’t such an important choice merit some due diligence?

Q: What are the things that you have cranky daters do?

A: When clients first come to me, they are often cranky daters. They have been burned and have a negative vision of their romantic future. They hate dating because of the rejection. Often they know they have hit rock bottom and are ready to ask for help. The first thing I do is have them write out their negative beliefs about love and the opposite sex and challenge them. For example, ‘No man will want to date a woman over 37 years old.’ I have them counter this belief with facts. For example, ‘Demi Moore is dating a much younger man and plenty of women remarry after 37 years old.’ I also have them develop a positive context about relationships and marriage. My book provides these exercises that take the reader through this process so they can go from being a cranky dater to a positive one! The energy you vibrate is very important when attracting a mate. Most people will want to be around someone who is authentically positive and welcoming of love.

Q: How do clients target what they want in a prospective mate? How do you coach daters with this?

A: I help clients make a reasonable list of the qualities that they want in a partner and what they won’t accept. This helps them to move through the dating process with clarity and allows them to spend less time with the wrong mate. It also helps them get clear when they must walk away from a date, because that relationship is destructive. To learn more about this there is a corresponding exercise in my book.

Q: How can people transform dating from a miserable process to a transformative one?

People like things that add meaning and value to their lives. Many singles hate dating because it feels so random and painful. I teach that no date is a waste. You are always learning about yourself and you can do this through the dating process, and you will be more ready to find your match. My book teaches singles not to take rejection personally and how to be authentic and have fun on all dates. This powerful dating context allows singles to be present and enjoy themselves, without putting that onus on their prospective dates.

Q: What is a Dating Action Plan & how does a dating support group & a dating coaching help singles be more successful?

A: A Dating Action Plan holds you accountable for taking specific action steps on your dating goals. For example, Sally wanted to meet someone but she never went out. Her Dating Action Plan listed two things that she would do each week. A Dating Coach or support group would help her be accountable for her action commitment and would help her understand what got in her way when she did not follow through. It encouraged her to push past her fears and meet a lot of people. Today she is married.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like singles to know?

A: Often we are really hard on ourselves and putting yourself down is not helpful. Plenty of students tell me that they’re sick of being a bridesmaid and everyone else is married. They think that something is wrong with them and that’s why they have not found love. It’s true that there may be something holding them back (which my book explores) but we all have areas of our lives that present a challenge. For some it’s their work, children or health. These students are often attractive, very successful with their career, family and friends and have so much going for them–they just keep picking poor choices in love. So, I tell them to appreciate what they do have and to decide if it’s worth taking a good look to learn why their love life might present a challenge. One thing I always say in dating, ‘You might experience some rejection, but never reject yourself in the process.’ Hopefully, ‘Dating From the Inside Out’ helps my readers to love themselves right now, wherever they are in this process. To me, that’s even more important than attracting a mate!

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is the Director of ‘My Dating School, http://www.mydatingschool.com which offers classes in dating issues & coaching. She is a dating expert on television and radio, a Licensed Psychologist and a certified coach. Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a licensed psychologist, a dating coach and author of ‘Dating From the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart’ by Atria Books, award Winner of the National ‘Best Books’ of 2008 in the category of Self-Help: Relationships. She has been a monthly speaker of The Learning Annex for over two years and was an expert on television shows such as the CBS Early Show & the AM Northwest Early Show, as well as many radio programs. She has been quoted in publications such as MSN.com, USA Weekend, Lifetime.com, Reader’s Digest, ‘Glamour,’ ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Complete Woman’ magazine.

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