David Coleman is The Dating Doctor. Is he a doctor who is dating? Is he dating a doctor? I don’t know and it’s none of our business. What I do know is that David has spoken on relationships and leadership to audiences all over the world. Don’t worry my literary friends; David’s expertise won’t be limited to just the questions I ask here. He’s got books. Books you need to read before you do further damage to your love life. (This is a classic 2015 post)
TPF: David, thank you for taking the time to visit The Phil Factor. As you may have suspected, people read my blog. Often they’re people who spend more time relating to others online than in person. What advice about relationships do you have for people in our increasingly social media focused world?
David: To “hover” a few seconds before you hit the send button on a text, post, tweet or mail message. Once you hit send, you have put your words, video or pictures in motion and that action cannot be reversed, and never erased, so you need to be comfortable with all the possible ramifications of the way your words or pictures are received. Also remember, if you publicly play out your relationship on line, every day, its success or failure will be just as public as well.
TPF: What is the biggest mistake people make early in a relationship that could doom their chances for success?
David: They mistake infatuation for love and fall far too fast, far too soon. Infatuation is INTENSE. It is short-lived, demanding and can turn normally rational people into “life is too short…let’s do it” optimists. They say and do things normally reserved for couples who are a bit farther down the line in a relationship and then wonder why they, nor their partner can keep up the level of intensity they felt when they first met.
There are three primary types of loves people experience: Eros (Physical), Agape (Heartfelt) and Philia (Friendship). When a couple allows infatuation to rule their actions, they often skip the development of these stages and then get very disappointed in the end when things “just didn’t work out.”
TPF: What’s the most impactful way someone can grab the attention of someone they are interested in but don’t know in a crowded/busy social setting?
David: Eye contact…smile…say hello. The look you share, the words you use, the way you express yourself and the interest you show will separate you from those who didn’t have the guts to at least say hello. Holding a gaze just for one extra moment and accompanying it with a coy smile lets that person know that among people in a crowded setting, you noticed THEM. Then, before leaving, you need to walk up to them and say, “I just wanted you to know that I noticed you. This is my card (or my name or my email address or my number…). If you ever want to even have coffee, it would be my honor.” Then graciously walk away. Take the high road. The view is always better from there!
TPF: Craziest question you’ve ever been asked? And what was your answer?
David: A woman came up to me after a show and said, “I’ll bet you have never heard this one…My husband is having an affair…with my mother!” This lady and her husband had a weekly sporting event they took part in, but they were on different teams. She found out that he would skip his games and return home to be with her mother who was supposedly watching their children while they were out competing. My advice to her was, to return home early from her game the following week and walk back into the house with several close friends as witnesses along with her so that it would not be her word against theirs and so that they would be caught red-handed in the act. I also suggested that she get a top-notch therapist and good legal advice if she indeed intended to head in the direction of ending her marriage. I heard from her a year later. She was doing well, had met someone new and felt as if she was at a healthy point in her life. Her husband had been distant and abusive for years so this unfortunate situation gave her the courage and strength to move on. Her and her mother, “we’re still working things out.”
TPF: Your traditional education, Bachelor’s and Master’s aren’t in Psychology or counseling. How did you come to a career in writing books and speaking on dating and relationships?
David: As an undergraduate and graduate student both of my degrees had a high degree of social work, psychology and communications in their curriculum so I received a heavy dose of human nature and communication training. From a young age, I had the innate ability to read people, know where they were in their life and give them the advice that the needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear. I didn’t care if people liked me, only if they learned from me and my service or advice exceeded their needs and expectations. I also seemed to have the ability to introduce people to each other whom I felt “might hit it off.” My outgoing personality served as a bit of an ice-breaker and allowed others to meet with me as a conduit. Then, they could return and ask me questions and my advice seemed to really help them. Thus, a career was born.
David: First, James is an amazing talent and magician. I am proud to call him my friend and yes, he is accurate. What Will Smith’s character portrayed in the 2005 movie Hitch is what I do every single day professionally. Like he helped Kevin James’s character connect to the love of his life, I help 10 or more just like him in real life on a weekly basis. I try to help people get out of their way instead of self-sabotaging their chances of meeting someone with whom they would be compatible. I have dozens of success stories under my belt over the past 20 years and enjoy working with people who are seeking healthy relationships and unbridled happiness. Talk is cheap. I am not. I have found that people who pay a price work twice as hard as those who “want something for free.”
TPF: In your experience, are men more clueless about what women want in a relationship, or is it the other way around?
David: They are both mystified at times because the game keeps changing. The speed of the internet and social media, the explosion of dating apps on our smart phones, the increase in the number of people using dating sites and the lack of real human interaction due to texting and tweeting, etc. has made both sexes wonder just how dialed in they are to the opposite sex. You also have an increase in the number of people identifying themselves as bi-sexual, a-sexual, pansexual, transgender…and this keeps both men and women wondering, learning, experimenting and searching for people like me to help them navigate the often treacherous waters of dating, relationships, romance, sex, marriage, divorce and dating after divorce.
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