Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's not Steve Martin with a giant prosthetic nose, but it's close

You know the world is in the shitter when there's such a thing as an online-dating coach -- and The New York Times is writing about it.

Businesses like, and say they will help turn a stale personal profile for dating Web sites into eloquent and catchy advertisements, writing the words for you. They will even help clients sift through prospective dates and start an initial e-mail conversation. Depending on the company and the services used, prices may range from $39 to $2,000.


Mr. Katz said his company has helped thousands of people since it began five years ago. It offers several packages, starting at $49 for a 20-minute consultation and a line-by-line critique of a profile. For $129 to $199, people fill out a questionnaire and spend a half-hour on the phone with a freelance writer, who writes two essays for them. For $1,500, the company interviews clients, writes their profiles, takes professional photographs and coaches them via phone and e-mail about online dating. For $1,000 a month, he coaches them about dating and relationships in general.

Up to $2,000 to ghostwrite your profile and teach you how to (a) pick a flattering picture and (b) say something witty? Let me make it simple for you: Dude, if you haven't learned how to talk to people of the opposite sex by now -- online or not -- a dating coach ain't gonna help much.

But wait -- I'll do it for free! My tips, in order:

  • Shower and put on clean clothing. Maybe even comb your hair.
  • Walk up to someone you don't find hideously unattractive.
  • Say "hi."
  • Engage in polite conversation.

And if it doesn't work, try again.


Justin S. said...

Isn't the mere fact that someone blew $2000 on an online profile reason enough not to date them?

Nicole said...

From coaches for online dating to an online dating service only for "hotties" where you have to be rated an 8 or better by the other members in order to be allowed in the group.
What's next?

Dara said...

Justin: In the past, I've thought that paying the cost of the online dating service itself makes a person not worth dating. (cough . . . j-date . . . cough)

I have been loosening my standards, a little bit, though.

Nicole: Yeah, but you're like, married. What are you worried about? It's the poor schlubettes like me who have to worry.

And for the record, you don't comment enough. Matt Damon vs. Ben Affleck is a perfect example. Didn't we have that conversation in law school a bunch of times?

Nicole said...

Yeah, I know, I'm married. But, if you remember, I met my husband through online dating. It just wasn't quite as complicated then. (Thank goodness.) Dating is hard work. I just don't know why they have to make it even more humiliating by suggesting a person isn't even "hot" enough to be a member of an online service. Isn't that a choice made by most online daters when they decide whom to respond to based on their photo?

Yes, I know, I don't comment enough. But, I did vote in the Matt Damon vs. Ben Affleck poll. I'm a Matt Damon girl all the way. One Bourne movie and I was hooked!

Dara said...

Nicole: 1) I don't know that online dating is more complicated now, but people have definitely grown to be more cynical about the whole process. Especially when it costs so much money.

2) Yeah, but you used to be a Ben Affleck girl, right?