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No Need to Be a Dating Dud

Romance 101

WebMD Feature

Sept. 24, 2001 -- On one of her least memorable blind dates, Ruth, 31, got her ear talked off.


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"He talked about his last girlfriend and how he gets picked up all the time by women," says Ruth, a New York City-based e-commerce executive. "He talked about how he loves to fly to Nice for the weekend and then jump on a helicopter to Monaco."


Yet he didn't even spring for dinner.


"It was horrendous," she says. Obviously, there was no second date.


Romance coach Paul A. Falzone, the CEO and founder of the Right One and the Together Dating Service, isn't surprised.


"If it's 'I, I, I' or 'Me, Me, Me,' it's such a turnoff. If you're doing well, good for you -- but keep it to yourself," he tells WebMD.


A growing number of single and even married men and women seem to crave such advice.


In an era where we hire coaches to help us organize our closets, our finances, and just about every other aspect of our lives, it's no wonder that a growing group of individuals, like Falzone, are making their living as romance coaches.

Who Me?

The romance coaches offer tips on appearance, teach dating etiquette, give e-feedback on dates gone wrong, and trouble-shoot for ongoing problems. Falzone says such services can benefit "anybody who is trying to get back out there and anyone who has been out there and is not succeeding."


Falls Church, Va.-based executive romance coach Leslie Karsner, author of The Long Distance Romance Guide and the forthcoming The Romance Plan, has been coaching single and married folk for four years.


Her practice began when, as an executive coach, her clients focused on romance issues. "These Fortune 500 executives would talk to me about relationships, romance, or some aspects of their love life and I realized that this is the area that is most important to people," says Karsner, also the romance coach for U-date, an online meeting service, and the founder of


"I have clients that are therapists, Fortune 500 executives, housewives, homemakers, and retired 75-year-olds," says Karsner, who is engaged. She works on an ad hoc basis for romance emergencies or on an ongoing basis. One coaching session costs $95/hour, but when customers buy three-month packages, they get a discount.


"My married clients are often looking to enhance their marriage by getting to a place where they share their wants, needs, and desires. For single clients, I am a confidant, a cheerleader, and often a kick in the pants to get things going," she says.


"A lot of times, a client will come to me on the cusp of getting out of a relationship that hasn't worked so they can build up the strength to be single again," she says.

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