Here is some of the good, bad, and the ugly of what I’ve found.
To learn more about my research, as well as my own 11-step guide for finding love, visit my blog post at: Dating Advice from Schmucks
So here they are, in no particular order, the love experts I’ve researched who advise women on how to get that ever-important engagement ring:
Expert: Christian Carter
Pro: He’s very good looking, so I watched many of his videos. He brings in a lot of additional experts in his rather comprehensive program, and through his videos, I learned a lot about these other dating coaches and their philosophies.
Con: He seems to know a lot of extremely commitment-phobic men which clearly shapes his advice and world view. We all know that one guy who will date a girl exclusively for a year and act like she’s not his girlfriend, or that guy who will NEVER marry that girl he’s been living with for 10+ years, despite her pleads for him to do so. Thankfully, these guys are anomalies, but Christian is very heavy-handed about this and offers many examples. In fact, he’s added relationship phases before exclusivity even occurs to let women know what kind of hoops they have to jump through before a guy will even consider getting locked into a committed relationship.
This may be the truth, but it’s sad because it seems Mr. Carter may be a commitment–phobe himself. He shows women how to navigate through various stages of commitment by telling them how to be fun and playful – enticing enough to marry. But he’s not married. In some of his clips he discusses how he has a long-term girlfriend. Apparently his girlfriend does not follow his advice.
Expert: Rori Raye
Pro: If you know Christian Carter, you know Rori Raye, as they are constantly promoting each other and holding workshops with many different subject matter experts. She also has an impressive program that even covers body language and voice – which I really dug, as her techniques helped make my voice less grating when chirping out jokes over loud club music. Where Rori really shines is with her communication advice, teaching women how navigate conflicts and use them as opportunities to make their relationships stronger.
She’s also one of the few dating experts who has a personal life that backs up her advice. She tells tales about her disastrous single life and how she turned things around and now follows her own advice to strengthen her 20+ year marriage.
Con: Some of her techniques are a bit silly and oversold, like using a relaxation method where you writhe around pretending to be seaweed. She heavily promotes a body stance she calls the “dance position,” which is basically a woman leaning back in a relaxed posture. In doing so, she claims, men will be drawn to you like a magnet. I leaned back in a lot of bars and still had to buy my own drinks. Frankly, I found leaning forward worked better, especially on nights I wore a push-up bra.
Worst of all, she promotes her concept of “Circular Dating,” and in doing so advises her followers to date several men (at least 3) all at the same time. “You accept the date with the man who calls first, and do not shuffle times or even think about manipulating the schedule in order to get dates with the man you like best.” This is perfectly fine, except that she advises women to do this up until a man proposes marriage. Seriously.
I’m actually surprised she and Christian Carter get along so well. He has many, many different levels of commitment, and she only seems to have one.
Expert: Patti Stanger (aka Millionaire Matchmaker)
Pro: I love, love, love Patti. Her show is one of my favorites, and if she put some glitter on a piece of poo, I would likely buy it. Her advice of not having sex before monogamy saved my life, since I absolutely suck at casual sex and become overly emotionally bonded to guys I sleep with.
Con: Look, I hate to keep harping on this point, but I think the personal love life of dating experts is an important factor. I don’t believe in the old adage of “doctors make the worst patients.” I would never promote a writing workshop with “Come to my writting class course and be taught on how to write good.”
In 2003, Patti started dating Andy Friedman, a real-estate executive whom she met through another matchmaker. He proposed in 2009, but then they broke up in 2010. In 2012 she started dating a mortgage broker named David Krause. As I write this in April 2015, they are still not married. I give you this information for only one reason: She sells a video called “Married in a Year.” She tells women that if they follow her advice, they will be proposed to within one year. Patti is a woman who clearly wants to be married. Why can’t she follow her own advice?
Expert: Steve Harvey
Pro: He’s funny and frank, and he’s perhaps the most entertaining dating guru you’ll find. He thinks he’s special in this field because he’s a man, but roughly half the dating coaches you will find are men.
Con: He’s on his third marriage and has clearly made some profound mistakes in his life. He should advise men on how to avoid these mistakes and treat women better, but as he astutely points out “men wouldn’t read it.” He also paints a rather negative picture of the male mind and their likelihood of cheating, a subject he’s apparently an expert in, according to his second ex-wife, whom he cheated on and left homeless. I guess she didn’t follow his 90-day rule and had sex with him within three months of their courtship. If that’s the case, the slut got what she deserved.
Expert: Evan Marc Katz
Pro: He’s probably the smartest dating coach out there for women. He doesn’t rely on gimmicks, he has an amazing blog, and his backstory is awesome. He was a self-proclaimed “mediocre” comedy writer who dated a ton of women, learned a lot in the process, and snagged a great wife. If you are a single woman looking to better understand men, or just looking for some funny reads and frank observations, visit his website.