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The Beautiful Life/Dating Coach’s Dilemma: Our Reality vs Theirs

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I have met the most beautiful girl in the world. I’ve spent time with her. I’ve written poems to her for years. And still, she stays slightly out of frame in my life. Well, I think it’s mutual, but let’s dig in a bit deeper.

What She’s Selling

I have spent a little time with some life coaches, some dating coaches, and some relationship coaches, and I’ve been amazed by the LACK OF PURPOSE OR CLARITY in most of their “programs.” Yes, I see that you are quite pretty. Yes, I hear you talking about Cinderella and writing a book and now a podcast… Good for you. But…

She’s selling a dream. And it’s not a very realistic vision. If you notice the dating coaches in the world you’re going to start seeing a pattern. THEY are the topic of their wisdom. They might talk about trauma bonding and getting clear on your “best life” but they have only skimmed the wisdom. They are not deep thinkers. In fact, I think a lot of what’s being offered out there in the “coaching” world is bullshit. Let me explain.

She’s beautiful. Her experience of life and love is VERY different from most of us. She’s built her entire personality and strategy around her own magnetic smile. That’s okay for her, but her advice sounds more like Cosmo and less like authentic wisdom. Sure, she’s written or writing a book. And the core of the book is that love is alike a Disney movie, prince charming is out there, we’ve just got to do a better job of finding him and landing him. Then, of course, it’s happily ever after. Right?

Her Facebook page and even her business web page are like a cathedral to herself.

photos of herself

Not Quite Balanced In Their Approach

Let’s imagine this woman/coach and see where our experience of life matches up.

  • A magnetic smile, an expensive dental masterpiece, you can see it
  • Lean and never had to worry too much about weight or fitness
  • Claimed to heal without evidence or substance
  • Trauma-informed (spouts popular wisdom) and not actually healed themselves
  • Not In a relationship
  • The task of finding a relationship is more of an epic quest, your prince is out there
  • Their relationship-building advice and skills are not mentioned


You are pretty

It’s fine to imagine different ways of finding and enticing a new partner. And, if you’re like me, a lifetime partner. But it’s not a fairytale. It’s hard work. You don’t just put a better version of your story out there and wait for prince charming. Relationships don’t work that way. DATING IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP.

And when you begin to look at their posts, their wisdom, and the pages of their websites, you’ll start noticing a recurrent theme: THEY ARE THE SUBJECT of all their wisdom. Their photos are amazing and beautiful. It’s almost as if they are using their own beauty and their own amazing smile to convince their clients that “he is out there, you just have to find him.”

The experience of dating (especially online) is quite different for men and women. And hot women, well, let’s just say this dating coach has NEVER WANTED FOR POTENTIAL PARTNERS. She doesn’t really play the online dating game anymore. In fact, she’s not looking for a relationship. And her relationship experience is limited to one or two partners.

Yes, But What’s Your Story

If the life coach you’re getting ready to invest in doesn’t share a similar story to yours, it’s going to be a bit of a stretch for you to learn much. Yes, there are plenty of good “coaching techniques” that can help you with goal setting and accountability, but what you want is wisdom. Brené Brown sort of wisdom. You want to learn from someone who is still in the arena.

There is a lot more to coaching than a pretty face. And there’s a lot more to relationships or dating than putting your best self forward and casting your heart into the dating pool. Again, dating is really just step one.

Finding someone to love online is a crapshoot. That said, my current partner came through And so, it happens, but it does not happen magically. And the only real happening is the REST OF THE RELATIONSHIP. We found each other. We love each other. Now what? Finding your partner is 20% of the challenge. Establishing mutual goals, and clarifying boundaries with wants and desires are a bigger part of relationship-building. That’s what I think is important. It’s not DATING that’s hard. It’s building a trusting and fulfilling relationship with the partners that are showing up in your life

Love is not a cookie-cutter fairy tale. If your brand is “glass slippers” and “lover by summer” you may be selling the dream without the substance. And if you’re knowledge of working out a relationship in the trenches is only two tries deep, well, there’s not a ton of wisdom there. Let’s say you are a life coach, and you and I begin dating, and we’re talking about all the cool life lessons we’ve learned, and things are going fairly well… Until we take our clothes off.

When your life coach has a handful of failed experiences, a failed marriage, one failed post-divorce dating attempt, and is coaching people on how to date… Um, there’s a disconnect. When your trauma-bonding wisdom comes from a recent book, but you’ve never heard of Alice Miller. When you’re coaching pages and your Facebook personality is 100% your amazingly beautiful smile… Well, let’s just say, you’re not much like me.

What We Want In Love

It’s the harder question: “what do you want?”

And in the adventures ahead, after DATING turns into a RELATIONSHIP, are where we learn the relationship skills to forge ahead with our desire to be in a meaningful and trustworthy relationship. We can only acquire these skills through experience. And if your experience has always been as a beautiful person, you might be missing one of the fundamental ingredients of relationship-building: mutual respect and desire.

I’ve often wondered about a few of the women I’ve dated, women that were attractive, successful, and yet… Missing something that I couldn’t put my finger on, at least not right away. What I learned after several failed attempts to bond with sleeping beauty was this: they have never had to work to get affection, they’ve never had to flex towards a partner who was struggling, and they’ve never stuck around long enough to work it out.

What they seem to have in common, these gorgeous women is a narcissistic worldview: the world owes them a prince charming who’s great in bed, loaded with charisma and cash, and 110% adoration. Their participation in lovemaking tends to be rather self-centered. Their understanding and explanation of any issue in the relationship is “not a good fit.”

That’s The Rub

Love is a journey. Love is not a soul mate who sweeps you off your feet. Love is a bit more like beauty and the beast. We’ve got flaws, we’ve got inner dragons, we’ve got issues, and we STILL LOVE THE OTHER PERSON. Even with their flaws, we decide we want to stay and work on the partnership. Most of these amazingly pretty women had not stuck around in a marginal relationship trying to make it work, trying to understand their part, trying to keep their desire online, and focused on this one partner. What I’ve seen, in the marketplace and in the books, are a lot of very pretty women making a run at coaching, but getting so wrapped up in their own smiles that they fail to understand their own failures and their own struggles.

They are selling a fantasy. If that’s what you want, I hope you are well served. But, I think the fantasy approach to dating does not lead to a fairytale ending.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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