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The Short Version: After helping a divorced friend successfully re-enter the dating world, Lucie Luvidya realized she had found the perfect career — coaching. Now, she runs a dating and matchmaking service in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she helps clients of all ages navigate the modern world of romance. Through in-person coaching sessions, she helps men and women develop self-confidence and gain the communication skills necessary for dating. She offers an Interactive Dating Academy, in which she goes on mock dates with clients to help them master dating skills in real time. Lucie also provides matchmaking services, and she’s in the process of creating a dating app that focuses on quickly connecting users on dates in the real world.
When a friend of Lucie Luvidya’s got divorced, he found himself without a clue how to re-enter the world of dating. So she decided to help him on his journey.
“In a couple of weeks, he came back and said, ‘Oh, my god, it’s working, I don’t know what you did!’” she said. The friend was so pleased with her assistance that he suggested she become a dating coach.
Lucie quickly realized that coaching could be the perfect career for her. She took some time to work on her approach and techniques, and, soon, she was bringing her expertise to clients. She describes helping others find dating success as an amazing feeling.
“It makes my day. I can’t stop thinking about it; how wonderful it is that people find each other and can express something that’s inside them and have warm feelings,” she said.
She gives the example of one client who is now married. In the beginning, he was afraid to start working with Lucie, and it was taking him a long time to warm up to her process, so she ended up taking matters into her own hands.
“I came across his profile on a dating site. I took a picture of it, sent it to him, and I said, ‘Enough is enough, I’m coming to help!’ I cared about him, so I helped him for free; I took new pictures of him and helped him create a fresh profile because I really couldn’t look at it anymore,” she said.
Almost overnight, he texted her and said, “I don’t know what you did, but I had 10 women start talking to me.” Then, he officially hired Lucie, and, a few weeks later, he was in a happy relationship.
“I always love the love stories. They make me feel good about helping people. It’s important for me to know they’re happy,” Lucie said.
Lucie offers in-person coaching and mentoring for both male and female clients in the San Francisco area. She prefers working face-to-face because of the interactive nature of her coaching.
“Some of my clients are very introverted. I’ll do role-playing with them so we can try new things,” she said. “I find it helpful for them to try things and see how they work. I support them going through that process when they go out on their own.”
However, for clients who aren’t able to meet in person, she offers phone sessions.
The content of her coaching sessions varies based on the client, and she customizes the curriculum based on their needs. Two areas she helps nearly every client with, however, are learning how to be a stronger person and feeling good about themselves.
Beyond that, Lucie finds that men and women often need help in specific, personal areas. Women often need assistance with processing breakups and are looking more for emotional support. Men are most often interested in the dating process — including learning how to flirt and be more outgoing.
“Sometimes I have to cover a lot of things before that — like communication and body language — before teaching them how to flirt with confidence,” Lucie said.
Coaching is a helpful way to improve your self-awareness and self-confidence, but some daters need a little extra boost in sharpening their skills. For these clients, Lucie offers an Interactive Dating Academy, which takes clients through the entire dating process — from shopping for clothes to perfecting an online dating profile to going on mock dates.
The mock dates are especially helpful for clients who need more hands-on advice and want real-time help improving their communication and intimacy skills.
“I give them feedback on the way they carry themselves, what they say, how they behave, and how they treat women,” she said. “It is interesting because it’s like an interactive game, and I can discover things about them that they don’t tell me — but they’ll show me. It helps them discover a lot about themselves.”
She gives the example of one client who told her he thought he was a powerful, outgoing, confident man. However, on the date, he didn’t portray that and shot himself down.
“He was sitting there just quiet and smiling, and it was very eye-opening to see why it was happening, why he shut down on the date when he’s a fun person with other people,” she said. “So, sometimes they don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to dates.”
Through the interactive experience, she gives real-time feedback and can correct problems that may not show up during a regular coaching session.
Besides coaching and her Interactive Dating Academy, Lucie also offers matchmaking services to her clients. She says this service is usually more popular with her older clientele — those who have been out of the dating pool for a long time and wanted to ease back in.
Lucie guarantees that each of her matchmaking clients will go on three dates. She makes the introductions for each of the three dates and follows up with each person to gather valuable feedback.
That feedback can help guide the dater through the dating process and help them be more successful in the future.
Lucie’s goal is to ensure that her clients are happy and will meet at least a few people they may want to date.
In addition to all of her other services — and special dating events — Lucie is developing her own dating app. She’s observed that, with many existing dating apps, people spend lots of time chatting online but not much time actually meeting up.
“I want my app to be focused on relationships, connect people, and encourage them to get out of the app,” she said. “I want people to use it as a tool to go on a date and meet each other in person. I want them to focus on one person at a time and give them a chance.”
The first version of the app will be simple, but as the technology becomes more robust, it will accomplish her vision of helping people appreciate the person who is with them.
“I feel like, as a society, we’ve become picky and don’t appreciate what’s in front of us. We say, ‘Oh, maybe someone else would be better’” she said. “I want my app to make them pause and say, ‘OK, this person is really nice to me, I like that; I want to try it.’”
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