Relationship experts – according to whom?

Every relationship expert is expected to don more than one hat, over their time. However, to become a qualified ‘coach’ in this very human sector, much of the emphasis is placed on analysing and correcting issues after a couple have been together for some time, which is not necessarily what you’re paying through the nose for when you sign up to a high-end dating site.

Sure, dating is certainly covered in the syllabus, but only those who’ve qualified recently – and I mean very recently – may have had any of their curriculum devoted to meeting a perfect partner online. So, when the dating sites with higher-than-average membership fees are offering the services of “mentors”, exactly what school of graduation are they plucking these cardboard cupids from?

Who qualifies for a dating site mentor?

A recent report by a relationship expert who had put the hours in to gain her qualification was astounded when, after looking to enhance her newly-gained skills by attending a session promised as a think-tank for the ‘experts’ in this field, she discovered that she was the only one amongst the assembled, self-proclaimed set with anything that resembled a dating qualification, at all.

There is some mileage in stating that the people who study what works and what doesn’t work on a dating site are qualified to preach about the mechanics. But, in a field that requires a deft, understanding human touch, are data scientists the best placed to be counselling a dating single who is having no luck with their ads?

Perhaps they are indeed more suited, as singles who approach such information technicians know in advance that any queries they have are going to be met with pure logic.  They then have the choice whether to put their faith in dating science or seek advice from a faceless mentor who may be as straight as a meandering mountain path, for all they know. Certainly, for men at least, if you have a choice of IT, carpentry, soccer or relationship expert for your career path, the latter will have grass growing over it before the end of the first term.

There’s a very interesting article from The Washington Post from a couple of years ago recanting tales of singles who, even before the dating site boom, were relying on guidance from experts and paying extortionately for the privilege. It needs bringing in line with 2012 figures, but it does exemplify just what we’re talking about, especially as more singles are distancing themselves from the madding crowd and putting their whole lovelives in the hands of someone who may be helping a dating site out part time, just to get them through that last year of uni, or pay off their student loan…

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