Founder of online dating consulting service E-Cyrano and author of several popular books on online dating, Evan Marc Katz has established himself as America’s leading dating expert. I first encountered him some months ago through his retardedly popular blog, and found his no-nonsense, no victims, pragmatic and realistic approach to people’s dating problems immensely attractive. I was thrilled when he agreed to do an interview with us – the online equivalent of running a school newspaper and having the President agree to drop by and answer a few questions.
Hey Evan, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I know you’re insanely busy and have a huge backlog after your recent vacation. We sincerely appreciate you making time for us.
I’m guessing it might have seemed slightly odd to you that someone running an “adult dating” blog would request an interview, but honestly, before I sent you an email I sat down and pondered awhile. What I realized was that most people don’t stay on the casual scene forever. Most of them, eventually, decide for whatever reason that what they really want is what you help people to get. So I think having our audience exposed to your voice here is valuable and worthwhile.
One thing I really like about the advice you give is that it’s unfailingly pragmatic and realistic, sometimes brutally so. Here’s a quote from one of your recent blog entries to illustrate: “. . . the people who do best in the world we live in . . . are not the ones who try to rewrite the rules of society, but rather, figure out how to navigate them successfully.” Now, I know from following the comments on your blog that sometimes people get quite worked up by your candid analysis of situations and relationships. Why do you think that is?
I just read somewhere that people will do anything to preserve their worldview. It doesn’t matter if that world view is effective or empowering or whether it’s negative and hurtful – we will try our hardest to justify what we already believe. If a woman’s worldview is that men are scum, she can certainly find enough evidence to support it. The problem is that she will never find love with that belief system.
So even though I write a dating and relationship advice column, I almost feel like I rarely offer my opinion. All I do is attempt to find a solution for what’s not working – whether or not it supports what I believe. Which is why it’s pretty useless to argue with me, because I’m rarely expressing my own point of view – I’m just pointing out how the world works. Men can be pigs. Women can be emotional. What are we going to do in spite of these realities, instead of pointing the finger and telling men to stop being pigs and women to stop being emotional?
And, almost invariably, that means that WE have to change. We have to accept the flaws in the opposite sex, in Match.com, in our others’ pickiness, hypocrisies and commitmentphobia. Shouting that the world isn’t fair doesn’t suddenly make the world fair – which is why my advice almost always points the finger at the person asking the original question.
Seeing as I know you’re old enough to remember the World Without Internets, just wondering if you agree with the statement “ The Internet has revolutionized classified personals ads,” and if so, how do you think it has?
This is taken directly from my answer to Honey and Lance in an interview:
Online dating has leveled the playing field for men and given them a great deal more power than they’ve ever had before. This is a classic double-edged sword. The good news is that men who aren’t comfortable in the pick-up scene have a greater opportunity to succeed, as do older, divorced people who aren’t as likely to be hitting on strangers at bars. The bad news is that the perception of unlimited choice has enabled us to think that the grass is always greener. Online, there’s always someone younger, cuter, smarter, richer. Yet we ignore the fact that younger, cuter, smarter, richer doesn’t always make for a healthy relationship.
You can’t build anything when you’re always moving – and online dating – for all of its merits, turns both men and women into unintentional players with unrealistic standards.
In terms of the actual work you do: writing, speaking, coaching, and consulting, what’s the most enjoyable for you? How do you feel you’re doing at balancing the different roles and responsibilities?
Speaking lights me up more than anything, because you can see the immediate impact you’re having. You can see nodding heads and smiling faces. You can get a roar of laughter. You get to shake hands afterwards and connect and hear people’s stories and their takeaways. I never feel like I reach more people than when I’ve got a microphone in my hand.
However, my day-to-day is far more consumed by private dating coaching, and there is an immense satisfaction in watching the personal growth of individuals who put their trust in me. To see self-awareness and confidence blossom, week after week, until my clients find themselves in happy relationships, well, that’s priceless. I love the closeness and vulnerability of getting to know people intimately though our coaching sessions.
And yet, I undoubtedly reach more people with every blog and newsletter I send out. I just don’t get the satisfaction of making a personal connection. If I had my way, I’d do a lot more live events and group coaching, for the best of both worlds.
Have you ever had cause to regret any advice you’ve given anyone? Are there any things in general that you used to tell people that you feel foolish about now?
Undoubtedly, although I’m not the type to wallow in regret. But logically, I’m a very different person than I was when I wrote my first book at age 31 and I’d never had a relationship over seven months. Now, I’m 37 and married, and have learned an immense amount from my dating coaching experiences. The purest record of my advice can be seen in “I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book” and “Why You’re Still Single”, and while I wouldn’t retract most of the material, it all seems a little bit immature. I’m much prouder of my Finding the One Online CD Series, for example, than I am of my first book – although my first book was much funnier.
If you’re looking for one thing that I know I’d take back, it’s telling people to respond to a detail in another person’s online dating profile. It’s not that the advice is bad – it’s that it’s half-baked. Most people say things like “You like skiing? I like skiing, too! Let’s go on a date…”, which is a pretty crappy pick-up line. I give much more specific guidance on how to communicate powerfully in Finding the One Online.
Congratulations on your recent marriage. Has married life surprised you? Do you have any advice for married couples you’d like to share?
After eight months, I’m no expert in marriage, and don’t expect to be dispensing marriage advice for a good, long while. What I can say is that getting married was easy – moving in together after the wedding was a bit scary, however. My wife and I both work from home, so it took a few months for me to feel truly comfortable having someone around all the time. But every day, I feel more and more validated in my decision to get married. Perhaps it’s because I’m a dating coach and hear so many negative stories, but I’m extremely appreciative at how patient and understanding my wife is with me. She sets the tone for how to be a great partner – all I have to do is follow her example.
And finally: what are your future hopes/plans for your businesses? Anything else you’d like to add or mention in closing? Thoughts, comments, projects or events you’d like to plug? The floor is yours.
Private coaching is still the best part of my job. If you struggle with the opposite sex, there’s no better way to learn than to make love a priority in your life. I only work with a limited number of highly-motivated clients, so if you’re interested, just go to http://www.evanmarckatz.com/dating-coaching/ and fill out a short application.
If dating coaching is out of your price range, you can get all the benefits of 7 weeks of coaching with my 7 CD series, Finding the One Online: http://www.findingtheoneonline.com/.
And if you’re just looking for a new way of attracting more high quality people online, my profile writing company, E-Cyrano.com, is having a sale – 33% off regular prices: http://www.e-cyrano.com
Finally, if you just want to stay in touch and read some amazing free advice, sign up to get my special report, The 5 Massive Mistakes You’re Definitely Making in Dating and How to Turn Them Around Instantly. http://www.evanmarckatz.com/newsletter.html
Otherwise, I just want to thank you for inviting me to talk today, and thank your readers for their interest in improving their love lives. I’m very lucky to get to do this for a living and I bring that appreciation to every single coaching session.
Best wishes and many thanks.