Dating isn’t fun.
Seriously, NO ONE has fun on dates! We do it because we have to. Because that’s what we have to do if we want to find love.
If someone invented a stress-free way of getting to know people tomorrow, then we’d be on it. Imagine: no more dates! No more pressure. No more having to dress up for a guy who doesn’t appreciate it.
Before you dismiss dating for good, I want you to meet someone.
Hunt Ethridge is an international dating and relationship expert who consults with matchmaking companies and trains future dating coaches. He coaches private clients in the cut-throat dating scene of New York City.
He knows why you hate dating. He gets why you hate dating. But he’s got a suggestion for you…
Maybe dating could be FUN.
Impossible? Well, before you decide, watch this week’s YBTV interview.
Hunt offers a simple mental shift that can help you move away from seeing dates as successes or failures and move towards finding the pleasure in the experience.
He offers a series of powerful first date questions to break the ice.
And he gives the definitive answer to that eternal question, “Why do I only attract guys when I already have a boyfriend?”
What You’ll Learn
Hunt would have never gone into dating coaching if it hadn’t been for his therapist.
She told him, “The men that come in here are broken, and I can fix them. But the thing that they want the most is to have a woman by their side. I can’t give them that. You know more about this than anyone I’ve ever met. You need to figure out a way to monetize this, and the minute you do I’m going to refer all of my patients to you.”
That was the push Hunt needed.
He started his coaching business a short while before he met his now-wife, who helped him hand out flyers and build the business. Today, he’s a proud family man with a daughter and a thriving coaching and consulting business.
Having a daughter upped the stakes. “There’s no pressure at all,” Hunt jokes. “I’m just going to be the template for all of her future relationships for the rest of her life, whether it’s running away from it or trying to emulate it.”
He adds, “Having a father whose job it is to communicate, I hope, will set a really good foundation for her.”
Become the Prize
Hunt works with male and female clients. They both want the same thing—to find love—but the way they get there is different.
For men, the prime motivation is, ‘How do I learn to approach someone with confidence [and] self-assurance?’ Whereas for a woman, it’s almost the opposite: ‘How do I become the most approachable type of person that encourages men to approach me?'”
Being approachable is harder than it sounds.
“Most of my clients are successful, powerful, really beautiful women,” Hunt says. “They’ve spent a lot of their life learning how to push people away.”
The dating scene is tough, especially in New York City where Hunt is based. It’s easy to become cynical and jaded.
But Hunt teaches his clients that it doesn’t have to be that way. Dating is supposed to be enjoyable, not exhausting.
“That doesn’t mean it is fun,” he adds, “but it is supposed to be fun.”
Dating can feel like a second job, but there’s a mental switch that can help.
“The goal is NOT to get a man. The goal is NOT to get more dates,” he says. You don’t want to put a man on a pedestal. Instead, YOU want to be the one on the pedestal.
“I call it becoming the prize,” he says.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
You want to turn “yourself into the type of person that draws people to you. And a lot of that has to do with enjoying yourself, enjoying life, being a person that you want to spend time with.”
People end up wanting to be around you because you make them feel good.
When you have fun, your body language opens up. You get excited. You talk with your hands. Your eyes light up. You smile. This is the type of person men want to date.”
But how can you have fun when your dates are, quite frankly, boring?
“I wouldn’t want to sit across from someone and go through the dating interview,” Hunt says. “It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. It’s all logic, no emotion.”
If you want to learn about someone, don’t talk to them. Play with them.
“Take these dinner dates and throw them out the window, until at least the third date,” Hunt says. “Because (1) they can last too long, (2) they can be expensive, and (3) sitting directly across from someone, squared up … it just puts you into the mentality of a board meeting.”
Hunt suggests the activity date. That way, regardless of whether you like the guy or not, “you’re still doing something that you enjoy.”
Be proactive about it. Instead of waiting for him to suggest dinner, pick out a fun activity and tell him you’d like to do it.
“If he wants to come along with you, he’s already passed the first hurdle,” Hunt says. Also, “if you’re doing something that you enjoy, you’re … much more than likely to enjoy the date.”
In fact, one of the best ways to get a man to relax and enjoy himself on a date is to relax and enjoy yourself. Your date wants to see that you’re happy. He wants to feel reassured that he’s getting it right.
What is He Thinking?
So what is going through a man’s head on that first date?
The very first thing he asks himself is if he’s physically attracted.
“Men don’t have a lot of disqualifiers,” Hunt says. “It really comes down to, ‘If I’m physically attracted to you, I’m going to [overlook] a lot of things.'”
A man also wants to see if you’re having fun. Are you present in the moment with him, or are you thinking too far ahead? Do you have a twinkle in your eye?
A bit of irreverence and risk-taking can boost the chemistry, too.
Go out on a date with a guy you don’t care about, and you’re more likely to drop your guard, come out from behind the mask, and say or do something edgy.
But the minute George Clooney sits in front of you, all of that goes out the window. You just want to do everything you can to impress him and not risk screwing anything up at all—which takes away all of that fun stuff which would be what attracted the guy to you.”
Hunt adds, “It’s the old, ‘The only time I attract guys is when I actually have a boyfriend.’ It’s because you don’t have any goals in the interaction. You don’t have a fear of failure.”
Ask Better Questions
Hunt recommends re-thinking the kind of questions you ask a guy on a date.
Instead of asking logical questions, like “What do you do?” and “Where did you grow up?” ask questions that elicit positive emotions. He gives some examples:
- What’s one of your favorite favorite memories from childhood?
- What’s the most comfortable thing you’ve ever sat in?
- What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
- What was the best party you ever went to in college?
- When was the last time your boss praised you?
“In order to answer these questions, people are going to have to think and feel happy thoughts,” he says.
When people feel those positive emotions around you, they associate being with you with feeling good—and they want more.
Get More of Hunt’s Advice
Today, Hunt is the coach on record for six or seven different matchmaking companies.
He also has his own private practice, called Hunt for Advice.
He helps folks get date-ready by “creating positive emotional drama.”
“How do you become the best version of yourself?” he asks. “How do you set the stage for chemistry?”
Find out at Hunt for Advice.
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:37 The advice that got Hunt into coaching
2:38 Family man
3:44 What Hunt is teaching his daughter
5:07 Difference between men’s and women’s dating needs
6:54 Dating is supposed to be fun
10:26 From dinner dates to activity dates
12:55 What a man is thinking on a first date
16:29 Hunt’s coaching practice
17:57 Ask better questions
Hunt is an award-winning dating and relationship expert who helps women reconnect with fun. With over a decade of experience helping people become the best, most dateable versions of themselves, Hunt’s advice has been featured on CNN, ABC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He has founded three dating companies, including the International Dating Coach Association, which serves to educate and certify dating coaches across the globe. Find out more about Hunt.