How did you become known as "The Date Doctor"?
In 2005, Will Smith starred in a hit rom-com called Hitch. He played the role of a personal dating coach for men and called his business "The Date Dr." It was this movie that gave me the inspiration for my business. I’ve always felt I had the heart to help singles in their journey of finding love, simply because I felt I understood the frustrations and challenges of the dating culture based on my own personal journey of depression, raising my self-confidence, physical insecurities, lack of personal direction, and learning how to attract the right people. It’s through that I started The Date Dr. It was aimed at helping singles become the best version of themselves by aligning with their purpose, and then learning how to attract the person they want. A journey that I was on for many years, which led me to the incredible woman I am with now.
Do you recommend people try to date during the pandemic? Absolutely! Yes! Humans are born to be social! One of the greatest tragedies resulting from COVID is the rapidly increasing amount of depression and isolation. Especially, among our younger generation in their 20’s and early 30’s, who would typically spend a weekend out in some sort of social environment. Of course, during this pandemic period, take the necessary precautions you feel are necessary when you go out. However, staying home and isolated, in my opinion, is a far greater risk for poor health than the virus itself.
What’s the number one question I get asked by singles? “Why is it so hard to find someone ready for something serious?” That’s the number one question I get asked by singles most often. I have spent considerable time thinking and reflecting on my own life on why that question is so prevalent in our dating culture. I became fully aware that it’s one of the first questions I have asked myself as well. My conclusion to the answer is more basic than most realize. The answer resides inside ourselves through very specific questions.
Who are we attracting?
Where are we meeting people?
What specifically do we want?
Are we more focused on our purpose or in getting a relationship?
What inner healing have we not addressed?
Are we truly ready to date or are we just feeling lonely?
Do we have established boundaries on certain behaviors we’re not willing to overlook?
I think these are the questions we should be answering instead that will help solve the problems many encounter in dating. What are the best ways to meet someone virtually? I think that FaceTime is good enough for virtual interactions. For many people who might feel more timid or cautious to meet someone in person too soon, I recommend the next best thing is to interact with other people on a screen. Is it ideal? Certainly not, but it’s effective for still being social, but not to take place of in-person interactions.
What about singles who do not want to do online dating? Online Dating is definitely not for everyone! However, it’s far more successful than most people who’ve never tried it realize. I think that’s the key is to first try it, and do some research prior to having the best experience. My personal Virtual Coaching sessions have had incredible results for my clients. Now, if online dating is still not your thing, then I suggest being as socially active as your time allows. You should have at least one main hobby you enjoy that is socially interactive with others. Whether that be in meetups, volunteer work, sports, dancing, gym, hiking groups, etc. As I shared earlier, despite COVID, I believe people should still be social, but still taking precautions when necessary.
What advice do you have for not making virtual dating awkward? The key to any social engagement is to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show, even if it’s behind a screen. What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when setting up an online dating profile? Any tips for creating a compelling profile?
Pictures, pictures, pictures. Whether someone wants to acknowledge it or not, but the human behavior for both men and women is the initial physical attraction. Now, the key is to understand what that attraction looks like. Of course, not everyone can be a model, and that’s okay if you accept that. If you have those kinds of looks, that’s a major help, BUT if you don’t then the next best thing you can do is enhance what you have. Your fitness and your style. Those two things alone can make even a below-average looking person instantly become more attractive.
Also, it’s important to focus on learning how to take quality pictures. Perhaps you don’t have the eye for a quality picture, then utilize a friend who does or pay for professional photos. I suggest that to build a great profile for you need these things: Quality pictures, a catching bio, and a catchy headliner. For quality pictures, focus on just five main photos.
A quality portrait shot posing
A full-body image with a view behind you
A picture of you with friends
A picture of you doing something active
A picture of you smiling
Having a “catchy bio” is also extremely important! Remember this “less is more”is one of the worst mistakes too many people make in their profiles - is writing some long drawn out story of their life. They share way too much information about themselves for a bio. The place for sharing details is when you talk on the phone or meet for the first time. A better idea is to write a profile that shares something funny and states what you’re looking for. Here’s an example: For a female - “Halloween is my favorite holiday, Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars, and I once drove across the country with my best friend, a basset hound, and a pug. I’m just here looking to meet someone who wants to share more of these journeys with me.” Lastly, is to have a catchy headliner that makes someone either think or laugh. Those two emotions are far more likely to want to open your profile to see what else you have to share or say. Here’s an example: “I know, I know. I drink coffee before bed. Is that weird?” It’s enough to catch someone’s attention and want to learn more about you. You come across as funny, open, and interesting.
What’s the best way for single people to stay connected to their (platonic) loved ones during this time? I think the best is to not avoid spending time with those important in your life. If they're open to seeing you, and so are you, then you absolutely should. Again, take whatever precautions you feel are necessary, but you shouldn’t not see those you love. However, if that poses a concern for you still, naturally the next best option is frequent phone calls and FaceTime.
Any Valentine Ideas for singles? One of the most difficult times of the year for many people is Valentine’s Day. My suggestion is if you’re single to not spend the holiday alone if you’d rather not be. Some people don’t mind spending this day alone and treating themselves a date night. However, others prefer to be around people. A great solution to this is to gather a bunch of single friends or find a group of singles and go out. Whether it’s for dinner and drinks, or dancing, or a movie, or something entertaining, that’s what you should do. Do you have any creative virtual date ideas? Here are some really great ideas for virtual dates:
Watch a movie together. There are apps that allow you to watch movies together on your phone while screen sharing and a FaceTime live window of yourselves in the top corners of the screen. Another way to do that is to FaceTime each other, choose a movie, and hit play at the same time. Then engage with each other throughout the movie.
Grab dinner together. Keep the FaceTime going the entire time. You can either cook from home or go out.
Each of you buys the same bottle of wine, have a candle lit next to you both, turn on your favorite music in the background, and enjoy a good bottle of wine together like you were both next to each other.
Go on a hike or walk together virtually. You both choose a hiking trail or local walk, and FaceTime along the way.
How can couples avoid co-dependence while quarantining together? This is a great question. I believe that the key is to know when your partner needs their personal time and allowing them that space. For most couples, it can be quite a lot to be near each other consistently, and for days in a row. Most people recharge when they spend some alone time. Not in excess, but when needed. It’s important that both partners recognize that in each other to not become so codependent on their partner, that they forget themselves or become suffocated. Simple things such as walks by themselves, going to the gym on their own, or time hanging out with friends and family, or even just by watching a movie. For those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, what are some ideas for dates on a budget? No question, for many people during this time, spending money is a luxury they can’t afford. However, here’s some simple date ideas that are free or low cost:
Simple weekend road trip for the weekend, and stay at affordable hotels and enjoy affordable dining for under $300
Visit a Farmer’s Market on the weekend
Cook dinner at home with wine and a movie
Take a day road trip
Go for a bike ride
Watch your favorite sports team together
What about couples who are long-distance or separated during the pandemic? How can they celebrate Valentine’s Day? The next best thing to being with someone in person is to have a virtual date with them. Simple ideas for a virtual Valentine’s Date would be:
Enjoy a bottle of wine together
Cook diner together
Play an online game together
How can couples support one another best during such a stressful time? The best to support each other during this difficult time is to understand what concerns they have for this pandemic. Whether that’s understanding their perspective of what’s happening. Whether it’s their agreement/disagreement of masks and vaccines. What their stance is on social distancing. What financial concerns do they have. Listening to each other’s political or religious viewpoints. I think that unless we try to hear, understand, and talk through these key questions regarding this trying time, will really help keep the relationship connected. It’s also true that completely opposing viewpoints could also be the reason the relationship can’t go forward. For many people, their stance on COVID is a drawing line for them and their relationship, and often even with friends or family.
Conclusion During this trying time in our world, the key to remember in relationships is that you MUST first have a healthy relationship with yourself! It’s important you prioritize yourself at certain times. There are moments when you know that what you need is to treat yourself to something that you deserve. Perhaps it’s buying something, or reading a book, or cooking a great dinner, or getting a massage, or going out with friends or having a cigar. Something. Just always be reminded that you must first be happy with yourself to fully have an impact on others. Your body image, your mental sanity, your spiritual wellness, and your emotional awareness. These are your four pillars for a healthy life. In taking care of yourself, you’re far more capable to love the people around you!
Where can people find you online?
Facebook: The Date Dr.
LinkedIn: Neil Socarras
Personal Instagram: iam.neilsocarras
For information on my personal coaching courses and one-on-one sessions, send me a personal email at: firstname.lastname@example.org