‘Real-life Hitch’ visits Tech to give dating advice

Have you ever wondered what true love really is? Have you questioned what makes a relationship work? Or, maybe, have you ever asked yourself how to approach that guy or girl you saw at a party? If you have ever speculated about any of these questions, there is a man that has all of the answers.

His name is David Coleman, and he is also known as the Dating Doctor. Coleman is widely known a “the real-life Hitch” and is the author of various relationship books, such as 101 Great Dates, Date Smart!, Marking Relationships Matter! and Prescriptions for Life and Relationships.

His blunt, humorous relationship advice have resulted not just in commercial successes, but also critical acclaim. He has been honored 12 times as National Speaker of the year, nine times by Campus Activities Magazine and three times by the National Association for Campus Activities.

According to Coleman though, there’s more to his advice than just how to behave in and interpret romantic or sexual relationships. His theories can be applied to personal goals such as leadership development, character, confidence and values. The breadth of his advice’s relevance and his unique and engaging presentation style has made him a high commodity, one that Tech students had the lucky opportunity of witnessing this fall.

On Nov. 12, the Dating Doctor made a visit to Tech Student Center to talk about relationships and dating while relating these concepts to college students. From the beginning of the visit, he developed a highly interactive and open environment for Tech students to speak their minds, actively listen to others and created engaging conversations that many students found relatable.

Also, he explained what makes college students better learners and engagers than others.

“I love talking to college students, first and foremost, because they have the ability to put something into their life tomorrow that they learned today. High school students are just happy to be in an assembly and be out of class, they really don’t want to improve their lives. And, sometimes older adults are stuck in their ways, and they’ll hear me talk, but they really won’t go out and try things out. I really started this because I believe that college students had the capacity to learn it and the ability to do it, and that’s why I love the line of work that I do,” Coleman said.

Coleman began by defining romance as performing an ordinary act of love or kindness at an unexpected time. However, according to Coleman, romance doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

He explains that there is a single question to ask one’s significant other, which is to question the difference between being an “option” or a “priority.” If someone or something is an option to their partner, romance will be forced, but if someone is a priority, romance will happen more naturally and the relationship will be more fruitful.

Coleman focuses on the idea that relationships are based off of self-esteem, explaining that attraction is only a learnable skill and that one must first become the “right” person for themselves and others before they will find the “right person” to complement their life.

Coleman then proceeded to get into the more comical portion of his speech. Coleman shared with the Tech audience ridiculous pick up lines he’s heard. For example, “if beauty was measured in milk, you’d be a cow,” and gave tips on how to be a “fat penguin.” That is, you must waddle out and break the ice in order to have a successful relationship.

The Date Doctor then had a question/answer “five minute frenzy” for the Tech audience, where any question about dating and relationships could be answered.

Inquiries ranged from serious to downright funny, as Tech students asked about the “friend” zone and how to tell when you are or aren’t in this zone, the varying commitment levels of men and women and even ended on Coleman’s explanation of why some women believe that all the men they date or sleep with, neigh, even all men on the face of the planet, are terrible lovers.

To add even more direct interaction to the presentation, Mr. Coleman introduced the Johari Window, which proved to be the crowd favorite.

The Johari Window is a mini-experiment where one answers a few questions that can help one define oneself on a personal, emotional and relationship level. You use those answers on a grid of “rooms” along with the answers of our friends.

Those answers then let the user know what he or she thinks about himself both consciously and subconsciously compared to how he or she is consciously and subconsciously perceived by others.

He ended his presentation with his self-proclaimed most important advice.

“Never mistaken infatuation for love. People meet each other and go, ‘Oh, in love’, and three months later, their mind sets completely change. So there are facets of love and stages of relationships and people must think very carefully what they say and things they do,” Coleman said.

“The light that burns brightest burns shortest. When you first light a candle, the wick goes very quickly, but then it slows down to a normal pace. When people take that first beginning of the wick in their relationships and they burn through stuff too fast, then they either have to break up or say to the other person that they don’t feel the same way they did, because they didn’t let it happen naturally. Sometimes it’s a facet of time or how fast you burn through these stages,” Coleman said.

Not only did the Date Doctor engage Tech students on serious issues of dating, self confidence and the humorous side of when things go wrong, he also spurred genuine and personal questions from the audience.

“It was a good learning experience. It’s something that we don’t get to see in India, which is the country where I am from. I got to learn many new things from him, as I am a pretty shy person myself and it will definitely help me to mix along with more people socially and emotionally. My favorite part was when he talked about what women are attracted to. Overall, it was a great event, fantastic,” said Siddharth Gaur, ECE graduate student.

Many other students also felt that Coleman’s presentation was a success.

“I thought the event was good and that he was accurate on some things. And I liked that he called the girls and guys out on stuff that they do [in a relationship],” said David Attias, ECE graduate student.

Others saw Coleman’s lecture as inspiring and provided many life lessons for college students who are just finding their sea-legs in the adult dating world.

“I definitely thought it was very interesting and you really learned a lot about yourself. My favorite part was the Johari Window, because it was crazy accurate on some things,” said Heather Aquilino, fourth-year INTA.

If you’re interested in learning about Coleman or more about his relationship/life advice, check out where you can see his long list of bad kissers (some examples include “the sloth” and “the deer in the headlights”), clever comebacks and ways to purchase his critically acclaimed books.