Patrick King has been a San Francisco-area dating and image consultant since 2010, and has studied human psychology and interaction for over 10 years.
Somewhere among the many clients throughout the years, he decided to flesh out his inner monologue on dating and human interaction, and found that he had quite a bit to say. He has a unique emotional intelligence that allows him to understand exactly what makes his clients tick and use it to their advantage.
In December of 2013, he published Did She Reply Yet? The Gentleman’s Guide to Owning Online Dating and his most recent work, Chatter: Small Talk, Charisma, and How to Talk to Anyone, was released in March of 2014.
When he’s not helping clients conquer the online dating world, he’s either pretending he’s a 1980s pop singer at karaoke bars or training for his next 10k.
For more of Patrick, visit www.didshereply.com.
I had a pretty idyllic childhood — playing on swings in the suburbs and all that. I think my adolescence was a bit more instrumental in shaping who I am. I was a classic late bloomer, so I spent a lot of that time watching my peers start having success with the opposite sex, and develop social skills that my introverted self couldn’t yet dream of.
One Friday night when I was sitting at home alone, I made a conscious decision to stop being so passive and to pursue exactly what I wanted out of life. It was a huge watershed moment for me, and to this day, I consider it the moment I came out of my shell for good. Since it was such a black-and-white switch for me, the dating and relationship coaching came easily to me since I could relate to both sides of the equation.
How did you make the transition from someone who was comfortable talking to members of the opposite sex to one who coaches others? In other words, how did this become a business for you?
It was a very organic transition, and wasn’t entirely planned. For my own amusement, I wrote, edited, and really directed about 20 online dating profiles for my friends. Throughout that process, I developed a few systems for online dating, texting, date designs, and dating in general… and it also became apparent that I had more experience and perspective to give than I thought I did. Combine that with my interests in human interaction and relationship, it was a natural fit for me.
What is the single biggest mistake most men make when attempting to meet women online?
Being too cool for school. You’re on the site, so own it! If you don’t own it, you’re: (1) not going to put effort into your profile questions, (2) going to write and message in an insecure manner, (3) going to settle for a photo of yourself from Facebook from 2 years ago, and (4) generally setting yourself up for failure.
A lot of guys take issue with putting real effort into online dating because that sets themselves up for rejection, but putting themselves out there is an amazingly-important component of successful dating, online or not.
What do you enjoy most about being a dating and image consultant?
I love the little successes: seeing a client’s eyes light up after he sees himself in his new clothes for the first time, the excited texts I’ll get post-date, and the way that people’s self-image and esteem grow before my eyes.
How are your methods different from those of other dating coaches?
I’m not sure exactly how my methods differ, but I know that I focus on long term results more than other coaches. This means realizing that many of the outward issues that people face are a result of mental blocks and limiting beliefs that need to be first addressed.
I act as a sounding board, counselor, cheerleader, reality check, and confidant… these are all the things that coaching is really about for me, as opposed to “Okay, touch her now on her arm. Now playfully insult her haircut. Now move in for the kill.”
I want to arm the people I coach with true comfort in their own skins, which can be life-changing and an amazing thing to see.
In the dating world, both online and off, rejection is inevitable. How can one best deal with being turned down without taking it personally?
You’re right, it’s inevitable. It’s an issue that can be deeply rooted in many people, and can fill 10 books on its own, so I’ll try to keep this brief.
Online dating is anything BUT personal and human. The process, the exposure, everything. So when you message someone and they don’t reply, it simply cannot be personal or related to you.
I’ll tell you what it IS related to: your profile (a distinct entity from YOU), your ability to play the online game (who knows what this even means), completely superficial and shallow reasons (I’ve definitely heard someone say “He seemed cool, but he was only 5’10” and I only date 6′ and up”), reasons completely unrelated to you (like her becoming serious with someone else), or literally nothing (through profile deactivation or too many other messages).
I think you’ll find that the vast majority of those can be applied to real-life dating as well.
Once upon a time, there seemed to be a stigma attached to online dating. In your opinion, does that stigma still exist, or as a society, have we accepted online dating as a legitimate manner of meeting potential partners?
That’s an interesting question. In my San Francisco Bay Area bubble (and most other big cities), the stigma definitely doesn’t exist anymore.
I believe there are two reasons for that: (1) the overall proliferation of technology improving and optimizing people’s lives in all other aspects of life, and (2) the rise of apps like Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, Grouper… even OkCupid/Match to some degree, that are such low investment that people can put themselves out there without the fear of rejection or being hurt. And that’s really a major reason that people still don’t do it — if they put themselves out there by actively setting up an online dating profile, they’re potentially setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.
As the success stories begin to mount, the normality of it will just keep growing. We do have a ways to go before the stigma is fully shed, though.
I’m sure one of the most common reasons (or cop outs) that people cite to avoid online dating is that they want to meet people organically. To them I say open your eyes — it’s 2014, and this IS the new organic.
What is your go-to song at karaoke?
I can guarantee it’s going to be (1) a Motown classic – Temptations, Four Tops, Stevie, Marvin (2) an ’80s rock hit – Foreigner, Queen, Mr. Mister, or (3) a Boyz 2 Men ballad.
In your opinion, what are the most underrated songs of the 1980s?
I have to give Phil Collins a nod here — the sheer number of hits he had was insane (try looking up his discography), and I can’t get enough of that vintage ’80s synth/echo-y sound.
What are you working on next?
Aside from the coaching, I’m in the outlining stages for a new book I’m tentatively titling The Asshole Complex, which I intend to be a compliment to the infamous Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov.
The message definitely isn’t about teaching guys to be assholes to attract women, it’s an analysis of the traits that women seem to love in so-called “assholes,” and seeing how the “nice guy” can implement them to improve their love lives. Being the nice guy and lacking assertiveness are big themes with my coaching, so I hope this can help address that.