Inspiring Interview – Hunt Ethridge

Inspiring Interview – Hunt Ethridge

Back in September, I was working in New York scoping out when and how to launch the business over there, and I took the time to meet up with some really big name US dating and relationship experts. I was lucky enough to catch up with Hunt Ethridge, who has been named as one of the top 8 dating coaches in the US. He is best known for co-founding the well-respected International Dating Coach Association (IDCA) and he’s also the Chief Marketing Officer of LiveDatingAdvice.com.

He has been featured on Fox, NBC, CNN and in Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Maxim, Telemundo, Yahoo! Shine and is considered one of the top in his field. He is consistently called upon for insight, collaboration, and speaking engagements. As a published writer, his dating advice columns appear all over the web. I met him for coffee at the very cool Highline where we chewed the fat about coaching, dating in New York versus dating in London, the importance of taking risks and his tips for the best approach to successful dating. 

On coaching

What are the common themes that people are struggling with when it comes to finding love, or does everyone have a unique set of issues?

We like to think we’re unique and individual but we’re part of an eco system of billions of people going back millions of years and everything that has happened and every situation that could come up, has come up. However, that doesn’t take away one’s own sense that your experiences are unique to you so I never discount people’s individuality. Your problems might be greater than my problems but my problems are still my problems regardless. People are very self-interested, it’s human nature. So, I’d say 80% of issues are similar across the board:

  • human interaction
  • self-worth
  • confidence
  • self-knowledge

Self-knowledge is one of the hardest things I run into, because you have to explore the darker side and people don’t like to explore that side of their psyche. Typically people don’t like to examine their faults. So that is what I run into a lot. The other 20% is made up of more individual issues.

Hunt Ethridge

People think they know what they want when it comes to getting help from me but it’s not like putting on a Band-Aid. I’ve got to dig deeper and heal the wound. You have to understand the question behind the questions.

You mean they think it’s one thing but actually it’s something else entirely?

Exactly. For example a client might say, “I’ve been having lots of first dates but don’t seem to get any further. I must be taking them to the wrong places. Where should I take them?” That isn’t the question they should be asking. But I have to be careful how I say that to them because they’ll tune out or get defensive. I have to say it in a way that helps them understand it. 

So do your clients find it tough working with you?

Yes, many come hoping for quick fixes and when they realise there’s nothing to memorise, no quick tips, that a lot of it will require working on themselves, then they find that tough. I equate myself to a tennis coach, you come in and I’ll teach you a forehand and you have to hit 1000 balls against a wall and the next time I’ll teach you a backhand and you will have to hit a 1000 balls against the wall. When they come in they say, ‘I want to play Federer’. I can let you play Federer but you’re just going to get destroyed every time until you understand the basics of what’s going on.

And the basics are things that you’ve already mentioned like confidence, self-knowledge etc?

Yes. With men, I have to teach how to approach and with women I have to teach how to be approachable. Understand, I’m grossly overgeneralising right now, but men have to get the confidence to go out and search or hunt if you will. Women have had to learn how to keep guys away – there are lots of creeps out there. And then they hit 30/35/40, put their heads up over the parapet and realise they need to learn how to let people in, bring people to them.

On the struggles of dating in New York

The thing that you need to know about New York is that there are 36% more women than men here – San Francisco is the opposite way round because of all the guys working in Silicon Valley.

Whoa, that explains a lot about Sex & the City

Yes, for every 3 men there are 5 women. And you have to take into account that one of these 3 men is undateable for women ie. he may already have a girlfriend, he may be gay etc. So you can have 3 – 5 women competing for the same guy and that makes women’s interactions with other women, difficult and interesting. If you’re at a party and a new single guy walks in, the air changes and women, all of a sudden, sense the competition is on.

This explains so much about the hardcore dating vibe in New York.

Read the book Date-Onomics. It gives you the low down on how dating became a lop-sided numbers game. So it should be easy right? Men have the upperhand. You don’t have to be Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel or The Rock, you just need a good, solid normal. If you’re a good-looking, well-heeled guy, you’re going to have three girls talking to you. And on the other side, this great woman has to fight through that. The women with low self-esteem or who are unsure which approach to take to win him over are willing to offer him anything he wants right there that night. And it’s difficult. In fact a woman contacted me yesterday saying a lot of this and she and her group of friends want to hire me to answer questions – like those Tupperware parties.

Love it, what a cool idea.

But part of it will be hard for them to hear.  And on top of that, when talking about the guys in their age range, only 36% are college educated. Then you need to add in the fact that women in New York want to date/marry upwards. Bear in mind that 1982 was the last year that more men graduated college than women.The gap is getting wider and wider every year.

dating photography
So you have all these super intelligent women who only want to date up?

Yes… and there’s only one CEO compared to all the middle managers, right. In the African American communities it’s an even greater gap, which is why when you watch the Tyler Perry movies, you have the female lawyer married to the hunky construction guy or the District Attorney married to the good-looking fireman. So women want their intellectual equal. What they don’t want to hear is ‘lower your standards’. We have the Disney Effect here – we bring up girls to believe their prince will come and sweep them off their feet. To be honest, it’s not the less accomplished, less desirable women who have a problem with being single right now, because if someone professes their love for them, then boom, they’re good to go. It’s the hot, intelligent women who believe they can do to better.

dating photography

On pickup artistry

I wanted to ask you about where you stand on pickup artistry, given that you’re a male coach working in the dating industry.

I loathe it. I hate it because it focuses on manipulation and misogyny, messing with women’s sense of self-worth. I find it deplorable. Any guy worth his salt can figure out how to get something but, please, always with truth. If you enjoy playing the field and taking women home for one night stands, that’s fine as long as you let them know what’s happening. Be honest about what you’re doing.  After the PUA backlash from earlier in the year, lots of PUAs are now rebranding themselves as dating coaches which is bad for the profession of course. I started the International Dating Coach Association and we provide an accreditation service where coaches can get our official seal of approval. We are made up of a team of coaches with a vast breadth of knowledge and experience and our seal of approval gives some credence of credibility to the industry.

On asking Chelsea Clinton out

When I was doing my research on you, I loved it when I found out you asked out Chelsea Clinton.

Ha, yes. The Clintons spent a week in my home town on vacation back in the day so I wrote her a letter asking if I could show her around my town. The point was ‘why not?’. It’s so important to take risks when you’re dating. The biggest challenge in dating is fear. The way I see it, the more interactions you have, the more practice you get and then the better a person you become. Imagine, you take a gamble and speak to that person you like – even if it all goes horribly wrong, you have a great story. I often ask my clients, if you go ahead and talk to someone you like, what do you actually lose? Fifteen seconds of your time?

dating photos

On rejection

When you go for a job, if you don’t get it at first you might interpret their feedback as ‘not good enough’ but in actual fact it’s usually a case of you’re either ‘right for the role or not’. Once you accept that it’s not personal, it all becomes much easier to deal. It’s the same with dating. Our use of words like ‘reject’ make dating that much harder. You don’t get ‘rejected’. These people don’t even know you. In order to reject someone, you have to know and understand something and compare it to something else you know and understand. Then you choose one and reject the other. If you take a risk and approach someone and they turn away, it’s not rejection. They don’t know anything about you It’s a non-starter.

On his top tip for dating

What would be your top dating tip for people reading this?

I always get my clients to ask themselves, ‘would you date you?’ If all you’ve done over the last week/month is watch Netflix and chill then you’re not going to have a lot to talk about on dates. My top tip goes back to this; reconnect with fun. The onus falls on you to be interesting. Everyone wants to meet someone interesting but they don’t necessarily want to hold the mirror up to themselves. This is true, if you ask people where they come on the scale then they all think they’re above average!

It’s great to go out and challenge yourself, be afraid, be uncomfortable, that encourages growth. But at the same time you need to connect with what makes you happy. If you like knitting, then join a knitting circle. Yup there may not be guys in that circle but if you’re enjoying yourself, your body language opens up, your face comes alive, people will like you more, they’ll be attracted to you and want to introduce you to their friends etc. A big part of my job is getting people to reconnect with fun.

The goal of dating coaching isn’t to help you go out and get more women or men but to turn you into a person who attracts more women or men to you.

To do this means you need to be interesting, doing things, connecting with hobbies, having things to talk about when out on a date. When you reach dating burnout, take time out to reconnect with who you are and what you like. People have to be willing to work on themselves and when they do and become successful at dating it makes me very happy.

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Online Dating Photographers
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✨We are all gorgeous all the time always✨ Dating photoshoot fear? You got this… You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
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What are you into? Have fun with your profile pics and use them to visually show people the stuff you love doing and the kind of places you love going. They’ll go down a treat on a dating app near you. Creating your dating app pics could be a whole adventure not a chore… You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers, UK & US. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
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The Two Key Ingredients for a Great Dating Profile 📣 new blog post alert 📣 A new study has just dropped that encourages dating app users to embrace originality when creating their dating profile text. Just as I encourage our clients to visually show how they stand out from others in their profile pictures, this study has backed up what dating experts, like James Preece, have been saying all along too… Lose the generic, cliché-ridden text and share something meaningful instead - like what makes you special/different from everyone else. The researchers attempted to understand what precisely makes for compelling profile text. They found that highly original text tended to contain one or more of the following 5 elements: • Metaphorical expressions (e.g. “I’m a rock-star at cooking curries” vs “I’m a good cook”) • Vivid descriptions & imagery ….. .. Head to the blog to read more - link in bio. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages #ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇʀᴇᴇʟs
Love this tried and tested hack for our clients who aren’t feeling ‘enough’ the day of their dating photoshoot. The moment they take hold of something that brings them joy - their camera, their yoga mat, their boxing gloves, their paintbrush or whatever it may be - they immediately relax, smile and feel at ease with themselves. I love this moment so much and it creates such great profile pics ✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages #ᴇxᴘʟᴏʀᴇʀᴇᴇʟs
These dating photos are so my jam. I’m adoring the bold colour and variety of backgrounds. Shouts out to Suze, who shot these on the streets of Clifton Village in Bristol. Photo credit: Suze for Hey Saturday, Bristol You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
If your dating app pics make people smile, they’re going to feel happy while looking at your profile. That means they are waaaaay more likely to want to reach out and connect with you. And that’s the kind of response we love ✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Our Magic 8 Ball says ‘Heck yes”. Loving this playful set from Alison shot on location on the streets of NYC. Such a fun set. Can you tell, we are the happiest dating photoshoots on the planet :) Photo credit: Alison for Hey Saturday, New York City You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
How can I relax into my dating photoshoot? ✨ Do what you love ✨ When we are in flow, we don’t feel self-conscious. We feel free 🙌🏽 All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Full disclosure! Our dating profile pics are a gateway to a fun dating life, good times and sometimes an epic love story so strong, it’ll make Oscar Issac and Jessica Chastain’s red carpet moment look a bit meh. J’adoring this ace stand-out set from the talent that is Nicole, transforming the streets of Shoredtich into a gorgeous backdrop for a dating photoshoot. Photo credit: Nicole for Hey Saturday, London You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Let your dating profile pics show people how you move through the world ✨✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Heck yes, this is why we call our photoshoots the happiest dating photoshoots. J’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Livia in the colourful Northern Quarter. Photo credit: Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
The world is so ready for you to show up in a meaningful way on your dating profile 👏🏽👏🏽 All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers ✨✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Hey go-getters, thrill-seekers and online daters.... our dating photoshoots are a good time. Absolutely j’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Vanessa at Abbot Kinney & as I’m currently chilling in LA, I thought I just gotta share. Photo credit: Vanessa for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
+ Take up space in the frame + Taking up a lot of physical space in the frame instantly makes you more attractive to others…. …Researchers discovered that open body language or “expansive postures” conveys both confidence as well as a sense of openness. People are more likely to come across as warm, friendly, trustworthy as well as comfortable in their own skin - great for dating pics ✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Well this dating photoshoot is just a whole vibe. Shouts out to Megan for creating this fab set and huge kudos to the client who brought his A-game, dang. Photo credit: Megan for Hey Saturday, Birmingham You have been watching Hey Saturday 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
It’s soooo important to get your self-talk right on a dating photoshoot… I mean nobody’s perfect but dang do we all fall short so beautifully 🔥🔥 All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Brighton dating photoshoot 🔥🔥 I was lucky enough to head to Brighton this week and catch up with one of our Brighton photographers, Lauren … & I gotta tell you, it's a dang-good gorgeous place for a dating photoshoot. Check out these cool shots from Lauren, who transforms the streets into a Hey Saturday playground. Loving the colour, personality and vibrance. Photo credit: Lauren for Hey Saturday, Brighton You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Never underestimate the power & magic of goofing off during your dating photoshoot. It helps create the best profile pics & usually means you end up having a good time 😆 You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest… & er goofiest dating photoshoots 🔥 *Filmed by @northernmunki #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #goofingoff #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages