Dating Tips and Advice

Image coaching for dating

Trying on a red coat
Best dressed man
Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Why image is important

It's widely believed that in today's impatient internet age, people make conclusions about someone within 20 seconds or less after having met them. Put another way, that gives you less than 20 seconds to create a lasting impression. It's also believed that 52% of that first impression is down to the way you look and hold yourself.

So it's worthwhile going to some effort to:

  • Ensure that the impression you create is the one you mean to create.
  • Ensure that the impression you create is as good as it can be.

Whilst what follows in a relationship won't be based so heavily on visual appearance, in order to get to that stage, you have to get past the first impression.

The first impression you convey may include a variety of non-verbal messages that people you meet are responding to in ways that may or may not be what you intend. So, it's worth the time and effort of raising your own awareness of the messages you're communicating (perhaps unwittingly) and learning how to communicate messages you want to convey in ways that suit you - through clothes, body language, hair, grooming, etc. This is where image coaching can really help - by raising awareness and suggesting changes to get the best out of you.

It pays to buy the best
Visit The Federation of Image Consultants website

Choosing an Image Coach

Like any coaching relationship, image coaching is based on trust; so choosing the right person to coach you is a decision to make carefully.

Many traditional dating agencies offer image coaching as a service - something you can check on the ABIA website. These will often be a good choice, because they are used to working with single people who are looking to polish up their image for dating. Some image consultants concentrate on corporate work and will be more accustomed to working on the image of business people in (eg) selling or presentation situations - a slightly different situation from dating.

By way of example, dating agency RSVP chose well-known image coach and author Sue Donnelly to be their retained image coach and she works with members either one-to-one or in workshops open to all members. Sue was a particularly fine choice for RSVP, because she is also President of The Federation of Image Consultants, the professional organisation that supports, develops and regulates the image industry in the UK. Choosing a TFIC member is your guarantee of quality and fair treatment. There is also an international professional body - The Association of Image Consultants International - which offers wider geographic representation for image consultants.

What to expect

Services on offer from image coaches typically include:

  • Colour Analysis. Identifying colours that enhance your skin tone, eyes and hair so you’ll always look fabulous. This sometimes includes a booklet of colour swatches that you can carry around so shopping becomes easy.
  • Coaching on your personal style. This goes beyond clothing to include hair and personal grooming, the way you present yourself and - if you've picked a good coach - the impact you have on others.
  • Wardrobe weeding. Working through your wardrobe, weeding out anything that is unsuitable, unfashionable or beyond repair. With the clothes that remain, your coach will help you work out combinations that you may not have thought of and suggest ways to update some old favourites.
  • Personal Shopping. Armed with the knowledge of your personal style, the gaps in your wardrobe and your budget, you and your coach shop together for clothes that suit you, your wallet and your aims.

Whilst most image coaches are women, generally it's men who are more in need of their services. Don't be afraid to get some help. The dividends come quickly and cheaply.

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