BENGALURU : Almost all of us has been in a situation where we’ve been approached by a stranger at a restaurant or a pub who dishes out the most uncomfortable, strange and sometimes offensive pick-up lines. ‘Hey, I’ve seen you somewhere, right?’, ‘Did you fall from the skies? Because you sure look like an angel’s – sometimes, these cringeworthy lines can sure rub people the wrong way. Or you spot someone attractive and interesting but just can’t seem to muster the courage to approached them.
So these days, in order to ensure one doesn’t get rejected or lose out on a potential partner, people young and old are visiting image consultants or dating coaches to learn how best to find the right one, or the right one for now. City Express spoke to some image consultants in the city, who, apart from helping people improve their visual appearance, help people improve their soft skills when it comes to dating. Costing up to `30-35k per session depending on the services provided, consultants tell us that most of their clients are in the age group of 30-40.
How not to look desperate 101
Shreya Dhingra, who founded her image consultancy company Your Image And I in 2012, says, “People in their mid to late 20s and those between 35 and 40 are the ones who approach me, and out of these, two per month come specifically for dating trouble. They have problems in how best to approach someone of the opposite sex, and don’t want to seem desperate. We work on improving their soft skills – how to improve body language, what the appropriate things to say our, how to pick on negative and positive cues, and how arrange follow up meetings,” she says, adding that having clear expectations is the main problem people seeking relationships are.
“Most of my clients are in the age group of 30-45. I help them with body, language, introductions, how to make small talk, choice of words and appreciating the other person. So the first step is to understand the client and their backgrounds, after which we figure out the areas in which they need help,” says Payal Sahoo, founder of Image-Maker. Renju Joseph, founder of Ace Infiniti, says that most of the clients he gets who need dating coaching are corporates who are constantly shifting around for their jobs. They also have a lot of money to spend. “What I’ve noticed is that these people are not looking to get tied down, they are very carrer-oriented, and don’t want to be legally bound.”
How to read social media profiles
Dhingra says that she guides her clients with improving their social media/matrimonial profiles in subjective and objective ways. Subjective being the different stats on the profile (height, weight etc) and objective being the bio one writes, which includes interests - clients learn how to frame their content on these parameters. “A lot of one sees on social media sites and marriage sites is fabricated – pictures are heavily edited and one can’t say whether a profile is real or fake. One thing we teach people is how to read profiles,” says Joseph.
Dhingra adds that during her dating workshops, she’s noticed that a lot of young folk – in the 23-30 age group – tend to be fake. “Fake accents and behaviour don’t go a long way. I teach people to be genuine and coach them on how to act in a sustainable way by staying in character. The problem is that people want to impress others come what may.”
South more conservative?
Having worked in Delhi and Mumbai and then settling down in Bengaluru, Dhibgra says that she’s noticed a more conservative nature among the clients she gets from the city, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. “Over here, I’ve noticed that women have complexes about their complexion. I’ve even had some people approach me who want to send their partners in for consultation before meeting the parents. One particular client lived in Singapore and wanted his fiance to look a certain way before she moved to live with him. Earlier, she would kurtas, he wanted her to wear Western clothes and behave in a certain way too. Since the client’s parents didn’t want him to marry outside the caste, they found him a girl and he sent her to me,” she says.
Colours, alcohol and sex
“We advice our clients to avoid sexual encounters with their dates on the first few dates as we don’t know if people are safe, healthy or carrying an infection. If a person has not been in the dating scene for a while, physical attraction is obvious after a few dates. We ask them to hold on, but it’s upto them at the end. Sometimes, if the physical aspect is done and dusted, the mystery aspect is lost and the whole thing can go sour. However, most clients we get are those looking for something more than just physical,” says Renju Joseph.
He says that when sending their clients out on dates, clothes are (of course), a vital part. “We advice people to wear semi-formal clothes. Although it completely depends on what a person can carry off, there are certain colours and outfits that work better than others. For a day meeting, we encourage men and women to go with pastels, colours need to be played down. At night, we ask the clients to brighten up the colours. On women, reds and dark shades work at night. For men, a shirt, blazer/jacket and loafers are ideal,” he says. Joseph adds that they advice their clients to not drink on the first date, and even if they want to, to stick to something very light.