Women who have no trouble running a business meeting or managing a busy household may need a little help when it comes to the brave new world of dating.
And that’s where dating coach Cheryl Ann Savage comes in.
“It isn’t a makeover. I don’t try to change anyone,” said Savage, owner of Navigating the Dating Scene, a company in Salinas, California. Rather, she gives women a “road map” to meeting and attracting interesting men.
Savage, a longtime realtor and broker who owns the ERA Real Estate office in Salinas, developed her new enterprise after she realized that many of the principles she has learned in business could be applied to personal relationships.
She has coached many real estate agents over the past 20 years, and now is merely taking the same techniques and applying them to help women feel more confident about dating.
Savage did a certain amount of observation as well – “I wanted to understand men better” – when she herself chose to date.
The Monterey, California, resident put all of this experience together in Navigating the Dating Scene. She’s also writing a book on the subject.
Savage seems to have hit a nerve – she says in her first three months of business, she has taken on almost 50 clients.
“It’s taking off, so it’s apparent that it’s needed,” Savage said of her services.
Most of her clientele are women between the ages of 40 and 70, divorced or widowed, but who are not willing to spend the rest of their lives alone. That being said, not everyone is interested in getting hitched.
“Some women say, ‘I want to date, but I don’t want to get married,'” said Savage, a single mother of two grown daughters. “Some women want to get married but they feel like they’re back in high school when it comes to dating.”
Internet dating is iffy; Savage said you have to encounter a lot of frogs before you find a prince.
“I don’t advise against it, but I believe that the chances of you meeting someone like you aren’t good,” she said.
Savage’s method is to tailor an individualized plan based on what the client wants as well as other aspects of her personality. That plan can include advice on everything from how to dress, to today’s dating etiquette, to the right way to give a man a compliment.
Many single women of a certain age aren’t sure where to meet men, or how to talk to them, or what to do when a date materializes. Savage guides them through the dating maze.
The first step to successful dating is what Savage called “finding your solid self,” and in fact, that’s the title of the classes she has been teaching lately. Upcoming events will be listed on Savage’s Web site, www.cherylannsavage.com.
The workshops are meant to be fun and informal, and hors d’oeuvres and wine are included in the evening.
The class itself lasts about 45 minutes, and Savage will discuss the importance of women finding independence and developing their “solid self.”
A “solid self” is the person you are at any given stage in your life, Savage said.
“We have to find out who our solid self is now, and build on that – cut old ties and heal old wounds.”
Some women think that in order to attract potential partners, they have to change. Not so, Savage said.
“If you find out what road you are on, then a relationship will come into your life,” she said.
Savage said her company isn’t just about dating – it’s also about empowerment for women by building their self-confidence and life skills.
Women who have been out of the dating scene for a while are often unsure about how to get started, especially in a world where so many of the rule have changed. Savage clues her clients in to how today’s dating scene works and shows them how to meet men.
Women often need help highlighting aspects of their personalities that they’ve neglected or suppressed. For instance, businesswomen who are used to being dominant in the workplace may have trouble bringing out their more feminine qualities, Savage said.
Often she also has to make women more aware that men are, indeed, interested in them.
“I show them how to talk to men and how to be more open,” she said. “I help them to be comfortable and confident.”
Savage charges $175 per private session; she also offers advice by phone, such as for what she calls the “OMG calls.” She also offers private consultation on one specific area of dating, such as how to work a room, body language, fashion, building social circles or relationship building. All her services are confidential.
“I want to make women feel like they can handle anything and have fun with it,” said Savage. “This is a great time of life for us – we can do whatever we want.”