by Makenzie Winter
Students at Catholic University of America said goodbye to Cupid and hello to a little love advice from The Dating Doctor, on February 13, 2017. David Coleman, relationship consultant and honored National Entertainer of the Year by The National Association for Campus Activities, shared his wisdom on friendships, friendzones, exes, healthy relationships, attraction, and relationship red flags with Catholic University of America students.
Emily Scanlon, director of the Office of Campus Activities, said that Coleman was invited to campus through collaboration with the Peer Educators Empowering Respectful Students group, to help promote Healthy Relationships Awareness Month throughout campus.
Coleman started off by creating a relaxed and interactive environment, promising students that if they asked or answered questions, not only would they receive advice, but chocolate as well. In sharing the key to starting a relationship with their significant other, Coleman told students that one will not find the right person until one becomes the right person. He asserted that students should have confidence within themselves, rather than comparing themselves to others and becoming overcome with doubt. In keeping with the theme of self-love, Coleman asked the audience members to turn to the people sitting next to them and say, “I would so date me,” and “I’m a catch!”
Within dating and relationships, Coleman argued consent is everything. In order to cultivate healthy relationships, there should be mutual consent of both persons involved. Coleman believes that trust, mutual respect, intimacy (i.e. faith, religion, eye contact), passion, and commitment should also be included.
“I think the [students] can use all of the means available to them to cultivate a healthy relationship,” said Coleman. “They can use the apps, meeting each other on campus, getting involved in the community, and online dating. Whatever helps them meet the right person is fine, but they need to avoid “Front Load Overload Burnout,” which is when a relationship becomes too much, too soon, and too fast. Keep a nice pace. Never mistake infatuation for love.”
For the benefit of those in the audience who were single, Coleman introduced a technique in order for them to figure out if someone is interested in them. This technique is called the ABC’s of Initial Interest. The ABC’s of Initial Interest are composed of attraction, believability (a sense of truth in his or her words), chemistry (not physical), desire (a desire to get to know him or her better), and energy (he or she either drains one’s energy or raises it).
For those in the “friendzone,” Coleman offered some reasons why ‘friendzoning’ might be occurring. He argued the first reason that a problem may arise is when one is spending too much time with the person to whom one is attracted. Or in other words, there is no mystery or sense of longing in the other person. Also, since nice guys and girls tend to treat everyone the same, the other person may not know that they mean more to you than other friends or acquaintances. Coleman also stressed that humans are creatures of habit, too set in their ways to leave what is comfortable.
“Because so many students are romantically attached to one another, it is crucial that we all take time to reconsider what a good relationship looks like,” said Michael Mellifera, a philosophy pre-law major who is also a Resident Assistant. “David Coleman, the Dating Doctor, reminded us all to rededicate ourselves to encouraging healthy self-esteem, fidelity, consent, masculinity, and intimacy on our campus. No doubt, David’s message will help improve my personal and professional life. Particularly in my role as a PEER and a Resident Assistant in Gibbons Hall, I will continue being a non-judgmental ear and an invested friend for students who are struggling or thriving in their romantic relationships.”
Coleman said that he hopes The Dating Doctor will inspire students to use his dating methods to help others cultivate healthy relationships in the future.