Move aside people: The Dating Doctor is in town. At an ASPB-organized event on Mar. 4, David Coleman, aka the Dating Doctor, paid UC Riverside a house visit to share with its students his expertise on love, dating and everything in between.
The room was abuzz, students’ eyes lit up in anticipation and the seats became increasingly filled. The audience lingered around the room and picked up free candy, condoms and Scantrons while waiting for the Dating Doctor to appear. Introduced by the ASPB directors of films and lectures, David Coleman is an acclaimed 14-time National Speaker of the Year and is also known as the inspiration behind Will Smith’s character in the film “Hitch.”
“Like Will Smith had Kevin James, you guys will be my one-on-one clients for tonight,” Coleman promised the audience before preparing to launch into his lecture. “It will absolutely be the most inclusive show.”
Coleman began the house visit procedure with some fundamental advice for the self. “I want you to complete yourself on your own and find someone who complements you,” he stated. “When you’re in a great relationship, parking is easier to find and ice cream doesn’t seem to have calories. But you will not find the right person until you become the right person.”
To accompany this introductory advice, Coleman presented an all-encompassing mantra he readily encouraged students to adopt. “I would sooo date me,” Coleman said while emphasizing the “so” with a bobble of the head. “Look at yourself in the mirror each morning and repeat that every day.”
Coleman’s interactive and engaging lecture style had students repeating aloud many more mantras and catch phrases of Coleman’s. One such catch phrase was the “hmm theory of attraction.” “A hmm is someone who stops you dead in your tracks,” Coleman explained. With this theory in mind, Coleman urged the audience to become “fat penguins” and break the ice with the recipient of the “hmm.” “It’s not about your appearance,” Coleman reassured. “It’s the attitude.”
The Dating Doctor continued to guide the audience through the subject of attraction by explaining the “ABCs of attraction”: attraction, believability, chemistry and desire, all of which he believes can be determined in five minutes between two people. Coleman also warned the audience, “If you smother them, they are gone (regardless of these ABCs).”
Where there are attraction and the blossoming of relationships, however, there are also heartbreak and breakups. Coleman described breakup season among college students as predominantly occurring after Valentine’s Day, after spring break, and before the summer. As an antidote for weathering this season, Coleman prescribed the audience the acronym “DATE”: distance, activity, time and exit. Coleman cited keeping a distance, getting involved in activity, letting time heal and exiting on one’s own terms as essential ways for remedying the pain of a breakup. In addition to this remedy, he presented a formula dubbed “David’s Rebound Ratio,” for determining the amount of time usually needed for recovering from a breakup. Coleman recommends waiting two weeks for every month of dating and two months for every year into a relationship.
Coleman also provided telltale signs for spotting a cheater, while disclaiming to the audience that these signs could be purely coincidental and not at all related to cheating. His list of the subtle signs of cheating included instances such as when a person changes his appearance for the better, answers questions with questions, and gets protective of his phone and computer. In addition to assessing potential cheating, Coleman presented a set of signs for gauging a mutual “hmm” in women and men. Of these signs, Coleman explained that a man is interested in a woman if he has “moosh” brain around the woman and cannot maintain a cool demeanor. For the men, he explained that a woman is interested if she breaks the “touch barrier” and touches the man’s arm or shoulder while laughing and talking.
“We all project an image before we ever say a word,” Coleman emphasized. Midway into his lecture, Coleman called a random audience member to the stage and asked the rest of the crowd to determine his character and personality solely by his physical appearance. The crowd’s conclusions of him ranged from music lover to science and engineering major. Before allowing the audience member (whom Coleman dubbed “Stripes”), to return to his seat, Coleman asked a final question of whether anyone wanted to go on a date with Stripes and if so, offered $20 toward their first date. No brave soul raised a hand during the public inquiry but it remains unknown if Coleman was approached privately after the show.
Coleman ended his house visit with a lengthy Q-and-A session. “Feel free to ask anything,” Coleman said. “It’s a laboratory in here tonight.” The questions ranged from advice on how to exit the friend zone to determining whether a one-night stand could evolve into a dating relationship. As answers to these questions, Coleman emphasized, more than anything, the importance of staying true to one’s self, taking it slow and maintaining a positive attitude. “The totality of what we are plays into who we want to be,” Coleman concluded.