Dating gurus

In social situations, he often found himself paralyzed, imagining worst-case scenarios about what would happen if he made the wrong move or said the wrong thing.

So he learned to read people to discern what they wanted from him.

Everyone stands and starts moving around the room, wearing I-can’t-believe-we’re-all-sober smiles. I’m always horrible on the first couple of dates.” She’s taken two of Eastman’s classes with a Living Social coupon, and she believes they’ve made her more aware. I meet another man who has taken a few of Eastman’s classes and seems similarly enamored. After living in New York City for six years, I’ve met (sometimes as a seeker, more often as a journalist) my share of self-help gurus: diet experts, sex coaches, life coaches, career coaches, a man who believes he can make anyone a millionaire, an older woman who wants to fill up Madison Square Garden with young women and preach against premarital sex, an angry meditation teacher who demands ,500 for meditation classes. We have the best relationship I’ve ever seen.” He talked about how great his friends are, how supportive his parents are.

I talk with one woman, an actress in her early 30s who grew up in Virginia and feels mystified by New York men. She feels more comfortable and less compelled than she used to be to fill every moment of silence on a date. ) who is here for the first time and says he’s benefiting from the class. But he’s good.” I talk with another woman who says that meeting Eastman and his girlfriend has changed her whole life. And all of them, even the angry meditation teacher, have disciples—people who think this guru must be the path to happiness; on the guru’s website, they’ll write testimonials: But Eastman seems far more sweet than parasitic: While we were waiting for his students to arrive, he gushed about his girlfriend, whom he met in one of his classes. When I asked him what learning nonverbal communication has done for him, he answered, “I don’t know where I’d be without it.” Eastman doesn’t give the impression that he aims to gather admirers but rather that he yearns to help people feel as comfortable as he’s learned to feel.

But emotionally incongruent people can also come off as odd, and that can hurt them on dates. Then you can change.” It might be a creepy move to set up a video camera on a first date, but Eastman will approximate the experience for you in his workshop by filming you talking to your classmates.

So if they’re doing so many things wrong, how can discouraged daters improve their skills? After the first hour, Eastman tells his students to get up and mingle.

He insists that people orient toward us all the time, and we should learn to notice it.

He talks about “pacifying gestures” we use to diffuse the anxiety of dating, how men rub their palms on their pants and women play with their fingers.

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‘Chapter Two, which clearly states, no joke, you have to be “a creature unlike any other”. ‘And yet speaking to someone in the travel section of Foyles would be really f***ing weird? ‘But if it’s not, I’ve seen a fantastic thing you can find on the internet.

‘It’s like a waiver form and it says, “Thank you for this unsolicited submission of this picture.

‘”Unfortunately it failed to meet our most basic requirements.

To begin, Eastman asks his students to shout out questions and writes them on a white board.

“I can feel people making assumptions about me,” says a guy in the back row who wears a blazer over a plaid shirt. “Like, I tell people I went to Harvard, and I can tell they’re thinking I’m a douche bag.” Eastman nods, watching him for a moment. “Well, you do have a little douche baggery to you,” he says.

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