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dating – Strategy – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Dating coaches in cities across the US are helping successful women find fulfilling relationships.
  • While the coaches work with both men and women, the genders’ motivations for seeking help seem to be different.
  • Male clients tend not to have developed the skills to approach or flirt with women, while the women, who are typically in their 30s and older, have already established themselves professionally and, facing pressure to start a family, are ready to tackle their next challenge.
  • Both coaches and clients say the goal isn’t to find the perfect person right away, but to learn the skills to find and maintain a healthy partnership.
  • These coaches charge anywhere from $1,800 to $18,000 for different types of services.

On New Year’s Eve 2017, Judith made a resolution she’d never made before: She wanted to be in a meaningful relationship.

She was 32 years old and frustrated with her experiences dating men in New York City, where she works as a hospital administrator.

Judith, who asked not to share her last name to protect her privacy, remembers thinking to herself that the way she was approaching dating wasn’t working out. She paraphrased a common piece of wisdom: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is just a form of insanity.” And, she added, “I literally was going insane with the dating world.”

She considered recruiting professional help. But when she asked her friends whether they thought it was worth paying thousands of dollars for a dating coach, all of them said no. Plus, she knew that “on the internet, you can find anything.” If you want to know how to, say, attract more men on a dating site, you can simply Google it.

By the end of January 2018, Judith had made a decision: She’d hired Damona Hoffman, a certified dating coach and host of the Dates and Mates podcast in Los Angeles. They worked together for three months, checking in biweekly over the phone (Judith could also email or call whenever she needed immediate advice), for which Judith paid just under $3,000.

Today, Judith is still single and dating, turning regularly to the notes from Hoffman. “I don’t regret the decision [to see a dating coach] whatsoever,” she told me. “I had the means to do it,” and “I needed a girlfriend that had the degree and experience to back up all of the advice they would give me.” The Internet, she said, can’t provide that.

‘Oh my gosh, you’re 40. You need to settle down and have a baby’: Coaching clients are often feeling pressured to find love


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Evan Marc Katz.

(Evan Marc Katz)

In cities across the US, a growing number of successful women are hiring dating coaches to help them find long-term relationships. Typically, these women are in their 30s and older; they’ve established themselves professionally and are comfortable financially, but for whatever reason, finding love has proved more challenging.

This phenomenon fits with the broader trend of Americans marrying later, and viewing marriage as what one sociologist calls a “capstone” rather than a “cornerstone” of their adult life. That is to say, many people are tying the knot only after they’ve achieved professional and financial success; in the past, people generally tended to their love life before hitting these milestones.

To be sure, men seek dating coaching as well. As for Hoffman, about 70% of her clients are women; she said they’re typically high earners, accomplished and career-focused, and “feeling the pressure of society telling them that, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re 40 or almost 40. You need to settle down and have a baby.'” By contrast, she said, the men she sees tend to be less career-focused and haven’t developed the skills to approach or flirt with women. They may also feel less urgency around settling down and starting a family.

Read more: Relationship experts say one of the most dangerous beliefs about marriage is that you’re supposed to make your spouse happy

Hoffman also mentioned that her business tends to grow through word of mouth — and because men are less inclined to talk to their friends about working with a dating coach, she naturally wound up with more women clients.

“We all think by the time we’re 30, we’re going to have certain things figured out,” said Samantha, a 30-year-old project coordinator in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who started working with a dating coach about four months ago. She preferred not to share her last name to protect her privacy. “For me, I thought definitely I’d be married and have kids, probably, by the time I was 30. And so for it to not be like that, and for me to be coming up on my 30th, I was just a little freaked out.”

Some coaching clients perceive their commitment to their career as having been in direct conflict with their love life. Nadine, 64, sought out dating coaching recently, after she’d semi-retired from running a law firm in New Jersey. “I’ve been very successful in my career,” she told me, “and I’m not worried about a guy getting in the way,” as she might have been when she was younger. Nadine, who preferred not to share her last name for privacy reasons, has never been married, but she’s open to the possibility now.

Nadine paid $14,000 to work with Evan Marc Katz, one of the first dating coaches to market himself as such (he started coaching in 2004). Katz, who works exclusively with women, said those who reach out to him are typically at a breaking point. They write him saying they don’t know what’s wrong with them and they’re afraid of being alone forever, Katz told me.

Samantha Burns, a dating coach and relationship counselor in Boston, has heard the same: “People call me; they’re crying on the phone; they’re so unhappy,” she said. “They desperately want love and acceptance and commitment from a partner. They’re in pain.”

‘Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’: Dating coaches say they teach clients the skills to find a healthy relationship


Samantha Burns.play

Samantha Burns.

(Samantha Burns)

While matchmakers have existed for millennia, dating coaches are a more modern phenomenon. Though their work is similar, dating coaches will tell you that, unlike matchmakers, their job isn’t to find you the perfect person. Instead, they’re more about instilling in you the skills to find that match yourself — and to maintain a healthy relationship with them. Multiple dating coaches shared with me the same proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The term “dating coach” is somewhat nebulous. Hoffman said she was certified by the International Dating Coach Association in 2013, but the organization appears to no longer be active. When she first started working as a dating coach, about 13 years ago, Hoffman said, an official organization didn’t exist, and so she became certified as a life coach instead. She’d go to conferences on online dating and matchmaking, “and people were like, ‘You do what?'”

Other dating coaches, like Burns, have backgrounds in marriage and family counseling. When Burns starts working with clients, she immediately assesses their “attachment style,” a psychological term for the way we form bonds with other people.

Read more: 7 unavoidable questions to ask your partner before it’s too late

The dating coaches I spoke to charge between $1,800 and $18,000 for different private-coaching packages. (One former dating coach, Andrea Syrtash, was an exception; she said she charged between $50 and $150 per session because she wanted to make coaching accessible.)

To some women, the price tag on private dating coaching can be jarring. Samantha worked with Burns, who typically charges $3,300 for three months, to come up with a payment plan that she could afford.

Another, 50-something coaching client who declined to share her name because she’d told very few people about dating coaching, paid $9,000 to work with Katz. She said she had “a ton of reservations” and didn’t even share the total figure with her best friends. She made the decision, she said in an email, by asking herself, “What if someone told me that after this six-month process of changing the way I see dating (and interacting with men) that I meet ‘the one’ … would the money be worth it?” She sold some stocks and placed a call to Katz. “Best decision ever,” she wrote.

Other women say signing up for coaching was a no-brainer. “It’s a matter of priorities,” Nadine wrote in an email. “I could pay that for a car or an upgrade on a house, a coat, or a variety of possessions, but at this point in my life, I value [Katz’s] deep knowledge of the dating process and his world of experience, which will save me years of unnecessary mistakes and learning the hard way.”

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‘There’s a really pragmatic aspect to love’: Coaching is a combination of concrete exercises and therapy


Andrea Syrtash.play

Andrea Syrtash.

(James Starkman)

The coaches I spoke to approach dating logically and systematically: There are goals, and lists, and rules to follow. As Burns put it, “A lot of people feel like, ‘Oh, love is just a feeling.” In fact, she said, too much chemistry at the beginning of a relationship can be a “red flag.” She teaches them that “there’s a really pragmatic aspect to love, and to cultivating it and sustaining it.” Even if you don’t see “fireworks” at first, you can build up to that over time.

Each dating coach has their own roster of probing questions to ask and introspective exercises to have clients complete. Hoffman said she tells her clients to consider the skills that have made them successful in other areas of their life — like their career — and then apply those skills to dating. Syrtash, who has since moved on from coaching to writing books and leading workshops, guides clients in writing lists of dealmakers and deal breakers. There are five items on each side, and Syrtash reminds them, “Someone can be great on paper and a terrible partner!”

Katz teaches every client the “2-2-2” rule: Exchange two messages on the dating site, exchange two emails, and then have two phone calls before a first date. “It specifically teaches people to avoid becoming part of some guy’s texting harem,” he said.

Read more: The biggest sign you need to be in couples therapy, according to a marriage therapist

Still, dating coaching is in some ways similar to traditional psychotherapy, in that the coach is there simply to listen to the client and validate their experiences. Of the coaching clients I spoke to, several mentioned that they were learning how to love themselves before they could find someone to love, acknowledging as they said so that these ideas could sound cliche. Samantha said Burns helped her learn to recognize her own role in the unfulfilling relationships she kept winding up in.

“I realized I was dating the same guy almost over and over again,” Samantha said. “They’d start out great and then, all of a sudden, it blows up in your face and you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t get it. What’s going on? Going to Samantha [Burns] made me realize I keep choosing the same type of person because what I’m putting out is what I’m getting back.” The most rewarding part of coaching, Samantha said, is that “it’s not just about looking for that right person. It’s also fixing yourself and making yourself better.”

Dana, 48, who declined to share her last name for privacy reasons, worked with Syrtash about eight years ago (she’s since become a life coach herself), and said she became more realistic about love and dating. Instead of sticking to a “script” — i.e. a fantasy of what a boyfriend and a relationship should be like — Dana looked at the person in front of her, how their relationship was unfolding, and how she really felt about it.

‘I had to be sure that I was 100% committed to not only giving my all to work but also to my personal life’: Commitment is a key part of dating coaching


Damona Hoffman.play

Damona Hoffman.

(Damona Hoffman)

The most obvious sacrifice that coaching clients make is money. But both the coaches and clients I spoke with say it also requires a considerable investment of time and energy, as well as a reshuffling of priorities.

“What I have to do is to really carve out the time and the commitment in their schedule to invest in dating and to make that the primary focus of their life,” Hoffman said of her clients. “I don’t ask for them to focus on it forever.” For the three to six months that they work with her, Hoffman said, she asks that dating “be the No. 1 focus in their life.”

For clients who have high-octane careers, that can be difficult — even if they elected to sign up for coaching in the first place. “I had a job that was very stressful and very demanding,” Judith said, “and I had to be sure that I was 100% committed to not only giving my all to work but also to my personal life.”

Just two of the coaching clients I spoke to were in a relationship — but all said they’d seen significant improvements in their dating lives and in their overall approach to finding love. The coaches insisted that starting a relationship was neither the goal of coaching nor the ultimate sign of success. “Success didn’t just look like landing X number of dates,” Syrtash wrote in an email. “Success occurred when people gained confidence.”

Read more: Divorce isn’t a failure, therapists say. In fact, it could mean the marriage was a success.

Katz said he had a client who dated a man for two months before realizing, “This guy isn’t as great as I thought he was.” So she dumped him, took a weeklong hiatus from online dating, and then got back to it. “Is she a failure or is she a success?” Katz said. “I say she’s a success. She found a boyfriend; she attracted a guy; discovered it wasn’t the right guy; had the courage to get rid of him and start all over. That is a huge success in my book.”

To be sure, that’s a convenient thing for a coach to say, since it leaves them wholly unaccountable for whether their process “works.” But coaching clients seemed to echo the same sentiment.

Judith recently went on a date with a man and realized she felt “a little uncomfortable around him.” At first, she brushed her feelings aside, thinking she’d give him a chance at a second date. “I was so happy I had Damona [Hoffman] in my ear saying, ‘Well, let’s think about that. Yes, you want to be in a relationship, but you have to be comfortable with the person.'” Judith told the dating coach in her head, “You’re absolutely right. Let’s not waste my time with this guy.”



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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