Who is Holly, and why should I trust her to coach me to the love life of my dreams?
It’s a legit question, and it makes sense that a smart, successful, and fiercely independent millennial STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) woman like you would want to know. You’re used to questioning the world to unveil the truth, so allow me to present my case.
I’m Holly, and I’ve been a science writer and editor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for over six years. I have a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and a dual life coaching certification from the accredited and highly acclaimed Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).
What propelled my journey to become a dating coach was twofold. First, after the 2016 presidential election, the intense and frightful uncertainty that pervaded my workplace made me feel some serious burnout and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Through the darkness, I realized once again that time isn’t promised and I couldn’t continue to live my life in fear. At one point or another, we all realize we’re meant for more in our lives, and that event, my friends, was my “Eureka!” moment.
Second, the science behind romantic love and sex appeal has “aroused” me for as long as I can remember, and I still can’t pinpoint why. However, I remember starting with a (very regrettable) obsession with the Twilight saga when I was younger and watching sitcoms like Friends till the bitter, bitter end of the series, ready to explode the moment Ross and Rachel got back together. I know, I was a typical teeny bopper.
(Eventually I discovered the work of biological anthropologist and romantic love expert Dr Helen Fisher, but we’d have to fast forward several years.)
Anyway, as I grew older and started dating seriously, I had this flawed idea of the perfect man and relationship that came entirely from the media. I let romantic comedies brainwash me with increasingly unrealistic expectations, such as waiting for love at first sight and expecting the guy to read my mind and sweep me off my feet. I thought that the only way to complete my life was to have a man complete me. (Remember the movie Jerry Maguire, ladies?)
In other words, I thought I was supposed to give up my individuality to be coupled with another, being blind to the inherent sexism with which that message is loaded.
Over time, I watched men come and go in my life, sometimes disappearing without warning; sometimes cheating; sometimes because they were intimidated by a smart, opinionated woman; and sometimes because we were simply incompatible.
I watched my high school friends drop like flies to the marriage calling, and I began to wonder why I hadn’t met the man of my dreams yet. Granted, I was in my mid-20s, but I was still comparing myself to women who fit the stereotypical bimbo profile. I thought life had dealt me a bad hand, the cards being the Joker of unattractive personalities, the Queen of flat chests, and maybe a “7” of poor fashion sense, to name a few.
I began to wonder if I was too high-strung, too rational, too sensitive, too this and too that. The labels amassed with each passing date or boyfriend that didn’t work out. I hid my insecurities in public, but at home I would sometimes trap myself in a bubble of self-loathing emotions.
Then one night in a hot tub changed everything.
One November evening in 2014, I met someone in a hot tub at a friend’s party. While drunk. In my underwear. (I sure hope my mother isn’t reading this.)
He was tall and quiet, had a twin and sexy sideburns, and was still working toward his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
He didn’t talk much while I had no filter, but even after witnessing my “grand” performance, he still asked for my number by the end of the evening, something I hadn’t experienced before! A full-grown, sober man asking for my number? In person (instead of hiding behind Facebook Messenger)?
I thought he would forget me after that evening, but he texted me two days later. He didn’t disappear!
But he did drive me insane (and no, he didn’t “have me at hello”).
I thought he was a very impulsive, ADD-stricken, indecisive, forgetful human. Also, some of his friends didn’t seem to like having an opinionated woman around after they’d had a string of women you’d find on Girls Gone Wild.
He was unlike any other man I had dated, and he didn’t meet any of the adjectives on my “perfect man” laundry list, except for the fact that he was, well, a man.
But there was something about him that kept me from ending the escapade. He was fun, energetic, and hilarious. He craved adventure like no other and had a smile to die for.
He had quit drinking and smoking weed just before we met. He also started quitting cigarettes right after we met, because he had a hunch that I wouldn’t go for that.
But just to be sure that this relationship was worth it, I sought dating and relationship advice on the Internet. Yes, the Internet.
I discovered a no-bullshit dating coach/consultant named Evan Marc Katz. I liked his raw honesty about the way men think and date. He debunked myths using science. He communicated the truth, and through the truth, I started to throw away all of that media crap with which I grew up.
I learned that dating is a skill to sharpen over time. I learned that I’m the CEO of my (love) life and that every guy I dated was an intern interviewing at my company. I learned to be more patient and understanding.
I learned not to evaluate the man, but the relationship. To throw out that laundry list and enjoy the moment with this man, until things get more serious.
I learned that the best relationships take effort, and the turbulent ones take work.
Best of all, I learned to love myself first, which attracted the love I wanted from others.
But what had I done right? I put myself out there and persisted instead of waiting for the perfect man to show up at my doorstep.
I’m forever in debt to a dating expert. Years later, Phillip and I are still in a rock-solid relationship, happy as can be. I’m comfortable with the hand I was dealt, which is more like an Ace of humor, a King of confidence, and a Queen of the elements.
I feel like being a dating coach is my calling, as the adjustments I made in my dating life carried over into other aspects of my life. After sifting through ineffective advice and sexist bullshit, I’m much more confident and clearer than I used to be. In turn, I’m proud to be a smart, successful, and fiercely independent millennial STEM woman.
What’s it costing you to feel lost at sea in your dating life? Work with me and I’ll help you bushwhack through ineffective advice and sexist bullshit.