Dating coach helps men 'connect in the real world'

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco company is helping men master the art of dating.

Megan Edelson is a dating coach for men and the founder and owner of "Foxie," which specializes in helping people "meet and connect in the real world."

Men from all over the country fly to San Francisco to take her dating seminars.

"As a dating coach, I actually help guys build the skills to go and meet people," Edelson said. "We teach them how to build rapport, how to start a conversation, how to lead a conversation so that the other person feels comfortable opening up to them, and we even taught them how to handle rejection."

In the age of online dating, she stresses the importance of not being too focused on technology.

"Get off your cell phones," she said. "I can't tell you how many times I've seen people in a cafe both on dating apps swiping away and if they just put their phone down and looked next to them they might meet someone great."

The two day workshops involve discussions and exercises designed to help men be more efficient and effective in meeting the right people around them. Edelson also brings in women for the men to practice approaching.

"They actually practice building skills, so they can feel more confident on their dates," Edelson explained.

Edelson says she first got interested in dating coaching during her psychology classes at UC Berkeley.

"I took a lot of classes on emotion and happiness and turns out what makes us happy are our relationships," she said, "So I knew I wanted to help people with that in some capacity."

Her best advice for those dating?

"When you're trying to meet someone new, make sure your intention is to be curious about them and not to try to get something," she said. "So many people come in thinking I want a phone number, or I want a date, or I want this person to like me before they even know who they are."

"So instead," she added, "Think I'm interested in finding out more about this person. I'm curious, I wonder if we have a connection."

Men taking the workshop immediately realized the benefits.

Peter Wang said he learned that men shouldn't be afraid of going up to anyone in any situation and starting a conversation. Jason Friedlander realized the seminar is more than just about meeting women.

"I think a lot of men and a lot of my friends are going to want to be apart of this because it's not just about meeting women, it's about connecting with people," he said.

Edelson has had some success stories, including Chuck Wagner, a senior dating coach at Foxie, who says the skills he learned at the workshop led to him meeting his current partner.

"It's really exciting to have people who go from being so closed off and shy to being able to connect," Edelson said.