Sunday, March 11, 2007

Online Dating Coach That's All The Rage.

Marianne Kost, a divorced mother in New York, paid $2,000 for a profile, photographs and coaching from Evan Marc Katz, owner of two coaching services based in Los Angeles, and Ms. Kost was new to online dating, so Mr. Katz also helped her decide which dating service to use and which men to meet.

When Ms. Kost wrote her personal essay, Mr. Katz pushed her to tell specific stories, such as, “I came face-to-face with a bull moose during rutting season,” and, “I occasionally smear a glob of peanut butter on my dog’s nose, just for fun.” Ms. Kost said she had many responses when her profile went online at

Ms. Kost, 49, said Mr. Katz was of much help. “It was wonderful for my ego, and I felt I had a pick of the cream of the crop. I ended up having so much interesting stuff in my profile that I had a lot to talk about and write about in e-mails.”

Ms. Kost said she did not meet many men in person, because Mr. Katz had advised her to go through a long screening process with e-mail and phone conversations before an actual date. After three months, Ms. Kost met Stephen Micallef, who, like her, is an engineer. She immediately liked how he spoke of his daughters. “I liked his values,” Ms. Kost said. “He seemed emotionally mature and very open.”

Mr. Micallef, 47, liked the professional photographs of Ms. Kost. And he liked the way her profile captured her essence with details, like how she raced a storm on a sailboat and collected strawberries to make jam. “This was well written. There was thought in it,” he said. “I found her profile to be authentic, sincere and honest, and it was proven out.”

They have dated for eight months and plan to marry.

Mr. Katz said his company has helped thousands of people since it began five years ago. It offers several packages, starting at $49 for a 20-minute consultation and a line-by-line critique of a profile. For $129 to $199, people fill out a questionnaire and spend a half-hour on the phone with a freelance writer, who writes two essays for them. For $1,500, the company interviews clients, writes their profiles, takes professional photographs and coaches them via phone and e-mail about online dating. For $1,000 a month, he coaches them about dating and relationships in general.

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