So, for those of you who have been following the blog, you might vaguely remember a post back in February titled “Smile Moon Meets a Matchmaker.”  In case you missed the post or do not feel like re-reading, I had recently met Bela Gandhi (then known as “Chicago’s Matchmaker”) and was intrigued by her services, & at the end of that post, I indicated that I was going to go through the initial personal strategy coaching that Bela offers.  Well, since then, after many meetings at “our favorite Starbucks,” Bela has not only taken me through a big part of what she offers to her clients (& as a result, given me incredibly insightful coaching in regards to dating & otherwise), but she has also become one of my closest friends.  Now, due to Bela’s kind heart and who she is as a human being (which can be summed up as simply wonderful), I would not be surprised if most of her clients feel that way about her.  However, I insist that I am special (not that kind of special – haters :-P) & she has really become just like the big sister I never had but always wanted.

Before being notoriously more & going on (& on) about my personal dating coaching experience with Bela, I wanted to make sure I shared her recently launched website:  Please see the end of this post for an offer to receive a discount on any one of her many available coaching packages.

Now first off, for those of you who are thinking… “Why in the world would anyone want or need a dating coach?”  The answer is because DATING IS A SKILL, & it is something that the majority of us still singles are completely unskilled at.  I would say that most of us singles (I know that I was loudly & proudly in this boat), believe that we are still single either for reasons completely unbeknownst to us or that we are single simply because the opposite sex singles or for lack of a better way of saying it – “what is left of them” – suck.  In other words, we are a victim of our circumstances and the problem (our still being single) lies outside of us & our control.

Now, please do not take this as me saying that if you/we are single that there is something wrong with us, because yes, at the end of the day, our being single or not is not 100% in our control.  However, most people are not putting in nearly as much effort as they could or should into their search.  They are resigned to sentiments such as “it is not supposed to be this hard” or because of a few (or more than they care to count) negative or unsuccessful experiences – whether it be dating someone & it not working out or trying a dating website, going on blind dates or attending singles/”networking” events – they have written off ever exploring any of these options again.  Or, even worse, they are still banking on it happening the “natural way” (guy & girl bump into each other at Borders & live happily ever after – I actually know a couple who met this way!), so they refuse to do anything that feels “unnatural” & if they do, then they go about in the least harmful-to-their-ego way as possible – “Fine, I will get on one of those stupid websites, but I will not post my picture & I also will not pay for a membership.”  More on that in a future post, & now back to my coaching experience with Bela!

So… it all started off with a long initial conversation (think “consultation” in client terms) about my current dating situation which included everything from why I felt I was still single, any recurring patterns in regards to dating experiences, kinds of guys I typically went for, what I was actively doing to “put myself out there” & so on.  Basically, lots of questions from Bela & me blabbing at length (side note – Bela was plugged into my blog, so she had some solid background information like one of my big at-that-time woes “Getting her #, but not calling it.”

After the initial in-person meeting, Bela e-mailed me some questionnaires for me to fill out and gave me a homework assignment – to ask the people in my life that I felt knew me the best to give her anonymous feedback on why they thought I was still single.  You would think I’d be horrified at the thought, but like ever-the-good-student (read:  nerd) that I am, I e-mailed my brother, sister in-law along & my best friends who’d known me long enough to actually know my dating “history” & gave them Bela’s e-mail address to directly send their feedback.  Bela ended up getting 5 separate responses (since I have no idea who sent in responses, thank you to whoever did!)

Future meetings (which eventually became part-coaching & part girlfriend-chat fests as our friendship grew) included getting incredible insight into my dating “trends” based on what my friends & family had to say (they were dead on & although I am the queen of introspection and knew all the same things, knowing that they ALL indicated the same positives & areas for improvement really hit home), “casting my net wide” (screening in rather than out when it came to online or in-person dating), feedback on my online profile (I gave Bela a link to the one that I was a paid member on – at the time, – & she had the writer on her team review it, give me suggestions on content & ways to spruce it up), tips on what to & not to do on a first date, how to get to the 2nd date & SO much more.   At the end of all of it, I said to Bela “Omg, if I had known any of this when I first started seriously looking (which was a long time ago), I’d be married with 2 kids by now!”

No regrets though, b/c I truly believe that things do or do not happen when they are supposed to, but still, you get the point – that the “Omg!” was realizing that there were things I could have been doing differently and that in a nutshell… I was searching/dating ineffectively b/c I lacked those basic skills.  Thankfully, as Biggie once said “If you do not know, now you know…”  or even more appropriate, my fave line from G.I. Joe… “Knowing is half the battle”  *Sigh* Perhaps I am single greatly in part to my being a super dork. 😛

Anyway, you can read another gush fest from yours truly about Bela & her services at her website (again, // under “Success Stories,” & you can also find more on the different packages that she offers to her clients (services for both men & women).  Some of you had asked me last time about pricing, and although I do not know the cost of her newly updated services, if you are either at your wits end with the dating process or do not even know where to start (but do know what you ultimately want), reach out to Bela.  Whether you choose to go forward with making the investment (& that’s exactly what it is – an investment into revolutionizing who & how you date in an effort to find what most people believe will be the most important thing in their life – their life partner), is up to you.  Also, say that Smile Moon sent you or just mention the blog in order to get 10% off any package (Blog relaunch extension until 2/28/11).

Well, that’s all from me.  As always, good luck with your search (however you choose to go about doing it) & thanks for reading!

Write Soon,


“Insanity – doing the same thing over & over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein