Q&A with a Dating Coach, Part 1

Connell Barrett - Photo 2018

One of NYC’s top dating coaches with expert answers and advice.

From “how to pick up girls” to escaping the friend zone, a conversation with NYC dating coach Connell Barrett on how to attract amazing women—by being authentic

Here’s part 1 of an interview I did with a British writer named Will Palmer. He was interested in me being a different kind of dating coach. Yeah, sure, I teach guys the art of picking up girls, but to do that, you have to connect as people.

As I told him, “If you want to get good at picking up girls, you have to stop thinking of it as ‘picking up girls.’ Instead, it’s about connecting in an authentic way.” Here’s part 1!

WILL PALMER:
You’re a dating coach who helps men attract amazing women by being authentic. What’s the biggest dating myth men need to know about?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Men need to know that looks, money and height don’t matter to women. Regular guys can date incredible girls. It’s important that men here that from a dating coach
who’s been doing this for a long time.

Men buy into this false belief that you have to be great-looking, tall or rich. When a man unplugs from that fiction, his dating life changes. He now has options. If he’s shorter, he can date tall bombshells. If he doesn’t look like Brad Pitt, guess what—women don’t care. They want something else.

WP:
What DO women want? How does a regular guy get the girl?

CONNELL BARRETT:
By being fully authentic. I call it “radical authenticity”—letting a woman experience your best, truest self. As people, we crave authenticity. It’s hard-wired into us. We want to express our authentic selves, and we want to receive authentic energy from others.

In dating, when you convey your true personality, you give a woman a singular experience: the real you. I show my clients how to express themselves authentically. Women respond to this because an original man is compelling—and rare.

Think about what a woman deals with daily: guys who stare, leer, cat-call. On dates, she meets men who bend over backwards to impress her. That’s inauthentic and needy, a combination women find repellant.

Now, picture a man who, instead of staring, takes action, walks up to a woman, says hi, and is disarmingly real. No lies, no pickup lines. And imagine how she feels on their first date when he’s honest, vulnerable and at-ease. Plus, by being himself, he’s made it easier for her to be herself, and they can connect in a genuine way.

That’s what I do—teach men how to attract amazing women with authenticity and total integrity.

WP:
What’s the best piece of advice you can give men looking for love?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Be radically authentic. If you’re a nerd, like me, let your nerd flag fly. If you’re a hipster, lean into it. If you’re a single dad, own it. Girls love nerds and hipsters. As for single dads, my ex used to go to Central Park to, as she said, “check out the DILFs.”

It takes courage to put your real self out there, but when a woman realizes she’s meeting the genuine article, if she likes your type, she’ll be super into you.

Plus, when a guy is authentic, he relaxes. He’s confident and comfortable. And women love confident men.

WP:
When did you first realize the secret to dating success was authenticity?

CONNELL BARRETT:
I remember the moment everything first clicked. I was on a trendy rooftop bar in New York City when I saw a Zooey Deschanel lookalike. The thought of talking to her made me anxious, but I had a coach guiding me, and he suggested a unique approach: tell the truth. Be honest, vulnerable.

I walked over and said the truest thing I could think of: “Hi. I’m actually shy, but I saw you and had to meet you. I’m Connell.” She smiled, her blue eyes widening. “Sure, you’re real shy. I’m Amy.” Instant chemistry. And the crazy thing was, by owning my nervousness, I came across as confident and attractive. My lack of smoothness was somehow… smooth.

I thought, “Wait—you can just walk up, be yourself and get a gorgeous girl into you?” I was hooked.

WP:
Why did you become a dating coach? Did it bother you that the whole idea of learning how to pick up girls has a negative connotation with a lot of people?

CONNELL BARRETT:
I totally hear you. When I was learning this, it was never, ever about conquest, or taking from women. Some of the guys I trained with acted that way, and it always turned me off. So I decided I wanted to try to elevate success with women to a form of self-help. To help men attract amazing women and date with total integrity, and also become better men in the process.

For me, it’s about giving back. I used to be terrible with girls. I was shy and had zero confidence, so I took massive action to fix it, with help from a couple great mentors. Now I help guys transform their love lives. Many men feel like they’re not enough. My mission is to free guys from fear and self-doubt so they can connect with wonderful women.

What a great way to give back. I have the best job in the world, with the possible exception of shortstop for the New York Yankees.

WP:
What makes you a different kind of dating coach, in your view?

CONNELL BARRETT:
I’m a cross between Hitch and Tony Robbins. I show guys how to attract amazing women by being authentic. But my clients get more than dates and great girlfriends. They grow as men. They reconnect with who they are at their core. I think of myself as a self-development coach who specializes in dating. Because the way you approach a woman is the way you approach life: with authenticity, empathy, courage, and offering more than you ask.

Also, I want to elevate the idea of what a dating coach is. Integrity and respect for women are so important to me. I’m proud of what I teach because it’s uplifting. It’s about authenticity and connection. Compare my philosophy to the book The Game. Look at some chapter titles: “Isolate the Target,” “Extract to a Seduction Location,” “Blast Last-Minute Resistance.” Guys still teach that toxic, outdated mindset.

Women are not “targets.” They’re people. You don’t blast through “resistance.” You connect in a genuine way. Success with women is about connection, not conquering.

WP:
What did you do before you were a dating coach?

CONNELL BARRETT:
I was a sports journalist writing about golf, but something was missing. Helping retired guys in Orlando make more birdies is not a purposeful life. I have to give back or else I’m miserable.

As a dating coach, I get to transform men’s lives in a profound, lasting way. In the U.S.A., there are about 30 million single men, and I believe most of them feel like they’re not enough for women. I want to show them they ARE enough.

WP:
In what ways do guys feel they’re not enough?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Men come to me dealing with marrow-deep anxiety. They’ve achieved impressive, sometimes heroic things—my clients have fought in Iraq, battled wildfires, closed billion-dollar deals—but many of them can’t talk to that cute girl at Starbucks waiting for her chai latte. She’s 2 feet away, but she may as well be 2 miles away. Forget learning how to pick up girls. This is deeper. It’s about thawing that frozen sea within. And as a mentor once told me, “Until you can walk up to a woman and be yourself, there’s work to be done.”

When a guy who once doubted his worth as a man learns that women like him, that’s life-changing. When a client sends me a selfie from his weekend getaway with his new girlfriend, or when a guy I worked with invites me to his wedding, that’s an indescribable feeling. I have a Facebook group called “How to Be Your Best Self 7 Get the Girl,” and a guy in the group recently got engaged to his “dream girl.”

WP:
Have you always been good with women?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Hell no! I barely dated into my mid-20s. I felt I wasn’t “that guy” women went for. Not cool enough, not good-looking enough, not something enough. I lived in the friend zone.

I had a good career, a great family. But in this area, I felt like half a man.

My low point? I married the rare girl who was attracted to me, and she left me nine weeks later. Hey, I would have dumped me, too—I was needy and clingy. I didn’t even want to get married, but I thought she was my only option.

I decided I’d never again feel like I had no options, so I took massive action to discover what works with women. I didn’t even know that you could learn about picking up girls. So over the next decade, I immersed myself in the art and psychology of attraction. I traveled the world working with the best dating and self-development experts. I attended countless seminars and met thousands of women. In time, my results skyrocketed. It turns out, I had something to offer women all along. I WAS enough. I just couldn’t see it through the fear and doubt.

And now, I deliver life-changing outcomes for my clients. I teach them in days or weeks what took me years to learn—that you can have the dating life of your dreams.

WP:
How long have you been a dating coach?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Since 2013. For the first two years, I got good results for my clients, but I wanted amazing outcomes for every guy, so I kept innovating.

Then in 2015, I made a huge shift that has led to consistent, incredible results for my guys. I moved away from technique—“say this line, stand this way”—and made it all about authenticity. And my students’ results went through the roof.

Let me tell you about Ken, a short, chubby college instructor who looks like Jonah Hill. When we met, Ken was 25, still a virgin and had never even kissed a girl. He had low confidence because all he could see was what he lacked, not what he offered. I showed him how to amplify what made him awesome: his wit, his sincerity, his knowledge of Greek philosophy. (Most guys can quote Homer Simpson. Ken can quote Homer’s Odyssey.)

When you channel your authentic self, you unlock your natural charisma—and every guy is charismatic, even if he doesn’t know it. When Ken and I went out to hit bars and clubs in New York, he was a changed man. He got two phone numbers from women who loved this witty, Plato-quoting, teddy bear of a man.

And on a rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District, it happened: I watched Ken get his first-ever kiss—with a Gwyneth Paltrow lookalike who towered over him. Ken was levitating afterwards, but I think I enjoyed his first kiss even more than he did.

WP:
How many men have you helped with their dating difficulties?

CONNELL BARRETT:
Hundreds, over 1,000 at this point. It’s just a start. I scribbled a goal in my journal: “Transform a million men’s lives.” What’s great is that every guy who becomes a better dater will make a woman’s life better, too.