Picture this: You’re setting up your new profile on a dating app for the first time, trying to choose the best photos and write a clever bio to entice just the right people to swipe right. While doing so, however, you realize that you don’t have any photos that you really feel great about in your camera roll and you aren’t sure what to write in your bio… “Would ‘recently divorced’ scare anyone off?” you ask yourself.
Alternatively, imagine that you’re redownloading Tinder after a few months of first dates, getting ghosted by people you were actually excited about, and feeling dejected and confused overall. Would either of these situations make you feel stoked about reentering the dating pool? If you’re like most people, the answer is a resounding “No!”
Whether it be an unexpected breakup in your 40s or just a string of bad luck with meeting potential partners, experiencing this kind of disappointment in your dating life can bring anyone to lack confidence and feel pessimistic about their love life. This is where experts like Kimmy Seltzer come in.
As a licensed therapist and a dating coach, Kimmy’s expertise has promoted confidence and positivity in all of her clients. Where some may see a hopeless case, she sees an opportunity to build self-esteem and readiness to “wow” the world. Using what she has coined “The Charisma Quotient,” Kimmy teaches her clients how to combine elements of their physical presence, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills to build a fulfilling, successful dating life.
Kimmy's Past Inspired Her
If you search online, you’ll likely find that dating coaches and relationship experts are a dime a dozen. Nearly anyone can market themselves as an “expert” in the sex and dating world, but when it comes to those whose work has actually earned that title, the proof is in the pudding.
Kimmy has certainly achieved a level of mastery and success in the dating space that not many can touch. As a licensed therapist and dating and image coach, she has built a thriving community of clients whose lives have been transformed by her work. Beyond coaching singles on ways to improve their love lives, Kimmy also provides services to people looking to boost their self-esteem, revamp their personal brand, and put their best foot forward in whatever journey they’re on.
This kind of talent and success didn’t always come naturally to her, though. In fact, it wasn’t until Kimmy experienced an unexpected divorce that she realized something had to give. While working as a traditional therapist in Chicago, she was faced with a blindsiding divorce — something that could destabilize anyone. Rather than dust herself off and jump into the dating world once more, she realized that a lot of work needed to be done before she was ready to present herself as a single woman.
“I went to therapy, my job, I did all the things that you’re supposed to do, yet I still couldn’t get out of my own way. And when I looked in the mirror, I just looked like a frazzled mess,” she said. “I was a mom with my nursing bras still on even though I wasn’t nursing, and I was in all black clothes. It was really a reflection of my mindset — stuck in my clothes, stuck in my mind.”
Realizing that something needed to change and that she needed to find herself again, Kimmy began to discover what it really takes to date with confidence and skill later in life.
“A personal shopper made me put on a red dress that I thought was too small and too bright. When I tried it on and looked in the mirror, all this magic started happening,” she said. “I bought it as a costume and I walked out into the world, and men started noticing me. I realized there was a symbiotic relationship between the outer and the inner when it comes to confidence. So now I flip the script and I work from the outside in.”
First Impressions Are Everything
A red dress wasn’t the only thing Kimmy gained from that experience. Once she noticed that a change in her appearance and a boost in her confidence was immediately attracting other people to her, Kimmy had her “eureka” moment: confidence doesn’t just happen overnight, it has to be built.
From this realization came Kimmy’s unique formula, aka the “Charisma Quotient” — which is now the title of her podcast. This concept is the secret sauce to her approach in coaching her clients, and she shared that it revolves around three main pillars: style intelligence, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence.
“The reason why I use the word ‘charisma’ is because it’s something that people look at in the research space. It’s something people are not born with, it’s something that is a learned skill, which means I can teach it. It’s that magnetism, it’s that energy. It’s that positivity that draws people to you and builds your confidence,” she shared.
Focusing on those three pillars helps Kimmy’s clients understand that first impressions are über important, and how you present yourself on the outside is a direct reflection of who you are on the inside. If you are shy, anxious, or have low self-esteem, chances are you mirror that in how you physically represent yourself. But if you can just access a “red dress” kind of moment like Kimmy’s, you’ll find that your dating life can completely transform for the better.
Put Your Best Flirt Forward
Even if your story didn’t involve a shocking breakup like Kimmy’s, anyone can find it difficult and intimidating to enter the dating pool later in life. When you’re used to a long-term relationship and settled into a comfortable life with someone, having to suddenly put yourself back out there and meet new people is not always an easy task.
“You can be the most confident person, but when you’re blindsided by divorce, or you lose somebody, or maybe you’ve never been married and are trying to put yourself out there — when you’re not feeling sexy, it can be really hard and daunting,” Kimmy said.
One way to find success when you’re dating, later in life or otherwise, is to master the art of flirting. Kimmy’s coaching sessions and flirt workshops empower her clients to get out of their own way and not only gain skill and confidence in their flirting game, but also learn to love dating itself.
This comes through learning about common flirting mistakes, and understanding the best ways to approach it based on your personality and preferences — something Kimmy is excellent at teaching.
She shared that many people who identify as “relationship people” tend to date with the lens of trying to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than flirting and meeting new people. This mindset often causes them to move too quickly and forgo flirting in favor of getting serious and heavy with someone new — something Kimmy warns against.
Another common mistake she sees successful women make, especially, is forgetting to balance their masculine and feminine energy. When working women are powerful and hardworking, they tend to give off too much masculine energy, which doesn’t allow them to create an equal partnership with a man and be led or pursued within that. It tends to be seen as a turn-off for some men, rather than seen as confidence or another attractive trait.
People getting back in the game later in life, like Kimmy did, will also benefit greatly from her “Dating Reimagined” Program. A six week virtual class and three day in-person retreat, Dating Reimagined is Kimmy’s way to connect with older daters looking to gain confidence, put their best foot forward, and navigate the modern dating world to gain lasting connections. Both the class and retreat give close and personal access to Kimmy’s expertise in learning how to enjoy dating, using the skills and characteristics you already have to attract the right people, and get the results you want. It’s never too late to find love, and with a little help, you’ll be ready to do just that.
Original article appeared on datingadvice.com, written by: Lexi Inks
Lexi joined the DatingAdvice team with years of lifestyle journalism experience. She grew her writing prowess through reporting on the topic of sex and relationships, and she loves continuing to cover this niche content while working toward becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. You can find Lexi's writing in Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Well + Good, and Women's Health, among other publications.