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Q&A with The Dating Doc, Chris Feliciano

This week in the Miingle hotseat, we welcome Chris Feliciano – dating coach, international matchmaker and military officer. 

Whether he’s helping his clients establish meaningful connections through coaching, or maintaining a peaceful relationship with the army personnel of South America, it’s all in a day’s work for Chris. 

Watch the video below to hear more about his story, or scroll down for his take on everything from swipe culture to seduction techniques…

Meet Chris Feliciano 

Chris is a Texas-based dating coach and matchmaker who’s spent more than a decade in the industry. His dating agency, Scenergy Dating, has hosted hundreds of events for singles all over the world. He’s a certified CBT Practitioner. And somehow, Chris also finds the time to work as a Security Cooperation Officer in the US Military – a position he’s held for 15 years. His key responsibility? Maintaining a good relationship with the South American military.

I am very much against this symbiotic culture of dating and apps. I’m trying to connect people in different ways.”

With all that in mind, it’s easy to understand why Chris – AKA The Dating Doc – has a string of accolades under his belt. And while he’s very much here to disrupt swipe culture and steer his clients in more meaningful relationship directions, in his own words, his most important role is that of a loving father.

Dating across different cultures

Chris’ work has taken him all over, and we were interested in whether or not he’d noticed any positive dating practices from different cultures. What could we learn from different nations when it comes to their approach to love and relationships?

We could do a session just on this!” Chris says. He explains there are countless differences when it comes to culture and classism, and cites his home state, Texas, as an example. 

According to Chris, in his more conservative region, there’s a more casual, slower approach to the dating game. As opposed to, say, in NYC, where there’s generally more “peacocking” going on.

You go to some of the larger cities like Miami, London, and there’s more of a Keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, regardless of the type of relationship you’re going for. So there is more of a push to be dressed a certain way, that your mannerisms apply to that – shall we call it a more elitist culture.”

If you find yourself facing the dating game in a whole new culture, Chris says it’s so important to read up on not just the culture, but the nightlife of that culture. It helps you adapt. 

“There’s still some cultures that have not been overly saturated by the use of online. I’ve seen that a lot in South American countries and parts of Europe.”

Chris explains that if you’re travelling and you’re seeking out cultures that are more natural when it comes to dating, that aren’t app-saturated, for instance, look for the cultures that aren’t so tech addicted. He pauses and smiles as he reflects on his own experiences in Mexico.  

I felt like it was a little more organic and magical.”

Chris on seduction techniques 

Among his many areas of expertise, Chris schools his clients in seduction techniques. When quizzed about these, he starts with a disclaimer: seduction does not mean manipulation. There are positive and negative ways to use it, and he’s very clear on that. 

Interestingly, Chris explains that seduction can appear in different forms, such as in a completely non-sexual format at work, when we’re trying to impress the boss, for instance. 

It’s for this reason, Chris explains, that it’s really important there’s some zest present when on a date – the masculine and feminine energy that creates that all-important spark. It’s about what you’re not saying as much as what you are saying…

I tell a lot of my clients to do a lot of modelling in front of the mirror to practice what the non-verbal looks like.” 

According to Chris, reeling off your qualifications and job stats is all well and good on a date, but that’s not going to actually seduce anyone. The key is to combine it all with the likes of subtle eye contact and smiling over the menu, for instance. 

That’s a lot more memorable. We have to remember that this is not a HR interview, it’s more of an energy exchange!”

How to nail first impressions and secure a second date 

So, women are going to want a man who is decisive and can remind them of purpose.”

For men, Chris suggests taking charge when it comes to asking for that second date, but in an independent way. For example, make it clear you want to see your date again, and explain you have plans to go to {insert venue/location here} on {insert date/time here}. You’re going anyway, but you’d love them to join you. That way, you’re establishing a little independence (in that you’re going anyway), you’re showing purpose, and you’re reminding the other person that there’s curiosity there, and that you’d like to go out again. 

Frame that purpose. It’s about creating an environment in which the other person wants to see the plot thicken, to see that character development.”

Similarly, women don’t always have to wait for the man to make that call, Chris says. Although he acknowledges we’re still in a society where women largely expect the man to make the first move. 

Ultimately, Chris explains, whatever your gender or sexual preference, the goal of the first date is to grab the attention of the other person, and frame the purpose for that second date, whilst not forgetting the seduction side of things. Chris notes that this is especially important in our smart phone-focused society, where attention span is limited and competition is fierce. 

The two key ingredients for a happy and lasting relationship?

Awareness and flexibility.” 

Chris likens the thought-process behind this to cooking pancakes. In the beginning, he says, you have to learn how much you need of everything and measure it all out. After a while, intuition kicks in and you just know how much you need. Then, you get to a point where not only do you know how much you need, you don’t even need to measure it out – you just have a feel for how much. It’s the same with relationships. You know what right looks like.

There’s an art and science to it. In the beginning you’re going on date number three, you’re thinking maybe it’s time to kiss her…you’re overthinking things. After a while things flow, but you have to still be aware. Aware when you need to shut up, aware when you need to listen, aware when they want a little bit of advice,. And you need to be aware when you need to take the reins and give them a little bit of “therapy” to make things better!”

That awareness is key, Chris says. Lots of us get into relationships and then go into auto-pilot. We stop trying, as if we’ve reached a finish line. You have to pair flexibility and awareness and work at it, in order to keep that mentality going. 

When asked about any quotes or sayings he lives by, Chris explains that his favourite actually transcends dating: 

Whatever’s right is not always popular and whatever’s popular is not always right.” 

A lot of people get stuck in this idea to encourage or promote bad behaviour, whether it’s ghosting, gender bashing. Get away from that.”

He stresses that while, for some, Tinder or Bumble or Hinge are a great way to meet people, it might not be right for you – and that’s ok.

Chris’ biggest takeaway from 2020

We can all agree that the dating world has looked very different this year. Chris reflects on the spike in the usage of dating apps back in March, at the start of COVID, and mentions that now, they’re actually seeing a dip. He believes we’re about to see a shift.  

Only time will tell, Chris. 

You can find out more about The Dating Doc and how he could help you on his official website here. Alternatively, follow him on social via the links below: 

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