James Preece, the Dating Guru

advice interview

The Dating Guru

Authors: Anna & Selene

When I was a child, I thought that the highest expression of love was my mum preparing my favourite pudding and my dad checking if I was sleeping when coming back from work at night. It was too early for me to accept the idea of a romantic relationship between two people.

Growing up, I started thinking about love from a different angle. I was longing to find someone who could understand me, someone I could be weird with, who liked me just the way I am and that could make me happy “Not all day every day, but yes, every day”, as Charlotte says in Sex and the City.

Someone who certainly knows a lot about love is James Preece, the UK #1 dating expert, who gave us a whole new perception of love. He made us realise how important it is for all of us to find someone who could complete us and grow with us. James opened our eyes and showed us that love is everywhere. You can love and be loved in return, regardless of your age. Simply pull yourself together, be proactive and accept the idea that there’s someone out there who’s ready to love you with all their heart.

James Preece | UK's top Dating Coach, Dating Expert and Celebrity  Relationship Expert

James Preece has 15 years under his belt, an extremely experienced dating guru and dating coach with a 99% success rate. James “helps busy single professionals navigate a pathway to finding long-term relationships”. He provides advice and direction for those who seriously want to find love. His clients, which also include celebrities, may come to him after being single for years, after heartbreak or even during a relationship seeking outside advice. He tailors the session quantity to each client depending on their personal goals, focusing on what will work for them. “My job is to give people hope. There is always hope when you take action”. The majority of his clients are in their 30’s and 40’s but he has some clients in their 80’s. 

James has many different methods of approach. Pre-lockdown, a client could go on a ‘mock date’ as part of the caching. A member of James’ team would go on a pretend date with the client and evaluate them on their performance. This is used to get a rough idea of where the work needs to be focused. Now the coaching is all done on zoom but James makes it work. 

We focused the interview on online dating which he believes “Can be a fantastic way to meet people. You have the ability to search for what you want and meet someone quickly. If you know what you are doing, it can be effective, but the algorithm is generally built against you to encourage you to pay for premium features. Tinder and Bumble have roughly 9 men for every woman. It is instantly harder for men to get a response and so you need to stand out. These men often have no idea how to interact with their matches and the women are getting low quality matches also”. These are the things James has extensive knowledge on. 

Dating in a pandemic obviously comes with its own struggles. James has even written a book on it! “People aren’t that interested in video dating. They do it out of loneliness. But on the flipside, those that do use it are getting to know each other by having more in depth conversations. You can't put your life on hold waiting for the pandemic to be over as we don’t know when that will happen”. He adds the trouble with zoom being eye contact. A video call is fine but virtual dating is not a date replacement. It is good to get to know someone and have a 20 minute call to arrange a real life date, but it is easy to lose momentum. 

James compiled his top tips for online dating for us:

+ Be proactive. You will not find love by sitting in your house doing nothing, flowers will not just appear at the door. If you truly are serious about finding love, get out there and try! There is always a fear of rejection, but it will not happen unless you actively seek it. “There is no such thing as being unlucky in love. What happens in your future has nothing to do with your past. Unless you are making the same mistakes over and over again and aren’t willing to learn. You make your own luck in life. If you sit at home and decide to not try, nothing will happen. If you take action you are much more likely to achieve something. You are not unlucky, you are just not trying”

+ Use a site which charges a fee. He noted that match.com only charges around £10. If a dating app or site is free, it will generally attract time wasters. On a paid-for site, the other users are going to be more serious.

+ Stick to one or two dating sites at any one time. You have to use these sites for a certain amount of time for the algorithm to work in your favour, so focus on a smaller amount.

+ Most importantly - photographs. The most important images to include should be ice breaker type pictures, something that will allow a potential match to start a conversation with you. This can also be done through your bio or through prompts on sites like Hinge. James gave the example, if you love coffee make it clear! Ask where the best place for coffee is in London so people already establish common ground with you in the first few messages. A bold background is equally important so that you pop in the photo and it is eye catching. He added that good quality professional photos make all the difference. Webcam photos or selfies don’t work as well.

When asked for his opinion on selfies, James simply put “I hate them”. He believes that a selfie doesn’t portray you as a professional person. You want to show that you are outgoing, ambitious or successful and it is nearly impossible to do this through a selfie. Everyone takes selfies now and given the amount of people on dating sites, especially men, you want to stand out from the competition! You need to make yourself look fun and interesting.

“Men in particular are quite clueless when it comes to taking photos. Women are more used to taking photos and doing their hair and makeup. Men are also more reluctant to ask friends for advice particularly on which photos to select for an online profile. That is why an online service like yours (DATEnhance) is handy as men will be more likely to use that as it's anonymous”.

“I am very blunt with clients. They don’t know how to sell themselves. Most profiles are very generic, so how do you expect to stand out? The changes needed aren’t huge, but the difference after will be! People find it hard to write about themselves and tend to not put much effort into it. On a dating profile I tell my clients to write about what you DO want, not about what you don’t want, and to avoid using negative language”.

“Online dating is hard but you have to stand out. The trouble is, most men don’t get responses on dating apps and so are reluctant to put effort in. But my advice is to start a conversation by referring to their profile, either a photo or their bio. As long as you make some effort you will still be better than most people. Mens profiles should have more detail as women pay more attention to the photos and the bio whereas men tend to match with as many women as possible”.

So how important are your photos on your dating profile? “Photos are the most important thing. No one will view your profile text if the photos are bad. If you have a profile without a good picture it is like writing a letter without a stamp. You have to make an effort and you have to look friendly and engage with the person. Look at the camera and make eye contact to connect”.

Do you believe in soulmates? 

Yes. But I also believe that you can have more than one.They come to your life when you need them and when it fits well into your life at that time. Soulmates can be for a certain period of time, and this may not necessarily be for your whole life. You may have more than one, and it is important to remember that you can become soul mates through growing together. My grandma is 101. She lost my grandfather about 40 years ago, but has remarried since. If she can have two soulmates and be happily married twice, then so can everyone. I also believe in the law of attraction. You must take action by attracting what you want rather than what you don’t want. People will be more drawn to you if you are clear on what you want and what your values are”. A key step in James’ coaching is to make a list. This is not a list of deal breakers, but rather a guide to recognise what you want and also who you are and what you want. In the list you should also consider what do I have to offer? Why am I so special? “If you don’t know how special you are, how would someone else know”. Practising gratitude is also an important part of the coaching process, appreciating what you have and how something new fits into that.

Using the Law of Attraction for Small Business Success | FreshBooks Blog

Your favourite client success story? 

“I met a gentleman whose wife was very ill and sadly passed away two years before. She wanted him to meet someone else and to find happiness again. The man went to an Anthony Robbins self help conference where he said that if you want to be successful at anything in life, you need a coach. So, he found me. Three months later, I advised him to attend this singles event in which he met someone and was married by the end of the year. They are still going strong now”.

Marriage is another point we touched during our interview. James states that the pressure to get married is still there but it almost feels like people don’t consider it a priority anymore. This translates with people having children in their late 30s. The pandemic put a strain on this matter. Delaying marriage and thus waiting to have children is considered the new norm.

January is normally a busy month for dating companies due to new year’s resolutions and so on. However, with the current COVID-19 restrictions meaning singles events can’t take place, some dating agencies are slowing down. James is proud to say that he has already met his January target in the first week. 

What’s special about James is that he is one of the only married dating experts with this much knowledge. He is a real rockstar of dating. He notes “Being a dating coach is about reading someone else. I give someone else the answers, I know the plan I know and what works. It is good to know a person's dating past to an extent, but the future and your actions now are a more important focus”.

James Preece honestly does it all. From advice, podcasts, writing books to creating a dating agency review website. He has several e-books covering dating in a pandemic, texting men and flirty banter and a published book titled ‘I will make you click’. This contains advice on how to make online dating work for the individual. These books allow people to understand his brand and his work, doing what hasn’t been done before. 

James Preece | UK's top Dating Coach, Dating Expert and Celebrity  Relationship Expert

What are your big plans for 2021? 

“I am creating an online dating course. This allows people to do it at home in their own time through videos and other lessons on all things dating and how to do it successfully. Also doing a more exclusive course on finding love in 90 days. I also want to focus on my podcast and creating youtube videos”.

“I love what I do, hear a lot of stories and help a lot of people fall in love. It is important that people manage their expectations, however, when searching for love. But most people understand it won’t happen overnight”.

A huge thank you to James Preece for exploring the dating world with us and we wish you every success with your future endeavours! 

To reach James Preece you can go to his website https://www.jamespreece.com/ or email him at info@jamespreece.com.