Interview – David Wygant
– by Shawn Conner
How was your New Year’s Eve? Did you spend it with friends, that special someone, your dog or your parakeet? Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to figure out and resolve your dating life?
A veteran of the once-booming dating coach industry, David Wygant is the real-life inspiration behind the Will Smith movie Hitch. Don’t hold that against him, though—he’s also been quoted in a variety of magazines and made dozens of TV appearances. The L.A. resident was also featured in Neil Strauss’s The Game, publishes a daily newsletter, holds dating “boot camps” all over North America and, at 47, recently became engaged.
Figuring it’s as relevant as ever, especially as we head into the new year, we unearthed this 2008 interview with the former New Yorker about his rather strange occupation, what makes his coaching and programs (such as the Men’s and Women’s Mastery Series) different, and what men and women need to know in order to become better at dating.
Shawn Conner: How did you get into this?
David Wygant: I came to this occupation 10 years ago when it wasn’t an occupation. I wanted to do something that I loved. I loved really relating to people, teaching them things. I wanted to find something I could spend my life doing instead of just making money. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole adult life. Money was never an issue for me.
But I wanted to do something I enjoyed, something that moved me in a lot of ways. There was nobody out there at the time. I think Zan [Perrion, Vancouver’s own “enlightened seducer”] and I realized we were doing it longer than just about anybody but Ross Jeffries [NLP proselytizer]. I just don’t believe in tricks. I believe you just need to spend your time learning inner confidence and becoming that man that attracts people instead of relying on hocus pocus. You don’t need hocus pocus! And you need practice. The problem with our culture is it wants instant results, and instant results just don’t work. There is nothing that is ever going to help you instantly. It takes time. And that’s fine. That’s why people really like my stuff. They see real results, but it takes them a lot longer. They don’t mind because they know it’s lasting.
SC: Is there a stigma attached to people who seek advice in this area?
DW: The clients I get are people who are more self-evolved. These are men – and women – who really want to take their life to a deeper level. I’m getting guys who really want to learn the art of attraction, who want to become confident. I’m getting guys who want to become what I call real men.
SC: How is what you teach different when it comes to men and women?
DW: First off, when I’m teaching men, I’m teaching them how to be good conversationalists, how to listen, how to observe. I’m teaching them deeper ways to connect with the opposite sex. If you ever go out and watch two women, they’ll get into a conversation that will flow. It revolves around getting deeper from one topic to another. When a man talks to a woman he tries to go in there and he basically breaks her train of thought. He’ll start talking about random stuff. A woman will be in a grocery store picking out coffee and the man will walk over and say something ridiculous like, “Who cheats more, men or women?”
What I do, when I coach men, I’m teaching them the art of learning a conversation and actively listening so they can talk to a woman based on what she’s already feeling and thinking. When I coach a woman, I’m teaching her to understand how men think, why they’re wired certain ways, and how to attract that man so he’s able to come over, and you still have all the power to select the man you want instead of being chosen all the time.
SC: Do you like the term “dating coach”?
DW: No. I prefer “communication consultant.”
SC: Are you still learning, or have you reached the limit of figuring out the male-female dynamic?
DW: I don’t think you’ve ever reached the limit of anything in life. If you’re listening you’re always learning. I can tell you one thing. I’m a helluva lot smarter than I was 20 years ago. But I’m not as smart as I’m going to be in 20 years.
SC: What changes have you seen in this industry?
DW: Because of Neil’s book [The Game], the industry has changed unbelievably. I would like to thank Neil Strauss in this article and personally for writing a fantastic book which really brought this out to the forefront, so people actually go out and think dating advice is a cool thing to get. Because it is cool – you don’t need to be shy about it.