Monday, July 8, 2013

Can anyone really be a relationship expert?

I've been attending tele-seminars offered by The first Tuesday of each month they host a free conference with a different speaker, talking on a variety of relationship topics.

Derek Jeter and Shemar Moore (aka Derek Morgan)
It's a Derek Collage! For this, I could hang in there.
I'm going to be honest - I don't always get a lot out of the calls. First, they drag on a bit, and my attention span is pretty short. Unless it involves shoes, jewelry, or one of my favorite Dereks, I really only have about an hour before my mind starts to wander.

But...for attending the seminars, you get a coupon code for 50% off a pre-dating (speed dating) event. Since I've been wanting to try one, I really wanted a code. When there's money involved, I can pay attention a little longer.

I think the tele-seminars are a great idea - but there is one problem. Most of these "experts" are authors - books, articles, blogs, etc. When someone is a talented writer - often he is not a talented speaker.

It's tough to listen to a bad speaker (and don't even get me started on when the open it up to questions from the public - horrible). It's even tougher to listen to a pompous, condescending know-it-all.

So last week's call was particularly tough. The speaker was Roy Biancalana. His website says he's a "Certified Relationship Coach" (which, it seems, is fairly easy to become). I'm sure he's a great guy, and he did tell a little of his personal story.

Of course, he also said at one point he was "having sex twice a day. I'm not sure if any of you guys can match that." Really? I think he may have been trying to point out that a passionate relationship is not necessarily a fulfilling one - but mostly he just sounded full of himself.

I listened to enough of the questions to hear him advise a single mom with a 13 year old that maybe she didn't want to bring up she was a mom on a first date. He then went on to say, "If you hang in there, you'll find someone who wants to be with you, even though you're a mom." That's a huge pet-peeve of mine - I don't think "someone who wants to be with me" should be anyone's goal when looking for a date. It should be "someone I want to be with."

But I'm no expert - and, according to him, he is. I have a tough time seeing how anyone could really be an "expert" in something that involves human emotions and experience. Can anyone really know all there is to know about something that is ever-changing and unique? defines "expert" as:
A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject. Having, involving, or demonstrating great skill, dexterity, or knowledge as the result of experience or training.
By this definition, I suppose a person is an expert on relationships if he has studied relationships and personalities, and has developed knowledge that is beyond common sense. As long as we're willing to say that a person is an expert simply because he knows more than some.

Maybe. He's still pompous though.

*I didn't receive any compensation for this post. I plugged the site because I have found it to be useful. I plugged Roy Biancalana's site because I figured it was the least I could do, after being critical. 


  1. I think we're experts at our own story and things we can empirically study. There may be dating experts out there, but it doesn't sound like this guy is one of them.

  2. .... I agree with Baking Suit. This guy doesn't seem to be an expert...

    I think anyone who is a "relationship expert" should have at least a basic knowledge of psychology.... and can at least be empathetic.