It’s a Good Time to Be a Relationship Coach

Whether dating or divorcing, people are turning to coaches for their goal-oriented approach, which can deliver structure and achievements at a time when both may be lacking.

Sofia Montijo’s first two-hour phone call with Samantha Burns in November 2020 was spent assessing Ms. Montijo’s love life.

From then through May 2021, the women, who each live in Boston, focused on Ms. Montijo’s mostly unsuccessful dating history for an hour every two to three weeks on FaceTime, and in weekly texts and emails. For Ms. Montijo, these conversations were supplemented with homework and workbooks; together, everything cost her $3,500.

In June, Ms. Montijo, 37, started dating her current boyfriend. She described their relationship as the most successful one she has been in. “I knew I needed to change my dating patterns and I needed to find someone who specialized in that,” she said of hiring Ms. Burns, a psychotherapist who in 2015 started a business coaching people through dating, relationships and even breakups.

Before the pandemic, Ms. Burns said she received about five applications from new clients a week. That number has since doubled, Ms. Burns said, as people have had more time to “look at their relationships and to work on themselves.”

As a result, she and other relationship coaches say they have seen an uptick in business from people who seek the goal-oriented, future-thinking approach of their work. Some, like Ms. Montijo, see it as an alternative to therapy, which often focuses more on process and the past.

While she has never seen a therapist, Ms. Montijo said that “therapy feels A.D.D.-ish because you talk about everything.” She added, “I saw Sam to understand how I can specifically date better.”

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