The Scoop: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many singles decided to commit to finding love. Julianne Cantarella, a Dating Coach and Matchmaker based in New Jersey, is ready to help them with personalized programs. Unlike other coaches, Julianne connects one-on-one with singles for six months to improve their dating mindset and expand their dating pools. She is also available for clients during their dates so they can ask her advice in real time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit singles particularly hard. Some have felt left behind by safety restrictions that discouraged in-person interaction. And social distancing protocols have even made common physical contact, including hugs and high-fives, prohibited except with the people in your household. For singles living alone, that means no one. Other singles have felt hampered by the time they lost not searching for a partner.
Many didn’t like the socially distanced opportunities they had for dating, including walks or virtual meetings. One single woman told The New York Times that she felt let down because she lost the possibility of meeting someone during her daily activities. The woman said she “always imagined she might meet a future partner in the course of her daily activities. The possibility gave her comfort and hope, which has diminished during the pandemic.”
The New York Times article was published in January 2021, and now, singles are ready to make up for all of that lost time. Julianne Cantarella, a Dating Coach and Matchmaker based in New Jersey, told us how singles have dedicated themselves to finding partners after experiencing loneliness during the pandemic.
“People are taking stock and assessing their singleness. It has motivated people to say, ‘Wow, I don’t want to be that isolated and alone, and I want to find someone to share my life with, especially if something terrible like this happens again,’” she said.
Julianne said singles are braver than ever before. They’re not overwhelmed and have a newfound confidence. She added that they know their journey to find love may be challenging, but more and more of them believe it will be worth it in the end.
Julianne said she is also excited to be helping those motivated singles find partners through her boutique coaching program that she launched in 2009.
“Other coaches have a canned program that might have nothing to do with the client’s limiting beliefs, obstacles, or issues around dating. My program caters to each individual client and their needs,” she said. “What sets my program a part is that I coach my clients in real time as the are moving through the dating experience.”
Real-Time Coaching Helps Singles Overcome Mental Blocks
Julianne’s background is another reason her program is so unique. Before becoming a coach, she worked as a social worker therapist. After giving birth to her second child, she decided she wanted to go back to work where she could utilize her skills, professional experience, and education and do something that was a little lighter and more fun.
“My husband found an ad for a startup matchmaking company in Manhattan. I went on an interview, got the job, and my passion was born. I fell in love with helping people create healthy relationships, especially single women” Julianne said. “I also tend to be unique in the industry not only because of my education but my personal experience.”
Julianne said she not only talks the talk but walks the walk when it comes to romantic commitment. She and her husband celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in October 2021.
“My marriage is the motivation behind the work I do, and I know it’s possible for women to have a loving healthy relationship.” Julianne said.
She also credited her background as a social worker and certified life coach as the secret to her success.
When a client signs up with Julianne, they work one-on-one with her for six months. The first step of their partnership involves an online dating rebrand, including a professional photoshoot and a profile reboot. Clients also receive weekly private one-on-one coaching sessions and unlimited support from Julianne via text.
Clients report they often find much more success after Julianne’s coaching. She provides the know-how and experience clients need to feel more confident in dating.
“I know there are companies out there who do the online work for the client. I won’t do that, but what I will do is help the client by giving them the skills and tools they need to create a healthy relationship,” Julianne explained. “I work with them on growing good communication, setting boundaries, creating a positive mindset, and having realistic expectations. All are key to long-term relationship success.”
Julianne’s support also helps clients stay persistent in their search for love, rather than giving up too quickly. She said clients have told her they would have quit the dating game if they didn’t have weekly coaching.
“I keep them moving forward. I’m a sounding board if they are feeling confused or frustrated,” said Julianne.
Personal Boundaries Create Healthy Relationships
Julianne has worked as a matchmaker for 16 years, but her passion is dating coaching. Many of her clients are women over 28 who have never been married and want to have children.
“I see more women because they tend to be more open to the coaching process. I’ve been doing coaching since I entered this area. I love coaching because I love empowering women,” she told us.
Julianne reports her coaching success rate is 93% because her program is extremely comprehensive for singles seeking a meaningful relationship. As the name of her coaching program indicates, she is with her clients from their First Date to Soulmate ™.
For many, they need to have realistic expectations about what type of relationship they want and who a potential partner could be. Then, they need to communicate their needs and set boundaries.
Julianne coaches singles who are ready for a commitment, including divorced women.
“I’m holding their hand as they get out to date. I help them navigate the modern dating world. I start by marketing them so they can get the response they want from men,” Julianne told us. “Most importantly, we look at behavior, and if it someone’s behavior isn’t healthy, they know that person is not a fit,” Julianne told us.
Julianne’s coaching is not coursework in the traditional sense. Instead, she coaches clients in real time as they’re dating.
For instance, she told us of an experience with a client who was supposed to have a call with a man she met online. The time he was supposed to call came and went. A day or two later he called and left a message explaining that he had a car accident and wasn’t able to call. The client shared his voicemail with a friend who told her that the man sounded desperate — a red flag — and that she should just pass on him. However, but Julianne encouraged her client to keep an open mind and at least give him another chance.
“The single women I work with are very successful in their business and personal life with friends. They tend to have a great growth mindset, but when it comes to dating, it switches. It tends to be a closed mindset. You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to dating if you don’t have the right mindset,” Julianne told us.
Julianne Cantarella: Daters Should Be Cautiously Optimistic
Julianne said singles shouldn’t give up if they’re using online dating platforms. Instead, she encourages them to remember that online dating is a process, not an exact science. That’s why she also advises them to step outside their comfort zones and consider partners they may not otherwise choose.
She said she believes single women should give potential partners several chances if they haven’t done anything egregiously wrong.
“Over the course of 16 years I’ve pulled 10 husbands or long-term partners out of the trash on several sites. These men were deemed not dateable for one reason or another by my clients. In fact, I remember one client in particular who went into the first date less than enthusiastic,” Julianne said.
After the date, the client had a coaching session with Julianne, who encouraged her to give him a second chance. “The second date was better, the third date even better, and by the twelfth date, she was telling me he was her soulmate,” she said. “They are married now.”
Above all, the dating coach’s most significant advice is for singles to avoid creating a narrative about anyone. She warns of projecting positive attributes onto people they hardly know OR viewing someone through a negative lens. Specifically, she sees singles become excited about partners with whom they have great chemistry — to the extent they can’t see that individual for who they are.
“Even if you meet through friends who say he’s a great guy, even if you meet and have chemistry, don’t create a narrative. Let it unfold organically. I see that all the time. People create this narrative because they are excited or scared. That’s my biggest piece of advice — date and let it unfold organically,” Julianne said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning globally, Julianne said she hopes singles who need some loving support or an extra push to resume their search for love will seek out her help.
“I love what I do. I love coaching and matchmaking, and I am helping men and women find love. I’m their safety net, and I provide information on how to navigate dating,” she said.