A group of professionally dressed Life and Relationship Coaches sitting in a circle, smiling and discussing training and ideas.

Why I Trained to Join the Ranks of Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coaches

20 June 2024

Isn’t it always great to hear an origin story? How someone ended up with that special person, or doing the work they’re meant to do? Our natural curiosity can’t help but wonder why things happen the way they do, why people make the choices they do, and what can be learned from all of it.

Recently, while reaching out to coaches for my Motivated to Marry Relationship training program, I found that many professional life coaches don’t really have the tools and skills to support their clients who are dating for a significant and lasting relationship. This is why I want to share with you how, and why, I trained to join the ranks of certified professional life and relationship coaches.

As a woman in my late 30s, who desired to be married and have a family, I was clearly the poster child for Motivated to Marry. I was very motivated! I did everything: I went to singles events, speed-dating events, asked friends to set me up, went to therapy, and even hired a matchmaker.

After 7 years of dating in circles, I discovered that relationship coaches were a thing and I hired one. He was instrumental in helping me get past my blind spots and be open to dating more introverted men like my husband. You see, I almost passed him by.

As an extrovert and a high judger, I made snap decisions about people. Which meant I was evaluating men on the wrong criteria. My relationship coach helped me evaluate what was really important to me, which allowed me to give my now husband a second look!

What about you? What criteria are you using to evaluate someone as the right partner for you? And how has that been working for you? Have you possibly overlooked someone great simply because you’ve been judging by the wrong criteria?

After I got married, people started referring their friends and family members to me. People told them: “You need to talk to Amy”. They knew that I was very active in the dating scene and had successfully “met my person”.

At the same time, I was leaving the fashion world because of the hours, and exploring other professions that would be more “family-friendly”. I had just closed my boutique and was working as a personal shopper/image consultant as a way to earn money and stay in touch with my wonderful clients from the boutique.

But I knew this was only a temporary solution. I needed help in figuring out my future, so I sought out a career coach to help me in deciding on my next step. As we discussed my business and life experiences, she recommended that I consider exploring Life and Relationship Coach training programs. Obviously, I had become familiar with using coaches myself and, as an Image Consultant, I had begun networking with life coaches as well.

I could see how this would be a good career fit for me and I realized that if I was going to support others in their journey to find love, I’d better get the proper training to join the ranks of qualified dating and relationship coaches.

The life coaching field is pretty much unregulated. Anyone can say they are a dating/relationship coach! So how do you know who to trust to hire?

Let me share some information about what to look for if you are exploring hiring one of the many relationship coaches who put their shingle out there these days:

  1. Not all dating and relationship coaches are the same.

    Look at their training, their life experiences, and their track record. What do their clients say about them? Have they successfully married (or in a long-term relationship) themselves? There is a big difference between dating and dating for marriage. (I teach this in my Motivated to Marry Dating Secrets coaching program.)

  2. Credentials matter!

    We value credentials for doctors, lawyers, therapists, nutritionists, fitness trainers, and other professionals. So, why skimp in this very important area of your life? Why not require that your relationship coach have the best training and certification from a well-respected organization like the International Coach Federation (ICF)? Ask your coach about their training. If they went to a 3-day training to get certified, be skeptical. Comparatively, it took me a year and a half to get certified by my coaching training organization and then I had to take an exam to be certified by the ICF as well as have over 750 hours of client coaching hours under my belt. In recent years the ICF has made their requirements even more stringent.

  3. Life Coaches utilize a “Whole Life” approach.

    This is important. I assess what else is going on in your life that will impact your dating life. How much time and energy do you have to put towards this endeavor? Are you date/relationship ready and available? As a matter of fact, that is the first thing I look at with my clients. (Go to www.mtmquiz.com to find out how date/relationship ready you are.)

  4. Certified, Professional Relationship Coaches have gone through specific training to acquire “coaching” skills.

    Yes, that’s a thing. I’ve witnessed the difference when people are advising versus coaching. Most so-called “Dating Relationship Coaches” are consulting, not coaching. There is a consulting piece to my coaching and I’m very upfront about that, especially when it comes to giving feedback on my client’s online dating profiles. However, I never tell my clients what to do. I may recommend something, but they choose the path after we explore their different options. And I always respect those choices as we move forward.

  5. Relationship Coaches have been trained to ask first, not tell.

    Many “relationship coaches” can be very demanding and may tell you to do this or that. And it may not fit your personality or style. As a coach, we look to see what you’re willing and able to take on. We should never take it personally if you can’t follow through with it. (This coaching skill is what we call self-management). We hold our clients as resourceful, creative, and whole. If someone tells you, “You should…”, then run the other way!

  6. Trained and certified relationship coaches are continually learning and growing their skills.

    They want to be the best they can for their clients. As ICF coaches, we must take over 40 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Most professionals are required to take continuing training to maintain their professional credentials. I appreciate the continued learning and feel that I’m keeping up on my coaching skills. Don’t be afraid to inquire what your coach has done recently to stay on top of their field.  

  7. My colleagues who are ICF Life, Career, Executive, Wellness, or Leadership Coaches trust me and refer me to their clients.

    They know I have the required training and experience to serve their clients in the relationship arena. I consider this an honor to have their trust.

    If you’re shopping for relationship coaches, then understand there can be big differences between them. I recently spoke with a coach who had only a basic life coaching training certification and never went any further with relationship coaching. When I approached her about becoming a Certified Motivated to Marry Relationship Coach, she said she had all the knowledge she needed.

    She also told me that she didn’t believe in marriage! I find it frightening that she is so biased, yet feels she possesses the skills to guide others who are looking to be married. I believe in letting my clients choose if they want to pursue marriage or not. I don’t judge, and I understand the circumstances that may define their desire and readiness for marriage.  I trust that they know what they want after all!

    There is little in her training or approach that demonstrates she has the qualifications to work with single clients looking for serious relationships. Clearly, she is not the kind of coach we seek to attract to the MTM Relationship Coach training program. I maintain a high standard for the coaches I accept into my program!

Overall, I am so very grateful for my experiences with good, qualified coaches who have guided me.

They helped me better understand myself, find love, and have a fulfilling career helping others. 20+ years later, I still love what I get to do- empowering singles to find and create the significant, long-term relationship they so desire.

If you’re in the market for support and relationship “know-how” from an experienced relationship coach, then like anything in life, do your homework and get some referrals. Don’t be afraid to interview several relationship coaches. It’s a worthy investment of your time and resources. 


If you’d like to explore Relationship Coaching with me, reach out at https://motivatedtomarry.com/connect-with-coach-amy/, and let’s chat!