US dating expert uses numbers to help others find love

1 week ago 10

OAKLAND, California - In the backyard of a luxury commune, slouched on the stones between a wood-barrel sauna and a cobalt-blue ping-pong table, Ms Logan Ury flicked fragments of acorns off her dress while the woman across from her recited her attachment style. A hot tub burbled in the background, where a string of fairy lights drooped between trees.

The woman said she was "avoidant", which was why she was single and why she had sought Ms Ury's help.

Maybe the woman was not anxious, necessarily, Ms Ury said. Maybe she was getting in her own way, overthinking things. In Ms Ury's words, the woman was her own "blocker". Ms Ury suggested that since the woman tended to meet her past romantic partners in person, she should spend some of her limited free time bouldering, chatting with fellow climbers and scanning for potential love interests instead of thumbing through the dating apps.

Ms Ury, 34, is part of a long lineage of love experts who have built a dating pundit industrial complex. Of late, they have been joined by TikTokers and podcasters and Instagram infographic makers who churn out random dating "rules" - wait three hours before responding to a text, tell men they make you feel safe and curb every impulse to fight with your partner.

Not all of them, though, have Ms Ury's credentials - a Harvard psychology degree and a book, How To Not Die Alone, that has gone into its eighth printing and has been translated into 14 languages.

Back at her desk an hour later, Ms Ury led a Zoom session for 67 people who had paid nearly US$2,000 (S$2,770) each for a six-week course, which gave them the chance to ask their most pressing questions about dating.

A man wanted to know why the woman he had just gone out with had turned down a second date, even though she had given him a long hug when they parted and her knees had been pointed at him for much of the date, he said.

"Yeah," Ms Ury said slowly. "I just want to validate that that's confusing."

This is Ms Ury's job - to validate, as much as to volley back what she claims are research-backed strategies for hacking modern romance. "Date like a scientist," she said, when a woman as...

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