When it comes to helping people find love, Kim Quick, a professional dating and relationship expert, is cheerfully optimistic.
"Be the woman of your dreams to attract the man of your dreams," is one of her favorite pieces of advice.
She is also realistic: "If you don't hear from him, you let him go," said Quick, 46.
Another of Quick's sayings: "Hit the reset button and feel good about yourself."
Her own love life did not go exactly as she had planned. At 40, she was a practicing CPA working for large corporations when she found out the man she was dating was engaged.
"I kept asking myself, 'Why is this so hard? Why can't I attract the right guy,'" Quick said. "I had this vision of being married and having this extraordinary relationship."
So she started immersing herself in seminars and events geared toward creating healthy relationships.
Quick said she initially got into coaching when she participated in personal development courses to help herself. She would volunteer to coach as the courses, in the form of webinars, went on through the online Radical Results Coaching Co. When people would thank her for making a difference in their lives, Quick said, the feedback fueled her desire to get a certificate as a performance coach.
Quick, a Laguna Niguel resident, then graduated from the Irvine-based Landmark Education Team Management and Leadership Program and felt ready to launch a career as a dating and relationship expert.
She has been coaching for three years and last year created the Forever Love Formula, her five-step program for finding love that she delivers to clients in phone conferences, and the Get Ready for Love, a six-week online course that provides further tips and guidance.
Her methods are intended to mainly help a woman find love with a man, she said, but men may also apply the formula, with one change. They need to flip the method of communication with women.
Men and women communicate differently, she said, so if a woman wants something, she will often request it without sounding demanding. Men are conditioned to listen actively and assume a woman who initiates conversations is seeking his advice or assistance.
"Men want to make you happy, so you just have to say it in a different away," she said. "Appreciate what he does. After all, don't we all want to be appreciated and given positive reinforcement?"
Quick said her goal during coaching sessions with women is to help them understand that they are standing in their own way in creating a relationship when they hold on to negative feelings or thoughts. "I am not good enough to find the right man" isn't a good affirmation, in other words.
The coach says a woman first must be clear with herself about what she wants in a man, separating the negotiables from the non-negotiables.
Quick said she had 29 items on her "love story" list, including wanting a man who was financially stable and passionate about life and who had short brown hair, blue eyes and no goatee.
"Those details matter," she said with a laugh.
The next moves are to stop complaining about relationship frustrations and instead make a strategic plan for finding a quality man, and then release past hurts and self-sabotaging actions, which will boost confidence.
The final stage is for a woman to open up to her more feminine side, Quick said, explaining that when a man gives a woman a compliment, she should receive it gracefully.
"Men like a woman to be independent and successful, and they want that more softer side to come out," she said. "He feels good with someone who is appreciative and happy. It's like how a woman wants a man to be masculine who is strong and makes her feel good."
Advice like this may make feminists cringe, but Quick doesn't consider herself old-fashioned and maintains that she is committed to empowering women.
"I actually think this is the modern woman now — a balance of feminine and masculine," she said.
"I think women deserve to have equal rights, and I am glad how far we have come since the women's movement. We never compromise our values and what is important to us as a woman or not take care of ourselves first. My advice to be in your feminine and more softer side is that women have gone a little too far over the other side, and we have to bring back that balance of still honoring yourself and honoring a man also.
"It is about reciprocity of giving to each other as man and woman -— treating each other good. Isn't that what love is about?"
Quick said her programs start at $200. She also does one-to-one coaching and has spoken to Orange County women's groups.
Quick said other positive lifestyle changes have emerged from the formula, noting clients who got raises, lost weight and created a new life for themselves.
Jaime Becktal, a former client who lives in Colorado, said she had first met Quick through Landmark Education a few years ago in Irvine. With Quick's coaching, Becktal said, she learned to raise the bar for herself and explore what she wanted to be as a woman.
She bought a plane ticket to Ireland to pursue a possible career in travel writing, and upon her return, she accepted a job working with a team of writers at a local college.
"I have Kim to thank for giving me permission to settle for nothing less than exactly what I want in life," Becktal said on Quick's website. "I've yet to meet the man of my dreams, but have become the woman of my dreams in the meantime. I now spend my time dating wonderful men who treat me like a queen, and I'm confident that as I continue to develop, love and nurture myself, 'The One' is just around the corner."
Quick has also found success with her system. She got engaged last year.
He has brown hair and blue eyes and is clean-shaven.
"You start to think it's never going to happen," Quick said. "But there is a happy ending."