Hi, I’m Marcus, editor, founder and dating coach of MarcusNeo.Com. This is my site, where I publish actionable and practical dating advice for men and relationship insights. The site has expanded beyond dating to self help advice in recent years.
I went to Hong Kong with a trip with my friends and my ex girlfriend and I had an argument on text whilst I was there. She broke up with me through text. I officially had my first serious break up when I was 19. I was left rock bottom for next year or so. That was how I chanced upon the book ‘The Game’ and got obsessed with dating advice, social skills and personal development.
For the typical Asian kid, you’ll consider your chances with women as an area of life that is left purely to luck and fate. However, understanding that fundamentally you can change your behavior, hence your results in your dating and relationship life fueled me on a journey. I spent the next year learning how to attract women, Googling tactics, downloading dating, pick up artist, eBooks, flipping through one dating theory after another, trying out ‘negs’ and all sorts of techniques. You ever saw that handshake and spin ‘opener’? Yes, I did that as well.
That all didn’t work.
Things only starting piecing together when I started expressing myself assertively and authentically. I figured, if I really needed all those lines and trickery, I must be one hell of an unconfident man. Dating advice is merely self help on steroids. So gradually, I improved. One thing lead to another, I took an interest in helping men in this area. I also learned about psychology, entrepreneurship and started a dating advice blog. Gradually, my first enquiry came in and I started helping clients meet, date and attract their clients. I always tell them it’s also a process of becoming their best self.
Through the years, I mixed my dating success philosophy from dating/ pick up artist literature to practical and psychologically researched strategies. Until, I found a model that’s not only practically sustaiable, but also emotionally sustainable. One that doesn’t stress you out 24/7, is ethical and effective. I also figured that a lot of getting good at dating is actually getting good at your own emotions: emotional intelligence. Lines, techniques are only part of the equation. The bigger goal is about becoming more comfortable with our sexuality.
Initially, my goals were to get into stocks and finance, you know, the typical Asian route. Hence, I signed up for an accounting and finance degree. However, I was disinterested in my finance classes and preferred reading up on psychology and entrepreneurship. I found myself reading up on behavioural change and psychology and took an immense interest in it. I also spent a lot of time collating ideas and started this dating coaching blog documenting the process.
I started testing out these dating strategies in different parts of the world. I did a Summer program at UC Berkeley studying psychology and music, took the opportunity to visit New York, Los Angeles. I also travelled Europe solo and hit eleven cities in 60 days. It was a whirlwind. I also spent time in Asia, in China, Korea and Japan and South East Asia for periods up to 2-3 months at a time. I attempted to build a dating life whenever I am, abroad. This means cold approaching in cultures that I barely know and doing it all by myself. I believe not many Asians (in the world for that matter) have had such an experience.
This blog led to a couple of in-person clients in the dating coach for men industry in Singapore. I had the pleasure of helping male clients from University students to working professionals to CEOs in Singapore attract women and become their best self. You can take a look at some of my student’s testimonials.
The site has also been proudly seen on mainstream media outlets in Singapore such as Channel 8 and ChannelNewsAsia to international outlets such as E27.Co.
2020 update: I decided in 2020 that I’ll like to take on international clients and market to the dating coach for men industry at large. The site has also expanded on subjects outside of the usual attracting women stuff: on broader topics such as values, dealing with depression and boundaries. The fundamentals of self development and communication can be applied across all areas of life. If you don’t know by now, dating advice is self help in disguise.
A good portion of what you hear and read on mainstream media, YouTube and books such as ‘The Game’ isn’t really practical or sustainable. This is especially so in Asian cultures. I had to figure this out the hard way. That’s because Singapore is a collectivistic Asian culture. I needed a model that is grounded and not flashy. You see this in the form of people going for crazy spins in the clubs. Whilst this is great for YouTube, it paints an unrealistic picture of how romantic interactions actually work. Not to mention if you’re looking for functional, healthy relationships that actually work.
You can’t completely objectify human communication. This is why two different people saying the exact lines can result in two completely reactions. Think about the last time someone bragged to you and you can kind of get that feeling that he’s bragging. It’s not about what you say, it’s about how and why you say it.
I haven’t got anything against using lines and techniques as training wheels. I used to rely on them as well. They can be used as a crutch initially. However, you’ll need to learn how to use your own stories and your own personality to connect with others in the long run.
If you’re going to treat everyone else an object, then, needless to say, you’re not going to get far. Here at MarcusNeo.Com, our philosophy is approaching our dating life from a standpoint of ethics, boldness and empathy.
Secondly, I believe that failure and rejection are inevitable. I get rejected, a lot. If anyone out there claims that he doesn’t get rejected, he’s marketing you a lie. Everybody gets rejected and fails, rich, famous, smart or not. Nobody has it down all the time. In fact, rejection and pain are normal and necessary. I’ll even argue that they are helpful to an extent.
If anyone out there claims that he doesn’t get rejected, he is marketing you a lie. Everybody gets rejected, even the best dating coaches in the world. I used to hate admitting this because I thought it’ll hurt my marketing and looking bad in front of clients. However, admitting this also liberate me to be more realistic with my clients and in my brand.
Nobody has it down 100% of the time. I can write kick ass articles on how to attract women that are 3000 words long and heavily researched. However, honestly, I don’t have it down all the time.
There are experts out there claims you can you what you want in your life without facing any rejection or hurdle. That’s 100% bullshit. Either that, self help gurus shell out slipshod advice such as ‘just be positive’. However, rejection, pain, loss, grief, negative emotions are normal and healthy. I’ll even argue that they are even necessary and helpful to an extent. It’s better not to deny nor suppress negative emotions, but to accept them and integrate them.
Field testing is king. You need to go out and apply. You need to test out the lines and theories. I once paid for dating coach who didn’t do demonstrations. If you ever pay for dating coaching, make sure he’s able to minimally demonstrate a cold approach or two.
Secondly, I try to back the site up with psychological research and I don’t make claims that can’t be backed up by data. You’ll find multiple citations on my articles, throughout my articles. I also don’t publish advice that I don’t use in may own life, or haven’t tested.
The majority of self help and dating advice were written in the Western context. Hence, I had to find strategies that work regardless of country or culture. They needed to be applicable in both Western to Asian cultures.
I also took an interest in psychology: the study of human behavior through the years. In some of my articles, I borrow quite a bit from psychology. I try my best to back up the content using research and first-hand real-life experience and stories of my own.
I don’t really buy the usual rah rah self help stuff.
Let me ask you, how many people sign up for expensive self help seminars, pay for some expensive program, go home, come back a year later with nothing much to show in their life? That’s a good percentage. You probably felt good for that one weekend and found yourself returning to your old self after two weeks. Unlike all other self-help gurus and self-proclaimed ‘inner game gurus’ tell you research shows that there’s no way to rewire your anxieties than to go replace them with higher order habits.
Ultimately, being successful at dating life or in your relationships is a habit. It doesn’t occur through a three-day self-help seminar. You aren’t going to build a habit doing it this way.
2020 Update: I decided to expand out of the Singapore market. I am currently writing this in the midst of a pandemic raging through the world. However, the good news is that I managed to hacked the hell out of online dating. Yes, you get your dating life of your dreams without cold approach. The wonders of technology! I am looking to also take up international clients outside of Singapore, and bring my philosophy of dating, of becoming your best self in a sustainable way, to more countries.
I rip the hell out of Joe Siegel, a Singaporean photographer.