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Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts Entertainment Chicago Illinois
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Elizabeth Aloni
The Chicago-based celebrity dating coach penned her first book, "The Mating Manual."
Monday Mar 17, 2008.     By Danielle Braff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

photo: courtesy of ejoycoaching.com
When contestants on the reality show "Average Joe" didn't meet their match, Elizabeth Aloni was first on the scene to coach them about their dating faux pas. When singles turned to the dating Website Jdate.com, Aloni coached them on how to write their profiles and improve their dating methods. And when Chicagoans couldn't figure out what they were doing wrong in their quests for love, they met with Aloni in her Lakeview apartment for a one-on-one session about finding The One. Now, the master of dating has finally written the tell-all book, The Mating Manual, on how to get a first date, what to do after the date and how to score lasting love.

How did you get into coaching?
I found myself unfulfilled in my career in corporate America and realized the part I loved about my job was coaching people regarding their career and life decisions. As I looked at my life and the times I was happiest, it was when I was helping others to make decisions that would improve their lives. I began a master's program in Spiritual Psychology and learned more about the coaching profession. An 'aha' moment ensued, and I knew I found my calling.

What do you love about coaching?
The thing I love about coaching is the ability to connect with people and help them to look at their lives in a way they may never have thought of. I enjoy supporting them to make new choices that will give them the life that they so desire. I love helping people to gain clarity about what they want and help them to set manageable steps to get there. I love to see their faces light up or hear the joy in their voices when they realize that they can live the life that they want.

Why did you decide to write a dating manual?
My decision to write The Mating Manual came out of my personal experiences and the experiences of so many of my clients. I realized that most of the information out there already was about changing who you were and being someone else to find love. I vehemently disagreed with that approach. I strongly believe that the dating journey is just that—a journey. It is not just a means to an end but an opportunity to become more of who you are. I believe the dating journey is one of self-exploration, self-discovery and self-honesty. Through this approach, one can be much more successful in finding a mate for a lifetime, as well as ensure that one does not get stuck in wrong relationships over and over again.

What's the best Chicago-related dating advice you've ever given or received?
The best Chicago-related dating advice that I give is to try new things. Go to new places. If you belong to a gym, try going at a different time of day. Go to a different supermarket. Many clients think they need to move in order to find the right person, but I tell them no matter where you go, there you are. Chicago is a wonderful city with so many things to explore. So, explore them.

What's your favorite local hidden gem?
I have two favorite local hidden gems. One is a restaurant called Fiorentino's. It's family owned with great charm and the food is delicious. My favorites are the homemade crab cakes and the linguine with white clam sauce. My other favorite local hidden gem is Flourish Studios. Recently opened, it is a space for creating a better life. My book is available there and I conduct seminars there as well. They have rotating local artists work on display and a host of free seminars. Dr. Julia Rahn, the founder, has created such a beautiful and peaceful environment to relax, shop and grow.

If I were to come to your 'hood, where would you insist I visit to meet someone special?
If you were to come to my 'hood, I'd recommend that you schedule time with me for a consultation. Like I have said, it's not where you are but who you are that will allow you to meet someone special. I can help you work on the 'who' and the 'where' will be fun and easy.

When you're not writing or coaching, what do you like to do?
I love to travel. In the past few years, I have visited Israel, Jordan, Hong Kong, Boracay [an island in the Philippines], Tokyo, Napa and Alaska. I also really enjoy visiting New York, and spending time with my family there. In Chicago, I love finding new great restaurants and I love comedy. Zanies is a favorite place of mine. My favorite time is spent with my husband Sam and our dog Midge.