The Modern-Day ‘Hitch’: A Love Doctor’s Guide to Escaping the Friend Zone


In his quest to help men navigate the tumultuous seas of modern dating, New York City dating coach Connell Barrett is on a mission to lead them out of the “friend zone” and towards meaningful love.

Dating Coach Offers a Way Out of the Friend Zone

Inspired by the romantic comedy “Hitch,” Barrett offers a unique approach that goes beyond dating apps and encourages men to embrace their true selves, sparking authentic connections with potential partners.

The backdrop to Barrett’s mission is a curious reality in the United States, where a substantial number of men continue to grapple with profound loneliness even as the COVID-19 pandemic fades into memory.

Recent statistics reveal a striking gender disparity, with 63% of men and 34% of women being single. Additionally, sexual activity among Americans is at a 30-year low, and 30% of young men reported experiencing celibacy during the pandemic.

New York City, known for its vibrant social scene, is no exception to this trend, with more than half of its residents reporting feelings of loneliness in 2022.

Barrett attributes the male loneliness epidemic to men’s reluctance to open up and seek help, often viewing vulnerability as a sign of weakness. Men frequently fall into two categories when faced with this isolation: some internalize their feelings, suffering in silence, while others vent their frustration outwardly, turning into misogynists or incels.

Barrett’s journey to becoming a dating coach involved five years of intensive training with experts in the field, encompassing pickup artists and sports psychologists. This transformation helped him understand the dynamics of male-female relationships and led to his own romantic success.

Now, Barrett is passing on his wisdom to those who find themselves perpetually lonely. His approach centers on a few key principles:

  1. Authenticity: Barrett encourages men to be “radically authentic.” This means being true to themselves, whether they’re a nerd, a single dad, or an introvert. By embracing their true selves, men can exude confidence and authenticity that is attractive to potential partners.
  2. Real-world Connections: While dating apps may seem like a convenient way to meet people, Barrett suggests that they often lack depth and genuine emotional connection. Instead, he advocates for men to meet women in organic, real-world settings like bars, coffee shops, and parks, where they can engage in meaningful, old-fashioned interactions.
  3. Facing Fears: Barrett encourages his clients to face their fears and take risks in social situations, like approaching women with vulnerability and authenticity.
  4. Avoiding Excess Alcohol: Barrett advises against getting wasted on dates, as it can hinder genuine connection and communication.

Barrett’s approach to dating has yielded positive results for men of all backgrounds, from engineers to military personnel. He is passionate about helping men escape the grip of loneliness and forge meaningful connections with potential partners.

In a world where dating apps have become the norm, Connell Barrett’s method offers a refreshing and alternative approach, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, real-world interactions, and facing one’s fears to combat loneliness and find love.

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