Sabotaging Intimate Relationships? Online Relationship Coaching Can Help

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated March 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you've been having concerns with finding (and keeping) the intimate relationships you want in your life - and you feel like you've already tried everything – it may be time to seek professional help from an online relationship coach or an online therapist.

Why do I keep sabotaging my intimate relationships?

Dating and relationship coaches provide individuals and couples with key communication skills and strategies that can help their relationships progress more smoothly and healthily. However, dating and relationship counseling is not the answer if you're not willing to do the work that it takes to improve saving your relationships. You must be willing to work toward the relationship that you and your partner want even outside of couples coaching and therapy sessions. Coaching or therapy sessions can be held virtually anywhere in the world. 

In this article we discuss relationship coaches, including who they are, what they do, and where to find the best relationship coaches.

Online dating and relationship coaches: Who they are

An online dating coach shouldn't be confused with coaches who help people perfect their online dating profiles. An online dating and relationship coach is available to help dating individuals and couples improve their chances of success in dating and relationships. 

However, it is worth noting that relationship coaches aren't required to have a specialized degree, license, or certification like professional counselors and licensed mental health professionals. Today's dating and relationship coaches encompass a wide variety of educational backgrounds and disciplines and are often considered experts in the field, though always make sure to check their credentials first.

Online coaching vs. online therapy: Similarities and differences 

Counseling platforms like BetterHelp exclusively staff licensed and certified professionals for their marriage, dating, relationships, and mental health counseling platform. As mentioned previously, online coaches are not typically required to obtain any sort of licensure or certification.

BetterHelp’s staff of thousands of licensed counselors and therapists each have over 2,500 hours of clinical practice in their area(s) of specialty. While a relationship coach is different from a therapist, it’s important to know about their experience; if their website doesn’t list this, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask.

One of the most important differences to take note of is that relationship therapists can often provide psychological guidance, relationship advice, and techniques that are known to be helpful for individuals and couples. A relationship coach may offer some of these things, but will not be able to make clinical recommendations or prescribe treatments, just as professional therapists typically cannot offer medical advice without the degree, licensure, or certifications to do so.

What dating professionals do

Online dating and relationship coaches help individuals, couples, and families to create balanced and healthy relationships. The goal of taking part in dating and relationship therapy is to create more satisfying relationships and achieve long-term relationship success.

Relationship coaches provide support for couples, individuals, and families who may be struggling with finding the right coping skills to help them navigate their intimate relationships more easily. Relationship coaches provide clients with relationship tips and teach couples how to establish healthy boundaries in their romantic relationships.

A relationship coach acts as a neutral third-party and can help couples identify areas where they may be in a rut or have unhealthy patterns. Expert relationship coaches can also identify potential underlying mental health concerns that may be undermining intimate relationships and making appropriate mental health recommendations for a full spectrum of care, though again most do not possess the proper licensure to be able to formally diagnose or treat conditions.

Nine reasons people seek professional support

The following are common reasons why couples and individuals are turning to dating coaches and relationship therapy to save their intimate relationships.

  1. Establish healthier relationships - You're fed up with detrimental relationships, and you're ready to learn some new relationship coping skills.
  2. Identifying red flags - You keep finding yourself dating the wrong people for you, and you want to learn to see the potential signs of this as early as possible.
  3. Balancing self-care with dating - You want to be in a healthy relationship with a stable partner, but you want to maintain your relationship with yourself, too.
  4. Issues with physical, emotional, and sexual chemistry - You can't figure out if it's them, you, or neither. A third-party can help you make sense of your concerns about chemistry.
  5. Dating abuse - You're being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused, and you need to find a way out.*
  6. Financial concerns - You love your spouse, but your financial issues are taking a toll on your relationship. 
  7. Healing from past relationships - You or your partner are still stuck in the past. You’re ready to work through old baggage so that you can both put your best foot forward, both together and as individuals.
  8. Learning new communication styles – One or both of you may have grown up in an environment that didn’t prioritize teaching healthy and productive communication. These old, unhelpful communication tactics (such as passive aggression) are getting in the way of having a fulfilling relationship.
  9. Issues with infidelity - You or your spouse has had an affair, and you're not sure if you should leave the relationship, or if you should stay and work through things.

If you can see yourself in one (or more) of the above scenarios, you're likely a great candidate to take part in sessions with a dating coach. Honesty is the first step to creating healthy and lasting relationships. If you're willing to be honest with yourself, chances are good that you can learn how to do the same with your partner.

*If you or a loved one are experiencing abuse of any kind, reach out for help immediately. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

How to become a dating coach to provide advice to others

There are a few routes to take to become a dating coach. While coaches aren't required by law to be certified, many of today's coaches are taking their roles more seriously and completing coaching certification and training with popular coaching educators like the International Coaching Federation.

Why do I keep sabotaging my intimate relationships?

The ICF trains individuals on how to practice life coaching services that can be applied in a wide variety of disciplines, which include dating, marriage, and relationships. Many of today's new coaches have chosen to register with and become certified by the ICF. 

4 pathways to become a digital coach

Here are four pathways you can follow to embark on this career path.

  1. Become a dating or relationship coach without certification.
  2. Get professional on-the-job-training from an employer like Relationship Hero who trains and certifies their relationship coaches on their platform.
  3. Register with top-rated certification and training programs online with a top-rated agency like the International Coaching Federation.
  4. Add coaching to your list of therapy services after completing a Bachelor's or Master's degree in psychology or social work.

Now that you've learned what it takes to become a coach, let's look at where you can find the best online dating coaches already in practice.

Where to find the best dating professionals 

Many of today's coaches often choose their dating and relationship niche after completing a degree program in psychology, psychiatry, mental health, or social work. Once these individuals have completed their relevant degree in psychology or social work many of these professionals choose to practice and provide services in the areas of dating, relationships, marriage, and family. They may have their own website and practice or be part of an existing service or practice.

Popular relationship therapy and mental health counseling sites often have dating coaches available and listed on their website. You can also ask for any recommendations from your family doctor or your therapist if you see one.

Therapy is personal

Getting started with relationship coaching online can be easy - and in some cases free. Register for a free client account on the platform to get matched with a licensed online dating or relationship counselor to suit your individual needs and lifestyle. Sessions can be held from your home or wherever you have an internet connection, and many of our therapists operate outside of standard business hours to increase convenience.

Online therapy has been found to be just as effective as traditional therapy for a variety of conditions and concerns. A February 2022 study conducted by six psychologists found that online (via video) couples therapy had equal levels of patient and relationship satisfaction improvement, and equal increases in happiness and decreases in depression and anxiety, compared to those of in-person couples therapy. Online couples therapy can be found at Regain, while individual online therapy is available at BetterHelp. 


Relationships can be tough, and it’s normal to feel as though you and your partner or partners could use a bit of help and insight. Relationship therapists and coaches can help you to identify unhealthy patterns in your relationship, provide tools to work through and modify them into healthier behaviors, and provide a safe space for you and your partner(s) to discuss concerns while learning how to communicate effectively. If you’re interested in online couples counseling, whether you’re married or not, you can be matched with an online couples therapist at Regain. If you’d like to focus on your concerns individually, no matter what you’re experiencing, you can connect with an online therapist through BetterHelp. Take the first step toward making progress toward your relationship goals and reach out for support today.

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