by Le Huong
Many people think that love is an instinct, purely a reflection of feelings. The idea of learning about dating skills makes some people feel nervous, worried that it may detract from an emotion that they believe should be natural and sincere.
Looking for love: Young men attend Dao Hop Thinh's learn-to-love lessons. — VNS File Photo
Yet Dao Hop Thinh, a 25-year-old single man, has recently established a so-called Love School that offers courses in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang to prove there really is nothing to worry about.
The courses aim not to affect feelings but just to help attendants adjust their behaviour and expressions in a way that is most beneficial to their relationships.
"The hurt from breaking up with my girlfriend three years ago made me realise that relationships, especially love, greatly affect people's happiness," he told Viet Nam News, "I was aware of the need to learn to control feelings and nurture relationships. I think that's also a basic need of many young people, and it inspired me to establish a place to share and help people find more success in their search for happiness."
The topics involved portrait an alluring man, an ideal woman, ways to attract women, principles for nurturing love and how to build self-esteem.
Various written sources on the topics have been downloaded from the net while training activities involve role plays, games, videos and open discussions.
"I think that establishing a relationship is similar to shopping because people only ever want to buy what they are attracted to," Thinh said. "A relationship is only good when both partners see something they like in the other."
Thorough understanding, self belief and choosing a suitable partner as well as catching the telltale signs are among the most important factors, he said.
The first courses have proved popular. Senior student Le Van Dung who is in the process of trying to win over a girl seems to be curious about the "secrets to conquer a woman".
"This is a good chance for me to double check the methods I have applied," he said, "The price of the course [three two-hour lessons costing VND1 million (US$50)] is a little bit high but it depends on the results."
A State white-collar officer agreed that if the course fee was lower, more people would attend.
Luu Thi Lich from the Centre for Consulting and Training Skills of the Human Research Institute was not surprised to hear about the School of Love, especially given that people are tending to wait longer before marrying these days.
"The course quality depends on the lecturer, content of the lesson and the trainees themselves," she said. "Whether people have their reservations or not, it's OK, but I think it should only cost VND500,000 ($25)."
"Calling it the School of Love also seems to be a little boastful," she said. "It would be better to name it the ‘Class of Love'."
Bank worker Kim Ngan, 26, said she enrolled for the course because she was curious and wanted to know what would be taught.
Nguyen Ngoc Tan, another finance clerk, said learning about dating skills was an emerging demand for office staff like him.
"This is the first lesson but I'm finding it interesting and I'm learning the necessary skills about how to set the foundation for a serious relationship," he said.
Thinh said that although his school was new, the enthusiasm of some of the students had moved him and confirmed his belief in success.
"Despite heavy rain, many still showed up for a recent class in HCM City," he recalled. "After the lecture, many of them even gathered outside for further discussions."
Their natural close manners were intimate and sincere, he said.
Another similar school named the Love Institute has also just been opened on Ha Noi's Huynh Thuc Khang Street. According to its founder, Nguyen Van Son, the school offers monthly courses in Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City.
"The course will help you conquer at least three of your favourite women within 90 days, otherwise we will return your course fee," Son boasted on his website.
Thinh's agenda is different. He said that one man can attract some women, but not all women, and that he did "not encourage men to date lots of girls, but to look for the most suitable girl to start a long-term relationship with. That's true happiness." — VNS