A few years ago, Eva Kuleva gave up her career as a Marketing and PR Manager for a prestigious company, in order to dive into a subject, which she was interested in even more: Life and love coaching. This is how the highly skilled professional, who has worked on Nantucket Island and prestigious international companies, became the first life and love coach in Bulgaria. She works with individuals who are having troubles finding their right match, by helping them repair their lives, in order to be ready and prepared for a new relationship. Recently, she added matchmaking to her portfolio, as an additional service. Imanuel Marcus met Eva Kuleva in a nice café in the center of Sofia.
Foreigners and Friends (FF): What kind of people ask for your services as a love coach?
Eva Kuleva: I mainly work with two groups of people. Most of them are single. The others are part of relationships, which have reached a dead end. They are either thinking of getting a divorce, or they are very frustrated and don’t know how to proceed.
FF: Those relationships with grave issues, are they repairable?
Eva Kuleva: The first step is to try helping them to save their relationship. The issue is that they usually contact me when it is already too late. In many cases, they are so frustrated and have piled up so much anger, that their relationships tend to be unsaveable.
FF: How do you help clients who are past that stage, broke up a relationship, or who already got divorced?
Eva Kuleva: That is when I become a life coach, as opposed to a love coach. At that moment, we start building a new life for them. It is important for anyone in this situation to learn from their lesson, when they look back. And to forgive. If they have children, they should think about how to get along with their ex, because, as parents, they will be partners forever. Afterwards, they slowly get ready for a new relationship. But it does take time.
FF: Let’s talk about singles, who want your advice. Many of them contact you, when they are experiencing issues regarding relationships in general. What kind of issues are those?
Eva Kuleva: Some of my clients have had many relationships. They are very experienced and their self-confidence is sufficient. But they usually repeat the same mistakes over and over again. They are either looking for the same type of partner every time, for example people who are emotionally unavailable or not ready to commit. So, in those cases, we try to figure out how to break the pattern they have been following. Then, there are those who have not been in a relationship in ages. In most cases, they have completely forgotten how to behave in a relationship or how to flirt. For example, they married their high school sweetheart and got divorced after many years of marriage and therefore are not familiar with the dating scene.
FF: By contacting you, people with these kinds of issues are taking a step, which is a good sign, right? Or do friends send them to you?
Eva Kuleva: It’s both. Either a friend sends them, or they just look for help, because they feel they can not manage on their own. They search for advice online, and that’s how they find me.
FF: When people contact you, which are the steps you take?
Eva Kuleva: First, I send them a short questionnaire, in order to see what they want to work on. Then, we do a free “discovery session” via Skype, to talk about the strategy and their expectations, before I send them an agreement. The coaching sessions initially take place on a weekly basis.
FF: Is there laughter? I mean, does it get funny at times, when you talk to your clients?
Eva Kuleva: Yes, sometimes I try to use humour. But we don’t get into stories about their past relationships. When they get into stories, I stop them, because they might get distracted from the core issue. This is about their feelings, needs and desires. We do not need stories.
FF: Are there cases in which you notice the person you want to help is suffering from grave psychological issues? What do you do, if this happens at all?
Eva Kuleva: I recommend them a therapist.
FF: What about genders? You work with both of them, right? And what about homosexuals?
Eva Kuleva: Up until now, more ladies have come to me. But, lately, more and more men approach me. I’m glad about that. I have not had homosexual clients so far, but of course I am open for them too.
FF: You have been a love coach for a while. Your new, additional project has to do with matchmaking. What is the exact difference?
Eva Kuleva: By coaching, I help my clients to lead a happy life on their own, to attract compatible partners and to choose their life partner consciously. With matchmaking, I help them to figure out what kind of partner they need and I offer them potential partners for dates. So, life coaching is like teaching them how to fish, and matchmaking is giving them the fish.
FF: You are single at this stage, and you don’t want to be. How does your profession as a life and love coach or as a matchmaker help you, personally?
Eva Kuleva: That is how I became a relationship coach. I needed to solve my own relationship issues. So, I said to myself, this is something I can not figure out so easily. My parents are divorced, I see more and more divorces and unhappy couples around me. At the same time, love is one of the most important aspects in my life. So, I have to dedicate all my time and attention to this topic. That is what I did. I have hopefully broken my patterns by now, since I was dating the same type of guys for a while and I was running in and out of relationships like crazy. For the first time in my life, I have been single for more than a few months now, after having been with partners all the time. It was some kind of an addiction. Now, I can say I am a happy single and ready for a new relationship.
FF: So, you probably needed some time on your own.
Eva Kuleva: Yes. People ask me how I can help singles while I am single and I answer that if I wasn’t single, if I had met my husband at school, I would not have known what they are going through or what the strategies are, when it comes to attracting a partner. Happily married people are lucky. Most of them never had to apply any strategies. That is why they have no clue how they can help other people in this regard. I, on the other hand, have been there, I have been through all the shit my clients have been or are going through right now. So, I can really relate to their issues and I know how to help them.
FF: Love coaching and matchmaking does not seem to be very popular in Bulgaria, right? What are your observations? Are you the only love and life coach in Bulgaria?
Eva Kuleva: There are several matchmaking agencies and dating sites. But when it comes to personal love coaching and matchmaking, I think I am the only one. I hope there will be more and more people helping singles and those who are not happy in their love life, because there is a big demand, or at least there is need. I am working on building awareness, because not too many people know that my profession actually exists or how exactly I can help them.
FF: One of your matchmaking projects is about matching Western men with Bulgarian ladies. Why not the other way around? And why Western?
Eva Kuleva: There seem to be more single, well-educated, financially stable and ready to commit women in Bulgaria than men. Also, there are many Western guys, who are looking for more feminine women, which most Bulgarian ladies are, compared to English or German women. I see more and more couples of this pattern. My sister, who is married to a German guy, is an example. They are a very good match. Western guys are more sporty, they are more self-confident and they are better off financially. I believe that these kind of matches are good. And I will try to prove it. The Western aspect has to do with how Western men treat women. They are more respectful, in my opinion.
FF: Thanks a lot.