EDGE Interview: Falling in Love With Dating Coach Daddy Trev
Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 8 MIN.
Gay men can have a love/hate relationship with social media, but for Love Daddy Trev, that's often where his work as a New York City-based relationship coach begins.
"You can be inspired when you go on social media or you can be completely discouraged and self loathing about things that you see," Trev, who goes by Trevor offline, told EDGE. "I feel like there's a lot of great stuff out there. Then there is also bad advice and the comparison – never feeling like you're enough."
Focusing his life coaching practice on relationships, Daddy Trev has built a social media following by helping gay men see that they are indeed, "enough," but also by helping them understand what "enough" could mean in the context of their lives.
"When the pandemic hit, there was no work yet everyone was trying to better themselves. I realized probably 90% of the men that I was coaching were focused on bettering their health," he remembers. "But also it came down to wanting to look better so that they could attract a partner, and I used that as sort of ... I just took that as encouragement to help people with that. I realized this is what I want to help people with."
As the gay community prepares for the big game – Valentine's Day – Daddy Trev gave us some pointers on how to celebrate love by loving yourself.
EDGE: Have you always been "Daddy" Trev?
Daddy Trev: Over time, I had friends start calling me "daddy." If you have any essence of swagger, or I suppose, age or refinement you start hearing it. I'm sort of this person that people come to for advice. "Go talk to daddy about it. Daddy Trev will take care of you." I didn't sit down and say what am I going to call myself.
EDGE: Initially you were focusing your coaching on health, but then that changed.
Daddy Trev: You can focus on relationships with money. You can focus on relationships with your career; what I was learning is that it's all kind of tied together. If someone is having an issue in their relationship, you might look at what's going on in their career and how that's affected their relationship. Again, if you look at their money, their work life and you look at their health – it all affects their relationship too.
In order to really secure adherence to the plan you want to find out why do they want this? And I'm telling you, 90% of the guys were only looking to change their body or their health because they thought it would make them look more attractive. And it would make them more likely to get into a relationship. I took note of it, and I realized this is going to come up in our conversations.
EDGE: Is it the chicken or the egg first? As RuPaul says, do you have to love yourself before you can love someone else?
Daddy Trev: I believe RuPaul. You have to love yourself first. You have to love yourself with or without a partner. Because what's going to happen is, if you put all of your worth into that partner completing you in some way, then if they go away – and let's face it, sometimes they do – suddenly the impact it has on you is greater because something is missing. You put so much value on having someone in your life and you didn't do the work on yourself to be happy with or without them.
EDGE: Then how do you approach that break up as a coach?
Daddy Trev: A few of the guys that I coach have gone through breakups, and they feel utterly unwanted and just not sure how to proceed from here. I always bring it back to them and their healing, and their acceptance of the situation, then acceptance of themselves. You have to come to a point where you get really present with who you are, and you have to get to self-care.
EDGE: You mention that you met your current partner through Instagram. Any advice for someone getting back on the apps?
Daddy Trev: I will say one thing about dating apps: It's not necessarily the medium where you are going to find success. It always comes down to who you are being, and what your intentions are. If you're truly in the mindset of I want to be in a relationship, and you know your experience on Grindr does not lend itself to meeting guys who are relationship minded for whatever reason, then focus in other areas. And so the guys that I coach, most of them are on dating apps and it runs the gamut. But don't make that your only thing because there are definitely some limitations there.