THE STORY BEHIND VALENTINE’S DAY

St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of an early Christian saint named Valentinus. According to martyr-ology he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he purportedly healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.

Fast forward to Joyce Clyde Hall, owner of a family store, who changed his business model in 1906 to wholesaling postcards. As time went on, he became convinced that greeting cards would become more prominent than postcards, as they represented class, promised discretion and were an emerging social custom. By 1915, the company was known as Hall Brothers and sold Valentine’s Day and Christmas cards. You guessed it—they changed their name shortly afterward to be Hallmark Cards.

Valentinus was put to death for his chivalry. Thankfully, it doesn’t work that way today. But since there are 107 million singles in America, and approximately one-half of them haven’t had a date in two years, is it any wonder that Valentine’s Day also marks the end of National Heartbreak Season?  It doesn’t have to be this way. Separate romance from dating, and focus on going out and having a good time. Don’t seek to find a relationship; seek to find someone to do things with.  Life is about living. More to follow!

TECHNOLOGY ABOUNDS, BUT DATING IS STILL DATING!

There are almost as many ways for people to get together as there are people. In North America alone, there are 1400+ on-line dating sites that cater to anything from millennials to seniors, singles versus married, with children, religion, activities, sugar daddies—more than you can imagine. There are dating services that cater to busy executives or members of the lonely hearts club.  There are group-oriented sites from meet-ups to swinging singles to pub crawls.

OKCupid just launched a $3 app that allows members to set-up blind dates on the fly within a twenty minute radius. The site has 3.8 million active users, which is paltry to Match.com’s 20 million and eHarmony’s 40 million members.

Facebook just launched Graph Search where you can find singles. It has a billion members and processes 2.7 billion “Likes” each day.  Can you imagine trying to get a date and having hundreds of “Likes” shot your way every day?  I got “Poked” enough when I used to be on Match.com. Even after I quit the site when I met the love of my life, they continued to send me e-mails about all the cute girls that lived in my area. Sadly, the business of dating sites is to make sure you keep dating, or else they lose all their revenues.

Funny—all of these high tech concepts can find you all the candidates in the world, but if you don’t truly know how to give someone a truly good date, it doesn’t matter. In my next few blogs I’ll give you some time-honored pointers.

NEVER DATE A CATFISH—IT COULD SMELL

ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap said that 21-year-old Manti Te’o answered all his questions in a calm voice, and tried to clear up the mysteries of his romance and lost love of a non-existent girl. Te’o denied being in on the hoax. “No. Never,” he said. “I wasn’t faking it. I wasn’t part of this.”

He provided a timeline and details of his relationship with Lennay Kekua, his virtual sweetheart, who went through an array of medical calamities before “dying” of leukemia in September, just hours after Te’o got real news of his grandmother’s death.

This sort of thing has been going on since Cyrano De Bergerac. The Internet is the world’s flea market:  you may find some amazing things but are also open to incredible scams. This is true of for members of the lonely-hearts club, apparently Te’o being one such individual. Message to anyone forming a relationship on-line: inspect what you expect. Corroborate what you hear via mutual connections, through Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and ultimately physical meetings in public places. You can’t form a real relationship without real connection. It all starts with a date.

Hitwise.com reports that there are over 1400 dating sites in North America for anything from matching, mating, meet-ups, hook-ups, and for any possible type of individual based on religion, single or married, childless, parents or empty-nesters, from millennials to senior citizens. Some prospective daters are ready to date and some have too much baggage to fit through the front door. Some people are honest about their demographics, but many lie about their age, weight, physical build, income, and marital status. 10% of sexual predators are on-line.

Yet 20% of all relationships today exist because of on-line dating. It is FAR more efficient to meet qualified people through dating sites than from bars (2%) or family fix-ups (17%.) Just validate the information before investing your heart. If you don’t think that this is necessary, then I’d be happy to forward to you some Nigerian e-mails I’ve received asking you for your bank account information in order for you to be sent millions of dollars.  Good luck!

NATIONAL BREAKUP SEASON?

Reed Tucker, writer for the NY Post, wrote a timely article on January 6, 2013. The period from pre-Christmas to Valentine’s Day has now come to be known as “National Breakup Season,” a time when couples are more than twice as likely to call it quits as the rest of the year.

Reed references that data cruncher David McCandless analyzed more than 10,000 status updates on Facebook in 2010, and found that breakups began climbing at the end of November, peaking just before Christmas. Another spike appeared just before spring. The article describes some telltale signs to predict when the axe may fall, such as no physical intimacy, less chit chat in e-mails or texts, or when one partner wants the other one to change. [Read more…]

Find out more about the book!

Dating for Life separates dating from romance, and suddenly dating becomes simpler, more meaningful and enjoyable, and most of all…more successful!

Whether you are a Millennial, a Boomer, or a Senior, I’ve outlined Four Keys to transforming dating for more fun and fulfillment with easy-to-use tools to help any and all become skilled in the lifelong art of dating. Should your date turn into romantic potential, Dating for Life teaches you how to remove the stress, leaving room for magic to happen. And if you are already married, with or without kids, never alter what got you to the altar. Keep dating! [Read more…]

What does it mean to date for life?

Dating for Life is a methodology to some and a way of life for others. Ask the couples that have been happily together for decades and they’ll tell you in one way or another that they have been dating for life. But it all begins with the first date. All of us are on a date with life—how we approach each day matters. To the same extent how we approach each date matters as well.

Dating for Life, whether you’re on your own, with pals, or with a potential partner, is all about having a good time. It separates dating from romance, and suddenly going out becomes simpler, more meaningful and enjoyable, and most of all…more successful! You can’t make the magic happen, but you can sure lay down a good foundation. My Four Keys are simple principles that apply to any adult, married or single, with children or without. [Read more…]

It All begins With A Date!

Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania studied data from over 10,000 speed daters and found that most people make a decision regarding attraction within three seconds of meeting another person. Nearly 70% of people believe in love at first sight.

Therefore, if your expectation of every date is to find the love of your life, then the odds are overwhelming that you’ll be disappointed within minutes of meeting your date.
[Read more…]