V-DAY REVISITEDIt’s going to be an invasion. You don’t know where the beachhead will occur, but you are destined to be taken over. The messages have been sent but are encrypted. V-Day is underway. It’s not a violent overthrow. You’re not a bad person, nor is the invader.  The net result of this invasion is hopefully a major shift for the positive:  a change of heart. Be receptive to opportunities to make new acquaintances, bolster friendships, familial bonds or the possible love of your life.  As the Lord says, Thy will, not My will.

Valentine’s Day isn’t intended to be strictly for lovers.  Do you remember the days in grade school when you gave the kids in your class candy hearts?  You also gave your teacher a candy heart. Why should it be different when you mature and grow older?  If you instead grow wiser, you may, in fact, learn from your children. Similar to Santa Claus, Valentine’s Day is a spirit, and similarly it is the spirit of giving.

The REAL story behind Valentine’s Day?  It’s just another day in the calendar of life. What you do with it is up to you.  So HOW do you want to live this day?  In joy or sadness?  (Trick question—HAVE FUN with Dating for Life.)


valentineI wrote this article in January, 2013. Of course it’s timeless. Read it but then read the bottom line at the end for the “real 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.

The REAL story behind Valentine’s Day?  It’s just another day in the calendar of life. What you do with it is up to you.  So HOW do you want to live this day?  In joy or sadness?  (Trick question—HAVE FUN with Dating for Life.)


happyexitIt is the second week of January, 2015.  Are you any happier than you were last year? Here are suggestions for any scenario:

  1. Are you recently single for any variety of reasons?  Then celebrate the new opportunity that lies ahead for you and take the high road.
  2. Are you recently in a relationship for any variety of reasons?  Then celebrate the new opportunity that lies ahead for you and take the high road.
  3. Are you entering a new phase of employment/unemployment for any variety of reasons?  Then celebrate the new opportunity that lies ahead for you and take the high road.
  4. Are you still in a career or relationship that is no longer as exciting for you as it once was?  Then celebrate what is good about it but also consider how you can make things better.
  5. Are you alone? Then celebrate what you like about being alone, but take the high road with yourself and consider the opportunities that abound to change whatever scenario you are presently in.
  6. Are you in poor health?  Again, focus on what can be done, and be grateful for the blessings that you have.

If you are chagrinned because my tips are generalizing, trite, or simplified, read them again. You have a choice in each situation you face in life: acknowledge or resist. The definition of “resist” means to “fight or struggle” which means to waste your energy and spirit. To “acknowledge” means to “recognize or admit” which is the beginning of change. Ignorance is not bliss; it is ignorance. Forgiveness is divine. And Grace is the ability to move forward with no baggage and devote your time to the pursuit of happiness. Although each scenario may be complicated, the answer is relatively simple if you truly desire to be happy.


FOUR TIPS TO ENSUREIt is the first week of January, 2015.  Did you make any resolutions? Here’s why I believe you should.

  1. Making resolutions forces you to reflect on your life and think about the one thing you should improve moving forward. If you consider how you conduct your life to be perfect, then you aren’t evolving. Staying even in a dynamic world is the same thing as sliding backwards.
  2. A resolution should be meaningful. A trite resolution, such as, “I will not eat Cheetos” is a non-resolution, because you can easily eat Doritos and accomplish nothing in the process. Make a resolution that makes a difference.
  3. Any resolution or goal should be measurable. For example, if your goal is to raise your income in a commission job, you should know your metrics. What is the average sale value? How many cold calls to make a sale? How many leads should you pursue per day/week/month? If your goal is to lose twenty-four pounds in the year (for noble reasons such as reducing your blood pressure) then you need to lose two pounds per month, or one-half pound per week. You can’t starve yourself and lose twenty-four pounds in the month of December.  Inspect what you expect.
  4. Reward yourself for attaining goals and resolutions. You deserve it. But close the loop at the end of the goal cycle as to why or why not you didn’t honor your resolution. Continuous improvement is self-awareness.

Dating for Life is also about continuous improvement. Continually ask yourself how you can better interact with people and you’ll be amazed at how your relationships with family, friends, colleagues, or even the love of your life will evolve for the better.


holidatingthreeYour holiday dating is your platform for kicking off the New Year.  This will be my final blog for 2014, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your nice comments and input.  As you approach 2015, here are a few suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions:

  1. If you are single, stop looking for Mr. Right. You will find yourself only dating Mr. Wrong, with the net result being an unsuccessful date.  Remember, you can’t make love happen. No perfume/cologne or fancy words can induce love. Corny lines can repel it. But engaging with anyone on a date can set-up the right circumstances for a solid friendship and maybe love. As long as you follow the four keys to Dating for Life, you truly can’t have a bad date.
  2. If you are married, never alter what got you to the altar. Chivalry should never atrophy to the point where each day with your partner is mundane. Spice up your life and your romance by a series of little gestures. Love isn’t static, it’s dynamic.  Affection and consideration will keep your love spiraling upward; apathy brings it down. Make 2015 your biggest year ever for having fun with the one you love.
  3. It’s not about the how or who, but the why. “Who did this?” is the blame game. “How did this happen” is a logistical question.  Explore “Why is this happening” to solve any problems.  Almost all arguments are centered on either miscommunication or misinformation. Deeper problems stem from mis-considerations. Find out why you or your partner have a bump in the road. You’ll smooth it out must quicker by addressing why there is a problem and be accountable for your actions.  Remember, LOVE is patient, love is kind…
  4. Although LOVE is the greatest of all, FAITH and HOPE aren’t far behind. The greatest foundation to a relationship is FAITH (including Trust). Be trustworthy above all to preserve your integrity and you relationship. But HOPE (i.e. positive mental attitude, excitement, forward thinking etc.) is what carries you forward in life. Remember the past, but don’t hang on to it. Thorough enjoy the present, it’s a gift. But as you near 2015, think about the promise of the future and keep Dating for Life with your friends, family, colleagues, and maybe even your true love. You’ll be living in JOY, and you may find that 2015 will be your best year ever.  JOYFUL holidays to you all.



HOLIDATING PART TWOWhat is the true meaning of Christmas?  Certainly it is the season for giving. But perhaps a more powerful meaning, it is the season forgiving. The greatest gift you can give is to forgive anyone and everyone. The birth of a babe in a manager signifies that we all enter this world free of sin and worry. Forgiving others gives them the chance to start over.  More importantly, it releases you from carrying any baggage. The only things you should carry over the holidays (or anytime) are presents. Hanging onto the past will prevent you from moving forward into the future, which is another reason to continuously be “in the present.” Family and friends can come together in this season of mirth by engaging in JOY, or by EN-JOYing themselves. It’s easy to ENJOY.  Dating for Life is all about giving and JOY.  Take someone, anyone, out on a date and make sure that you and your date are participating in something of mutual interest.  Then, simply be in the moment, go out and have a good time.  It’s that easy.  The Greek origin of dating is “to give.” This year give JOY and companionship to those whom are close to you and folks you need to forgive.  It’s the greatest gift you can give, which of course if LOVE.



grinchWhy is it that some people succumb to the holiday blues? Often, folks who are lonely often avoid social interactions over the holidays, yet withdrawing can increase feelings of loneliness. They may see others spending time with family or friends and wonder, “Why can’t that be me?” The truth is, it can!

Why do singles without any “significant other” stop dating around the holidays? Typical answers are “it’s awkward.”  The truth is, it can be IF your concept of dating is “finding the one.” Incidentally, the same holds true just before Valentine’s Day.

The word, “dating” is derived from the Greek term didonal, which means “to give.”

Christmas and Hanukkah are times for giving, not taking. Rethink what it means to date. Stop looking for “the one.” Take people out who are friends, colleagues, friends and family and show them a good time, whether it be a walk in the park or a fancy event. Even more importantly, reach out to people in need in ways that help you engage with the world. This could mean donating money to street people; giving Starbucks cards to service workers in your life; volunteering at a shelter.  Ironically, the more you give, the more you will receive. Joy is not a something for hermits; it can only be shared. Even the Grinch came to that realization before it was too late!

And, in going out with joy, focus on having a good time utilizing the principles of Dating for Life. Who knows, you may bolster a new friendship or even meet someone to spend a lifetime with.


“And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right

There must be fifty ways to please your lover”

I admit it. Paul Simon’s song was written about infidelity.  However my twist would therefore have to be about fidelity. Any great relationship is built on trust and loyalty, but Dating for Life can preserve the zest even for the best relationships.

46)  Romance is very underrated. Remember to say “I love you” each and every day. When it comes to affection, err on the side of abundance.

47)  Chivalry should never die. Acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are always appreciated. It’s not about doing what you were asked to do; it’s about doing the unexpected in unexpectedly nice ways.

48)  Never alter what gets you to the altar. That zest for going out will atrophy if you don’t exercise it.

49)  Go to bed at peace and wake up happy. You live your life, and your significant other lives his or hers. It’s how you dovetail in between that matters.

50)  Frankly, there are infinite ways to please your lover. Love is infinite, so the possibilities are endless if you are open to Dating for Life.


partnine“She said, “Why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight

I believe in the morning you’ll begin to see the light.

And then she kissed me, and I realized she probably was right…”

Never go to bed angry, the age-old axiom, but it’s easier said than done. Do you argue throughout the night? No. Do you suddenly shut down a frenzy and calmly say, “We’ll continue this discussion in the morning?” No way. But what do you do? Here are some suggestions on how to wrap you your day blissfully:

41)  Never begin a serious discussion at the end of the day. If you are wise enough to know that the topic will be heated, you may not want to bring it up over dinner, if the debate/conversation could last for hours.

42)  Agree to discuss segments of the entire issue. Broad topics such as a major job change and relocation, investing in a new home, or raising a child require broad discussions. You shouldn’t gloss over the entire subject and compress it into a one-hour discussion, so why not segment the discussion almost in outline form?  Agree to stay on point for each meeting.

43)  Despite the potential for high emotions, stay on point. If additional considerations arise in the conversation, then agree to have another discussion time for those specific considerations, but stay on point.

44)  Enter each discussion with a clean slate. Don’t bring dirty laundry into the meeting or an attitude of stirring the waters. The goal is to solve problems, not to create them.

45)  Feel good about small agreements and mutually beneficial concessions. Life is imperfect. If you and your partner can find common ground on fifty percent of your singular subject of discussion (in an on-going series of conversations to solve a major issue such as child rearing) then you have a victory for the day.  Celebrate it in some way and go to bed content. There’s a reason why you have your children say their prayers of thanks before bedtime. Why don’t you? Before your slip into slumber, whisper in your partner’s ear and express gratitude that you worked well together as partners in Dating for Life.


parteight“I said, I appreciate that and would you please explain about the fifty ways”…”

As a partner, how effective are you in communicating what your needs are? You know the age-old retort on what happens when you assume—no need to write it here, for I just did.  More importantly, a good partner should lovingly communicate what situational approach would work well. For example, “Honey, what would really make me happy would be if you were to…” works much better than, “Look, it frustrates me when you repeatedly forget to…” Even worse, “If you know anything about me then you would know that…” We are all humans, and by design screw up. Perfection isn’t about being perfect; it’s about trying to be perfect. The best partners express love by articulating to the significant other the things that will help keep the relationship blissful.  Here are a few ideas to ponder:

36)  Not everything is of critical importance to you. Pick the top three, and sit down with your lover, with no distractions, and articulate how you want to be pleased. Never communicate something important “on the fly.”

37)  If you want to be accurate, then it’s okay to write down your points. However, it’s not okay to write memos or leave notes regarding how you want to be treated. Never text or e-mail feelings. Close relationships require close inter-personal two-way communication, or they can’t be close.

38)  Setting is everything. A man wouldn’t ask a woman to marry him without preplanning for the setting. Why would you open your heart about how you wanted something to change in the way a relationship was being handled in an impersonal way?

39)  If you have carefully expressed how you want to be treated differently to your partner, and the message hasn’t been fully received, don’t become the aggressor and pounce on your partner for “not getting it.” Passive aggressive doesn’t work in any situation, especially one involving love.

40)  Love isn’t precise, nor are feelings. Much of what your partner hears depends on what he or she is listening for. Chances are your partner may only initially understand half of the gist of your intent. Consider that a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but stone by stone, as is your relationship. However, with poor communication, you can tear something apart much faster. Work on smaller victories to build the ultimate one which is Dating for Life.