Business has been ON FIRE lately. I’m so stoked to be working this much and helping this many people! I have a sneaking suspicion the spike is largely due to new year’s resolutions. Just around the corner is Valentine’s Day, too, so that’ll be New Client Spike 2 if my online dating spidey senses are correct. (I’m already bracing myself for aisles upon aisles of overwhelming, resolution-breaking Valentine candy.)
Heyyy, look at that! It’s the time of year when I’m jealous of all the color-blind dudes I know! pic.twitter.com/JE4g05nA8H
— Virginia Roberts (@askvirginia) January 27, 2014
LOTS of people see these beginning-of-the-year holidays as goal-setting milestones, especially when it comes to quality of life stuff like finding a happy relationship. And as you may know, I’ve got mixed feelings about resolutions.
On the one hand, I admire anyone who can make a resolution and stick to it, any time of year—I struggle with discipline SO badly in some areas of my life. I feel like my clients who are motivated to take charge of their romantic lives are kind of nudging me by example to take charge of my health and finances and time management. At the same time, holiday-based resolutions frustrate me, because in my heart I believe that a mere calendar date shouldn’t be the thing that makes or breaks your decision to fix a problem in your life.
I also feel a little smarmy using holidays for marketing purposes. This recent Wall Street Journal piece clearly showcases that I’m not the only one—every gym, online dating site, and other self-improvement channel wants your money BAD right now. (And I did include a Valentine’s special in my recent newsletter.) But it feels weird. As if I’m saying to my clients, “I know you’re not really serious about life changes the other 10 months of the year, but January and February are ALL ABOUT FINDING LOVE!” Ew. Last year I took out paid ads around Valentine’s Day, and this year I’m avoiding that whole game.*
Because here’s the thing, guys. If love is what you seek, LIFE is about finding love. Sure, life is also about a lot of other things; it’s about having a kickass career or winning the Olympics or overcoming serious hardship or cultivating a fantastic group of enjoyable friends or helping make this world a better place. But for a great many folks, a meaningful romantic relationship is at the core of what really makes them consider themselves happy people. And if a Meaningful Romantic Relationship is on YOUR happiness bucket list, I want to help you with that all year long, ya know?
Heck, dating kind of sucks this time of year anyway, unless you totally love Polar Vortices and gray chilly damp days. There’s SO much dating and love-seeking fun to be had during other times of the year. (You Southern Hemispherians will forgive me, I hope. We Northies are super jealous of your summer right now.) And just as a reminder, V-Day is no picnic for the becoupled, necessarily. Just in case I was bumming any single folks out. 🙂
Implement some love-finding life changes
You’re so welcome to hire me and to make “get a date for Valentine’s Day” a goal, but I urge you to think of it in broader terms than that. If date-based milestones are how you set and achieve personal goals, so you just happen to be leaning on the Gregorian calendar for a little motivation, then rock on. Just remember that making love a priority usually means implementing other life changes. Here are some life changes to dabble with:
- Force yourself to attend the odd Meetup, in case someone cute and single and awesome is also there.
- Make time get out with friends, and ask them to snap some cute pics of you even if you’d rather stay home and watch Netflix.
- Focus a little less on your career in the after hours, so you have time and energy left for pursuing romantic connections.
- Suck it up and create that Plenty of Fish account you’ve been dragging your fins about for weeks. (Is a clever username what’s holding you back?)
- Pick up the phone and call that online dating coach you’ve been meaning to reach out to. 😉
Often these actions are what ultimately lead to love, but the whole process of meeting the *right* one takes TIME. If you happen not to meet him or her in time for an arbitrary red-themed holiday, please don’t consider it a personal failure. Just keep at it, and maybe call me to fast track things a bit when you get antsy. Love will always be out there when you decide you’re ready to try and find it. [icon-heart]
*Kinda like how I’m avoiding calling this “Top Five Ways to Find an Online Date for Valentine’s Day,” even though that’s exactly what I could call it with my five bullet points up there. (Totally adding that as an SEO tag, though.) I don’t really wanna conform to The Great Listicle Wave any more than I want to prey on singles’ seasonal vulnerabilities. The pie-in-the-sky goal is to be successful enough that you never have to employ stupid marketing tricks to get clients. I’m happy to report that I’m well on my way there. 🙂
I consider it a contrived, thoroughly artificial holiday designed to shame people into spending money and is all too often treated as a relationship referendum. I also see many men avoiding accepting that there are times and occasions when it’s fitting to step up and if they haven’t done so on their own failing to recognize the holiday will turn the day into a painful deadline.
See, the stepping up thing I see as a different topic entirely. Like, if your relationship needs analysis, let that be independent of the grand red marketing scheme, heh. Step up the rest of the year if stepping up is what’s needed!
I agree about there being times and occasions to make an effort for your sweetie—like birthdays, for example, or perhaps anniversaries if you’re into that. (Not everyone celebrates in the same way, so maybe it’s less defined too and more of a “let’s make this specific Tuesday a special date” thing.)But I think it also helps to define your expectations—if you want someone to pick a restaurant and make a reservation, tell them. If you want a surprise gift, tell them and give pragmatic hints (Etsy favorites and Pinterest boards are damn useful to that end.) I prefer to avoid buying into this marketed idea that a dude bears the responsibility to plan some elaborate red roses and candlelight surprise thing for ANY specific occasion; couples need to discuss this stuff when the pressure’s NOT on, so they can better define how they work and what’s manageable for everyone to expect and get!
Argh, Facebook not letting me put in line breaks, heh. Sorry for the Wall of Text! 🙂