Friday, January 31, 2014

The real truth about Valentine’s Day myths and misunderstandings

Valentine’s Day is the biggest day of the year for lovers. It doesn’t really matter if Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday designed to sell greeting cards and boxes of chocolates. Valentine’s Day has become a day for lovers to express their feelings and affections for each other, and it’s a day that you better participate in—or else endure the wrath of your sweetheart.

You might think you know everything there is to know about celebrating cupid’s day of love. After all, you’ve had a few relationships in your life. (Maybe more than a few relationships!) Nevertheless, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and offering Valentine’s Day advice, let’s talk about the biggest myths and misunderstandings about Valentine’s Day.


Myth # 1: It's perfectly OK to skip Valentine's Day

Wrong, wrong and double wrong. If you’re a man and you decide to skip Valentine’s Day, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Your honey-pie might even realize that it's a hyped-up holiday, but that won’t get you off the hook completely. You know why? Because everyone else is celebrating it, and if she sees her friends getting flowers and going out to dinner, she’s going to wonder why you are being such a jerk.

So here’s what you can do instead. Celebrate Valentine’s in your own special, low-key sort of way. You don’t have to buy lavish gifts to keep the spirit of the day alive. How about planning an activity that you and your lover enjoy? Take her hiking or ice skating or zip-lining (if you’re really adventurous). It almost doesn’t matter what activity you decide to do together as long as your honey can tell that you gave it some thought and you picked something that you thought she would enjoy.  


Myth # 2: February 14th is the only day to celebrate love
Just because everyone else is celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14th, does that mean you have to? Not really. Sure, it’s the conventional thing to do. The very popularity of Feb. 14 makes it a bit difficult to buck the tide. But you can throw convention out the window and have a little fun—if you do it right.

How about picking another day in the week and declare it as your very own Valentine’s Day? Every place will be less crowded, and it might feel more special if you and your lover have your very own day. She will still be the one being romanced, right? She will appreciate the fact that you created a day just for her. But this is very important: Make sure you talk about this BEFORE Valentine’s Day. She has to be onboard with this idea or it won’t work.


Myth # 3: You're saving money for a fun vacation, so it's OK to skip Valentine's Day altogether

I pity the man who falls for this myth. Sure, she agreed to save money for your big vacation. So she clearly won’t expect a lavish Valentine’s Day celebration. But none at all? That will disappoint her—especially when all of her girlfriends have stories to tell about the gifts they received and the places they went.

So, honor the spirit of your agreement to save money. While you should not plan an expensive date, you do want to surprise her with an inexpensive (but thoughtful) gift or activity. Plan to meet her for lunch and pack her favorite food in a picnic basket. She'll be impressed that you stuck to a budget while still making her feel special.

Myth # 4: You've only been dating for a few months, so you won't celebrate

If you’ve been dating a long time, or if you’re happily married, Valentine’s Day is a no-brainer. OF COURSE you’re going to celebrate the day in some way. But what about if you just started dating? Do you opt for something romantic if you’re not really sure how your gesture will be received?

In a new relationship, it’s important to honor the day without being overly romantic about it. Ignoring Valentine’s Day would be a mistake, so you want to acknowledge it and gently use Valentine’s Day as a way to move the relationship forward. How? Try scheduling a dancing class or a cooking class. Or, take her to see a comedy show — anything to get the two of you laughing and experiencing something fun together.


Myth #5: He shouldn’t expect a gift in return

Ladies, this is the myth that you have to pay attention to. Although Valentine’s Day is usually marketed as a woman’s holiday, when the man makes a big deal about treating his woman to gifts and expressions of love, there’s no rule stating that the woman can’t surprise her man with something thoughtful in return.


Plan to give him a small gift of love. It can be a gift that you buy, or it can be something fun and special. Make him his favorite dessert. Or how about a sexy lingerie show just for him, followed by … well, you know. Be creative and he will feel loved and adored.


And one more thing

Who says Valentine’s Day celebrations have to be restricted to one day a year? Make every day a Valentine’s Day by saying “I love you” and showing your honey that you appreciate them!

For more on this topic--and just about everything else concerning love, dating and relationships, read The Babe Magnet Rules of Dating Over 50: 101 Tips for Meeting, Winning & Keeping a New Love by Chad Stone. For daily tips about love and relationships, "Like" Chad's Facebook page.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Online Dating Goes Mobile: There’s an App for That

Online dating and looking for love online has definitely gone mainstream. According to a Pew Internet study, 11% of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps while looking for love. Among those adults who are “single and looking,” the figure jumps to 38% who have gone online or used mobile apps to help them find a romantic partner. (Interestingly, another 10% who are “single and not looking” have also used online dating sites and apps. They must be window shopping.)

The study about online dating and mobile dating apps is fascinating in its scope and detail. You can read more about it here:

I’ve covered online dating in previous posts. This time we’re going to look at mobile phone dating apps that turn smart phones into a whole new way to meet up. (Thanks to for bringing these to my attention.)



Let’s face it, most dating sites and apps encourage users to make judgments about people based almost exclusively on a profile photo. (A photo is the first thing you see until you click to see a person’s profile.)  But an app called Twine blurs a person’s profile at first, so it forces users to evaluate possible Cupid connections based only on personality info. Twine syncs up with the Facebook profiles of users to create a more secure environment. The app provides up to three potential matches every day. Users of Twine can see each other’s age, location, a compatibility meter, and their mutual interests (and that blurry profile photo), which the app uses to suggest conversation topics. You can chat anonymously for a while. Then, if both of you agree to see each other’s clear photos and first names, bingo—all is revealed.
Twine blurs a person's profile photo at first to encourage you to focus on their personality and interests.


Like Twine, Anomo is a popular dating app that hides the users’ profile pictures until they choose to share them. So instead of photos, in the beginning people only see a cartoon avatar. They also see a username, gender, age group (verified by Facebook), location, and interests. To get things going, the app suggests games to break the ice and help find potential matches. To make it more fun, Anomo lets you chat one-on-one (using 540 characters or less), invite people to play the games with them, and check into locations. As time progresses, users can unlock personal content including their names, pictures, and occupations. Anomo was originally launched as a dating app, but it has also gained additional traction as a way for people to make friends and connect professionally.



Tinder might just be the perfect dating app for single people who suffer from a fear of rejection. It was launched to connect people anonymously based on their locations and their personal preferences. For whatever reason—who really knows why some apps and some websites catch fire, Tinder has exploded in popularity. Already more than 35 million people have created profiles and more than 1 million matches have been made. One reason it has caught on so quickly is because the app links to users’ Facebook accounts. This gives Tinder the power to suggest possible matches based on Facebook friends and interests. To address privacy concerns, members remain anonymous until they both indicate a mutual “Like.”

The Tinder mobile app already has 35 million registered users. Love is calling!

What does it all mean?

So I guess the moral of this story is this: as long as there are single people, there will be no shortage of ways to connect with them, meet them, and fall in love. Take it from yours truly, Chad Stone, the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. I found my wife online, so I can tell you that technology can be a wonderful thing when you’re looking for your soul mate.

Please connect with me at for my daily thoughts and discoveries about life, dating and relationships.