The Leap Day Proposal

Nowadays, we women like to do things for ourselves. We’re independent, own businesses and some of us even lead countries. And while many of us still like the old-fashioned feeling of having the gentleman hold the door and propose marriage, today, the tables are turned.

Leap Day, according to an old Irish legend is the day St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men every 4 years. It’s believed this was introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

Leap Day is also know as “Bachelors’ Day” in some places. If a man refused a marriage proposal on Leap Day, he was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were even laws governing this tradition.

Many also think Leap Day and Sadie Hawkins Day are interchangeable. But they are slightly different. As stated above, the Leap Day tradition of women proposing to men is an Irish legend. Sadie Hawkins Day originated in the fictional town of Dog Patch in the “Li’l Abner” comic in 1937. Sadie Hawkins Day is celebrated in November.

So ladies, do you have the guts to ask the man of your dreams for their hand in marriage today? Worst case: You’ll get some gloves out of the deal.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadie_Hawkins_Day

http://www.timeanddate.com/date/leap-day-february-29.html

Could Cougars be Losing Their Luster?

Did we honestly believe that a man 15+ years younger (who is still in his 20’s) would remain “faithful” to us when we neared our later 40’s? When thinking about the Demi Moore fallout, it’s not a big surprise that Ashton Kutcher began cheating with 23-year-old women. It was only a matter time.

Being a Cougar wife for the past seven years and seeing how the relationship eroded her self-esteem, Moore has become extremely insecure about her age, proving she couldn’t keep up with the late night partying, which is why she may have resorted to questionable behavior.

Over the past couple of years, Cougar dating seemed fun. It seemed to empower women and offer them a sense of reality that they could date whomever they chose. And why not? Many top female movie stars in Hollywood had successfully dated much younger men. TV shows like “Cougar Town” became successful on prime time television and there seemed to be an endless supply of much younger men that were available and “willing and able.”

When Moore married Kutcher seven years ago, she seemed to prove that women could have it all. If she could marry a hottie 15 years her junior, why couldn’t any successful woman do so? But, like Madonna or Halle Barry who were with men 28 and 10 years their junior respectively, none of these relationships seem to last very long. Maybe being a Cougar isn’t everything it seems.

I’ve never been an advocate of Cougar dating. As Principal of Premier Match, a national matchmaking firm, I’ve encouraged women to date their age but have often been countered by women who feel otherwise. Cougar women seem adamant in their beliefs. They are not realistic with what they think the relationships will become. They have a high-level of entitlement and are trying to prove something. They compare themselves to their male counterparts and challenge the age-old tradition that if men can date much younger women, why can’t women date much younger men?

Through my many experiences with Cougar women looking for love, I’ve seen the following:

1) They become more insecure about their appearance and age;

2) They acknowledge that maybe their energy level isn’t the same in comparison to someone 15 years younger. (With basic day-to-day stamina);

3) They see that late night partying with a much younger generation just isn’t physically possible for the long term;

4) They deal with high levels of jealousy. Nearly 75 percent of the women polled stated that their much younger partner cheated on them during their relationship. It was usually with someone who was his age or much younger;

4) They become remorseful for financially supporting the relationship. For the most part, being a Cougar means supporting your younger counterpart.

5) They have come to an emotional conclusion that they have, “Been there, done that,” and do not what to go back.

So, alas, Cougar dating is falling by the wayside. I’ve seen a huge drop in the number of Cougars looking for love. Women who contact me now tend to be more realistic about the age range they’re seeking. They inform me they’ve attempted to play the Cougar and date young hotties. The end result: A lot of frustration and insecure second-guessing.

Are you a Cougar or know someone who is? We’d love to read your stories and comments in the section below!

Looking for love? My CNBC piece

My CNBC interview

Would you rather start a relationship on the fourth date or the first date? As you’ll see in my Valentine’s Day piece on CNBC that a matchmaker can help you get past that awkward stage.

Single on Valentine’s Day? It’s not the end of the world.

No date on V-Day? Have a girls' night!

If you’re single, you know what day is coming up. Walk into any store and you’ll see red hearts and candy and, quite possibly, the two most dreadful words of all: Valentine’s Day.

Whether you believe in the whole V-Day institution or not, if you’re single you still can feel pangs of longing and loneliness so much so that you’d like to hide. But being dateless on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the worst thing that could ever happen to you. So, what is a person to do when they’re feeling the blues of being single?

First of all, don’t be defeated by it. As the logical half of you knows, love is not about one day. It’s not about flowers or candy. Instead of thinking of this day as a day for couples, think of it as a day for you. After all, love isn’t just for couples.

But being dateless on Valentine’s Day can evoke feelings of self-doubt, especially for those who are believers in true love. This holiday is portrayed in the media, particularly, in relentless flower, fragrance, and jewelry advertising, as the singular day of year set aside for love, romance, and passion.

To ward off those feelings of self-doubt and loneliness, use the following tips:

1. Do not define yourself by your relationship status. A relationship is not your identity. Being single doesn’t make you any less of a person. Remember: Love comes along when you least expect it.

2. Realize that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It’s not about love and relationships; it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. Think of all the money you’re saving.

3. Stay away from cooing couples. Do not go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. Even if you usually like dining out alone, do something else, anything else. Get together with friends, family members, and others you already have relationships with.

4. If you’re single and you don’t want to be: Think about what’s in the way of creating the relationship you want. Do you still struggle with issues from past relationships? Talking to someone can always help. Whether it’s a therapist or a close friend, use this time to focus on yourself.

5. If you’re single and you like it: Now is the time to affirm your choice. Don’t let a couple-driven culture define your choice. People who never marry or find a partner still have close, loving, emotionally intimate relationships and lives worth living.

Are you in a “faux” relationship?

Does it really matter what we call a relationship? Most of us think of monogamy when hearing the word. But aren’t friends-with-benefits and so-called “open” relationships, not also relationships? So, what happens when you find yourself in a “faux” relationship?

When I write “faux” I talking about that guy or gal you always take as your wedding date or vacation with, and essentially share everything with. It’s also quite likely that you’re sleeping together, let’s just be honest. Yet, you both insist that you’re not in a “relationship.” So, what happens when the rules change?

The biggest issue is that, as time goes on, you become more and more attached to the other person, and what started out as a non-committal thing becomes much more. Perhaps your feelings begin to deepen for this other person. The difficultly arises when your enhanced feelings aren’t reciprocated.

One of you might start demanding more quality time alone. If there’s a breakdown in communication and the needs of one or both partners are being ignored or dismissed, this may indicate that the “faux” relationship, like any relationship, is heading south.

Regardless of the title or syntax you attach to your relationship, the lasting key in real relationships is mutual commitment to working out conflicts and differences by hanging in there with good communication skills.

If you start feeling more for your “faux,” tell them. For all you know they might reciprocate but were too afraid to say anything for fear of messing up what you currently share. And if they don’t reciprocate? Well, it will give a chance to talk it out and see where the relationship is really going. After all, if you want to get serious with someone you want to be with someone on your page.