Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What I’m Hearing…Professional Dating

On a recent flight to Chicago, I read Continental Airline’s in-flight magazine ( The magazine had an ad for a service called It’s Just Lunch. According to the ad, “It’s Just Lunch is the dating service designed for the busy professional.” The service matches you up with other compatible individuals with whom you meet for a low pressure lunch to see if the relationship is worth pursuing.

The ad contains several facts to build the case for needing their services. Although the referenced studies aren’t cited by name, the “facts” are as follows:

1. Americans work the longest hours among industrialized countries.
2. Half of white-collar workers log fifty or more hours a week.
3. Americans take more than 405,000,000 business trips each year.
4. 42% of Americans work more hours now than they did 5 years ago.
5. Meeting someone special can be a full-time job.

The upshot? Time is precious and it’s never coming back. Waste a few hours on a bad date and your weekend is shot.

This got me thinking. First, if people are this busy, do they genuinely have the time to invest in a meaningful relationship? Or does the name truly say it all – it’s just lunch?

Second, why are we working this much? Do we work this hard because “we’re supposed to,” or do we work this hard because our work positively contributes to our lives and well-being, as well as the lives of those we impact?

Third, when did dating become a job? Isn’t it supposed to be fun? I never considered meeting someone special to be a business.

Perhaps if we took a little more time to enjoy a positive work/life balance, dating wouldn’t be as high risk an activity as the ad makes it out to be.

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