Its Just Lunch News

Political Crossroads

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Many relationships, especially new dating relationships don't find themselves aligned on the same road trip. So is this an opportunity to explore a dynamic adventure and enjoy for the long-term? Or just a week-end getaway towards an inevitable break-down.

This question was in the forefront of our minds when we created our latest It's Just Lunch® survey (which is causing quite a stir out there in red and blue states alike). 

56% of men believed that dating someone who has opposite political opinions might not make for a good long-term relationship, but it could create some fantastic passion.

56% of women disagreed. The survey revealed that women wanted to explore the differences and understand how men came to align with certain political opinions. Men on the other-hand, found the differences a green light to pursue a dating relationship-but were not interested in why women held a particular political stance. 

So where does this leave the future dating state of political opposites? Stay tuned. 

To read more of the yahoo article on our dating survey, click here

The Cost of Love

It's Just Lunch appeared in this recent post on MSN Money, The Cost of Money

Are higher-cost dating websites worth the money? And how much do men and women actually spend on dating and for Valentine's Day? 

Have you ever noticed all of the song lyrics about love and money?

  • "No romance without finance …. "
  • "My love don't cost a thing …."
  • "Only boys who save their pennies make my rainy day …."
  • "Can't buy me love …."

Whether you side with Madonna or the Beatles on the issue of love and money, courtship can be costly.

When you imagine your ideal partner, you probably think of general characteristics you find desirable, not the financial implications of starting a new relationship. (So unromantic!) But there are usually a lot of dinners, movie tickets, gifts and flowers involved in the journey from single to happily committed.

To quantify the cost of love, let's look at the typical expenses associated with dating over a one-year period, along with lower-cost ways to woo your sweetheart.

The cost of meeting somebody new
If you've tapped out your real-life social network, you might consider online dating, and you might get good results. A 2005 University of Bath study found that 94% of people who used Internet dating sites saw their match again after the first date, and the relationships lasted an average of seven months.

If the thought of paying for an online dating service puts you off, Big Think points to a study showing that the time people give to a match depends on how much the dating site costs. Men who paid $50 were willing to commit an average of 49 minutes to the date, while the men who paid nothing for the match were willing to invest only 28 minutes. You're also likely to receive less spam from mildly interested potential matches on paid sites.

Online dating sites generally cost $35 to $50 per month. A more frugal suggestion? Branch out by joining new groups and organizations. Always wanted to take up trail running? Find a group that meets in your area for 5 a.m. runs. Music lover? See if your city has a young professionals membership to the symphony. 

Or consider online social networking, which is the 21st century way of letting your friends hook you up. Facebook, for example, allows you to check out your friends' friends, and your mutual friend can set up a casual group date.

Dinner and dancing
It's Just Lunch, a dating service for busy professionals, surveyed 3,968 singles nationwide about how much they spend on dates. It found that 51% of men in the U.S. spend more than $100 a month on dates, and 29% spend more than $150. In bigger cities, those figures are higher. For example, 82% of men in Los Angeles spend more than $150 a month on dates.

Women, on the other hand, spend significantly less. About two-thirds of women spend less than $50 a month. Perhaps it's a sign that the Southern gentleman is still around, but 75% of women in the South spend less than $50 a month on dates.

Going on averages, that's $600 to $1,200 per year spent on dates. But, according to an ING Direct survey, most women aren't expecting a fancy dinner and expensive bottle of wine on the first date. The poll found that on average,men overestimate how much is expected of them.

There are plenty of free and low-cost date ideas that don't involve dining on a McBurger and fries, and we've covered many of them at Get Rich Slowly. Picnics on the beach, comedy club improv shows, visiting the local aquarium, checking out a museum, hiking, and wine tasting are just a few examples of fun and memorable dates that won't break your savings account. Also be sure to sign up for daily coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that offer deals on activities in your city.

Flowers and gifts

Flowers and gifts are still a big part of the relationship equation. According to the University of Bath survey, exchanging gifts is the best way to ensure commitment in the relationship. In addition, online daters who exchanged gifts before meeting in person reported a "more committed and deeper relationship."

 

What does a more committed relationship cost? Businessweek estimates that flowers cost the average single $110 per year. Then there are holidays, such as Valentine's Day. (After all, you probably don't want to launch into a tirade about how Valentine's Day is a materialistic Hallmark holiday when you've only been dating someone a few months.) The average person shelled out $103 on Valentine's Day merchandise in 2010, according to the National Retail Federation.

Assuming the average single spends about that much on birthday and Christmas gifts as well, we'll estimate total gifts and flowers at $419 per year.

Frugal options include buying flowers at the grocery store, where you can get seasonal bouquets for $5 to $10. As for gifts, plan ahead so you have time to be more creative. Your significant other will appreciate something thoughtful, like baking his favorite kind of birthday cake or making her a romantic dinner at home, more than picking up the obligatory (and overpriced) dozen roses, chocolates and stuffed teddy bear from the Valentine's Day aisle. (These homemade gift ideas are for Christmas, but can really be used year-round.)

So, what's the grand total for one year of dating, from matchmaking to flowers? It's $1,529 to $2,129, depending on your gender, it would seem. But then, as New Wave rock quartet the Knack sang, "You can't put a price on love."


Dates on a plane: How to make a love connection at 30,000 feet

Air passengers can be divided into roughly two types: those who chat up their seatmates and those who doggedly avoid it.

I put myself in the latter group, not because I'm anti-social, but because once a conversation starts, I'm worried there'll be no turning it off and I usually have other things to do.

But I know quite a few people who've struck up friendships -- or more -- from encounters at 30,000 feet. My friends Dave and Daphne met on a flight from Boise to Phoenix 20-some years ago and they're still happily (as far as I know) married.

PJ Osgood, founder of the matchmaking service It's Just Lunch was in the no-chat camp until recently when she met a guy from a flight between Houston and Chicago and they decided to share a cab into the city.

"We had this great conversation and we exchanged business cards and the next day we went out to dinner," Osgood says.

A love connection was not to be (no chemistry, she says), but he was worth meeting, and this got Osgood, a frequent traveler, thinking she's been missing opportunities aloft.

First off, if you're a busy professional, she reasons, your chances are high of meeting other busy professionals while flying. And since being on a plane is "like detention, you've got all this time when you can connect with someone," you might as well put it to good use.

The last time I was seated next to someone attractive enough for me to entertain any notions of connectedness, it was on a flight to Salt Lake City and he was a Mormon father of five. But being a professional matchmaker, Osgood is way ahead of me on this.

Among her strategies:

  • When open seating (a la the Southwest Airlines' model) is an option, go for it. Board somewhere in the middle of the pack so by the time you're walking down the aisle, you can assess who you might want to sit next to. Then, take the middle seat. (Oh, yeah, she adds, check the ring finger; she's not advocating adultery.)
  • Carry business cards. If you do hit it off, exchanging cards is a natural way to exchange information.
  • Be generous. If you have free drink coupons, for instance, offering to share is a great ice breaker.
  • If you're headed in the same general direction once you land, consider sharing a cab or shuttle.

"It's important to look approachable by putting away the laptop or turning off the iPod," Osgood says. "You never know when you're going to find that person you connect with."

This post, By Jayne Clark, originally appeared in USAToday Travel. Click here for the original.


It's Just Lunch Partners with ALS Therapy Development Institute to Fund ALS Redearch

        The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) announced today that it will establish a national partnership with It’s Just Lunch, a specialized dating service for busy single professionals, to raise funds and awareness of ALS.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects 30,000 Americans each year.

        “We are pleased to have the support of It’s Just Lunch and its members,” said Sean Scott, president of ALS TDI. “This partnership will provide critical funding for research into a treatment for ALS.  The generosity It’s Just Lunch has shown already and the continued support of its membership will help to speed that research and will provide hope to tens of thousands of ALS patients all over the world.”         

        This partnership will begin Saturday, Dec. 1 with a special membership and donation opportunity and will continue with regional events throughout 2008. During the month of December, participating It’s Just Lunch offices will take $100 off any membership program for each new member that joins. Its Just Lunch will also donate $100 for each new membership in December to ALS TDI to fund research.

        “As an It’s Just Lunch franchise owner, I am very please to be spearheading our partnership with ALS TDI” said Paula Komar, owner of It's Just Lunch in the Detroit Suburbs. “We and the entire It’s Just Lunch family hope that our efforts, along with the efforts of those involved with ALS TDI, will help find a cure for this disease that affects so many.”

       The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), based in Cambridge, Mass., was founded in 1999 as the ALS Therapy Development Foundation. Today an institutional leader in ALS research, ALS TDI operates the world’s largest research and development program focused exclusively on ALS. A staff of more than 25 scientists and technicians work on behalf of ALS patients to discover and advance the best new ideas for stopping ALS. It excels in identifying novel disease targets, discovering compounds that may act against these targets and screening these potential treatments towards bringing viable therapeutics to the clinic. For more information, visit www.als.net.


DATING SERVICE ITS JUST LUNCH REVEALS THAT 43 OF SINGLES HAVE GOOGLED SOMEONE BEFORE A FIRST DATE

Palm Desert, CA - July 25 2006. 

You can do everything on the internetpay bills shop buy movie tickets and even find out information about your date. According to Its Just Lunch the premier dating service for busy professionals who conducted a survey of 1167 singles 43 of singles have Googled someone on the internet before a first date. When asked if they would be offended if their date Googled them88 of singles said No way I Googled them too.

Although the internet has changed the way we communicate singles still prefer old fashioned etiquette when it comes to asking someone out on a date. 80 of singles will set up the initial first date by phone when they are fixed up by friends. 16 of singles admit to asking their date out over instant messenger and 11 of singles have text messaged their date. 77 of single men believe that just because technology is advanced it doesnt mean that they will stray from the old fashioned way of asking someone on a date.

After the first date singles will still use the phone to follow up but only if they are interested. 56 of singles will call after the first date if they are interested in seeing their date again. If sparks dont fly however technology has come in handy. If they are not interested in a 2nd date email has become the much easier way to let someone down. 27 of single men and 39 of single women would rather send an email telling their date they dont want to see them again because they dont have to see the rejection on their dates face that they arent interested in pursuing the relationship.

Be careful with the information you do include in emails it could result in no 2nd dates. 23 of East Coast men and 45 of West Coast men have gotten in trouble from an email they sent about their date that was forwarded to that person. However 97 of women never write personal information in emails because they know that anyone can get their hands on that email.

Its Just Lunch Dating Etiquette

  1. Never ask someone out on a first date by email instant messenger or text message. A phone call is always in order.
  2. Emails relating to dating should be brief upbeat and fun.
    Its ok to correspond using email regarding your plans for a date where you will go time etc. but always confirm the date by phoneits much more personal.
    Its always nice to hear from someone after a date. If you plan to see them again a phone call and email is nice. If you are not planning another date a short nice email is appropriate.
  3. Never discuss your personal life by email. Rememberemails can be forwarded or read by others. 8 of singles have read their dates personal emails.
  4. Dont discuss friends you might have in common via emailespecially anything negative.
    If youve gone out with someone and they are not returning your emails consider that person not interested. Dont push and understand that he/she is probably not interested. Move on.
  5. Dont recap details about your date on email with your friends. 22 of singles send personal emails on their work email accountremember your boss can read that.
    If you are not interested in seeing someone again dont give out your email. Be straight forward at the end of the date and tell them there is no chemistry but it was great meeting them.
  6. Dont give out a phony email addressthat just isnt a nice thing to do.

About Its Just Lunch

Since Its Just Lunch was founded in 1991 the company has arranged millions of fun first date lunches or drinks after workan atmosphere where singles can feel comfortable with the process of meeting a new person. With over 90 locations worldwide each day IJL arranges hundreds of fun first dates over lunch or drinks after work at over 1500 restaurants. With many introductions leading to second dates Its Just Lunch is the worlds leading first date authority.

Check out the Its Just Lunch Guide to Dating in America for more tips on dating and lists of the hot spots in 70 cities across the country. .

The U.S. dating industry is estimated at nearly 1.5 billion and growing at 25 annually with 110 million single adults in the United States alone.

For additional information log on to www.ItsJustLunch.com