Why the ‘love business’ is recession-proof

Cupid’s Coach.com founder Julie Ferman answers questions from Soul’s Code about the boom in the love business, and “What is an aura mixer”?

julieSOUL’S CODE — According to varied forms of spiritual practice and to the discipline of parapsychology, all of us are surrounded by an “aura” — a field of faint and glowing radiation.  You have probably had the experience of meeting people who seem to exude love, fun, anger or hate — even before they utter a word.

Julie Ferman uses auras to help singles connect. She hosts Aura Mixers and Flirt Parties. Julie is an expert in these matters: She launched the matchmaking service Cupid’s Coach in the last recession after 9/11 and the dot.com bust.

It just happens to be the largest personal introduction service in California. With over 1,100 marriages to her credit, Julie shared her matchmaking magic during an Aura Mixer and workshop called Dating and Relating at the Soul’s Code-sponsored mega-event, the Conscious Life Expo, in Los Angeles in February, 2009.

Julie dished to Soul’s Code on insider stats from the singles scene, the main reason why people fail to hook up, and the burning question of our time: are President Obama’s and Michelle’s personal displays of affection (PDA) a good thing?

SOUL’S CODE: What is an “Aura Mixer”?

Julie: We have an “aura photographer” who takes polaroid shots of each person’s aura, and we attach them to name tags.  It’s an ice breaker. We also feature flirting prompts and props that give people easy and fun excuses to walk up and talk to each other.

I also give each person in the room an important assignment:  ‘Make sure everyone here has a great time.’

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SOUL’S CODE: Can dating and spirituality co-exist?

Julie: Yes, absolutely. Primarily, an alignment on spiritual beliefs and practices serves as a foundation for genuine intimacy.  For many of our clients, not being in alignment spiritually is a complete deal-breaker for a relationship.

SOUL’S CODE: What is the No. 1 self-defeating habit of  those seeking, and not finding, an intimate partner?

Julie: Rigidity, the notion that “it’s my way or the highway.”  If I could infuse a big dose of tolerance and acceptance into the hearts of every single love-seeker alive on the planet, we would have so many more matches, love affairs, relationships, marriages — and long-term marriages.

The other thing that cripples the dating process is the knee-jerk reaction that causes people to be quick to judge and evaluate each other. I work with my clients to get them to stretch on their issues of secondary importance, to err on the side of generosity in their judgment of others, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt. When in doubt? Meet. Still in doubt? Meet again. Still not sure? Meet one more time.

SOUL’S CODE: What is your version of heartbreak?

The biggest frustration I have in my work is watching truly great people “miss” each other for what are typically silly, superficial reasons. These are the same people who are on Match.com three years later, having still NOT connected with anyone. It takes three or more meetings before this thing we call “bonding” begins to occur.

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SOUL’S CODE: What is your spiritual remedy for Valentine’s Day? To many singles, it’s a public reminder of their separateness . . .

Julie: Valentine’s Day to me is a reminder to open our hearts. The only way Valentine’s Day can be a disappointment for someone is if this person is waiting to “get” something from someone out there in the world. If each of us is focused on giving, and sharing love with those in our lives, we can never be alone.

We need to remember that love is a verb, and we need to continually exercise our “love muscle.”  Exercise it with the sweet little old lady at the grocery store, with our nieces and nephews, with the homeless guy on the street, with the telemarketer who interrupted our dinner, with the person who didn’t return our phone call, with our ex-spouses, and with the funny looking guy who just sent an email online. To me, Valentine’s Day means an opportunity to practice loving.

SOUL’S CODE: How has the single’s scene changed over the past decade?

Julie: The demographic of the single love-seeker continues to drive upward in age. I’m hearing less and less from the young folks in their 20′s: they have MySpace and Facebook and bars and clubs.  Frankly, they’re pretty easy to match up (they have their youth, beauty, energy, vitality, and little baggage).

The average age in my community of 14,000 love-seekers is now 47 or so. In 2002, it was 43. As we get older we become more of who we are, and we get clearer about who will “work” and who won’t, as a romantic partner.  The needle we’re seeking in the haystack gets smaller and harder to find as we grow older.  These are the people who really appreciate having a love broker doing the sifting, sorting and the coaching and guiding along the way.

SOUL’S CODE: What is the down-economy doing to relationships? Are money woes becoming love woes?

Julie: When people are frightened and unsure of their future, they tend to gravitate toward each other, perhaps looking for someone to share the pain with. Our business has never been stronger. We’re experiencing a spike, just as we did with 9/11 after we launched.

Also, within our matchmaking community, we’re experiencing record numbers of matches. We’re noticing that people are more willing to give each other a chance, they’re less likely to “veto” someone because of a silly, superficial reason. The love business is much more recession-proof than most industries.

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SOUL’S CODE: How do you rate the relationship of America’s new First Couple?

Julie: The Obama’s are a fabulous model for love and partnership. They both have well developed “love muscles” and it’s inspiring to see the love they have for each other. Yes, indeed, Obama Love is a good thing.

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2 Responses to “Why the ‘love business’ is recession-proof”

  1. Connecting people through their auras is an interesting concept. It is making “conscious” something that I have found to be true unconsciously: that there is a subliminal level of attraction that draws two people together. As you point out here, it isn’t enough just to be drawn. There is then the willingness to work at the relationship, because the reason you were drawn togetehr in the first place was not “to be happy” but to create a forum in which conscious growth will happen in the unique issues each member of the couple has to work on. If people recognized that they were being brought together for a higher purpose that didn’t mean their life together was going to be blissful necessarily, but that they issues that arise between them and that they face together on their journey had a higher calling, their might be more willingness to “stick it out”. The aura might be conceived of as the radiating of the divine spark looking for the partner in the dance towards consciousness.

    Grace to you and your work and to and through the conference.

    David Rickey

  2. The love that shines through from the relationship that President Obama has with Michelle can only be a positive for America and the rest of the world. People who are happy in love, whether with a partner or just happy with themselves impact on the world for the good. Their love spreads out like a blanket over everyone they come in contact with.