Certified life coach Jeannine Kaiser has a lot to say on the subject - she wrote a book called "Cupid's Playbook" and is famous for having dated 100 men in one year.
Now she and her husband Keith run a seminar called Soul Mate Quest that gives participants 10 keys to a healthy, passionate relationship - subjects that aren't covered in high school or college, Jeannine noted. They also talk about the 10 toxic relationship patterns and the myths of love, such as love at first sight and true love will conquer all.
And they teach about "love language," a way of communication that varies from person to person.
"My husband and I share the same love language," Jeannine explained. "We have a cup of coffee together before we go to work. We lie in bed at night and talk about each other."
Problems start when two people don't share the same love language.
"'He isn't there for me,' is the biggest complaint you hear from women," said Jeannine. "It means he is not speaking her love language."
A woman might want small acts of service, like buying her flowers or a card. A man may feel quality time is important. When they are dating they speak the same love language, but then as they get on with their life as a couple, the language may change for one of them, leaving the other wondering what happened.
"A lot is understanding what the other person needs," Jeannine said. "It comes back to communication, connection and being willing to explore."
Jeannine and Keith are celebrating their ninth anniversary on Valentine's Day. They met when she went back to school at University of San Francisco to earn her degree in Organizational Behavior and Development and he was a professor.
"We call it the 'meeting of the coffee pot,'" she said, recalling their first encounter in the lunch room. "We reached for the coffee pot at the same time." They were friends for a year when Keith told her he wanted to be more than friends. When they married they built a house in Danville.
"You can meet anybody anywhere anytime as long as you are open and ready for it," Jeannine said. "Lots of people meet in the grocery store parking lot, putting away the cart."
She has mixed feelings about meeting online. "It's like a candy store with too many selections," she said. "A lot are always looking for a bigger, better deal. People are distanced. You can say anything about yourself - kind of like padding a resume."
But the Internet is definitely part of today's dating scene, she admits, and many matches are successful. Keep the first meeting short, she advises. If the person has lied online, say, "You misrepresented yourself. I'm going home. Good luck."
"So much has changed in the last 50 years. It used to take two to run a household," Jeannine observed. "Now you don't need that person. You can have a child and not be married.
"People are seeking relationships primarily out of love and not necessity and that changes everything. A lot of people in their 40s have never been married." She said people are often happy with their lives so they aren't making decisions quickly about relationships.
And more people are divorcing.
"Never before in history have so many people re-entered the dating life," she said. "So many people are set in their ways. That's changed the game, too."
In first marriages, 50 percent end in divorce, she said; in second marriages, it's 60-65 percent; in third, 73-77 percent; and in fourth, it's 90 percent.
"They usually haven't fixed what the problem is. They think they will get a new partner and it will fix them all," Jeannine explained. "This is what we teach: You need to clean up your life." Then you'll be ready for love.
Their Valentine's Day seminar was filled weeks ago, so they are planning another one March 14-15 in Pleasanton. The price is $129 for those who register in advance at yourdatingiq.com.
Happy Valentine's Day.
-Dolores Fox Ciardelli can be e-mailed at editor@DanvilleWeekly.com.