For the clients of dating coach DeAnna Lorraine, Valentine’s Day can feel like either Christmas morning or toilet cleaning day.
For the last seven years, the Spanish expert has been trying to help people find their life partners, coaching them through breakups and helping them figure out if they’re with Mr/Ms Right or Mr/Ms Right Now.
The U.S. has witnessed a huge population growth of Latinos in the last decade —over 35 million now call the country their home. So it only makes sense that the chance of an eligible Latino to date or marry has both increased and decreased —more people are in need of partners. Lorraine says she sees some very distinct cultural trends with her Latino clients, and it’s her job to steer them away from possible pitfalls.
“Latinos are beginning to break away from some of their cultural traditions, but they’re confronted with a new age of dating. Women are working and have serious careers outside the home, making men their second priority,” Lorraine said. “There are higher numbers of divorce rates now in the Latino community – people just aren’t sticking it out like before.”
Lorraine advises Latinos, who she says are generally more passionate and faster to give their hearts away, to date multiple people before making a commitment. She advises all of her clients to take things very slowly, see who’s out there in the dating world before settling in — in other words, she says it’s OK to be social without being sexual.
From the time she was a little girl, Lorraine says she felt a calling to do what she does today: work to navigate couples into their happily ever after. As a child she was devastated by her parents' divorce and other divorces in her family, and she wanted to find out why partnerships fall apart and what keeps couples together.
She’d coached many of her friends and family members growing up so she decided she wanted to do that for a living. She found success in her business, and soon after she started appearing on several national television programs like the Rachel Ray show and Good Morning America.
No matter the cultural identity of her clients, the first step in Lorraine’s coaching is for her clients to try to figure out what they believe their ideal mate would be like. What do they need from a partner? What are their non-negotiables? What’s their vision of the ideal relationship? Using all of these parameters, she helps people find their prince or princess charming.
Lorraine helps to direct the energy of her single clients toward a more positive outcome, creating a comprehensive approach using both offline and online activities to help people meet. She helps them with their conversation skills and encourages them to exercise if needed — to work on themselves while actively looking for a partner.
Culturally, Lorraine says people are becoming increasingly alike. But Latinos could stand to learn a bit from their more Americanized counterparts who tend to shop around, compare, contrast and even scrutinize potential mates before settling down, getting married and having children.
She believes people should take the time now, while still dating, to avoid suffering later on.
No matter what the race, she says, it’s people’s sheer will and determination to find love that wins in the end. She cites the example of a 68-year-old California millionaire, who recently decided to run a billboard ad saying, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Latina”. Though his strategy was unusual, she said it’s putting yourself out there what helps people find love.
“Latinos often wait for friends and family to help set them up,” she said. “I encourage them to look far and wide, and even 250 miles from home to find 'the one'.”
Rebekah Sager is a nationally published lifestyle and culture writer. She's a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow Rebekah on Twitter @Rebekah_Sager.