Ever been surprised by the person who showed up for an online date? If so, read this.

Over 53% of people who met someone online for a date believe that someone seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile. That means over half of the millions of dollars (and hours) we've spent on dinner and a movie (or just coffee if you're like me and want something low risk for the first date) was wasted on someone that deceived them.

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Valentine's Day by the Numbers

Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $18.9 billion this year. With a "b".

$1.7 billion alone will be spent on candy (that sound? the collective whoosh of all of our New Year's resolutions going out the window).

What makes this holiday so special?

Maybe it's because Valentine's Day is somewhat of a test of a relationship. If you're just starting out, it's a time to test making the next move, or turning up the heat a little bit. If you're well into a relationship, it's a time to test taking the next step or getting more serious. And if you're happily married, it's a time to get creative and keep the spark alive.

Or could it be that the element of surprise is what makes us so giddy for this divisive 'holiday'? It provides us a prompt of sorts to go out on a limb, profess our love, and share our feelings. We anticipate something unexpected, romantic proposals, and flirty gestures. 

After all, men will spend an average of $150 on their sweetie, and 53% of women say they would break up with someone who doesn't get them anything at all.

Re-read that. More than half of women surveyed said they are willing to ditch a potential life mate (not just consider ditching, but actually will break up with someone) if they don't receive something that is made from chocolate and/or shaped like a heart.

Let's look at the rest of the numbers:

Over 61% of American admit to celebrating the holiday.

$13.19 Billion: Average annual Valentine’s Day spending. This year will reach $18.9 billion! That's alotta chocolate.

180 million: Number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually. 85% of them are purchased by women.

196 million: Average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day. 73% of them are bought by men.

14%: Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day

$116.21: Amount the average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day

11,000: Average number of children conceived on Valentine’s day

And our favorite: Over 1 in 5 people surveyed will spend an average of $5.28 - totaling $703 million - on their pets. Fido, you'll always be there for me.

Thanks to Statistics Brain and the National Retail Federation for these #'s.

Are you part of the 53% who dumped their honey after receiving nada on Valentine's Day? Datefund with Love Lab and your first date could be on us! Click here to earn drinks, dinner or even a party with Steve Ward!

Welcome to Love Lab

I've been amazed by how much information technology has transformed the dating industry since I first joined my mom at Master Matchmakers® in 2003. MySpace had just come out the year before and Facebook was starting to take hold of college campuses nationwide. BBM (Blackberry Messenger) was all the rage in the corporate world and by the time the iPhone came around in 2007, the mobile revolution had begun. In 2008 Android is launched and in 2009 Twitter turned SMS into a worldwide phenomenon. By 2011 Snapchat had changed the game again bringing ephemeral messaging to the world. And by 2012 the industry was ripe for Tinder to upend the category of dating as a whole. 

In the middle of it all, my mom and I had not-so-quietly taken our matchmaking service nationwide. We built a coaching practice that spans from New Hampshire to Hawaii and produced six successful seasons of a series on VH1 called Tough Love. Along the way we incubated a little web based business of our own called Love Lab®. 

At first, Love Lab was just a way for our well-vetted members and clients to meet one another in a safe, secure, phony-free environment. But then Love Lab evolved into something bigger. My mom always said, "the one thing technology can't replace is personal service" - and I don't disagree, but it sure can make self-help a whole hell of a lot easier. We released a prototype of Love Lab for iPhone and Android in the Fall of 2013 and we learned a lot in the months ahead.

We took a step back and asked our members, what are you most concerned about when it comes to dating? And you answered! All of the big concerns & annoyances people have with other dating sites, we aimed to fix. Not comfortable having to video chat to see what they actually look like? Have them record a disappearing video message instead. This is Love Lab 2.0, and we're here to put trust back into dating.

Download it. Check it out. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. We hope you spread the love. Thank you for joining us in authenticating dating.

-Steve Ward, Founder CEO