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I found true love and a happy marriage using this 90s-style blueprint. It will work for you, too | Fox News

‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ host Rachel Campos-Duffy discusses visiting Mane Stream which offers adaptive horseback riding and therapies to bring awareness to World Down Syndrome Day

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PROGRAMMING ALERT: Watch author Rachel Campos-Duffy discuss this topic and much more on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday, April 1 from 6 am – 10 am ET.

I recently saw a tweet by a young woman that read, “Do married people watch Gen Z dating and feel like they caught the last chopper out of Nam?” The short answer is yes, that’s exactly how we feel, and I’m going to explain why.

My husband Sean and I recently came to the realization that had we encountered each other on a dating app, today’s preferred method for finding love, I probably would not have “swiped right” and we never would have fallen in love, got married, and had nine beautiful kids together.

Sean and I met in the most 90s way possible — through an MTV reality show called “The Real World,” where we had our lives taped for six months and packaged into 23 heavily edited episodes set to the soundtrack of “The Smashing Pumpkins” and “The Counting Crows.” I was on the third season filmed in San Francisco and Sean was on the sixth season shot in a Boston firehouse. Following Sean’s season, MTV decided to send one cast member from each of the first five seasons on a spin-off travel adventure show called “Road Rules All-Stars.”

Both Sean and I were cast and the very first moment we laid eyes on each other was captured on tape. Sounds romantic enough, except it wasn’t love at first sight. 

For the next month, while Sean and I traveled together with other castmates throughout the U.S. and New Zealand, Sean invested a lot of his time flirting with me. Even after the show, when we parted ways, he continued to pursue me, racking up his long-distance phone bills and finding excuses to come to L.A. where he knew he would see me.

Had Sean and I met in 2023, I’m convinced we’d never be married. The disconnected and superficial nature of modern dating culture is killing romance and marriage.

After five months, when he thought he was still stuck in the friend zone, we went out to breakfast. We spent three hours laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company and at some point during that breakfast I realized that this conversation and Sean’s company was exactly what I wanted for the rest of my life. 

When the waitress poured our last cup of coffee, I suddenly, and to Sean’s total shock, declared to Sean that I was going to marry him. The way he tells it, that was definitely way more than he was looking for, but we’ve been together ever since.  

Dagen McDowell and Sean Duffy co-host “The Bottom Line,” which airs weekdays at 6 p.m. ET.  (Fox News)

Had Sean and I met in 2023, I’m convinced we’d never be married. The disconnected and superficial nature of modern dating culture is killing romance and marriage. We need to bring back the art of flirting, and here are 5 ways to do it. 

1. Falling in love takes time, don’t make snap judgments

It took time for me to fall in love with Sean, to get past some of the superficial things that were holding me back. Dating apps encourage you to make snap judgments about people based on superficial criteria. By giving you the ability to curate your “perfect mate” — down to their height and exact geographical location — you end up eliminating potentially great prospects.  

My first impression of Sean was that his hair, clothes and glasses were pretty dorky. I’m so grateful we hung out long enough for me to see his kindness and good nature. Turns out that underneath the bad clothes was a buff, lumberjack athlete.  Once we started seriously dating, he agreed to a new haircut and glasses. Problem solved.

2. Stop texting 

When Sean and I traveled for that month together, we didn’t have cell phones — that’s right — no one had cell phones in 1997! So we spent a lot of time talking, flirting, making eye contact, reading each other’s body language, and being in the moment.  Our heads were not in our phones.

Rachel Campos-Duffy hosts “Fox & Friends Weekend.” (Fox News)

There was no posting about our trip on Instagram and trying to make it look cooler than it was. We lived authentically, not virtually, filling our time with fun, social outings with friends and long philosophical and hilarious conversations.

The problem with texting is that it tends to artificially accelerate feelings of intimacy, and people feel more comfortable saying and sending things they would never do in person.  There’s simply no substitute for real, inperson conversations and the natural progression in a relationship that comes from it.

My most important advice to single people is the importance of making your love life your number one priority. 

We didn’t know it at the time, but thanks to the tech-limited world we were living in, we were building up critical social skills that would help our love lives long into the future. These are the skills young people are losing, but could easily regain if they deliberately tried to date 80s or 90s style.  

3. If you’re single, don’t work from home 

Sadly,COVID lockdowns, far too many young people have grown accustomed to working from home, which has turned into dating from home and an overall convenience-based approach to life.

During their prime dating years, millions of young singles are prematurely becoming home bodies, who prefer the convenience of hunting for love virtually, ordering in GrubHub, and calling it a night. That’s not living and it definitely won’t lead to happiness or love.

The Duffy family starts their Christmas early by celebrating the season of Advent.  (Courtesy Duffy family/Jessica Kopecky)

Working from home means you don’t have to do your hair or dress to impress. It also means you miss out on friendships that might lead to romance. “MeToo” and fears of sexual harassment have made workplace relationships more treacherous than ever.  

But perhaps some of the confusion is that young people have lost the ability to read the signals. It’s just easier to make the work place off limits for love. I think that’s sad because it’s a more natural and organic way to meet and network with other singles. Besides, what would “Grey’s Anatomy” or Bruce Willis’ 1980s hit, “Moonlighting,” be without workplace romance?

4. Opposites don’t attract 

One of the things I’ve learned from 24 years of marriage is that opposites don’t attract. At least not for the long haul. I’ve been asked many times, should Republicans marry Democrats? My short answer is no because politics reveal values.

The secret to a great relationship and marriage is to have as many interests and foundational values in common as possible. Get to know each other’s family stories and backgrounds, spiritual practices, and traditions.

On the surface, Sean and I might not look like a match — he’s an easy-going lumberjack athlete from the upper Midwest and I am a feisty Hispanic girl from Arizona. But we are both Catholic and to both of us, family was everything. Plus we both had just gone through a pretty intense, psychologically grueling, and lifechanging experience of starring in a popular reality TV show. At the time we met, it was hard to know if someone was really into us, or just our 15 minutes of fame. When it came to the important things in life, we had tons in common.

5. Prioritize your love life

My most important advice to single people is the importance of making your love life your number one priority. I know it’s totally counter-cultural. But if you meet and marry the right person, I promise everything else in life, including your passions and career dreams, will be easier to achieve.

The truth is that corporations don’t love you, and your boss will not be holding your hand when you’re on your deathbed. Your spouse and children will, though, but only if you take time to invest in your love life now. 

So if dating apps aren’t working for you, don’t despair. My advice to this generation of singles is to take a page from the ‘80s and ’90s and start living authentically instead of virtually.

For more advice and tips on improving your love life, check out our podcast “From the Kitchen Table.”

Rachel Campos-Duffy serves as a co-host of FOX & Friends Weekend and co-host of From the Kitchen Table podcast with her husband Sean Duffy.

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