Were you in a committed relationship in 1975? Were you dating? Or, were you too young to date?
During the Wild 70s, couples broke up in record numbers. Marriage was ‘out’; divorce was ‘in’, and living the ‘good life’ as a single,’ was never more popular. Yet, a young video journalist who grew up in Los Angeles never knowing any divorced people, looked around and asked one question: “What do people expect for their love life?”
The answer came back: Each had great expectations.
The Birth of High-Tech Dating
Thirty-four years ago — in a single 8×8 windowless Century City high-rise office building — Jeff Ullman created the very first modern dating service; and, he named it after what people felt about their love life: Great Expectations.
During the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even into this century, dating services had one thing in common: people who didn’t use them thought they were for ‘losers’….the ugly, uneducated, immoral and unstable. Yet, for at least 20 of those years, this one entrepreneur stayed true to his vision of helping people fall in love for the right reasons, with the right person.
Jeff Ullman thought that the real losers were people who knew they could have a great relationship,but continued to try the same things again and again, but each time getting the same bad results. Regardless of their physical beauty, wealth, education or status, winners realized it took real effort to figure out their resources and opportunities. For two decades his philosophy and methods helped more people meet and marry than anyone. And, while he appeared 100s of times before the media trying to re-shape and focus attention on a bad relationship joke: “What happens to people who think the grass is greener on the other side?” The not-so-obvious answer to so many: Someone still had to mow it. Whether it was finding or keeping a relationship, it was hard work.
What Do You Do, After You Said, “I do”…
When he left Great Expectations in the care and feeding of a new corporate owner, he knew that the number of couples who divorced through his service was remarkably low. What he didn’t know was whether that would continue as he moved on to other entrepreneurial challenges.
In 2005, Ullman celebrated his anniversary with his wife, Cindy. Looking over their lives, and what it took to raise six kids something stunned him: “Cindy, have I done wrong? Have I helped 100,000 people meet and marry, but not left them with any real tools to stay together? Would their lives go as they expected?”
Who Lives Happier Ever After?
Over the next three years, while Jeff envisioned a structure, method and benefits package to help people stay happily in love, Cindy researched every possible attribute that might influence what makes for a good marriage, patterned after both their parents’ fun, friendship and passion. By 2008, they were ready to build what you’re about to experience.
Thirty-four years ago — in a single 8×8 windowless Century City high-rise office building — Jeff Ullman created the very first modern dating service. He named it after what people felt about their love life: Great Expectations.