FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Wising Up to True Love

with Michael and Hayley DiMarco | February 3, 2010
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When it comes to love, are you an Albert Einstein or an Daffy Duck? Today authors Michael and Hayley DiMarco talk about the stupid things singles do for love and how to avoid them.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • When it comes to love, are you an Albert Einstein or an Daffy Duck? Today authors Michael and Hayley DiMarco talk about the stupid things singles do for love and how to avoid them.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

When it comes to love, are you an Albert Einstein or an Daffy Duck?

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Wising Up to True Love

With Michael and Hayley DiMarco
February 03, 2010
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Bob:  Let’s say you are single.  You are in a relationship and things are starting to get a little…well, a little romantic.  Hayley DiMarco says, “Hang on just one minute, Bucko!”


Hayley:  What I really want guys to understand is that romance is the language of love—literally.  When women experience romance, they feel love.  So, if you don’t really mean that you are ready to be married tomorrow, then don’t start pouring on the romance because in her mind that means you have already taken that step.  (Cupid music)

Bob:  I tell you, any program that starts off with Sam Cooke is going to be a good one.  This is FamilyLife Today.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We are going to talk about stupid things that people do in the name of romance today.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today; thanks for joining us.  You know, this time of year, that song just belongs; don’t you think?  (laughter)  The great Sam Cooke and Cupid.  I like that song! 

Dennis:  Yes, and who would think of naming a book—instead of calling it maybe Cupid’s 50 Ways to Love Your Lover—instead naming a book Cupidity,


(laughter) as in stupidity

(laughter)  Fifty stupid things people do for love.


Bob:  I know who would think of that.

Dennis:  I do too!  (laughter)

Bob:  Michael and Hayley DiMarco would think of that! 

Dennis:  Michael, Hayley, welcome back to the broadcast.

Hayley:  Thanks.

Michael:  It’s good to be here.

Dennis:  They lead a ministry called Hungry Planet.  Together they have written more than 30 books; and yes, they have written this book for those who are stupid about love.

Bob:  And we are going to zero today on stupid singles.  Now it is possible…

Dennis:  Bob, Bob…Bob…Bob…Bob!  Today we are going to address our single audience with some helpful pointers about romance. 


Bob:  Well, let’s just…

Dennis:  I mean, Bob, you have offended numerous guests!  We need the audience! 

Bob:  I am going to let our listeners know that later in the week we are going to talk about stupid married couples; so we are going both ways! 


Michael:  Leave the offending to us.  I’m offended now. 


Bob:  You guys wrote this book because you look at people trying to love one another and they just aren’t doing a very good job.  Right?

Michael:  First off, we looked at ourselves.  (laughter)  And so….

Dennis:  Bob suggested before we came on the air that this is the real life story of Michael and Hayley.

Bob:  The DiMarco Story.

Michael:  Yes.  I mean what better trough to glean from than your own experience? 

Hayley:  That’s true. 

Dennis:  It is 50 things.  Which one of these, Hayley, most marked your husband, Michael, when he was a single guy?  Now okay, a little confession.  Bob and I do this frequently here on the broadcast.  It helps people realize there are a lot of real people on the radio.  So, I’ll let you look over the list quickly, but not take too long and not give too many. 

(laughter)  There are 50 of these in the book. 

Bob:  Have you zeroed….

Michael:  Is there an “e” for “all of the above”?

Dennis:  No!

Hayley:  Yes, that would have been easier.  (laughter)

Dennis:  Is there one you can select? 

Hayley:  I think probably one of the big ones for him would be trying to fix things.  Of course, that is kind of a “guy thing.”  I know you all major in fixing everything.  We don’t always want to be fixed; but I think for Michael it was more along the lines of coming to the rescue of single women who were in need.

Bob:  That was true before you got married?  Is it still true after?

Hayley:  Yes.  No, no.  He is not coming to the rescue…

Bob:  Of women in need.  (laughter)  But the fixing it is something that is kind of in the bloodstream, right?

Hayley:  Yes, it is.

Dennis:  Well, he does come to the aid of one woman in need, though.

Hayley:  That’s right. 

Dennis:  After you get married.

Bob:  What was it like before you got—I mean what was your pattern, Michael, of coming to the aid of women in need?

Michael:  I think it is that, I don’t know, that germ or that DNA inside of every man that wants to be the hero.  Being the youngest of six kids and having a father that actually had me late in life, fought in WWII and Korea, and was a war hero--that whole thing of being a hero and also just not learning that when women tell you something, that that isn’t necessarily a prescription for or a request for you to “fix it.” 

So the problem is if you are really good at fixing things, it doesn’t matter who the woman is and if they are right for you or you are right for them or if you are even ready for a relationship.  It basically starts you on a roller coaster, a train ride of sorts on a rail, that you set in motion by “fixing things.”

Bob:  There is a buzz you get when you are the hero. 

Michael:  Yes.

Bob:  You are saying…

Dennis:  Knight in shining armor.  He is coming up over the top of the hill with the solution.

Hayley:  That leads to the other problem of not knowing when to break up.  You are so enamored with, “I’m going to ‘fix her,’” or “I’m going to help her; I’m going to get her out of this mess,” you don’t realize, like Mike said, she is not the right one for you.  I know there are instances…

Michael:  Or you do realize that you, just by breaking up, you are not fixing something in your mind; you are breaking something. 

Hayley:  That’s good.

Bob:  And, you do not get the same buzz after have broken up.  (laughter)

Dennis:  No, you sure don’t. 

Michael:  No, not for most guys.

Dennis:  There are two more that I want you to comment on.  I am going to lump these together.  You put these under Section 3, physical acts of cupidity:  using sex to get love, using romance to get sex.

Hayley:  Yes, those tend to be gender-specific, don’t they?  I think we can all understand who is who in that. 

Michael:  There are exceptions, but yes.

Hayley:  For the most part.

Michael:  Usually using sex to get love is a feminine act of cupidity.

Hayley:  The truth is we know as women what men want.  I am not trying to be crude, but men want in a relationship a physical pay off.  Women know that is their ultimate goal, be it through marriage or just a dating relationship.  So a lot of women will take that, “Well, I know what he wants.  So if I give it to him, maybe he will give me what I want,” which is, “I want his love—I want him to say I am the reason he is alive--the first thing he thinks of in the morning and the last thing he thinks of at night.”  We’re looking for that.

Bob:  I am going to write that down.  “I am the reason he is…”  (laughter)  I am just trying to get some of this down.

Hayley:  Okay.

Michael:  I thought this was the single’s segment.  (laughter)

Dennis:  It is; it is.  But there is…

Bob:  It applies for married men, too. 

Dennis:  There is help for men.  Okay, let’s take the other half of the deal—using romance to get sex.  That is how guys operate, right Michael?

Michael:  That is what I have been told.  No, that is…yes, that is.  (laughter)  That was…I resemble that remark back in my…

Dennis:  Our engineer, Keith, just fell off his chair in the recording area. 

Bob:  What you are identifying though is guys who will say, “Okay, if I talk sweet to her, then maybe she will warm up, cuddle a little bit,” you know.  So a guy says, “I don’t mind talking sweet if it leads to some cuddling later on.”  Right?

Michael:  That is right.  It is not all the nefarious characters out there like the Fanzine, with the leather jacket and the Camano with T-tops.  I know they don’t make those anymore; I am dating myself.  It is also the nice good-intentioned Christian guy who will use romance to get that little cuddle, to get that little extra nuzzle.

Hayley:  You know, he may even use it just to get her attention.  As far as, he might not want just even physical.  Am I wrong?

Dennis:  Now wait a second.  At that point, you are encroaching on rightness or wrongness of romance.

Hayley:  I know.  It becomes a delicate rope.  What I really want guys to understand is that romance is the language of love—literally.  When women experience romance, they feel love.  So, if you don’t really mean that you are ready to be married tomorrow, then don’t start pouring on the romance because in her mind that means you have already taken that step. She has already moved that way.

Bob:  We have always told our boys as we were raising them, “You don’t say to a young woman, ‘I love you’ unless the next words are, ‘Will you marry me?’”  That needs to go together.  I didn’t know that when I was dating Mary Ann.  I mean, I told her I loved her within weeks after dating her.  What I was saying was, “I really like you.  You are really special, and I enjoy being with you.”

Hayley:  That’s right. 

Dennis:  You had no idea what those words meant?

Bob:  I had no idea that in her soul, that means, “You have selected me among all the women of the world to be committed to.”

Dennis:  She is half-way down the wedding aisle. 

Bob:  Yes.  I wasn’t thinking of that. 

Hayley:  I can remember just driving through neighborhoods and saying, “Let’s go look at houses,” with a guy I was dating.  By him bringing that up and saying, “It would just be fun to do on a Sunday.”  In my mind, we were looking at the house we were going to buy to be married.  That is not what he was thinking.  He thought, “Well, she likes looking at houses; I’ll make her happy.”  But women walk down a path when men start to offer romance. 

Dennis:  This is when guys have to use discretion, and they have to have a DTR (define the relationship).  You define it--not romantically, not physically—but you define it verbally, which takes a whole lot more courage for a man because he would rather not speak of his love for a woman because that means he is accountable—he is on-the-line. 

I think if there was ever a generation of young men and young women who needed to pull back, and take a step, and take a look at their cupidity factor, it is today.  I think we have a ton of singles who have been mesmerized by the culture.  They have taken nearly all of their cues from movies, novels, online dating, etc., so that they don’t have a biblical viewpoint of what love is and what love does. 

Bob:  I’m watching singles play “married” long before they get married.  “We share finances,” or….

Dennis:  That is #24 in Physical Acts of Cupidity—“shacking up.”

Bob:  Well, yes.  Some folks are “shacking up,” they are doing all of that; but other folks are still living apart, but they go ahead and blend their finances or she does the laundry for him, that kind of thing.

Hayley:  Right.

Dennis:  I have got to understand this.  Blending finances before marriage?  That is happening?

Michael:  Oh, yes. 

Hayley:  Definitely.  “Oh, we are going to get married anyway; so why don’t we buy the boat right now?” or, “We can start buying things together.”

Bob:  Get both of our names on the condo lease.  We couldn’t afford the condo lease if we didn’t. 

Hayley:  Right.

Michael:  Or Bubba’s credit history is awful; and so he gets Suzie to buy him his jet ski, things like that.

Bob:  This again goes back to a woman thinking, “I want so much to be loved that I’ll go ahead and compromise my financial position or even move in just to do that.”  Right?

Hayley:  Yes, definitely.  I think women are:  we are very intuitive; we are smart; we know what to do; we know how to run our lives; we have businesses, cars and houses.  So we translate that into our relationships; and we say, “Well if I want that, I’ll just do what needs to be done to get that relationship.” 

They take charge by doing things like this that they think will arrange the relationship, also, in just taking over the relationship.  Dennis, you talked about the DTR, defining the relationship.  Men aren’t doing that, so women are doing it. 

Dennis:  They are.  You are saying that some women take charge.  I’m seeing the words, “entrapment,” here. 


Seriously, by buying a house together or putting your name on a boat together before you are engaged.

Hayley:  Yes.

Michael:  That’s right.  It works both ways.  The interesting thing about what Hayley was talking about as far as taking charge—we used to have this image of women would shack up with men because they wanted to feel provided for, and they were the meeker one in the relationship. 

Now we are actually seeing that flip like she is talking about.  Where women are just saying, “You know, I am going to define the relationship; and if he grunts anything affirmative, then we are good to go.”  The guy is just not talking, clamming up.

Bob:  As I am listening to the two of you, I am going to ask this question and let you guys give the answer so you get in trouble instead of me, okay? 

Hayley:  Thanks.

Michael:  That is why we are here. 


Bob:  Is it true that women tend to be more relationally stupid than men? 

Hayley:  Wow!  I didn’t think that is what you were going to say.  I thought you were going to say, “They tend to be more relationally-oriented, and I think that might be why they come out looking like they are more stupid because they base everything on that.”

Bob:  So they would be more likely, we would think, to make compromises in the relational dynamic because they are more relationally-oriented. 

Dennis:  I don’t know, though, Bob.  I start thinking about the cupidity of men, and I am not down on men.

Bob:  Right.

Dennis:  But I am not sure about the cupidity factor of men at this point.  I think it may surpass women. 


Michael:  I think that men are much more inelegant as far as their acts of cupidity (laughter), whereas they are much more obvious.  They are like, you know, it’s not a good idea to go outside in a snowstorm wearing shorts.  That is like obvious cupidity. 

Whereas I think the acts of cupidity that women tend to fall prey to are much more subtle.  It is almost like our old, “Men lie to get what they want, but women lie to themselves to get what they want.”  It is more of an elegant cupidity that women have going for them.

Bob:  One of the things you list as an act of cupidity for singles is to date someone who is from a different faith.

Hayley:  Missionary dating. 

Dennis:  Yes.  I did that as a single.

Hayley:  Did you?  How did it work for you?

Dennis:  For a month it was exciting.

Hayley:  Yes.

Dennis:  I had…

Michael:  Doing the Lord’s work.

Dennis:  I was!  I mean it was like 20 young ladies in one month.  I had a bunch of blind dates.  Yet, when I gave my dating life to God and He didn’t give it back to me for about a year, I got the point that missionary dating was dangerous.  To date somebody who doesn’t share, not just sharing the faith, where, “Yes, you both go to church,”—no—but those who share the same core beliefs and convictions and are passionate about their walk…

Bob:  The same level of intensity, right.

Dennis:  A walk with Jesus Christ where He governs my life.  My surrender to Him is the bottom line of life.

Hayley:  I think a lot of people don’t know that God’s Word forbids us to be unequally yoked.  We can’t be yoked, connected, hooked together, and married with someone who hates God; and unfortunately that’s your choice—you love God or you hate God. 

In these relationships with people of a different faith, you are first of all, sinning.  But second of all, you are destining yourself to a terrible life.  I have a lot of friends who are married to men who aren’t believers; and it is very difficult because the very core of your being, the God who you worship, the God who you do everything around, your husband doesn’t respect.

Dennis:  Hayley, I want to break your choices down to three.  Love God, hate God, or ignore God—neutral about God.

Michael:  Ambivalent. 

Dennis:  Lukewarm about God. In my opinion, it is easy to spot the hatred toward God—that is there.  The problem is because of a guy’s desire for romance, sex, love, companionship for a woman and a wife, he may fake…

Bob:  “I’ll go to church with you.  Yeah, I don’t mind going to church.”

Dennis:  He may fake that.  That is why a young lady has to look at the track record of the young man to make sure his newfound faith did not accompany his newfound love for a young lady.

Michael:  It doesn’t just go one direction with the sexes; because I lived a portion of my life where I would carefully craft my question, my initial questions about a perspective date’s faith so that it made it easy for me to check that off.   Like, “So, do you believe in God?”  “Oh, yeah.”  “So, do you celebrate Christmas?”  “Oh, yeah.”  Okay, we can go from there. 


Dennis:  Pick the major holidays; is that it?

Michael:  Yes, exactly.  You know the CEO’s—Christmas, Easter, Only. 

Bob:  You look at this, and here’s how the hook gets set for singles. There is something that will happen, either there is a physical attractiveness—you see a guy, you see a girl, and you say, “Wow,” and the hook is initially set; or it goes to the next level where there is some emotional chemistry that goes on, and the hook gets set. 

Once that is set and you find out, “Okay, we are not on the same page spiritually, but it is still so nice.  He is such a nice guy.  She is such a sweet girl.  She has a good heart, and she seems kind and generous.  I know the ‘God-thing’ will come around after a while.”  You are saying, “Danger!  Danger!”  Will Robinson, right? 

Hayley:  That is right.  The chances of him or her coming around, as you say, to your faith—they are unknown.  More than likely they are slim, but the mere fact that they are unknown says that you are putting all your faith in a hope that is not God.  We are to put our faith and our hope in God and, therefore, in His Word.  His Word says we are not to be unequally yoked.  If we think all it is how I feel around the person, then we are set up for disaster.

Michael:  Women tend to make that colossal mistake about dating someone that does not have the faith required for a proper marriage and relationship because of #14, loving who you want him to be instead of who he is.  Men make a converse mistake, and that is #15, loving who she was instead of who she is—that is a rearview mirror thing. 

Dennis:  For the person who is in a relationship and listening to our broadcast right now and is thinking, “I don’t know if this is a good relationship,” #39 would be a good one to finish up the broadcast on, not knowing how to break up. 

You know, this ministry started back in 1976.  We used to counsel every couple who came to the Weekend to Remember®.  They were all engaged or contemplating engagement.  We would have 200 people, a hundred couples, attending our conference and we would be up until 1, 2 o’clock in the morning…

Bob:  You were doing one-on-one counseling?

Dennis:  One-on-one counseling.  I’m telling you; it was unbelievable. 

Bob:  Yes.

Dennis:  I’m telling you.  One of the most frequent conversations we had with these singles was drawing a line and saying, “You know what, you all need to decide if you are going to get married or if you are going to break this thing off.” 

For many of the couples, the best thing for them to do was to break it off because they had developed an unhealthy relationship around, as you would put it, cupidity—something stupid about love where they were going to experience the reality of it but it would be too late after they “tied the knot.” 

Bob:  I am interested to see how many of our stupid single listeners (laughter) are going to call to get a copy of this book.  Aren’t you?  I mean to just see…I’m just wondering. 

Dennis:  I just want our singles to know we love you, we are here every day to help you get a biblical perspective of love; and we need you to love Bob right now.

Bob:  I don’t mean to be demeaning when I call you, “Stupid,” I’m just…

Michael:  Actually, Bob, every time you say that, I’m responding in the affirmative, not because of your listenership, but because this book, and most of our relationship books that we have written, are all off of our personal experience.

Bob:  Your own cupidity.

Michael:  Yes.  We had 40 years of dating desperation between the two of us, so we have lived this out.  If any of this is resonating with your listeners, they are going to get a compassionate ear from us in this book; but at the same time we have lived it—so better they learn from us.

Bob:  Unlike what they have been getting from me during this program. 


Michael:  Right.  You are kind of a downer. 


Dennis:  On a broadcast that will follow, we are going to address the married people and how they also suffer from this same disease.  So just so you singles know that we are not merely picking on you, you are not the only ones who have some false views about love.  Married folks have it as well, and we are going to talk to them later.

Bob:  And for those who could use a little remedial, you know, dust off a little work on their romance quotient in their marriage, we have copies of the book Cupidity in our FamilyLife TodayResource Center.  You can go online at and request a copy.  This is not a book you would want to give to your spouse for Valentine’s Day but it is one you might want to read for yourself before Valentine’s Day comes along. 

Again, the title of the book is Cupidity.  Go to for more information, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY; 1-800-358-6329.  That’s 1-800 F as in “family” L” as in “life” and then the word TODAY.  Someone on our team can let you know how we can get a copy of the book out to you. 

Since this is the month where we kind of focus on marriage, and relationships, and romance, and passion, and intimacy, we thought this would be a good time to provide a special thank-you gift for FamilyLife Today listeners who can help with a donation to support the ministry of FamilLife Today this month.  We are listener-supported. 

It is your donations that keep us on this station and our network of stations all across the country.  It covers the production and syndication costs associated with the program.  If you can help with a donation of any amount this month, we would like to send you a CD that features a message from Linda and Jody Dillow about marital intimacy, a message called The Four Flames of Marital Intimacy.  The CD is our thank-you gift to you this month for your support of FamilyLife Today

All you have to do is type the word “FOUR” into the key-code box on the online donation form, and we will know to send you a copy of the CD when you make your donation online; or call 1-800-FLTODAY.  You can make a donation over the phone and just ask for the CD on romance, or intimacy, or The Four Flames CD, whatever you want to call it, we’ll send it out to you.  Thanks again for whatever you are able to do to help stand with us here at FamilyLife and help the costs associated with getting this daily radio program out to you each day. 

Tomorrow we are going to focus on some of the stupid things that married couples do as we continue our conversation with Michael and Hayley DiMarco.  Hope you can be back for that. 

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We will see you next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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