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Date night a bust? Hire a romance ‘secretary’

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It's no longer a passable excuse to say you're too busy to plan a date with your partner.

Bianca Caampued and Aaron Small, a twentysomething couple living in New York, found that their busy work schedules were getting in the way of their romantic life. So Mr. Small posted an ad on Craigslist and found Brenndon Knox, an unemployed 25-year-old who co-ordinates their dates.

For $12.50 an hour, this self-stylized "secretary of romance" plans fun outings for the couple, such as a taco-making class or an "impromptu" dance down an aisle at a flea market. It's a job he hopes to turn into a career.

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"Not everyone is good at planning dates, keeping track of someone else's schedule or even communicating clearly," Mr. Knox told the Daily. "The administrative tasks in a relationship may be small ones, but they add up to one big stress."

As Time points out, however, the couple doesn't seem that busy in a video on The Daily's website. Despite complaining that she doesn't "even have a minute to think these days," Ms. Caampued, a 27-year-old public-relations specialist, says she usually works from 10 a.m. to about 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. – a fairly typical work schedule.

Meanwhile, Mr. Small, a 24-year-old business consultant, leaves for work at 6 a.m. and arrives home late. He acknowledges that the amount of time he spends communicating with Mr. Knox is about equal to what he'd have to spend if he planned the dates himself.

Not one to be left out, Ms. Caampued decided to hire her own romantic concierge, a Wisconsin-based college student named Holly, who co-ordinates with Mr. Small.

"We're almost like a weird dating family," Ms. Caampued says in the video. "It's fun interacting with both of them."

Some may criticize this style of dating as an inauthentic expression of love, but Lida Elias, owner of the Toronto date-planning service Save My Date, doesn't think there's anything wrong with getting a little help. "People are just busy with their jobs," she says.

"It's shows like Millionaire Matchmaker and The Bachelor that put so much pressure on men. They have these amazing dates that they take the girls on," says Ms. Elias, who runs the business as a side job. "I feel like that's one of the reasons why men don't really bother planning amazing dates because they're like, 'Oh, I can't do that. I don't know how to do that.'

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Is this the next logical step for dating or a way to avoid intimacy? Would you hire someone to co-ordinate your dates?

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