The Great Love Debate

Experimental Love

In Do, March 2020 by Raleigh Magazine

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Dating has changed a lot in the digital age, from dating websites, to apps, and now, to Brian Howie’s Great Love Debate, a touring dating and relationship show that sparks a feisty conversation between men and women in the audience. While it might not seem like debating will lead you to the love of your life, Howie’s show proves that when it comes to love and attraction, anything is possible.

Where did you get the idea for The Great Love Debate? 

I was always fascinated by the dynamic between men and women and had been writing, directing and producing content about it for years. My book “How to Find Love in 60 Seconds,” a semi-satirical look at dating, came out in 2014 and my agent suggested I do a promotional event in a theater where people could raise (and debate) some of the questions the book raised. It blew up from there.

the great love debate logo

How does it work? 

It’s a live, fun, feisty, hilarious, extremely interactive debate on love/sex/dating/relationships in each city. Every show, every crowd, every night is different. It’s town hall-style, so the audience drives the dialogue. Over 90 fun minutes, we try to solve the disconnect in that particular city. And we always do.

Is it just for singles? 

Not at all! Plenty of married couples and people in relationships come to our shows. It comes down to confidence and communication, no matter your status. You should never stop trying to learn about your partner—and your relationship!

You’re described as “the country’s leading authority on the state of love.” What is the state of love today? 

Hesitant but hopeful. We’re going through changing times: blurring of traditional gender roles, new ways to communicate, social media, dating apps. Everybody is treading more lightly than in the past. But there are also more people trying to figure things out, asking the right questions, trying to get beyond their comfort zone when it comes to love. Ultimately, those people will find the happiness and answers they seek.

What makes dating and finding love so challenging? 

Women want men to try harder and men want women to make it easier. That’s the standoff, the crux of the disconnect in every city we go to. When everyone realizes that if we take a half-step towards what we’re looking for, we will all be just fine.

What’s the funniest, weirdest thing that’s happened during one of your live shows?

A woman stood up at a show in New York City and said, “What do you do if you go out with a guy, you have a good time, he says he’s going to call you, and he doesn’t call you? And what do you do if that guy is here tonight?!” The women immediately started chanting “Show your face!” over and over until this poor guy sheepishly stood up and apologetically threw himself to the mercy of the mob.

What’s the goal of the show?

For people to laugh and for people to learn that there is hope, there are answers and there are endless possibilities to finding love and happiness, in every city, every day.

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