Gregory Blake had always been something of a romantic.
But his real quest to prove his wisdom in the ways of love began 27 years ago when he asked his then-girlfriend to marry him while wearing a shining suit of tinfoil armour.
The Coquitlam couple will celebrate its 28th wedding anniversary in May.
And recently, the 47-year-old teacher has sent hearts a 'Twitter worldwide on the social networking site.
Gregory Blake - a "pen name" he chose to protect the privacy of his wife and grown children - began tweeting his personal lessons of love with friends and sharing romance tips with other Twitter users just for fun almost two years ago.
Today, he has more than 39,500 followers to his "RatedGRomance" Twitter account and has now set up a Facebook page and a website, ratedgromance.com, to share his sage advice in the romantic rites.
Next will be a book, Blake told The Tri-City News on Wednesday.
"What I'm trying to do is actually look at what makes a romantic gesture and to try to break it down so people who don't have that kind of experience can still understand the concepts of what works as a romantic gesture and why," he said.
Blake, who credits his parents and extended family for showing him the romantic ropes early on, said the idea for offering a "G-rated," or suitable for all ages, advice forum was both a practical choice and a deliberate attack against what he sees as the popular conflation of seduction with romance.
"It's not that I have anything against sex or anything like that - as a matter of fact, it's one of my favourite things - but the reality is that we spend way more time in settings where sex is not appropriate," he said, citing statistics showing the average couple has sex twice a week for half-an-hour at a time. "The reality is that's just an hour of your week. So the 'Rated-G' side is opportunities to create connection with your significant other in all of the rest of the time."
Blake said his motivation to write a book on love's lessons comes from a deep disgust with the predatory tone taken by many authors in the dating genre.
"A book like The Art of Seduction that's been around for years, frankly that book makes me angry because it's all about how to manipulate people in such a way that you seduce them and that's their goal," he said. "Obviously, seduction plays a role but ultimately it's about the motivation - are you trying to control the other person? If you're trying to control the other person, then you've gone from being romantic to being controlling."
And Blake's Valentine's Day advice for those last-minute stragglers: You're in luck, the most precious gift is time.