Cover feature with two articles in the Repbulican Newspaper magazine “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” February 2008 called:
“Technology and Astrology Meet to make a perfect match” and “How I met my Husband”
Looking for Love
Technology and astrology meet to make a perfect match
Friday, January 18, 2008
By Denise Favro Schwartz
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
What is love?
Ask a philosopher what love is and you might hear: “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.” (Sophocles)
Question a humorist and you’ll learn that “Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” (Mark Twain)
Medical doctor and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes suggested, “Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.”
And Patty Gates Firehammer, a Relationship Coach, tells us that love can be found in a dizzying combination of footballs, pencils and birthdays.
Gates Firehammer, who owns three relationship-improvement businesses, uses those metaphors in her work helping people “get really clear about all their relationships — as well as about what they want for a mate and how to attract that in their lives.” She finds the keys to compatibility, an important stop on the road towards love, in peoples’ relationship, planning and stress-management styles. She discovered those keys during a long period of searching, thinking and studying after her first marriage ended. She was determined to figure out how to improve her relationship choices. Through her research, some of which has roots in astrology, she saw patterns emerge. She calls a certain set of them “Compatikeys” and describes some of them as “styles.”
For example, Gates Firehammer determined that the way a person acted in a relationship placed him or her in one of two “relationship” style groups that she characterizes as footballs and basketballs. “People who are footballs hold the ball in a relationship,” she said. “They hold the connection.” Basketballs, on the other hand, “tend to dribble in a relationship,” she explained. “They move around. They dribble the connection.”
Gates Firehammer also noticed that people had distinct “planning” styles. She identified two groups of those: “pencils” and “pens.”
“A pencil is the kind of person who makes a plan for the day with a partner then decides as the day goes along, ‘I really don’t want to do that.’ If she’s with another pencil, he’ll say, ‘Oh that’s okay. Sure.’ He’ll be flexible. But if she’s with a pen, he’ll say, ‘But, honey, we made this plan. I want to stick with the plan.'”
That makes sense. Flexible people might have an easier time finding love if they are paired with other flexible people. On the flip side, pens should probably not pair up with other pens. Not so, says Gates Firehammer. She notes that some people like the dynamics that opposite planning styles bring into a relationship. “You have to find out what it is that works for you and go with that,” she said in a phone interview from her Easthampton home. Gates Firehammer’s businesses help people figure this out. “We don’t show you what works. We show you what’s at work, and you decide the combinations that are best for you.”
When Gates Firehammer says, “we,” she means her business partner and husband, Mark Firehammer. The Firehammers (who became a couple after Gates consulted her own research minutes after meeting Mark) launched their businesses two years ago. There is the online self-help relationship tool called “Compatikey” which can be found and explained at www.compatikey.com; the local social network www.RealPeople Nearby.com; and their one-on-one relationship consultancy located in Northampton. There is also the very professional Web site, www.RumeTaGro.com, that details all of the relationship tools that the Firehammers have to offer.
Jennifer Viands of Hatfield visited the RumeTaGro site after she met Gates Firehammer at a Chamber of Commerce event. “I was intrigued by her business right off the bat,” said Viands. A real estate professional at Joan Hutchins Real Estate, Viands was drawn to the astrological aspect of Gates Firehammer’s work.
“I’ve always had an interest in astrology,” Viands said, “so when Patty said it can help build relationships, it rang a bell for me. I’ve had a series of horribly failed relationships and as far as I’m concerned, I can use all the help I can get.” Viands explained that Gates Firehammer used the dates of her birthday and those of people Viands had relationships with to help her see the traits that were similar in relationships that failed or thrived.
For example, Viands gave Gates Firehammer the birth date of a previous “interest.” “He had a sense of control, a tenacity about getting his way. I didn’t tell Patty all of this, but she knew it from his birth date and the (study) she’s done. That was enough for me! To be able to determine some key personality traits prior to getting into a relationship, well, that’s empowering. It can spare you so much grief and heartache and time. Now before I get involved with someone, I can go to Patty with the birth date and she can see if it could be a match,” Viands concluded.
Another of Gates Firehammer’s clients found the man she married with the help of the RumeTaGro concepts. Sara, who preferred not to be identified, is a professional living in Amherst. When she met Gates Firehammer, she said she was “searching for a mate.” Gates Firehammer wrote down Sara’s birth date and soon after suggested that Sara meet a man “she thought would be compatible based on her information about personality styles,” Sara said.
It worked! Two years later, Sara and the “match” were married.
“It’s not that we don’t run into challenges (in our marriage) but we have the communication styles to work it out,” she said.
Even though Gates Firehammer’s work is heavily based on astrological data, Sara said she was “OK with the astrological part of it.”
“I’m an open-minded person,” she said. “I knew Patty well enough to trust her, it sounded like fun and I didn’t feel I had anything to lose. I was willing to see what came up!” Even if that relationship hadn’t worked out, Sara believes that the work Gates Firehammer does with her clients has significant value. “It stimulates self-reflection. It helps you reflect on your energy style, how your behavior affects other people and vice versa. It gives you a new way to understand yourself and your relationships.”
Gates Firehammer frames the astrological aspect of her work this way: “I have found that it’s the astrological data set that is consistent in all people, and is the one of the core things that animates people in their own unique way, within themselves and their relationships. The astrological data set given at the time of your birth is the picture of the “hidden ingredients” that a lot of people can feel and are somewhat aware of, but haven’t been able to fully put their finger on. That is what I have been discovering and researching and using in my work with clients for 20 years.”
“I also used this to find my husband,” she said.
And by the way, both Mark and Patty are football-pencils in the language of Compatikey.
How I Met My Husband
Friday, January 18, 2008
by Patty Gates-Firehammer
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
I was getting ready to go to a party the evening of May 4, 2002. I put on my moonstone earrings, a beautiful red top and black pants. I remember feeling very happy — like I was on this cloud all the way to the party. I walked in just in time to see this handsome man about to sing and play a song on his guitar for the group. I was mesmerized and thought to myself, he’s singing this song with such passion and depth, that he must have written it, and if so, I definitely wanted to know him better.
I was clear about what I wanted in a man, both in the non-hidden ingredients and the “hidden ingredients.” I could see and “feel” the chemistry I had for him, but I wanted to make sure the other “hidden ingredients” that I wanted were there, before I would go any further. So, I walked up to him a little while later. Two women were flirting with him, and I said, “Excuse me, but I need to know your birth date!” He smiled, seemed intrigued, and gave me his birth date. I said, “Thank you, I’ll be right back” and walked away. I went over to where I had my book to look up and analyze the hidden ingredients, brought it back, stood next to him and checked out the information. As I was looking at it, I felt the heat of excitement rush through my body. He had everything I could have imagined — and then some! I looked up at him with a look in my eyes like… a gift from heaven!
One of the girls who was flirting with him seemed a little annoyed and said, “Patty, you’re such a flirt, how could any man take you seriously for a relationship?”
I said, “Well, he’d have to be a very secure man who knows I am a playful, one-man woman.”
He said, “Are you taking auditions?”
I said, “Yes I am.”
He said, “Where do I sign up?”
I put out my hand; he signed his name on my palm. We’ve been together ever since, and I can still say he is everything and more than I could have imagined!
Also, The front page of the business section in the Daily Hampshire Gazette in October 2007 “Couples dream is dating smarts by the numbers. (To be posted soon)
Thank you for your patience!