We have done hundreds (if not thousands) of surveillance jobs on behalf of spouses who suspect their partners of cheating. Many of those jobs occur in the days leading up to (and on) Valentine’s Day. For every single year over the past 40 years, it wasn’t uncommon for us to do over 20 of these surveillance jobs on Valentine’s Day itself.
COVID has changed all that.
Keep in mind the major concern of a cheater: They must take their lover out on Valentine’s Day. Anything else is unacceptable.
Last year, in pre-COVID 2020, things were not only the same as they were on any other year, but Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday. This was terrific for us in the private investigative industry (and a nightmare for those people having affairs) because the cheater had to decide who to take out on the big day: Their spouse or lover. They can sometimes pretend to be working on that Friday and then take out their spouse on the Saturday.
This year I have seen a couple quotes from rookies in the PI profession who are claiming to be completely booked for Valentine’s Day. That might actually be true if they happen to be a single-person operations and have one surveillance job to work. But I really question the authenticity of any PI’s claiming to have multiple surveillance jobs to work this year. COVID has just put an end to such activities in 2021.
To make sure of my assessment, I contacted five of the top PI agencies in the U.S. These all are first-class investigators, running the top-echelon agencies on the planet. Three of them have no assignments for this Sunday, February 14, 2021 and the other two have one case in which they have been retained.
My agency has two Valentine’s surveillance cases that are pending, and we may get a few more inquiries before the big day.
Last year, I wrote a post titled Cheating & Dating In the Time of COVID, and another post titled Familiarity Breeds Contempt: Divorce Rate Spike During Holidays. Both essentially have the same message, namely that many of the usual PI industry norms have been turned upside down due to the pandemic.
I’ll close out this post with a video from a Valentine’s Day past, when I was interviewed by a CBS reporter on Valentine’s Day as our surveillances unfolded. For the cheaters, you can reference the last four words of the interview regarding your chances of getting caught by my investigators: You’re gonna go down.