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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Hooking Up With Success!
(12 Ways to Click with the Right Person Sooner)

If you’re an online dater, chances are that time and convenience are important factors in your mating considerations. That is all the more reason you would want to avoid a lot of trial and error, and get off to a winning start!

The clearer you are about what you want and how to get it, the shorter the process of navigating the Net in search for that right person.

Here's how and where to begin:

1. Be a Savvy Single
Because of the nature of online dating, safety is definitely an issue. Be sure to proceed with caution. In your eagerness to connect with a potential mate, don’t divulge financial affairs, family history, sexual fantasies and personal info to individuals with whom you know very little.

2. Know Yourself First
What turns you on? Makes you cry? Touches your heart? Turns your stomach? What lessons have you learned from the past? Do a little soul searching before searching for a soul mate

3. Have Realistic Expectations
Nobody’s perfect. More than likely, you’ll have to compromise on some of the items on your romantic “wish-list.” For example, I’d rather have an honest, kind, average-looking guy over one who’s gorgeous but lacks integrity, and keeps me up at night.

Been there, done that!

Don’t settle, but do take the person’s entire “packaging” into assessment before dismissing future possibilities.

4. Know What Type of Relationship You're Looking For
In today’s single scene, the skies are the limit! Are you seeking a one-on-one serious relationship? A booty call partner? A future spouse? Or a social friend? And please be honest. There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with a person who is deceptive about what he/she wants, and who ultimately wastes valuable time.

5. Pray
The search for the “right” partner should never be left to just mere chance. For greater success, petition your desires in prayer. And be specific.

6. Trust, But Verify

7. Drop the Emotional Baggage
Are you still carrying a grudge from a former relationship? Or perhaps need closure from someone from your past? If so, deal with your issues before you deal with a new mate.

8. Watch Out For Important Clues
Does your online interest seem to anger easily? Have a history of short relationships? Have inconsistencies in details about work, marital status, experiences, etc. Sometimes we can save ourselves a lot of headaches and heartaches if we heed those “red flags” in the beginning of our journey.

9. Trust Your Intuition
What does your gut tell you?

10. Seek Input From Friends About Their Online Dating Activities.
Learn from others. Also, view the Online Dating Experiences section of Online Dating Magazine.

11. Keep a Journal of Your Experiences
Keep a journal in order to record, review, and compare valuable observations, feelings, and lessons.

12. Believe For The Best
As with other aspects of life, your attitude can make all the difference!


Interesting Trivia and Statistics on Online Dating and Dating in General:

» According to a CBS news poll, 15% of all Americans who have Internet access have visited a web site where single adults meet.

» Forbes reports that this dating option is a mainstream phenomenon, with revenues totaling $214 million the first half of 2003.

» Online dating services offer convenience and affordability, with some services charging as little as $20.00 a month to post your photo and profile and connect with a potential life partner right from your own home.

» In a 2003 study by the AARP 35% of middle-aged American women said they prefer to date younger men.

» According to the U.S. census, 12% of marriages are between older women and younger men.

» Aside from physical beauty, singles are looking for intelligence, optimistic attitudes, self-confidence and partners who enjoy the same hobbies, and/or interests they do. Similar levels of intelligence are also important. Well matched couples generally have similar levels of education.

» It is statistically proven that being in a relationship is healthier than being single. Recent research shows that single men aged 45 and over are at a 23% greater risk of early death. Within this age group, men who get divorced are at a 30% greater risk.

Just remember: whatever your dating experiences, learn the lesson and be better, not bitter.



>
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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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