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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > 200th Dating Column

by Jennifer Brown Banks

My 200th Dating Column

Editor's Note: This is the 200th column by Jennifer Brown Banks, a senior columnist for Online Dating Magazine for many years. Jennifer's GEMs is currently the longest running weekly column on Online Dating Magazine and we greatly appreciate her continued insight.


Four years and some 200 columns ago, I became a columnist for Online Dating Magazine.
Happy Anniversary to me. :-) And it has indeed been a pleasure!


Many things have changed since that August in 2005 when I was compelled to put my heart ache to pen and paper and create JENNIFER'S GEMS.

I want to thank you for coming along for the ride, and contributing to my development as a writer and as a woman.

Since the column debut, I have gotten countless email letters from across the country in the way of “fan-mail”, and a few critics as well. :-)  Keep em' coming.

So today, I'd like to offer a few reflections and observations amidst my journey---and bring you the 4-1-1- on what's on my mind. 

So let's get started...

  • Sometimes friendships must be reviewed and reevaluated much like romantic partnerships. In the words of Dr. Phil, “How's that workin' for you?” Most of my friends have been a part of my life and personal arena for decades.  Many are even back from high school days.  Others have evolved from common interests like writing and poetry. While others started as business associations that morphed into friendships. They are all valued and honored on my part.  My friends are like my extended family. We've weathered highs and lows--- loves lost, job woes, and many, many joys. My life is greatly enriched by their presence, and I try to show them in my words and actions. But sometimes we outgrow folks, or find that they know longer define friendship the way we do.  Like a gal pal of former years, whom to my sadness didn't quite value being a woman of her word. After her last promise that she failed to deliver, I began to reflect over the years and discovered that even though she was a dear, funny, kind person, that we simply differed on how we defined friendship.  Call me “crazy”, but I think that being a person of your word is important. To me it speaks to integrity and being a responsible adult.  And with friends it's a must.  After all, if you can't count on a friend,who can you count on? Let's move on, shall we...  
  • Meaningful work is fundamental to quality of life. We spend so much time in pursuit of making a buck, it stands to reason that it should be something that we enjoy and that adds richness to our existence.  I spent years at gigs that sucked away my joy and sense of peace that I thought that it was just normal and required. Not! I adore writing and teaching and wouldn't trade it for nothin'!
  • Life is largely what you make of it! Regardless to what your station on status in life, if you could you'd change certain elements. True? Well, guess what...that's common. Somethings we can change, others we inherit.  Either way, happiness is a choice. Play the hand dealt you the bast way you can, and be thankful for daily blessings.

  • It's the “quality” of relationships that matters, not the status. In other words, by categorization, it's not better to be single or married; they both have advantages and disadvantages.  The key is meaningful, lasting, quality connections! For instance,  I can't count the number of female friends who wished for marriage, and then when they tied the knot, wished for single days. Be careful what you wish for!

Here's to wishing you a 2009 of love, joy, and abundant riches!  Thanks for reading...

Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or suggestions for previous or future columns to




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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