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June 2009

A Degree Isn't Everything

We all want someone who we connect with on an intellectual level.  Having a college degree canbe an indicator of how intellectual someone is.  Sometimes though, people have earned an education through different means.  Keep an open mind as you meet people in your every day life.  You may meet someone who has had extensive formal education, but who seems less intelligent than the person who has taken it upon themselves to read every book they could get their hands on.  Get to know someone and then decide.  Don't disqualify someone from your dating pool just because you hear the words "no college degree."

Questions Answered. We asked one of our dating specialist some of the most frequently asked questions asked by singles.

What typically gets between singles and a rewarding dating life?

The top three challenges are making the time, knowing where to find like-minded people, and protecting your personal privacy.  For most people, the problem is very rarely getting a date.  The problem is actually connecting with someone interesting who you're attracted to and who you can really have fun with.

We have a lot of clients who are very active in the community and in the business world who come to us specifically because they don't want to date within those same circles.  It's too uncomfortable. 

We also work with people who have recently moved or who have ended a long-term relationships and just don't know where to start looking.  The bar scene isn't typically a viable option.  And when it comes to online dating, there's not enough security or personal privacy.  No one wants to be Googled or continuously emailed by people they have no interest in dating.

What's the best way to meet compatible people?

Making a connection through someone who knows you and is really looking out for you is the key to success.  We think that's why It's Just Lunch has grown to be such a respected organization over the past 17 years.  Our dating consultants handle everything in a very personalized and efficient manner... from finding the right matches to making all the arrangements.  All our clients have to do is show up and focus on having fun with someone new. 

Why do people trust you with their personal lives?

We think it comes down to discretion, standards, and personal service.  When people call me to schedule an interview, it's usually because they've made the decision to make a proactive change in their personal lives.  And our service is completely confidential, so it makes taking that next step a lot easier.  In fact, we never share last names or phone numbers with clients, even when we match people for a date.  And then there's the fact that we're selective, just like the people we work with.

Another major distinction is that we personally hand-select every match.  We're not like dating services that believe an algorithm is a good way to match people.  What we do is more of an art than a science.  And we individually interview every candidate, which is incredibly important these days considering the fact that many people using online dating services are actually in relationships or not very serious about dating.

What are the most common dating mistakes you see?

Number one is putting too much pressure on yourself.  This happens a lot with people who don't have a lot of connections toother singles.  They meet someone and think, "I've got to make this work out.  It could by six months before I find someone else even remotely interesting."

Our clients know that we have plenty of great matches for them, so they can relax and not feel rushed.  That's really the focus of It's Just Lunch - a casual, low-pressure way for people to meet for lunch, or a drink after work.  Our main focus is to arrange that first date for our clients, so they can decide if there's enough interest for a second date.

The other mistake people make is repeatedly dating the same type of person and expecting different results.  We always encourage our clients to open themselves up to connecting with people who have similar core values but different professions, backgrounds, and interests.  And we have a very diverse clientele, so there's always a wide variety of interesting people tp meet. 

Are you a single parent getting back into dating?

When you decide to begin dating, lunch dates are a great way to get your feet wet.  You can easily fit a lunch date into your workday -- and you don't have to hassle with finding a babysitter.  Moreover, you don't have to tell your child or children right away that you are dating.  You can do a little exploring on your own, and then talk to them about it. 

Of course, talking with your children about your dating life depends on their age.  Younger children - say under the age of five - might need to know that you're having some "Mommy or Daddy time" or that you are going out with a friend.  But older kids are more perceptive. 

Jennifer Wolf, a writer for and a certified Parent coach says that when you are ready, you should talk with your kids about your desire to date.  "Your kids are your family" says Wolf.  "Of course you can't predict the future, but you can clue them in to your intentions.  Think of your honesty at this point - before you've begun to date - as a seed which will grow into their future acceptance."

The bottom line is, your kids are a very important part of your life but you have to make yourself a priority too.  And as was mentioned last week, give yourself the opportunity to get to know someone before you go sizing up their parental potential.  Just get out there and start having fun!