Have you met your soulmate? That is if you believe in that concept. Or, how do you meet potential partners? Once upon a time, there were matchmakers, good-intentioned family members, friends, and then it became bars, school or college, and even the workplace with its own set of issues. Check this statistic out: “In 2017, 39% of U.S. heterosexual relationships and 65% of same-sex relationships began online.” (http://tinyurl.com/yxb4abuv) This can’t be surprising given the length of time we spend in the cyber world. When I see the number of hours I personally devote to online usage, I am amazed. But then why should I be? Any instant I have a question, it’s Google to the rescue. Want to seek a friend, a lover, a restaurant, best mascara? There are apps for all of that. Both human connections and human wants have a resource online to address them. A plethora of riches…

Yet we all know that connecting with another person, emotionally, sexually or socially, has its own rules and expectations and those have evolved as the medium of swiping right or left has offered more and more diverse choices. When you go out to eat and the menu has 5 choices, a decision can be made a bit easier than when there are 35 offerings. The latter also taps into the concept of whether I am making the best choice. How do we know this person is ”the one” when there are many others waiting for your swipe?

Of course, however any connection originates, there does come the face-to-face encounter. This is where how one has presented themselves in their profile becomes an issue. To attract “the one” means putting our best foot forward even if it involves distortions. Ditto for both parties. It can go in a more positive direction in that what you mildly found attractive may turn out to be terrific. Almost every Sunday, I read the Date Lab section of the Washington Post Magazine. It is educational! Here are 2 people, matched by some human for interests, or whatever, meet, have the food paid for, seemingly getting along just fine, and then BOOM! No more contact. Presumably, these are people who actively filled out an application to seek a date. And under the best of circumstances with no pressure of money cost and knowing the other is also seeking a relationship.

Now, of course, I am not disregarding the huge factor of chemistry that is essential. If they do not light your fire, it is a dead end. For some, the search may be the main and only goal too.  Do ask yourself: What is the best way I can use this resource available to me, so I reach what I aim for? So, whether online or offline, as you look for a partner, remember:

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the sense.” ~ Lao Tzu

Janan Broadbent, PhD

As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph.D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness, and education.

Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary’s College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.

While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.

Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.