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November 2004
National Singles news briefs

by Janet L. Jacobsen

Ingredients of a good love letter.
Recently the Reader's Digest reported on the components of a good love letter. One, patience. E-mail isn't romantic. You need ink, stationery, and taking some time to think. Two, keep it simple. Leave the flowery stuff to Shakespeare. Sound natural. Three, get personal. Share specific things about the person and how specific moments together have been meaningful to you.

Pointers for spotting a creep (or creepette).
In a column recently, "Dear Abby" included a letter sharing relationship "red flags" that the person had ignored. 1. Your parents or siblings have doubts about him. 2. Your intended has nothing good to say about his ex. 3. His children have nothing to do with him. 4. Examine his credit and job history; they predict the future. 5. "If he's over 30 and has no money . . . do not marry him until he's financially solvent." 6. Bad sign if he has no friends. 7. If he hates your friends and they hate him. 8. He's had more than one DUI and still drinks. 9. His personality with you is different than his personality with others. 10. If he has nothing to do with his parents, don't take his word about why. 11. If he has sexual problems, see a doctor together before you marry. 12. Yelling, name calling and glowering are forms of abuse. 13. He's mean to children, pets or animals.

Kids at home longer because times are tougher.
A study by sociologists, reported recently in the Washington Post, said that one reason more young people are living at home into their twenties is because it takes longer today to secure a job that can support a family. The parents and grandparents of today's 20-somethings had more access to well-paying jobs with benefits, plus government assistance for higher education and affordable housing.

Dating services losing ground to internet matching.
According to a market analysis by Marketdata Enterprises, business at the national dating service chains declined in 2003 but may gorw slightly in 2004. Meanwhile dating websites took in $400+ million last year, but growth of the market has slowed to 40%.

Hotel has Director of Romance.
No word on whether there's a connection, but the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, where President Bush stayed on recent visits to town, has its own Director of Romance. He's also maitre d' at the resort's plush restaurant, where his services include helping men figure out romantic ways to propose over dinner. He's even made wedding arrangements, including finding a dress for the bride.

Before you get back together with your ex.
In an article on divorced couples getting back together with the ex, the Arizona Republic newspaper offered the following tips: Do you really miss them, or just miss having someone around? What's changed since you were together? Getcounseling together to be sure you really have solved old problems. Don't rush. Talk through old issues and how you'll behave differently. Treat it like a new love, with all the romantic touches.

Road to happiness not so bumpy.
Vitality magazine reports that research suggests the steps to happiness aren't all that difficult. Key components are a sense of purpose, and the number and closeness of relationships with friends and family. To increase your own happiness: 1. Cultivate friendships. Caring about others is as important as feeling cared for. 2. Accentuate the positive. Look for the good in whatever happens. 3. Don't confuse stuff with success. "Things" won't do it for you if you don't also have happy relationships. 4. Volunteer. Turns out volunteers are twice as likely to feel happy as nonvolunteers. 5. Share of yourself. Give others the opportunity to give you emotional support. 7. Enjoy what you have. Don't compare yourself to others. 8. Cherish animals. 9. Don't face your problems alone. Keeping things to yourself causes difficulties to fester. 10. Remember that studies show that financial status does not contribute to happiness.

"Success is giving more than you take." Christopher Reeve.

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