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April 9, 2009

Looking for love? What to watch out for

Posted: 12:13 PM ET

Love conquers all, even the bad economy, it seems.

An upcoming story on CNN.com will focus on how matchmakers are thriving in the recession as singles intensify their search for mates.

If you are feeling especially lonely during these tough times and thinking about hiring a matchmaker, trying online dating or asking friends to set you up, experts are offering some tips to ensure you entrust your heart to the right person.

“One of the things I really encourage people to do when they’re looking for a relationship is to evaluate [it] in almost a systematic way," said Nadine Kaslow, a professor at Emory University School of Medicine and chief psychologist at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia.

"You need to think about, as you get to know somebody, what are the green lights to tell you to go forward, what are the yellow lights, or caution, and what are the red lights that say, whoa, stop."

Every partner, or potential partner, has their pluses and their minuses, so you need to have your eyes and ears wide open, she advised.

Negative signals can be subtle, especially in the early stages of a relationship. If someone is undermining you, not respectful of you or having trouble having you as one of the priorities in their life, that’s a problem, Kaslow said. She encouraged singles to talk to their friends and confidantes about what they are noticing in people they are thinking of getting involved with.

Compatibility is important, despite the often repeated adage that opposites attract, said Ann Robbins, the founder and CEO of LifeWorks Matchmaking in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So an energetic, bouncy person would likely not be happy with someone who is really quiet and shy.

“Opposites do attract in terms of ‘I like the beach, you like the mountains,’ ‘I like pasta, you like steak.’ That kind of opposite definitely can attract,” Robbins said.

“But when it comes to values and it comes to lifestyle – the really energetic versus the really calm person – a lot of times it does not work and it really won’t work when it comes to values. Your values have to be in alignment.”

What would you like to ask a matchmaker? Let us know by visiting iReport.

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Filed under: Living


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Clark Howard helps you become a wise consumer. We know you're busy, and that's why Clark's tips are quick and effective. He'll arm you with the information you need to make smart choices. During these tough economic times, Clark wants to help you save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off!