After trying some of the more traditional methods, and even after using some online resources, it can still be difficult to find the right person to start a relationship with.

“I used to try going out to a bar, and in my line of work, I tried meeting people, but that didn’t work out too much,” explained Steve, a 58-year-old sales professional, who has been single for the past two years. “I’m not too comfortable just walking up to someone and asking if they’re available.”

But that all changed when he joined New Jersey Singles, a professional matchmaking service that utilizes people rather than computers to help members find the right person for them.

“I thought I would get more success by being able to talk to someone directly, and say ‘this is what I’m looking for, this is what I want,’ and knowing that I would find someone with the similarities that I am looking for. I was sure my outcome would be more successful going to a professional,” he explained.

“My experience with New Jersey Singles has been excellent; it has been very enjoyable. I’ve met a lot of nice people in the membership that I’ve dated. It is a relief to know that they are all there for the right reasons; they are seriously looking for a committed relationship.”

“You’re not just picking someone out randomly, like when you meet someone online,” he continued. “These are going to be compatible people who are more or less the same as you are.”

New Jersey Singles has more than 20 years of matchmaking experience. They are a local company with four offices in New Jersey: Hackensack, Bridgewater, Colts Neck, and Lawrenceville. While serving as traditional matchmakers, New Jersey Singles does more than just send two people out for a date. The company meets and screens each member, provides compatibility testing, and runs full criminal background checks to make sure their clients get a safe, worthwhile experience.

“Our clients don’t want to leave this area of their life to chance anymore,“ says Jill Grossman, director of the Lawrenceville office. “They want a formula that works, and we give them an opportunity to find someone who’s a fit, and not just settle because they have very few options in meeting compatible people.”

Grossman said the Internet has changed the way the world works, and not necessarily for the better when it comes to how people interact. Places to which people used to flock in search of social interaction have been watered down because so many people stay at home and use the Internet talk to others far beyond their neighborhood. “It has made socializing such an isolated sport,” Grossman explains. That leaves those searching for true companionship at the mercy of whoever got out of their seat to go out that night. But that’s a problem New Jersey Singles can help solve.

“It’s a very safe and logical way to go,” Grossman explained. “They don’t have to sit on a barstool, and it’s not just random dating. Our clients are busy professionals or retired professionals, and the last thing they want to do is go to a bar and waste time. Or even go online for that matter to meet someone with a lot of problems, married, or a felon.”

Searching online, of course is a very cheap and easy way out for people, but the drawbacks are numerous. “E-harmony and match.com were a huge waste of time,” Steve said about his past experience. “I never got what I really wanted out of it. Somehow there was a communication gap through all of the E-mails and the matches that I had were never really what I was looking for or located way too far away to start a relationship.”

“A lot of our clients never wanted to use the Internet because they want confidentiality. It was just not an option for them. They don’t come here because they can’t get a date, but because they don’t want to settle for the people they’re finding on their own. It is more about quality than quantity.”

The New Jersey Singles experience starts by coming in and meeting face to face with Grossman for a one-time consultation, so that she can get a feel for a client’s personality and the kind of person that they are hoping to meet. You only have to come to New Jersey Singles one time and then all of your introductions will be made in your local area.

“I felt very confident after the first 10 minutes of speaking with Jill,” Steve recalled. “I picked up on the type of person she was and how she presented herself and the company, and I felt very comfortable speaking with her. It was a very positive experience.”

The company administers an extensive personality questionnaire, then finds out exactly what traits each client is looking for in a match. “It feels good to know that you should be meeting someone that is similar to what you’re looking for,” Steve explained. “It’s not electronic. This company hand picks from profiles, so it is real people matching real people. I figured it was about time that I made an investment in this area of my life.”

Of course, Grossman warns against expecting to find your soulmate after just one date. The goal, she said, “is to be picky and selective and find that person that is most compatible for you. New Jersey Singles will make sure that not only the two people are compatible, but also share the same relationship goals, saving our clients so much time.”

And helping to turn that time and effort into results is Grossman, who has been doing this for more than 20 years. “In this day and age it makes sense to outsource this area of one’s life,” she said, “and seeing the success that myself and New Jersey Singles has had throughout the years, has made it a very rewarding experience.”

New Jersey Singles, 4 Princess Road, Suite 205, Lawrenceville. 609-912-1700. www.newjerseysingles.com.

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