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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Are you a winner in the dating game?

September 7th, 2009
08:44 PM ET

From Tokyo to New York, hooking up with the perfect partner has never been more important –- especially in times of financial crisis.

As economies around the world struggle out of the red, so singles realize its best to find another half with whom to share costs. No one wants to end up with a bad match -– and a split that could hit them financially as well as emotionally. Tell us how you are coping romantically during the downturn.

Now marriage-hunting agencies are finding a steady stream of men and women who want to meet the perfect partner.

"In Japan, it is hard to build a relationship with people you don't know," explains instructor Takashi Tomita in Tokyo. "We do have parties but only with people you already know."

Agencies offer classes for men in how to stay relaxed when they meet women. "My shoulders tighten up and I can't talk with them," explained one man who said he would rather not give his name.

Meanwhile women learn about makeup and choosing the best colors for their wedding dress.

It's obvious that the world needs advice on all things romantic. Tonight on Connect The World relationships expert Samantha Daniels, who claims to have helped more than 100 happy couples get married, plays Cupid and offers her guidance and advice on how to find the perfect partner.

Romantic life been hit by the recession? Have you been involved in any dating disasters?

Or do you know how to find the perfect match? Would you benefit from tips for that all-important first meet?

Send your comments and we will use some of them in the show.

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soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. MILOS VUJASINOVIC

    I see a number of potential dates, but I feel like being blocked out for some reason, cannot come out of my shell. I like types like Becky, what shall I do?

    September 7, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  2. Fem Soldier

    Awhile ago a soldier in my unit and I got together for a fun get away and immediately bonded. We enjoy each other's company and spend a great deal of time together.

    The issue is that only after a few short months, he is ready for marriage while I'm firmly not. His position is that love doesn't have a time limit. While mine is that I know I'm not ready to be a wife, yet.

    Unbeknownst to me, (and after a conversation in which I expressed my unwillingness to be in a serious relationship), he has purchased a ring. I do love and care for him, but was crushed when I refused his offer of marriage.

    How can we reach common ground about waiting for more ideal circumstances?

    September 8, 2009 at 6:02 am | Reply
  3. james

    hi..............i am in deep trouble............i like a girl and she likes me as well..........i want to marry her...................but due to her family problems...........she can't marry me instead the person chosen by her family..................................this is her second engagement and she don't want to embarrass her family again as she broke her first engagement. I love her very much...............................what should we do.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:03 am | Reply
  4. Randoym Randt

    We are a couple who met in the virtual reality of Second Life, then in Real Life (one going from the USA to AU), immediately got pregnant with their daughter, and are now married. We run a blog that provides links to numerous resources on how to find online love and make it real life, as well as gives updates on love stories like ours.

    We were briefly featured in a cnn.com article a while back: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-39645, but are now working on developing a system of learning HOW to love better and to find what you need using Second Life (based on Outcome setting/Constructivist theory)

    http://sl2rllove.blogspot.com/

    Randoym Randt & Matchsticks McMahon

    September 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  5. Paul

    I send lots of messages on the Internet but get none back. I know I am not tall and handsome, but even with good pictures or by changing my height, things don't change.
    What should I put in my messages to make them more interesting?

    September 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  6. Agatha Wanjiru

    Am 25 years old lady, i have one time loved a guy with all my heart, but in return he wasn't. I have been hurted several times. I have tried to find the man of my dreams but it's too hard. Am also in the social sites. What should i do?

    Agatha

    Kenya

    September 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  7. ola

    hi samantha i'm a 29 yr old girl who resides in port harcourt, nigeria and bumped on ur site and is really wonderin if its possible to find love across the ocean, secondly im crazyly in love with a married man,wats ur say on d matter,thanks

    ola

    Nigeria

    September 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  8. Graciela

    Why is it so difficult to find someone to love? I am 47, divorced only once, 1 child (25), independent, free and most of the time in a good mood. Why? Anybody would like to meet me?

    September 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  9. Wendy

    I'm in my early 30s and have dated a good few nice guys who did want to settle down with me. I've never been opposed to the idea of marriage, but it was never the right time for me.
    Then I had a life-and-death scare that had me fighting for my life for about a year.
    And now I see how terribly short and precious life is (except for paying bills and changing the litter box...I'm afraid they don't rank as "precious moments in life" 😉 ).

    So, now I do want to settle into a relationship and enjoy the rest of my life with someone. But all the guys I meet now just want to "play"; nothing serious. Which is fine for them, but it's no longer for me.

    And with all of my girlfriends and co-workers (yes, ALL) now married and many with children, it is hard to get them to go out to places. So I don't meet anyone new. And I kinda feel awkward going out to places by myself (I have NO idea what to do with myself when I get there!).

    Any suggestions?

    September 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  10. Randoym Randt

    @ Wendy, yes, Second Life! That's where I met my husband at 38. IT's free, and totally different than anything else out there: http://sl2rllove.blogspot.com/

    September 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  11. Jennifer Yager

    I have a very romantic story that is a result of the recession....

    I was a first year elementary school teacher in California. At the end of the year I was laid off due to budget cuts. I took my savings and moved to Argentina. Being a single foreigner in a beautiful city was not boring, to say the least. In Buenos Aires I met a man and fell in love. Being in a new scene, discovering a new culture, with a Latin man is romantic by definition, for me. I have been here for a year now and the next chapter to my little love story will be adventurous.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  12. Naveen Kumar

    Hi Everyone
    Always try to avoid girls in ur life n try to do something new n always try to create new things which can help us to imrove ourself

    September 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  13. Becky

    From USA, 3 years ago moved to Argentina, i love it and love the culture. met a guy, fell in love, but he just wanted to play the field so to speak. all my friends back home are married, all my friends here are w significant others, despite the fact that argies are slow to settle down, jaja i am kinda a fish out of water, and beginning to think that a relationship is not in the works for me. also all the guys i like, where i think we could really have something, have this annoying habit of being really far away jajaj. through this, i have learned to make the most of my life and to be ok with just being me. who knows, a cat could be in my future soon. i dont know if couple, the one, happiness is in the cards for everyone

    September 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  14. joe kerr

    Whoever you are fond of and care for............follow your heart, have a great time and smile about it in the autumn of life............cos life's just too short

    September 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  15. JC

    I'm single at 39 and enjoying it.
    I am attracting the young and old. I just need to understand the cougarism – How you is too young?

    The dating game has changed but then again life is about change.

    Ex'd my ex after 7 years. Yes! Good Change.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  16. Pedro Nose

    To Fem Soldier:

    I think the answer is that you can't. You told your friend you weren't interested in a longterm relationship, and however fond you may be of him, that you weren't ready for such a serious commitment as marriage. Instead of respecting your feelings, he buys a ring, and then is crushed when your feelings don't magically change because he feels differently.

    From the details you offer, there are a few things that would be big red flags for me. He seems to have some egocentrism going on with the abstract theory of how love works (rather than listening to what you tell him you feel) and the inability to see that it takes two to tango, and his feelings aren't enough. you tell him you're not ready, and he tells you, essentially, that love doesn't work like that. Rather than engaging with (and accepting) the living, complex person before him, he resorts to superficial abstracts that are entirely philsophical and are essentially thin cover for his own personal thoughts and preferences.

    I'd also wonder about the impulsivity of his character when despite being told no, he goes and buys a ring. It strikes me as rather a coercive tactic. And here you are talking about how hurt his feelings were when you said no. How come you're not angry that he put you in the position of having to say no, again, by failing completely to respect your feelings?

    He may be fun to hang with, but the impulsivity, unwillingness to respect or understand your feelings, and the pushy pressure tactics, i think you're wise to avoid entering any longterm commitments there. Because while it's all appealing and sweet to be ardently pursued, how will it be down the line when the luster is off and he's insensitive and pushy on other things?

    Those are my two cents; you may have 'em at no cost. 🙂

    September 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  17. Andrian Harsono

    Recession or not, it's always nice to know there is always someone there for you for the rest of your life. The power of life-time companionship cannot be underestimated enough.

    Want some tips? Take up dancing, particularly Tango! According to my friend, Tango presents great opportunities for men and women to get up close to each other. It's also fun and good exercise. Music, please!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  18. Dora

    Hello samantha,am 23 i was in a relationship but never liked him cos of some reason. Now i try to move on but everything seem to be stalked. I try meeting people and cannot find anyone of my choice also i am have fears about getting married but deep down i know i need someone but fear has a high part it plays.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  19. peregrino

    i have a short story for all of you, i have been together with my partner for almost six years we have 2 kids, and things can be great but they are also extremely hard at times...but when we met and dated for the first time we had 45 us dollars between the both of us and ran of to travel mexico together within the same day we made love for the first time, I asked my wife to have our first baby within six months of beign together, and we work everyday to make our relatioship happen and work ...here ismy two cents... dont try to prepare,thereis no right time, there is no right or perfect person, there is only love.... sometimes in life we just need to take a jump...into the abyss of love... and work so that it holds...good luck to you alll...

    September 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  20. Magda_Lupescu

    “In Japan, it is hard to build a relationship with people you don’t know,” explains instructor Takashi Tomita in Tokyo. “We do have parties but only with people you already know.”

    This would seem to be an effective formula for a confined social life! I always thought the purpose of parties was to meet new people.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:54 am | Reply
  21. Marlene M.

    I´d say that recession has changed somewhat the way I go about looking for a partner. I used to be subscribed to an online dating service until last december. Since the rate of "hits", that is, contacts that went on to a live date, was 1% for me, the cost and effort was not paying off. Now I´m expanding my social network through friends for free!
    I spend the equivalent of my online subscription in two inexpensive outings per month like salsa lessons at clubs, ( I have cut out the alcoholic drinks to reduce costs), or going to parties and pitching in as my friends do. So far, by asking everyone I know to think of a "good man" that they could introduce to me I have had a a better hit rate as far as dating goes. Although I haven´t hit it off with anyone in particular yet, I´m having more fun, meeting more people and spending about the same or less per month than when I was on the online dating service.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:02 am | Reply
  22. Theo

    The way I see it, American women are their own worst enemies. It is so interesting to go onto a dating site and see them display their salary, and then, almost always, indicate that their perfec match makes more money than them. Are you kidding me?! They compete for the same jobs as American men now, and earn the same salary (for the same job). They never learned to share. They still don't routinely help pay for dates, and hold out for the "Princess Experience" in line with the "Princess Complex" mothers continue to reinforce in today's daughters. With the majority of college students now women, American young men are falling further behind these women's "expectations". I tell young single women to be prepared for a long lonely and dry life alone with their cats until they learn to share the same way men always have. Men have the internet as a replacement for women. Women have cats and dogs. Men have given up on competing, and women put out physically in hopes of love. I am amazed at how selfish women of means are nowadays. It's very interesting. And thank goodness, at 44, I can still manipulate greedy women to get my needs taken care of.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:29 am | Reply
  23. Rodger Friedland

    After 20 years of marrage I am now alone taking care of our business on a resort island. It would be easy to find a person to be with (sexually). But I'm finding that the best way to cope with being alone is to find things that interest you and STOP trying so hard to find someone to love (or have sex with). I recently met a very beautiful lady that is turning out to be a very good friend. The best part of it all is that there are no expectations. Do I think that something more could come out of it? Absolutely. Am I interested in more? Absolutely not! Just be happy with yourself and you will find peace, and wonderful relationships. If sex is your primary objective then you are just limiting yourself to the rest of what life has to offer. If you are yourself everything will come to you in time; even love and sex if that is what you are looking for..

    September 9, 2009 at 2:59 am | Reply
  24. Try Thai

    It's so easy. Just get a ticket to Thailand.

    Most beautiful and sweet women in the world.

    I've been here 2 years, with the same girl, my cost of living is about one-third of what it was in the US, and my standard of living is higher. Bangkok is more cosmopolitan than any US city outside of New York and LA.

    Amazing Thailand!

    September 9, 2009 at 3:09 am | Reply
  25. Heather

    I am 23 years old. I live in Japan. I will stay here for at least one year, after that... I`ll see. Before I moved to Japan last July I lived in Germany (since November). Late September last I realised that a man I had known for years was much more attractive, much more appealing than I had ever noticed. We had several mutual friends but had never spent any time getting properly aquainted. He is older than I am, close to twice my age. But I persued him, subtly at first, then not so subtly, then it happened.

    We were only together for as short time before I was head-hunted to work in Germany, and I went. I didn`t think we would be together when I got back, but we called and texted regularly, he was really there for me. I set him up with an email address and tried to teach him how to use it.

    Over the christmas and new year period we got much closer. Things changed. It was tough, but it was worth it. I decided to recontract with the group in Germany. In fairness Ireland is only a short flight away! We decided to "break up", meaning, if either of us wanted `out` it wouldn`t mean anything so terrible as a text breakup, but in actuality we were totally together. He called everyday after work. We texted everyday, constantly. He finally started sending emails.

    Dispite the distance, we were getting closer.

    I came home every 6 weeks or so. I realised, while I was in Germany, that I love him. A first for me. And I believed that to be an unrequieted thing. And that was ok! Eventually, on one of my trips home. I told him. And got no response. I think I was expecting it but it was still tough.

    Anyway, for the next while I went back and forth between Germany and Ireland, spending more time with him than anyone when I came home.

    During those months I had applied for a job in Japan, which I was offered, and struggled with, but accepted. He made it very clear that he could not ask me to stay, that he would never forgive himself if I stopped my career before it really got started, but that he wanted to be friends at the very least, forever, all that jazz. Underneath, I think he was scared. I know I was.

    Leaving was one of the hardest things I`ve ever done. I nearly didn`t get on the plane. Again, we "technically" broke up, but we talk everyday, Skype has kept use even closer than while I was in Germany. It is great to have skype, and, God, I`m so proud of the progress he`s made when it comes to technology! For me!

    The latest part of this tale came about 2 weeks ago. He was going out for the evening, meeting with a girl I know. A girl I know that wants him. An attractive girl. You get the picture. So I asked (on Skype) if he would please just say it, tell me he`d never loved me. That way, if they got together it would feel less like clingy-girlfriend-betrayal, and more like a natural next step. For him to move on, and it would be easier to think that since he never loved me that there was somewhat less to get over, from his perspective.

    I`ll never forget that moment. He stared at me over the internet from thousands and thousands of miles away and said "I love you, I have for ages. How did you not know this! I love you so much."

    I died. I was stunned, still am. He asked me to come visit at christmas. Now, with the time difference, we talk in the morning (here, just before he goes to bed there), he tells me he loves me as I head out the door to work. It`s great. We`re getting stronger all the time.

    Long-distance, long-term, multimedia, age-gap relationships can work. Without skype it would be very difficult, and expensive. But we`re doing great.

    If we can make it work... I believe anyone can!

    September 9, 2009 at 4:23 am | Reply
  26. Nilesh

    I have no love life..lol
    So, doesn't matter if there is recession!. I must say no effect.

    September 9, 2009 at 5:03 am | Reply
  27. Dr phill

    hi this is not Dr. Phill website. please visit my website at http://www.drphil.com. please post your question and give some time to answer back.

    September 9, 2009 at 5:17 am | Reply
  28. Karil

    Well, I do not know how to find the perfect match, but I do think that having a car, an apartment or house, a full-time job (and a puppy lol!)
    You'll certainly have plenty of potential women or men willing to spend the rest of their life with you. All you need to do is pick one. nevertheless, If you make the wrong choice, hahahhaa well that's your own problem.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:43 am | Reply
  29. sara

    I am a twenty-five year old Persian girl who just moved to the States and I am confused! I do not want to have sex unless I am in a committed relationship. Is that so wrong? Seriously, is that too much to ask? Do we seriously need to be "f– buddies" before getting to the serious-ness stage? ARGHHHHHHHH

    September 9, 2009 at 6:45 am | Reply
  30. N.

    Pedro – While I agree with some of the things you say, you are projecting your own personality on Fem Soldier. Perhaps she is far more tolerant and sees things differently. (That's the problem with armchair psychology...)

    For instance, I am indeed the pushy one in my relationship, but it's a perfect match. My husband is much more laid back and likes to take things slowly so we balance each other out.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:05 am | Reply
  31. Ibrahim

    I am 28 yrs old. I am in a relationship with someone, we really love ourselves very much. Her parents regulate the time we spend together. This leaves me spending more time with my colleague in the office. I now notice a lot of things about her that I like. Is this lust or love? Because I am gradually appreciating my colleague more and more every day. I have been trying to control my feelings but its seems like I am loosing my grip. We were supposed to get married within the first quarter of next year. Recently, I told her that it seems like I am not psychologically ready for the wedding and that we should postpone it indefinitely. She busted out in tears and it took a hard time to calm her down. We have argued several times on issue of spending time together, it always turn out bitter. Maybe I should just let her go or hold on until we get married next year. But it's really a hard time when you love someone and you cant see the person often. My colleague is very nice, looks stunning, matured and well mannered. I am stock in between need and want, ideal and real and love and lust. It gotta be one of 'em.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:30 am | Reply
  32. Mike G

    To Fem Soldier:

    I just want to say that Pedro Nose's analysis of your boyfriend may be too harsh (but no disrespect to Pedro, who may have hit on something).

    You are the best person to judge your BF's motives. Perhaps Pedro is right and your boyfriend is impulsive and a bit out of tune with your feelings - but love also works in funny ways and if someone loves you then they might just be desperate to show you that. Either way, if someone buys you a ring and proposes, that is always a special thing and he should be respected for that. But you should make it clear that if he really really wants you, then he'll just have to put in the time and let the relationship mature in order to prove to you, without panic or pressure, that your love was actually built for life.

    ...and that's my two cents!

    September 9, 2009 at 7:43 am | Reply
  33. Akin Abimbola

    Realationships! oh,it really does make life worth living,its just that there is this multiplier effect on all spheres of life what one truly feels inside.
    True friendship exhibits so much love and selflessness especially when one's aimis to see and bring out the best in ones acquintance and vanquish the negative stereo-type of love being synonymous with sex,gold and the likes.
    Thanks,

    Lagos,Nigeria.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:55 am | Reply
  34. Richards Abudu

    @James .....Firstly, marriage is to hold and to have forever. Is the girl the only daughter in that family or not? Cos if she is the only daughter,her parent will support her but if she is not the only daughter her family will not support. Does her family likes you? Cos this another thing for them to consider there son in-law. Are you satisfy with every about thing about her with both her family background? Cos marriage is a life time decision like 80 to 150 years with each other and forever is a long,long time. Lastly, have you prayed to God about her if she is really your wife?

    September 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  35. Theo

    Sara, if you don't like American customs, please leave. We would prefer that you return to Iran. Thanks.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  36. huoxincun

    hard to find a proper one that you can love for your whole life

    September 10, 2009 at 8:49 am | Reply
  37. Pablo R

    Well I'm 17 yrs old and I'm in jail, I'm locked up for something i didn't do and well now i'm here i found a way to get on to the internet and well i found this blog page and well every chance i get i blog. so i just wanted to let everyone know. i live in fort worth,TX but locked up in GIddings TEXAS. so yea well my love life pretty much sucks and well in here you always got to watch your back and with one eye open when you sleep well g2g. desperate guy.

    September 18, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  38. Pablo R

    ok that last post was a little bs but, yea i am locked up though:(

    September 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Reply

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