By Aisha Brown
Finding true love in this day and age could be difficult for mate seekers. President and Founder of LoNoLi, Jenn Clunis, has created a dating service solely for busy professionals to find their love with no limit. Harlem World sat down with Jenn Clunis to discuss her business, relationships and appearance on VH1’s Pepa Show.
Harlem World: What made you decide on the name of your dating service?
Jenn Clunis: It’s a long story, so one of my closest friends is the co-founder of Allhiphop.com. I was going through a bunch of different names like Platinum Executive, crazy, stupid, boring stuff. He knows how much I love Mary J. Blige, so in his mind he wanted me to have a name that would set it’s own definition. He knows I love “Love No Limit” which explains the limitless possibilities with love, so he came up with maybe using the first two letters of Love No Limit and it would be spelt L-O-N-O-L-I and I was like wow that’s hot. So I said the way I would want it to be pronounced is Lon-o-lee so that’s how we came up with the name Love No Limit.
Harlem World: If someone is interested in your service, what is the process to join?
Jenn Clunis: First, you go online we have an online application and once that application is submitted you get assigned to a love agent. I have three love agents that work with me. An initial interview will be conducted with the love agent and basically meet in a social atmosphere, we will talk and interact with you. There are questions we go through that make up the application. In addition, we ask other questions just to ascertain what you have been through and what you are looking for. Next, we conduct a background check, once the background check is completed, we have a psycho-social analysis of the person because we want to make sure the person is ready for what they say they are ready for. As a company we want to make sure this is the right place for them to get whatever they are looking for because we need individuals who are open minded to blind dates. We mostly do blind dating so you have to trust us during the process. At LoNoLi we also provide feedback, if you go out on a date we have forms people fill out after the date, so we can let you know how you did, if there is a love connection. If there wasn’t a love connection we will let you know and why, which is good because people will say, “Yea we hit off or we had a fabulous time what happened? How come I haven’t heard from him?” So we will be able to find the answer out for you and plan on the next date on ways to improve. If it is a love connection and you want to continue to date that person you can but we also have a certain amount of dates a person can go on within the dating service. Members also have the option to freeze their membership if a love match is found.
Harlem World: What makes your dating service different than others?
Jenn Clunis: What makes our dating service different from others is we are not an online dating service. We are an one on one dating service, we are interactive and primarily our focus are blacks. So most of these one on one match-making services you find out there target mostly everyone but generally their population tends to be one ethnicity and they really aren’t able to support the needs of black professionals, so what distinguishes us from the rest is we mostly focus on blacks and professionals. Our cliental has a certain level of income or they have professional degrees, meaning above professional level, it’s either one or the other because they are people who never graduated from college but who are entrepreneurs. The best example I can give his Sean “Diddy” Combs, he never graduated from college but you can not argue with his business sense because he achieved a level of success both financially and professionally. We also don’t want to hinder people who have earned professional degrees and may just choose to work at a non-profit organization or public sector and may not make as much money, but they still may be doctors, lawyers, or someone with a masters. The reason why I choose this criteria because we want people who are driven, and focus and know what it is they want to achieve in life.
Harlem World: What techniques do you use when making a match?
Jenn Clunis: So the techniques that we use are the applications, which is for compatibility the primary focus would be to sure they both want the same thing for example both wanting a relationship, marriage and kids. One thing we can’t promise is chemistry, but we try our best to match people with characteristics that we think they will like. Sometimes we do come out of left field because people tend to have idealistic views on what they want. At times women have certain characteristics that they want but nine times out of ten (not to say that is realistic) but certain types are not going to give what you are looking for. For example if you are always looking for that movie star type person normally that person may be the one at this time in his life not wanting to settle down, if someone is use to having a lot of women around them. Most people have in their head this fantasy of what it is a man has to look like and they are cutting themselves off to a wonderful man who may not come in that same package, but just as attractive and will treat them wonderfully which maybe the person they are better suited to be with. We do listen to the type of characteristics people want and we try our best to match them with the person who fits some of the characteristics because ultimately we want to match them with someone who will give them what they need in a relationship even the same thing with men when looking for a woman. Someone who can mentally stimulate you and can give you what it is that you need. We basically investigate on what they are looking for and go through our database to find someone that fits some of their characteristics (attraction, goals, views,) and then the match is made from there.
Harlem World: Are most of your matches successful?
Yes, I mean the one thing we can say across the board everyone has a great date. When our clients go out on dates they always mentioned they had a great date experience whether they hit off romantically or not. We just started our company about an year ago so our clients are still meeting and getting to know each other. We try our best to track our clients as far as how many dates they go on after wards so far we have a 100% satisfaction with clients who went on dates.
Harlem World: What are the best places for woman to look for a mate?Jenn Clunis: Tailgating parities is a perfect opportunity to meet guys. Number one they are just going because females are there and more and more woman do like sports. It’s great because you are already in a social environment and you’re already meeting people you probably didn’t know and there is always a lot of group of men around there so you can walk up to guys and start interacting with them then you also at the same extent sports bars. Amos (the owner of the restaurant where the interview was conducted) has Monday night football here so you can come, watch the game and then for number one you have a topic to talk about because the game is on. Join different community organizations because the key to meeting someone is going to an event where the focus isn’t always finding a mate. Sometimes people don’t find long lasting relationships when going to a club because some people don’t go there with the mentality of finding something long lasting. Not to say it can not happen it definitely can happen, but it also depends on the individual once they meet the person and exchange contact information. But if you join a community organization and working towards a common goal you kind of know the person you are meeting there, is focus on a community path. While interacting with the person you can identify certain characteristics about them. So join committees, extra-circular activities that gives you the opportunities to attend events where you can meet other people for an example Urban League. Those are some example where women can for a mate but ultimately turn everyday experiences to meet someone new don’t be afraid to approach a guy the worst he can do is reject you, but you will still be alive and have the same money in your pocket and can move on to someone else.
Harlem World: What are the signs women should look out for when someone is not that into them?
Jenn Clunis: Women should definitely trust their radar. If he is not returning your calls, not finding time for you that’s a sign, a person can always find time to do anything. I don’t care how busy a person is you can always find a few minutes to take time out to spend time with someone you are trying to get to know and be with.
Harlem World: What advice would give men and women on term of communication? Men are known for not communicating as much as women. What advice would you give a woman to help her mate communicate more?
Jenn Clunis: One thing is to try and find a common interest or begin to take interest in things he enjoys doing. Once you are doing something he enjoys it will be easier for him to open up and talk to you. Say he into football but you aren’t into football but once you are around him enough it starts to open up the doors of communication. The same way you probably drag him to things you want to do. You should also participate in things he wants to do because it helps build a friendship. Once you have a solid friendship it helps build communication. Trust is also an important factor. Once you show them you can trust what they tell you as far as their emotions and feelings then they will tend to open up more. Sometimes it’s unexpected, one day he’ll come out and tell you a little bit about his family, himself or his past. It takes them a while to open up, but once they do it is refreshing for a female because she has the guy confiding in her. Also give him time ,you don’t want to rush him some people are slow to open up to others it’s not a man or a woman thing, it’s just the person in general. If someone doesn’t want to communicate for an example are don’t push their buttons because it doesn’t help. I know it’s great for TV, but in reality it self destructs the relationship so if someone says I can’t talk about this right now and even if you want to talk about it at that moment it’s probably in both of you best interest to walk away calm down get level headed and then revisit the situation down the road instead of doing it when you’re both angry and hot tempered. Those are some the tips I will give when a female wants their man to open up more also make sure you establish a friendship and a good repoire so that way you both can interact with each other on a frequent basis and once he’s open up to you value what he tells you and respect it.
Harlem World: What’s the secret is to a long lasting relationship?
Jenn Clunis: I would say a great foundation and friendship. The biggest enemy is jealousy, unfounded jealousy. If you are in a situation where you don’t trust your mate, you need to get out if whether they are telling the truth or not you are going to continue to accuse them of something that may or may not be true. If it’s not true you are aggravating the person for no reason and you’re causing tension in the relationship that shouldn’t be there. When you have the friendship you have the trust that’s the biggest secret to keeping a relationship. Also allow your mate to go out for girls or guys night out, it doesn’t mean they are cheating because they are out with friends. You can’t keep trying to trap the person and force them to confirm to what you want them to be, so give them the opportunity to be away from you because it makes the time spent together much more special.
Harlem World: Why do you think men and women cheat?
Jenn Clunis: There’s lots of reasons one reason is insecurities, a man needs to feel like a man at home. Some people don’t want to go through the traditional roles of a relationship, but they’re important and if a man feels like he can’t take care of his family it can make him insecure so he will seek validation in a different ways and same goes for women they will seek validation as well and one way is cheating. Some people just can’t resist it and do it for the moment. From what I learned insecurities is the big reason why people cheat.
Harlem World: Why are men uncertain when it comes to relationships?
Jenn Clunis: Fear of rejection. It’s the biggest secret out there and guys will tell you they don’t want to get hurt. Generally women seem to get their feelings hurt more when it comes to relationships, but we’re more likely to dust ourselves off and try again. Where as if a man falls really deep and then gets disappointed he will be less likely to put himself out there again.
Harlem World: How would you describe your experience on The Pepa Show?
Jenn Clunis: It was a lot of fun. Pepa is totally not what you expect. She has a shy side to her most people expect her to be out going and personable. I mean she’s personable, but really shy. She’s known as Pepa, bust she’s human and has her insecurities and feelings. When she’s not onstage she’s Sandy. It was kind of overwhelming for her to have all these guys just for her. For Sandy dating had been a little challenging, because just like anyone else you don’t want to compete to be with someone. It was fun to be a part of the experience and she’s a scorpio just like I am, so it was really nice. Our birthday is a day a part. It was really nice to meet, talk and work with her. It was a lot of fun but nerve wrecking [laughter] I can’t do the television thing.
Harlem World: How did it come about you being on the show?
Jenn Clunis: VH1 heard about it from the relationship editor from Essence Magazine, who had put us in Essence for the 10 places to meet black men. I was mentioned in the article and then when the producers met with her about the Pepa show she told them about me and it took off from there.
Harlem World: When will the show air?
I’m not sure yet.
To find out more information about Jenn Clunis visit http://www.lonoli.com