DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a single 28-year-old woman born in Nigeria, but currently living in Brooklyn, N.Y. I am interested in embarking on a new relationship, but I have not had the best luck in the dating scene. Recently, a friend of mine tried to hook me up with a friend of hers who is also Nigerian, but he lives in China. She expressed great things about him and gave me his phone number. We have communicated via text only a few times, and I already find him to be awkward. I haven't seen a very clear picture of him, so I don't really know if he is my type. He has asked to chat via Skype, but I do not think I am comfortable enough to do so. Should I give it a try and Skype with him at least once? Or should I let this one go? -- Single but Not Settling, Brooklyn, N.Y.
DEAR SINGLE BUT NOT SETTLING: Start by making a physical list of the attributes you would like your partner to have. What qualities are attractive to you? Also, what qualities or behaviors would be turn-offs? When you have a clear list, which should include things about behavior and values more than about appearance, look again at the single men you meet to see if anyone seems interesting.
As far as the man your friend has introduced to you, it's natural for communication to be awkward when you have barely communicated with each other. He may find you awkward as well. Talking via Skype can serve as a bridge in that you will be able to see and hear each other. Go for it.
I will add that trying to date someone who lives in China is a curious option for someone who wants a relationship. It would probably be easier to have a chance at a real relationship if you try to meet someone could meet physically. If your goal is to meet a fellow countryman, you can do that, too -- even in Brooklyn. Open your eyes and look around!