JBlog®

To Have “The Talk” or Not?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

If you are too scared to have The Talk about where you are in a relationship, then you simply cannot assume you and your new love interest are on the same page.  To assume is to make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Basically, bypassing The Talk could lead one person in the relationship to feeling more interested than the other, which is never good.

Here’s a clue: if the other person avoids The Talk or behaves skittishly and skirts the topic, then that’s your answer. You can almost guarantee he or she does not want to enter into a monogamous, committed relationship with you for whatever reason. Take note and don’t try to convince yourself that they’re a commitment-phobe, or just not ready, or even that you are committed but don’t need to discuss it. This is a red flag. Ignore at your own risk. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.


The Pros & Cons of Dating in “Location Limbo”

by Haley Plotnik under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dating when you’re in a state of geographic transition can be tricky. Some people have even advised me against it completely. It really all depends on what you’re looking for, and what you want from a date. The more casual you are about relationships, the easier it is. However, these are some of the things I’ve considered when it comes to dating in “location limbo.”

Pros:

• Putting yourself out there

• Getting some dating experience

• Meeting someone who you want to spend time with

• Gaining a new friend or activity partner

• Finding a short-term intimacy partner (if that’s your thing)

Cons:

• Communication complications and logistical issues

• Having an expiration date on your relationship

• Switching to a long-distance situation under time constraints

• Hurting someone

No matter what, it’s important to be forthright about your situation. Some people will not want to date you if you disclose your situation, but you save both parties a lot of grief in the end.


STOP TEXTING!!!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

A similar situation was brought to my attention by two different people this past week. Both ladies were wondering what intentions their respective “prospects” had with their random texting. These guys would text flirtatiously, but nothing would ever come of it and then they would disappear for while and surface anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to a few months later, only to begin the cycle all over again. Both women wanted to know what it meant and what to do?

I’m just going to be blunt — these guys are bored and are probably texting a number of girls to see who will answer. It’s not surprising that nothing ever comes of it, the guy is enjoying the attention he is getting from the texts and at least thinks that any of these conversations could lead to something more, if he wanted it to. If you are on the receiving end of these types of texts – and you respond – then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Stop answering and the texts will stop coming. Then again, if you’re also bored and aren’t emotionally involved, then why not respond? Just know that it is more than likely that nothing will ever come of the texting — the guy will more than likely disappear and reappear, and you will more than likely grown confused once again.


My Friends Don’t Approve

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What happens when your friends don’t like the person you’re dating? Some people believe that a good friend should support you and your decisions whether they agree with them or not. Others believe that if you’re a good friend, then you should speak up and let your opinion be known because it is coming from a trusted source who has your best intentions at heart. Which is correct? Neither.

The best approach is somewhere in between. Let your friend know you are protective of them because you love them and are going to be extra wary of anyone new in their life, and if they ever need someone to turn to who won’t be judgmental… then you will be there. And if they do turn to you with complaints about their significant other, then don’t say “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you,” or anything of the sort. Sometimes being a good friend is saying nothing and just being there.


Facing Your Fears (A Guest Post by Richard Stayman)

by Aaron under Israel,Judaism,Relationships

Last month, I went to Israel. It was the first country I’ve visited outside the U.S. For the week leading up to the trip, I was incredibly nervous. Not only was it right around the time when the current conflict got heated, but I was also scared about other people on the trip not liking me — a feeling I haven’t experienced in years.

As an adult, I’m usually not self-conscious, but for some reason I was falling back into old habits from childhood. I went on the trip with my best friend, which oddly enough made me even more nervous. When I finally arrived in Israel, I had to face my fear of meeting 40 new people, and when I did, I became instant friends with everyone.

This experience led me to discover that if you and the person/people you’re meeting are all Jewish, you never have to worry about making friends. No matter how strong your social skills, it is significantly easier to make friends with a group of Jews than any other situation. Why? Because we all share that common bond of being in the minority, and being Jews. No matter your observance, if you are comfortable with yourself as a Jew, you can be comfortable with any other Jewish person you encounter.

So next time you find yourself nervous at a Jewish event, just remember: you are all from the same people, and already share a common bond. Start with that and see where it goes!

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Find Your Relationship Balance

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Everyone is different; we were all raised differently, and prefer a different type of balance in our relationships. Some people want equality, whereas others prefer to let the woman run the show, and still others want men to wear the pants in the family. For many this is due to what their parents relationship looked like growing up. Even if you didn’t like your parent’s balance, it is difficult to break the cycle. Some of it is cultural, some of it is considered old school, and a lot of today’s egalitarian relationships are attributed to modern times with women working outside the home and earning as much as, or more, than their counterparts.

Every relationship is different, and how your relationship is balanced shouldn’t be of anyone else’s concern as long as you are happy with it. That said, you might find yourself in a male-dominated relationship and be perfectly content to move on to a more egalitarian balance in your next relationship. Each relationship balance is going to be different. All that matters is that you feel happy and respected in yours!


Complicated Relationships

by Haley Plotnik under Relationships,Single Life

I was recently asked out by an intelligent, passionate guy who said he wanted to take things slowly at first. Sounds great, right?

Wrong. He also mentioned he was flexible about relationships. What he meant by that is that he is having sex with a married pregnant woman whose husband is also seeing other women. He assured me he was not the father. What was I supposed to do, jump for joy that he isn’t the biological father?

I just want something old-fashioned. I don’t want four people in my relationship. Two people can be complicated enough without trying to deal with the dynamics of other people’s emotions and problems. I don’t find open relationships or open marriages appealing at all… I don’t even get the point of being married in that case. Call me judgmental, but isn’t having sex with others against marriage vows?!? I can imagine my grandmother saying, “In my day, we called that infidelity.” Monogamous relationships are hard enough as it is.


Can Friends with Benefits Turn Into a Serious Relationship?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Many singles have special friends when they’re between relationships. Sometimes those special friends started out as dates that didn’t have a real future. Other times those special friends started out as “just friends” and then turned into something more. Either way, what happens when you start to really like the person who you aren’t supposed to have emotions towards? Can a relationship based only on sex become one of substance?

Sometimes, yes. Other times, no.

First, try to get out of the bedroom and go grab a meal. Treat it like a date! See if you can hang out and maintain a conversation. And take a risk by mentioning that you’re interested in seeing if the special friendship could become more.What do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing!


Why Not Now?

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

At the beginning of the summer, I set my mind on becoming well read. Six books later, I’m feeling proud of sticking to that goal, and I’m even happier that it did not require me to drop any of my other ongoing goals. If you want to play a new instrument or learn to surf, I say go for it. Reaching for something reasonably within grasp and meeting a goal is a huge confidence booster.

If your goals are interpersonal, it’s a bit harder to just jump in, but it’s equally important to have measurable successes. Maybe you want to start going on more dates after a long dry spell. I always like to make goals quantifiable, but that’s just the engineer in me talking. Maybe you want to make more friends or go to temple more regularly. Goals are great, but they’re not as helpful tucked away on a shelf for later.

Someone who I’m close to (who hates unsolicited advice) mentioned they think they are going to “be alone forever.” How is she supposed to make progress toward her goal of having better relationships if she’s so negative from the get go? She hasn’t even tried to date since her relationship ended nearly three years ago.

Two small things I want to tell her:

  1. Attitude is HUGE! It’s maybe the most pivotal component to success.
  2. Why not now? Why not today? Your happiness may depend on it.

It doesn’t have to be a relationship. I’m sure she has other aspirations. You probably do too. Building your skills or trying something new may give you a funny new story to tell on a date, or may even make you a richer, happier person. There’s no harm in trying, in or out of the dating arena. You have nothing to lose, and only something to gain when you go for it.


Poly-dating Dilemma

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Recently, a friend called me with a question and gave me permission to share his story:

“Ryan” is poly-dating (as I recommend) and is in the early stages of dating “Rebecca,” whom he met on JDate, and also communicating with “Rachel,” a woman he recently connected with on JDate as well. Ryan and Rachel have been trading instant messages, emails, texts, and chatting on the phone — all before their first date. Ryan and Rebecca, on the other hand, have spent time in person, talking until the wee hours of the morning and sharing a few kisses on a few occasions now.

Ryan knows that poly-dating is a smart idea so he doesn’t get too serious about any girl too quickly… but things with Rebecca are progressing naturally and he already really likes her. Now he feels guilty about his upcoming date with Rachel, and he also likes Rachel and feels guilty that he’s spent so much time getting to know her and building up expectations. Should he go out with her?

Interestingly, in this case, I said no, he shouldn’t. He has already spent time with Rebecca and likes her, and wouldn’t be giving Rachel a fair shake because he would be distracted by feeling he’s betraying Rebecca. As unfair as it is to Rachel, his communicating with her while dating Rebecca was the poly-dating that kept a good pace for their relationship to unfold. Now he can commit to dating only Rebecca and see where it leads. Meanwhile, he should be honest with Rachel and let her know that he met someone else and wants to see where it goes out of respect for her and his new relationship. He should end the conversation with a compliment, of course, noting how great he thinks she is since it was only timing that prevented them from exploring more, and nothing personal about her.

Side note: this is another example of why too much communicating before a first date is not beneficial and, in fact, is detrimental by creating unrealistic expectations.