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A Contradiction in Terms

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

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Have you ever realized how many famous adages or proverbs actually contradict one another? Within the last two blog posts, I advised you to be less picky when dating, yet not settle. Don’t discount people too quickly, I said, yet don’t force a connection if it’s not there.  All of this sounds like reasonable advice. But, which is it?  You can’t have it both ways, right? I guess the good news with conflicting information is that you really can’t go wrong either way, since someone says it’s right. This got me thinking about other instances of paradoxical advice – they are more common than you might realize! Which of the examples below is your favorite?

  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. Out of sight, out of mind
    • Favorite sayings of long-distance romances everywhere, these two basically provide opposing advice. There have been different times in my life when both of these have been true in different situations, but you might as well focus on whichever you want to be true, because they cancel each other out.
  • Love yourself as you are vs. Always strive to improve
    • The essence of this contradiction is often found in women’s magazines – the messages “love your body!” and “you’re beautiful the way you are!” sound great until they are sandwiched between articles on how to lose 10 pounds in a month and how to get guys to like you by changing your hair and makeup. But these are not mutually exclusive – it’s possible to love yourself and want to improve, both internally and externally.
  • Play hard to get vs. Don’t play games
    • Ah, the classic debate – do you try to play it cool by calculating how often and how long to wait before responding to someone, or do you just do and say whatever you feel like doing and saying? Opinions vary and often conflict, as does conventional wisdom. Looks like the jury’s still out on this one.
  • Birds of a feather flock together vs. Opposites attract
    • I hear both of these sayings all the time – could it be that they are both true, to some degree? Maybe we tend to flock together with people who have similar interests, goals, background, and values. But an opposite temperament or personality brings a little spice to life.

The moral of the story is that no dating advice is ALWAYS true in ALL situations. So be judicious when taking well-intended dating advice from people who don’t know your particular situation. But also remember that wise men think alike… but fools seldom differ.


The Feminine Mystique

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A 21st century woman has been raised to be strong and independent, to have opinions as well as a voice, and to want a career in addition to a family. So how does that translate into a woman men are attracted to and want to marry? Men typically say they want this type of woman, but they also — and likely more so — want a woman who is feminine and nurturing, and is willing to put him and his needs first.

How do you balance it? Can you have it all? Something may have to give eventually… but the best way to check off all the boxes is to be the aggressor at work and the giver at home.

This doesn’t just apply to women though, men should also try to leave their alpha-male at the office and let their sensitive side shine in their personal life. Singles are so used to taking care of themselves that it’s difficult to give up the independent lifestyle and mindset. Both people need to put their relationship first, nurture their connection and time together, and forget about the idea of always putting yourself and your needs first.

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Extreme Profile Makeover — “David”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Hello,

I am getting views on my profile, but no responses to my emails. I know it’s a numbers game and what not. I just wanted an expert to review my profile and see if any changes need to be changed.

Thank you,

David

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear “David,”

You’re right; it is a numbers game, but I appreciate you seeking help where others’ egos may prevent them from doing so.

Let’s start from the beginning: with your JDate username. I like that you incorporated one of your hobbies into the name and think it’s a keeper!

Your photos need some tweaking. The first photo is great! It shows your face and that you put some effort into taking a photo for your JDate profile. The next two can be deleted. The one with your cat doesn’t show your face and it’s confusing as to what’s going on. The third one is a beautiful photo of your family, but my eyes aren’t immediately drawn to you. I suggest you find 2-3 more photos that show you, facing the camera, without any distractions. You can always tack the family photo back on as option #5.

Of all the biographical paragraphs under “In My Own Words” the only one I don’t like is “My Life and Ambitions.” You already discussed being a successful entrepreneur, but then say you work for your family business… which is it? You don’t need to list your skill sets either. I do like your final line about law enforcement though, and think you could leave that as is, but this is also the place where you want to talk about if you want to get married and have a family. And since you included a picture of your family, you should include one line about them somewhere.

Aside from those few things I think your profile looks pretty good. You have a sense of humor and prove it. You seem like you would be an easy conversationalist. You’re in your mid-20’s and have set a good age range of 23-30. The only thing that might make a woman waver is… your height. You know how tall you are, so you know that 5’7 is considered “short” for a guy. Luckily for you, Jewish ladies are not known for their height either. Make sure your preferences aren’t limited to height, and possibly even address it somewhere in your profile. For example: “I may not be very tall, but my personality more than makes up for it!”

I really think new photos will help turn views into dates. Remember, women will view you repeatedly to let you know they’re interested, so play the “viewing game” to make sure they’re into you before sending an email. Also, keep in mind that non-members can’t read their emails. If you would like me to review a sample email to see if you could be coming on too strong or writing something that’s a turn-off, please don’t hesitate to write again! Good luck!
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Second Date Series: Saying Goodnight

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Single Life

So how do you end a second date?

Well, it depends on if you want a third or not.

If the date went well and you would like to see them again, then you should share a kiss goodnight. If you ended the first date with a nice kiss, and greeted the second date with a nice kiss, then perhaps this kiss should linger and last longer. The purpose is twofold: to let your date know that you are definitely interested and to establish physical chemistry. But let it end there. This is not the time to extend an invitation to go home with you or to accept such an invitation.

If you don’t want another date then you should make sure to bid adieu respectfully and with dignity. Thank your date for a nice time and express your appreciation if the other person paid. Or… if you don’t want another date but there’s sexual chemistry then go ahead and have some “safe” fun! Safe both in a physical as well as emotional way: make sure to use protection but also make sure your date knows this is just a hook-up so that feelings are protected as well.

 

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A Brief Defense of Pickiness

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Last week, I talked a bit about how you should give more matches a chance. Just because you’ve seen and ignored the same tired profiles over and over again in your zip code doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good match for you!  This is true. However, I tend to play devil’s advocate quite a bit (with myself) and was thinking: why date people you aren’t interested in just because they are available?  I might only find a dozen young men in my area who are my age, but what if I don’t want to date any of them? Should everyone in the same zip code just pair off with another person they find the least intolerable? Is that how marriage works?

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that some people are just naturally more picky, or, excuse me, selectively-inclined, than others. And this is fine. If we all dated like Jerry Seinfeld, no one would ever get married, family structure could break down entirely, and we’d all end up alone eating lots of cereal. But if everyone were forced to just “pick someone,” many people, though not necessarily all, would be miserable. If someone has found a happy medium between these extremes, please inform me what it looks like.

How do you know if you’re too picky? I’ve definitely been accused of having an overly healthy degree of selectivity. There are likely several reasons for this, none of which I’ll describe here, because honestly, I’m not sure what they are. But am I being too picky when I reject an offer to be set up with the cousin of someone’s neighbor who is 20 years my senior, lives in another country, and just finalized his divorce?  I say no. Mrs. Goldberg at shul might say otherwise. But I’m holding my ground. I mean, you see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.

In my opinion, there’s no need to go out with someone out of pity, convenience, spite, revenge, or obligation. If you aren’t interested or don’t see the possibility of potential, it’s okay to pass. If you’re feeling that resistant toward meeting someone, it’s much more likely that you’ll feel resentful or act rudely than feel surprisingly delighted after meeting him or her. Feeling neutral is one thing – if you don’t know someone or feel on the fence, by all means – it’s just a date – go! But feeling repulsed by a photo, getting in an email argument over opposing views of the world, or even a strong negative gut feeling – these all warrant some selectivity.

Those examples might be pretty straightforward, but what if you don’t want to date someone because one of her nostrils is a little bigger than the other, or because he won’t let his food touch on the plate? Or because she didn’t go to an Ivy League school, or his glasses are out of style? This is where pickiness gets interesting. There can be a fine line between appropriate selectivity and self-sabotage, so give people the benefit of the doubt, but trust your gut.  There’s a lot more to say about this topic — stay tuned for a future related post. In the meantime, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Clueless this month, I’m Audi!


Second Date Series: Dropping Your Guard

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

When you’re on a second date and it’s going well, then you become more and more apt to share personal stories. If you feel comfortable letting your guard down and opening up, that’s great! Here are a few tips to help you get there:

  • Make sure the other person is also sharing, and therefore is on the same page in regards to the date going well and wanting to get to know you better and allowing you to get to know them — sharing should not be one-sided
  • Keep the topics positive, talk about things that make you happy
  • Don’t start the “ex” or divorce/widow conversation just yet
  • Stay away from relaying stories of your dating past — as funny as some of our JDate stories are, this is not the time to exchange them

Be a good listener; don’t interrupt and make sure to ask a few questions to show you’re giving your date your undivided attention. Bonus points for being an observant storyteller — don’t drone on and on without noticing if your audience has lost interest. You’re look for a connection; the more you share and find commonalities, the closer you will feel.

 

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Second Date Series: An Order to Ordering

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

When the time comes to order drinks and food on a second date, there are a few ways to proceed: You can either do it the generic way with each person ordering for themselves, OR you can use it as an opportunity to bond by ordering together.

If you both want wine, perhaps agree on one type and order the bottle. Or, if you prefer hard liquor, then consider doing a shot together (not too much to drink, you don’t want to lower your inhibitions or make yourself vulnerable when you’re not in a position to get your home safely).

When it comes to the food, discuss what you can order and share rather than having separate dishes. Try to be open to trying to new delicacies, and don’t be disappointed to skip your favorite dish in lieu of something you can enjoy together instead. You can have lasagna anytime, but you won’t have the chance to bond over digging into a unique dish and creating a new experience together.

If you are more like a Joey from Friends and can’t share your fries then please try to at least share dessert. Liking – or hating – food together is a bonding experience and will create memories for you as a possible couple.

 

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Ramah Alums: Reconnect with Your Camp Crush!

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,JDate,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

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Color Wars. Nikayon. Shabbat-o-Grams. For many JDaters, nothing inspires nostalgia quite like reminiscing about summer camp. That’s why JDate is thrilled to announce the creation of RamahDate, a new partnership helping Ramah alum to meet other Ramahniks online.

How Does It Work?

Simply add a Ramah “badge” to your profile, and you can either search through JDate’s 750,000 members worldwide OR by Ramah alum only. Get ready to reconnect with your camp crush!

Laura Seldon is the Managing Editor of JMag and JBlog. A former television news anchor, Seldon has also written for sites like The Huffington Post, XOJane.com, and theKNOW.

Second Date Series: Picking the Appropriate Place

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

Second dates are still not the right time for going to see a movie, live theatre, comedy show, or concert. You should pick another location where you can get comfortable and have a conversation. Find a locale that is both unique (to show you made a bit of an effort to choose something because you’re excited about the date) and informal — because you want to create a relaxed atmosphere to begin getting to know each other better.

It doesn’t have to be super expensive, but it shouldn’t be such a loud place that you can’t hear each other. And ideally this date occurs within a week from of the first date!

 

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No matches? Check again.

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

“JDate? Yeah, no one’s on that.” “I’ve tried it, but there’s no one on there.”

Have you ever heard someone say this before? I know I have. Heck, I’ve probably even said it before. But you know what? Unless you live in Antarctica, there ARE people on there. In fact, in preparation for this article, I searched in several different cities to find one with “literally no one on there,” and it was tough. Shout out to the JDaters in Anchorage, Alaska; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana!

I admit that for folks in these kinds of cities, local dating may present some challenges. And as someone even in a mid-sized Midwestern city, I can attest that sometimes the options feel… limited.  But, there usually aren’t zero options.  It can be quite discouraging to scroll through the “same old faces” and not see anyone who interests you. I get it.  And I totally understand why you might ignore the outdated profiles that have been cycling through your matches since the Bush administration. If you’ve used JDate for a little while, unfortunately it’s not hard for other “long termers” to become invisible! But I encourage you to take a second look. It’s possible that someone’s cover photo is unflattering, yet their essay reveals a more telling portrait of who he really is. Or maybe you exchanged a few messages with someone a couple years back, but now you’re curious if she still might be interested.  Regardless of why you may have skipped over or subconsciously ignored certain profiles, remember – we are all on the same site presumably looking for the same thing. Give people a chance – there is no obligation to buy!

Conversely, if you haven’t updated your photos or essays in a long time, or if you’ve changed something about yourself, it’s time to update your profile.  I know my eye goes straight to those little “updated” tags – it’s like a new and improved symbol.  A couple times I’ve even wondered who a new cute guy is only to realize that he’s the same person I had previously overlooked – just with an updated photo.

Your online presence is like your house or car – it requires a little bit of regular maintenance to keep it working effectively.  So unless you live in the Arctic Circle or a similarly populated place, it’s unlikely that there’s no one on JDate – just maybe no one who takes the time to regularly update and enhance their profile!  So mark your calendars: change your oil every 3,000 miles and update your profile and/or photo to keep everything in good working order.