JBlog®

Phone Calls Before a First Date

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Once you’ve met on JDate (or any other way) and decide to make plans there will be a certain amount of communication that will be necessary. The trick is to know when to stop that communication.

I recommend just a 10 minute phone call to plan a first date followed by another 10 minute phone call the night before the date to confirm the plans. Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much time on the phone getting to know each other anymore than you actually do already, prior to your first date. Spending hours talking on the phone is exhilarating and exciting but it creates an expectation of someone you haven’t yet met. You’re putting unneeded pressure on yourselves.

You already know so much about each other when you’ve met on JDate — and then you exchange a few emails, and finally you trade phone numbers with the intent on making plans to meet. If you then spend time on the phone getting to know each other even further, you’re in effect turning the first date into a third date due to how much you already know about the other… except you’ve never met.

And what happens if you don’t end up liking each other? Now you’ve not only spent your time on the phone, but you’ve confided things to someone who you may not care to ever see again. You opened up to someone you now don’t even want a second date with. Instead, spend just a few minutes asking how their day/week is going, making plans, and exchanging pleasantries. Tell them how much you are looking forward to the date and how you can’t wait to get to know them better. And then get off the phone. Let the excitement gather along with the suspense of wondering whether or not you will hit it off once you meet face-to-face.

Slow it down. Enjoy the process. And don’t text.

 

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JDate: For Jews Only?

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism

I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us are on JDate to find dates who are “J.” In other words, it’s probably important for most of us to meet other Jewish people to date and ultimately marry. I think this is a pretty reasonable goal and assumption; after all, that’s why JDate exists as a separate site from one of the big, all-encompassing options.  So imagine the dismay of someone (let’s call her Sarah) who meets a nice young man on a Jewish site (let’s call him Dan) who turns out to not be Jewish! And he didn’t have one Jewish parent or some distant Jewish relatives, or heck, even Jewish friends – he was not even familiar with Judaism.

It would be one thing if Dan had advertised his Christian status on the site and Sarah agreed to meet him with this knowledge, but he hadn’t. Plus, he even endorsed that he was conservative under the denomination category, which there was no reason to doubt.  When it gradually became clear to Sarah that Dan wasn’t Jewish, Sarah asked why Dan would be on a Jewish dating site. The answer? It was just another way to meet girls – he just didn’t understand that Jews on the site were looking to meet each other, and he hadn’t realized that his presence might be deceitful.

This scenario actually occurred, with names and details changed, of course.  And I can tell you that there was no malicious intent or hard feelings by either party involved – just disappointment, especially because the couple had been otherwise quite compatible.  But this got me thinking… how does one treat a non-Jew on JDate? Do people who say they are willing to convert or not at all Jewish have any success on the site? Does JDate have any responsibility in preventing the above situation?  I really have no answers here – just lots of questions!

I’ve always found it curious that “not willing to convert” and “not sure if I’m willing to convert” are profile options… there aren’t a ton of these profiles, but I’ve seen a few out there on the interwebs. If you happen to be reading this and you’re a non-Jew on JDate, please, enlighten me: I’m not judging – truly curious! And thank you for being upfront about your religious status. But what do you all think? If you are Jewish, have you met non-Jews on JDate? If you aren’t Jewish, are you actively seeking Jews?  In the meantime, you can find me on Christian Mingle.com.  Nothing like a [bad] joke to end a more serious post, right?


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Karen”

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

Dear Tamar,

Could you kindly eyeball my profile? I’ve gotten plenty of emails and very few are viable. I’ve tried to convey that there’s a certain lifestyle that I’m accustomed to, don’t want to give up, (and am capable of giving myself), yet I don’t want anyone to assume I’ll take care of them too. I know, can’t have it both ways, huh? Perhaps you could tweak that part? I’d be very grateful if you could give it a quick once-over.

-“Karen”

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear “Karen,”

I’ll get to the wording of what you want to convey about your lifestyle in just a bit, but let’s start at the beginning of your Extreme Profile Makeover.

I like you how you combined your name with a description — although I initially thought it was your first and last name combined (MAJOR no-no for security sake). In order to show that you’ve combined a few words without confusing prospects, try capitalizing the first letter in each word (i.e. instead of tamarluvsya it would be TamarLuvsYa, see the difference?).

You have some great photos to work with! Switch 1 and 2 and delete number 4 and then you will be good to go! Photo 2 shows you in a bright pop of color with approachable body language. Photo 1 is nice and shows your full body but it’s taken from further away. Photo 4 may be realistic, but it’s not appropriate for your JDate profile — you said it yourself by labeling it as a shot of you “tired.” Lastly, photo 5 is great, but don’t be surprised to get emails from men asking about your daughter!

In your biographical responses I don’t really see where you think it conveys that you live an indulged lifestyle and that men may think you’re a sugarmama (for lack of a better term). What I would suggest is maybe eliminating some Q&As. You don’t need to answer all of them because some of them are a bit repetitive and it comes across as overkill. Delete “My Past Relationships” since you mention your ex-husband in “About Me” and then combine and eliminate either “I’m Looking For” or “My Ideal Relationship.” And finally, eliminate “On Friday and Saturday Nights I Typically” and combine that answer with “For Fun, I Like To.”

Lastly, under Ideal Match I would consider narrowing your age range. A man in his late-40’s is a bit young for a woman in her late-50’s. Perhaps that’s why you’re getting men that you don’t consider viable. A man in his mid-60’s is a good maximum though. I would consider a 10-12 year age range, for a woman who is 58 that means around 54-66.

Good luck!

____________________________________________________________________________________

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JDate is Turning Me Into a Cougar!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Is it common for younger men to email older women because I’ve gotten more messages from men in their late 30’s than I’m comfortable with. Why would 39-year-olds be contacting a 58-year-old? Opportunists?

-Not a Cougar

________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Not a Cougar,

Could a man 20 years your senior be an opportunist? Sure. Could it be that you are a pretty and young-looking woman who has a lot to offer and attracts men of all ages? Absolutely! Depending upon what you’re looking for — which I believe to be a companion for the next half of your life — you will need to review each man’s profile to see how he presents himself and what he is looking for before eliminating them. Of course, you can have a strict minimum to your age range and if that doesn’t start with the number 3_ or 4_, then so be it.

At the end of the day you need to be comfortable with the other person, and if their age is going to bother you then don’t lead these men on. Take it as a compliment and say so: “I’m so flattered that you took the time to email me and you seem really sweet, but I think I would be more comfortable with someone closer to my age. Good luck to you!”


Flirts and Emails That Go Unreplied…

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

I have reached out, via a ‘Flirt’ or email, to a few different men.  They open my Flirt/email, but don’t reply. I would love some tips on initiating a better first message.

-“Flirt”

_______________________________________________________________________________

Hi Flirt,

There is a method to the messaging madness. For starters, don’t send an uninitiated Flirt or email. What does that mean? It means not to send a message of any kind before you lay the groundwork. Communication should not come out of left field. View the prospect, check back the next day to see if he viewed you in return.

If he logged in, but did not view, then view him again and check again the following day. If again he logged in, but did not view you, then you can generally assume he isn’t interested. Don’t count him out, but don’t put any more energy into him either.

If the guy did view you back, then go ahead and add him to your Favorites. This is how a guy knows you’re into him.

In the meantime, go ahead and check out who has Favorited you and who has viewed you to see if there is anyone of interest that you can view/Favorite in return. This is on par with making and holding eye contact and then smiling from across a room.

Only after you’ve done this back-and-forth should you go ahead and send a Flirt or email. I suggest giving the guy a day or two to do this himself, as it’s his version of making the first move, but it’s not entirely unfavorable for you to click send first.

If you’re going to send a Flirt then make sure the one you choose either goes along with something that can be connected to your profile or his. I prefer skipping right over to an email, but sometimes a Flirt can be cute! The first email should be short and sweet — “Hi my name is Allison. It’s been fun ‘Flirting’ with you! I can’t believe you also like __________, I’ve never met anyone else who likes them/that. How did you first discover them/that? Hope you’re having a great day!” The line in the middle is to show one of your commonalities and to ask a question in order to garner a response.

All that said, if someone does not have a paid JDate membership then they cannot check their emails. You will be able to figure it out only after sending the email if you see that they’ve logged in, but not opened the email. Don’t take it personally. Most people do end up paying when their inbox starts to fill up. People just can’t resist!

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Ten Commandments of Dating

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

This coming weekend is Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that commemorates The Jews’ receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This year, the holiday happens to start on a Saturday night, so I can think of no better way to celebrate than to bring a date to your local synagogue’s traditional all-night learning session. I mean, late night festivities, liquor, Torah? Whats not to love? Another way to celebrate is to think about what it means to be a member of the tribe that accepted the responsibility of the Torah, and in particular, because you’re a JBlog reader, how this responsibility relates to dating and relationships. Therefore, in honor of Shavuot, I present the Ten Commandments as they correspond to the laws of dating.

1) To thine own self be true.

The actual first commandment is about recognizing G-d’s role of Creator of the World and savior of the enslaved Jews. This is always true wherever you are in the world, and it may help you remember that YOU are not a god! But in the context of dating, it’s also important to remember that “I am my own person who takes responsibility for my behavior and feelings.” In other words, stay true to yourself, don’t be someone you aren’t, and own your actions.

2) Thou shalt have no other distractions before me.

While I totally condone seeing more than one person at a time during the early stages of dating, keep your focus on your present date! Don’t text, scan the room, or talk about other people when you’re on a date.

3) Thou shalt not take the name of anyone in vain.

Especially on the first few dates with someone new, be yourself, but try to avoid profanity or gossip. You don’t want to accidentally offend your date!

4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

I won’t tell the rabbi if you want to plan a date for Friday night. But, this commandment is about taking time to step away from constant communication and social media. Take a break from texting every other minute. Don’t stalk your new boyfriend’s Instagram pics. Get some rest and relaxation without your date, whether it’s on Shabbat or not, and nurture your other hobbies and friendships.

5) Honor thy father and thy mother.

This is applicable at any age or situation.

6) Thou shalt not murder.

Um, don’t murder your date. Or anyone. Or rather, thou shalt not be mean, spiteful, or overly negative – this will murder your reputation!

7) Thou shalt not commit adultery or cheat.

This is pretty self-explanatory – once you have established your exclusivity with someone, remain faithful.

8) Thou shalt not steal.

Don’t steal things, like money from your date’s purse when she’s in the bathroom, obviously. But also, don’t steal time. If you know someone definitely isn’t for you, don’t lead him or her on.

9) Thou shalt not lie.

Bearing false witness, the actual ninth commandment, is related to dishonesty. Lying is very unbecoming and hard to forgive – don’t do it! This includes false advertising on your profile, using deceitful photos, or otherwise misrepresenting yourself online.

10) Thou shalt not covet.

Someone else might look appealing to you, but remember that the grass is always greener on the other side, whichever side you’re on. If you can’t stop noticing other people, try to focus on your own insecurities. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.

Happy Shavuot!


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Allison”

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

Hi Tamar,

I have reached out, via a ‘Flirt’ or email to a few different men.  They open my flirt/email, but don’t reply.  How can I update my profile to make me more attractive to the men I’m interested in getting to know?

-“Allison”

______________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Allison,

You lead an exciting life and I think you convey that pretty well in your profile. You truly are an adventure-seeker, as opposed to the people who claim to be but haven’t left North America. Your photos, taken in different parts of the world, also back-up your claim as well-traveled.

I think the two places in need of the most help are your profile name and your photos. Your are an interesting woman in your late-20’s, your profile name should reflect your exciting youthfulness! Plus, you have that awesome red curly hair (girls with straight brown hair — like me — think that red curly hair is awesome!) that you can include in your name as well.

Ideas:

  • CurlyHairTraveler
  • HaveCurlsWillTravel
  • NoRedHeadedTemper
  • SeeTheWorldWithMe
  • CornersOfTheEarth

You can tack on your year of birth if something you’ve thought of is taken. Don’t use your age now, because you may still be on JDate on your next birthday and then it will become moot.

As for your photos, the second photo can be deleted as it does nothing for you (sorry!). All the others are consistent. The only full body photo you have is where you’re wearing a full-on coat, hat, scarf, and boots. Men may think you are trying to hide your body type, so try to find or take a photo of your body wearing summer clothing (now that it’s getting warmer that should be feasible).

A little spellchecking of your profile will help, but otherwise I don’t think that you’ve written anything offensive or over-sharing. In regards to your preferences in “My Ideal Match” you seem to be open to too wide of a spectrum for someone who isn’t yet 30. I suggest tightening your age range to closer to 10 years and to include your own age: 29-40. And I believe you can eliminate divorced, separated, and widowed from marital status at this point. Not to say you wouldn’t give someone a chance, but between the too wide age range and this, it looks like you’re willing to consider just about anyone.

As for what to say in your emails, check back on Wednesday for that answer!

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I am Verbose. Help!

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

Dear Tamar,

I am so verbose. Once I have your attention, I want to tell you everything on my mind.  I know that is wrong, but it is the fact.

Now to my profile: it is long (or long-winded?), but many folks who read my writings tell me I am a good and funny writer. Some JDaters say that longer humorous profiles do get read and get reactions. Should I try to edit it shorter or is longer okay?

-Mr. Verbose

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Dear Mr. Verbose,

Short is not always sweeter but sometimes long can just be too long. You have to find the happy medium. Take a look at the multiple choice/fill in the blank questions that run across the top of your profile and along the right hand side. If you are repeating any of that information in your paragraphs, then you can whittle down those sentences. Some information may need to be explained (divorced/widowed, children) in one sentence, but you do not need to write your autobiography or pen your memoir to answer “About Me.”

Think about the topics you would typically discuss on a first date — a lot of it is answered in your profile, right? But you don’t want to reveal too much in your profile and then begin discussing things that aren’t appropriate for a first date.

Being funny in your profile is good, like you said, getting a reaction out of prospects is generally a positive thing (when it’s laughter!). That said, you also want to be taken seriously so don’t turn every answer into a joke.


Are You Standing In Your Own Way?

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Back to that age-old question… why are you still single?

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a sounding board — be it a therapist, a best friend, or a parent — to talk about your past relationships so they can help you see any patterns along the way. As one of my friend’s says “come join me on the other side of the street” so you can look at yourself from another perspective.

Are you attracted to a certain type who is likely not complementary to you… but you don’t know it? Do you sabotage your relationships and you’re not even aware of it? Do you portray yourself as something different than how other people see you?

If you think you may be standing in your own way of finding love (and everyone is to some capacity), then ask for the brutal truth from a trusted source so you can begin evolving.


Ode to JMoms

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there. For the rest of you, the holiday just happened this past weekend, so I can’t remind you to get a gift. But, this is your cue to start planning for next year. Also, you might be wondering what mothers have to do with a dating blog. In case you forgot, this is a Jewish dating blog, so… everything! In fact, I know of two Jewish moms who actually created JDate profiles so they could shop for potential sons-in law. Seriously. Or at least to check out the local prospects and competition for their kids. (My mom is NOT one of them!) Letting your mom take the reins for a day or two: fun and potentially helpful. Giving her full control to search and send messages on your behalf? Not so much. So yeah, for better or for worse, moms have certainly earned their place in this column.

When it comes to moms and dating, my perspective is that of a single daughter with a married mom. But JDaters come from all family structures… some are single moms, some don’t have moms, and some are dating at the same time as their kids! (Does anyone know of a mother-daughter [or father-son] duo on here? So cute. I would love to feature them in a future column.) So as strange as it might sound to have your mom checking out the site to recommend pre-vetted profiles, imagine how it must feel to have your daughter (or grand-daughter!) do the same.

Would you let your mom write your profile on your behalf? On one hand, I’m sure it would be very glowing: “Little Davey is a brilliant, lovely young man with a heart of gold from a good family. He has a stable job and is confident and handsome.” On the other hand, no one knows your shortcomings quite like mama: “He is looking for a good woman to laugh at his poorly timed jokes and fold his laundry because his, on the rare occasion that he decides to wash it, is always stuffed into drawers with no order. He wasn’t raised to live like such a savage.”

When you marry someone, you marry the family. Similarly, if you’re dating someone, you might date the family too. And no matter how embarrassing or nosy or annoying your mom, your daughter, or anyone in the mishpacha might be, remember that they all want one thing in common: your happiness!