A lot of things, unexpected, complicated, fragile, fleeting, tough, fun, mysterious, serendipitous, comical… a friend passed last week unexpectedly. Sadly, in our busy lives it often takes a tragedy to make you stop and reassess things. Your priorities. What matters most. How irrelevant some things are. How drama is a ridiculous waste of energy and how relationships really are what life is about. All the financial security in the world means nothing without someone to make your good times great and bad times bearable. Okay, I’ll get off of my soapbox. I guess such moments just make you realize you can search for that perfect fit all you want or you can choose to build a relationship and it may grow into what you had hoped for all along. I’m excited about that choice and retiring from the merry-go-round of dating.
Archive for July, 2010
I just simply do not take photos that do me justice, flatter me or show that I am really a very attractive woman. So, I joined JDate without a photo and have had a few responses but no dates. What do I do?
Dear JDate Blind Date,
The answer is simple: you need to, no, you must, have photos. No one is going on JDate for a blind date. Regardless of your attractiveness factor, everyone can take a few decent photos even if you’re the least photogenic person in the world. Oftentimes, by the way, it’s not your lack of presence in front of the camera but the photographer. I would recommend you do something for yourself and for your dating life — spend the money to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of you — headshots, candids, full body poses, etc. Not only will you then have photos to use for JDate, but in 20 years you’ll be happy you have photos to look back on that you actually like and that actually look like you. Think about it this way — would you spend time getting to know a guy who didn’t have photos but promised you that he was good looking? Probably not. So gather your friends around to help with hair, make-up and wardrobe and go enjoy being a supermodel for a day! You deserve it and so does your dating life! Good luck!
Upon signing up for an account on JDate you’re asked to choose an age range for your matches. Choosing your age range doesn’t sound like it should be a complicated matter, but alas age isn’t just a number. By choosing a narrow age range you’re systematically eliminating thousands of prospects simply because of age.
Like is attracted to like. So, someone just out of college is often drawn to someone who is in the same phase in their life, while someone in their late 20’s who is working really hard to get to the top of their field is attracted to other people in a similar stage. The same goes for people in their early 30’s who are beginning to think about starting a family, they’re looking for someone who’s on the same page. That’s why many people end up dating and marrying people around the same age. But selecting a narrow age gap on JDate is not in your favor. If you’re a 28-year-old female and select a maximum age of 32, imagine how many 33-year-olds you’re excluding. Now imagine how many 34-year-olds you’re excluding. And it’s only an age gap of a few years!
When you meet someone at a bar you can only attempt to measure his or her age based on their looks, and possibly their career and maturity, but you were attracted to that person and started getting to know him or her before asking their age. So when it turns out that he or she is a few years younger than your minimum or a couple years older than your maximum, are you going to turn your back? Probably not, so attach that philosophy to your JDate account and broaden your options.
Interestingly, as we get older our preferred age range tends to change. First, it broadens and then it becomes narrower. When you’re approaching your 30’s you tend to only add a few years on each end because for some inexplicable reason age matters. However, in your mid-30’s the age range widens a bit as other, more important traits take precedence. And as 40 looms in the not too distant future you’re more than willing to add 10 years on each end because you become pickier about other qualities. I actually think the last approach is best – make the age range as broad as possible and use other, more important, traits to narrow down your search.
JDate gives you the option to post 12 pictures, and you need to use at least four options if you want Internet dating to work to your advantage. Research shows that people view you as 20% more attractive than you view yourself (“The Beauty Prescription” 2008). That’s a pretty big jump. The authors of this study – a pair of female doctors, one from Beverly Hills, one from South Beach – argue that individuals don’t take their personalities into consideration when they look in the mirror, while others who look at you do. But unfortunately, when you’re trying to promote yourself via JDate you don’t get that extra 20% boost from your personality. And if you choose the wrong pictures on top of that, you will actually be losing attractiveness points.
When you’re choosing your photos try to look at them from other people’s perspective. If you saw your photo online squeezed between eight other profile pictures, what would make you stop? Not that fuzzy out-of-focus photo or the one taken too far away to see the face or the one with three other people in it. And while you’re thinking about it, if you did click on the first photo, would it make you want to check out the next one and so on? Although the photo in your Halloween costume is cute, it should be the third or fourth photo while the one of you dressed-up for your friend’s wedding should instead be first.
Follow the four F’s in this order when choosing your photos: Face, Full body, Fun, Friends and Family. Hook ‘em with the face, reel ‘em in with the full body, keep ‘em interested with the fun photos and make ‘em fall in love with the friends and family photos.
The first picture, the profile picture, should be a close-up of your face. They say the eyes are the window to your soul, so make sure your eyes are clear and visible (i.e. use the red-eye reduction option on your camera). A smile can light up your face, so make sure the photo is a happy one. And don’t crop out your neck… a woman’s narrow neck automatically makes her appear graceful and swanlike, a man’s thick neck makes him appear strong and masculine. These gender traits are appealing to the opposite sex.
The second photo, the full body photo, should let people see you. The body type options you’re given can be easily misconstrued so even if you’re overweight or out-of-shape, show yourself because everyone is someone’s type! You wouldn’t want to go out with a floating head, would you? Your body type isn’t super important, but be proud of what you got and flaunt it. Confidence is sexy.
Use that Halloween photo, beach photo, party photo or other photo showing you having fun for your third picture. This is not the place for your corporate business photo or the extra copies of your passport photo. Uptight photos are downright wrong for JDate.
If you want to use a photo of you with friends or family, the fourth photo option is the appropriate place for that. JDate will use their magic powers to identify you and zoom in on you. Make sure you refer to the people in your photo later so people don’t think your brother is your ex-boyfriend or your nephew is your son. If you have a great circle of friends or are close to your family, then simply say so.
Changing your photos will also boost your JDate profile back to the top of list and get you that cool little “New” or “Updated” logo next to your name. Don’t retract your photos too often, but if you take a break or need a refresher online, take the time to scroll through the past year or two of your photos and pick some new ones to post.
And by all means, post more photos but I think more than six can make you look a bit narcissistic.
Lastly, if you don’t have photos you like or they’re outdated, then the next time you’re at a party ask your friends to snap a lot of photos. Even if you’re in the same outfit, new pictures are better than none at all.
I just spent several days in Texas … first timer… like Dorothy, it just didn’t seem like I was in Manhattan anymore (Toto). Admittedly, I never watched Dallas in the 80’s and “Who shot JR?” didn’t compare to the World Cup… But during my weekend visit, it was quite obvious things were very different in Texas. Of course, as I plopped myself down at a dive bbq bar in Austin the first man I met was from no other than Manhattan (Chelsea). Go figure…crushing the Southern fantasy. Luckily, the southern drawl bartender who wants to be an actor kept the evening entertaining.
Throughout the weekend I instantly recognized the southern charm and gentlemanly manners every which way I turned. Chairs were pulled out for me at every turn, and that was just the beginning! Being gentlemanly and treating females like ladies is obviously mandatory in this state. It’s big, something I think I can easily get used to…and who am I kidding?!?! The accents were cute too!
Hi! Ok, so I’ve been on and off of JDate for a few years now, and I currently find myself in a situation that I have never been faced with before. I met a guy on here and we totally hit it off. We’re in no way even close to being in a committed relationship, but we emailed for months (he was traveling), and had instant chemistry when we first met. He seems like a really genuine guy, and not at all a serial dater (which I’ve turned into, and don’t want to be anymore). Anyway, I can’t help but to sign on every few days and see if he’s signed on! It’s driving me crazy. I can see when he’s viewing me, so he’s not just signing on to do that…so it’s safe to say he’s interested in what’s out there. Any advice for me? I know I should stop checking, but that’s too easy!
Dear JDate Stalker,
Hello and welcome to the club. Anyone who has ever been on JDate has at one point or another turned into a cyber stalker. The first step is admitting it — which you’ve basically done by writing me. Now for the intervention…First of all, and be honest with yourself, can you truthfully say that in all the times you logged on to check if he was logging on that you didn’t also check who was new, who viewed you and who your matches were? Sure you did! It’s a natural impulse! Second, you yourself said that you are nowhere near a committed relationship, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be on JDate, right? It obviously sounds like you want to take the relationship to that level, so why not introduce “the talk?” You’ve been communicating for many months already and if he is as you say — not a serial dater — and the chemistry is mutual — then the conversation should go your way. I know it’s easier said than done to just tell you to stop logging on and stop stalking him, so instead I say take the bull by its horns and steer this relationship in the direction you want it to go. Good Luck!
In this day and age it’s hard not to make a phone call. I accidentally call people all the time when I forget to lock the keypad on my cell phone. Still, I get more e-mails from women asking why men don’t call than any other type of question or complaint. It’s one of the oldest unanswered mysteries of our time: why do guys ask for our phone numbers and then never call? If you’re on JDate then you’re there to meet someone, right? I remember playing the JDate game perfectly — viewing, flirting, IMing, emailing, giving out my number and then… nothing.
Was his conquest complete after getting the digits? Did he suddenly suffer a case of amnesia? Is it possible he dropped his phone into a cup of water while he was hugging someone and lost all his numbers? (This is an actual excuse I got once.) Who really knows? Women are left to ponder the possibilities for endless eternity. Even worse, you went on a great date, had a really nice kiss at the end of the night, he told you he’d call you… and then… silence. Really? Come on guys, call if you say you’re going to call, otherwise don’t say you’re going to call. It’s simple.
One excuse I hear from men is that women like to talk a lot and they don’t want to get stuck talking on the phone forever. Instead, they’d rather text (groan). If you really want to see someone, then take the time and make the effort to place a phone call. It doesn’t have to be a long one. You can even start off the conversation by saying you’re busy but want to make plans to get together. But no, men would rather text “what r u up 2?” Seriously? You’re going to ask someone out via text message? (Again, this happened to me and more often than you’d think.)
A text does not take the place of a phone call. Period. Just pick up the phone and dial!
I know women aren’t innocent here (not even close), but I’ll get into that next week.
I feel fortunate that I get contacted by quality men on this site. Full stop. Unfortunately for me, at least half the time these men don’t live in the most geographically easy places, let’s say Chicago. Overlooking the fact, I am a “Miami Beach gal” at heart and can’t ever imagine how I would survive a Chicago winter. I struggle with how you get to know someone, really know someone, on line and via phone. Also, isn’t physical and in-person chemistry at least 50% (if not more) of the equation? I often get pushback from these pursuits when I graciously decline. A lot of these folks don’t seem to struggle like I do and are more open-minded that their beshert may be across the country despite the energy this cyber geographically undesirable courtship may entail.
Of course, if I met a special someone that happened to live in another city, I could be persuaded that the relationship is worth the go. But as for cyber cross-country courting, honestly the thought alone sounds exhausting. But perhaps I need to be more open. Perhaps I’m cutting off the nose to spite… and my partner may live in dare I say Alaska or Minnesota. Aha, but then again, I do live in NYC where singles seem to be as abundant as bagels. Hmmm something to ponder…