The development of slow dancing for the cosmopolitan reform Jew is regressive, and often seems to be going backwards. Take Bar Mitzvahs, for example. Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties are often the first chance that people get to dance publicly. They look stupid, of course. This is not only because they are for a group of 13-year-olds jumping around, but because dancing looks stupid to any outside party trying to analyze this phenomenon. If extra terrestrials were suddenly beamed to Earth inside a wedding reception, they would obtain dominance over earth very quickly.
Okay, so aside from the fact that people in suits dancing looks stupid, let’s look at its progression from adolescence to adulthood. When Jewish children are in seventh grade, they are thrust into these weekly parties that are like wedding receptions with alcohol replaced by ice cream. They learn that, in order to slow dance, the boy must put his arms around his partner’s, while the girl must put her arms around his shoulders/neck. This often enables the dancers to get very close to each other. This would seem to look inappropriate as pre-pubescent teen bodies are pressed against each other.
As they grow older, the method of slow dancing evolves, as well. By their late teens, men are instructed to put one arm on his partner’s waist while the left hand holds her right hand. In practice, this leaves a considerable amount of room between the dancing couple. There is probably a good foot between the two bodies. Now, how does this make sense? Young children are taught to hold their partners against their bodies, while adults are taught to leave an appropriate amount of room between each other. This seems to send the wrong message. It’s almost like society is telling people to have more physical relationships at an early age, and to refrain from human contact once they develop into adults.
In my mid-twenties I signed up for JDate after thinking I was too good to “stoop down” to that level. Needless to say, I ended up loving it! It wasn’t even about all the dates, but just knowing that there were so many possibilities out there made me feel a lot more secure about the whole Jew-only dating thing. So I started raving about it to all the singles I knew, convincing many who were also hesitant to sign up. But it took much more to get my single, handsome and successful cousin convinced… he first wanted to use my account to check out the ladies!
I figured that it was worth whatever it took to further his sudden interest in settling down – and with a Jewish woman, at that. I used the search engine to find women he’d be attracted to and then nagged him to expand his age range and guilt-tripped him into reading profiles and not judging off of photos only.
Not surprisingly (at least to me) my cousin was excited by all the possibilities! He opened an account and I was impressed by his thoughtful, funny and intriguing profile complete with super cute photos of him with his nieces and nephews.
I was happy with his mindset and the fact that he was finally making an effort on his own and still feel – even though it’s been a few years and he’s still single – that he’ll find a the right woman in the near future. Some people just have to be eased into the whole online dating concept, but once they’re in, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be hooked! By introducing my cousin to JDate slowly, I managed to get him interested in considering marrying a Jewish woman altogether, and for me that was the ultimate goal.
What is a context opener?
Many people often seek online dating help from me in relation to how they should approach women online. Opening up is half the battle and sometimes this can be very difficult to do. In order to successfully attract and peak a women’s interest we must survive the initial screening process of the opener. If this is not done successfully we may, unfortunately, never get to the point where our personalities are able to shine through.
While there are tons of ways that women can be approached, one method is to use a context opener. A context opener is not always easy to think of, but when used properly they can be highly effective.
Definition of a context opener: Opening by using something that specifically pertains to what is occurring in the moment, in society at the time, or in pop culture.
An example of this might be something we previously discussed in my Valentine’s Day blog. Using a context opener pertaining to this situation would involve making a joke, comment, or using a conversation starter that specifically relates to this day. This is providing a conversation starter that is in context with what is going on in the world around you.
By doing so you will avoid the generic and boring emails that many women receive, and make yourself current, up to date, and original. So the next time you are wondering how to open, try one of these. You may just find yourself having plenty of success.
under Date Night
Like most people, I need to be in a positive frame of mind in order to go out on a first date. Furthermore, we are all aware of how important making a good first impression can be since a poor one can kill a potential relationship. Therefore, when you make plans to go on a first date with someone, it is important that you put yourself in a situation where you feel comfortable and can be yourself.
However, what do you do if other outside factors are dampening your mood, burning you out and generally making you feel crazy? Do you still try to push through it and go out on the first date? What are your alternatives? Well, for one, you could be honest with the other person about the way you are feeling, but to me that can be a very hit or miss proposition because the other person might see it as an excuse or brush off tactic since you have never met before.
So what is the best option in this situation – or is there really even a particular strategy that can be considered a good option under these circumstances?
My answer is probably not.
I have pushed it through and had first dates that didn’t go well since I wasn’t able to be myself and let my personality shine through due to my mood. However, I’ve also had experiences where getting out and meeting someone new improved the way I felt and the date went exceedingly well. In the end, like so many things in life, there’s really no way to know what is the right choice. Ultimately one needs to be made, and afterward you just have to hope for the best.
I have never really had a Jewish girlfriend. Sure, I have gone on JDates, and my first girlfriend was, and still is, Jewish. We consecrated our love in a phone booth of a fancy hotel during a mutual friend’s Bat Mitzvah. Actually, the consecration started in a janitorial closet. It was my first kiss, and her fiftieth…or fifty-first. I don’t know how promiscuous a young girl can be but, at thirteen, she was pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable for a pre-teen, young adult, or middle-aged woman. At that time, I had been inundated with so many warnings from sexual education classes in school that as soon as we kissed, I was sure that I had contracted something other than cooties.
After I tested negative for at the age of 13, I was reborn. My second girlfriend was half-Jewish and is now full-lesbian. I try to suppress the notion that I was the catalyst for her never wanting to be physical with a man for the rest of her life, but it’s difficult. It is especially hard when all evidence points to me as her last boyfriend ever. Theoretically, she was with me, and immediately thereafter decided to never be with anybody that resembles me in any way. Her whole existence and beliefs in love, intimacy, and philosophy on what a relationship is and can be was completely based on my physical and emotional failures as a man. I still cringe when I think about her breakup phone call to me. Though, she probably simply said something like, “I think we’re in different places right now. We are growing apart,” I should have read it as her saying, “I henceforth give up on the male sex. You have not only failed me, but you have failed the essence of femininity. Because of you, I never want to look at a male ever again. I have now given up on fifty percent of humanity.”
As soon as I finished that last paragraph, the song, She Has a Girlfriend Now, by Reel Big Fish, came on through my headphones. If that’s not a sign that G-d is screaming at me that her lesbian-tendency was a direct result of my inability to fulfill the minimum that is required to be a man, then I don’t know what is. I hope you find someone that has everything you need.
What do I do if someone does not respond to my letter? Forget it or send another letter? And if so, should it be of a serious nature or humorous? Any ideas would be welcome.
Dear Follow-Up Letter,
Good question. On one hand you don’t want to be obnoxious and not recognize rejection, while on the other hand it never hurts to give it another shot. The trick here is to pay attention to their activity level — did she read the email? If not she may not be a paid member in which you’re wasting your time trying to contact her that way. If she did read your letter, has she logged on since? Make sure to give her some time to respond. Did she check out your profile after reading your email? If so, has she done so repeatedly? If you deem it worthy of your time to write another email then I most definitely believe that humor is the way to go. Women want nothing more than a man who will make them laugh. It will make her reevaluate why she didn’t respond the first time and pay you more mind.
under Date Night
In the previous blog I discussed the potential benefits that Valentine’s Day can bring to the online dating world. Despite the fact that the media bombards us with messages that make us feel lonely and almost ashamed of being single on this day, Valentine’s Day will always be full of thousands of singles logged into JDate.com just dying to meet someone new. Online daters will more likely be more open than ever to meeting someone on a day like this.
As a follow up to this online dating help, I would like to propose the idea of going out for one night only. Why? This is a dream day for those of you that fear approaching men or women out in public. Most men and women have approach anxiety due to fear of rejection. However, on this day, if there is one thing that we know for absolute certain, it is that any men and women whom are out without a significant other are single. This is a great time to approach, without fear, and practice all the online dating skills that you have been working so hard to perfect.
Use openers that pertain to the situation such as starting up a conversation along the lines of:
“So my friend wouldn’t come out tonight because he/she thinks it’s embarrassing to go out without a date on Valentine’s Day. Do you think he is right because I think it is just ridiculous?” (People love opinion openers when out at bars etc).
Be sure to ask this to the entire group, not just the girl/guy you are interested in.
Does this mean forget JDate? Absolutely not. But a little real world practice never hurts every now and then in order to prepare ourselves for when we do find that special someone online. So get out there, practice and enjoy the single life!
under Online Dating
One of the most alluring aspects that entices people to try online dating is the shear volume of people that you can meet and, therefore, have the opportunity to go out with, in a short period of time. Online you can talk to more people at the same time than even the most social person would meet in a week of going to the bars every night. This is due to the casual nature of online dating.
There have been times when I have been talking to and trying to make plans with several women at once because I was genuinely interested in meeting and going out with them all. Additionally, you are not going to go out on a first date with everyone that you talk to, therefore it only makes sense that people would play the odds and try to talk to a bunch of people at once, figuring that at least one of those interactions would lead to a date.
Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is that many conversations that are seemingly going well will abruptly end, or first dates that you thought would lead to a second don’t, because the person you went out with decided they had other better options on their plate. This isn’t something that any of us should take personally since it is the nature of the dating game (both on and offline); however, it still can leave you in a kind of dating purgatory in terms of where you stand with people you’re talking with or why your relationship suddenly ended.
That beingsaid, after being active with online dating for several months now, I met a woman recently who chose to buck the usual dating norms and was completely upfront about what her current situation was and where I stood. After emailing a few times several weeks ago, our correspondence abruptly ceased, with each of us doing our own thing. That was until the other night when she instant messaged me.
We ended up having a great conversation and I ended up asking her if she wanted to grab a drink sometime. She responded positively and gave me her number. However, after we chatted for a few more minutes and our conversation began to wind down, she asked if she could be honest with me about something. Her ensuing admission was that she wanted to be upfront that she had been casually seeing someone, but still wanted us to go out and see what happened. Since I assume that everyone I meet online is talking with or seeing other people I wasn’t surprised by the content of her admission, and was genuinely impressed by her honesty, which led me to respond that I wanted to meet her even more as a result.
I sit in the brand-new room of a brand-new building belonging to a very old university waiting for my final exam to begin. I had thoroughly prepared for the exam. I studied, which I learned, helps a lot when taking an exam over the same material. I got to class half an hour early, which was rare for me. I made sure to sit at least two seats over from anyone else, as is the usual seating arrangements for such events. Once the exam was handed out, I realized that I would probably not do well without a way to document my answers. I made sure that I had a document-recorder, and panic when I realize that I have no pencil. Though we had three hours to complete the test, I spent the first hour and a half whisper-yelling at my friend who was sitting two people down from me.
Now I am supposed to make a metaphor connecting that boring story to dating. I have got nothing. I was just sitting here thinking about that morning seven years ago, and how much better on the test I would’ve done if I brought a pencil. I guess I was just as nervous before the exam as I am before a first date. Before a date, I spent a whole lot of time preparing, but never think of the small stuff. I get all dressed up, and make sure I am well-shaven and teeth-brushened, but don’t think about conversation starters or the fact that I don’t have enough money to pay for two meals.
At the end of the exam, as I handed the professor my exam, I apologized by saying that I would have done much better if I had remembered to bring a pencil. He smiled and said “Jeremy, you will soar.” Despite the exam, I did fine in the class. I wish I had that professor handy whenever I’m worried about a date’s progress. If a woman asks me what I want to do, maybe I answer that I want to be an airline pilot. What better thing to hear after saying that than, “Jeremy, you will soar.”?
I am wondering if there is something wrong with my profile or if I need to do something to it to get a little more attention here on JDate. I consider myself to be an attractive woman, I’m a grad student, I have a lot to offer, but I do not get a lot of quality guys contacting me on JDate. Any advice on updating/changing my profile to attract the right type of guy (more serious minded) would be greatly appreciated!
Dear Change It Up,
Anytime you’re looking for men who are more serious-minded to give you attention you need to reassess the vibe you’re putting across via your profile. If your photos are sexy and provocative then men will not take you seriously. You don’t want to look like a nun but you don’t want the photo to be all cleavage and skin either. What attracts men most is a great smile and eyes with some depth. Your About Me and other paragraphs shouldn’t be too flirty either. But, at the same time, you don’t want to come across as either desperate or boring, so you need to find the middle ground. Once you’re on a date you can crank up the flirt factor somewhat but waiting until the guy gets to know you before really turning it on would be most beneficial to you finding a guy who takes you — and a relationship — seriously.