Archive for April, 2011

What’s a Girl To Do?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am a relatively new member of JDate, the only online dating site I have ever used. I joined about a month ago, and of course was completely bombarded by emails, flirts, and IMs from the men on the site. I have been told by many that I wrote an excellent essay on both myself and what I’m looking for and my pictures are very popular as well. (I work in publication design, so I guess I knew what I was doing!) I was flattered by this unexpected explosion of attention, but frankly, expected it to die down after the first few weeks. It hasn’t. I am completely swamped by the amount of men communicating with me, and frankly, being a single mother who has custody of her child most of the time, I really don’t have enough time to date around. So my question is, “What’s a girl to do?” How do I filter through so many without spending all of my time online or inadvertently blowing off someone who may actually be perfect for me? Help!

Dear What’s a Girl To Do?

I wouldn’t go around bragging about all the attention you’re getting because most people are in the opposite situation. LOL. That said, you definitely need a technique to weed out the JDaters®. Instant messaging can take up a lot of time so if you have your kid that night then concentrate on your emails and save the IMing for the other nights. Next, have a standard rejection letter that you can copy and paste. In it, thank the suitor for his interest and then gently let him down.  But let’s get back to how you eliminate suitors. You can quickly scan the photos and see if there’s attraction. Then read the emails and see if they are well written and include something about you to let you know the guy actually looked at your profile. From there, check out the profiles of whomever is left and see if your preferences match up and if you have commonalities. If you have attraction, are impressed by the email and share interests, then respond to the email and, in it, include your phone number. The guys that call within 2 days are the ones you want to concentrate on, the others are maybes. Finally, you can always write in your profile that you’re looking for only serious suitors. Hopefully that helps!

Will a cheater always cheat?

by jpompey under Relationships

Today I was listening to the radio and an interesting question was proposed.  Does the statement, “once a cheater, always a cheater” always hold true, or can someone truly change if they find the right person?

Ask 10,000 people this question and you will probably be able to divide a line right down the middle with some heated fighting in between.

There are many men who claim to have been cheaters in the past, but become reformed once they finally are ready to settle down.

But this begs the question: How does anyone truly know that these “reformed” cheaters stopped cheating? 

Many women will say, my boyfriend was a cheater, but he stopped with me.  Is a cheater actually going to come out and admit he is cheating?  No way!

But then again, perhaps there is a difference between a serial cheater and somebody who has cheated once or twice.  This could all depend on the context and given situation for each individual cheater.

Regardless, this leaves the question:  Would you want to ask your online date if he or she ever cheated in the past?  The answer just mayforever open Pandora’s Box and leave you with a cloud of doubt that you aren’t prepared to handle!

Let’s Try Some Place New

by RollingStone9862 under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

I think that the place someone picks or suggests for a first date can, in some cases, tell something about them. Perhaps a female would have better perspective than Isince, as the asker-outer, I am normally the one who ends up suggesting the activity or meeting spot; I would still like to offer up my two-cents on the topic, anyway.

As someone who puts a great deal of consideration into where to take a woman on a date, I am always trying to suggest places that will we be different or off the beaten path. Therefore, if a woman was to suggest to me that we go to a generic place where everyone and their brother knows about, I might be slightly put off by the lack of imagination in their suggestion.

You see, for me, a first date is a time to test people a little bit – see if they are really willing to try new places and venture away from their neighborhoods to explore all that the city (of Chicago) has to offer. I honestly think that it’s fun to take people out of their comfort zones a little bit by taking someone to place that they admittedly haven’t been or to an area they don’t frequent very often.

Tonight I am going out on a date with a woman, at her suggestion, to a restaurant whose cuisine I haven’t ever tried, in an area that I’m not very familiar with, and to be quite honest am very excited about our impending adventure. This isn’t to say that if a woman suggested a generic place for a first date that I would write her off, because there is something to be said for that approach. HOwever, the fact that this woman would suggest this particular restaurant for our first date indicates something cool about her to me that I am looking for a in a woman.

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Tips From the Worst

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,JDate

I went on my first JDate date a few years ago.  It was the easiest date I ever got.  All I had to do was look up girls of my age in my area, and then contact them.  This is something that would have not been possible if the only tools at my disposal were myself and the world around me.  I had lived 20 years with myself and the world around me, and the world was not enough.  The world has these barriers that are often close to impossible to break down.  For example, how do you walk up to a girl you do not know and not only talk to her, but maintain a conversation that is interesting enough to sustain her interest without having to pay her?

I was still on my high from joining JDate, and figured that since it was so easy to get a date, the date itself would be equally simple.  Therefore, I sort of half-assed it.  I didn’t dress up very nicely.  I only brushed my teeth twice.  I didn’t wear cologne (although I never wear cologne).  As a side note, sometimes girls don’t like dudes in cologne.  Is that a correct assumption, or have I been making a horrible mistake my entire adult life?  Anyway, I didn’t put much into preparedness.  What I didn’t realize was that I was about to meet a person with all of the complexities and intricacies of any carbon-based life form.

Five minutes into the date, I had nothing.  I actually tried to see how much time I could take up by laughing for no reason.  Then, I decided that she would be the perfect guinea pig to hear material I was planning on using for my amateur stand-up comedy debut.  After I had exhausted my five minute routine, I figured that I would use the date as an opportunity for a free psychiatric session.  I told her all of my insecurities and fears.  After the date, which involved a little bit of drinking, I figured that I had just conducted a perfect rehearsal of male to female interaction. What I didn’t realize was that in the previous scenario, the male would be akin to a crazy homeless person, and the female would most closely resemble a woman sitting at a broken traffic light after having given the man a dollar without realizing she’d be sitting there for a long time.  She had given me the dollar, but I insisted on annoying her until the traffic light was finally fixed.


Reject with Respect

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Hi, I was wondering if you could let me know the best way to let someone I went out on a date with know that I am not interested in seeing them again after they contact me.  I’m still fairly new on here and have been on a couple dates with guys that were nice but there was no attraction on my end.  Both guys texted or called me after our date.  So what do you think is the best and most polite way to handle this situation?  I am 26 and a lot of people I know just ignore the person they do not want to see again.  Some of my friends say that is less hurtful than telling somebody you just didn’t feel a connection or just see them as a friend.  What do you think?  Please help!  Thanks!

Dear Reject with Respect,

If you went on a JDate and liked the person but it wasn’t mutual you would appreciate being told wouldn’t you? So I agree you should show the dates you don’t like the same respect. Your friends who don’t do it are cowards, because it’s really not that difficult and karma is much worse. There are a few ways you can go about this: Phone, text, email and JDate. Rejecting on the phone is by far the hardest way. You can answer your dates calls or return theirs and simply say “thank you so much, I had a really nice time but to be honest I just didn’t feel like it was a match.” Usually the written word is easier. Text isn’t great but it will do: “Thx 4 the call. Unfortunately it’s not going 2 work out. GL.” (GL=Good Luck) As you can see it’s a bit harsh. Rather, an email via personal email or your JDate account would be better. Let your date know you had a nice time and (insert compliment here) but that you don’t think it’s a match and you hope he meets his Beshert soon. It’s in the best interest of your dating life to be as polite as possible.

Unwelcome Advice

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Because of what I do for a living, many of my single friends – both male and female – are constantly asking me for advice. A lot of the time their family and friends have already offered unsolicited advice and now the singleton is more confused than ever. Some of the advice given makes me laugh!

My favorite is when Moms tell their kids to “stop looking and you’ll find someone.” Ummm, no. Actually, not actively looking is detrimental to your dating life. The amount you’re out there looking is directly proportional to how much you date. If you’re not on JDate or going to a Jewish singles event or accepting blind dates – or all of the above – then you’re not going to meet someone. People only meet on the subway or at the gym in the movies. Sure, it happens in real life every once in a while, but why sit back and wait for love to come to you? Instead, go out there and find it, otherwise you’ll be waiting a looooong time!

The other popular piece of advice people get that I can’t stand is to be a “challenge.”  If you play hard to get than how will you be gotten? I’m not saying to lay it all out on the line, but anytime you’re trying to not try too hard, you’re going to fail. When you pretend not to be into someone, your date is going to think just that – that you’re not into him or her. Pretending like you’re always busy will make the other person think you don’t have time and are not willing to make time for them.

If you’re offered advice without having asked for it or if you ask for advice but totally disagree with the answer, don’t get into it with the other person. It’s not worth it. Merely thank them for the advice and say that you’ll take it into consideration. Married people think that because they’re no longer single that they know it all (except for me of course!). But just because a technique worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for everyone else. Even dating experts such as myself get it wrong sometimes. You need to follow your instincts above everything else. All the dating advice in the world won’t matter when you meet the right person at the right time and just go with the flow and live in the moment.

Go with your instinct

by jpompey under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Writing about online dating for a living often requires me to answer a lot of questions that people really don’t want the answers to.  Especially women.

The other day a female friend of mine came to me with questions in regards to whether or not someone she just met online is the type of guy she should stay away from. 

She informed me that she had a great time. However, he said a few things that were somewhat unsettling to her.

She wanted to know if it was bad that the sexual suggestions came rather quickly, that he claimed to have been a player in the past, and that she just wasn’t sure if he was really reformed or not.

When all was said and done, she had a good time and wanted to see the guy again.  The truth is, your instincts are usually right.  Even if you have a great time with a guy or girl, if the red flags are there, it is best to break away from the relationship before things graduate to the next level.

Most times things don’t change.  And once feelings are developed, it is all that much harder to leave the relationship even if your bad instincts were proven correct.

Bottom line: Trust your instincts.  They are usually there for a reason.


There’s A Place In The Community For Everyone

by RollingStone9862 under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Recently I’ve spoken with several women whose profiles identified them as being in Chicago when in actuality they were really moving to Chicago soon and had joined JDate in order to help ease the transition. My initial reaction was that I felt slightly misled, especially by the woman who told me she wasn’t moving to Chicago for another month. However, after getting the chance to think about it, I’ve come to realize that this really is a great strategy.

Even though I’ve always view JDate through a narrow lens, where I only saw it as being a “dating” site, when I really think about it thiswebsite is much more than that. The site is a way for people to connect, meet people they wouldn’t normally meet and provides another way for people to form meaningful relationships. The most important aspect of the site is not that it matches people up who will eventually fall in love and get married, but rather that it lets you use the site in whatever way best suits you and what you are looking for.

That’s why the idea of joining JDate before moving to new city is such a great idea because while some people on the site are looking for love, others are simply looking to meet people and connect, even if it’s just as friends. Perhaps I wasn’t interested in being an activity partner or friend to someone who had just moved to Chicago, but I’m sure there’s someone else on the site who is, and that’s the beauty of JDate and the community it fosters.

Box of Camp

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Single Life

Recently, while spending the night at my mother’s house, I came across a box I somehow hadn’t noticed before. Curious, I opened the box.  Then, I looked inside the box.  I don’t think that this cardboard box had been opened in fourteen years.

The first item that I retrieved from the box was a yin-yang necklace.  That is exactly what you think it is.  It is also equally as terrible.  As I dug deeper, I found a few baseball cards.  Next, I found a few Pogs.  I hadn’t realized yet that I had put everything circa 1997 into a box and stored it underneath my bed.

Also sitting in the box were stacks of letters that I received during the summer of 1997 at a Jewish sleep-away camp.  Most were from my parents, who were in the process of divorcing one another.  I also found a letter from my great-grandmother dated a few months before she died.  I couldn’t make out some of the words as I have never been good at deciphering cursive.  I’m sure that back when I got it, I skimmed it and then put it inside the box that would not be opened for another fourteen years.  Rereading it, there wasn’t anything especially significant about it.  She lamented that she could not go outside anymore.  She also told me to use sunscreen.  I didn’t get the irony of that until right now as I am writing this.

Even if I did read the entire letter back in 1997, it wouldn’t have made any difference in whatever I was doing that day.  I would probably have continued working up the courage to ask Andrea to be my date for Shabbat. (That is not her real name.  If it is, it is only because I have not been able to find her on Facebook, so she must not exist.)  In retrospect, that was the worst Shabbat ever.  I never even talked to her.  The next day, one of her friends told me that she doesn’t want to be my date again.  She said this while laughing.  That is not important here, but it was really mean.

Lying About Your Age

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I was dating this guy long distance who I met on JDate. He thought I was 3 years younger and when I told him my true age he said I lied and abruptly broke up with me. He said he cannot handle a lie because he had been lied to before. We had only seen each other twice over about 4 or so months when he came to town for two weekends but he said that I lied for too long. He said that if I would have told him the truth anytime beforehand he would have been okay with it. What happened?

Dear Lying About Your Age,

I’ve gotten so many emails from people asking if it’s okay to lie about your age so that you’re not blocked out by someone’s age preference. And if you decide to do so, when should you ‘fess up? I’m not going to endorse lying, but if you’re going to do so then you need to admit your real age right away when you meet. It’s not fair to let someone get to know you and like you when you’ve misrepresented yourself. It’s simple — when you first meet someone, exchange pleasantries and then stop the conversation and come clean. Let them know your motivation was pure and that if they’re not cool with it you understand but that you hope your connection is strong enough to continue the date.

As for the guy you already went out with, write him an email. Take your time writing it, make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors to distract him from your message and explain what happened. Let him know how much you like him and that you thought you had already told him about your real age. Apologize and ask him to forgive you based on the connection you created. Since some time has passed, it will allow him to calm down about the whole ordeal and he can read your reasoning at his pace, and he may change his mind. But he may not. It can’t hurt to try.