Archive for December, 2011

Being the Newbie

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Many years ago when I was single I had a group of friends who did everything together, particularly watch sports, talk sports and go to sporting events. One guy was married, so his wife came with, and another had a long term girlfriend, but I was the only other girl. So when one of the guys brought a new date around, she was scrutinized. Some girls passed muster easily — she got to know us girls and didn’t try to be someone she wasn’t. If she liked sports, great and if not, not. She didn’t act too good, she wasn’t too loud, she wasn’t too shy, and so on. But others acted a fool. They tried to show off their sports knowledge and cheered too loudly and didn’t try to befriend us women and thought flirting with the other guys would be charming and so forth.

When you meet your date’s friends, be yourself, but also be cognizant of the chemistry of the group. You want to fit in, let everyone get to know you and make sure you show interest in getting to know everyone.  You don’t want to end up standing out for the wrong reasons or rubbing anyone the wrong way. Your date may not care what one friend’s opinion of you is, but your date does care if you fit in well with his posse or not.

Online Dating and Other Things that did not Exist Twenty Years Ago

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Online Dating

People often like to ask, for example, “What did people do before the internet?” I’ll tell you what they did. They led perfectly rewarding lives. They ate at the dinner table. They stalked crushes only in their minds and also in trees, which, as a bonus, allowed them to not be so overweight that they have to shop for groceries using a computer because if they tried to walk to their car, their legs would rub together so much it would start a fire and kill them.

Of course, things were never as ideal as they seemed in retrospect. People still murdered other people, and sometimes their pets. People also had to meet members of the opposite, or same, sex out in the real life world. Yet people still got together. Babies were still born. Is dating better now because of online dating, or is it just more convenient? Dating is now equated with ordering a pizza or paying taxes. Maybe in another twenty years, online dating will be used on a format equated with using the bathroom or sleeping. I don’t even know what that means. It’s the future. Anything can happen.

Online dating has been beneficial for me, though. I have met nice ladies based on information I was able to review beforehand. This removes the need for pointless small-talk. However, pointless small-talk is very much needed on dates with people you don’t like. However again, online dating already has helped to get rid of undesirable dates. In conclusion, online dating has made dating better. I’ll let you know after Wednesday night if I still believe this sentiment.


Happy Hanukkah

by AndyCowan under Single Life

Here it is, the first day of Hanukkah. Remember this time last year?

“You mean when it was nineteen days after the first day of Hanukkah?”

It’s hard to conjure up a holiday feeling when the holiday never stays put.

Not that Christmas observers can’t be confused too. They may know all too well that December 25th is when they’d better offer up something more than Christmas spirit. But, what’s with those twelve days of Christmas? When we give a bad gift during our 8 measly days of Hanukkah, we don’t add insult to injury by giving five identically bad ones. One goose a-laying is enough.

Hanukkah cards generally don’t carry the same heft as the Christmas variety. There’s always the generically bland, politically correct version – “Season’s Greetings.” But in these sensitive times, even that could offend: “I don’t worship the winter – I go to Florida from December to March – I’m insulted!”

Those who celebrate Christmas enjoy something we Jews don’t – a sanctioned excuse for hitting on the opposite sex: Mistletoe. The only thing we make a point of standing under on Christmas is the sign to a Chinese restaurant. (How come Norman Rockwell never painted a warm and fuzzy holiday dinner at Chow’s?) I needn’t read the fortune in my cookie to know an unprovoked kiss isn’t in my tea leaves. But why wait for a dangling plant to dictate our moves? Guys, as my holiday gift to you, here is a sure sign that lady you’ve met is waiting for you to sweep her off her feet: She’d rather direct eye contact to you than her iPhone. Okay. I’ve not yet actually witnessed such a phenomenon, but if you ever do, let me know what it feels like.

Life’s Love Lost

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

In my life I am surrounded by a number of couples who have been married for a long time and are still very much in love. This past week, as my uncle neared the end of his life, I was witness to the love between my aunt and him. Although I do not envy her current situation, she spent 30 years completely, totally and utterly in love with her husband as he was with her. And that I envy. You don’t get there after 2 years of marriage, or 10 years, but after a few decades and gallons of stress to make you stronger. You don’t fall in love at first sight, but over the course of many, many years. What I do know is that my aunt and uncle were partners in everything they did and fought to make their marriage as strong as it was. I don’t know if my aunt will ever find love again, but if she does it won’t replace my uncle, but rather it will be another stage in her life.

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Sly Set-Ups

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

You can set people up on a blind date or you can invite them both to the same place at the same time and casually introduce them. I had a successful shidduch recently with telling 2 friends about each other and having them meet alone at a coffee house, but the next shidduch I have in mind is going to be done a different way. I don’t want them to feel the pressure or the awkwardness, so instead I’m having a get-together and inviting them as well as some of their respective friends. I want them to feel comfortable and at ease. They know about each other and are interested in meeting each other, so I just need to make it easy. Some people need to be put in a 1-on-1 situation for an assortment of reasons (either they’re too easily distracted, or they won’t put themselves out there, or they’ll depend on their friends too much, etc), but others need a buffer. So when you’re looking to do a set-up, or if someone says they have a shidduch for you, then determine what kind of introduction you want to make by taking into consideration the personalities of the two people involved in the set-up.

Baby Relationships

by JeremySpoke under Relationships

When assessing the components of a healthy relationship, one should look back to your earliest relationships in life. As a faculty member at an elementary school, I can see my early relationships staring me in the face every day. Asking me to tie their shoes and crying. Do you have any idea how often kindergarteners need their shoes tied? If you already know the answer, then you probably don’t work at an elementary school.

Despite the flawed logic of my past two sentences, I am going to compare things now. At the age of five, people don’t generally know concepts such as humility, embarrassment, or shame. For example, when a young person’s nose starts to run profusely, instead of getting a tissue, they let it run until their face is an indiscernible green mess and then they start crying and then they poop their pants. It always occurs in that order. Always.

Young children pretty much let it all hang out in all situations. They tend to gravitate to people they like and don’t care about anything else. There are no cliques, and I think that is the reason. The only reason that people join cliques is because they feel insecure about a variety of things. Five-year-olds don’t know anything, and insecurity is something. I think if a five-year-old befriended somebody of the opposite sex, they should just stay with that person forever. If that is not possible, then they should somehow reconnect with the other person later in life. They originally befriended each other without clogging their minds with superficialities. Of course, the real world application of this theory is probably not possible. Therefore, JDate is the next best thing.

Spam A Lot

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

My main contact with the outside world? Spam. And it’s weirdly personal too. How do they know so much about me? ANDY… WANT TO ENLARGE YOUR EGO? I got that the other day.

ANDY… FIND YOUR MUCH, MUCH BETTER HALF! … Is it just me, or was that a slam?

ANDY, SOMEONE WANTS TO DATE YOU! What’s with the exclamation point? I guess even they can’t believe someone wants to date me.

So I figured, what the heck. It wasn’t JDate, but if they’re excited about somebody wanting to date me, I can at least show a little excitement too. I hit the URL they’d sent me, and it took me to a site that asked… LOOKING FOR LOVE? 3.5 MILLION SINGLES AWAIT YOU ARRIVAL AT DREAMMATES.COM! “You” arrival. 3.5 million and not one of ‘em can spell “your.”

Now, they’re telling me 3.5 million singles await my arrival. Right away, you figure half of those 3.5 million awaiting my arrival are the wrong sex. That would be men, by the way! So they’re telling me 1 & ¾ million guys are awaiting my arrival? How great can the women be if hundreds of thousands of guys are awaiting my arrival? JDate – I’ll never look at another dating site again.

Yay for Being Single!

by Tamar Caspi under Single Life

I was checking out my friend’s updates on Facebook and came across on interesting post — one of the hottest women I know wrote “I love being single!”  Following 8 comments. I had to click and see what people were saying about such a statement, something you don’t often hear. One gal wrote, “I do too! I love the freedom to be selfish and not have to worry about anyone else’s needs!” Another woman wrote, “Me too! I don’t have to spend all my hard-earned money buying everyone else presents this holiday season.” A guy wrote, “I love flirting!” Another man wrote, “It’s just so much easier. If I want to be alone I can be, if I want to go out, I can.” Finally, someone wrote, “Being single is definitely easier than being married. Marriage is hard work.” And someone else followed up with, “Try being married with 2 kids!” More comments followed along these lines — promoting the positives of being single along with the negative of being married.

Usually you see people talking about how awful single life is, how depressed they are being single, how desperate they are to meet someone, how they’ll never ever meet anyone, how they’ve given up hope at finding love and so on. So it was really nice and refreshing to see people discuss the positive attributes being single has.

All singles should take the time to appreciate what they do have instead of harping on what they don’t.


When is it Too Late to Break Up?

by JeremySpoke under Relationships

You sit indifferently at the restaurant across from a woman you swore you have seen before. Have you been set up on a blind date with someone you actually went on a date with long ago but can hardly remember, or have you been married to the same woman for so long that your brain reorganizes itself every time you look at your spouse to prevent yourself from committing suicide long enough to enjoy this wonderful dinner at Olive Garden?

If you chose option number two, then it is high time to file for a divorce. If, however, you are not married, then the separation should be relatively simpler. However, do not mistake comfort for misery. That is, if you’ve been in a relationship for years, and are only in it because you work a minimum wage job and your significant other is a lottery winner, it’s time to cut them loose. In an anecdote that probably resonates with more people, don’t stay with somebody simply for convenience. This is good advice unless, of course, both you and your boy/girlfriend are boring. Then you’re screwed.

What I don’t understand however, is the ongoing relationship between a highly exciting person and someone who is dull. What are you doing? You have a lifetime of adventure that you’re just wasting so that your conservative parents will be happy. Or, is there a deeper dynamic that has already existed between your uptight parents? Maybe one day, long ago, they were exciting too, but gave up their hopes and dreams and international differences in order to appease somebody as well.

Was this originally about when it’s too late to break up? Was I originally supposed to give advice?

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by AndyCowan under Relationships,Single Life

I once suffered through most of a boring, lavishly overproduced movie, because I’d fallen for the woman’s back in the row ahead of me, and I was dying to see what her face looked like. Tens of millions of dollars and an A-list director couldn’t compete with this woman’s back. I left before the end of the credits, so I could stand in the lobby and get a good look. Problem was, everyone who left the theater appeared so different from what my imagination had construed from a lovely back that I could never deduce the woman’s front. I had to quickly position myself behind as many candidates leaving in droves as I could to see if a back jumped out at me, but alas, my “Scarlett” was nowhere to be found. Women are like butterflies. In one instant, you admire their beauty. The next instant, they’ve flown away.

What was it about this woman’s back that got to me? Whose back from my formative years must she have subliminally reminded me of? Cute girls in the rows ahead of me in class, no doubt. Had I caught up with her, what would I have said? “How did you like the movie? … So… tell me about your back.”

Cute meets are tough in real life. That’s why we have JDate!