Try looking at your romantic prospects like you were going to have to one day introduce him or her to your child. My single mom friends won’t even give a guy the time of day who they wouldn’t consider one day being a stepfather to their kids. My single dad friends say the exact same thing. If you’re childless but desire to have a family someday then it wouldn’t hurt to look at your prospects as your future co-parent. That kind of thinking raises the bar, doesn’t it? Would this person be a good role model for your child? Ask yourself that question as you peruse your prospects and then notice how the quality of your dates increases.
Archive for January, 2013
Monday’s 57th Presidential Inauguration officially sent Barack Obama into a second term as America’s 44th President, and members of the Washington D.C. Jewish community were right there with him to participate in inauguration-weekend activism and service events.
The Women’s Leadership Network luncheon of the National Jewish Democratic Council kicked off the inaugural weekend in “Jewish Washington” last Friday. The group held a discussion panel which included former White House Communications Director Ann Lewis, Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and The Jerusalem Post Washington Bureau Chief Hilary Krieger.
It was “one of the most inspirational events I’ve attended in a very long time,” Barbara Goldberg Goldman told JNS.org. “Proud Jewish women of all ages came together to share their desire to perform tikun olam and make a difference in the world in which they live.”
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, JSpace.com is showing how a Torah made its way to Dr. King’s March on Selma.
In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote to Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, sharing an idea he had for a march with the Jewish leader. King was planning an unprecedented demonstration, hoping to bring thousands on a walk from Montgomery to Selma in support of voting rights for the black community.
What resulted would go down in history as one of the greatest civil rights moments of all time. Rabbi Eisendrath did indeed participate, as did other spiritual leaders from many other factions. Click here to see an iconic photo from the Selma march, in which Rabbi Eisendrath, clutching a Torah, can be seen standing with Dr. King.
Pauline Friedman Phillips, known around the world a “Dear Abby” died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 94.
Phillips was born in Iowa in 1918 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. In 1937, she began writing the iconic “Dear Abby” advice column, assuming the penname Abigail van Buren. The column would go on to earn worldwide fame as a syndicated piece of Americana, printed in more than 1,000 newspapers.
Phillips was a member of Women in Communications, the American College of Psychiatrics, and the National Council of Jewish Women.
Rejection. It happens to the best of us, from the greatest basketball player in the world, to your average cubicle-dwelling twenty-something. Whether you’re cut from your varsity basketball team (Michael Jordan) or told “it’s not going to work out between us,” rejection hurts a little bit. The key is how you respond.
Everyone’s been there in the dating world. There’s a guy or girl you’re into, and you ask them to hang out. Things are going well, and then you get the “I think you’re a great person, but I don’t think things are going to work out between us” text. Depending on who you are, and how far you are into the relationship or whatever you call it, you’ll probably feel a mixed range of emotions.
The worst thing you can do is call them and scream at them. The second worst thing you can do is send a response back saying “Whyyyy?” This person already made their decision, now live with it. There may have been something wrong with you, or maybe it was them, so do a bit of self-reflection. Did I project myself as being the best possible person? Could I have been a bit more careful with what I said during the first time I met her friends? Did I reveal all of my cards to quickly?
When responding, either respond with an “Ok” and “understand” or don’t respond at all. A simple text that will go a long way. Who knows? Maybe this person will change his or her mind.
Dating is like playing a sport, or a musical instrument, in that it involves constant self-improvement, and learning how to deal with different situations. Rejection may hurt, but it’s not the end of the world. How you respond to it, and how you use the rejection to improve on your next relationship goes a long way to how successful you will ultimately be with your love life.
One great indicator that my life is finally on the right track is actually very subtle. It’s something that is difficult to pick up on at first glance, but after years of not caring about my appearance, having low self-esteem, and weighing about 100 pounds more than I should, I’ve been able to notice the indirect ways that people react to me.
A few years ago, when my life was out of control, people were still nice to me. I was still awesome. I was really nice and funny and had a pretty good personality, so people weren’t really mean to me. However, I would still get The Look. That brief glance that was about 90% pity and 10% aversion. I was still pretty good at talking to women, but if I ended up talking for too long, or went off on a tangent, or got too close, I would end up getting the look, meaning, ‘alright you’re pretty nice, but I’ve reached my quota for you and do not want to look at your fat, sweaty face anymore.’ I eventually was pretty aware that the look was eminent, and once it arrived, I was already gone.
I think I need to revise the last paragraph. I was not good at talking to women. I could maintain a conversation for about five minutes. In my mind, these five minutes were going great, when in actuality, I was flailing my arms, screaming, and had really yellow teeth, which has nothing to do with my conversation style, but didn’t help, either. After five minutes I would either just stare at her nervously or walk away.
Now I still get the look, but it’s completely different, because I’m awesome now. People aren’t disgusted by me anymore. When I smile at a stranger and say, ‘hi’, they don’t squint their eyes and immediately start walking in the opposite direction despite the fact that they’re already five minutes late to see their dying grandmother. They smile and say, ‘hi’ back like I’m a goddamn normal person.
This isn’t just due to my weight loss. It’s a complete lifestyle and partial personality change. My mannerisms are even quite different. Of course, it is far better to be unique and not conform to what people respond favorably too. However, I am too weak-minded to not conform. I must be liked.
One day a long time ago you went on one JDate. It was okay but it wasn’t earth-shattering. Two years, five years, and even ten years later… it’s time to take another look. That guy or gal may not have been for you back then but he or she may be perfect for you now. Don’t discount someone just because you remember them from way back when. Everyone evolves over time (hopefully) and along with it, your preferences will (hopefully) grow too… and for the better. So take another look and give that person who fits your preferences perfectly another chance. But make sure you go into the date with an open mind of really giving the prospect another chance and don’t just assume he or she is still the same person and that you’ll be disappointed. Chances are you’re both in for a nice surprise — maybe you’re not Beshert but that doesn’t mean it’s a total loss… you can always set each other up with a friend now that you know who they have become since the last time you met.
When I first told a small group of my closest friends that I was going to join JDate, one of them (who has spent a couple of months on the site), turned to me with endearing and enthusiastic eyes and asked, “What’s your plan?”
Plan? What kind of plan did I need? Don’t I just set up a profile with my “who, what, where, why, and when,” and just wait? Did I need to make a to-do list, or a color-coded chart to handle my new wired up dating life?
I told my friend that my plan would include simply emailing any guys I had interest in to set up a date. “Email?!” she said with a non-stop laugh. “That wont go over well.”
Before I joined the site, I was wary about giving out my number. I have a very close-knit relationship with my phone, it goes everywhere with me, even the bath tub (thank you overprotective phone case). The last thing I want is a swarm of text messages from a jumbled mess of men I wouldn’t be able to place a face to a name to… yet. My “plan” of action would be to give out my phone number to a guy, but only after we met in person, and only if we really hit off.
After spending a week on the site, and having several requests to exchange numbers, I quickly realized the only sense of a “plan” I had going into this was suddenly an ultimate failure. I was even turning off guys where I thought there might have been potential. When someone intriguing asked for my digits, I’d say something awkward and nonsensical, making me seem mistakenly distant or uninterested.
So, here’s what I’ve uncovered about sharing your digits:
Don’t: If you’re still not sure you like someone you’re chatting with, and feel as though you need to go on bantering a little more online before handing over your digits. Keep the conversation flowing and casually mention you’d like to keep getting to know more about them before meeting up. If they are turned off, or make you feel uncomfortable, accept this as a possible red flag.
Do: Give out your digits if you feel like you’ve hit it off with someone and wouldn’t mind a quicker chat to occur via the dancing of thumbs on your cellular phone. Also, do give them 500 bonus points if they take your digits, and instead of admiring them, they actually pick up the phone and call you to ask you out on a date.
After you’ve been in a relationship for many years and find yourself single again you will also find yourself having memories of places you’ve gone, outfits you’ve worn, and stories and jokes you’ve told. It will be weird at first, but there are some ways to make the transition easier. When you are starting over it’s nice to also start fresh. I’ve written about buying new sheets and towels after living with someone, but buying new clothes is also something that will help you begin anew. Sell and/or donate your old clothes so that you can both make some money and give back. When it comes to places to go on your dates, this is the perfect time to try all those places you never went because they were too expensive or too far away or too exotic. Try new things and make new experiences on your dates. Finally, you are going to find yourself telling stories that include your former partner because he or she was recently a part of your life for a lengthy period of time. That’s normal. But concentrate on the story and not the person in it. Eventually you will get further and further away from the relationship and the constant reminders. Hold on to the good memories though, they don’t deserve to be trashed.
Did anyone see the New York Times article on the end of courtship? It was thought-provoking, with way too many shares between females showing up on my Facebook page.
With the high amount of “Girls” references, and the myriad of examples on guys missing dates, or bouncers hooking up with girls over whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese, the article seemed slanted against males. Girls were quoted as saying “guys don’t want to date, courtship is dead,” etc.
While “courtship” in its true 1950’s-esque definition means it is 100% on the guy to call the girl up, take her out, buy her flowers, and almost control the relationship, courtship in the millennial sense is entirely different. As I alluded to in my previous article about casual sex, we live in a time of convenience, and a time where 20 and 30-something females are on basically the same footing as males in terms of getting careers on track. It is not the era of “at 22 women will be bound to the house, studying up on Betty Crocker Recipes, and preparing themselves to be baby makers”. For the record, I don’t think my mother ever made a Betty Crocker recipe.
It’s not the end of courtship, it’s a change in courtship. I’m one who would rather call a girl to ask her out than text her. However, the problem lies when she doesn’t CALL back, but rather texts… saying that texting is easier for her. So, she really has no right to complain after setting that precedent early on in the dating cycle.
In terms of the Jewish world, Jewish young adults have a tendency to get married at a much older age than their other U.S. young adult counterparts. The marriage age has also increased from 21 and 23 during the 1970’s for Jewish brides and grooms, to 27 and 29 in 2010. Jewish young adults also have a tendency to be more career-focused than their other American young adult brethren, and millennial young adults in general have a tendency to be more transient than in generations past.
Given those facts and conclusions stated above, it is only natural that dating has undergone a change too. Courtship is still alive, but if you think you’re going to get a serious relationship out of a hook-up complete with whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese, well, you’ve got a wide other set of problems.
Growing up, I used to love watching trashy daytime talk shows. I missed most of 9th grade pretending to be sick so that I could watch as much Jerry Springer as possible. I couldn’t put my finger on why I liked it so much, other than how unbelievably awesome it was. Then I realized, it wasn’t the fighting, or the outrageous storylines, or even Jerry’s Final Thought. I loved seeing people worse off than me. No matter how bad a day I was having, or how bad I thought my life was going, at least I wasn’t a middle-aged overweight man convinced that I was a dog for the entertainment of a masochistic, older, sex-crazed woman.
It may sound bad, but it’s somewhat therapeutic knowing that there are those worse off than you. I think the word for this is ‘schadenfreude’. There’s a limit, however. I don’t enjoy watching people suffer or die, and I do not like when anyone I love or care about is in pain. Aside from that, pretty much anything goes. I like it when I’m driving down the highway and I see that a police car has just pulled over another car for speeding. I like it when I see another couple yelling at each other. I like it when I get the last cookie at the deli in my office. We all need some motivation and self-assurance in the fact that we are not the most miserable people on earth.
After many failed dates and rejections, I needed a confidence booster in that same vein. I thought about showing interest in women that I wasn’t interested at all, just so I could receive some sort of acceptance from someone. However, I figured that this was too cruel, especially knowing how painful rejection can be. Instead, I gained a little bit of confidence knowing that even though the women I sort of had interest in didn’t reciprocate the feeling, a few that I didn’t have interest in at least seemed to enjoy my company. And then I hit the jackpot. I won $10 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. And then I redeemed my jackpot. And then I bought a sandwich. And then I hit the metaphorical jackpot and met the woman I will spend the rest of my life with.
There’s no real lesson here, and most of my ‘lessons’ are impractical and may even get you killed.
Some men are charming. They can’t help it. They are born salesmen. They know how to word things, how to spin things, which facial expression to show, which tone to use, and how to get you to fall for them. Sometimes these men are selling something authentic but oftentimes it’s all crap. They think their shit don’t stink and they’re hedging their bets that you don’t find out until after you’re in too deep. There isn’t any answer to how to see through the smokescreen and not get caught in their web. But if you are doubting someone’s authenticity then keep asking questions, ensure continuity in the stories and dig for details (all without looking looney tunes). If someone is being real then he won’t mind divulging the deets, but if he’s b.s.’ing you then he will eventually stumble and become defensive about being doubted. Then he will spin the situation to make you look crazy and if he’s really good then you will actually believe him. And eventually you’ll see straight again and kick yourself for falling for the charmer… hopefully it happens before you fall too hard.