Archive for March, 2013

Love At First JDate: What to Wear on a First Date

by JenG under Relationships

They say first impressions count for a lot. If anything, the first couple of minutes that you spend meeting your date is a moment that won’t ever leave the wiring of your brain—for both good and sometimes really, terribly bad reasons. On a recent first date I recently went on, the guy turned to me just after we ordered our drinks and said, “I’m sorry, I just woke up from a deep nap and didn’t feel like changing.” There was no need for an explanation as the wrinkles of his white Hanes shirt and zip up jacket said it all. His look was fine, except it was a Saturday night and he had never met me before. The least he could do was comb through his fallen, dandruff hair.

When you’re getting ready for a first date, please wipe the nap-time crud out of your eyes and pull together a nice, simple and memorable (for a good reason) outfit. Here are some tips:

  • Do: Wear something that you’ve worn before. Now is certainly not the time to try new outfits. Neither is it a good idea to pair two pieces together if you’re unsure how they will look on you. Girls, put on light makeup and simple accessories. Boys, just one spray of cologne is all you really need.
  • Don’t: When picking out an outfit, it’s a good rule of thumb to select something to wear that your grandma would approve—in other words, be modest. Don’t wear something too revealing, something with too many wrinkles in it, or something that could easily turn into a wardrobe malfunction and have you channeling your inner Janet Jackson circa the 2004 Superbowl. Guys, it’s best to change out of your work clothes, or something that you’ve had on all day. Keep it fresh and clean.

Read more of Jen Glantz: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


Responding to that 1st Email

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Now that you’ve received a perfectly crafted email from someone who read “Tips for Writing that 1st Email” it’s time to craft your response. If you’re not interested, then you can choose whether to ignore the email or, better, to respond respectfully. This can be a copy/paste since you’re only replying for good manners sake… and karma. Simply say “Thank you so much for your interest, I’m very flattered. Though I don’t think we’re a match, I wish you the best in finding your Beshert.”

(If you’re on the receiving end of a rejection letter, just delete and move on. At least you have closure. Don’t dwell on why they don’t think you’re a match. It doesn’t matter.)

If you are interested then… yay! You’re that much closer to finding your Beshert! View the prospect’s profile and respond within 48 hours. Don’t reply too quickly or it will seem overeager and desperate. Somewhere between 24-36 hours is perfect. Thank the person for their email, respond specifically to their compliments and commonalities by pointing out something you noticed both about their physical appearance and their profile and then answer the question they asked. Finally, ask a question of your own in order to keep the conversation going.

Here’s an example of what “PrettyJew4U” could respond to Jacob:

Hi Jacob!

Thanks for your sweet email and for noticing my smile =) I was taken by your eyes because they’re an unusual color but I also liked how they expressed joy in the pictures with your nieces.

I’ve only been to JiRaffe a few times but it’s one of my favorites places! I live in Brentwood, so probably not too far from you. Have you been to Sugarfish? It’s only a few blocks from my place. There’s also a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant nearby that’s the best in LA, it’s called Divino, have you been there? I can’t go to the Foodie event this weekend unfortunately, but I’ve always wanted to go! Do you know of any other events coming up?

Hope to hear from you soon,

Marissa


Smug and Stuff

by JeremySpoke under Success Stories

The moment you become smug and content is the moment you begin to lose everything. You have to choose between contentment without knowing you can lose everything and constant neuroticism without knowing there is nothing to lose.

Realistically, everyone lives somewhere between these two extremes. I am always on edge. My life is constantly getting better and I can get just as anxious as I’ve always been. I suppose that the better my life gets, the more I’m scared I can lose everything. I suppose this because this is what people tell me, and I trust people because they’re smarter than me. Right now, I have more to lose than ever. In just one, maybe two, stupid moves, I could lose it all. I don’t think I’ll ever reach a level where my anxiety will be somewhat relieved. The only thing I can think of is complete personality reassignment.

I do not deserve my fiancée, but work every day to make that up. I think the last time I was content was ironically when I had nothing. I knew I had nothing to lose, and thus had nothing to worry about. I didn’t have to work for anything, and though got no reward, also felt no disappointment. Disappointment only comes from effort. If you don’t care, you’ll never be disappointed.

I’m still not sure which is better, but I’m pretty happy with my life right now. I constantly feel like I’ve reached the pinnacle of what I will achieve. If this is true, I should just live it up and not worry. Maybe tomorrow I will get regular Lay’s instead of the baked variety.


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Justin D”

by Tamar Caspi under Monday Makeover,Relationships

Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers. This week she’s tweaking the profile for “Justin D.”

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Hi Miss Tamar,

My profile seems to be anti-attractive to women. I don’t know what’s wrong with it.  I’ve updated the essays numerous times and the current pictures are fresh and new.

A majority of the women I email check out my profile, but then don’t respond.  That makes me think my profile is the weak link.  I’m entering my third month on JDate and still no dates.  I receive a minimal amount of responses.  My response rate is close to zero.

I’d be grateful for any advice you could provide.  Please pile it on.  Don’t go easy.  =)  Tell me the truth, do I need to see my plastic surgeon?  Maybe you’ve heard of him?  His name is…Dr.Frankenstein. LOL!

-Justin D

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Hi Justin D,

Thanks for writing in! Between your email and your profile I want to thank you for making me laugh! I think your profile is very well written with a nice balance of jokes and seriousness. So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what can be made better.

I don’t like your pictures, not because you look like you visited Dr. Frankenstein, but because your photos don’t reflect your personality at all. I appreciate you following my advice and having a close-up and a full length photo but your pictures are boring. Have friends snap candid photos of you when you’re out and about or have family take photos of you when you’re celebrating a holiday or birthday. Your natural smile with a random background is always better than a staged photo in front of a white wall. Another option is to find a friend who is an aspiring photographer who would be willing to do a photo shoot with you outdoors. Finally, photos showing you participating in some of your hobbies (any pics of you from last season’s Super Bowl winning Ravens season with you at a game or watching a game wearing a jersey with some friends?) is always a great supplemental photo. You need to have a minimum of 4 photos with 6 being the optimal number to show personality and consistency.

That brings me to your details. I don’t think you need to be SOOO specific with your weight. You’re tall and skinny and women much prefer that than the opposite, but they don’t want to know that you weigh less than them. In Your Ideal Match, I would add “Marriage and Children” because you say so in your Life and Ambitions paragraph. Dating in your mid-20s is difficult because you don’t want to put too young of an age and end up with someone in college and not ready for marriage but you also don’t want to select too high of an age range and end with someone who’s jaded from their biological clock ticking. I think your selection of 22 is good and it should stay there until you turn 30 (if in fact you’re still single at 30 which I’m sure you don’t plan on being). But as you age your maximum age range should continue to stay 3 years your junior. That currently gives you a very narrow age range right now, but that’s okay. Your next birthday is fast approaching so you will soon enough expand your age range.

I really think it’s your photos that are hindering your success. Find or take photos that match your fun and funny personality and you’ll be on your way! That said, if you want me to review the emails you’re sending to the women then send me a sample because maybe you’re doing something wrong there. Good luck!


The Seder

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate

It’s Passover. You’re at an unfamiliar Seder with unfamiliar people. In fact, it’s probably a young professionals Seder for the people who couldn’t really go home to mother, father and a bevy of home-cooked food.

You think to yourself, “This is going to be another awkward Jewish event that I paid money for that could’ve gone to my Thursday kickball dues”. Then you realize you’ve boarded yourself in your room (other than work) after Florida Gulf Coast University ruined your bracket this weekend, and are probably in need of social interaction. Understanding this, you walk out of work, Gucci Man and Kid Cudi on repeat, and park at the synagogue/JCC/random rich dude’s house.

Upon arriving fifteen minutes late (Jewish standard time), you notice some new talent seated around the 75-100 person Seder table. This excites you, however you decide to sit next to David Goldstein, your go-to basketball-watching and gambling buddy, for familiarity reasons.

As the Seder goes on, you slyly check your phone every so often for work emails and to text your buddy across the room about this new talent.  Once the charoset and maror are passed around, you recite your Four Question checklist again:

  1. Why is this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman on my right different from all other women?
  2. Why does this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman on my right recline with such unbelievable posture? Is she a yoga teacher?
  3. Why does this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well dressed-woman on my right pop Kosher for Passover breath mints after every bite of the Hillel Sandwich  (charoset, maror, matzah)?
  4. What is the reason for this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman’s obsession with cats, tangerines and Duke basketball?

You then check your phone one more time to see if your buddy got any 411 on the ginger girl to your right, pick up your fork, and start eating your catered chicken.


Pushing Through

by JeremySpoke under Success Stories

Anxiety is a funny thing. Just kidding it sucks.

It’s difficult to push through the day when you have a heavy, sinking feeling in your chest. Deep anxiety makes doing everyday activities difficult.

It just took me half an hour to turn on my computer, and it only takes my horrible computer eighteen minutes to start up. That left two hours of lethargy and apathy. That’s two minutes I could have instead spent putting in my password and pressing ‘Enter’. What a waste!

So I somehow managed to open WordPress and I’m now writing this.

Finding someone to share in my misery is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. For example, for many people suffering from some sort of anxiety and/or depression, the morning can be especially difficult. Sometimes this stems from loneliness. Whatever the case, getting a text message immediately after waking up evokes the best feeling ever. It gives me just enough motivation to get out of bed and drive to work.

I know there will be ups and downs, but this ride is great so far. Things are far from perfect, but if I had to write this same blog post one year ago, I would have managed to open my laptop halfway and then gone on an icing-eating rampage which would have devolved into just eating sticks of butter.


Extreme Profile Makeover — “David S.”

by Tamar Caspi under Monday Makeover,Relationships

Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers. This week she’s tweaking the profile for “David.”

______________________________________________________________________________________

Hi David,

I appreciate the amount of photos you uploaded which really show consistency in your appearance. But (and there’s always a but), you need to reorder them. Consider deleting a few and add a lengthier description to the others. I would make photo #6 (the mud pic) your profile photo as it shows your face close-up — plus it’s unique, interesting and fun. In your current profile photo, you’re wearing sunglasses and not showing your natural smile, so it’s not the best representation of your face. I would delete photos #7 (too far away) and #11 (chef) as they don’t add much value. Even photos #1 and #5 are expendable as you’re wearing sunglasses. Additionally, 11 photos is a bit of an overkill. I would also describe who the cute little girl is in photo #9 since you say you don’t have any kids, but don’t identify her as a niece or god-daughter.

Your profile is overwhelming, I’m not sure how else to put it. Sometimes there’s too much information, sometimes your sarcasm is questionable, and sometimes there’s a bit of a cheesiness factor. The first paragraph in your “About Me” section is great. I would delete the second paragraph completely and leave the third paragraph as is. The music and books you mention are again mentioned in “My Favorite…” and in the “Likes and Interests” tab so there is no need to repeat yourself — especially when the information fits better in another area.

Your “My Life and Ambitions” answer is confusing as it doesn’t align with Areas of Study/Occupation/What I do questions you answered. This is a huge red flag with anyone’s profile. If what you put under Occupation is no longer what you currently do, then address it in this section. Similarly, “A Brief History of My Life” is incredibly confusing. I appreciate good sarcasm, but this was completely over my head. The first line is cute — if vague. The rest of the quotations should be deleted. I mean, I get it, I just don’t think it belongs there. “My Perfect First Date” is perfect. The last line is questionable, but it’s up to you about whether you want to keep it or not. “Things I Could Never Live Without” is very well written, as is “My Favorites.” Under “The Coolest Places I’ve Visited,” you should delete the last line as it is kinda corny. The question is written in past tense, so to say: “somewhere with YOU!” is cheesy. The rest of your answers are good… there’s some humor mixed with seriousness, which is great.

Your “Details” and “My Ideal Match” are fine, broad enough to attract the most potential matches. Again, the list of “Area of Study” is a bit lengthy and confusing. Try to pare that down as a I doubt you majored in six areas. Finally, I like your new profile name, but since you mention a comic book character. I would describe somewhere how you are the female version of that character — rather than just assume a reader will make the connection on their own (adventurous, sarcastic, etc).

Good Luck!


Love at First JDate: Picking up the tab

by JenG under JDate,Single Life

I have gone broke from a first date more than once. Somehow, going on a date just extracts the paper bills from the inside of my pleather wallet without me realizing what’s happening. Once, a few months ago, going on a date even forced me to overdraw my bank account. Talking about who should pay for a first date should be on the list of topics for the next presidential debate (just kidding), as it warrants much emotion, opinions and even deal-breaking decisions by those who have rules and guidelines tattooed in their minds.

Here’s my breakdown on the payment plan for a first date—this one is targeted to the girls:

  • Do: Always offer to contribute on the first date. You both mutually decided to go out and “meet” each other on this awkward rendezvous and it’s only right you offer to shell out the cash for your half of the meal, or your gulp of a full glass of Pinot. You can follow your own rules on dates two through infinity. However, you should use your manners and offer to pay on the first round.
  • Don’t: Turn your shoulder on a first date who makes you pay. Yes, it’s lovely to be wined and dined on occasion, but it’s best to consider a first date with someone as a friendly meeting. A “let’s get to know each other—on a surface level and go from there” kind of thing. Don’t be upset or feel as though you’ve been stiffed.

Read more of Jen Glantz here.


Tips for Writing that 1st Email

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

The 1st email you send once you see someone you like on JDate is quite daunting. How do you start the email? How do you end it? How much do you say about yourself? How much do you say about the other person? How do you stand apart from the rest?

Tip #1 Draft your email in a word document first

Not everyone is a natural-born writer. It’s not always easy to string together a few coherent sentences, especially when you’re both talking about yourself and flattering the other person. By drafting your email in a word doc first you will catch typos and be able to read back over and over until you feel comfortable. Additionally, if you like your opening and closing sentences then you can save each email with the name of the person you sent it to and revise the middle sentences accordingly.

Tip #2 Mention a couple unique items about the prospect

Prove to the person that you read their profile by commenting on one thing specific about their physical features which caught your eye (their “sparkling green eyes”) for example and one specific item from their “About Me” which made you interested enough to send an email. You do not need to make a laundry list of things you have in common. Not only will the prospect look at your profile and see those commonalities, but there’s a reason JDate matched you — there’s an algorithm involved.

Tip #3 Ask a question to illicit a response

Saying you find the person attractive and smart doesn’t give the prospect a reason to respond. Asking if he or she has ever been to ______________ (somewhere you would probably have in common) or if he or she has seen _______________ (a common favorite band you both like) live gives the person a reason to click “reply.”

Tip #4 Keep it short and sweet

More is not always better. You don’t want to come off as overeager because you wrote a dissertation-length email but you don’t want to come off as a lazy copy-and-paster who clearly writes each person the same email. About 5 lines is good.

Tip #5

Once you have a reply, then you yourself need to send a 2nd email within 48 hours. This time, ask your prospect if he or she wants to meet for a meal/drink/activity and then either include your phone number or ask for theirs. If you get their number then call to make the plans within 48 hours.

Tip #6 Move on.

If you don’t receive a response to your 1st email then let it go. The person may not have a paid JDate account and therefore can’t access their inbox or they aren’t interested. Move on. If you don’t receive a response to your 2nd email within 4 days, then follow up with 1 more email mentioning something fun that is going on within the next week and asking if he or she would like to join you. Then don’t contact them again. Take the hint and move on.

Sample letter:

Hi PrettyJew4U,

My name is Jacob and I also live in Santa Monica. Your profile caught my eye because your bright smile brought a smile to my face when I saw your photo. Then once I started reading your profile I realized how much we have common! JiRaffe is one of my favorite restaurants too — surprised we’ve never bumped into each other there. Are you going to the LA Foodie event this weekend?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Jacob


Decision Maker

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Success Stories

On the first few dates, if you’re a male, try to be at least a little bit decisive. It shows initiative or something.

I’m very bad at doing this. Although I have opinions, often very strong ones, I’m too afraid to express them, especially while out with a woman I hardly know. In general, I almost never talk about politics. I don’t shop around for things. If I need a shirt, I go to a store, pick up the first shirt I see, pay for it, and put it on my body. If someone asks me which insurance I prefer, I say, ‘The one that I pay to insure me in case I do something bad.”

On early dates, I have a bad habit of asking the woman her opinion on what she wants to do, where she wants to eat, what I want to wear, etc. Sometimes, you can come up with something, too. Set something up. Get a general idea of her likes and dislikes, and make an informed decision based on these opinions. If she’s a vegetarian, don’t go to a Brazilian steakhouse. If she’s a carnivore, go to a Brazilian steakhouse. If neither of you are hungry, do something else.

This all seems like obvious advice, but for me, it took a long time to learn. There’s a thin line between benevolence and weakness. I live my life on that line. I still see myself as an a****** that just can’t say no. Maybe there’s no such thing as nice people. There’s just a******* that impose their will and a******* that don’t.