Archive for September, 2013

Love At First JDate: The Perfect First Message

by JenG under Relationships

Recently, I’ve had a couple of readers and friends reach out with one question that they are desperate to get off their chest: What should I say to spark a conversation? And I find that the easiest way to write out a message and the best way to get a response from someone is to keep it simple. Starting off a first message to someone should be similar to how you’d start off a “hello” to someone in person.

Do: Mention something that sparked your attention from their profile. Use that as your way to make them feel special and connected to your first message. You’ll have a much better response rate if you make them feel special over making them feel weirded out.

Don’t: Write them something generic, or use the wrong person’s name, or try to make your message seem too way out of the box. A first message is just a preview of the conversation to come.

Tags:

Annoying Habits

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Everyone has their annoying habits whether it’s snoring or snapping their gum or chewing loud or chewing on their hair or picking their split ends or clearing their throat or tapping their foot or having an obnoxious chuckle. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has some kind of tick. The question is… can you live with it forever? Is there something they have a subconscious habit of doing that you can’t stand? You can try pointing it out… some people can unlearn these habits while others cannot. Is it the only thing that annoys you or are there deeper issues that you have problems with but this is your breaking point? Many times when someone gets under your skin for something as little as cracking their knuckles there’s actually a much bigger problem at bay. Before you pull out your own hair because your significant other can’t keep their fingers out of their hair, figure out what’s really annoying you and don’t ruin a good relationship for a bad habit.


I’ll Be There For You

by Aaron under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life

In one of my favorite shows, Friends, there is a scene in the fourth season finale where we catch Chandler in bed and as Ross leaves the room, we see Monica pop up from under the covers, and one of TV’s greatest (and funniest) romances begins to take off.

For a long time, that was my ideal romance. It happened to me a few times in college (too many of my favorite stories from college start with an “I have feelings for you, Aaron!” followed by a “So…do you want to make out or something?” awkwardly asked by me.), but for some reason it’s never lasted (even with my great response to people laying their hearts on the line to me!). I’ve had friends that I’ve gone that direction with and we’ve left it on good terms, but I’ve also ruined some friendships in the same way.

And yet I’m constantly drawn to that TV idea of Monica and Chandler. I’m sure I’ve got friends who would happily date me, and I’m sure most people do, too. It’s just as we grow older and don’t have school to provide us with a constant stream of new friends, we get scared of taking something to a different place. We worry it’d ruin the friendship, or just think that despite our constant hanging out and ability to tolerate and even enjoy each other, a relationship wouldn’t work.

But really, who better to date than people we already know we can trust and enjoy? As Rosh Hashanah came this year, I made a list of about thirty people, male and female, I wanted to get closer with this year. I regularly add to the list, and I also reach out to the people on the list for hanging out on my quieter nights (typically Thursday night dinners a friend and I put together). This is pretty much my biggest goal of the year socially, to grow not just the breadth of my network but also the depth of my relationships.

Growing friendships in Dallas has been something I’ve enjoyed over the years as I’ve rekindled friendships from Hebrew School and just learned to see people in new ways. We know faces, but getting to know real people takes some work. Sometimes when I try to open people up at events they get a little too open (telling me when they lost their virginity, exposing their long-hidden racism, etc.), but overall I love getting to know the faces around me when I go out. So next time you go to a big Jewish event, don’t just think “oh great, them again”, try to find something new about those same old faces around you. You might just find your Monica or Chandler has been in front of you all along.


Sexy is a Mindset

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

As I type this a Victoria’s Secret commercial is airing just after a commercial for some reality show featuring young women joking around about breast implants to feel sexier. Such blatant sex appeal might be needed for corporate advertising, but when it comes to advertising yourself sex appeal is more of a mindset. Feeling comfortable and confident in your skin is much sexier than showing a lot of skin when you’re a single person seriously looking for your beshert. It’s not about showing your undergarments or baring skin or wearing clothes not meant for your body style. You know what is sexy? A great smile!


An Email No-No

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A JDater just sent me an email she received to show what she is having to deal with. It wasn’t that she wanted to know how to reply but she wanted me to see what kinds of emails are being sent and how people were presenting themselves.

The email was long. Really, really long. The writer offered his full name and gave his intended permission to Google him. He went on and on about how much he liked her profile, which is nice, but it was over the top. He explained their commonalities, also nice, but again he took it too far. Rather than explain some of what he liked about her and some of what they had in common and then leaving the rest for her to be curious about and for them to explore together, he came off as increasingly desperate the more the email rambled on. He CAPS LOCKED some words and offered other sources for her to investigate him online.

Granted, she could know that he was legit and could be very flattering to someone who does appreciate that amount of effort and attention, but odds are it will be incredibly off-putting to most people. Edit yourself and if you aren’t sure if you need to then have a loved one do it for you.


Love At First JDate: Keep The Convo Flowing

by JenG under JDate,Online Dating

Messaging back and forth with someone is like playing a game of tennis. To keep the game going, you need to hit the ball back and forth. In a world where online conversations take precedence over in-person conversations, it’s important to spruce up your messages with information about you, as well as a question or two that will draw the person you’re emailing into responding. Here’s a few tips!

  • Do: Always end your message with a question. That way, the person will be captivated enough to respond. To feel as though you’re not only interested in answering their promoted questions, but also to get to know them in return. End with a question that actually intrigues you, one where you truly want to find out the answer. Most importantly, keep it as genuine as possible.
  • Don’t: Answer in lengthy detail! Try to limit how much you reveal about yourself in your messages. Save the long stories, the dazzling details, and the autobiography for in-person chatter. When you’re messaging back and forth, don’t weigh your messages down with long paragraphs or side comments. Keep it short and simple. Most importantly, keep it about both of you.

Read more Jen Glantz here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


Words That Describe Me

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Perusing through JDate profiles at random I came across a few who had the phrase “Three words that describe me are…” followed by a few adjectives. This is a pretty cool approach to use as long as those three words are not the generic words that people use when describing themselves and others in regards to dating. So many people just say: smart, funny and attractive. Be more specific and more inventive. Find words that describe while also describing the adjective itself. If thinking of the three words is too easy then you didn’t put enough effort into it. Try other words such as: kind, heartfelt, adventurous, outgoing, sensitive, generous, fun-loving, joyful and then if you can’t think of anything else then add the more generic adjectives to round it out.


Every Man for Himself?

by Aaron under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life,Success Stories

This Yom Kippur, I had the pleasure of driving to synagogue with a good friend, and we decided to discuss our dating woes along the way. More than anything though we laughed and discussed funny date stories (I told him my worst sin of the year in my mind involved a Six Flags date that never happened, and he assured me it was probably a light year for sinning if that was the case), but we did reach a serious discussion at one point: when single, do we need to help friends find someone, or should we just look out for ourselves first?

My friend compared the situation to unemployment: you don’t help someone else find a job until you have one. But really, my fundamental problem is that not every job is for every person. If I found a job engineering airplanes, I wouldn’t tell an out-of-work plumber about it. Not everyone fits every job, and, in the same regard, not everyone fits every person. I mean, anyone can get along, but like a good job, longevity comes out of a good fit.

One of my favorite stories from synagogue growing up involves heaven and hell. In hell, there is food spread out everywhere and the people have giant spoons for hands. However, the people are starving because they can’t properly bend their elbows to eat the food with their long spoons. Everyone is miserable. It’s the same situation in heaven, but instead of starving, they feed each other… and everyone is happy. It always stuck with me as a way of understanding how we’re supposed to look out for each other, even in dating.

The question came to my mind again last Saturday night while I spent time with two friends of mine who are engaged to be married in May. They are a prime example of someone helping to set them up (this guy!). The woman in the relationship is a friend, and an ex of another close friend, the guy is a close friend who is Jewish but had never really been part of a Jewish community. They’re the best match I’ve ever seen. And we agreed, sometimes it’s okay to not be selfish, and maybe there’s someone who is a better fit for the position than you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still primarily looking for myself. But it can be tiring just looking for the right person for you, and sometimes it can be healthy to help someone else find what they’re looking for. I know I’m looking for my friends, just as I’m looking for me, and I hope that anyone in my social circle keeps me in mind when they meet nice Jewish girls, too.


Romance in the Sukkah

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Building a sukkah over the weekend got me thinking about how romantic Sukkot can be. Aside from the lulav and etrog being phallic symbols, the beautiful hut-like structure gives us ample opportunity to spend time outside in the evening, which is something many of us would not normally do. If you already have an awning, pergola or a gazebo, then half the work has been done for you. Dress it up a bit and invite a date over for dinner under the stars. And once Sukkot is over, you can take down the decorations, but keep the momentum going of enjoying the “great outdoors.”

One of my favorite dates was also the most unassuming and unpretentious. It was winter, but the weather was nice so we took a bottle of wine and two wine glasses outside and then just sat on an outdoor chaise. We cuddled and chatted between sipping wine, and even sat in silence looking at the stars. Yes, there was some making out… actually, lots and lots of making out… but aside from the chemistry, it was also comforting to know we could sit together in easy silence, just enjoying each other’s company.


Love at First JDate: Your Picture is Your Worth

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

“You can tell a lot about a girl by her selection of photos from her online dating profile,” he says to me after venting about a recent horrible brunch-date he paid for.
“From that picture, alone, you don’t come off as classy and intelligent as you are,” she (my mom) says to me after browsing through my JDate account and evaluating my personal profile.

They are both right. We often display the photos we believe make us look outstanding, as we’re always told it’s key to make a fast and memorable impression in our online dating profiles. But sometimes those photos don’t represent us correctly, or make us come off like we harbor the personality of someone else, someone who bears no resemblance to who we really are on the inside.

  • Do: Post pictures that are flattering. Upload pictures that represent you at your best and that are true to your darling personality. Use pictures your mother would be overcome with glee to post on her refrigerator.
  • Don’t: Make yourself come off as a party animal, or a half-dressed floozy, if you’re not at all like that. Though you may think you’re sending a “cool” vibe, you may be turning off the “right” people.

Read more Jen Glantz, here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com