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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.


March (Dating) Madness

by Adam under JBloggers,JFacts

March Madness is upon us, with sixty-eight teams, each fighting for the ultimate title of NCAA Men’s (and women’s) basketball championship. Starting tonight with the play-in games, then continuing Thursday and Friday with the “second” round games, hours of productivity, and thousands of dollars will be lost as a large segment of the population is glued to their television sets (or mobile phones), praying that a small school from the boonies of Louisiana can knock off Tim Tebow University.

There will be those Cinderellas- those directional state schools, and small private colleges, who win the hearts of many by knocking off schools like Duke, Kansas and Indiana, who then use their performance as a springboard for future basketball success. On the flip side, there are the busts- those teams who everyone had in their Final Four, but who flame out in the second round.

March Madness is a lot like dating. Think about it- you have those girls, or boys that in your mind are your prohibitive favorites (think Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Gonzaga) or best matches, who you think you will have the most chemistry with, or think looks good, is what Dick Vitale would call a “Prime Time Player”.

Sometimes, however, those best matches don’t exactly pan out. Maybe it goes well for a little bit, and you think it’s going to be smooth sailing to the finish (marriage), but huge bumps in the road (chemistry, change in priorities, you find out she’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan) put a halt to it.  Or maybe, a girl/boy pops up out of nowhere (think Virginia Commonwealth University during their Final Four run in 2011) and makes you heart flutter in ways you never knew existed.

March Madness and dating: it’s all about surviving and advancing. Who will end up being your “One Shining Moment”?


A Short Explanation of Purim

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate

Purim, the Jewish Mardi Gras. The holiday of deception. A holiday not quite as important as the High Holidays, but one that is celebrated with a similar amount of fervor throughout the young professional Jewish communities.

The idea of the holiday is simple: get as drunk as you possibly can so you cannot distinguish between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai”. Many online Jewish texts say this is the one day of the year the Jewish people can go absolutely crazy, unaware that these young professionals also celebrate New Year’s, Christmas Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, the start of March Madness, July 4th, and Labor Day in similar fashions.

There’s also a Purim narrative about how Mordechai helped save King Ahasuerus, who returned the favor by denying the decree that had called for the persecution of the Jews of Persia, but more emphasis for these young professional events is placed on the open bar.

The open bar allows single men and women the liquid courage to be able to cast “lots” among the attendees and to see which ones bite on possible dates. This also works in the case of one-night stands, where the lot cast may be two hours from the time you took that first sip of your vodka soda.

Purim, it’s that simple.

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The Case For Valentine’s Day as a National Holiday

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate

If you check Twitter, Facebook, your email, a dating site, an adult film store, or your local big box retailer, you’ll find aisles upon aisles dedicated to Valentine’s Day goodness. It’s a big deal, and great for the service industry (as you can take our your misery or happiness on happy hour)!

Why is Valentine’s Day so important? Why is there one day focused on showing affection to your spouse, or picking up another single person at the local “Stoplight” party? Why is Target only selling pink, red and white M&Ms? Did Kobe and Shaq kiss and make up two nights ago so they wouldn’t have to go out together tonight?

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s grown in popularity over the past 50 years, and in terms of retail holiness for Jews, might be entering Hanukkah territory (admit it, when have you ever seen a Rosh Hashanah movie on TV?). On a national scale, it ranks up there with Christmas, New Year’s, Halloween, and July 4th as the most Instagrammed holiday of the year… per statistics that I made up.

With this increased importance, is it time for us to replace Columbus Day as a national holiday with Valentine’s Day instead? If someone recently suffered a break up, and their depression is too much to stomach at work, shouldn’t they be granted a Valentine’s Day off to watch timeless romantic classics like Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally and Space Jam? On the other hand, shouldn’t the government grant us an “Intimacy Day” due to the fact that we have a “demographic cliff” problem in the USA, as the birthrate is declining?

Think of the impacts this could have. Singles, married people, and people in all other types of relationships will be able to fully recover from their depression/euphoria/taking a hit to their bank account by having a day off from work and will come in fully rested and ready to work on February 15 — excited that their next day off is President’s Day in just a few days.


The Kosher Chili Cook-Off

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate

For those reading this who do not live in Texas (or Memphis where they have a Kosher BBQ cook-off) the Kosher Chili Cook-Off is a big deal in Dallas, Austin and Houston. Around 50 teams in Dallas and 20 in Austin prepare diligently, starting at 8am. They cook for hours, and won’t stop till the final vote is cast at 3pm to make sure they make the best chili and procure the most amount of votes. One kosher ingredient can make all the difference.

Every team starts with the same amount of meat, around 18-22 pounds of it, unless, of course, you happen to be on a vegetarian team. What ingredients you use next is up to you, just as long as it stays kosher. Many people spend days searching for the perfect recipe and then working out the math to make sure the amount of other ingredients correlates to the amount of meat provided. There are certain rules of chili cook-offs to abide by, like don’t cook all the meat at once, and don’t put all the jalapenos in at once, so children and the elderly don’t burn their mouths eating it. You win with a combination of great chili and a personality that endears you to the general public.

Dating is the same way. Regardless of what you think, everyone starts on the same plane, with the same amount of meat (relatively). It’s the ingredients, and your presentation, that make all the difference. Everyone buys vegetables, and chili powder, and some cumin, but what else? What sets you apart? For the chili example, our team used Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and pineapple, giving it a tangy taste, combined with the loads of spice we put on there. Additionally, we managed to be a highly personable team, conversing with literally everyone that came by our tent and screaming wildly after someone put their vote in our bowl.

What makes you different when it comes to the dating scene? Sure you may workout five times a week, graduated magna cum laude from some school that starts with H and ends with “arvard,” and spent your childhood playing polo on the weekends with Bill Clinton, but what else? You certainly have some solid ingredients, but which one stands out when you play the dating game? When people think of you, is the aftertaste in their mouth, “Oh, he’s just a polo player from Harvard” or “He’s an engaging guy with an interesting background that not only includes that weird game called polo, but he also has tried every item on the McDonald’s dollar menu.”

Dating and the chili cook-off. You have the ingredients, so how do you combine them to achieve the best possible result?


Interviews with Women Part 2

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate
Both of you are 21. Why be on JDate at such an early age? What is the benefit? What have you found so far? Does Age help or hurt?

I don’t think that it is ever too early to find your beshert. After going to a university known for its “hook-up culture,” I got tired of countless encounters with men who really didn’t appreciate me. The men my age were more interested in getting drunk than getting to know someone. I found that I connected more with men who are older and more serious about settling down and building a life with someone. I grew up in a home where Eastern European Jewish influences are really strong. This means that marriage in your early twenties isn’t only considered a good thing, it is expected! I consider myself the right age to begin my journey of finding someone because this is something that takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. And for those who tell me I’m young and should enjoy my youth? I think they’re wrong – I believe happiness is only real when shared. I’m excited to find someone who wants to share life experiences with me because, trust me, my twenties will be filled with shareable moments.
Being 21 does have a certain aura about it. For the 35+ set, they find it carnally stimulating. They try to spark conversation with me and I politely decline by not responding. I am not trying to become part of someone’s “barely legal” fantasy. For the mid to late-twenties set, they become cautionary when it comes to my age. I find there is a close-mindedness that makes men believe that younger girls are immature and unable to really understand what it takes to get into a serious relationship. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place – my ideal age group is between 24 and 28, but candidates from my ideal age group often think I am “too young.” Newsflash, boys: Women are generally lightyears ahead of men on the maturity scale…
What’s it like dating in Boston/NYC? In Boston do you go on more “college-friendly” dates? Is it fast-paced or hookup-oriented?

Dating in NYC is interesting. I find it to pendulum between extremes – it’s either something that will go somewhere or something that is clearly with the intention of hooking up only. Very infrequently does it stray to the middle area. Dating in NYC can be as harsh as the city. The guys can be overly cocky, the girls are often too prissy. And those guys and gals that are actually down to earth and looking to find true love to no avail in the bar scene? They never seem to cross each other’s paths. It is like some sort of cruel serendipity.
Dating in Boston was more casual. While I wouldn’t deem it more “college-friendly,” I would definitely say it was more “college-kid-budget friendly.” I found that potential suitors were more interested in getting a drink or coffee for the first meeting, rather than committing to the full dinner. This way, they didn’t have to commit a large chunk of change to a girl who was likely not to live up to expectations. NYC dating seems more mature to me.
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Interviews with Women

by Adam under JDate

Welcome to the newest feature on the JDate blog called “Interviews with Women”. This week I am interviewing the ladies from the famous Twitter feed @jdateprobs, where they discuss over a series of 140 character messages just how important men are to the world.

Here are a few questions I posed:

Both of you are 21. Why be on JDate at such an early age? What is the benefit? What have you found so far? Does Age help or hurt?

First Answer: Yes, I’m 21 and I’m in college but dating in college is not super my scene. I’ve had two boyfriends in college, one really serious but I knew that long term, they weren’t what I was looking for, either because of lack of ambition or lack of Judaism.  MLJ and I were talking the other night and being 21, in or out of college is really hard, especially when so many great guys on JDate are mid-twenties and are seemingly afraid of dating someone who has only been able to legally drink for less than a year. Personally, I’ve found some creepy guy who are like 40+ looking for a young girl to go out with and I assume go home with at the end of the night (so not into it) but mostly just nice guys who really want to meet the right person. That last part may have been the hopeless romantic in me but I do think that so many people on JDate are on it for the right reasons.

Does blogging your dating plights increase the amount of date requests you get?

Since we’re trying to keep the blogging/tweeting personas anonymous, it hasn’t made much of a difference in terms of getting date requests. But, if anything, it has made me more willing to accept more dates in order to get stories to entertain our audience with. Besides, you never know when a frog might actually turn out to be a prince. I find the ability to blog or tweet about my experiences gives me a “devil may care” attitude – whether the result is good or bad, at least I will have someone to talk to about it!
 
What’s it like dating in Boston/NYC? In Boston do you go on more “college-friendly” dates? Is it fast-paced or hookup-oriented?
Dating in NYC is interesting. I find it to pendulum between extremes – it’s either something that will go somewhere or something that is clearly with the intention of hooking up only. Very infrequently does it stray to the middle area. Dating in NYC can be as harsh as the city. The guys can be overly cocky, the girls are often too prissy. And those guys and gals that are actually down to earth and looking to find true love to no avail in the bar scene? They never seem to cross each other’s paths. It is like some sort of cruel serendipity.
 
Dating in Boston was more casual. While I wouldn’t deem it more “college-friendly,” I would definitely say it was more “college-kid-budget friendly.” I found that potential suitors were more interested in getting a drink or coffee for the first meeting, rather than committing to the full dinner. This way, they didn’t have to commit a large chunk of change to a girl who was likely not to live up to expectations. NYC dating seems more mature to me.
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Super Set Up

by Adam under Date Night,JDate

On Sunday, over 150 Americans (and others) will be gathered around their TV to watch football’s biggest game. Some will be watching because they are actual fans of the Ravens or the 49ers, some because of the commercials, some because they enjoy gambling, and others because they were invited to a game-day potluck and are trying to follow along with what the rest of their friends are doing.

For some, NFL Sunday represents an excuse for binge drinking, or a continuation of college football Saturday drinking. For those who just tune in because they were invited to that potluck mentioned above, it offers an opportunity to meet people (sports fan and non-sports fan), see them in various states, and ultimately determine if you want to ask them out.

Did I come to a conclusion too quickly? Possibly, but think about it: You got tired of the biochemist whose hobbies included bikram yoga and the History Channel? Well, now you can observe the friend of your co-worker, who is a die-hard football fan (yet has no allegiance to either team) and has season tickets to his local NBA team. You can ask him about his passions (or her), and see how he responds to various questions, how he acts to others who may not share his interests, and his choice of potluck food. Chances are if he brought pho and white wine to a football party, he’s probably never been to a tailgate or game watch before.

Knowing that, maybe there is a guy you like at the party. As the hours go on, you still like him. You like how he explains football rules to your friend who knows as much about sports as I do about 18th Century English literature (which is none), and how he uses “please” and “thank you” in his requests for his fourth, fifth, and sixth whiskey cokes. Even when he slurs his words a little bit and asks to take you to that new bistro on the corner of Starbucks and McDonalds, you give him your number.

Pregame coverage of the big game starts at around 11:00 am (depending on the channel you are watching) and the game ends around 9:30-10:00ish (for us on Central Time). That’s almost 10 solid hours of getting to know someone, or some people. Who knew you could get a date out of an alcohol-fueled party for football’s biggest game?

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Quick Thought from the Weekend

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers

On Sunday, two of my best friends in the entire world got engaged. It didn’t catch anybody by surprise, since they had been dating for going on four years, so it was a matter of when, not if, and it pretty much made my week. However, many of their friends happen to be far from establishing serious relationships with a significant other.

Last week, my friend went to a baby shower. She remarked to me that out of everyone, she was the only one not in a relationship, and she was a couple of years older than I am. She’s been in many more relationships than me, and wondered aloud if she would ever find someone.

As we get into our mid-to-late 20s, and early 30s, many people think the same way as my friend (and sometimes myself too): they wonder if they will ever find someone to compliment them in life. It’s not the best way to think, especially as I alluded to in an earlier post, people are getting married later and later.

What many people don’t understand as they get caught up in the dating rush is that we all have different timelines, and different personalities that may make it harder for us to match up with people. Sometimes, you find your life partner at 18, and other times you have to wait until you’re 35. It’s unfortunate if you have to wait that long, but maybe it’s for the best.

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Why I Read Cosmo

by Adam under Date Night,JDate,JFacts,Online Dating

So for those of you who don’t know, I happen to be a monthly reader of Cosmo. Call me not masculine, weird, odd, or any non-alpha male adjective, but I’m not ashamed. I find the journalistic integrity to be top of the line.

Anyway, there was an article in one of the issues regarding aphrodisiacs, with sushi and chocolate being mentioned often, with the accompanying headline “how to set the mood for a night of love” or something similar. I did a bit more research as well, and according to the site eatsomethingsexy.com, sushi, when combined with ginger and wasabi “warms your body” and is able to bring an “attractive flush to the cheeks”, and if taken in potent enough doses “can even cause your body to release endorphins”. I was totally tingling inside as I read that.

Then I did a little bit more research. An aphrodisiac is a substance believed to arouse sexual desire. So you don’t like Mr. Chow’s Sushi Place, but want that same endorphin rush and get that vibe back in the bedroom? Exercise helps. Go on a competitive four mile run with your partner, or potential partner. Maybe even play a game of one-on-one basketball.

Smiling increases the production of endorphins as well, and is a natural aphrodisiac. What causes people to laugh and smile? A Chapelle’s Show skit? Analyzing the latest Cosmo feature? Going on JDate and checking out the spelling mistakes made by everyone?

The point of this is simple: you don’t always have to go on nice, fancy dinners to set the mood in your love life, and if that’s the only way your partners, or potential partners seem to get any arousal, well, you’re going to have one boring relationship. Whenever I’m having a down day, I tend to go on YouTube and look up “Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Finals Game 6”. That might not work for some of you, but for me, it keeps a smile on my face and my mood right.

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