Author Archive

Did You Get Asked Out This Morning for This Weekend?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Did you receive an email, text, or (hopefully) a phone call today asking you out on a date this weekend? Kinda last minute, right? I mean, even if you are available, should you admit it and accept the offer? Does that make you seem too eager? Or, are you matching the momentum?

Well, it depends…

If you only met on JDate earlier this week and you’ve been exchanging emails and you’re making plans, then keep the momentum going and accept the date. After all, you both are free, so why not make plans with each other?

If you have been chatting here and there over the course of more than a few weeks, making and canceling plans, texting sporadically, and basically being as non-committal as possible, then perhaps pass on this one. You can counter with an offer to get together the following weekend to see if they are serious about going on a date or not, otherwise it sounds like they ran into Friday without plans for the weekend and are looking to fill it.

And lastly, if you don’t see this prospect with a serious potential future, but there’s attraction and you have nothing else to do, then say yes and enjoy yourself. However, be aware of two things: 1) be open to actually liking this person because it could happen, and 2) make sure you don’t hurt their feelings if they like you and were hoping for more.

 


If You’re Not Making An Effort…

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

If you’re not on JDate, and you’re not going to singles events, and you’re not going to Jewish events, and you’re not letting people know you’re interested in being set-up, and you’re not going out at night with friends… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

If you are going on dates with a wall built taller than you could metaphorically reach, and you aren’t letting your date get to know you, and you are walking into a date expecting it to go bad… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” comes into play here. Being single is tough, but you can’t let prospects know that you are fed-up and frustrated with dating. You need to smile and put yourself out there and pretend like you don’t mind your current circumstances until they change.


When Do You Reveal Something Major?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships,Single Life

Another episode of The Bachelor, and another post about dating. This time, a “final-three” contestant, Becca, waited until overnight dates to reveal that she’s a virgin. The Bachelor reacted in a respectful and classy way, and even kept her for the final two, but you could almost tell he did so because he didn’t want people to think he was a jerk for eliminating someone for their sexual experience (or lack thereof). Yet, the week before he eliminated the fourth-to-last contestant after she waited until he met her family to reveal that she had posed nude for Playboy.

The Bachelor

Chris and Becca on ABC’s The Bachelor

So, when is the right time to reveal something major? Is it anyone’s business if you’re a virgin, or posed nude, before you’re in a committed relationship? Yes.

You should give your prospect MAJOR information BEFORE you have “The Talk.” Would it suck if they used that information against you to decide not to want to be with you? Yes, but at least you know that now rather than later. You know what this major info is because you know there’s a chance you’ll get judged for it.

This is not the minor details about having dated someone you know they don’t like, or being one class short of earning your Bachelors even though you claim to have graduated, or having gotten hair plugs or a hair transplant, or anything that you wouldn’t really care about if roles were reversed.

But, if you have a latent yet permanent disease, or if you tested positive for the BRCA gene, or if you can’t have kids, or if you were previously married, then you should share this information after you’ve created momentum with several dates, but before you’re in a committed relationship.


Nature vs. Nurture

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I studied “Nature vs. Nurture” a lot in college and debated what is biological, or not. One of the topics we never discussed, but I think about a lot lately, is if we are destined to become the same husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, that our own parents were. After all, they are generally the only role models we have as to what that looks like. If you are conscientious enough, then you may see a trait you didn’t like in your parent as a spouse or mother/father, and decide to try very hard not to become that way, or alternatively, admire a trait and choose to emulate it.

As singles who are dating and hoping to become someone’s partner, we have our own parents’ relationship as an example of a relationship dynamic… and even if we don’t agree with it, we will likely have a difficult time combatting it because it’s all we really know — that’s nature. Each relationship you yourself have can help you grow as a partner and shape you to become the husband or wife you want to be — that’s nurture. But nature still lingers.

If a man was raised in home where his parents had stereotypical gender roles, even if he wants a modern woman, he may have a difficult time adjusting his expectations. If a woman was raised in a female-centric home where Mom ruled the roost, then she may have a difficult time sharing power, even if she wants an egalitarian household.

But, it’s not impossible to combine the two. Ensuring you have a solid foundation will help as you grow together as a couple; and truly trusting each other will allow you to communicate openly without feeling criticized for traits you may have not even known you had or had not realized were undesirable.


First Impressions: Fixing a Bad One

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

When you’re actively dating you know that first impressions are incredibly important. I’ve mentioned body language — and when it comes to first impressions that means greeting your date with a big, genuine smile with your head held high and your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side or clasped in front of you. Introducing yourself without the positive body language listed above is basically starting a date in a negative manner; which will only force you to work a bit harder to fix things.

The best way to fix this initial snafu is to be honest and say, “Sorry, I’m nervous, but I’m really happy to meet you and look forward to drinks/dinner/etc. together.” Honesty about having anticipation about the date is endearing.

If it’s your words that may have turned off your date, then apply the same solution: excuse your behavior by explaining it away. If you had a bad day at work before the date, or if there’s drama with a good friend, or a sick family member, then simply explain why you’re not being yourself and promise your date that you’ll shake it off (better yet, call a friend on the way to the date to vent about whatever is bothering you so that it’s out of your system before the date). Again, being honest about why you’re “off” and possibly made a bad first impression is the best way to reel things back in. But, then you have to make good with your promise to be positive (which hopefully means being yourself!).

Recover, own it, and get back in the date before it’s too late!


Social Media Standoff

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

It’s not realistic to assume that you aren’t going to Google a date before meeting them, try to find them on Facebook, or even check their LinkedIn profile. On one hand it is smart to try and confirm certain details to make sure your date is being honest about major items (age, career, school, marital status), and perhaps even to see if you have mutual friends who could possibly vouch for them (not now, later!). On the other hand, however, it’s not always smart. By meeting someone on JDate you are already learning so much about them, and then by doing an online search you are now learning more than they have provided.

The meme above is not too far off… what if you were to slip up and mention those mutual friends? That would make it obvious that you checked your date out on Facebook. Or, if you were to ask why it took five years to graduate undergrad when they never mentioned that? It’s an easy alumni association search. Or what if you asked about their attendance at an event that saw on their newsfeed? Way too much information can be discovered before it’s time.

Some mystery is important — that doesn’t mean lying or omitting information — and if you spend too much time social media stalking before getting to know each other then you will ruin the excitement of uncovering commonalities. That’s the fun part of dating!


Your Preference Setting Your “Preferences”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

A lot of people ask me how to use “Preferences” and “My Ideal Match” on JDate. Should they answer the questions as broad as possible and then narrow it down from there based on level of importance? Or, should they answer as strict and narrow as possible — in essence creating their idealized, perfect (unrealistic?) match — and then broaden the areas of least importance?

It looks like this:

Scenario #1 — The Broad Answer (ie. casting a wide net)

  • location: with 100 miles
  • age range: 5 years younger, 10 years older
  • marital status: single or divorced
  • kids: has/wants/any
  • education: BA and above
  • religion: all except Orthodox options
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: yes
  • height: 5’10+
  • body style: any
  • activity level: any
  • kosher: no or to some extent
  • willing to relocate: maybe

Scenario #2 — The Strict Answer (ie. your perfect vision)

  • location: within 25 miles
  • age range: 1 year younger, 4 years older
  • marital status: single
  • kids: wants
  • education: MA/JD/PhD
  • religion: Conservative
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially
  • height: 6’+
  • body style: athletic/fit
  • activity level: active and above
  • kosher: no
  • willing to relocate: no

In the 1st scenario you would get a huge return with possibly 100s of prospects to sift through. In the 2nd scenario you may get just one pageful, which is maybe a dozen prospects to choose from (if any). In order to eliminate the ones in scenario #1 you would begin narrowing down location to 50 miles, then age to a 10-year range, then being more specific about activity level and/or body type. In order to see more options in scenario #2 you would broaden the mileage to 50 miles, expand the age range to a 10-year spread, include those who have a college degree (even if it’s not higher education), and be open to someone with a few extra pounds to lose.

Is there a right way or a wrong way? No, not necessarily. In fact, I think you should try both ways. First make your own list of what your ideal is and then what you would compromise on. Does someone truly need to be 6′ tall or would 5’11 suffice? If you keep kosher then that would probably not be one that you would be willing to negotiate on. Once you’ve made your two lists, plug one in first, then the other, and see what your results are. Based on which appeals to you more, use that approach and then start your narrowing or broadening. Remember, relationships are a lot about compromise so this is good practice for later!


Express Yourself

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,News,Relationships,Single Life

Your body language communicates more than your actual words… by A LOT! 55% vs 7% to be exact, with the remaining 38% of communication coming from your tone of voice. (When people say that more than 90% of communication is nonverbal, that could be referring to the math of 55+38=93%.)  So, what does this mean when you’re dating? It means you need to be cognizant of how you’re sitting or standing, your facial expression and what kinds of looks you’re giving, as well as how you’re saying what you’re saying.

If you don’t want the person you’re speaking with to automatically go on the defensive when you say something that could be perceived as offensive, or something that could easily be taken the wrong way, then make sure your arms aren’t crossed across your chest or placed on your hips. Make eye contact and smile so that your eyes give off warmth. Take a few deep breaths before you start speaking and relax your shoulders.

And while you’re at it — think twice about what you’re saying, does it even need to be said? By the way, these tips are also good for giving off an approachable vibe when you’re looking to attract others!


Dating With One Foot Out the Door

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

No, this post is not about going on a bad date — in fact, it’s about going on a good date when you know you’re about to move.

When you have one foot out the door of the city you live in, and are proactively looking to move, then why bother dating in your current city? Would you change your plans if you were to meet someone? If the answer to that question is no, then I suggest waiting until you know where — and when — you’re going to move, and then switching your account to that city with the tagline “I’ll be moving to _______ soon and am looking forward to meeting new people!”

It’s not fair to your dates in your current city to consider you as a serious prospect when you are on the verge of moving away. It’s not fair to yourself, either. This is a good time to do some introspection as you prepare to embark on this new chapter. And while you’re at it, take some time to update your profile to reflect what you want for yourself as you move forward in life.


Valentine’s Day — Why Wait?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

Valentine’s Day… that Hallmark holiday where EVERYTHING is overpriced and the pressure behind doing something takes away from the effort put in. That said, you can’t NOT do something, right? But, why wait? Make your significant other feel special all the time, and then it won’t feel so forced on February 14th. Try these ideas for something to do!

In the meantime, if you are entering into a new relationship and V-Day is approaching far too quickly for the sentimentality… then talk about it to diffuse the pressure that is likely building between the two of you. Just simply say: “I know Valentine’s Day is coming up, and since we just recently started dating I would like to do something, but I also don’t want to make it into too big of a deal since it is so early on…” and then discuss some ideas together.

Once you’ve made plans together think of something small you each can do to surprise the other — whether that’s having flowers delivered to her office sometime next week or buying that new fitted ballcap from his favorite sports team. Put in a little extra effort to show the other person that they are appreciated and that you are excited to see what the future holds!