A few months into dating someone and you’ve had “The Talk,” have possibly met each other’s families, have celebrated a holiday together, and are casually discussing the future… when something happens. Something, usually tragic, that binds you two together as a couple. Whether you like it or not.
It could be a sickness in the family, or even with one of you (G-D forbid). It could be the death of a close friend, or a dear pet. It could be a debilitating injury that causes your partner to need to care for you as you recover, or anything else life-changing that brings you closer together. However, it can also make you feel obligated to stay together when things were possibly not headed for an absolute future.
It depends on the occurrence, but there shouldn’t be anything that would make you want to stay with someone you don’t want to be with just because you survived a terrible time in one of your lives together. You will always think fondly of the person you went through that experience with, but it doesn’t mean you have to be together forever.
Most first, second, and even third-date conversations follow a similar order of topics. And as people begin to open up and tell you about themselves, they tend to embellish, exaggerate, or simply make everything in their life sound pretty awesome. But no one’s life is ever so glossy and polished.
It can be difficult to know what’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Somewhere in there is a half-truth, an omission, or a blatant lie… but it’s not always easy to figure out what those things are. It’s normal to want to make everything sound nice, but it can set you up for major disappointment later.
Is your date being vague in describing why his or her last relationship ended, or how successful their business is? Is there a lot of name dropping and the use of a lot of people, places and things to impress you? You may never know the full extent of the amount of the bull people spew (everyone does to some extent), and unfortunately there will be at least a few times when you find out the hard way — after you’ve fallen in love — and you’ll have to decide how important those misrepresentations are.
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It’s considered quite chivalrous to make plans for a first date ahead of time, but it’s also risky since you don’t necessarily know the other person’s likes and dislikes (or allergies and aversions). On the other hand, it is fun to be spontaneous on a date, but can seem like you didn’t make any effort, or put any thought into it, and therefore aren’t very interested.
So what’s the best route to take? A combination of the two. Ask your date what their favorite food is (or check their JDate profile!) and make reservations for dinner, but then leave the time afterwards open to decide where to go together for a drink. Or, conversely, have a plan in mind to start the night at a trendy bar for drinks, but then ask your date what to do next if you hit it off and want to continue spending time together.
You can also make reservations at two or three different locations and ask your date to pick one (just be sure to quickly call and cancel the other reservations as a courtesy), that way you show you made an effort, but are also thoughtful and willing to be flexible.
Respect is one of the most important factors of a successful relationship. When you respect someone, it means you are being honest, it means you are being kind, and it means you are communicating effectively.
Respecting your partner means caring about their feelings and taking their opinions into consideration. Respect is speaking to the person you love with love, it means using tone and vocabulary that is rooted in the fact that at the end of the day — even if you are delivering a criticism — that you want to come out of the tete-a-tete a closer couple because you are engaging respectfully. Respect also means accepting your partner for who they are and not trying to change them, rather, helping them discover how you both can evolve together. When you find someone who you can respect to that degree, and receive that same level of respect in return, then you have found something truly special and with a higher likelihood of success.
This past weekend I had the privilege of being “On the Couch” with Dr. Dorree Lynn for a lengthy radio interview to both promote my book How to Woo a Jew and to discuss matchmaking. Eventually, the conversation turned to sex, as such chats tend to do with a psychologist and sexpert for the post-50 crowd, and Dr. Dorree mentioned the increasing rate of sexually transmitted diseases for the older crowd.
STD rates are on the rise for the 50+ age group because people tend to think that condoms are only for preventing pregnancy, which they no longer need to think about. But apparently many of these mature adults are fun, frisky and, inadvertently, passing around diseases. I chuckle, not because this isn’t a very serious topic (because it is!), but rather I laugh because it makes me so happy to hear about grandparents getting it on! Keep your sex lives active! It’s healthy for your mind, spirit and body… when you add condoms to the equation.
I’m also encouraged by the sheer number of singles in the second half of their lives on JDate! Life is not over at 50, or if you’re widowed, or if you’re divorced after many years! Get on JDate, meet other singles, and have lots of SAFE sex!
Ahhhhh… The Bachelor finale aired live and we all squirmed as Nikki — the “winner” — once again professed her love to Juan Pablo, only to have him repeatedly avoid answering the question of whether he loved her as well.
So, what do you do when you are in a relationship, are in love, and your partner isn’t there yet? How long do you wait for your significant other to start feeling as deeply as you do? At what point does your self-respect begin to take a beating?
There is… there is no right answer. You have to do what feels right, but you also may want to reassess the balance of power in the relationship. Are all your family members and friends warning you about your relationship? Does your partner ever use the difference in emotions to make you feel bad? Be honest with yourself and don’t let your ego get in your way of making the best decision for your heart, and your future.
New dating rule! From now on, you must ask someone “Are you in a relationship?” rather than asking “Are you married?” or “Do you have a girl/boyfriend?”
Why? Because if you’re engaged then the answer is neither of the above and if you’re dating someone seriously, but haven’t put a label on it, then it is also in between. So when you meet someone whom you’re interested in, ask “Are you in a relationship?” That way, they have to answer and clarify what that means to them.
Are you a cuddler? Or do you need your space when sleeping? If you are concerned about not being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up still intertwined with your new lover, then relax — cuddling is not what you see on television and in the movies!
Most people will cuddle until sleepy and then turn over to catch some zzzz’s. If not, then your arm will likely become numb and start tingling, and you will end up with warm breath in your face all night. Worried your sleepovers may not look like those rom-coms where the woman has on perfect make-up and her hair is splayed across the pillow and they start making out right then and there? It simply doesn’t happen in real life — so don’t be disappointed. You will probably be willing to overlook morning breath during the honeymoon stage, but eventually you’ll ask to get up and brush your teeth before canoodling. Sleep is not always sexy.
Just remember — when you can see past the mascara-smudged raccoon eyes, or the matted down hair, or any other imperfections in the morning, then that’s a good sign you’re with the right person.
Remembering to brush your teeth before bed will help!
I keep running into guy friends who tell me they are dating women whom they have no interest in marrying, but are using to pass time and get away from the dating scene. These women are typically not Jewish and much younger than them, and these guys are just having fun… except the women don’t know this. They don’t know they are being used, they don’t know that the men they are falling for won’t marry non-Jews, and they don’t know the men they are with aren’t looking for serious relationships which have a future. These women are all going to get hurt, more so if they find out the truth.
It’s not worth it. And if you believe in karma, then it’s really not worth it. Date casually, but don’t take dating to the next level with someone whom you know you would never marry.
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Some people don’t think before they speak. And that can lead to some awkward moments on a date where one person puts their foot in their mouth after apologizing for being rude or belligerent — and the other person needs to wipe a disgusted and/or shocked look off their face.
Honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes omission is best.
- Don’t ask a question if you don’t want to know the answer
- Don’t tell a date that you were “here last week on another JDate”
- Don’t tell a date that you have too many emails on JDate to read through, so they should consider themselves lucky.
If you are about to make a comment that you wouldn’t want to hear from your date, then keep it to yourself.