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My friend Brian is a friendly and outgoing guy, and as such, he often gets accused of flirting when he’s just being nice. The problem here is that he’s in a committed relationship, so things can get confusing when the women believe he is flirting with them and leading them on.
On JDate it’s clear when someone is interested because they will contact you, but in person, it can be less obvious. Someone who is chatting with you, asking questions about you, making you laugh, making eye contact, and smiling at you does not necessarily mean they are flirting with you.
So how can you tell when it’s more?
There will likely be some physical aspect when there’s romantic interest, such as touching your arm. There will also be questions about your relationship status, which you should reciprocate. Finally, the conversation will lead in the direction of a future — going on a date or at least exchanging numbers.
Not every conversation between two singles has to have romantic intent. Sometimes you’re just going to meet a nice person. Continue to be friendly and approachable and open regardless of who is standing across from you.
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With all the holiday parties coming up, what should you do to stand out — and what tactics should you not employ?
The best way to attract others is to be happy, to enjoy yourself, and to laugh. Dress to impress — look good, feel good. Show your confidence and exert yourself. But don’t go overboard trying to get attention.
A woman I saw last night, who was being loud, had clearly been drinking too much, and was dressed provocatively, showing way too much skin. Unfortunately, she was only attracting the type of guys who were looking for a hookup. Her tamer girlfriends, meanwhile, were on the edge of the scene and enjoying the company of some great guys.
On the same note, a guy I noticed last night who was commanding the room with his lewd jokes, cussing a lot, and flirting with girls he clearly wasn’t interested in as a joke, was turning off all the women in the room. Even his guy friends were slowly putting distance between themselves because they wanted to meet quality women, and those women were not drawn to their friend’s spotlight.
Be respectful of yourself and others. Be positive, put out positive energy, and you will attract positive people — both friends and more.
under Date Night
Jewish Geography can become an issue when you’re single and seemingly connected to nearly every other single Jew that you know in some way — either you hooked up with their friend, or your friend dated them seriously, or your cousin broke their friend’s heart — and suddenly you feel like there’s no one left to date! But really, very few single Jews are truly “off-limits,” and even then, someone can usually become fair game with a simple conversation.
Ex-spouses of your friends are off-limits… unless it’s been years and they’re now friendly and your friend, in fact, set you two up. If it’s an acquaintance’s ex-spouse then it’s perhaps a good idea to run the idea past your acquaintance before pursuing a relationship. For example: my fiance and I were set-up by a mutual friend who is also good friends with his ex-wife. Our shadchan asked the ex-wife’s permission before making the shidduch.
If one of your friends has never recovered from getting dumped by someone, then that person is probably off-limits. If one of your friends contracted an STD from someone, then that person is, well, need I say more? But if your friend simply casually dated the person, then a simple phone call asking for your friend’s blessing should suffice. And if there was no drama and yet your friend won’t give you permission, then perhaps you need to take a deeper look at both the prospect as well as the friendship.
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The “About Me” paragraph in your JDate profile is crucial. You could have the best photos, but if you write the wrong thing, you’re going to attract the wrong prospects. Sure, you’ll likely still get lots of attention, but it may be for the wrong (ie. superficial) reasons.
Writing the right words is not easy. First and foremost you want to sound like an educated, coherent, charming, trustworthy person. That doesn’t mean you say that you “are educated, coherent, charming, and trustworthy.” The key word in that sentence was to “sound” like all those things, not just say that you are them. That also doesn’t mean that you write multiple paragraphs explaining why you are all of these things in detail either. Rather, make sure that you proofread, be consistent throughout your profile, don’t be too serious or too flippant about the process, and allow your personality to shine through.
Secondly, you don’t want to spend all the space talking about what you have to offer or what you are looking for. Talk about who you are and what’s important to you in life and you will attract the right type of people. Don’t get into your relationship history except to briefly state if you are divorced, widowed, and/or a single parent.
Don’t forget: your online dating profile is already providing a lot of typical first-date conversation information, so don’t over-share any more than you have to and keep some interesting tidbits about yourself for the date itself!
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Having a sense of humor in a relationship is important. You have to be willing to laugh at yourself and to laugh at your significant other’s jokes (even if, and especially when, they’re not funny). The first time you let a fart fly in front of your S.O. is a time when you need to laugh at yourself. And when your S.O. teases you about that fart the next day, you need to laugh again. If your S.O. is one of those people that has the running joke “what do you want to eat?” and answers “food” every time, then laugh every time.
What’s the worst that can happen? Your S.O. will feel good that they made you laugh, and you will get an increase in endorphins because you laughed, which will then make you happy. It’s a win-win.
“Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end.” -unknown
“And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are. We are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other.” – sex columnist Dan Savage
This morning I read two different quotes about continuing to be the person you are portraying in the beginning of a relationship in order to make the relationship last and, at the same time, make you a better person. In the beginning of a relationship we are on our best behavior, with impeccable manners, making sure our appearance is put together, keeping a clean house, trying to enjoy life and laugh often, trying not to talk badly about people or be judgmental, planning special dates, being romantic and affectionate, and so on. Some people will say that you are living a lie. I, however, think you are being the perfect version of you, and the version you know that is most attractive to others. And then once we get comfortable… that stops. Why?
Keep making the effort to be that best version of you and you will eventually become a better you. Make the commitment as a couple to be the person that each of you fell in love with.
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This month (it’s December already!!!???) you will likely attend lots of holiday parties in addition to your local shindig on Christmas Eve where all the Jews go to celebrate nothing else being open (the Place2Be, the MatzoBall, the Mitzvah Ball, the Vodka Latke, etc). If you are single heading into the New Year then attending one of these events is a MUST.
But you also MUST send the right signals while you’re there.
- Dress classy, not costume-y. You want to be taken seriously as a dating prospect, not just a fun one-nighter. So, dress sexy, but not trashy.
- Make eye contact and smile. The best way to let someone know you’re interested is to catch their eye and hold it for a few seconds while you smile.
- Stand tall and relaxed. Slumped posture with arms crossed over your chest gives off a closed vibe.
- Laugh. Have fun and enjoy yourself. People want to be around other positive people.
- Be forward, but polite. If you are talking to someone that you are not interested in, then warmly inform them that you want to find your friends and that you hope they have a nice evening. You don’t need to waste your time with people you don’t like, but having good manners is important. Your prospect could be close enough to overhear you excusing yourself.
- Do a stink check. Nothing will turn someone off faster than body odor or bad breath.
under Date Night
If you have to snoop through your significant other’s things then you shouldn’t be with that person. It’s as simple as that. If you can’t trust them, then why are you with them?
My friend Gina called me in a tizzy because she found a bar receipt for nearly $100 in her boyfriend’s jeans when he said he was working late. Of course, he shouldn’t have lied to her about where he was, but she also shouldn’t be going through his pockets. He very well could have gone out for drinks with his coworkers after they finished their project to celebrate the completion, but that’s not the point. Her snooping was clearly founded because she doesn’t trust him and he obviously gave her reason not to. They both need to save each other the grief that will occur when she confronts him because then she will end up looking like the bad guy — the untrusting snoop — not him — the untrustworthy liar.
A relationship without trust will not succeed.
The popular meme above that’s been making the rounds online is meant in jest, but for singles it’s like salt in the wound!
Singles know they are going to have to face the “Why are you still single?” and “Are you dating anyone?” questions more than once during the holidays. And it sucks. So here’s a handy guide for quick, positive responses that will shut up even the nosiest family member.
- Yes, I’m single right now, but I’m also thankful I received a __________ promotion at work.
- No, I’m not dating anyone special right now, but I have been very fulfilled by my volunteer work at ____________ to help ___________.
- Yes, I’m “still” single and used ALL my free time to train for a marathon/compete in a crossfit tournament/__________.
- No, I’m not married yet. I’m not willing to settle, I have too much to offer!
- It’s been difficult to meet someone because I’ve been busy exploring the world!
Keep it upbeat and happy by saying these responses with a smile. And when you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, make sure to lay it on really thick by mentioning all the great family, friends, work stuff, hobbies, traveling, pets, and anything else positive that you can think of. Because it’s true — you are fortunate to have a full life filled with love even if it’s not necessarily coming from a significant other right now.
Dating, particularly in your mid-30’s and after, is difficult because you’ve gained so much independence that compromising becomes so much more complicated. People own homes, furniture, have savings, stocks, and so on that commingling isn’t as easy as it is in your 20’s. Even mixing your friends isn’t such an easy feat! After 30(ish), you have likely become possessive over things because you have worked hard for them, whether that be materialistic things or matters of the heart — such as good, loyal friends. You have a feeling of pride over those things or people, and don’t want to just hand them over to someone or risk losing them.
When you enter a serious relationship, however, you need to transition from yours and mine, to ours, while still keeping a sense of identity. You DID work hard to become the person you are today, inclusive of the people, places, and things you accumulated along the way. But, just because you are sharing those things doesn’t make those accomplishments any less fulfilling, important, or a part of you. It’s just that now your life is even richer because you are sharing it — and your heart — with someone you love, and that’s the most important thing you will ever share.