Author Archive

First Date Tips: Don’t Talk About That!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Seriously, sometimes you need to just stop talking. It’s easy to get on to topics that are not really first date material — you’re vibe-ing and finding commonalities and having nice rapport, and it’s awkward to stop a conversation that’s flowing even when you know it’s not appropriate. So try and avoid the following topics and prevent the conversation from going there, before it gets to that point. This is a brief list:

  • Exes: husbands, wives, fiances, boyfriends, girlfriends (stating when your last relationship ended/how long it lasted, how long you were married/when you got divorced is fine, just no details as to why it ended)
  • Death: you just lost your grandmother, and that is awful, but it makes you sad… so perhaps don’t mention it. If you must, just don’t expand upon it
  • Drama: with your job, family, friends — Do. Not. Go. There.
  • Talking sh*t: whether your date knows who you’re talking about or not
  • Finances: ’nuff said

Of course there are other topics that are personal to you and your story that you may not want to share. Joke about topics that are off-limits and say that you’d love to talk more about a topic if and when you’re on a future date. There are so many more positive and engaging topics you can talk about without bringing up too much about your past, or bringing in too much negativity.

It’s perfectly acceptable to briefly mention when your last break-up occurred, or what your political affiliation is, or to play Jewish Geography for a minute, even if you find you have people in common you don’t like (see “talking shit” above). Make sure you are listening to the answers after you ask a question because that should organically keep the conversation going and not turn it into a job interview.

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First Date Tips: Confirming Plans

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Before a first date you should call to confirm plans. Why? Well, it’s good practice to make sure you are both on the same page regarding when and where… and it also makes a good impression and shows your date that you’re thoughtful. But, it’s not the time to begin chatting and getting to know each other! Save that for the date itself.

Call your date, let them know where you made reservations or where you’re going, agree on a time to pick them up or meet, and end by saying you hope they’re having a good day. Oh — and don’t forget to say you’re looking forward to seeing them! Make this call either the night before or the day of, about 8 hours prior to the date.

If your date has an issue with the place or time, play it cool and be flexible — you never know what someone’s day has been like (hopefully you had the discussions about food aversions/allergies/preferences and what time was best for you both when you made plans originally, but things can change). If anything, your phone call will help turn their day around as they start thinking about your date!

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First Date Tips: Patterns

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

We all have dating patterns — some good and some bad. Identifying which is which is difficult. Take a look at your last bunch of first dates, and at your last few relationships. What was similar? What was different? Not just their looks, or education level, or religious level, or jobs, or even their personality… but how you felt.

For instance, when you got those butterflies in your stomach on certain dates, did those translate into serious relationships or did the excitement crash and burn after a few weeks? Many people are searching for a “feeling” on a first date, and when they don’t get that feeling they write off the person before giving them a chance. If that is your pattern, then I suggest giving some of the dates more time: if the first date was pretty good and all you’re really missing is that “feeling” then go on a second date and see if the comfort level of another meeting will help the connection.

This is an intangible feeling, but we tend to put a strong weight behind having it or not. Remember though — more couples tend to be successful when their relationship is built on commonalities rather than lust; and butterflies tend to be an indication of lust.

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First Date Tips: Go Together or Meet There?

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

Dear Tamar,

I have a first date coming up with a JDater I really like. Should I offer to pick her up to show her how much effort I’m putting into this, and how chivalrous I am? Or will she be put off by the idea because we haven’t met before?

-First Date Driver

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear First Date Driver,

I think you answered your own question! Do both! Tell your date you would like to pick her up if she is comfortable with that idea, but that you understand if she would rather meet at the venue. Then just make sure to tell her that you look forward to meeting her at the restaurant.

If she accepts your offer, do not call or text from outside, but rather get out of the car and ring her doorbell and escort her to your car where you will both open and close her door (if you live in a city where taking public transportation is the norm then do not meet her at the nearest subway stop… but go to her home and then escort her to the subway where you can swipe your card for the both of you).

If she rejects the offer, don’t take it personally. Get to the restaurant five minutes early, check in with the hostess, and then wait for your date outside. That way you can alleviate the initial nervousness of not knowing where your date will be waiting and if you’re going to recognize her from her photos!

Good luck!

 

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Setting a Standard

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

When you go on a first date with a JDater that you are super-excited about (as in, more than normal), it’s typical to pull out all the stops and do things a little more special than other first dates. Men could have flowers delivered to your date’s house earlier in the day, you could pick your date up in a chauffeured car when you normally would’ve met your date at the venue, you could make reservations at a highly sought-after restaurant rather than just grabbing drinks somewhere convenient, you could slip the waitress your credit card while on a trip to the bathroom, you could arrange for champagne to be waiting for you at the private booth in the back with rose petals strewn about, and you could leave your phone on silent and not check it all night. Women could arrange to get their hair done, have a facial, get waxed, nails manicured and pedicured, makeup professionally applied, wearing a new dress with height-appropriate heels, and act as though they are as easy-going and flexible as possible even though they are jumping out of their skin with excitement and anxiety.

Any or all of these things are bound to impress your date and leave them feeling incredibly special. Granted, you still need to fill the date with chemistry and conversation, but the wooing is well on its way. The problem? Unless you plan on repeating, matching, and upping your romantic gestures on every date, then you’ve set a precedent that will be difficult to match. And even if you do continue to roll out the red carpet then eventually real-life sets in and you will see each other without the shiny bells and whistles.

So here’s the conundrum: do you or do you not make that extra effort because you won’t be able to keep it going (no one can!)? You should make that effort, let the person know you think they are worth it! And once you’re sitting down and having flirty conversation you should simply come clean — “I was really excited about tonight so I took the time to primp/plan/etc., and I’m so happy it’s going well… just don’t expect me to look like I have it all together all the time!” Of course, that doesn’t mean you should show up to a date in your sweats after being snobby about the location.

If you like someone you should make some effort every time to show them that they are worth the effort. It takes five minutes to make a reservation so you don’t have to pick up your date and ask “So where should we go?” And it takes five minutes to apply a fresh face of makeup. These small acts let your date know they are special.

 

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You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Happy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

“You can be right, or you can be happy.”

A wise friend told me this phrase recently and it resonated deeply. So many of us are taught to be headstrong, stubborn, with a need so deep to win an argument that we would ruin a relationship in order to be proven right.

It’s not worth it.

It never is. If you know you’re right, just drop it and move on. Apologize and move on. Let go and move on. Who is benefitting from you being right? Only your ego. But everything and everyone else will suffer. Is that worth feeling superior or validated?

This is a lesson I’ve learned much later in life than I would have liked, and I have learned it the hard way… I’m gifting it to you now with the hopes that it will change your relationships — romantic or otherwise — for the better.

 

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Phone Calls Before a First Date

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Once you’ve met on JDate (or any other way) and decide to make plans there will be a certain amount of communication that will be necessary. The trick is to know when to stop that communication.

I recommend just a 10 minute phone call to plan a first date followed by another 10 minute phone call the night before the date to confirm the plans. Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much time on the phone getting to know each other anymore than you actually do already, prior to your first date. Spending hours talking on the phone is exhilarating and exciting but it creates an expectation of someone you haven’t yet met. You’re putting unneeded pressure on yourselves.

You already know so much about each other when you’ve met on JDate — and then you exchange a few emails, and finally you trade phone numbers with the intent on making plans to meet. If you then spend time on the phone getting to know each other even further, you’re in effect turning the first date into a third date due to how much you already know about the other… except you’ve never met.

And what happens if you don’t end up liking each other? Now you’ve not only spent your time on the phone, but you’ve confided things to someone who you may not care to ever see again. You opened up to someone you now don’t even want a second date with. Instead, spend just a few minutes asking how their day/week is going, making plans, and exchanging pleasantries. Tell them how much you are looking forward to the date and how you can’t wait to get to know them better. And then get off the phone. Let the excitement gather along with the suspense of wondering whether or not you will hit it off once you meet face-to-face.

Slow it down. Enjoy the process. And don’t text.

 

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Extreme Profile Makeover — “Karen”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Could you kindly eyeball my profile? I’ve gotten plenty of emails and very few are viable. I’ve tried to convey that there’s a certain lifestyle that I’m accustomed to, don’t want to give up, (and am capable of giving myself), yet I don’t want anyone to assume I’ll take care of them too. I know, can’t have it both ways, huh? Perhaps you could tweak that part? I’d be very grateful if you could give it a quick once-over.

-“Karen”

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear “Karen,”

I’ll get to the wording of what you want to convey about your lifestyle in just a bit, but let’s start at the beginning of your Extreme Profile Makeover.

I like you how you combined your name with a description — although I initially thought it was your first and last name combined (MAJOR no-no for security sake). In order to show that you’ve combined a few words without confusing prospects, try capitalizing the first letter in each word (i.e. instead of tamarluvsya it would be TamarLuvsYa, see the difference?).

You have some great photos to work with! Switch 1 and 2 and delete number 4 and then you will be good to go! Photo 2 shows you in a bright pop of color with approachable body language. Photo 1 is nice and shows your full body but it’s taken from further away. Photo 4 may be realistic, but it’s not appropriate for your JDate profile — you said it yourself by labeling it as a shot of you “tired.” Lastly, photo 5 is great, but don’t be surprised to get emails from men asking about your daughter!

In your biographical responses I don’t really see where you think it conveys that you live an indulged lifestyle and that men may think you’re a sugarmama (for lack of a better term). What I would suggest is maybe eliminating some Q&As. You don’t need to answer all of them because some of them are a bit repetitive and it comes across as overkill. Delete “My Past Relationships” since you mention your ex-husband in “About Me” and then combine and eliminate either “I’m Looking For” or “My Ideal Relationship.” And finally, eliminate “On Friday and Saturday Nights I Typically” and combine that answer with “For Fun, I Like To.”

Lastly, under Ideal Match I would consider narrowing your age range. A man in his late-40’s is a bit young for a woman in her late-50’s. Perhaps that’s why you’re getting men that you don’t consider viable. A man in his mid-60’s is a good maximum though. I would consider a 10-12 year age range, for a woman who is 58 that means around 54-66.

Good luck!

____________________________________________________________________________________

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JDate is Turning Me Into a Cougar!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Is it common for younger men to email older women because I’ve gotten more messages from men in their late 30’s than I’m comfortable with. Why would 39-year-olds be contacting a 58-year-old? Opportunists?

-Not a Cougar

________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Not a Cougar,

Could a man 20 years your senior be an opportunist? Sure. Could it be that you are a pretty and young-looking woman who has a lot to offer and attracts men of all ages? Absolutely! Depending upon what you’re looking for — which I believe to be a companion for the next half of your life — you will need to review each man’s profile to see how he presents himself and what he is looking for before eliminating them. Of course, you can have a strict minimum to your age range and if that doesn’t start with the number 3_ or 4_, then so be it.

At the end of the day you need to be comfortable with the other person, and if their age is going to bother you then don’t lead these men on. Take it as a compliment and say so: “I’m so flattered that you took the time to email me and you seem really sweet, but I think I would be more comfortable with someone closer to my age. Good luck to you!”


Flirts and Emails That Go Unreplied…

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

I have reached out, via a ‘Flirt’ or email, to a few different men.  They open my Flirt/email, but don’t reply. I would love some tips on initiating a better first message.

-“Flirt”

_______________________________________________________________________________

Hi Flirt,

There is a method to the messaging madness. For starters, don’t send an uninitiated Flirt or email. What does that mean? It means not to send a message of any kind before you lay the groundwork. Communication should not come out of left field. View the prospect, check back the next day to see if he viewed you in return.

If he logged in, but did not view, then view him again and check again the following day. If again he logged in, but did not view you, then you can generally assume he isn’t interested. Don’t count him out, but don’t put any more energy into him either.

If the guy did view you back, then go ahead and add him to your Favorites. This is how a guy knows you’re into him.

In the meantime, go ahead and check out who has Favorited you and who has viewed you to see if there is anyone of interest that you can view/Favorite in return. This is on par with making and holding eye contact and then smiling from across a room.

Only after you’ve done this back-and-forth should you go ahead and send a Flirt or email. I suggest giving the guy a day or two to do this himself, as it’s his version of making the first move, but it’s not entirely unfavorable for you to click send first.

If you’re going to send a Flirt then make sure the one you choose either goes along with something that can be connected to your profile or his. I prefer skipping right over to an email, but sometimes a Flirt can be cute! The first email should be short and sweet — “Hi my name is Allison. It’s been fun ‘Flirting’ with you! I can’t believe you also like __________, I’ve never met anyone else who likes them/that. How did you first discover them/that? Hope you’re having a great day!” The line in the middle is to show one of your commonalities and to ask a question in order to garner a response.

All that said, if someone does not have a paid JDate membership then they cannot check their emails. You will be able to figure it out only after sending the email if you see that they’ve logged in, but not opened the email. Don’t take it personally. Most people do end up paying when their inbox starts to fill up. People just can’t resist!

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