Archive for the ‘Date Night’ Category

We Made Plans, But No Phone Call, So What’s The Deal?

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

Dear Tamar,

I have been dating this guy for a month; nothing serious — we went out for lunch last Monday, on Tuesday we exchanged a few texts and kind of made plans for Saturday… but he never confirmed and now it’s Thursday and I still haven’t heard from him.

What’s the deal?

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Dear Plans Unconfirmed,

The simplest answer is that it’s likely he’s not into you anymore. I know that sucks to hear, but a guy who likes you is confirming plans, contacting you between dates and wanting to make sure he is on your mind.

That said, it’s only been two days and he could still call to confirm plans tonight. It’s not too late for him to call for a Saturday night date, but if you accept… do so with your guard up. Or, better yet, tell him you made other plans when you didn’t hear from him, but would love to schedule something for next week.

Be prepared to not hear from him again, and then get back on JDate and keep making connections.

P.S. If he texts or calls next week I strongly urge you to ignore it (unless you just want to hook up), it’s likely he is only making contact because he’s bored and wants to see if you’re still interested. Don’t expect his feelings towards you to suddenly have changed; you’ll only end up disappointed once again.


Food, Mood & Attitude

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

Gluten-free, vegan, peanut allergy, lactose intolerant, plant-based, low carb, high carb, paleo, oreo, pescatarian, vegetarian… does anyone eat “normally” anymore? And what does this mean when you just want to take someone out to dinner without a list of food and health conditions to consider?

Eating habits are pretty personal, yet food plays such a big role in our social lives.  So it’s inevitable that the strictly kosher girl will be invited to a treyf BBQ joint by an unknowing suitor.  Or an otherwise awesome date leads to a stroll to the ice cream parlor, panicking the severely lactose intolerant guy.  These things happen. And normally it’s not a big deal – people are generally accommodating and understanding these days about special diets or food considerations. But, how these gastronomic road blocks are handled says a lot about both the special eater and the accommodator.

I hate to break it to you, but broadcasting your food preferences can sound picky and annoying. Spending 20 minutes to explain to a waitress how you don’t like your food to touch, that you want all of your sauces served on the side, and that you want 7 substitutions doesn’t look attractive on a date.

57019411Ok, these examples might sound silly, but what if you have a more common constraint, like you can’t eat anything with nuts, or you don’t like vegetables? You’ve agreed to meet someone for a first date, but you’re very aware of your unique diet – what do you do?  In this case, quietly inform your server of your needs or just order something that you like. Unless you have a serious health concern, there is no need to announce your special case to anyone who is not preparing your food, and certainly not to someone you’re hoping to impress. Not a big drinker? It’s ok to order a coke at the bar. It’s not ok to explain that you aren’t drinking because you were sick for 2 days after last weekend’s bender. Keep kosher? This is one situation where it makes sense to inform your date of your dietary needs in advance. Same for other restrictions where you may not be able to find what you need at a typical restaurant. But don’t make a fuss about it – suggest meeting for coffee or a non-food event for your first meeting.

On the other hand, what if you’re the one who eats everything in sight, but find yourself sitting across from a really cute, funny vegan? Same advice here: Don’t make a big deal about it, especially if the vegan doesn’t. Try not to judge. And don’t belittle someone else for having different eating habits than you. Unless they have realllly ridiculous demands – then you can roll your eyes. Just kidding. Sort of.

Also, profiles exist for a reason – check them for clues! Before picking out a restaurant or place to meet, scan your date’s profile to get a feel for his level of kashrut or her favorite cuisine.  When it doubt, ask.

Remember, differences of any kind involve a dance of accommodation, moderation, and compromise, and food is no exception.  Eating habits may not initially seem like a huge deal in a budding relationship, but when you think about it, we all eat multiple times a day (except for fast days – but those are probably bad days for a date anyway).


Older Adults: An Uncertain Certainty?

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

Dear Tamar,

I see you are in your thirties, I mention this because — as a woman — you are at a different point in your life than the ladies I am interested in, whose age range is from 50-61. So, I think your perspective will be somewhat different from what I am looking for. In any case, I get the feeling from most of the women I have met that they all claim to know what it is they seek. However, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty that comes along with it, irrespective of what they are saying.

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Dear Uncertain Certainty,

Irrespective of my age, I do think I can shed some light on what you’re experiencing. As anyone gets older, they become more set in their ways and more opinionated about what they do and don’t like. That’s normal. And as they experience life — whether that means many years of dating, or a divorce, or being widowed — people tend to think they know what they are seeking in a partner. Yet, there’s always an insecurity that you may be wrong or could be proven wrong. A woman may believe she could never date or marry a guy who owns a cat, but she doesn’t want to eliminate the possibility that a guy is perfect for her, even with said cat (substitute “cat” for just about anything). So, although the women you date may claim they know what they seek, they want to leave the door open for possibilities.


What Gives?

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

Dear Tamar,

I am not receiving any interest from men on JDate.  I sent out 8 e-cards and not one response.  My friend suggested that I change my age on the website and perhaps men would be less reluctant to reach out to me. I am determined to leave my correct age because I wouldn’t want to meet someone that opposed to my age without knowing me.  I am pretty, bright, own a business, and happy with my life.  What gives?

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Dear What Gives,

I agree with your friend about keeping your true age on your profile. You would be better off having your friend critique your photos and profile answers or sending me your profile name for me to give you an Extreme Profile Makeover. In the meantime, make sure you talk about being “young at heart” or “looking and feeling younger than [your] age” in your profile to combat the age issue and concern about reluctance from men.

Then, try some other techniques instead of relying on e-cards. Make sure you are viewing your prospects regularly so that they know you are interested, add them to your Favorites list, and then possibly initiate an email conversation. Again, you may not get a response but it may not be personal — it could be that the person is not a paid member and can’t read their messages. The only way to combat this is by playing the numbers game, meaning the more prospects you have the better the chance you will receive emails and responses.


What, Me Worry?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Confession: I’m kind of a nervous person. I worry about stuff. I think a lot. And I also tend to internalize my thoughts and worries. This results in uncomfortable physical manifestations of worrying, which sounds like the subtitle to a new Woody Allen movie, but it could also pass for my own personal summary statement.  Add this feeling to a high-pressure date with emotions fueled by either alcohol or too much caffeine – and you’ve got all the ingredients for a stomachache or panic attack!

I think we’ve all been nervous before or during a date – it’s a pretty common occurrence.  I know one friend who can’t eat on dates because she feels nervous; another occasionally gets sick right before due to nerves! And I’m sure we can all relate to that sinking feeling in your stomach when you find out an ex got engaged, or you catch someone cheating, or in some cases, just see an old crush. Or what if your skipped lunch in an effort to squeeze into your dress, followed by the two glasses of wine you downed while waiting to meet your date, produces gastrointestinal distress requiring a quick trip to the bathroom in the middle of shared appetizers? What if the girl you’re meeting doesn’t like you? Or worse – what if she DOES and becomes a crazy clinger? What if he looks nothing like his picture? What if she is 20 years older than she said? This shirt is uncomfortable – what if I have a wardrobe malfunction over dinner? Did I remember my wallet? Aackk, it’s no wonder the stress of dating can make even a normally calm person feel nervous.  I love being part of the chosen people, but sometimes I wonder if we were also chosen for specializing in anxious neuroticism!

Unfortunately, for lots of people, nerves are just part of the territory when it comes to dating.  But, they don’t have to be.  Allow me to suggest breathing techniques to help you achieve total zen, or at least make it through your next date without sweating through your shirt.

Seriously, practice breathing.  Make it a part of your routine each day to take 10 long, slow breaths. Inhale through your nose and out through your mouth. And try to inhale from your belly more so than your chest.  Keep your eyes open or closed – you can even do this at work or on the train – and just let thoughts pass in and out of your awareness. Practicing this on a regular basis will help you more easily be able to achieve the same calm when you need it. That’s kind of how meditation works – you learn to train your mind to achieve a relaxed state. But you can always use your breath as an extra boost of peace right before a date. Remember that your body can’t panic if you are slowing down your breath.  If you wish to practice a longer relaxation session, try progressive muscle relaxation where you continue to breathe deeply while tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups.  Or add yoga moves or mindfulness techniques to your breathing to optimize your relaxation.  This isn’t some new-agey weirdness – in fact, it’s a very old, tried and true method, and it works! I’ve been practicing while I’m typing this, and wow, does it work – I’m starting to experience a  relaxed state so powerful that at any moment now I could just drift int…


Life In Flux

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

How do you date when your life is in flux? You could be between jobs, between homes, in the midst of a divorce, or all three. Some would say you may not want to be dating until you have some stability, but if you want to continue dating, then do so, just do it with grace. What does that mean?

Don’t let your life’s clutter invade your JDate profile or your time on the date. Try to focus on the positive things you have going on in your life and wait until a relationship is progressing before getting into it further.

If you are having a difficult time putting your best foot forward then perhaps you ought to wait until your life has a bit more consistency before dating actively. Peruse JDate and use the hot prospects as motivation to get your sh** together.


Common Interests = Compatibility?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life
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Does it really matter if your date is also into basket weaving?

Let’s say you are really into underwater basket weaving, Italian renaissance art, and roller skating. And you’re perusing JDate profiles and see someone who is also really interested in basket weaving (sometimes underwater, sometimes not), Italian renaissance art, and roller skating. Could it be? Have you finally located your soul mate?

After all this time, have you found the one person destined to fulfill all of your hopes and dreams? Probably not. Might you have more to talk about on the first date with this person than someone who has no common interests? Yes, probably. But having several common interests with someone does not guarantee that you will get along! In fact, it guarantees, well, nothing more than you both like the same things.

It’s easy especially if you have unique or specific interests to mistake the excitement of enjoying the same things for long-term compatibility and commitment. Or, if you really like someone, it’s easy to be amazed at how coincidental it is that you BOTH LIKE TV and DOGS! What are the odds?

But in my experience, general activities and interests are somewhat shallow. What you like to do, in my opinion, says only so much about you. How you like to spend your time, your tolerance for trying new things, and your willingness to do what your partner wants to do – these are all more indicative of relational compatibility. For example, you might like going to the ballet, and a new guy you are dating might really like going to basketball games. This distinction in and of itself isn’t important. But does he listen when you talk about your favorite ballet, or is he checking the score on his phone? Is she willing to go with you to the Knicks game and at least pretend to pay attention? These kinds of questions are much more important to ask when assessing compatibility. The fact that you both have a brother or you both like classic music means little more than both having brown hair.

Although common interests might not be a predictor of long-term relationship success, JDate knows what they are doing. Profiles include interests for a good reason, even if the reason is not to instantly match up destined partners. See someone with a the same hobby as you? Awesome – send a mention and reference the activity! Both like mini golf? Sounds like you have an easy first date suggestion. Does a cute guy say he is into krav maga and you don’t know what it is? There’s an instant excuse to send a message – ask him! Oh, and this goes without saying, but don’t pretend to know all about something that you don’t unless you are currently on a sitcom.

So remember – common interests are great and provide a useful way to initiate contact with someone. But they don’t mean anything more than what they are.


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Leah”

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

Hi Tamar,

I read your feedback to the woman who is separated and starting to date again. I would be interested in similar feedback regarding my profile.

Thanks!

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Hi “Leah,”

Your profile seems very well thought out, but reminds me of “Illinois Lady” who came off as a little TOO put-together… and was potentially leaving prospects questioning where they fit in to your life.

Your pictures are nice and your confidence shines through! There is some inconsistency in regards to hair color and length, but it appears that you clarified which picture is the most recent by making it your main photo and adding a caption. Since you are such an active individual I would suggest adding another photo or two showing you doing one of the activities you lost most. Although, I do love the hiking photo you posted!

The other item I suggest clarifying is where you spend most of your time. You list Northern California as your residence, but then mention spending a lot of time in New York. Are you open to meeting someone in either state? Then say so. Also, you may want to say a little more about what you do that allows you to travel and to explain why you have lived in so many cities.

Additionally, your selection of the word “single” leads me to believe that you have never been married. That’s fine, but someone in their mid-60’s should give one sentence of background. For example: “I was never legally married, but was with someone for 30 years;” or, “I moved around a lot and have been in some really amazing relationships and have to blame timing for the reason I never took the next step with any of them;” or, “I’d be happy to tell you more about why I never tied the knot, just ask, and don’t worry, it’s nothing crazy or shocking!” Don’t spend too much time on it and don’t go into detail on JDate. Have your brief explanation prepared for when you’re on a date and again, you can give more and more info as a relationship progresses. Don’t spend your time together going over your relationship history.

Finally, the only other thing that caught my eye was you saying that you want children. I believe you meant that you would be open to a man who has children (and likely has grandchildren if he’s in his 60’s), but I’m not sure this is the way to say that. I would change the answer to “no” unless you are planning to adopt a young child.

Good Luck!

 

For more tips on revamping your JDate profile,
visit www.HowToWooAJew.com.


Find Your Happiness

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

People are attracted to happy people, so how do you convey happiness? Authentic joy emanates, therefore you must truly be happy to genuinely appear happy to other people.

Many singles feel that their singledom dictates their lack of happiness, but you can’t allow your relationship status to affect your positivity. If everything is going great in your life, aside from dating, and yet you are negative and unhappy, then you need to reassess.

Find joy in doing things you love (hopefully that includes your job since you likely spend 25-30% of your time there) and being around people you love. When you appreciate what you have, then people will want to be around you, including prospective dates.

Bottom Line: don’t let dating get the best of you. Stay positive and attract other positive people.


Are You a Cat or a Dog Person?

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

You may think the question about “Pets” in the Lifestyle section is a throwaway, but — in fact — it’s important. Some people are hardcore pet people, while others are not. And within that category you have people who love or prefer one kind of animal but not another, or are allergic to some but not others.

I’m a dog person, but I don’t like their saliva on me or having their hair all over my clothes. I’m not a cat person, but as long as they leave me alone, we’re cool. That said, dogs love attention and cats love those who ignore them, so I often find myself with an animal by my feet whenever I visit friend’s with pets.

I was really turned off by a date’s three cats and the litter box in his bedroom, but I appreciated that he cared for them and took care of them. I found another boyfriend’s relationship with his playful dog to be a redeeming quality, until that boyfriend allowed the dog to sleep in the bed with us.

It’s important to know before getting into a relationship with someone if you have an aversion or allergy to an animal, but it’s not worthy of addressing in your profile or worrying about it until you’re on a date and he or she mentions it. The Lifestyle question doesn’t ask if you own those pets or simply like those pets, or possibly had one as a child or hope to have one later in life.

Don’t make assumptions. If someone is obsessed with their pet then it will be apparent either in their profile or on the first date and you will be able to politely discuss it then. Keyword is “politely” — don’t disrespect their chihuahua that they carry around in their purse (as obnoxious as that sounds) or insult their cat whose vet bills are higher than your own medical bills (as obnoxious as that sounds).