Archive for the ‘Date Night’ Category

How NOT to Ask a Girl Out

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Single Life

The other day, I got a random text from a guy I’ll call, “Joe.” Joe just graduated from my university, but I don’t know him very well. I would barely even consider him an acquaintance. I never gave Joe my phone number, but he appears to have it and use it liberally from time to time.

Whenever I don’t know someone, or they give me the creeps, I leave their name out of my phone to remind myself to be wary of them. To put things in context, I first met Joe when I was sober and he was very drunk at a college party. The only thing I remember from that encounter was his awful pickup line, “You don’t dress very cute. You should probably just take your clothes off.”

Back to a few nights ago: I got a text from a number saying, “I’m in your area. We’re going out for drinks Friday.” It took me a minute to figure out it was Joe.

A lot of guys think that being ultra-assertive works well for them after the nice guy approach fails. I am going to a charity event Friday night, and I let him know that I was unavailable. He said, “Saturday then.” I told him that I already had a date on Saturday. He said, “Well that guy probably sucks. I’ll show you a real good time.” It was hard to find a place to interject with a firm, “No.”

I found his attitude highly off-putting. Maybe Joe has tried to be nicer and less forceful in his approach in the past and it hasn’t worked. Being a doormat isn’t a great strategy most of the time. Although a lot of guys make the mistake of being an overeager puppy, at least puppies are sort of endearing. Joe didn’t ask me out. He told me he was taking me out. His approach took away my ability to weigh in on whether I want to go out with him. I had to be very direct to shoot him down, and honestly, I’m not sure all girls would feel comfortable being so blunt.

If your strategy for asking someone out isn’t working, trying the exact opposite approach may not be the way to go about it. The other person needs a polite way out if they are uncomfortable or uninterested. You can’t force someone to like you.


How to Tell the Beaus from the Shmos

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

It’s so easy to come off as the “perfect” prospect online, and on the phone, and even during the first few months of dating. This is when people are on their best behavior, they are charming, they only reveal the best parts of themselves. Well, that’s how it usually works. I’ve been hearing story after story of people showing their true colors on a first date.

From the guy who admitted to having a foot fetish while staring and salivating over his date’s feet five minutes after sitting down for dinner, to the guy who invited a woman over after a nice dinner only to have her find his bed covered with dozens of stuffed animals and him asking her if she liked “furries” (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), to the gal who used the ingredients in her side salad to begin precociously exchanging sex stories with her date over entrees as he sat stunned.

In these instances it was easy to bid adieu to these shmos, but most times people hide their vices better… and for longer. Hopefully your dates’ vices are no more than just being mildly OCD or quoting Friends and Seinfeld every other sentence. Beaus do exist, but no one is perfect — just know there will always be something you don’t like about everyone.


A Gentleman’s Guide to Man-Dating

by Aaron under Date Night,Single Life

It was seven o’clock on a Sunday, and I was frightened. I had already postponed our meeting thanks to a broken 1 train, and I was schvitzing from the bus ride. But I walked into the bar, ready to finally do this. It’d been a while.

We spotted each other right away, and though we’d never met, we instantly recognized each other as the people who had messaged each other such things on Facebook as “yo” and “wanna grab beers?”. It was so nice to have found this again.

“This” was friendship.

Moving to a new city was scary to me in many ways. I didn’t know anyone initially (luckily a last-minute roommate change meant I was living with a good friend who is also Jewish), and meeting new people in the big city can be tough. I was lucky to have mutual friends setting us up. So if you’re looking for new friends, whether in a new city or not, here’s some tips I’d like to offer:

  • Tell your friends you’re looking. Like with dating, it’s easier for people to set you up if they know. And in this case, much less threatening to their relationship with that person if things go south.
  • Even if you don’t plan to drink beer, go to a place that sells it. One of my best man-dates in the city was at a burger joint where the other guy drank some beers while I downed chicken fingers.
  • Reach out to people you haven’t seen in a while. I met a guy in Barcelona who lived in New York and we reconnected, and I reached out to friends I met once in college.
  • Work at it. For me, this has been a big one. Moving to a new city has meant I need to be proactive about my relationships. People will seldom go out of their way to make new friends, but building habits by staying in touch with people is a great lesson for all of life.

Though dating has been great here, I think friendships are also a vital part of life, especially with little family around you. Even if you’re not in a new city, try reaching out to friends of the same gender you may not have seen in a while. Building your network is vital, and you never know who might know a nice, Jewish girl (or guy) they never would’ve thought to introduce you to otherwise.


Selfies

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

In a word: no.

Don’t do it. I don’t care how amazing the photo is, DO NOT USE A SELFIE AS YOUR JDATE PROFILE PICTURE! And don’t make a duck-face either. I know it makes your lips look plump and accentuates your cheekbones, but it’s obnoxious.

Find someone you love who can take your picture and let them snap away when there’s good lighting. Try out different poses and angles, move around, make sure your smile is authentic by laughing about a funny story with the friend or family member who is taking your photo. Change up your clothes and background and keep snapping away. If you cut or color your hair, shave or grow your beard, lose or gain weight, then do another impromptu, unprofessional photo shoot. Take photos when you’re dressed up to go to a party (better to have the party in the background then your front door on the way out though), take photos when you’re on vacation and relaxed. Try to aim for dusk or dawn or overcast days when the sun won’t create shadows or make you squint.

Then, let that same trusted loved one go over the photos with to help you choose. We are our own worst critics, which means that a photo you may not love could be seen as really attractive by someone else. Photos are too important a part of online dating not to take it seriously.

To learn more about creating a great JDate profile, buy How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating now!


New Experiment

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Judaism,Relationships

In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about modesty in Orthodox Judaism. While I don’t follow it, I am finding that I like a lot of the principles behind it. About a month ago, I started covering my body more on a first dates.

Why, you ask? Dating is supposed to be fun, maybe a little bit flirty if you feel chemistry. But first dates in the long run are also about looking for a life partner. I evaluate men based on character, manners, values, and other traits that typically require having an engaging conversation.

Looking presentable and being hygienic are important in that they show effort, but they’re not everything. “Presentable” for women, especially in the summer, doesn’t have to mean “mostly naked.” I am generally more comfortable in my skin when it’s not all on display.

With this in mind, I’ve begun a new experiment. I try to look fashionable, but without showing my thighs, knees, shoulders, or any cleavage. Some guys are more receptive to this than others, but I think it’s become an easier way to dodge a bullet. If a guy seems bored or distracted by me, or he checks out scantily clad women while on a date with me, I can cut my losses and move on. I’ve been in situations before where I was keenly aware that a guy was only interested in me in a physical way. While it can be flattering, it’s not good for my self-esteem in the long-term. I like to be appreciated for my internal qualities, which can easily be overlooked on first dates.

I don’t have any data to prove it, but I think I now get more compliments related to qualities other than my looks on dates. I found them to be a rarity prior to my experiment. I’m also finding it easier to connect with people on a more personal level, and I think I’m going to stick to my new plan indefinitely.


Are You Dating Dishonestly?

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

A great blog about “15 Ways We Can Put an End to the Dishonest Dating Culture We’ve Created” echoes many of the same dating philosophies I put forth in the past few years while writing for JDate and in my book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating.” The author of the blog laments about how many missed opportunities there are due to going in circles while playing the dating game. She has a challenge for all singles out there: stop playing games by following the 5 tips below.

  1. Go out on dates and have fun
  2. Let the person you like know that you like them, and if they don’t like you back, then you’ve now saved yourself lots of time and energy
  3. Don’t settle or change what you want in order to fit someone else’s needs
  4. Don’t be afraid to get hurt, or use past relationships to stop you from making a commitment to a new relationship
  5. Respect yourself and those you’re on a date with whether you want to go out on another date or not, it’s the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. That said, if you don’t like someone then don’t lead them on.

Compare & Contrast

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Everyone has that one ex-lover to whom they compare everyone they ever go on to date. No matter how long ago it ended, or why it ended, or even how long the relationship lasted, everyone has their measuring stick (pardon the pun). Everyone also has that one ex-lover to whom they hope everyone thereafter will shine in contrast to because of how terrible they were treated. Sometimes both of these scenarios are the same person. Actually, oftentimes it’s the same person.

It’s perfectly acceptable and natural to experience this. The point is to make sure you are being realistic and have the right perspective. Don’t use an ex to trivial a new prospect, give each individual the respect to earn or lose your adulation. And just because a new prospect doesn’t measure up to all of your ex’s positives, that doesn’t mean he or she should be ruled out — perhaps they don’t have any of your ex’s negatives either!


Forced Affection

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

What happens when you really like someone, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable being overtly affectionate quite yet? How do you force yourself to make sure you’re sending the right signals that you’re interested in the other person? Eye contact, placing a hand on a leg (or arm or small of the back), letting your foot or thighs or arms touch when you’re sitting near each other, giving authentic compliments, laughing at jokes, greeting each other with a hug, saying a long lingering goodbye. Little things go a long way.

Inversely, if you keep going out on dates with someone, but never make a move or flatter your date, then don’t be surprised when your date eventually rejects your next phone call.


Breaking Norms

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Single Life

I consider myself a progressive young woman in many ways. I talk a big talk when it comes to equality in pay, treatment, and many other capacities. However, when it comes to breaking certain gender norms, I’m all talk and no action. One of these norms I struggle with is asking men out. Even though I believe women can make great CEOs and can generally do anything a man can do, I still struggle in this area.

I was raised to believe that women are the gatekeepers in male-female relationships. Thus, if I express romantic interest in a man, I worry he may take advantage of this privileged information and pursue me despite lacking interest in me long-term. Many girls I know have been hurt by this when men fail to call them back after intimacy. I was also raised not to eat in restrooms. By this, I mean I was raised to avoid mingling professional and romantic relationships. Despite my better judgment, I just asked out a coworker in the meekest way possible.

My heart was pounding in my throat, even through chat box. I was certain he’d say no, but I had to ask. And he said yes. I didn’t know how to respond once he said yes because I was so certain that I was putting my feelings on the line to get crushed. I didn’t immediately feel good about breaking norms… it’s taking a while to digest what I just did. We’re already friendly, and we don’t work at the same location… how bad could it be? Sometimes in life, you just have to take chances and seize opportunities before they pass you by. I also have a lot more sympathy for men now. Social conventions tend to put them in a spot to face the roller coaster of heart rates that accompany exposing oneself to potential awkwardness, ridicule, and rejection.

Even though I threw the lessons of my upbringing out the window, I still managed to listen to parental wisdom. My parents always say, “You miss all the shots you never take!” I just don’t think they meant for me to become a man-wrangling renegade!


The Sounds of Silence

by Aaron under Date Night,JBloggers,Relationships

As I attempted to come up with a topic this week, I was drawing blanks. I wanted to write about my trip to Europe, my life in New York so far, how my dating life is going, any number of things that have been on my mind. But every time I started writing something, it was worthless. I drew a blank.

When you’re not being asked to write a blog for an awesome organization every week, silence can actually be a great thing.  It’s not always that I can’t write about things, but sometimes I feel like I’m writing just to write.

Interestingly, in the last year, some of my best dating moments have involved silence. From long car rides to Memphis where I’m just taking in scenery to the beauty of Central Park, sometimes there’s more happening in life than just trying to get to know someone. Sharing an experience is such a beautiful thing, and I think sometimes we feel an overwhelming need to talk through things as we’re getting to know someone. But in my opinion, nothing compares to just sharing a moment in silence.

So that’s my very simple blog this week. I’ve been around the world in the last month, and I’ve seen some great sights. I know the best is only to come, but the finest moments since my last real writing time (early May) have been the moments of taking in life in silence with another person. Overlooking the beach in Barcelona, looking out over New York from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building, or even just listening to strangers talk about Grindr while I was sitting on a park bench while cuddling up with someone special. These have been the best moments of my last month, and they didn’t involve me feeling the need to say a single word.