Archive for the ‘Date Night’ Category

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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What’s Your Conversation Style?

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

Are you a good conversationalist? Are you sure?  A simple conversation can reveal how you communicate with another person — and communication is such an important part of dating that it warrants a two-part series! When you talk to someone on a date, are you open? Passive? Direct? Brief? Today we’re starting with a pop quiz to identify your conversational type, since conversations can really make or break a first date. And, in next week’s second installment, we will score the quiz and learn what your conversation style says about you.

Disclaimer for the legal types out there:  This has no valid psychological basis – it’s intended for entertainment purposes only! So without further ado, grab your pencils and keep your eyes on your own paper (screen?).

 

What’s Your Conversation Style?

Choose the response that most closely matches your likely response in each of the following scenarios:

1.  You have just met someone in person for the first time, and after saying hello, you:

  • A)  Ask where she works, where she lives, and where she went to school, all in a row
  • B)  Wait for your date to say something
  • C)  Tell him all about your work drama that just happened that day
  • D)  Ask if he/she had any trouble finding your meeting spot and then add you like his/her shirt

2.  You’re on a first date and there is a lull in conversation. You:

  • A)  Ask where your date sees him/herself in 5 years
  • B)  Do nothing and look down
  • C)  Fill the silence by talking about what you had for lunch, including condiments and drink
  • D)  Make some comment on the décor of wherever you are

3.  It’s the end of a second date, and you wonder if you will have a third, but you’re nervous to bring it up. You:

  • A)  Ask your date if he or she sees a future with you
  • B)  Say goodnight
  • C)  Retell the story of something funny that happened on the date
  • D)  Say you had a good time

4.  You’ve had several pretty good dates with someone, but you can see that he/she has been regularly logging in to JDate.  You:

  • A)  Confront your date and ask where the relationship is going
  • B)  Do nothing
  • C)  Say your friend saw someone she was dating on another dating site… and then proceed to tell about what happened to your “friend”
  • D)  Instant Message your date when he/she goes on JDate

5.  You’re talking with your date and discover that he/she strongly favors a rival sports team. You:

  • A)  Demand to know why he likes that team
  • B)  Nod and don’t mention your team
  • C)  Tell him or her the details of the first game you ever attended
  • D)  Poke fun at the rivalry whenever there’s a future lull in conversation

Ok, time’s up, pencils down.  You can grade your quiz here!


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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Generating New Business

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Success Stories

Did you know that you are the CEO of your own love life? This means you get to make decisions, choose how and when to take action, and hire and fire people as you see fit.  This also means that sometimes, if sales are low, it might be time to generate new business.  So in the business of love, how do you go about finding new clients to interview? Or if you’ve been in business a long time, what’s the best way to keep your brand relevant? Ok, enough with the metaphor – what do you do if you’re in a rut and feel like you have already gone out with (or are related to) everyone on JDate?

Do not give up hope! It’s just time to employ some new marketing techniques. Read on for ideas.

  1. Direct Mail — Or, as I call it, Flirt Bombing. This technique uses very low effort, but has a potentially high reach. What’s involved? It’s easy — see who is online or who has logged on recently and check out profiles that catch your eye. Then send a quick Flirt to let them know you are interested! While I ordinarily recommend sending tailored messages to more targeted profiles, Flirt Bombing is one way to reinvigorate  your JDate action.
  2. Change Your Profile — Update your pictures or add something new to the “About Me” section – anything to earn the little “updated” button.  People like new things — this is why stores and restaurants feature new or seasonal products.  That “updated” button is like bait — it attracts attention, so remember to update your info from time to time.
  3. Change Your Search Parameters — Do what you need to do to reach your target audience. Just like it’s probably not a smart business decision for the advertisers of the Jitterbug cell phone to buy commercial air time during the MTV music awards, it’s probably not the best decision for a 55-year-old guy to be advertising to the under-30 circuit. At the same time, you don’t want to narrow your parameters so that your results decrease. My point is that it might help to tinker with all search options — age, distance, religiosity, etc. — so they yield new matches who are best for you.
  4. View Lots of Profiles — This is another passive form of bait. If I see that someone viewed me, there is a good chance that I will click on his profile. So generate more traffic by viewing more profiles. You should at least get some new visitors to stop by your profile.

And one marketing technique not to use: As much as I love a good coupon, I do not recommend using it as a strategy to drum up JDate business.  A 2-for-1 is great for dinner, but terrible if you advertise this as your reasoning for asking someone out on a date. Similarly, advertising that your first date is free doesn’t really come across very well either.  You might pick up some thrifty folks, but this may not necessarily be your target audience.

Anyway, try some of the aforementioned tips and you’ll be back in business in no time.  And if not, well, maybe your bankruptcy attorney is cute and single!

 


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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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?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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.