Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

JDate: For Jews Only?

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism

I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us are on JDate to find dates who are “J.” In other words, it’s probably important for most of us to meet other Jewish people to date and ultimately marry. I think this is a pretty reasonable goal and assumption; after all, that’s why JDate exists as a separate site from one of the big, all-encompassing options.  So imagine the dismay of someone (let’s call her Sarah) who meets a nice young man on a Jewish site (let’s call him Dan) who turns out to not be Jewish! And he didn’t have one Jewish parent or some distant Jewish relatives, or heck, even Jewish friends – he was not even familiar with Judaism.

It would be one thing if Dan had advertised his Christian status on the site and Sarah agreed to meet him with this knowledge, but he hadn’t. Plus, he even endorsed that he was conservative under the denomination category, which there was no reason to doubt.  When it gradually became clear to Sarah that Dan wasn’t Jewish, Sarah asked why Dan would be on a Jewish dating site. The answer? It was just another way to meet girls – he just didn’t understand that Jews on the site were looking to meet each other, and he hadn’t realized that his presence might be deceitful.

This scenario actually occurred, with names and details changed, of course.  And I can tell you that there was no malicious intent or hard feelings by either party involved – just disappointment, especially because the couple had been otherwise quite compatible.  But this got me thinking… how does one treat a non-Jew on JDate? Do people who say they are willing to convert or not at all Jewish have any success on the site? Does JDate have any responsibility in preventing the above situation?  I really have no answers here – just lots of questions!

I’ve always found it curious that “not willing to convert” and “not sure if I’m willing to convert” are profile options… there aren’t a ton of these profiles, but I’ve seen a few out there on the interwebs. If you happen to be reading this and you’re a non-Jew on JDate, please, enlighten me: I’m not judging – truly curious! And thank you for being upfront about your religious status. But what do you all think? If you are Jewish, have you met non-Jews on JDate? If you aren’t Jewish, are you actively seeking Jews?  In the meantime, you can find me on Christian Mingle.com.  Nothing like a [bad] joke to end a more serious post, right?


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

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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!”


Ten Commandments of Dating

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

This coming weekend is Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that commemorates The Jews’ receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This year, the holiday happens to start on a Saturday night, so I can think of no better way to celebrate than to bring a date to your local synagogue’s traditional all-night learning session. I mean, late night festivities, liquor, Torah? Whats not to love? Another way to celebrate is to think about what it means to be a member of the tribe that accepted the responsibility of the Torah, and in particular, because you’re a JBlog reader, how this responsibility relates to dating and relationships. Therefore, in honor of Shavuot, I present the Ten Commandments as they correspond to the laws of dating.

1) To thine own self be true.

The actual first commandment is about recognizing G-d’s role of Creator of the World and savior of the enslaved Jews. This is always true wherever you are in the world, and it may help you remember that YOU are not a god! But in the context of dating, it’s also important to remember that “I am my own person who takes responsibility for my behavior and feelings.” In other words, stay true to yourself, don’t be someone you aren’t, and own your actions.

2) Thou shalt have no other distractions before me.

While I totally condone seeing more than one person at a time during the early stages of dating, keep your focus on your present date! Don’t text, scan the room, or talk about other people when you’re on a date.

3) Thou shalt not take the name of anyone in vain.

Especially on the first few dates with someone new, be yourself, but try to avoid profanity or gossip. You don’t want to accidentally offend your date!

4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

I won’t tell the rabbi if you want to plan a date for Friday night. But, this commandment is about taking time to step away from constant communication and social media. Take a break from texting every other minute. Don’t stalk your new boyfriend’s Instagram pics. Get some rest and relaxation without your date, whether it’s on Shabbat or not, and nurture your other hobbies and friendships.

5) Honor thy father and thy mother.

This is applicable at any age or situation.

6) Thou shalt not murder.

Um, don’t murder your date. Or anyone. Or rather, thou shalt not be mean, spiteful, or overly negative – this will murder your reputation!

7) Thou shalt not commit adultery or cheat.

This is pretty self-explanatory – once you have established your exclusivity with someone, remain faithful.

8) Thou shalt not steal.

Don’t steal things, like money from your date’s purse when she’s in the bathroom, obviously. But also, don’t steal time. If you know someone definitely isn’t for you, don’t lead him or her on.

9) Thou shalt not lie.

Bearing false witness, the actual ninth commandment, is related to dishonesty. Lying is very unbecoming and hard to forgive – don’t do it! This includes false advertising on your profile, using deceitful photos, or otherwise misrepresenting yourself online.

10) Thou shalt not covet.

Someone else might look appealing to you, but remember that the grass is always greener on the other side, whichever side you’re on. If you can’t stop noticing other people, try to focus on your own insecurities. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.

Happy Shavuot!


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Allison”

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

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.  How can I update my profile to make me more attractive to the men I’m interested in getting to know?

-“Allison”

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Hi Allison,

You lead an exciting life and I think you convey that pretty well in your profile. You truly are an adventure-seeker, as opposed to the people who claim to be but haven’t left North America. Your photos, taken in different parts of the world, also back-up your claim as well-traveled.

I think the two places in need of the most help are your profile name and your photos. Your are an interesting woman in your late-20’s, your profile name should reflect your exciting youthfulness! Plus, you have that awesome red curly hair (girls with straight brown hair — like me — think that red curly hair is awesome!) that you can include in your name as well.

Ideas:

  • CurlyHairTraveler
  • HaveCurlsWillTravel
  • NoRedHeadedTemper
  • SeeTheWorldWithMe
  • CornersOfTheEarth

You can tack on your year of birth if something you’ve thought of is taken. Don’t use your age now, because you may still be on JDate on your next birthday and then it will become moot.

As for your photos, the second photo can be deleted as it does nothing for you (sorry!). All the others are consistent. The only full body photo you have is where you’re wearing a full-on coat, hat, scarf, and boots. Men may think you are trying to hide your body type, so try to find or take a photo of your body wearing summer clothing (now that it’s getting warmer that should be feasible).

A little spellchecking of your profile will help, but otherwise I don’t think that you’ve written anything offensive or over-sharing. In regards to your preferences in “My Ideal Match” you seem to be open to too wide of a spectrum for someone who isn’t yet 30. I suggest tightening your age range to closer to 10 years and to include your own age: 29-40. And I believe you can eliminate divorced, separated, and widowed from marital status at this point. Not to say you wouldn’t give someone a chance, but between the too wide age range and this, it looks like you’re willing to consider just about anyone.

As for what to say in your emails, check back on Wednesday for that answer!

Follow me on Instagram @HowToWooAJew


I am Verbose. Help!

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

Dear Tamar,

I am so verbose. Once I have your attention, I want to tell you everything on my mind.  I know that is wrong, but it is the fact.

Now to my profile: it is long (or long-winded?), but many folks who read my writings tell me I am a good and funny writer. Some JDaters say that longer humorous profiles do get read and get reactions. Should I try to edit it shorter or is longer okay?

-Mr. Verbose

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Dear Mr. Verbose,

Short is not always sweeter but sometimes long can just be too long. You have to find the happy medium. Take a look at the multiple choice/fill in the blank questions that run across the top of your profile and along the right hand side. If you are repeating any of that information in your paragraphs, then you can whittle down those sentences. Some information may need to be explained (divorced/widowed, children) in one sentence, but you do not need to write your autobiography or pen your memoir to answer “About Me.”

Think about the topics you would typically discuss on a first date — a lot of it is answered in your profile, right? But you don’t want to reveal too much in your profile and then begin discussing things that aren’t appropriate for a first date.

Being funny in your profile is good, like you said, getting a reaction out of prospects is generally a positive thing (when it’s laughter!). That said, you also want to be taken seriously so don’t turn every answer into a joke.


Ode to JMoms

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there. For the rest of you, the holiday just happened this past weekend, so I can’t remind you to get a gift. But, this is your cue to start planning for next year. Also, you might be wondering what mothers have to do with a dating blog. In case you forgot, this is a Jewish dating blog, so… everything! In fact, I know of two Jewish moms who actually created JDate profiles so they could shop for potential sons-in law. Seriously. Or at least to check out the local prospects and competition for their kids. (My mom is NOT one of them!) Letting your mom take the reins for a day or two: fun and potentially helpful. Giving her full control to search and send messages on your behalf? Not so much. So yeah, for better or for worse, moms have certainly earned their place in this column.

When it comes to moms and dating, my perspective is that of a single daughter with a married mom. But JDaters come from all family structures… some are single moms, some don’t have moms, and some are dating at the same time as their kids! (Does anyone know of a mother-daughter [or father-son] duo on here? So cute. I would love to feature them in a future column.) So as strange as it might sound to have your mom checking out the site to recommend pre-vetted profiles, imagine how it must feel to have your daughter (or grand-daughter!) do the same.

Would you let your mom write your profile on your behalf? On one hand, I’m sure it would be very glowing: “Little Davey is a brilliant, lovely young man with a heart of gold from a good family. He has a stable job and is confident and handsome.” On the other hand, no one knows your shortcomings quite like mama: “He is looking for a good woman to laugh at his poorly timed jokes and fold his laundry because his, on the rare occasion that he decides to wash it, is always stuffed into drawers with no order. He wasn’t raised to live like such a savage.”

When you marry someone, you marry the family. Similarly, if you’re dating someone, you might date the family too. And no matter how embarrassing or nosy or annoying your mom, your daughter, or anyone in the mishpacha might be, remember that they all want one thing in common: your happiness!


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.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Feeling Invisible”

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

Dear Tamar,

What does it take to get noticed? I am pretty secure and confident. I know I have a lot to offer – how can I convey it?

-Feeling Invisible _________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Invisible,

Your profile does convey a secure and confident woman who has a lot to offer, so job well done! That said, there are a few things I can suggest to spice it up and get noticed.

  1. First, you need a better main profile picture. I love all of the photos of you traveling and that you captioned them, but your main photo is fuzzy, and the passion and joy I see in your other photos is not coming through.
  2. You reference visiting your son abroad, perhaps address your divorce and children in one sentence by answering it under “A Brief History of My Life.” You only answer four questions, which is fine, but you are missing some pertinent biographical information about how you came to be this secure, well-rounded woman.
  3. Finally, you leave a lot of questions unanswered along the right hand side of the profile, in the “Her Details” section. It’s easy enough to answer what color eyes and hair you have, as well as custody situation, if you keep kosher, if you drink, and how active you are. You should also answer what you studied or what area you worked in prior to retiring. Otherwise you come across as having a lot to hide, which is not what I think you are trying to do.

I think you’re pretty close to a truly great profile. By adding a great profile picture I think you will be well on your way to getting noticed!


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).