Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

Do You Expect Respect or Demand It?

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

I was chatting with an ex-boyfriend recently, just catching up on where life has taken us since we last spoke 10 years ago, when he mentioned that our timing was bad when we had dated way back when. My recollection was way different. He was a total jerk who stomped on my heart. Forgive and forget, sure, but I don’t ever really forget.

Interestingly, I am able to take responsibility for a part of it 10 years later. Why? Because I allowed him — and other boyfriends or guys I dated — to treat me disrespectfully. What does that mean? It means I didn’t put my foot down or even run the other way when I didn’t like how they were treating me — not calling when they said they would, canceling on dates, not being totally forthright, not giving me the commitment I desired, etc., — therefore I allowed it. I can see now that many of the experiences I had could have been prevented had I demanded respect. Sure, I expected respect, but clearly not enough. It must be demanded and in this case, actions (walking away from the situation for good) speak louder than words (saying “you’re being disrespectful,” but not leaving, and therefore allowing it).

Perhaps it was an age thing; I was in my 20s. Or perhaps it’s a gender thing. Or maybe it was the type of guy I was going for and the hope that I could tame a bad boy. Likely it was a combination of all of the above. Many young women are so afraid of being dumped, or being alone, or not having the guy come running after you as you walk out the door, or we place our value in who we are dating, that we don’t say anything. We hope it was a fluke, or a one-off, or that they will grow to respect you more.

The truth is that we need to respect ourselves — men and women of all ages — more, and value our worth more, in order to understand why certain behavior is not acceptable and to walk away. Keep walking away until someone comes along who respects you, values you and believes you are worthy.


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…


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Shari”

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

Today Tamar is giving a few profile tips for JDater Shari:

Hi Shari,

I really love everything you wrote in your profile. It flows well, you didn’t over-share, there were no typos, and it read as a very complete profile in a very attractive way. Bravo to you!

Your pictures are another story. You don’t need 12 photos and it is really easy for me to eliminate and reorder, but I want to teach you why. I’ve made a few notes for each of your photos in the following list; the number in parenthesis is how I would order them.

1. MAIN PROFILE PHOTO
Between 2 people, in red blouse, nice photo! (2)

2. Super close-up, TOO close-up! DELETE

3. Headshot, red top, great makeup! MAKE PROFILE PHOTO! (1)

4. On a boat, in sweats and sunglasses, not necessary — DELETE

5. Selfie in full length mirror — DELETE, no selfies!

6. In a tank top, cuddling a doggie, super cute! (3)

7. Selfie in bathroom mirror — DELETE, no selfies!

8. With your cousin, cute — COULD KEEP OR DELETE (6)

9. Black dress with bridge behind — COULD KEEP OR DELETE (5)

10. Green top with unidentified person — COULD KEEP OR DELETE, BUT YOU NEED A CAPTION (7)

11. Black outfit on TV show set, cool pic! (4)

12. Repeat of #1 — DELETE

I don’t know if 8, 9, OR 10 are keepers because your hair looks different than the first few pics. It’s also different in 11, but it’s not a close-up so it’s not as obvious. If your hair is super curly but you wear it straight sometimes, then you may want to caption photo 9 (which is becoming #5) and say “I’ve actually got super cute ringlets and love the versatility of wearing my hair au natural or straight.” Jewish girls get ribbed a lot for their stereotypical curly hair so it’s cute to just be open about the fact that your hair is not always going to be straight and own it!

To learn more about choosing the right photos for your JDate profile, check out www.HowToWooAJew.com.


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Jane”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating

Today Tamar is giving a few profile tips for JDater Jane:

Hi Jane,

You’ve got a full profile so we’ve got a lot to get to. Let’s start from the top. Not in love with your username, but I’m assuming it’s your Hebrew name so it’s a unique take. You have so many interests that I think you could switch up and even use a variation of your email address “SeeJaneBake.”

You have 10 photos, which is okay, but unnecessary. #10 (your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah) is the best! Make it your profile photo. Keep the original #1 in the second slot, make the dog pic the third photo, and the black and white photo your fourth. Finally, put the Halloween hat as fifth and eliminate the rest. If you can take or find a photo that shows your body style then add it as sixth pic. The others are out of focus, or simply not as flattering.

Beginning with your “About Me” — you started off well, but ended on a less than positive note. Your first paragraph is okay, but I suggest deleting the second paragraph. I understand that dating is frustrating and that not receiving a response to an email is irritating, but your JDate profile is not the place to vent or lecture. Instead, I’d move part of your paragraph from “A Brief History of My Life” to this section, but toned down somewhat. “Call me Calamity Jane… I’ve experienced more tragedy than most people do in a lifetime, but I’m still standing. I’m a survivor and I’m proud. What does not kill you makes you stronger and I’ve also managed to keep a smile on my face along with a positive attitude through it all.”

I like your attitude about your divorce and about your past. Your age range is decent — 50-65 is good for a 58-year-old. Perhaps pushing it up three years would be beneficial — 53-68. I believe reordering your photos, spicing up your profile name, and editing your paragraphs to be simpler and more positive will translate into more contact by great prospects!

To learn more about revamping your profile visit www.HowToWooAJew.com.


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
CRTV-1722-300x250

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!

____________________________________________________________________________________

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.


Reader Email: Response Required!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Success Stories

Reader email regarding March’s post “Help Me Write Emails Please!”

Tamar:

Your advice is good. However, no matter how uninspiring the email, courtesy and regard for another’s feelings REQUIRE a response. Just because this is the anonymity of the internet does not excuse rude behavior. When someone writes, they are paying you a compliment. They are saying, “I think you are attractive.” If someone said that to you at a social gathering, you would not ignore them. Don’t do it on the internet. A simple, “Thank you, but no, thank you…” (not, of course in those words), would suffice. This goes for both men and women.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Reader:

I totally agree. If you receive an email from a prospect you’re not interested in, it is good karma to reply and thank them for their interest but let them know you don’t think it would be a match, and then wish them luck. Do not give a reason why it won’t be a match, this is not the time to hurt someone’s feelings.

It’s definitely an awkward email to write but it is one that is worthwhile. If you were the one sending the initial email, then you would be appreciative of a response — even if it is a rejection because otherwise you will be left wondering, checking to see if they’ve logged on recently and if they’ve read the email yet, and why they aren’t responding. And when you receive those emails, don’t get mad or take it personally because that’s not the response you would want the other party to have when you send your “rejection” emails.

You might be making a mistake by rejecting a prospect, and a prospect might be making a mistake by rejecting you, but that’s just one of the unfortunate parts of the dating game. It’s actually easier to accept it, move on, and put your efforts into pursuing or being pursued by someone with mutual interest.


Grammarian Greetings

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

Does grammar matter in your online dating profile? YES! I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I keep encountering profiles that would make any decent English teacher squirm. Poor grammar, misspellings, and general linguistic mangling are infiltrating both written profiles and verbal speech. I’m somewhat of a grammar nerd, but I know that poorly-written prose is a huge turn-off to more people than just me. In fact, a quick Google search yields dozens of articles on the topic, some of which quantify the decreased rates of response received by poorly-written profiles. And I’m not talking about a misplaced modifier or a preposition at the end of a sentence (although some of us may consider such egregiousness unforgivable)! I’m referring to those profiles that look like they were written by an overzealous 12-year-old girl who is texting her BFF!!! Or even worse, those that somehow managed to evade spell check and all junior high language classes. Is your profile in less-than-pristine condition? Don’t despair. Ask Tamar for content help, and contact me for editorial assistance – I will happily proofread your profile! Here’s a brief primer to remind you of some common grammatical or usage problems.

1. Capitalization

PLEASE DON’T YELL! Typing in all capital letters looks aggressive and angry. Don’t do it unless you’re making some kind of point. Similarly, don’t use all lowercase letters. Remember to capitalize the first letter of new sentences as well as names and places.

2. Sentence Structure

Have you ever come across a profile that says something like, “I like to travel. I like dogs. I also like pizza. I have a big family.” Never mind that this profile is generic – but it would come alive with some varied sentence structures, like “Having grown up with 5 siblings,…” or “New York is my favorite place to visit…” or “Pizza drives my daily ambition to finish work by noon…” etc.

3. Abbrevs

Using abbreviations in place of actual words looks either lazy or like you’re trying to be cool. Or maybe cool’s not the right word here. But neither situation is ideal. No need for AIM speak (hey, wut r u up to? Do u like me?) or your generational equivalent of popular social communication forms (telegram? Snapchat?).  Similarly, don’t assume everyone knows the same acronyms. When it doubt, write it out!

1299205298160_9526334

4. Punctuation

This is a big one. If you aren’t sure of a punctuation mark’s correct usage, avoid it. In other words, don’t randomly add semicolons to look smart or throw in quotation marks unnecessarily (My name is “Caryn.”) For some reason, people like quotes, but if used improperly, the text looks suspicious, like, my name might be Caryn.

 

 

5. Spelling

Most browsers have a built-in spell check, meaning that typos are clearly denoted by a squiggly red line. So no excuse here. I realize spell check doesn’t always catch errors like your vs. you’re, but human eyes do, so proofread! Or send to me or a friend to review.

Is writing not your strong suit? Or maybe English isn’t your first language? Not to worry – you can still craft an eloquent, enticing, error-free profile. Elicit the help of a friend or even read the text out loud to yourself to check for typos. People online don’t know you, so to the internet world, a sloppy profile = a sloppy person. Luckily, it’s time for spring cleaning, so no more sloppiness!


Why Are You Still Single?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Single Life

How many times were you asked “Why are you still single?” by your friends and relatives during your Passover Seder? Was your head about to explode? And it’s not like anyone is going to answer anything other than: “Because I haven’t met the right person yet.” How awesome would it be to reply with the truth?

  • Because the last 3 guys I went out with were assholes
  • Because my date yesterday clearly posted a picture from 10 years ago
  • Because I have unrealistic expectations of what a partner is… and no one will ever be able to meet them
  • Because I think I’m a 10 (when really I’m a 7), and I won’t settle for anyone who is less than a 9

Or you can refer to this snarky — yet slightly true — article about why you’re still single using the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Are you an extrovert or introvert? A thinker or a feeler? Figure out if you’re an ESTJ or an INTP to see why you may still be single. Then think about if it applies to you and, since you probably don’t like what it has to say, think about what you can do to make some adjustments so that at next year’s Seder you either have a date with you… or at the very least have an equally obnoxious comeback prepared!