Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

Meet Caryn: JDate’s Newest Blogger

by Caryn Alper under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

Greetings from the Midwest! I’m Caryn, and I’m here to show you that the good, the bad, and the strange of JDating occurs everywhere, including here in St. Louis, known to many of you as flyover country.  I’m absolutely delighted to be reporting to you live from behind my computer, and I look forward to sharing with you some insights, stories, observations, and advice that stems from my (uh… I mean my friend’s) experience with JDate.  While I’m not a professional dating coach, I’ve learned a thing or two about dating and relationships over the years, and my natural tendency to overanalyze, coupled with my love for writing, has translated into this awesome blogging gig.

Caryn

Meet Caryn!

Because this is my first post, I thought I’d start with a brief introduction of who I am and my brand of writing.  Professionally, I work at a large private university (hint: it’s NOT in D.C.) coordinating research in the psychiatry department. People tend to think this means I wear a lab coat and perform lobotomies or something, but really, it’s a desk job where I can use my background in psychology and counseling. On the home front, I am a proud daughter and big sister, and I’m super close with my family. Judaism is also quite important to me, as is perpetuating future generations of Jews, which is one reason why I’m so excited to help people find success on JDate.

In terms of my preferred dating blog topics, I’d say anything goes. In my little corner of the Internet, you might find assorted observations, true stories, advice, lists and charts, and posed questions, likely with a psychological spin and served with a little satire. You hopefully won’t find clichés, misplaced modifiers, the real names of people involved in embarrassing stories, or signed confessions. This content is subject to change, though, as I’d like to see this blog become an interactive discussion with readers.

Brief disclaimer: I know not everyone in the audience is a single 31-year-old girl, so I’ll try my best to generalize my posts to fit a larger audience. However, because I don’t know what it’s like to date as a 56-year-old divorced man, or 44-year-old single mom, I welcome and value your input! Please add to the discussion by commenting below or sending me a direct message.

Finally, I can’t guarantee that everyone reading my blog will go on three JDates this month, will become exclusive with one of them in a couple months, and will be engaged within a year. But, it’s my hope that you might learn something new, consider something in a different way, or if nothing else, be mildly entertained.


Dating Deadlines

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

Since coining the phrase “poly-dating,” I have been asked the following question: isn’t that cheating? No. No, it is not. Until you are in a committed, monogamous relationship (whether you had ‘The Talk’ or you just know you both want to be pursue a future together), you do not need to explain yourself to anyone. You can date anyone you want. But, as soon as things start getting serious with one person, then you must break it off with the others. If you’re planning on having sex with one of your prospects then you need to break things off with the others beforehand, out of respect for all parties involved.

Once your new relationship is secure you can mention that there were others you were dating until they made you realize that no one else could measure up (may as well spread it on thick if you’re going to go there), but don’t volunteer the information if no one asks because it really doesn’t matter what you did before things got serious.

And, in general, there is no reason to continue having a friendship with any of the rejected prospects. You were dating to see if there was a future together; there wasn’t, and that relationship is now over. Your new significant other will not appreciate you having a friendship with someone you were dating at the same time.


From Dates to “Dating”

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

One of the more interesting things I’ve learned from people is that the words “date” and “dating” can mean drastically different things to different people. I’ve heard “dates” refer to a range of activities from meeting for coffee to spending the night. Of course, two people can go out for coffee with only one of them thinking it’s a “date” and the other thinking it’s something more casual.

“Dating” is a little bit clearer, but not by much. When people say they’re “dating,” there’s usually some form of implied commitment, but this too can vary from having some vague intention of exploring a possible relationship to focusing on one person exclusively.

What is certain is that at some undefined point or process, the relationship advances from going out on “dates” to “dating.” What is far less certain is exactly how this happens. The most common explanation I’ve heard from my friends is something along the lines of “it just happens.”

This is something with which I’ve struggled personally and most of the “advice” (often unsolicited) has been thoroughly unhelpful. Resorting to my “moving target” analogy that every situation is different may be accurate, but just as unhelpful as anything else.

So, not having any answers, I’m going to turn this one over to you. Just how do you get from “dates” to “dating?”

And no, “practice” does not count as an answer.


Out With the Old, In With the New

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

As we welcome 2015 let’s leave the crummy parts of 2014 behind and look forward with great excitement for everything that is to come in the New Year!

  • Instead of continuing to hold on to grudges of those who rejected or dumped you, realize they were not meant for you and that you deserve better, and will soon find it.
  • Instead of being depressed about being single another year, realize that you are waiting for the person who will make you see the world differently, in a great way!
  • Instead of mourning the loss of people who you loved, take the best traits of those people and try to be more like them in their memory.

While you’re at it, clean out your closet and your Facebook friends list, and then revamp your JDate profile with some of the advice I’ve given you. Happy New Year (and hopefully New Love!)


From Texting to Reality

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

An interesting new show called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce aired an episode recently about the main character and a man she was crushing on who were flirting via text for a long time. When they finally went out on a date there was conversation, but the chemistry was not there. He spoke when she wanted him to stop (during sex) and she spoke when he needed quiet (immediately after waking up), plus their kissing didn’t align and the sex was bad.

Therein lies the reason I say NOT to text before dating. You don’t know enough about each other and you put pressure on the first date to be as great in person as it is via SMS. You are setting unrealistic expectations. People can be very witty when they have time to compose a response. People can be very flirty from behind a keyboard when no one can see them blushing.

My advice has always been and continues to be: once you meet (on JDate, in person, or some other way), make plans and go on your first date as soon as possible. Keep the momentum going without the use of text messaging — except to possibly say that you are looking forward to that evening, or that you are running two minutes behind.


Comparison Shopping

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

A friend was recently lamenting a double standard in dating where men genearlly have a greater selection of women than women do for men. One example is age range. Men are considered more “eligible” well into their fifties, whereas women have to contend with a biological clock. For whatever the reasons, men on the whole seem to have more options than women… and with more options comes greater selectivity.

I’m not interested in which gender has it easier – at the end of the day everyone’s experience is what’s important – but in what it means to be “selective.” Last week we spoke about checklists that people make before meeting, but what about the calculations we make after we meet people?

Options

Do you comparison shop?

I think there are two attitudes which are most common. The first is the “comparison shopping” model where people are evaluated against other people. This is particularly common in “scene” communities where new potential dates pop up every week, such that every person can be compared to everyone else. To some degree, there’s something natural in this approach, but the problem is obvious. For example, even if you find someone who is 85% of everything you’re looking for, you’ll always be able to find someone who is smarter, fitter, richer, or whatever-er, which makes it pretty tough to appreciate people for who they are. Essentially, people reject others under the assumption that someone “better” is just around the corner. This is, of course, specious reasoning since nothing is guarenteed, let alone the affections of unknown suitors.

Unless you’re in a complicated love triangle the real “choice” isn’t between one person or another, but rather between a relationship with this person or no relationship. According to this approach, the comparison is not selecting one person over another, but in comparing how one feels with or without a given person. Even if it’s possible that the person you’re seeing now is the last best chance you’ll have for a relationship, that doesn’t mean the relationship is healthy for you or that it will ultimately lead you to the happy life you deserve.

Of course, no one can ever know for certain how their decisions will pan out down the road. All we can do is make the best decisions we can with whatever information we have in the present. Even if we don’t know if anyone else awaits us, we hopefully know how to properly value ourselves.


Make a List, But Check it Twice

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Ah, the checklist. That necessary evil of dating where you’re forced to reduce the totality of the human experience into artificial and contrived parameters. Anyone who has ever been asked, “so what are you looking for?” has had to have their list memorized to deliver an elevator-pitch like succinct response. Dating sites like JDate force you to literally check off boxes to describe yourself and search for others. Naturally, people resist being placed into such boxes to the point where saying you “don’t fit in a box” is such a cliché that JDate could probably add that option to their profiles.

CRTV-1337-thumb-RJYThe trouble of course is that while websites, singles, and even shadchanim recognize both the utility and limitations of checklists, few people consider what these checklists really mean. Take the popular example of a checklist gone wrong is the “white tablecloth” requirement, where potential mates are rejected based on the content of their linen closet. I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the absurdity correlating tablecloths with maintaining a successful relationship, and instead suggest that the tablecloth symbolizes a personally important religious aesthetic. Anyone who could appreciate someone saying that Hannukah just isn’t Hannukah without Bubbe’s Famous Latkes can understand the value of religious sentimentality.

Remember what I wrote a few weeks ago about dating and hope I think what applies there also applies to checklists. Every item represents a possibility, or based on one’s experience, probability. A PhD usually indicates a person is reasonably intelligent or values knowledge, which yeshivot one attended can be indicative of religious upbringing, etc. It doesn’t matter if any of these sorts of assumptions are true, or if they’re relevant to the essence of the person in the present. What matters isn’t even what people think about the checkboxes, but how they imagine what the relationship would be.

Unless you automatically accept every single dating possibility which comes your way, you’re going to have some standards about the people you date. And if you’re in any way serious about having a relationship, you’re going to want to maximize the potential of the date being “good” however you want to define it. Checklists aren’t about separating the naughty from the nice (it might be, but since this is a Jewish dating website, we’re keeping things clean), but playing the odds to have the best chance of having a decent date.

The question is less about the checklists, but how much of them are dogmatic deal breakers. If you happened to hit it off with someone who didn’t have the right box checked, would you call it off or would you give it a shot? Obviously this is up to you, but every now and again, it’s worth checking in on our checklists.


Flirtation Confusion

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

My friend Brian is a friendly and outgoing guy, and as such, he often gets accused of flirting when he’s just being nice. The problem here is that he’s in a committed relationship, so things can get confusing when the women believe he is flirting with them and leading them on.

On JDate it’s clear when someone is interested because they will contact you, but in person, it can be less obvious. Someone who is chatting with you, asking questions about you, making you laugh, making eye contact, and smiling at you does not necessarily mean they are flirting with you.

So how can you tell when it’s more?

There will likely be some physical aspect when there’s romantic interest, such as touching your arm. There will also be questions about your relationship status, which you should reciprocate. Finally, the conversation will lead in the direction of a future — going on a date or at least exchanging numbers.

Not every conversation between two singles has to have romantic intent. Sometimes you’re just going to meet a nice person. Continue to be friendly and approachable and open regardless of who is standing across from you.


Attention Grabber

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

With all the holiday parties coming up, what should you do to stand out — and what tactics should you not employ?

The best way to attract others is to be happy, to enjoy yourself, and to laugh. Dress to impress — look good, feel good. Show your confidence and exert yourself. But don’t go overboard trying to get attention.

A woman I saw last night, who was being loud, had clearly been drinking too much, and was dressed provocatively, showing way too much skin. Unfortunately, she was only attracting the type of guys who were looking for a hookup. Her tamer girlfriends, meanwhile, were on the edge of the scene and enjoying the company of some great guys.

On the same note, a guy I noticed last night who was commanding the room with his lewd jokes, cussing a lot, and flirting with girls he clearly wasn’t interested in as a joke, was turning off all the women in the room. Even his guy friends were slowly putting distance between themselves because they wanted to meet quality women, and those women were not drawn to their friend’s spotlight.

Be respectful of yourself and others. Be positive, put out positive energy, and you will attract positive people — both friends and more.


Who’s Off Limits?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

Jewish Geography can become an issue when you’re single and seemingly connected to nearly every other single Jew that you know in some way — either you hooked up with their friend, or your friend dated them seriously, or your cousin broke their friend’s heart — and suddenly you feel like there’s no one left to date! But really, very few single Jews are truly “off-limits,” and even then, someone can usually become fair game with a simple conversation.

Ex-spouses of your friends are off-limits… unless it’s been years and they’re now friendly and your friend, in fact, set you two up. If it’s an acquaintance’s ex-spouse then it’s perhaps a good idea to run the idea past your acquaintance before pursuing a relationship. For example: my fiance and I were set-up by a mutual friend who is also good friends with his ex-wife. Our shadchan asked the ex-wife’s permission before making the shidduch.

If one of your friends has never recovered from getting dumped by someone, then that person is probably off-limits. If one of your friends contracted an STD from someone, then that person is, well, need I say more? But if your friend simply casually dated the person, then a simple phone call asking for your friend’s blessing should suffice. And if there was no drama and yet your friend won’t give you permission, then perhaps you need to take a deeper look at both the prospect as well as the friendship.