Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

Everyone and No One and Anyone

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

If everyone is on JDate then how come people complain to me “there’s no one on JDate!” Or, why do they lament about being unable to find anyone on JDate!? The people who make these statements and ask these questions run the gamut, from males to females, old and young, straight and gay, short and tall, and so on.

My answer is always simple: they’re out there, you’re just not looking hard enough. Typically people fall into two categories: they either tend to have their preferences set too narrowly and therefore don’t have a large pool of prospects to choose from and get frustrated by the lack of options — or they have their preferences set way too broadly and have far too many prospects to scroll through, and then get overwhelmed until everyone’s profiles begin to blend together.

In my book, ”How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” I recommend beginning with the former and setting your preferences to your absolute “perfect” idea of a match, and then broadening your options slowly from there. That will allow you time to see who’s out there and what one year of age, or one inch, or one level of education translates to in regards to the number of prospects you find. This will help you easily determine who is new to your search results in a slow and deliberate manner.

Here’s an example from one of my female clients, “Jamie,” age 34, of her ideal match:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 34-39
  • located within 25 miles of her city
  • marital status: single
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 6’0-6’6
  • body style: athletic
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

After I tweaked Jamie’s profile, we slowly adjusted one category at a time until she had a good number of options without compromising on her preferences too much. With age and height, we adjusted one year and one inch, respectively, at a time. This is how it looks now:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 33-41
  • located within 50 miles of her city
  • marital status: single, divorced,
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 5’10-6’9
  • body style: athletic, lean, firm, muscular, average, proportional
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

Jamie went from having about 60 prospects, many of which she knew already, to having more than 200 prospects, many of which she had never seen before. Put a little elbow grease into your profile and preferences, and your prospects will increase in quality and quantity!


Be Vulnerable

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

I have some random TV show on in the background while I sit at my computer working, it’s called “UnDateable” and (so far) it’s unwatchable… but good enough for background TV. However, I glanced up a bit ago just in time to hear the words “be vulnerable,” and thought “YES!”

So many singles are NOT showing their vulnerable side, and then they wonder why they never go out on second dates. It’s okay to have a wall up, but only to a point. You have to show that you are open to love, which means being open to getting hurt. You can do this in one simple step: let the person sitting across from you (or next to you, depending upon how you’re sitting LOL) know why you want to be on this very date with him or her at this very moment.

Start there and see where it goes.


Buyer Beware: Made-Up & Over-Done

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

If you look like a completely different person when you wake-up versus when you go out (not to mention the photos in your JDate profile) then don’t be surprised when your date’s eyes bulge out of his head as he bolts for the door!

This article is an example of what I’m talking about. You need to look vaguely like your profile photos when you’re not wearing any makeup. Most men will say they prefer a woman in their natural state or closely related. If you take an hour to apply your contouring makeup to give off the impression of a thin nose, high cheekbones, and a rounded chin, then you may want to take a makeup course in how to tone it down while still feeling good about how you look.

It’s fun to get all ferputzed once in a while, just be careful if you pack on the product when you’re dating. The more you see your new flame (which would be a good thing!), the harder it will be to keep up your makeup routine 24/7.


Playing Cat & Mouse

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

There are some profiles on JDate I’ve viewed five or more times. It’s not because I’m in love with the profile, or even that it’s more remarkable than all others. It also doesn’t necessarily mean I am romantically interested in the person. I have a predicament I call “profile overexposure.”

Here’s how “profile overexposure” works: At some point, I view someone’s profile. The person views me back. Then… nothing. Sometimes I will re-click on their profile, forgetting I’d already looked a month back. I call this “playing cat and mouse.” There are so many profiles out there and so much to look at. How can anyone possibly remember the important details without having a spreadsheet or taking notes? I sometimes consider devising a system for this issue, but I then convince myself it isn’t worth my time.

My frustration with this “Cat and Mouse” phenomenon sometimes leads me to accept dates with non-Jewish men. Non-Jewish men take more interest in me than Jewish men for reasons I cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s because I don’t look “that Jewish” (according to many of my peers). Regardless, I accepted a date with a guy I’ll call “Chris.” Chris and I had a great initial interaction. No major butterflies, but we’re both engineers, and we had a lot to chat about… until he asked me what I had done earlier in my weekend. I mentioned I had been to synagogue for Friday night services. He knew I was Jewish when he accepted the date, but it appears he found me to be too Jewish. If you’ve seen my previous post on not being Jewish enough, you can imagine my delight when someone found me to be “too Jewish!”

The conversation took an odd turn when he realized I partake in Judaism, rather than just wearing it as a cultural badge of honor. He then admitted he “didn’t really like Jewish food,” and I could see him sizing me up against stereotypical Jewish “boxes.” He outwardly compared me to some of the most typical ones: nose, hair texture, and athletic ability.

People ask me why I go on so many first dates. To be truthful, it can get very tiresome. Chris said he was “nonreligious,” but when push came to shove, I sensed his discomfort and misunderstanding of Judaism. He tentatively asked, “Isn’t every child born to a Jewish woman automatically Jewish?” He was clearly not okay having a Jewish child. At that, I was ready for another round of “Cat and Mouse” on JDate.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Ray”

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

Hello Tamar,

Can you take a look at my profile and tell me what I am doing incorrectly? What should be there and what needs to be removed?

Thanks,
“Ray”

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Ray,

I’ve broken down my assessment of your JDate profile into three different sections: photos, essays and search. I believe you (and other JDaters) can strengthen your profile with just a few easy tweaks!

PHOTOS

Your photos are inconsistent, and although there are 12 of them, a few need to be deleted and the rest should be reordered. Follow my 5 F’s in this order: Face, Full Body, Fun, Family & Friends, Final Photos.

Move the 11th photo of you wearing the suit to your main profile photo. It’s a clear headshot and you’re dressed up. Homerun! The fifth full-body photo with the flowers should be your second pic. The tenth photo with the funny guy should be your third. I would also make the sixth photo by the tree your fourth pic. Lastly, make the fourth photo with sunglasses on the boat your fifth image and then get rid of the rest. If you take some new photos, try to get more close-up shots without sunglasses to show off your face!

IN MY OWN WORDS

I liked most of what you wrote until “The Things I Could Never Live Without.” This is where you need to simplify. You don’t need to say exercise AND spinning AND eating healthy AND yoga. “Living a healthy lifestyle” is enough. The same goes for the section called, “For Fun I Like To…” because you repeat yourself. You could actually delete that section entirely. Under “My Favorite Books, Movies, etc” delete all the details. Just keep the list. Also delete “My Past Relationships” because you cover the subject in “I’m Looking For” and “My Ideal Relationship” very thoroughly.

DETAILS

Being that you’re 46, your age range shouldn’t max out at 46. Up it by just a few years to 48, or even 50. I would also simplify the area under your “Ideal Match” — chances are you’re not really looking for a friend or activity partner, you probably want a relationship, or even marriage, from what your profile says, so make sure your “Details” align.

 

Overall, I think rearranging and deleting your profile pics will draw some new looks to your profile, and simplifying your essay sections will help as well. It’s clear you’re a passionate person who loves his daughter and that will attract many prospects! Good luck!


Searching Systematically

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

Dear Tamar,

What is the best, systematic way to create a profile and search successfully on JDate?

___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Systematic Searcher,

The easy answer? Buy my book, How to Woo a Jew, The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating.

The more complicated answer? Be honest about your stats (age, education level, height/weight, religious level) first and foremost. Next, choose your preferences in a mate. Start off by selecting your “perfect prospect,” and then broaden the preferences from there.

If you don’t have at least 100 prospects to check out, then your preferences are too narrow, and you need to compromise somewhere regarding what, exactly, you’re looking for. You aren’t going to find someone who encompasses everything, but you can find most things by giving in, bit by bit. Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself to make sure you aren’t being too strict in any certain area:

  1. How wide is your age range?
  2. Just because you have a PhD does it mean your mate has to as well?
  3. If someone lives within a 25 mile radius, then what’s another 25 miles?

The Uglier Side of Jewish Setups

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

The other day, my mother met a Jewish woman I’ll call “Nancy.” Nancy saw that my mother’s luggage tag had a logo from my college and introduced herself. After a brief chat, this woman realized one of her sons is around my age and is moving to the same area. My mom told me about this interaction with utter disbelief. The other woman said her handsome son needed a “back-up girlfriend” while his non-Jewish girlfriend was in Europe. I started to laugh. A back-up girlfriend?! Me?! Never. I have a backbone.

What, exactly, entitles someone to two significant others? Or rather, who has the time and energy to double dip? I classify having two girlfriends as cheating, and I thought such practices were generally frowned upon.

To be frank, I’m quite tired of people trying to sell me on their son, nephew, grandson, or cousin. My mother says, “You are a catch on your own right and deserve to find someone suitable to your own tastes.” I appreciate this because…

  1. I am not desperate
  2. I don’t feel as though having a significant other defines me, or makes me any more or less of a person.
  3. I have never been set up as a back-up girlfriend. The mere suggestion sent me over the edge.

There’s a woman at my hometown temple who is subtly hostile toward my mom the majority of the time. I’ll call her “Sally.” My mom was surprised when Sally warmly greeted her at the grocery store. Apparently, Sally is trying to marry off her sons and is worried there are no grandchildren in her future. Sally suggested that she and my mom should set their kids (both around 25) up. My mom and sister cracked up. “Of all the people I don’t want to be related to,” my mom joked.

I feel as though this set-up culture is much more prominent among my Jewish friends. To make matters more comic, both my sister and I know the boys on the other end of the setup. In my case, the feelings are mutually, “No way!” I think parents mean well, and they try to find someone who looks good on paper (or via word of mouth). Truth be told, everyone’s mom thinks their son or daughter is amazing and fabulous. However, these good-intending mothers, grandmas, aunts, and friends, don’t necessarily know what goes on among the twenty-something crowd. I want to do my own bidding, and I am lucky that my parents know that and respect me for it. I don’t always get lucky on JDates, but at least I get to pick my dates for myself!


Delayed Responses

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

You contact someone on JDate and after not hearing back for a few days, you forget about the potential match and move on… just to get an email three weeks later apologizing for the delay. Do you accept the apology and respond?

Here’s my take: Short answer — yes. Long answer — absolutely!

JDaters meet each other and want to see where a successful first or second date could lead… so they stop actively checking JDate until they know where it’s heading. Why should you eliminate a prospect for giving a relationship a chance? Or, the person allowed their JDate membership to expire and then checked their account just to see your smiling face looking at them from the screen with the message icon blinking next to it. And so they re-up their membership and contact you. Again, why should you eliminate a prospect for not knowing you contacted them? You shouldn’t.

Give everyone a chance. What do you have a lose? A couple of hours and a couple of bucks grabbing a coffee, a beer or some appetizers? Totally worth it! Reply now and let bygones by bygones.


I Was An Online Dater

by Aaron under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

One thing that will almost certainly change as I move to the Northeast in the coming month is the way I date. Though I’ve touched on it in this blog loosely, I don’t think I’ve fully explored what I’ve been doing. I’ve dated a lot in the last year, but not in the way most would normally think: I’ve done a lot of Skype dates and dated girls in other states.

The whys behind that could fill an entire blog post (and have). More important, I think, are the lessons I will have taken away from this year of untraditional (yet amazingly rewarding, especially once things move beyond Skype) dating. The big ones are as follows:

  • Controlling my physicality. The main thing you learn from dating via Skype is how great it is to just talk to a person you’re romantically interested in. The talk can get flirty, and there is definitely possibility for tension (in my case, every girl I met was from JDate or other Jewish sites, so there is no question we both like each other before getting started), but it’s just that — talk. I’ve never been one for physicality in general other than light touches on a first date (I believe in getting to know people at slower rates, but that’s just me), and with a screen between you it’s almost like the orthodox style of dating — just a chat to learn about each other and where you’re headed.
  • Texting. While texting can vary in other relationships, it helps to hold interest in a long-distance, online-created relationship. Sometimes it can be as simple as just observing something about my day and asking how the other person is, but overall I like checking in when it’s our only method of daily contact.
  • Understanding my options. When my first online relationship began, I was definitely skeptical. We’d chatted for a few months on JDate while I continued to look locally, but once we brought Skype in, it was different. Crazy as it sounds, you get to feel good about the fact that you’re sort of seeing someone and it boosts your confidence. This can be true of any relationship, but in the case of living in a small town without many Jews, and thus fewer options, this can be a great game-changer for your confidence.

In short, all of these lessons can be learned by not doing the long distance/Skype deal, and it’s certainly not an ideal situation. But for those of us in places outside New York, LA, etc., Skype dating can offer you real opportunities beyond those same few girls you always see online. I became regularly fixed on the “currently online” page, and was constantly surprised how many people were interested in someone in another place — the same way I was pleasantly surprised when a cute girl from California first messaged me last year. It definitely seems weird at first, but if you’re willing to see where it can take you, you never know what possibilities may come.


Love at First JDate: Should You Judge a “Book” by Their Text Message?

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

The step after answering a couple of messages online, and the step before actually meeting a person – in person – is texting. If you’re lucky, it’s a phone call. But that rarely happens, these days. But sometimes, I find, those first text message interactions can make or break your final decision regarding whether or not to go on a date with that person. Should it? Should you judge someone by the frequency of their text messages? Or what they are saying? Or should you remember that people act differently in person than they do when they are behind a screen?

  • Do: Communicate with the person, whether via text or phone before meeting them. This will help you get to know them a bit more, and ensure your safety! Make sure this does not drag on for weeks – you still want to have things to learn about each other in person!
  • Don’t: Go out with the person if they make you feel uncomfortable over text. If there are red flags popping up, then listen to them! Don’t ignore your gut. Ever.

Say hi to Jen Glantz: @tthingsilearned