Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

The Great Profile Debate: Specific vs. Vague

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following mock dating profiles is more effective?

CRTV-1575-300x250-nerd

Man seeking sexy Klingon woman!

Profile #1:

nuqneH!* I’m a tall, skinny guy of excellent taste looking for milady. I’m a Star Trek and comic book enthusiast, with special interest in limited-edition copies featuring superheroes that match my sheets. I also boast a large belt-buckle collection. Fun fact: I have a potentially fatal peanut allergy! My professional passion is aerospace engineering, and I love studying the electromagnetic spectrum to perfect the development of atmospheric satellites. In my spare time, I enjoy shopping for turtlenecks, playing World of Warcraft with friends, and building articulated robots.

 

CRTV-1575-300x250-synch

“I’m into music and stuff…”

Profile #2:

I’m a single guy looking for my best friend and partner in crime. I like to go out, but also stay in. I like all kinds of music. I also enjoy sports, hitting the gym, and eating out. When I am not busy with my career, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

 

 

Correct answer: NEITHER!  (Extra credit: can you name the fictional character described in profile #1?)**

But do you know why these are both unappealing profiles? Well, technically, there are several reasons, but today I will focus on specificity of interests.

Let’s start with Profile #1. This individual shows personality, which is terrific. But his interests are very specific to the point of possibly alienating many potential ladies. I’m not at all saying that he shouldn’t include those interests because girls don’t like robotics or comic books – many do! I’m saying that instead of talking about belt buckles and superhero comic books, for example, he could instead mention that he likes to build both robots, and some unusual collections.  This wording leaves a little bit of mystery, provides the reader with a little bait, and doesn’t necessarily disinterest readers with eccentricity. Similarly, instead of saying that you like to knit sweaters for your cat while watching Kosher Soul on Lifetime, consider saying instead that you enjoy crafting and following pop culture. Oh – and please don’t discuss allergies or medical issues in your profile. You may be thinking – hey, anyone who doesn’t like my interests or judges me based on them isn’t my bashert anyway. Valid point, intelligent reader.  However, if you are struggling to generate interest online or would like to increase your message response rate, you may find it a better strategy to keep your interests open enough to capture a wider net of profile visitors (while still keeping some individuality)!

I probably don’t have to explain the problems with profile #2. But, just in case, I’ll spell it out: b.o.r.i.n.g. Converse to profile #1, profile #2 could probably describe a very high percentage of the JDate population. (Seriously, why does everyone like to go out and stay in?) Be original. Just don’t be excessively original to the point where you might turn off potential suitors.

*According to my Google research, this means Hello in Klingon.  If you don’t know what Klingon is, ask your nearest nerd.

** Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory… sorry, ladies, but both the TV character and the actor who plays him are both married!


Pretty vs. Nice or Pretty and Nice

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Illinois Lady claiming to not be photogenic got me thinking about judging a book by its cover. Should her prospects not contact her because she only has one photo that is nice, but not stunning? Or should they contact her because her profile is pretty great? Does one element outweigh the other? Do you need both? Do you chance that the person who has a great profile could possibly be like “Illinois Lady”  — i.e. not photogenic, but someone who impresses you once you actually meet in person? And then perhaps once you meet, you will be so impressed that you are even more into them because your attraction is based on more than purely physical or sexual factors? What do you guys think?


Date in Reality, Not in Your Mind

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

I’ve been thinking about last week’s post, and today I’d like to piggyback on that same concept – specifically on the detriments of texting. Texting and emailing a new person (whom we haven’t met in person yet) is like inflating an imaginary balloon (stay with me here). But, instead of blowing in oxygen or helium, we tend to inflate it with all of our hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean: Let’s say you’ve been exchanging a few witty emails with a cute guy online and he asks for your number. Your conversation moves to text, and the banter continues. You’re feeling good about him, and you get excited and smile when you hear the beep of a new message. You know a lot about him – he’s cute in his picture, he has a good job, he uses grammar correctly and emoticons appropriately. You might even be able to tell that he’s smart, kind, and funny – after all, you two say that you like the same things, and his texts always make you laugh.  You start to wonder what your first date might be like – you’re sure he would pick you up and be such a gentleman while whisking you off to this really cool little Italian place you’ve never seen before. And you just know your family would love him. You both have younger brothers, and they would totally be friends, and oh, I wonder how many kids he wants? He would be the best dad… Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a nice, Jewish… pen pal. That’s it. You actually don’t know anything substantial about this guy with whom you are planning a life. So what happens when the day finally arrives when dream boy asks you out on a date (or wants to meet up, or whatever)? You’re ecstatic and can’t wait to have the last first date ever!  However…

The Italian restaurant in your dreams becomes a skate park in reality, his gentlemanly ways become surprisingly bro-ish, and he’s kind of impatient with other people, which you hate.  He plays with his phone while you’re talking and pops gum like a teenager. And poof – that balloon I was talking about just popped, sprinkling all your hopes over some dirty skateboard. He was supposed to be your prince in shining armor! What happened?

Unfortunately, this guy did nothing wrong (other than wait too long to take you out)!  The problem, I’m sorry to say – is you – or more specifically, your expectations.  Imagination is a good thing, but when you start to imagine certain scenarios, it’s really easy to get carried away and expect them to occur, especially when you get positive feedback from the object of your desires.  If you’re really hopeful that a relationship will bloom with someone, you’re more likely to make positive attributions to otherwise neutral occurrences.  So your mind turns “I like kids” into “I want to have kids with you!”

So what does all this have to do with texting? Well, the longer you text back and forth, the more opportunity your mind has to project good things onto a person you don’t really know.  Moral of the story: stop texting and meet already!  That, or totally manage your expectations. But, I think it’s easier and more fun to just go on a date and form a realistic opinion of someone without the use of emoticons.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Illinois Lady”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

I just joined JDate in January and I am getting mixed responses, mostly from older men that are unattractive or weird. Can you take a look at my profile and photo to tell me if something is not working? Everyone tells me that I look much prettier in person, so photos are always a dilemma for me. Please advise. I would also like to spice up my profile name as well!

-Illinois Lady

_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Illinois Lady,

Your profile is well-written and complete, but perhaps too polished. You clearly know who you are, which is awesome! I would simplify your profile because men may wonder how they can fit into someone’s life who clearly has it all together (whether you do or not, it seems that way). Confidence is sexy, and I’m not telling you to appear less so, just to not sound so sure of everything.

There is a bit of repetition, and as I advise in my book “How to Woo a Jew” there is no need to answer every question if it means repeating the same answer over and over. You mention the Chicago Botanical Gardens a few times — as well as being outdoors, feeling free to contact you, and traveling. I understand that these things are important to you, but it’s redundant, and when people are skimming through a profile things like that can be a turn-off.

As you know, you need more photos. It’s tough when you’re better looking in person, but it’s worse when you’re not as good looking as your photos! So snap away and get some photo-ops in and upload a few photos that your trusted confidants agree looks the most like you.

As for your profile name, right now you have your name and what I assume is your birthday. It’s not a bad profile name, but you could do better. There is mixed thought on using your actual name as your profile name — on one hand, it gives off a sense of familiarity, but on the other hand it may not be the smartest in the sense of security. Make a list of adjectives and nouns that describe you: what you look like, what you do, your hobbies, where you live, and so on, and then try to combine two of the words into a catchy profile name. Try not to use your age, since you will eventually have a birthday and then your profile name will be moot.

I think you’re very close to having a really great profile! Once you have revamped your profile, go through your search results and view the guys you match with so they know you’ve viewed them and are possibly interested in seeing if there’s more.


Dear Tamar: Help Me Write Emails Please!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Tamar,

I read all the tips on how to send that first email to ladies. I also emailed more than a dozen ladies on JDate and not one of them responded. I think the fact that I am shy and inexperienced may have something to do with it, but I’m not sure. Here is the email that I sent to the ladies on JDate:

JDate.com probably thinks our profiles matched so I’m sending you this email. It is cool. If you are interested in continuing this research, please write me back when you have a chance.
Best Wishes,
xxx

Do you have any advice for me as to how I can change this email? Or maybe something I can put in this email so that when I email the ladies on the website they will respond to me? Please let me know. Have a good day and I look forward to speaking/hearing from you soon.

Best Wishes,
xxx

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Inexperienced Emailer:

You weren’t kidding when you said you were inexperienced! Your email is awkward, stiff, and, well, awkward. Emails to prospective dates should not be so formal, or appear to be copy/pasted, or appear to be written by Google translate for that matter.

Since you are writing to a prospect on JDate they know that something attracted you to them — so what was it aside from being told you’re a match? You shouldn’t be writing every single prospect an email, only the ones who fit the majority of your preferences and whom you’re attracted to. That said, you should write what it is that you’re attracted to that made the prospect worthy of your time and effort to write the email.

End the short email with a question that addresses something in their profile and shows that you want to get to know them better. You need to prove that you actually looked at their profile by writing both with a compliment and a question, being conversational and casual, and adding in a somewhat flirt tone as well.

Good luck!


How to Woo a Jew

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

My book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” is a step-by-step guide to JDate, including how to know if and when you’re ready for dating, how to figure out what your type is, how to use your Jew-dar, and so on. Yet, whenever I meet people on my book tour or get interviewed by the media, all they want to know is THE answer to how to actually do the Jew-wooing?

Well, there is no one answer. Every person and every prospect is different. Overall, I always suggest that people “be themselves” which sounds cliché, but is true. People typically are on their best behavior when dating, they are putting their best foot forward and are being the best version of themselves. But, why stop doing that… ever? And especially once you’re in a relationship? Don’t.

Use the opportunity to continue being the best you. Why would you revert to being the mediocre you?  Let the dating process help you evolve as a human being and as you continue being the best you, you will attract the Jews you want to woo. See how that works!?


Annoying Texters: Social Epidemic?

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

Hey, wut up!! ;)

Have you ever been annoyed, frustrated, or confused by a text message? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We are in the midst of a texting epidemic that is particularly puzzling and detrimental to new daters! I’m not blaming the concept of texting – it can be very useful in certain situations and definitely has its time and place (ever tried to locate a friend at a loud bar or concert?). However, it can also produce misconstrued, mysterious messages that cause way more anxiety and analysis than necessary.  I’ll talk more about the problems with texting in a later article, but for now, I present to you a field guide to identify some of the more common types of offenders.  Are you dating or pursuing one?

  1. The Narrators
  • Common texts: “Hey, good morning! How are you? I am feeding my cat. lol” “How was your Tuesday? Work was really busy today b/c I had 2 meetings and met a friend for lunch.” “I am watching house of cards. This show is so awesome.”
  • Also may send pictures of food or pets with no explanation.

In the beginning (and middle) of dating or a relationship, Narrators can get annoying. Unless you both agree you enjoy this constant monologue, most people are too busy to keep up with this stream of consciousness, and even more people are turned off by the lack of intrigue. If you are narrating in an effort to ask someone on a date, forget the chit chat and ask her out!

  1. The Non-Responders
  • Common texts: “ya” or “k” in response to something said an hour ago.

Be wary of non-responders, who are the opposite of narrators. If you are a non-responder, take note that you may come across as indifferent or disinterested, which may or may not be your intention. If you are trying to communicate with a non-responder, stop sending messages and see what happens. If all communication stops, move on.  Yeah, some people are too busy to respond, but non-responders are notoriously just not that in to you.

  1. The Sporadics
  • Common texts: “hey, what are you doing now?”… 3 weeks later… “how r u?”

Sporadics are tolerable under few circumstances. If this behavior doesn’t bother you, then respond as you please. But, know that people who send these kinds of messages are most likely either uninterested in a serious relationship with you, or are keeping you on back burner while they try to date their higher priorities. My suggestion: ignore.

  1. The Pointless Chatters
  • Common texts: “hey, how’s your day?” “how’s it going?” “what are you up to this week?”

I know this is really common banter early on, sometimes even before the first date. If this is an attempt to ask someone out, however, forego the small talk and ask her out! If this is an attempt to flirt, try something actually flirtatious. If this is you being bored or lonely, text a friend, vacuum your house, or organize your sock drawer.

When IS texting appropriate and welcome? To let someone know you are running late or on the way. To tell someone you are thinking about him or looking forward to a date. To send a quick reminder or funny note. But not to say “hey” 11 times a day. And not to engage in real conversations. That’s what tweets are for! Jk jk, lol :p


Did You Get Asked Out This Morning for This Weekend?

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

Did you receive an email, text, or (hopefully) a phone call today asking you out on a date this weekend? Kinda last minute, right? I mean, even if you are available, should you admit it and accept the offer? Does that make you seem too eager? Or, are you matching the momentum?

Well, it depends…

If you only met on JDate earlier this week and you’ve been exchanging emails and you’re making plans, then keep the momentum going and accept the date. After all, you both are free, so why not make plans with each other?

If you have been chatting here and there over the course of more than a few weeks, making and canceling plans, texting sporadically, and basically being as non-committal as possible, then perhaps pass on this one. You can counter with an offer to get together the following weekend to see if they are serious about going on a date or not, otherwise it sounds like they ran into Friday without plans for the weekend and are looking to fill it.

And lastly, if you don’t see this prospect with a serious potential future, but there’s attraction and you have nothing else to do, then say yes and enjoy yourself. However, be aware of two things: 1) be open to actually liking this person because it could happen, and 2) make sure you don’t hurt their feelings if they like you and were hoping for more.

 


To Be or Not To Be… a Date?

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

Is a date by any other name still a date? That which we call a date by any other name would still be as ambiguous.  Ok, it’s obvious I’m no Shakespeare, but I’m a JDater who has lately been wondering: Is this to be or not to be a date? That is the question! In the past couple months, either my friends or I have experienced the following scenarios:

  • Guy asks girl out to dinner. Picks up girl. Talks about what a gentleman he is. Asks to split check.
  • Guy asks girl to an event. Asks her to meet him there because he invited other friends along.
  • Guy makes plans to meet up with girl. Gets too drunk to leave the house and meet her; she is stood up.
  • Guy meets girl at event. They separate from group to get food. He pays.

Which of these is a date? All? Some? None? A (very) informal poll yielded some expected results:  Most people think that a date involves someone asking another person to do something particular at a specific time. The meeting should involve two people who show up with a smile and some conversational skills.  More generally-agreed-upon identifiers of a date:  The daters actually show up, they don’t bring extraneous people, props, or animals (unless there is a specific pet-centered activity involved), they aren’t obviously perusing JDate during said activity, and they aren’t donning sweats. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who need these clarifications!

Slightly more controversial characteristics are transportation and the bill. The more progressive among us may say that a date is still a date if two parties meet and split the bill. But a more traditional gal might interpret this situation as an unromantic business dealing. All this ambiguity leads to conclusion jumping, frustration, and general exasperation!  And what happened to the art of an actual date? After all, this is JDate, not JHang or JLaze.

To solve this pressing issue in the dating community, I’m calling for an international charter of defining the date.  Let’s just all decide to assume something is a date if two, and only two people, agree to go somewhere together under the presumption of romantic interest, and the guy at least offers to drive and pay.  Ladies, it’s up to you to accept these offers. This is a very open definition, but under this interpretation, more of us will have a date this weekend, so I’m just trying to help the cause!

Examples of date invitations under the international charter:

  • “Would you like to come hear my friend’s band play next week?”
  • “Do you want to grab dinner?”
  • “Do you want to walk your dog with me?”

Probably not a date:

  • “Can you babysit my little brother?”
  • “We should meet up sometime…”
  • “Would you please stay late at work to finish that report?”

I like to establish guidelines and definitions to make sense of an otherwise chaotic situation. Oh, and my personal definition swings more toward the traditional end of the spectrum, so you can pick me up for dinner at 8. :) But, your mileage may vary… This above all: to thine own self be true.


First Impressions: Fixing a Bad One

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

When you’re actively dating you know that first impressions are incredibly important. I’ve mentioned body language — and when it comes to first impressions that means greeting your date with a big, genuine smile with your head held high and your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side or clasped in front of you. Introducing yourself without the positive body language listed above is basically starting a date in a negative manner; which will only force you to work a bit harder to fix things.

The best way to fix this initial snafu is to be honest and say, “Sorry, I’m nervous, but I’m really happy to meet you and look forward to drinks/dinner/etc. together.” Honesty about having anticipation about the date is endearing.

If it’s your words that may have turned off your date, then apply the same solution: excuse your behavior by explaining it away. If you had a bad day at work before the date, or if there’s drama with a good friend, or a sick family member, then simply explain why you’re not being yourself and promise your date that you’ll shake it off (better yet, call a friend on the way to the date to vent about whatever is bothering you so that it’s out of your system before the date). Again, being honest about why you’re “off” and possibly made a bad first impression is the best way to reel things back in. But, then you have to make good with your promise to be positive (which hopefully means being yourself!).

Recover, own it, and get back in the date before it’s too late!