Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

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!

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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!


Are You a Cat or a Dog Person?

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

You may think the question about “Pets” in the Lifestyle section is a throwaway, but — in fact — it’s important. Some people are hardcore pet people, while others are not. And within that category you have people who love or prefer one kind of animal but not another, or are allergic to some but not others.

I’m a dog person, but I don’t like their saliva on me or having their hair all over my clothes. I’m not a cat person, but as long as they leave me alone, we’re cool. That said, dogs love attention and cats love those who ignore them, so I often find myself with an animal by my feet whenever I visit friend’s with pets.

I was really turned off by a date’s three cats and the litter box in his bedroom, but I appreciated that he cared for them and took care of them. I found another boyfriend’s relationship with his playful dog to be a redeeming quality, until that boyfriend allowed the dog to sleep in the bed with us.

It’s important to know before getting into a relationship with someone if you have an aversion or allergy to an animal, but it’s not worthy of addressing in your profile or worrying about it until you’re on a date and he or she mentions it. The Lifestyle question doesn’t ask if you own those pets or simply like those pets, or possibly had one as a child or hope to have one later in life.

Don’t make assumptions. If someone is obsessed with their pet then it will be apparent either in their profile or on the first date and you will be able to politely discuss it then. Keyword is “politely” — don’t disrespect their chihuahua that they carry around in their purse (as obnoxious as that sounds) or insult their cat whose vet bills are higher than your own medical bills (as obnoxious as that sounds).


Brotherly Love

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

This Passover my Facebook newsfeed was inundated with beautiful family photos… and many times I was confused. Many of these “friends” I hadn’t seen in awhile, and many of their siblings I hadn’t seen in even longer. In fact, I didn’t know if the person they were lovingly posing with was their sibling at all, or if it was their significant other. And sometimes there wasn’t a tag or it wasn’t clear who the tag belonged to.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with showing affection with your siblings, but if you’re single, then you should not only tag photos but caption them as well: “love hanging out with my brother/sister!” The same goes for any of those photos that you use on JDate as well — make sure you add the description of who is in photos with you. You don’t want any prospects to be confused and think you’re dating someone seriously enough to post a photo on social media, or to think you’re using photos with an ex on JDate — because without a doubt your matches will then compare themselves to your ex!


The Four Daters

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

Happy Passover!  I’m willing to bet that many of you attended a seder or two this past weekend. And if yours were anything like mine, the food was delicious and plentiful, there was only one major wine spill, and only one person forgot her reading glasses, which might be a record.  Despite the unspoken battle of wills between those who were engaged in lively discussion and those who looked at their watches every 5 minutes, hoping to eat and run, my family and I had lovely seders, and I hope you did too!

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If “The Four Children” were “The Four Daters,” which would you be?

You’ve probably noticed that the number four has significance in the seder: four sons, four cups of wine, four questions (incidentally, our “kids table” was the end of the table with all unmarrieds under 40. I’m in my early thirties and sang the four questions!)  While reading about the four sons, my likes-to-categorize brain wondered: are there four kinds of daters? I’m sure there are more, but in the Passover sprit, here are some of my insights on the top four as they relate to the four sons:

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Wise One

What does he say? In the story of Passover, the wise child wants to know all about the laws and mitzvot that Hashem has commanded you. In dating, the Wise Child wants to know all about you! In other words, a Wise Dater is attentive, selfless, and aware of G-d (meaning that when it comes to dating, what is meant to be will be). I read some commentary on the Wise Son indicating that his wisdom makes him pure (read: good intentions) and allows him to foresee the consequences of his actions, which, in my opinion are really good qualities in a dater.

2. The Wicked One

He asks, “What is this service of yours? Why do you go to the trouble?” According to some commentary, the Wicked Child is basically kind of selfish. He excludes himself from the rest of the group and thinks the rules don’t apply to him, denying his Jewish engagement. A Wicked Dater acts selfishly and rudely.  Obvious signs of this type: texting at the table, making demands of the waiter, or saying things like “MUST BE THIN. SEEKING 21-24 ONLY. NO GAMES OR DRAMA” in his/her profile. The Haggadah says you should blunt the teeth of the Wicked Son, which sounds violent like an old-school punishment, but one interpretation of this phrase is that we should teach the Wicked Son to control his desire for self-indulgence. Luckily, this means the Wicked Son, or Dater, in this case, is correctable, offering hope for even the most selfish daters among us.

3. The Simple One

What does he say? “What is this all about?” The Simple Child doesn’t know what’s going on but expresses an interest in learning. Similarly, there are some daters who are out of practice or maybe new to the playing field, often identified by their empty or generic profiles. But they are here, ready to look for love! Just as we are to help the Simple Son by explaining the story to him, so too can we help new daters by proofreading profiles or coaching them before dates.

4. The One Who Doesn’t Know Enough to Ask

We have to start him off. This is akin to the person who wants a relationship but doesn’t know how to go about finding one. So start him off – tell him to leave the house and get out there! Introduce him to friends and help him set up a JDate profile.

Do you recognize yourself as one of these four daters? In the tradition of Passover, I offer no concrete answers here – just fodder for discussion and debate that may keep you up past midnight. Don’t forget to end with the afikoman!


Extreme Profile Makeover — Divorced Dad of 2 in Texas

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating

Dear Tamar,

I am new to the online dating scene and would like some guidance on how to write my profile to make it more appealing to women.

Thank you.

-Divorced Dad of 2 in Texas

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Dear Divorced Dad of 2,

Getting back in the dating scene — especially with 2 kids — is a big undertaking! I think you’ve done pretty well with your profile thus far. Here are my suggestions to make it better:

Profile Name:
A hybrid of your first and last name is a good idea… if you can simplify it by deleting the letters and numbers trailing at the end, it would be even stronger.

Profile Photos:
I really like your main profile photo! Great job! And I like that you both include and describe the pictures with your kids. You could possibly pare down photos 2, 3, & 4… but it’s not essential.

In My Own Words:
You refer to your gym by name twice. I don’t think it’s necessary — either delete one mention or at least delete the name. I don’t know the gym personally but mentioning it by name sounds like it’s supposed to be something impressive which comes off as pretentious. Or it could be that you’re hoping someone could just come by the gym to see you…?

I suggest referencing your divorce quickly, as in “I have been divorced # years.” I do love all that you say about your kids though! You can also simplify your “Brief History” because it’s supposed to be just that — brief. Prospects don’t need to know your exact lifetime timeline.

His Details/My Ideal Match:
I am not a fan of stating one’s income and I suggest not answering that question, although I do appreciate your transparency. You selected a good age range but there is no reason to put that you are looking for a “Friend” when you state in a different section that you want to be someone’s significant other.


Extreme Profile Makeover — New on JDate

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

Dear Tamar,

I’d love some help with my profile. Lots of guys look, but rarely contact me. And, the ones who do contact me are usually far away or obviously didn’t really read the profile. I’ve been out of the dating world for almost 30 years and could sure use the help.

Thanks!

-New on JDate

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Dear New on JDate,

I’m so glad you reached out! Divorcees and widows who didn’t have JDate their first time around definitely have some adjusting to do when it comes to dating with technology this time around!

Let’s start:

First off, I don’t like profile names that are a jumble of letters and/or numbers. Rather than the initials you used, try to combine your name with something else that describes you — whether it be your city, job, physical description, or a favorite hobby.

Second, you need more photos. The first one is cute, but should be a supplementary photo rather than your main picture. The second one, a selfie, should be replaced. And while you’re at it, add a full body as well as another pic showing you being social or active. Your main pic should be a more lively and engaging headshot.

As for your paragraphs, I think you did a nice job writing them. I don’t prefer people putting “separated,” but you do explain it well. Since you’re having problems getting the dates you want then try changing it to “divorced” and simply mentioning that you were married 25 years and once you’re on a date you can explain more.

I would also delete the “addendum” part, for a few reasons. One, you put “after two weeks on JDate” and that timeframe will change with every coming week. Second, rather than writing that in your profile you can simply reply to the men that are contacting you from across the country: let them know you’re flattered, but aren’t interested in long distance.

Lastly, I would shift your age range. As a woman in her mid-50’s I think your age range should be 50-65 rather than 45-60.


Middle-Aged/Older Man Trying to Find Love Connections

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

Hi Tamar,

Is there anyway to be tactful when specifying the type of woman that you’re looking for? How do I tell if they’re looking for love or just a casual dinner because they don’t want to stay home and cook for themselves that night?

A lot of us middle-aged (55+) single men aren’t interested in angry, divorced women who are still looking for Prince Charming to rescue them and then get angry that we prefer to date younger women who are more lovingly appreciative without all the “heavy baggage.”

Please help!

-Frustrated Older Man Looking

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Dear Frustrated Older Man Looking,

Sounds like you needed to vent and I’m glad you got that out. Dating can be difficult at times and it’s healthy to express that frustration to your friends (or me) rather than let it fester as you review profiles and allow the negativity to seep into your dates.

That said, it is somewhat hypocritical of you to call the women your age “angry” because you sound angry yourself. As for the women your age having baggage… well, it’s pretty likely that you have baggage too. Or, as I like to call it, “a story.” There’s no way you get to middle-age status without one! So try to change your mindset about that because you’re not going to attract any women, regardless of your age, if you’re resentful.

To answer your first question, you can make it clear in the areas that ask what you’re looking for that you want someone who is interested in a relationship and not just casual dating. You can usually tell what women are looking for by reading their profiles thoroughly and asking serious questions when you begin a conversation.

 

 


Email Etiquette — Giving a Compliment

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

Hi Tamar,

Is it okay to tell women that you think they are pretty or attractive? It seems women don’t care about compliments any longer. If a guy is honest and would like to compliment a woman, she doesn’t even say thank you, instead it’s ignored. Am I too old school?

-Compliment Quandary

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Hi Compliment Quandary,

Yes, you should give a compliment if you feel like it. Sharing something positive about someone is never a bad thing… and if that makes you old school then that’s a good thing! Make a mental note if the woman didn’t show gratitude, but don’t necessarily count her out.

It’s tough to have continuity in an email conversation when you are stopping to say thank you for a specific compliment, answering the question you should be including, and then trying to add to the conversation. Sometimes people show gratitude for compliments by returning one of their own, so look out for that because it’s more than acceptable.

Some people don’t know how to accept compliments and that doesn’t make them a bad person, but eventually you may need to say, “You’re beautiful; please believe me, accept the compliment and say thank you or I’m going to have to keep telling you you’re beautiful.”


Email Etiquette — How Do I Start a Conversation?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Hi Tamar,

I have no idea how to start a conversation with someone I’m interested in. What should I say that’s not too much… but just enough.

Thank you,

Lost in Conversation

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Hi Lost in Conversation,

Great question! Interestingly, when both people are already intrigued by the other’s profile, it really doesn’t matter how you start the email as long as you take the time to send one. That said, here is an example that you can play around with and personalize:

Hi there,

I was attracted to your profile by your photos, but I was really impressed by what you wrote, especially _____________. We have a lot in common (which you can see by reading my profile) and I’m always excited to meet people who also love ________________. Have you ever ________________?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sam