Archive for the ‘JDate’ Category

Sending the Right Signals

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

This month (it’s December already!!!???) you will likely attend lots of holiday parties in addition to your local shindig on Christmas Eve where all the Jews go to celebrate nothing else being open (the Place2Be, the MatzoBall, the Mitzvah Ball, the Vodka Latke, etc). If you are single heading into the New Year then attending one of these events is a MUST.

But you also MUST send the right signals while you’re there.

  • Dress classy, not costume-y. You want to be taken seriously as a dating prospect, not just a fun one-nighter. So, dress sexy, but not trashy.
  • Make eye contact and smile. The best way to let someone know you’re interested is to catch their eye and hold it for a few seconds while you smile.
  • Stand tall and relaxed. Slumped posture with arms crossed over your chest gives off a closed vibe.
  • Laugh. Have fun and enjoy yourself. People want to be around other positive people.
  • Be forward, but polite. If you are talking to someone that you are not interested in, then warmly inform them that you want to find your friends and that you hope they have a nice evening. You don’t need to waste your time with people you don’t like, but having good manners is important. Your prospect could be close enough to overhear you excusing yourself.
  • Do a stink check. Nothing will turn someone off faster than body odor or bad breath.

An Epic Two-Word Response to, “Why aren’t you married yet?”

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under JBloggers,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

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Nu? So why aren’t you married yet?

I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog you’ve probably gotten this question yourself. Maybe you were in your 20’s when all your friends were getting engaged and married (at least for the first time), or maybe you’re advanced in your 30’s, 40’s, or older. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to have friends and family who are too polite to say this to your face, you might have heard it said about others behind their backs. Even in dating, you might find someone who is more suspicious of someone who has never been married than someone who has been divorced or widowed. The implication is always the same regardless of context; if you haven’t gotten married yet, then there must be something wrong with you.

Singles often have to deal with condescending comments like “Im Yirtzeh Hashem (God willing) by You,” but given the confrontational tone, asking why someone isn’t married is less of a personal inquiry as it is an attack on one’s character. You’re too picky. You’re priorities in life are all wrong. You’re immature. Even if there are substantive emotional challenges with which one is struggling, these would probably not be something people would want to share, especially after being placed on the defensive. There’s virtually no way to answer this question without conceding the premise that, indeed, you should have been married by now, and you must now justify your flawed status in life.

I happen to be a firm believer in Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” I’d like to think that people aren’t trying to put others down as much as they are insensitive or ignorant as to the implications of what they’re saying (a recurrent problem in society). Counter-attacking people for their rudeness might feel good in the moment as a way to salvage your dignity, but not only can you come across as unhinged, but you do little to educate well-meaning people as to their insensitivity. On the other hand, not everyone is willing to engage in a detailed conversation, let alone mussar / rebuke, which means an effective response has to be as short as the other person’s attention span.

My suggestion is that the next time someone asks you (or about someone else), “Why aren’t you married yet?” simply respond by asking, “To whom?”

“To whom?”

Yep, and it makes perfect sense.

When someone asks, “why aren’t you married yet” they’re imposing a social stigma, that is the cultural expectation that people ought to get married, and by a certain point in their lives. The problem of course is that people don’t get married to ideas or expectations (excluding metaphors or new-age weddings), they get married to people. Meaning, if someone thinks you ought to have gotten married by now, then it follows there must have been some individual whom you could have married. The set of people anyone could have married can only include the smaller subset of people with whom one has had a relationship and where the other person wanted to get married. After all, in both Jewish and secular law, you cannot get married to people who aren’t interested. By definition, getting married is not an individual choice, but a joint decision.

It’s impossible to answer “to whom?” without knowing someone’s life or the details of every previous personal relationship. Only the most socially inept would respond by asking why you didn’t get married to a specific previous significant other, and at a point it would be completely socially acceptable to inform them that your previous relationships are none of their business, or ask them why they think your life would have been better had you married that person.

The main point is that by asking, “to whom?” you not only address the substance of the question directly, but you also reframe the concept of relationships from societal expectations to personal reality. Instead of being forced to defend your life choices or circumstances, you subtly remind people that you’re not just a statistic or nameless interchangeable single person, but that you’re an individual with specific unique experiences. This includes not just finding the right person, but doing so at the right time for both of you. Societal expectations dictate that “getting married” is more important than the quality of the marriage. But while it might not matter to society to whom one gets married, I would hope that to the individual in question it matters a great deal.

So, the next time you find yourself hearing someone ask why you or someone else isn’t married, try these two simple words. You might educate someone while simultaneously validating wherever you happen to be in life.


Are You Accepting Every Date?

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

Michelle was in her mid-20’s and was tired of being pestered by her Mom, Janice, to find a nice, Jewish husband. So much so, in fact, that she told her mother that she was absolutely forbidden from setting her up on dates. Michelle needed boundaries with her Jewish mother (don’t we all?) and she was adamant about finding her Beshert on her own. So, when Janice was approached by her good friend Karin who wanted to set up her nephew with Michelle, Janice politely refused because she wanted to respect Michelle’s wishes. But those same boundaries didn’t automatically apply to Karin and so she called Michelle directly. Of course, Michelle called to yell at her mom, but Janice was just as surprised as Michelle was that Karin took it upon herself to call! Michelle went ahead and met Karin’s nephew… and 30 years later they’ve been married 28 years with 3 kids and 1 grandchild.

Michelle didn’t want her Mom to set her up, but at least she was still willing to allow someone else to play matchmaker! Are you accepting every date you’re asked out on?


Choice vs. Chance

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

“No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.” -unknown

I do agree with this quote, particularly the part about love being work. But I would also add that you have to give chance the opportunity to happen to you, which means you need to make the choice to be a proactive dater. That means buying that JDate membership, downloading the JPix app, going to Jewish single shmoozers, agreeing to be setup on dates, and being the best you that you can be so that when the right person does come along you are open and willing.


Where is Everyone?

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

A JDater wrote me today asking me where all the JDaters are… he said every profile he clicks is on is either fake or inactive. Ummm, not quite buddy!

Sure, there are people who forget to delete their profile, or are waiting to see where a relationship goes before deleting their account, but you can easily see who is on JDate regularly by choosing the option to see who is “Most Active.”

As for the rumor that there are models posing as “fake” JDaters — why is it so unrealistic to think there are really great looking Jews out there who are or were once on JDate? Is it possible that there are trolls out there creating fake accounts just to check out other singles? Sure. You will find that on every dating site and social media site. That’s the reality of the internet.

But you can’t be hindered by the people who aren’t responding to you. You have to keep looking for prospects who fit the majority of your preferences and reach out to them. This is a numbers game, so the more you view, click, and email prospects, the better your chances are of finding someone.

And if no one is responding then there are two possibilities: your preferences are either too narrow and therefore you don’t have enough options to choose from, or your own profile needs some tweaking along with what you’re saying in your emails. I’ve covered the former many times in this blog, and for help with the latter you can email me at editor@jdate.com for an Extreme Profile Makeover… or send me samples of your emails to dissect!


Comfort First

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

At the end of the day, at the end of a date, you have to have a sense of comfort with the person you’re with. If you’re not comfortable saying what you’re feeling, or giving your opinion, or disagreeing with your date… then perhaps you should think twice about accepting the next date.

I’m not saying you should be oppositional on a first date, but if your date is ordering shrimp to share, and you don’t eat shellfish, then you should feel comfortable to say so. Or, if your food order was served incorrectly, then you should feel comfortable to say so.

Things may not be comfortable enough on a first, second, or even third date to start debating current events, politics, or sports… but you should feel comfortable enough to not have to sit stiffly and hold your tongue. The best dates are when you are comfortable enough to laugh so hard that your embarrassing snort comes out, or share your most embarrassing story, or simply admit that you can’t wait to see your date again… soon!


Making Plans to Make a Point

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

When you’re interested in someone — whether it’s a new prospect on JDate or after a first date or after a few months — making plans is the way to let them know you’re still interested!

People can carry on conversations with lots of prospects online, but it’s only you’ve made plans that you know this one is different. And then after the first date, having plans made immediately for a second date is how you know that there’s enough mutual interest to continue getting to know each other. And once you’ve been dating for awhile, then making plans is assumed.

Whenever a plan isn’t made — regardless of the scenario — is when people begin feeling insecure about where the relationship (or the possibility of one) is going. So if you like someone, make plans to see them again, otherwise you’re just playing games.


Email Etiquette: Jumping the Gun

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

It’s easy to get excited once you start emailing with someone on JDate. You feel as though you’ve already jumped through so many hoops and passed so many tests (think of all the possible prospects out there that you DON’T end up emailing with and you’ll get what I mean). The problem with this excitement is that you don’t actually know the other person, and that anticipation builds with each email, and so do your expectations.

When you don’t get an email response within what you consider a timely manner, don’t freak out! Your match could have a deadline at work, or be tending to a sick family member, or helping a friend with an emergency. And if you catch your correspondent on JDate’s Instant Messenger and they don’t respond, don’t automatically consider it a rejection; you don’t know if they forgot to log out and aren’t even at their computer, or if they don’t have the time to properly respond so they don’t want to engage in conversation. Just send a message saying you’re sorry you missed them on IM and that you hope to catch up soon. Then wait for a reply with an explanation as to why they didn’t IM back. This is why I suggest using JDate’s email to make plans and then meet as soon as possible so there isn’t anything lost in translation.


Mixing Up Your Mileage

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

One of the preferences JDate asks you about is “Located Within” a certain number of miles from your city. If you live in a large city then you can likely select “50 miles” and have many prospects to choose from. If you live in a smaller city or town, then you possibly need to expand your mileage to 100 miles. I strongly suggest you do this, even if you live in a rather large city. A friend of mine in Southern California is engaged to a man in Northern California — which seems far, but is just a short flight away. They make it work, most people wouldn’t have even bothered looking so far away.

On the other hand, if you live in a large city and can’t find anyone worthwhile, perhaps your other preferences are too strict? Are your standards too high? Is there something about you that you could work on to better attract the prospects in your mileage range? You can’t always point the finger at what you consider to be poor prospects, sometimes you have to look at yourself first. Then again, after playing Jewish Geography and finding out that you pretty much know everyone in your immediate area, then you shouldn’t hesitate to extend your parameters and perimeters.


Do You Have a Back-Up Plan?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,News,Relationships,Single Life

According to a survey by the Daily Mail, half of all women have a back-up husband in place, just in case. This is not a new idea, but to think that 50% of women who are currently married have put more than a little thought into who they would marry next if their marriage didn’t work out, is astonishing!

I’d like to think that we marry someone because we believe we have found our soulmate, our other half, the one we can’t live without, the one who completes/complements us, and that even when things are tough, we don’t resort to thinking about who is still available should the marriage end. Alas, half of women do just that. I suppose it’s a type of coping mechanism to feel that you have other options should you find yourself single again. I did just that when I knew my marriage was irreparable, but I also came to a point where I knew I would be better off alone than in that marriage, and that’s when I had the confidence to leave. And then I started perusing JDate to see who was out there…