Archive for the ‘Judaism’ Category

Start New, Start Now

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

I believe in any excuse to commit to bettering yourself — whether it be January 1st or the Jewish New Year, the start of the school year or your birthday — find any excuse to start being a better you now.

The High Holy Days are a great time to do so since you get the opportunity to repent and redeem yourself. When you’re reading the alphabet of sins, and are able to unfortunately connect with a few of them (admit it, it’s way more than just a few!), then make a promise to yourself to be better starting now.

Stop judging prospects based on their bad photos or typos, stop speaking badly about others and gossiping about your dates or others in the community, stop lying and deceiving others whether in your profile or in person. And of course there are so many more ways to become a better person, don’t wait for December 31st… start now!


Shana Tova!

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

Here are some great lists, articles, and videos for singles to read/watch while hiding out in the bathroom during a break from High Holy Day services:

23 Reasons People Actually Ended a Relationship

71 Reasons We We’re All Still F*cking Single

If Women Were Honest on First Dates

10 Things Happy Couples Do Differently

Weird Things All Couples Fight About

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year, and I hope this year leads each of you to a better you… and possibly even to your beshert!


The End

by Aaron under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships,Single Life

I’ve posted about a lot of things in the last year — mostly personal stories and experiences. Maybe you’ve read my blogs as a JDater, hoping to cure your singledom; maybe as a potential user seeing what this site is about; maybe as a friend who saw me post a link on Facebook; or even a friend-of-a-friend who saw me post about what being a girl is like online. Whatever led you here, to these words of mine, thank you for reading.

I’m leaving this blog, though not because I don’t like it. I just think my time here is done. I’m out of frustrations and things to write about dating that I or others haven’t already said. It’s time for someone else to share their insights. I’ve had a really great time writing about my experiences and hope the person who takes my place has a great time, too.

I want to leave you by actually giving you advice for once, though. I have a girlfriend now, which I guess was the point of getting on JDate in the first place. I don’t know what will happen to us in the future, but every day I’ve been with her has made me glad I signed up for a JDate account. We didn’t meet on here (I went through the rabbit hole of Jewish dating and we’ll just call JDate my gateway site), but through my ventures into online/long-distance dating, I found an incredible person who complements my lifestyle perfectly.

Dating this last year since starting to blog has been all over the place for me. It all started with a girl in LA bound for Arkansas, and then me traveling to Long Island for a girl, among a number of dates in between — both in Dallas and elsewhere. But I never tried the same thing twice, I was always looking for what wasn’t working and how I could fix it.

So, in a nutshell, this is my advice — your Bisheret isn’t just waiting for you like a lot of us like to believe. No one is just going to accept you for “who you are,” and that’s a good thing. We should always be looking to improve ourselves, whether it’s our bodies, our communication skills (in a profile or an email), or even our spiritual observance in a way that makes us fulfilled. I’ve taken on a number of journeys in the last year: from getting my MBA to growing Jewishly to finally dating the greatest girl I’ve ever been with in the greatest city I’ve ever lived in. Each journey is special in its own way, and none of them happened because I waited for someone to accept who I was.

That’s not to say  you should change everything about yourself. At the end of the day, I’m still just a Kosher cowboy who likes to smile and make friends. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t change my behaviors in tiny ways that were in my best interest. So I’ll close things where I began; it’s not easy out there, and no piece of advice from me will make it so. But every day, try to better yourself in some way. Let today be the day you sign up for JDate. If you’re on the site already, let today be the day you look up a new piece of advice on social skills (really better than any romantic advice in terms of attracting people), or let it be the day you try looking in a new area of the world for your Bisheret, or even the day you try to enhance your prospects by reaching out to a rabbi or friends. Someone is undoubtedly waiting out there for you, but you will not find each other until you take those steps, each and every day.

I wish each and every one of you the best of luck. Thank you for reading, and I hope your Bisheret and you find each other soon.


Watch It: TV Shows to Start as a Couple

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,JDate,Judaism,News,Online Dating,Relationships

We hear it all the time — this is “the Golden Age of Television.” And while movies used to (and all too often, still do) dominate dating entertainment, TV is becoming a great substitute. Especially when you want a consistent excuse to see each other early on, TV shows can be a great bridge. That being said, sometimes choosing a show you both have an interest in starting can be difficult. Lucky for you, that’s why I’m here. So,here’s a list of shows I recommend watching as a couple:

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm/The Comeback (HBO)

If you like to laugh, enjoy the awkwardness of others, and have access to HBO, these are fun shows to watch together. Curb is especially relatable with other Jews, and The Comeback is similar but with Lisa Kudrow as an aging actress with no self awareness. The Comeback is a show I’m currently watching and it’s great in that not a lot of people have seen it. It’s only got one quick season so it’s a great starter show, and if things work out (or if you fall for Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish character), you can check out the decade-later return slated to air in November for a limited run.

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

While I’m sure this is a heavily viewed show, it’s also very gender neutral and easy to jump into. This was the first show my girlfriend and I watched together, starting with the second season (we’d both seen the first), and it made for great times together, or as a great cap to our dates.

3. Masters of Sex (Showtime)

My current partner-binge is a tough recommendation as we’re only one episode in, but so far we’re enjoying it. It’s sexy and has some fun stuff for everyone watching, plus great performances.

4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Parks and Recreation (Hulu/broadcast networks)

While the shows are both in very different places, both star likeable ex-SNL cast members in government roles of some kind, solving problems every week. Both shows are much more than that, however, and are very enjoyable to watch together.

5. Mad Men (AMC/Netflix)

The quintessential unisex drama, whether you’re drawn to it for it’s flashy looks or deep character studies, this show has something for everyone. Just beware it can be a little slow… which makes it all the better for some late-night cuddle sessions.

Fall honorable mention:

Affair on Showtime is supposed to be exciting, and that starts airing soon. We’ll be there for the get-go.

My list is brief, but there’s a lot out there to watch these days. What shows have you and your partner (real or theoretical) been watching or considering watching? At what point do you think people should commit to a series together? Comment below!


Make a Plan

by Haley Plotnik under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

To everyone out there who is looking for love, success, and happiness: I urge you to learn from your past, be mindful in the present, and embrace the future with openness. Recently, I heard someone say, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start living your life. Every moment that passes is a moment that we’ll never see again in our life. As much as that is cheesy, I think it hits on the importance of now. Now is the time. Don’t wait to start your life until you’re 20 pounds thinner, you have a master’s degree, or your loved one passes away.

I often hear people say, “I wish I had achieved success/gotten married/had kids while (insert name of beloved relative here) was alive.” Well guess what? If you wait for life to smack you in the face, it eventually will. And you may be echoing similar sentiments. Today is the day. Not tomorrow or next week. Set measurable, achievable goals. Reach them. Build your confidence. Your mind and body are amazing tools that can be used for so many amazing purposes: whether that be productivity or laziness. If you want to be the world’s most dedicated couch potato, go for it. It doesn’t matter what you do. Make something of your life and believe in your ability to achieve your goals. Being passionate is personable. We all want something out of our life experiences.

Through my many dates, I think what makes people attractive to others is being passionate. My friends sometimes call it “living intensely.” Give yourself permission to take chances, be incorrect, fail, regroup, and try again. Living is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Plan something great. Even if you fail, you’ll do a lot of living in the meantime.


Facing Your Fears (A Guest Post by Richard Stayman)

by Aaron under Israel,Judaism,Relationships

Last month, I went to Israel. It was the first country I’ve visited outside the U.S. For the week leading up to the trip, I was incredibly nervous. Not only was it right around the time when the current conflict got heated, but I was also scared about other people on the trip not liking me — a feeling I haven’t experienced in years.

As an adult, I’m usually not self-conscious, but for some reason I was falling back into old habits from childhood. I went on the trip with my best friend, which oddly enough made me even more nervous. When I finally arrived in Israel, I had to face my fear of meeting 40 new people, and when I did, I became instant friends with everyone.

This experience led me to discover that if you and the person/people you’re meeting are all Jewish, you never have to worry about making friends. No matter how strong your social skills, it is significantly easier to make friends with a group of Jews than any other situation. Why? Because we all share that common bond of being in the minority, and being Jews. No matter your observance, if you are comfortable with yourself as a Jew, you can be comfortable with any other Jewish person you encounter.

So next time you find yourself nervous at a Jewish event, just remember: you are all from the same people, and already share a common bond. Start with that and see where it goes!

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Looking Up

by Aaron under Israel,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

As I started to write this post, I began by doing a “control-f” across the word document where I keep my blog entries. I was searching for the phrase “negativity” and it came up with zero results. I was pleased to see I’d never used it… until now.

This would be an easy week for me to be somewhat negative. I’m out of a job at the moment, I don’t know what my apartment situation is for the next month, and life just seems to be coming at me quickly. Add in Robin Williams’ death and the growing crisis in the Middle East, plus our rainy weather in the northeast this week, and life can seem pretty daunting.

That being said, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve found what I was looking for in New York: an amazing girlfriend, a job I loved throughout the summer (and hope to be going back to once a position is ready), and a great life in the city where I’ve always wanted to live. It’s so easy to get swept up in the details, or to worry about the little things, but I have two beliefs that keep me from worrying:

  1. One is my belief that with enough action and little enough worry, things tend to work themselves out. For example, I applied to two hundred different companies in New York. After three months, the very first company I applied to wrote me and I received the interview invitation after my favorite “no-worry-time-Shabbat.” Life definitely warrants concerning yourself over things, but action without panic has been an approach that has helped me breathe easier.
  2. The second trick to my happiness (which is not always constant, don’t get me wrong) is having a vision of the future that keeps me secure. I’ve become very close with my girlfriend in terms of how often we see each other, and it worried me a bit that we’ll be spending a good chunk of the next two weeks apart, but it helps me to think about reuniting in two weeks and how happy I’ll be then. An eye on the future, without losing your enjoyment of the present, is very important.

Sometimes it can all look rough. And I may even be writing this to avoid more job application work from a Dunkin’ Donuts window seat. But, you never know what’s going to happen next — and that’s the beautiful thing about life. So good luck this week, I hope your dating life surprises you!


Changing Your Mind

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism,Relationships

When you’re dating, you will likely make pronouncements about how you feel about various topics, whether that be parenting, where you want to live, what you want to do with your life, how religious you are or want to be, what side of politics you lean towards, and so on and so forth.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind one day.

And if you’re in a relationship, that doesn’t mean your partner will have to agree or support your change of heart. Oftentimes you won’t realize how you feel about a certain topic until you’re in the moment when said topic presents itself. You are allowed to change your mind, but if it’s something pretty huge (like deciding you no longer want kids, want to move halfway around the world, or want to become an Orthodox Jew), then you can’t expect a significant other to instantly decide to change their life along with you. Follow your heart’s desire of course, and don’t decide not to change because you’re afraid your partner won’t approve or will break up with you. At the end of the day you have to be true to yourself.

That said, if you’re engaged, married or have children, altering your life drastically may be more of an issue, and it’s important to make major decisions like this as a couple.


If and When (Can Change)

by Haley Plotnik under Israel,Judaism,News

One of the many reasons I often feel like I’m not “Jewish enough” is that I haven’t been to Israel before. I was thinking about going some time in the next year if the opportunity presented itself. It likely would, but I don’t trust my luck. I have always had a sinking feeling that I would be in the one group where things go massively awry.

Right now, a lot of us have friends and loved ones in Israel. Most of the time, I do not really worry about their safety or well-being. So many American college students have an overwhelmingly positive experience in Israel, and many people in Israel probably live in safer conditions than parts the US.

Right now, however, I feel a bit uneasy. I know I would not feel comfortable going to Israel at present. But I feel as though I might be giving up an opportunity that I can’t get back. If I say “not this year” for too many more years, the programs won’t be available to me anymore.

I have to remind myself continually that stepping onto Israel’s soil doesn’t make me a Jew. I am a Jew regardless. Perhaps I feel that missing out on Israel is like missing out on Jewish sleep away camps all over again.


Freedom of Religion

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

No, this isn’t going to be a political post, don’t worry.

My friend has been dating a guy she met on JDate for a few months now. His profile stated that he is a Conservative Jew. She leans more towards the “Reform/Traditional” stream, but isn’t opposed to dating someone who is a bit more “Jew-ish” as she is understanding, respectful and has an open mind. Until this guy who – since they began dating – started keeping Shabbat, walking to an orthodox temple on Saturday mornings, turning off his phone, and keeping kosher both in and out of the home. Clearly he is becoming more religious, but he is also continuing to date someone who is on the other side of the spectrum.

I’ve often met couples where one was already more observant than the other — they came together knowingly — and they chose to either become more observant or less so as a couple. But to suddenly become more observant while in the relationship is a different situation. My friend is just sitting idly by as her boyfriend becomes more and more religious. What is she to do? Nothing yet, if she likes him, except wait and see what happens. This could be an experimental phase, or he could go all the way frum. In doing so, he risks losing her, but he needs to follow his spiritual heart and not sacrifice being the Jew he wants to be because of a woman he’s been dating a few months.