Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Vanity Fair and the “Dating Apocalypse”

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

Vanity Fair’s article about how dating apps have changed — and possibly eradicated — dating was filled with shock value. People who use Tinder and other similar apps (think: swipe right) know that it can be used just for hooking up, but there are also plenty of couples who met via those apps. You wouldn’t know that by the article as it was all about how many hook-ups occurred, how often, how quickly, and how easily.

That was probably the worst part… a consistent theme throughout the article had to do with the ease of the hook-ups, and how it was more often than not the men that dictated the extent of the hook-up: one-time, a continuing thing, or a relationship. And the women have to go along with this hoping that maybe they can change a guy’s mind and make him want more than a hook-up. But, the catch-22 is that most of these men don’t want a relationship with the type of girl who will hook-up after few (if any) interactions, after being matched on one of these apps.

So here’s the deal: if you just want to have fun, then go ahead with the apps. But if you’re looking for a relationship, then you need to stick to a site like JDate where people take more time and effort to create profiles and select prospects. Do you want to be somebody’s priority or somebody’s option?

The swipe right apps have so many participants that it can give you a false sense of how many eligible prospects actually meet even a minimum of your criteria, which leads to a false sense of thinking you can do better than the awesome person in front of you. These dating apps are addictive because they are quick and easy, and there are seemingly always new singles to swipe. Don’t get caught up and have unrealistic expectations of who you can meet on an app where the goal is just hooking up.

 

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Patti Stanger is Single Again

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

Last week Bravo! TV’s The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger announced that she and her boyfriend of three years had split up. Patti got ahead of critics who would doubt her abilities as a matchmaker when she herself can’t seem to find a forever mate. And her statement is spot on:

“I’m a human and I own my issues… But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m incredibly good at my job. I excel at setting people up and helping them fall in love. Look, how many Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches have scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl? Coaching people into winning the big game is a different skillset than winning the big game yourself. I’m really good at being a love coach. In fact, I’d say I’m one of the best. But, at playing the love game myself? I’ve got some work to do and I’m chipping away at it. I know I’ll win my game soon, but until then, I’m going to keep being the best coach I can be.”

It reminds of the phrase “those who can’t do, teach,” and that’s exactly what Patti is doing. She can see the issues other people have and helps them to work on them while finding partners who would complement them — all the while she admits that she herself is a work in progress, setting a great example that none of us should ever stop trying to better ourselves.

I myself have admitted that my divorce, as well as most of my past relationships, made me better at dispensing dating advice. Does that mean I know everything about relationships? Absolutely not. Does that mean my relationship with my fiance is perfect? No. But, admitting that is what makes me — and Patti — good at what we do.

 

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The Kind of Love We Should Aspire To

by Tamar Caspi under News,Relationships,Success Stories

This is the post from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, from Tuesday, the day she buried her husband, Dave Goldberg, after his sudden passing.

“I want to thank all of our friends and family for the outpouring of love over the past few days. It has been extraordinary – and each story you have shared will help keep Dave alive in our hearts and memories.

I met Dave nearly 20 years ago when I first moved to LA. He became my best friend. He showed me the internet for the first time, planned fun outings, took me to temple for the Jewish holidays, introduced me to much cooler music than I had ever heard.

We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine… He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved – and I will carry that with me always. Most importantly, he gave me the two most amazing children in the world.

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Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said it would be ok. When I wasn’t sure what to do, he figured it out. He was completely dedicated to his children in every way – and their strength these past few days is the best sign I could have that Dave is still here with us in spirit.

Dave and I did not get nearly enough time together. But as heartbroken as I am today, I am equally grateful. Even in these last few days of completely unexpected hell – the darkest and saddest moments of my life – I know how lucky I have been. If the day I walked down that aisle with Dave someone had told me that this would happen – that he would be taken from us all in just 11 years – I would still have walked down that aisle. Because 11 years of being Dave Goldberg’s wife, and 10 years of being a parent with him is perhaps more luck and more happiness than I could have ever imagined. I am grateful for every minute we had.

As we put the love of my life to rest today, we buried only his body. His spirit, his soul, his amazing ability to give is still with it. It lives on in the stories people are sharing of how he touched their lives, in the love that is visible in the eyes of our family and friends, in the spirit and resilience of our children. Things will never be the same – but the world is better for the years my beloved husband lived.”

I read these words and am brought to tears by the raw, honest emotions. The kind of love Sheryl is describing is not a love you see every day, but it is the kind of love we should all aspire to have. There’s a reason people say not to settle — and this is why. You need a true partner, someone who believes in you and supports you unconditionally, a person who makes you feel like the luckiest person in the world, and who is also your best friend to top it all off.


Express Yourself

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

Your body language communicates more than your actual words… by A LOT! 55% vs 7% to be exact, with the remaining 38% of communication coming from your tone of voice. (When people say that more than 90% of communication is nonverbal, that could be referring to the math of 55+38=93%.)  So, what does this mean when you’re dating? It means you need to be cognizant of how you’re sitting or standing, your facial expression and what kinds of looks you’re giving, as well as how you’re saying what you’re saying.

If you don’t want the person you’re speaking with to automatically go on the defensive when you say something that could be perceived as offensive, or something that could easily be taken the wrong way, then make sure your arms aren’t crossed across your chest or placed on your hips. Make eye contact and smile so that your eyes give off warmth. Take a few deep breaths before you start speaking and relax your shoulders.

And while you’re at it — think twice about what you’re saying, does it even need to be said? By the way, these tips are also good for giving off an approachable vibe when you’re looking to attract others!


She Blinded Me With Social Science

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under Date Night,JDate,News,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

She Blinded Me With Social Science: Deconstructing that NY Times “To Fall in Love with Anyone” Article

I was in the middle of drafting this week’s post when I noticed several friends of mine sharing a recent New York Times article titled, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.” It’s easy to dismiss such a tantalizing headline as mere clickbait, but the article is based on an actual published psychology experiment in which participants felt “closer” to each other after answering a series of 36 personal questions — and the author herself says she fell in love with her partner because of it.

For the people who gave this article a superficial read, it would appear that true love could be yours if you just performed a simple exercise. And if this sounds too good to be true, rest assured, it most certainly is.

Because I’m me, I downloaded and read the original scholarly article (it’s since been pulled from the web), published in 1997 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (23:4) with the decidedly less enticing title, “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings.” When discussing any study, the first thing to consider is what exactly is the study trying to measure. To wit:

             We should also emphasize that the goal of our procedure was to develop a temporary feeling of closeness,not an actual ongoing relationship (364)

So right off the bat we’re not talking about how to establish a meaningful relationship, but rather to create fleeting moments of connectedness. How do we accomplish this?

             Indeed, Aron et al. (1992) found that various measures of closeness have two latent dimensions of behaving close and feeling close (364). [Emphasis original]

Following this logic, the study decided to measure if acting in a way to achieve “closeness” would, in fact, generate the feelings of closeness.

            One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personalistic self-disclosure…Whereas behaving close in this sense could not really arise outside of a long-term ongoing relationship, it seemed to us that the subjective feeling of closeness, which is our focus, might well arise at least temporarily in a short-term interaction (364).

It turns out that putting in the effort of feeling close to someone else through personal sharing can even overcome or override some of the factors people normally assume do lead to connectedness.

            Overall, these data suggest that matching in terms of not disagreeing on important attitudes or leading subjects to believe that they and their partners will like each other probably has little impact on the overall closeness subjects achieve through this procedure, or even on their mutual attraction (367).

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If you can find a partner for this exercise, can you actually find true love?

To summarize, one way two people can feel closer to each other is by actively sharing intimate personal aspects about themselves, with reciprocity from their partner. This can certainly be useful information for people who are trying to make a go out of a relationship, either dating or even after marriage. But, before you start printing out the questionnaire for your next date, keep in mind there are some crucial caveats which come with the research.

The experiment was done in a controlled environment where the participants knew each other to some degree as classmates, or otherwise the pool was not completely randomized. There was also no expectation of commitment or consequences attached, which could have lead participants to give more freely. Perhaps most importantly is that the participants were willing to participate. That is to say, two people made the conscious decision to try to open up to one specific person, at least for a short period.

Dating usually doesn’t work like this. If you’re meeting someone online or from a setup you’re effectively meeting a random stranger. Even if you ask out someone whom you know, you still need to get past the willingness aspect. It’s not just that people are incapable of opening up to someone else (though many are), but they may not want to open up – or at least not to this particular individual. Even the NY Times author admits, “I see now that one neither suggests nor agrees to try an experiment designed to create romantic love if one isn’t open to this happening,” which is of course an obstacle many of us can’t even get past.

And let’s say we do find a partner to undertake this exercise, do we actually wind up finding True Love? The authors of the study address this question and have some bad news.

                 So are we producing real closeness? Yes and no. We think that the closeness produced in these studies is experienced as similar in many important ways to felt closeness in naturally occurring relationships that develop over time. On the other hand, it seems unlikely that the procedure produces loyalty, dependence, commitment, or other relationship aspects that might take longer to develop…Thus the procedure is like other experimental paradigms such as mood induction procedures, the minimal group paradigm, or methods for temporarily lowering self-esteem: It is useful as a means of creating a similar although not completely identical state, but under controlled conditions permitting experimental tests of causal hypotheses and theoretical issues (371-372)

Practically speaking what we really have here is a strategy and mechanism for two people who are open to the possibility of getting close to each other to at least try to develop feelings of closeness. As the NY Times author stated, his could in fact indicate that love is indeed more “pliable” than we’d otherwise have thought, in which case we have more control to determine our own happiness than we’ve imagined.

Even if you find solace or encouragement in this empowerment, keep in mind you still need to work at the relationship, but more importantly you need to find that willing partner.

But then again, that’s why there’s JDate, isn’t it?


Thanksgiving STFU Guide

by Tamar Caspi under News,Single Life
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The popular meme above that’s been making the rounds online is meant in jest, but for singles it’s like salt in the wound!

Singles know they are going to have to face the “Why are you still single?” and “Are you dating anyone?” questions more than once during the holidays. And it sucks. So here’s a handy guide for quick, positive responses that will shut up even the nosiest family member.

  1. Yes, I’m single right now, but I’m also thankful I received a __________ promotion at work.
  2. No, I’m not dating anyone special right now, but I have been very fulfilled by my volunteer work at ____________ to help ___________.
  3. Yes, I’m “still” single and used ALL my free time to train for a marathon/compete in a crossfit tournament/__________.
  4. No, I’m not married yet. I’m not willing to settle, I have too much to offer!
  5. It’s been difficult to meet someone because I’ve been busy exploring the world!

Keep it upbeat and happy by saying these responses with a smile. And when you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, make sure to lay it on really thick by mentioning all the great family, friends, work stuff, hobbies, traveling, pets, and anything else positive that you can think of. Because it’s true — you are fortunate to have a full life filled with love even if it’s not necessarily coming from a significant other right now.

 


I Moustache You a Question

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,News,Relationships

Between the facial hair trend and “Movember” starting back up again, guy’s faces are looking scruffier than ever.

The Movember movement was created to raise awareness for men’s health issues, and it’s awesome that so many men are participating by growing their moustaches, beards, and goatees. But, women really don’t want their man’s facial hair to get in their mouth during a kiss… nor do they want to have chapped lips and chafed cheeks after a lengthy make-out session.

Unless you’re raising money for Movember, then either shave or keep your trimmer ready and waiting for a daily grooming session. Some men look great with a moustache or beard, but if you are hearing from your family and friends that you should shave, then perhaps you should listen and break out the shaving cream and razor.


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…


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!


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.