Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.


Dating & Politics

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

In light of the attack on Israel, and all the conversations and debates going on, it seems as good a time as any to discuss how to deal with politics when you’re dating.

This is not typically a first-date topic, but skimming the surface is important if politics is one of your passions. Knowing if your date shares your stance on domestic and international issues can be imperative in deciding if there should be a second date. Getting into a full-on debate over dinner on your first date, however, is not a good idea. Having a healthy disagreement on a fourth date is awesome though as it will reveal your date’s views on current events, their level of interest in current events, and how well they listen and respect your opinion.

Obviously if you are a pro-Israel advocate, and your date is a Palestinian sympathizer, then you may have difficulties. Same goes for a staunch left-wing, card-carrying member of the NRA and a super-liberal, anti-corporation socialist. Probably won’t work. But never say never. Respect goes a long way!


JDate Resolution

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

As part of every New Year’s celebration, we make resolutions regarding how to be a better person and what goals we hope to achieve in the coming year. If you’re Jewish and single, add JDate to that list. Make a resolution to be a more active JDater this year by taking the following steps:

  • Get some fresh photos taken
  • Create a more exciting profile name
  • Rewrite and complete your profile answers
  • Either expand your narrow search preferences or tighten up your broad preferences
  • Answer the emails of prospects who are on your borderline list
  • Send emails to new prospects who didn’t necessarily catch your eye before
  • Be more confident in your emails and turn virtual correspondences into dates

Make your chances of 2014 being the year you meet your Beshert even better by being a better person… with a better JDate profile!


Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

by Aaron under JFacts,Judaism,News

This year marks an extraordinary occurrence that many people outside of this JDate blog will likely be talking about to an annoying degree this week: the fascinating meeting of Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first and last time in many of our lives (though I’m feeling confident about being here for Chanukah closing out Thanksgiving 2070). It’s an obvious subject for me to talk about as my blogs are posted on Thursdays, and Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this and every other year.

However, I don’t tend to enjoy the obvious topics, so you’re not about to read why you should be thankful for everything. Instead, I would like to explain a bit about why Chanukah and Thanksgiving go great together, and why Chanukah should remind us not to be complacent.

For the uninitiated, Chanukah is about a small amount of something going a long way, particularly a small amount of oil burning for eight days (though really, the miracle was the victory of the Maccabees). Making a lot of nothing is the key point of the holiday, and it emphasizes how to make the best of any situation. Fittingly, Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for what we have and being proud of that.

Similarly, I was discussing prayer with one of the rabbis I regularly study with a few weeks back, and we went over what Jewish prayer has to consist of. It has to contain three things: praising, thanking, and requesting. We have to be grateful for all around us, even if it’s not the specific things we’ve asked for. We also thank G-d for anything we’ve gotten that we’ve wanted. And lastly, we ask for more again. The idea of wanting more always seems like such a taboo thing on Thanksgiving, we should be lucky we have what we have. But lucky for us, this year is also Chanukah, and so you can thank and praise, but don’t forget to want some more, too. Next year won’t have Chanukah and Thanksgiving meet again, but you can still ask for it to be an even better time than this year.

And of course, I wish everyone reading this a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving, and hope you’re here with me for all the blogs ahead. Thanks for reading!


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Alex Band, Joan Rivers and Sam Horowitz…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,News

1. Lead Singer of The Calling Abducted

Alex Band, the lead singer of The Calling, was abducted and beaten last weekend while on tour in Michigan. The rocker, whose father is Jewish, tells reporters he was abducted on Sunday morning, beaten and dumped on train tracks while he was walking from his hotel room to a mini-mart around 4am.

Band released a statement to US Weekly saying, he was “left for dead” by his abductors who allegedly beat him with a police baton and pointed a gun at his face while demanding his so-called “Hollywood money.” The beating apparently caused Band to lose a tooth, suffer a mild concussion and required 15 stitches to close a gash in his chin.

“I am grateful to be alive,” Band said in the statement to US Weekly. He added that drugs and alcohol were not involved in the incident, saying: “I take my rehabilitation very seriously. I was near death due to this unbelievable situation and the rumors are categorically false.”

 

2. Joan Rivers Launches New Dating Show

Joan Rivers is single and looking to mingle! After 15 years on the singles scene, the Jewish comedian announced she is finally ready to meet someone new. Rivers will begin the search for her Beshert on a new web series called “Romancing the Joan.”

The web series, which is set to air on She Knows TV, will feature Rivers first selecting from a “man candy” pool of eight eligible bachelors who will then be “paraded around in front of Rivers in an effort to win her heart.” Awww… sounds romantic! “Romancing the Joan” premieres in September.

 

3. Meet Future Jewish Celebrity… Sam Horowitz

If you haven’t heard of Sam Horowitz yet, you will soon enough! Horowitz became a YouTube sensation when his Bar Mitzvah entrance video went viral! You can check out this must-see clip here.

However, the teenaged Bar-Mitzvah-dance sensation isn’t done yet. Horowitz has now taken over New York! The Dallas teen gave a second dazzling performance on Broadway last week that featured back-up dancers and aired live on Good Morning America.

This isn’t Horowitz’s first performance, though – he also filmed his own music video for Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit “Call Me Maybe.” Something tells us we’ll be seeing more of Sam Horowitz in the future…