Archive for the ‘Online Dating’ Category

Make a List, But Check it Twice

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

Ah, the checklist. That necessary evil of dating where you’re forced to reduce the totality of the human experience into artificial and contrived parameters. Anyone who has ever been asked, “so what are you looking for?” has had to have their list memorized to deliver an elevator-pitch like succinct response. Dating sites like JDate force you to literally check off boxes to describe yourself and search for others. Naturally, people resist being placed into such boxes to the point where saying you “don’t fit in a box” is such a cliché that JDate could probably add that option to their profiles.

CRTV-1337-thumb-RJYThe trouble of course is that while websites, singles, and even shadchanim recognize both the utility and limitations of checklists, few people consider what these checklists really mean. Take the popular example of a checklist gone wrong is the “white tablecloth” requirement, where potential mates are rejected based on the content of their linen closet. I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the absurdity correlating tablecloths with maintaining a successful relationship, and instead suggest that the tablecloth symbolizes a personally important religious aesthetic. Anyone who could appreciate someone saying that Hannukah just isn’t Hannukah without Bubbe’s Famous Latkes can understand the value of religious sentimentality.

Remember what I wrote a few weeks ago about dating and hope I think what applies there also applies to checklists. Every item represents a possibility, or based on one’s experience, probability. A PhD usually indicates a person is reasonably intelligent or values knowledge, which yeshivot one attended can be indicative of religious upbringing, etc. It doesn’t matter if any of these sorts of assumptions are true, or if they’re relevant to the essence of the person in the present. What matters isn’t even what people think about the checkboxes, but how they imagine what the relationship would be.

Unless you automatically accept every single dating possibility which comes your way, you’re going to have some standards about the people you date. And if you’re in any way serious about having a relationship, you’re going to want to maximize the potential of the date being “good” however you want to define it. Checklists aren’t about separating the naughty from the nice (it might be, but since this is a Jewish dating website, we’re keeping things clean), but playing the odds to have the best chance of having a decent date.

The question is less about the checklists, but how much of them are dogmatic deal breakers. If you happened to hit it off with someone who didn’t have the right box checked, would you call it off or would you give it a shot? Obviously this is up to you, but every now and again, it’s worth checking in on our checklists.


Attention Grabber

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

With all the holiday parties coming up, what should you do to stand out — and what tactics should you not employ?

The best way to attract others is to be happy, to enjoy yourself, and to laugh. Dress to impress — look good, feel good. Show your confidence and exert yourself. But don’t go overboard trying to get attention.

A woman I saw last night, who was being loud, had clearly been drinking too much, and was dressed provocatively, showing way too much skin. Unfortunately, she was only attracting the type of guys who were looking for a hookup. Her tamer girlfriends, meanwhile, were on the edge of the scene and enjoying the company of some great guys.

On the same note, a guy I noticed last night who was commanding the room with his lewd jokes, cussing a lot, and flirting with girls he clearly wasn’t interested in as a joke, was turning off all the women in the room. Even his guy friends were slowly putting distance between themselves because they wanted to meet quality women, and those women were not drawn to their friend’s spotlight.

Be respectful of yourself and others. Be positive, put out positive energy, and you will attract positive people — both friends and more.


Writing the Right Words

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

The “About Me” paragraph in your JDate profile is crucial. You could have the best photos, but if you write the wrong thing, you’re going to attract the wrong prospects. Sure, you’ll likely still get lots of attention, but it may be for the wrong (ie. superficial) reasons.

Writing the right words is not easy. First and foremost you want to sound like an educated, coherent, charming, trustworthy person. That doesn’t mean you say that you “are educated, coherent, charming, and trustworthy.” The key word in that sentence was to “sound” like all those things, not just say that you are them. That also doesn’t mean that you write multiple paragraphs explaining why you are all of these things in detail either. Rather, make sure that you proofread, be consistent throughout your profile, don’t be too serious or too flippant about the process, and allow your personality to shine through.

Secondly, you don’t want to spend all the space talking about what you have to offer or what you are looking for. Talk about who you are and what’s important to you in life and you will attract the right type of people. Don’t get into your relationship history except to briefly state if you are divorced, widowed, and/or a single parent.

Don’t forget: your online dating profile is already providing a lot of typical first-date conversation information, so don’t over-share any more than you have to and keep some interesting tidbits about yourself for the date itself!


Managing Online Dating Expectations

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

I’d like to take a moment to talk about managing expectations. I don’t mean so much in terms of “dating” in the sense of finding a desirable — if not optimal — person with whom to share your life, but of dating sites in general. To get this out of the way right up front, yes, I’m fully aware I’m writing this for the largest Jewish dating site in the world.

I’m going to assume that if you’re on a dating site, and especially if you’re paying for one, you’re looking for “something.” You might be looking for a serious dating relationship or even have a laser-focus on getting married. Others might be interested in just meeting people with minimal strings or expectations, perhaps just wanting a fun night out with a potentially interesting person. The wide range of possibilities makes it difficult to define the “success” of a dating site, at least for any particular person. I would also guess that those who have higher expectations, such as those focusing on marriage or serious relationships, will also have a greater likelyhood of being disappointed or having a sense that a given website just isn’t “working” for you.

CRTV-1271-thumb-RJYPart of the problem is in assuming what a dating site can actually do for you. A dating site cannot get you a relationship, let alone get you married (not the legal ones, anyway). It cannot even guarantee any of your messages will get responses. The absolute best any dating site can do is get you a first date or meeting. Even if you get to that point, if for whatever reasons one of you isn’t interested, it’s not going to go anywhere. That’s not a flaw in the dating site, that’s life.

Dating sites are tools to meet people you otherwise would not. And like any tool, some will be more effective depending on the problem at hand, if at all. At the same time, this means that the effectiveness can also change over time with a particular individual or the dating pool.

What’s important to remember is that like any consumer, you have the power to patronize a service at your leisure, to move on when things don’t work well or to come back when you have a change of heart.


When No News Isn’t Good News

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

There are a few times that no news is not good news when dating or in a relationship:

  1. After your first date: if you haven’t heard from a date within two days, then chances are you never will. And, if you hear after a week or two, then chances are your date isn’t really interested, but is bored and lonely. Don’t fall into this trap and think this date suddenly changed their mind about how great you are a few weeks later, they are simply looking for a hook-up.
  2. After dating for a couple months: if you suddenly don’t hear from someone you’ve been dating regularly, then chances are they are too chicken to break things off with you and are playing the disappearing act instead. You can move on or send a voicemail/text to let them know that you are sad they couldn’t just tell you it’s off, but that you wish them luck in the future. Be the better person and don’t throw barbs about how immature they are acting.
  3. After going through a tough time while being in a monogamous relationship: if your significant other doesn’t ask follow-up questions when you make a statement about having a stressful day at work, or getting into a fight with a loved one, or not feeling well, then chances are your S.O. is likely checking out of the relationship. If your S.O. isn’t interested in what’s going on in your life… then it’s time to have a talk.

Regardless of your situation, when you aren’t getting the response or communication you need, then speak up… you have nothing to lose!


De-Clutter… Everything!

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

Once, while going to the bathroom at a date’s house, I watched a slug inch its way out of the shower drain. I was totally grossed out and was about to turn on the shower to wash it down the drain, but only then realized there was just a square left on the toilet paper roll. Luckily, I had tissues in my purse (which I had brought in with me to freshen up my makeup). When I went to dry my hands though, I couldn’t find a hand towel. And when I went to turn on the water to drown this slimy thing, there was no showerhead! The water just burst straight out of the pipe from the wall! I decided to forget about the slug and returned to kitchen where I found an empty fridge, except for some random cans of beer and a dingy-looking box of baking soda.

Repulsed, I decided to concentrate on what I considered to be the cleaner, nicer areas of the house. Except I had overlooked the spider webs in the ceiling corners, the threadbare carpet, and the foot-high pile of mail… because I liked the guy. But now? Now I had an entirely new perspective on both his home as well as him. If he couldn’t keep his home clean, in even the most hygienic of ways at minimum, then what else in his life was lacking?

A recent study continues to make the rounds on social media connecting creative people with being messy. As if people needed another excuse to be untidy! But when you’re dating, you need to de-clutter… and that goes for your house and your life.

First things first, if you’re going to bring a prospect home then you need to clean up. You can do it in an hour or less and with a pack of disinfectant wipes. Make your home presentable because a date will judge you by the state of your home. Your furniture doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be clean and neat, even it means throwing things in drawers and closets for the day.

Next, make it a priority to de-clutter your life. Your personal Facebook page doesn’t need more than 1000 “friends” and neither do you. Get rid of those people who cause drama in your life and while you’re at it, unfriend the people who you don’t really know.

Another study I like better shows how simplifying your life will help you make important decisions.

That guy who’s house was totally gross? He’s still single six years later. And no, he’s not a creative type. And yes, his closet was packed to the brim with clothes!


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!


A Healthy Jealousy

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

In general, jealousy is an ugly trait. When you recognize jealousy within yourself, it typically is an indication of your own insecurities. Unfortunately most people don’t make that connection… which is why jealousy is generally unhealthy.

But, every so often, jealousy can be healthy. Healthy jealousy is that feeling you get when you didn’t notice how hot your date looks (and didn’t give them a compliment either), but catch others checking them out with admiration. At first you may get pissy and feel that others are disrespecting you by checking out your date right in front of you — that’s the jealousy. But then you realize that your date is hot and they deserve to know you think so — that’s the healthy part.

Sometimes it takes that little bit of that green-eyed monster to help you appreciate what you have sitting right in front of you.


Don’t Become Headline News

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating

Over the weekend a woman had to be rescued from a chimney after stalking a man she met online and went on just a couple dates with. Now she’s trending on Facebook and making national news.

This is not the 15 minutes of fame that you want. Do not become this girl. There is internet-stalking (checking out your prospects on social media and Google)… and then there is scary-stalking where you end up in jail after firefighters have to use liquid dish soap to hoist you out of a chimney. This is not a fine line or a gray area, this is an obvious no no, this is straight up crazy.