Archive for the ‘Online Dating’ Category

Dear Tamar: Help Me Write Emails Please!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Tamar,

I read all the tips on how to send that first email to ladies. I also emailed more than a dozen ladies on JDate and not one of them responded. I think the fact that I am shy and inexperienced may have something to do with it, but I’m not sure. Here is the email that I sent to the ladies on JDate:

JDate.com probably thinks our profiles matched so I’m sending you this email. It is cool. If you are interested in continuing this research, please write me back when you have a chance.
Best Wishes,
xxx

Do you have any advice for me as to how I can change this email? Or maybe something I can put in this email so that when I email the ladies on the website they will respond to me? Please let me know. Have a good day and I look forward to speaking/hearing from you soon.

Best Wishes,
xxx

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Inexperienced Emailer:

You weren’t kidding when you said you were inexperienced! Your email is awkward, stiff, and, well, awkward. Emails to prospective dates should not be so formal, or appear to be copy/pasted, or appear to be written by Google translate for that matter.

Since you are writing to a prospect on JDate they know that something attracted you to them — so what was it aside from being told you’re a match? You shouldn’t be writing every single prospect an email, only the ones who fit the majority of your preferences and whom you’re attracted to. That said, you should write what it is that you’re attracted to that made the prospect worthy of your time and effort to write the email.

End the short email with a question that addresses something in their profile and shows that you want to get to know them better. You need to prove that you actually looked at their profile by writing both with a compliment and a question, being conversational and casual, and adding in a somewhat flirt tone as well.

Good luck!


Annoying Texters: Social Epidemic?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Hey, wut up!! ;)

Have you ever been annoyed, frustrated, or confused by a text message? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We are in the midst of a texting epidemic that is particularly puzzling and detrimental to new daters! I’m not blaming the concept of texting – it can be very useful in certain situations and definitely has its time and place (ever tried to locate a friend at a loud bar or concert?). However, it can also produce misconstrued, mysterious messages that cause way more anxiety and analysis than necessary.  I’ll talk more about the problems with texting in a later article, but for now, I present to you a field guide to identify some of the more common types of offenders.  Are you dating or pursuing one?

  1. The Narrators
  • Common texts: “Hey, good morning! How are you? I am feeding my cat. lol” “How was your Tuesday? Work was really busy today b/c I had 2 meetings and met a friend for lunch.” “I am watching house of cards. This show is so awesome.”
  • Also may send pictures of food or pets with no explanation.

In the beginning (and middle) of dating or a relationship, Narrators can get annoying. Unless you both agree you enjoy this constant monologue, most people are too busy to keep up with this stream of consciousness, and even more people are turned off by the lack of intrigue. If you are narrating in an effort to ask someone on a date, forget the chit chat and ask her out!

  1. The Non-Responders
  • Common texts: “ya” or “k” in response to something said an hour ago.

Be wary of non-responders, who are the opposite of narrators. If you are a non-responder, take note that you may come across as indifferent or disinterested, which may or may not be your intention. If you are trying to communicate with a non-responder, stop sending messages and see what happens. If all communication stops, move on.  Yeah, some people are too busy to respond, but non-responders are notoriously just not that in to you.

  1. The Sporadics
  • Common texts: “hey, what are you doing now?”… 3 weeks later… “how r u?”

Sporadics are tolerable under few circumstances. If this behavior doesn’t bother you, then respond as you please. But, know that people who send these kinds of messages are most likely either uninterested in a serious relationship with you, or are keeping you on back burner while they try to date their higher priorities. My suggestion: ignore.

  1. The Pointless Chatters
  • Common texts: “hey, how’s your day?” “how’s it going?” “what are you up to this week?”

I know this is really common banter early on, sometimes even before the first date. If this is an attempt to ask someone out, however, forego the small talk and ask her out! If this is an attempt to flirt, try something actually flirtatious. If this is you being bored or lonely, text a friend, vacuum your house, or organize your sock drawer.

When IS texting appropriate and welcome? To let someone know you are running late or on the way. To tell someone you are thinking about him or looking forward to a date. To send a quick reminder or funny note. But not to say “hey” 11 times a day. And not to engage in real conversations. That’s what tweets are for! Jk jk, lol :p


Did You Get Asked Out This Morning for This Weekend?

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

Did you receive an email, text, or (hopefully) a phone call today asking you out on a date this weekend? Kinda last minute, right? I mean, even if you are available, should you admit it and accept the offer? Does that make you seem too eager? Or, are you matching the momentum?

Well, it depends…

If you only met on JDate earlier this week and you’ve been exchanging emails and you’re making plans, then keep the momentum going and accept the date. After all, you both are free, so why not make plans with each other?

If you have been chatting here and there over the course of more than a few weeks, making and canceling plans, texting sporadically, and basically being as non-committal as possible, then perhaps pass on this one. You can counter with an offer to get together the following weekend to see if they are serious about going on a date or not, otherwise it sounds like they ran into Friday without plans for the weekend and are looking to fill it.

And lastly, if you don’t see this prospect with a serious potential future, but there’s attraction and you have nothing else to do, then say yes and enjoy yourself. However, be aware of two things: 1) be open to actually liking this person because it could happen, and 2) make sure you don’t hurt their feelings if they like you and were hoping for more.

 


If You’re Not Making An Effort…

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

If you’re not on JDate, and you’re not going to singles events, and you’re not going to Jewish events, and you’re not letting people know you’re interested in being set-up, and you’re not going out at night with friends… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

If you are going on dates with a wall built taller than you could metaphorically reach, and you aren’t letting your date get to know you, and you are walking into a date expecting it to go bad… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” comes into play here. Being single is tough, but you can’t let prospects know that you are fed-up and frustrated with dating. You need to smile and put yourself out there and pretend like you don’t mind your current circumstances until they change.


To Be or Not To Be… a Date?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Is a date by any other name still a date? That which we call a date by any other name would still be as ambiguous.  Ok, it’s obvious I’m no Shakespeare, but I’m a JDater who has lately been wondering: Is this to be or not to be a date? That is the question! In the past couple months, either my friends or I have experienced the following scenarios:

  • Guy asks girl out to dinner. Picks up girl. Talks about what a gentleman he is. Asks to split check.
  • Guy asks girl to an event. Asks her to meet him there because he invited other friends along.
  • Guy makes plans to meet up with girl. Gets too drunk to leave the house and meet her; she is stood up.
  • Guy meets girl at event. They separate from group to get food. He pays.

Which of these is a date? All? Some? None? A (very) informal poll yielded some expected results:  Most people think that a date involves someone asking another person to do something particular at a specific time. The meeting should involve two people who show up with a smile and some conversational skills.  More generally-agreed-upon identifiers of a date:  The daters actually show up, they don’t bring extraneous people, props, or animals (unless there is a specific pet-centered activity involved), they aren’t obviously perusing JDate during said activity, and they aren’t donning sweats. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who need these clarifications!

Slightly more controversial characteristics are transportation and the bill. The more progressive among us may say that a date is still a date if two parties meet and split the bill. But a more traditional gal might interpret this situation as an unromantic business dealing. All this ambiguity leads to conclusion jumping, frustration, and general exasperation!  And what happened to the art of an actual date? After all, this is JDate, not JHang or JLaze.

To solve this pressing issue in the dating community, I’m calling for an international charter of defining the date.  Let’s just all decide to assume something is a date if two, and only two people, agree to go somewhere together under the presumption of romantic interest, and the guy at least offers to drive and pay.  Ladies, it’s up to you to accept these offers. This is a very open definition, but under this interpretation, more of us will have a date this weekend, so I’m just trying to help the cause!

Examples of date invitations under the international charter:

  • “Would you like to come hear my friend’s band play next week?”
  • “Do you want to grab dinner?”
  • “Do you want to walk your dog with me?”

Probably not a date:

  • “Can you babysit my little brother?”
  • “We should meet up sometime…”
  • “Would you please stay late at work to finish that report?”

I like to establish guidelines and definitions to make sense of an otherwise chaotic situation. Oh, and my personal definition swings more toward the traditional end of the spectrum, so you can pick me up for dinner at 8. :) But, your mileage may vary… This above all: to thine own self be true.


First Impressions: Fixing a Bad One

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

When you’re actively dating you know that first impressions are incredibly important. I’ve mentioned body language — and when it comes to first impressions that means greeting your date with a big, genuine smile with your head held high and your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side or clasped in front of you. Introducing yourself without the positive body language listed above is basically starting a date in a negative manner; which will only force you to work a bit harder to fix things.

The best way to fix this initial snafu is to be honest and say, “Sorry, I’m nervous, but I’m really happy to meet you and look forward to drinks/dinner/etc. together.” Honesty about having anticipation about the date is endearing.

If it’s your words that may have turned off your date, then apply the same solution: excuse your behavior by explaining it away. If you had a bad day at work before the date, or if there’s drama with a good friend, or a sick family member, then simply explain why you’re not being yourself and promise your date that you’ll shake it off (better yet, call a friend on the way to the date to vent about whatever is bothering you so that it’s out of your system before the date). Again, being honest about why you’re “off” and possibly made a bad first impression is the best way to reel things back in. But, then you have to make good with your promise to be positive (which hopefully means being yourself!).

Recover, own it, and get back in the date before it’s too late!


Differing Expectations

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

I once read that there is a small but noticeable spike in breakups shortly following Valentine’s Day.  Initially, I thought perhaps people were waiting until after Feb. 14 to break things off so they wouldn’t have to be alone on the “holiday.”  But, then I wondered if the timing of these breakups occurred because of residual disappointment. Maybe he forgot to acknowledge the day, but you really wanted him to send you flowers at work. Or maybe he made reservations at an expensive restaurant, but you’re much more comfortable cooking at home.  Particularly in the very early stages of dating, these non-reciprocal expectations (NRE, as the professionals – or really just I – call it) can destroy budding relationships!

Valentine’s Day might be a relatively insignificant example of how non-reciprocal expectations can result in disappointment… or worse.  I’m sure we have all fallen victim to other examples of an NRE-scenario in some way or another:  you paid for dinner and expected a kiss, but she gave you a cold hand shake; you thought he would meet your parents on his day off, but he expected to go out of town, etc.  It sure is disappointing! But why does this happen? Where do expectations come from?

Well, not to get all Freudian, but we form a lot of these expectations in childhood.  Our family of origin, the environment we live in, our own personal experiences – all of these start forming our outlook on the world from a young age, and through trial and error, we learn to harbor certain beliefs and expectations in certain situations.

Because we learn how to develop expectations from a pretty deeply rooted and personal place, it can be jarring to manage your expectations to mesh with someone else’s.  This is true in any relationship, but especially in romantic relationships, which focus on pleasing the other person.  Say you start sending messages back and forth with a seemingly normal guy. You expect that he should ask you out after four messages. You then grow disappointed when he doesn’t do just that. Or, say after several good dates with someone, you expect that she should remove her profile from JDate… but she hasn’t, and you’re concerned.  So what’s a JDater to do?

Other than erasing all expectations from your brain and entering every new situation with a completely blank mental slate, there’s a relatively simple way to identify someone else’s expectations before it’s too late. I’m talking about a radical solution here… you could communicate! You know, like actually talk to the other person and explain what you’re thinking.  I am not saying you should present a list of demands, nor am I suggesting that you remove all spontaneity from your dating life.  And do not verbalize that you expect mediocre conversation and a tentative goodnight kiss. However, do communicate your hopes and intentions!

To help our aforementioned friends in the example above, a simple, “Hey, I think we seem to get along pretty well… want to meet up in person?” or “You know, I enjoy dating you and am not interested in meeting other people – how do you feel?” A simple question or two should do the trick.  Put your expectations and thoughts out there… in the open!  The worst that can happen is that the other person has an incompatible or unreasonable expectation with which you can’t compromise, and you reach an impasse.  But if that’s the case, I expect that relationship to fail, anyway.

 


Social Media Standoff

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

It’s not realistic to assume that you aren’t going to Google a date before meeting them, try to find them on Facebook, or even check their LinkedIn profile. On one hand it is smart to try and confirm certain details to make sure your date is being honest about major items (age, career, school, marital status), and perhaps even to see if you have mutual friends who could possibly vouch for them (not now, later!). On the other hand, however, it’s not always smart. By meeting someone on JDate you are already learning so much about them, and then by doing an online search you are now learning more than they have provided.

The meme above is not too far off… what if you were to slip up and mention those mutual friends? That would make it obvious that you checked your date out on Facebook. Or, if you were to ask why it took five years to graduate undergrad when they never mentioned that? It’s an easy alumni association search. Or what if you asked about their attendance at an event that saw on their newsfeed? Way too much information can be discovered before it’s time.

Some mystery is important — that doesn’t mean lying or omitting information — and if you spend too much time social media stalking before getting to know each other then you will ruin the excitement of uncovering commonalities. That’s the fun part of dating!


Your Preference Setting Your “Preferences”

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

A lot of people ask me how to use “Preferences” and “My Ideal Match” on JDate. Should they answer the questions as broad as possible and then narrow it down from there based on level of importance? Or, should they answer as strict and narrow as possible — in essence creating their idealized, perfect (unrealistic?) match — and then broaden the areas of least importance?

It looks like this:

Scenario #1 — The Broad Answer (ie. casting a wide net)

  • location: with 100 miles
  • age range: 5 years younger, 10 years older
  • marital status: single or divorced
  • kids: has/wants/any
  • education: BA and above
  • religion: all except Orthodox options
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: yes
  • height: 5’10+
  • body style: any
  • activity level: any
  • kosher: no or to some extent
  • willing to relocate: maybe

Scenario #2 — The Strict Answer (ie. your perfect vision)

  • location: within 25 miles
  • age range: 1 year younger, 4 years older
  • marital status: single
  • kids: wants
  • education: MA/JD/PhD
  • religion: Conservative
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially
  • height: 6’+
  • body style: athletic/fit
  • activity level: active and above
  • kosher: no
  • willing to relocate: no

In the 1st scenario you would get a huge return with possibly 100s of prospects to sift through. In the 2nd scenario you may get just one pageful, which is maybe a dozen prospects to choose from (if any). In order to eliminate the ones in scenario #1 you would begin narrowing down location to 50 miles, then age to a 10-year range, then being more specific about activity level and/or body type. In order to see more options in scenario #2 you would broaden the mileage to 50 miles, expand the age range to a 10-year spread, include those who have a college degree (even if it’s not higher education), and be open to someone with a few extra pounds to lose.

Is there a right way or a wrong way? No, not necessarily. In fact, I think you should try both ways. First make your own list of what your ideal is and then what you would compromise on. Does someone truly need to be 6′ tall or would 5’11 suffice? If you keep kosher then that would probably not be one that you would be willing to negotiate on. Once you’ve made your two lists, plug one in first, then the other, and see what your results are. Based on which appeals to you more, use that approach and then start your narrowing or broadening. Remember, relationships are a lot about compromise so this is good practice for later!


Ode to Love Poems

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Shakespearean sonnets, sad country songs, even the clichéd wisdom of a Hallmark card… the written word of Valentine’s Day is alive and well as we count down to the dreaded date. As a dating blogger, I feel the pressure to give serious advice intended to land you a date for February 14, or how to survive the day as a single person, or how to acknowledge the day if you just started seeing someone.  But instead, I’m inviting you, the readers of JBlog, to be my Valentine.  Unfortunately, I can’t shower you with flowers and candy through the internet, but I can write you some poems to mark the occasion.  Who doesn’t love celebratory limericks and haikus?

 

He’s just not that into you

If he doesn’t call after date number two.

Don’t send him a text;

Just go on to the next

And log on to find your next Jew!

 

Had a great first date

Valentine’s Day is this week

Too soon for flowers?

__

A new message arrived just for me,

Looks like my dream man – could it be?

He’s tall and he’s funny,

He makes lots of money!

Oh wait, he’s not even 23!

__

Single on V-Day?

Don’t want to go to the bars?

Stay home with Netflix!

___

Why is it always so

That we tend to like those we don’t know?

But when seen up close

The unknown becomes gross!

So enjoy whom you’re with, head to toe.