Archive for the ‘Online Dating’ Category

Everyone and No One and Anyone

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

If everyone is on JDate then how come people complain to me “there’s no one on JDate!” Or, why do they lament about being unable to find anyone on JDate!? The people who make these statements and ask these questions run the gamut, from males to females, old and young, straight and gay, short and tall, and so on.

My answer is always simple: they’re out there, you’re just not looking hard enough. Typically people fall into two categories: they either tend to have their preferences set too narrowly and therefore don’t have a large pool of prospects to choose from and get frustrated by the lack of options — or they have their preferences set way too broadly and have far too many prospects to scroll through, and then get overwhelmed until everyone’s profiles begin to blend together.

In my book, ”How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” I recommend beginning with the former and setting your preferences to your absolute “perfect” idea of a match, and then broadening your options slowly from there. That will allow you time to see who’s out there and what one year of age, or one inch, or one level of education translates to in regards to the number of prospects you find. This will help you easily determine who is new to your search results in a slow and deliberate manner.

Here’s an example from one of my female clients, “Jamie,” age 34, of her ideal match:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 34-39
  • located within 25 miles of her city
  • marital status: single
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 6’0-6’6
  • body style: athletic
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

After I tweaked Jamie’s profile, we slowly adjusted one category at a time until she had a good number of options without compromising on her preferences too much. With age and height, we adjusted one year and one inch, respectively, at a time. This is how it looks now:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 33-41
  • located within 50 miles of her city
  • marital status: single, divorced,
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 5’10-6’9
  • body style: athletic, lean, firm, muscular, average, proportional
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

Jamie went from having about 60 prospects, many of which she knew already, to having more than 200 prospects, many of which she had never seen before. Put a little elbow grease into your profile and preferences, and your prospects will increase in quality and quantity!


To Get What You Want, Make a List

by Haley Plotnik under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I love lists. They’re so handy! When it comes to dating, I have 4 lists I refer to, which are grouped under the heading: “What I Want in Another Human Being.” No need to be hetero-normative, right?

These 4 lists include various traits pertaining to human characteristics I like and dislike in other humans. The 4 lists are:

  1. Musts
  2. Wants
  3. Deal Breakers
  4. Price of Admission

If someone is missing a Must, I can’t accept a date with him in good conscience. He’s  missing something I consider fundamental.

If someone is missing a number of Wants, I may still accept a date, but he is already high on my red flag watch.

A Deal Breaker is just that. I don’t bother wasting my time when it’s clear someone possesses one or more of these traits.

The least obvious is the Price of Admission category. To discover these, you most likely will have to accept a date or two. They are personality quirks or lifestyle behaviors that you aren’t hugely attracted to, but that you’re willing to put up with on a case-by-case basis. Basically, if someone is awesome but has a random drawback that kind of rubs you the wrong way, you need to decide if it’s a Deal Breaker or a Price of Admission. If you think a movie looks like a winner, you pay the Price of Admission, right? If you think it doesn’t look so great, you may pass or wait until you can stream it for free.

How do you categorize your priorities? Mine are listed in an excel sheet. Go figure. Analytical Haley strikes again!


Be Vulnerable

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

I have some random TV show on in the background while I sit at my computer working, it’s called “UnDateable” and (so far) it’s unwatchable… but good enough for background TV. However, I glanced up a bit ago just in time to hear the words “be vulnerable,” and thought “YES!”

So many singles are NOT showing their vulnerable side, and then they wonder why they never go out on second dates. It’s okay to have a wall up, but only to a point. You have to show that you are open to love, which means being open to getting hurt. You can do this in one simple step: let the person sitting across from you (or next to you, depending upon how you’re sitting LOL) know why you want to be on this very date with him or her at this very moment.

Start there and see where it goes.


Buyer Beware: Made-Up & Over-Done

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

If you look like a completely different person when you wake-up versus when you go out (not to mention the photos in your JDate profile) then don’t be surprised when your date’s eyes bulge out of his head as he bolts for the door!

This article is an example of what I’m talking about. You need to look vaguely like your profile photos when you’re not wearing any makeup. Most men will say they prefer a woman in their natural state or closely related. If you take an hour to apply your contouring makeup to give off the impression of a thin nose, high cheekbones, and a rounded chin, then you may want to take a makeup course in how to tone it down while still feeling good about how you look.

It’s fun to get all ferputzed once in a while, just be careful if you pack on the product when you’re dating. The more you see your new flame (which would be a good thing!), the harder it will be to keep up your makeup routine 24/7.


Stay-at-Home Summer Movies

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,Online Dating,Single Life

As summer movie season is upon us, the natural inclination is to drown our girlfriends in comic book lore and respectively take boyfriends to go see Legally Blonde 6. Not a lot of happiness comes out of that from my experience (just go with your same-interest friends!), but there are definitely some fun movies for everyone, with a little romantic spark to boost. So with that in mind, I’d like to give you some of my recommendations for your next stay-at-home movie night:

  • Before Sunrise/Before Sunset: Any girl I’ve ever dated knows these are the best romance movies known to man. As a grown man, I still tear up nearly every time I watch either one, but I love every second. The movies are literally just two people exploring two European cities (Vienna in Sunrise, Paris in Sunset), but what an experience. And they’re pretty short, so if either of you disagrees with my recommendation, at least it’s over quickly.
  • Definitely, Maybe: While Ryan Reynolds is rarely an actor I recommend, this is one of those fun romantic comedies that keeps everyone happy.

Okay, so it turns out I only have two (three depending on if you count the Before movies as separate) really romantic movies, but if you’re looking for more missed hits to watch on DVD/across the internet with your significant other, here are some other non-romances you may have missed:

  • Six Degrees of Separation: Who doesn’t love Will Smith? There’s a bit of romance here, but mostly the movie just asks the question “just who the heck is this guy?” A fun air of mystery makes it a fun watch for everyone.
  • Hamlet 2: I feel like this is a very special under-appreciated movie, and I highly recommend it for everyone (ladies will love Jesus’s sexy abs, but everyone will enjoy the fun of a sequel to Hamlet).
  • The Scream Movies: Horror is a special bonding experience, and no horror series is more lightweight, fun, and well-done than the Scream movies. The whole series isn’t perfect, but if you want to be scared in a way that won’t force you to keep the lights on, this is the way to do it.

So that’s my mini-movie corner, feel free to post your stay at home recommendations in the comments!


Playing Cat & Mouse

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

There are some profiles on JDate I’ve viewed five or more times. It’s not because I’m in love with the profile, or even that it’s more remarkable than all others. It also doesn’t necessarily mean I am romantically interested in the person. I have a predicament I call “profile overexposure.”

Here’s how “profile overexposure” works: At some point, I view someone’s profile. The person views me back. Then… nothing. Sometimes I will re-click on their profile, forgetting I’d already looked a month back. I call this “playing cat and mouse.” There are so many profiles out there and so much to look at. How can anyone possibly remember the important details without having a spreadsheet or taking notes? I sometimes consider devising a system for this issue, but I then convince myself it isn’t worth my time.

My frustration with this “Cat and Mouse” phenomenon sometimes leads me to accept dates with non-Jewish men. Non-Jewish men take more interest in me than Jewish men for reasons I cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s because I don’t look “that Jewish” (according to many of my peers). Regardless, I accepted a date with a guy I’ll call “Chris.” Chris and I had a great initial interaction. No major butterflies, but we’re both engineers, and we had a lot to chat about… until he asked me what I had done earlier in my weekend. I mentioned I had been to synagogue for Friday night services. He knew I was Jewish when he accepted the date, but it appears he found me to be too Jewish. If you’ve seen my previous post on not being Jewish enough, you can imagine my delight when someone found me to be “too Jewish!”

The conversation took an odd turn when he realized I partake in Judaism, rather than just wearing it as a cultural badge of honor. He then admitted he “didn’t really like Jewish food,” and I could see him sizing me up against stereotypical Jewish “boxes.” He outwardly compared me to some of the most typical ones: nose, hair texture, and athletic ability.

People ask me why I go on so many first dates. To be truthful, it can get very tiresome. Chris said he was “nonreligious,” but when push came to shove, I sensed his discomfort and misunderstanding of Judaism. He tentatively asked, “Isn’t every child born to a Jewish woman automatically Jewish?” He was clearly not okay having a Jewish child. At that, I was ready for another round of “Cat and Mouse” on JDate.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Ray”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Hello Tamar,

Can you take a look at my profile and tell me what I am doing incorrectly? What should be there and what needs to be removed?

Thanks,
“Ray”

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Ray,

I’ve broken down my assessment of your JDate profile into three different sections: photos, essays and search. I believe you (and other JDaters) can strengthen your profile with just a few easy tweaks!

PHOTOS

Your photos are inconsistent, and although there are 12 of them, a few need to be deleted and the rest should be reordered. Follow my 5 F’s in this order: Face, Full Body, Fun, Family & Friends, Final Photos.

Move the 11th photo of you wearing the suit to your main profile photo. It’s a clear headshot and you’re dressed up. Homerun! The fifth full-body photo with the flowers should be your second pic. The tenth photo with the funny guy should be your third. I would also make the sixth photo by the tree your fourth pic. Lastly, make the fourth photo with sunglasses on the boat your fifth image and then get rid of the rest. If you take some new photos, try to get more close-up shots without sunglasses to show off your face!

IN MY OWN WORDS

I liked most of what you wrote until “The Things I Could Never Live Without.” This is where you need to simplify. You don’t need to say exercise AND spinning AND eating healthy AND yoga. “Living a healthy lifestyle” is enough. The same goes for the section called, “For Fun I Like To…” because you repeat yourself. You could actually delete that section entirely. Under “My Favorite Books, Movies, etc” delete all the details. Just keep the list. Also delete “My Past Relationships” because you cover the subject in “I’m Looking For” and “My Ideal Relationship” very thoroughly.

DETAILS

Being that you’re 46, your age range shouldn’t max out at 46. Up it by just a few years to 48, or even 50. I would also simplify the area under your “Ideal Match” — chances are you’re not really looking for a friend or activity partner, you probably want a relationship, or even marriage, from what your profile says, so make sure your “Details” align.

 

Overall, I think rearranging and deleting your profile pics will draw some new looks to your profile, and simplifying your essay sections will help as well. It’s clear you’re a passionate person who loves his daughter and that will attract many prospects! Good luck!


Searching Systematically

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

Dear Tamar,

What is the best, systematic way to create a profile and search successfully on JDate?

___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Systematic Searcher,

The easy answer? Buy my book, How to Woo a Jew, The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating.

The more complicated answer? Be honest about your stats (age, education level, height/weight, religious level) first and foremost. Next, choose your preferences in a mate. Start off by selecting your “perfect prospect,” and then broaden the preferences from there.

If you don’t have at least 100 prospects to check out, then your preferences are too narrow, and you need to compromise somewhere regarding what, exactly, you’re looking for. You aren’t going to find someone who encompasses everything, but you can find most things by giving in, bit by bit. Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself to make sure you aren’t being too strict in any certain area:

  1. How wide is your age range?
  2. Just because you have a PhD does it mean your mate has to as well?
  3. If someone lives within a 25 mile radius, then what’s another 25 miles?

Table Manners

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

A recent story from my girlfriend about her date eating off her plate, and then finishing it off while she went to the bathroom, has inspired this post. Her date also arrived weighing 150 pounds more than his photo showed and he ordered more than a few plates of food for himself, which he polished off before she could eat half of hers. He committed a number of table manner transgressions!

  1. Unless you ask first, or your date offers, do not take a sample of your date’s food. In fact, asking if you want to taste each other’s food is a great way to break the ice.
  2. Keep your phone in your pocket or purse (unless you have kids and then keep your phone on silent on the table and don’t look at it).
  3. Ladies should not assume the man is going to pay. Offer to split and be prepared to have your offer accepted. Men should deny the offer in most circumstances.
  4. Be polite to the waitstaff.
  5. Your first-date behavior should be your best behavior!

Why I Cried During The Zombie Movie

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

Before I was on this blog as a narcissistic storyteller every week, I was struggling with my dating life quite a bit. Break-ups were especially hard for me when they hit; I had a tendency to over-invest in relationships that were probably less real than I thought them to be.

One such afternoon comes to mind, and that is when I popped in a DVD I’d rented from Netflix called Warm Bodies. Now, this movie is literally a movie about a braindead zombie following a guy around for 80 minutes. That’s the entire movie. Somehow, in my shaken up state, I began to see parts of my life over the last few months reflected in the movie: “Wow, the way she stares at him and can’t say anything was just like our romance!” or “The way he shoots a gun at some other zombie for her is just like how we do things here in our Texas romances!”

Some of that is exaggerated, but it actually took me two days to finish this very mundane movie for the fact that I couldn’t keep my mind clear. All I could think about was the girl who had just broken things off with me. And then something changed.

You see, I found the secret to getting over a lot of issues in life, and that is by creating a routine only I have control over. It’s easy (and a little dangerous) for the world to dictate where you go from day to day, whether it’s your job or an overcommitment to someone of the opposite sex. So as I waited for grad school to start and had a month of funemployment last summer (and was freshly back on the dating market), I started doing things. I started taking more of an active interest in my Judaism by learning Talmud, putting on tefillin every day, and keeping Shabbat as to have a pattern in my life that kept me calm. That’s not necessarily for everyone, but it worked for me. Similarly, I spent the last five months learning improv a few times a week, and that calmed me like nothing else. It’s all about finding something that works for you.

There’s obviously a balance between living a life out of The Truman Show where you’re saying, “Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!” every single day, and uncontrollably weeping during teen movies. But if you’re struggling with finding yourself, take some time to do things that are distinctly for you. What started with tefillin and Shabbat has now become much more (though those are both still present), from writing these blogs to just learning new talents or having dinner every week with a few friends. There’s no easy way to make yourself invulnerable to being hurt, and you really shouldn’t, as vulnerability is a powerful thing in itself. However, you can definitely live a stronger dating life by giving yourself a little consistency. After the zombie incident, the next break-up was a lot easier, and I went right back to wrapping tefillin the next morning.