Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Email Expiration Date

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

How long is too long to wait before responding to a JDate email? Ideally you would respond within 48 hours — the same amount of time that is acceptable when you’ve received digits from someone who you met at a bar or elsewhere. If there’s a reason that you can’t get in touch earlier, then apologize for the delay and make sure you sweeten the pot by responding with a charming email.

It happens sometimes. Perhaps they were considering another JDater and wanted to give him or her a chance, and thus ignored their inbox until they were available. This is the usual reason why people don’t respond right away and it’s perfectly acceptable. That said, don’t actually ask whether that’s the reason; simply respond that it’s okay, ask your match how they are doing, and then let the conversation go from there. If that response takes a lengthy amount of time again, then you may simply be communicating with a flake or a player. If they reply right away, however, and it’s an engaging email, then let the delay go and move forward.

Timing is everything with dating. Are you going to give up on someone because of a few weeks?


If You Won’t Talk About It, Don’t Do It

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I had a mantra during my teenage years that if I couldn’t tell my Mom what I was doing, then I shouldn’t be doing it. My parents are fairly liberal, yet protective, so they had boundaries that would widen with honesty. If I would tell them I was going to a house party with no parents, their response was that if anyone was to drink — me included, of course — and needed a ride home, then I should call them. Pretty cool, eh?

The older I got, particularly once I moved out of their house, I stopped following this philosophy. I was in college, and then in my twenties, and I was having fun and living it up! My parents wouldn’t understand and I didn’t want to share, certain things are private… at least that’s what I told myself to excuse any behavior I knew they would deem unacceptable. That alone should have told me something, but, of course, I can only see that in hindsight.

If you can’t tell your parents (or at the very least, your friends) about it, then don’t do it. If you’re dating someone that you know your parents won’t like, then there’s probably a reason for it and you’ll figure that out after you get your heart broken, or get stood up, or wake up with your wallet missing. As hard as it is to accept and to say “you were right,” our parents have our best interests at heart. You shouldn’t be ashamed to share, that’s a red flag warning if there ever was one.

So if you’re considering going on a date with someone you’re unsure about, or you’re pondering whether to get serious with someone you don’t think the ‘rents will approve of, or you’re thinking about quitting your job to move to another city either for a mate or to find a mate, then have a heart-to-heart with your mom or dad (or another trusted confidant) and see what their opinion is, and what their instincts tell them; then take that into consideration before making any decisions.


To Thine Own Self Be True

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

What do you do when you meet someone on JDate who has selected “Never” under the “Drinking Category” when you like your glass of wine or bottle of beer at night?

How do you handle flirting with a non-smoker when you love your cigarettes?

What’s your initial reaction when you receive a message from a cute vegetarian, but you pride yourself on being a carnivore?

You have to be true to yourself, and you can’t pretend to be someone you’re not when you’re looking for “forever.” Don’t hesitate to order a drink on your date just because he or she doesn’t imbibe, unless of course they are in AA and then you need to discuss how they feel about it first. If you never plan on quitting smoking, but your date is disgusted by the scent of cigarettes, then you might not want to light up, but you also need to make it clear that you don’t plan on stopping until you feel like it (quitting for someone else never works). Eating out with someone with differing eating habits shouldn’t be a problem, but be respectful of their choices when ordering on their behalf or cooking at home.

Some differences are good, others are a dealbreaker. Again, as long as you’re keeping it real and respectful, then there’s no reason it couldn’t work.


HIMYM

by Tamar Caspi under Entertainment,Relationships

After nine years of watching every episode and looking for clues, How I Met Your Mother has finally come to an end… and the ending was not at all what loyal fans necessarily expected. As is life.

The writers were not going to wrap up the show in a pretty little package and tie it with a perfect bow, rather they were showing how life has twists and turns, and can get really ugly at times. They proved everything happens for a reason, and when it is supposed to (Ted wasn’t with Robin so he could meet Tracy and have his kids, Barney wasn’t with Robin so he could knock up a one-night stand and become a dad, then Ted gets to be with Robin anyway).

I have a similar rollercoaster of a story as to how I met my fiance and I’m sure you will eventually have yours as well. Mine definitely wasn’t pretty either, but — in hindsight of course — it went the way it was supposed to. Yours will too. Dating sucks sometimes, other times it’s exhilarating. Your path to meeting your beshert is going to unfold as it’s supposed to, be patient and just keep dating.


Learn From Your Past in a Positive Way

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

Everyone talks about learning lessons from your past so that you don’t repeat your mistakes, but you ought to also learn from your past in a positive way.

What did you like the most about your exes? What attracted you in a way that wouldn’t wane no matter how bad the relationship got? What did your exes do to make you happy? What were the reasons you wanted to stay with your ex? What kept you there when the going got tough?

Look for those same qualities in your next mate… and then of course remember the lessons you learned about from your past relationships which contributed to their demise (i.e. the negative stuff) and keep those things in mind as well.


Lauren and Alastair

by Aaron under Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

In writing my blogs, I sometimes like to remember that it’s not only single people reading. So for this week’s piece, I went to one of the sturdiest relationships in my life, the marriage of my friends Alastair and Lauren. As we ate dinner together last week, I decided to ask them for advice on healthy relationships.

  • On how they decided they were right for each other. Practicality is always king. Agreement on where you’re both headed is vital. Alastair and Lauren think of themselves as good roommates and think that, combined with their attraction, made for a great relationship. Common goals are also vital, and the practical understanding of the long-term blueprint was important in their relationship leading into marriage. They also trust each other immensely, and think of each other as their closest confidants. Money is an important point that comes up for them as something they immediately trusted each other with beyond just living together.
  • On what keeps them happy. Anticipate the other person’s needs. For example, Lauren and Alastair cook for each other when one is stuck at work (or in a classroom with me, in Alastair’s case). Basically, do nice things without being asked and put your partner before yourself. Life isn’t having sex and talking about G-d, it’s making the decisions to help each other and keep life stable.
  • On finding the right person for you. Find an environment that’s conducive for people being together regularly. Jewish events, hobby groups, and universities (within limits — maybe not if you’re in your 30s or older and not in college) are great ways to find people. Finding a place where you’re comfortable with lots of people is great, and while the university option was how they met, they still have lots of faith in meeting at community events.

One final note I’d like to make is how much I enjoy having Alastair and Lauren and their fellow married friends in my Jewish community. In Dallas, we don’t have “singles” events for young Jews, but rather events for young Jewish people in general.  While some people don’t love the mixing of singles and couples (how can you tell who to hit on?), I think there’s an added value not just from the fact that those in relationships can also be great people, but in the fact that they can give you a sense of guidance in a very confusing dating landscape.

Having two people in as stable of a relationship as Alastair and Lauren is more than just a great reminder of what I aspire for, but also a great resource to help me get there. So couples of the Jewish world, be sure to stay active in your community as my friends have, you never know who will benefit from your friendship, and the friends you can introduce them to.


Obligatory Loyalty

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A few months into dating someone and you’ve had “The Talk,” have possibly met each other’s families, have celebrated a holiday together, and are casually discussing the future… when something happens. Something, usually tragic, that binds you two together as a couple. Whether you like it or not.

It could be a sickness in the family, or even with one of you (G-D forbid). It could be the death of a close friend, or a dear pet. It could be a debilitating injury that causes your partner to need to care for you as you recover, or anything else life-changing that brings you closer together. However, it can also make you feel obligated to stay together when things were possibly not headed for an absolute future.

It depends on the occurrence, but there shouldn’t be anything that would make you want to stay with someone you don’t want to be with just because you survived a terrible time in one of your lives together. You will always think fondly of the person you went through that experience with, but it doesn’t mean you have to be together forever.


Cutting Through the Crap

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Most first, second, and even third-date conversations follow a similar order of topics. And as people begin to open up and tell you about themselves, they tend to embellish, exaggerate, or simply make everything in their life sound pretty awesome. But no one’s life is ever so glossy and polished.

It can be difficult to know what’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Somewhere in there is a half-truth, an omission, or a blatant lie… but it’s not always easy to figure out what those things are. It’s normal to want to make everything sound nice, but it can set you up for major disappointment later.

Is your date being vague in describing why his or her last relationship ended, or how successful their business is? Is there a lot of name dropping and the use of a lot of people, places and things to impress you? You may never know the full extent of the amount of the bull people spew (everyone does to some extent), and unfortunately there will be at least a few times when you find out the hard way — after you’ve fallen in love — and you’ll have to decide how important those misrepresentations are.


Love at First JDate: How to Be Happy for Friends in Relationships

by JenG under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I see this happen quite often. Friends finding their match – whether online or through other friends. It sometimes feels like it’s so easy for them, and yet so hard for everyone else. Either way, when it happens, it’s most important to be happy for them. Here’s how you can work on doing that:

  • Do: Be sure to congratulate them on their new relationship and be happy for them. Even if at first you are overcome with jealousy, that feeling will pass. There’s no reason to explode those jealous feelings on your friends. Keep them to yourself — if possible.
  • Don’t: Feel as though the world around you is moving in a different direction and it’s somehow, someway, easier for everyone else to meet someone. People enter relationships for all different reasons, at all different times in their lives. It’s important that you don’t compare and contrast your life with anyone else.

“Respect” is Not Just an Aretha Franklin Song

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Respect is one of the most important factors of a successful relationship. When you respect someone, it means you are being honest, it means you are being kind, and it means you are communicating effectively.

Respecting your partner means caring about their feelings and taking their opinions into consideration. Respect is speaking to the person you love with love, it means using tone and vocabulary that is rooted in the fact that at the end of the day — even if you are delivering a criticism — that you want to come out of the tete-a-tete a closer couple because you are engaging respectfully. Respect also means accepting your partner for who they are and not trying to change them, rather, helping them discover how you both can evolve together. When you find someone who you can respect to that degree, and receive that same level of respect in return, then you have found something truly special and with a higher likelihood of success.