A recent article in The New York Times “Modern Love” column titled The Hard Won Lessons of the Solitary Years resonated with me. Although there are lessons that we learn while IN relationships, there are also many lessons we learn the older we are as singles. Which is why it always bothered me when my coupled up counterparts would speak to me in a condescending way about things that I “wouldn’t understand” because I wasn’t married or in a relationship at the time.
What I found ironic though is that I was learning life lessons as an independent woman that would go on to benefit me later. There’s no right or wrong answer to what age is best for getting married; everyone has their own path, but in the meantime we should be cognizant of the way we speak to our friends who are on a different path and make sure we are respectful. Everyone learns their own hard fought lessons on their own time and we never know what someone is going through, it’s best to appreciate what they bring to the table — a perspective that comes from being in a different stage of life than ours.
A friend of mine was very excited about her newest JDate and took two hours to get ready, called me on the way for a pep talk and had high hopes. About three hours later I received a perplexed phone call from her. Her date didn’t have any hands. No prosthetics either. He was more than able to eat and drink and of course his physical disability had nothing to do with the great conversation — or the lack of chemistry — but she was also perturbed that he hadn’t mentioned it earlier because she was in shock. Nor did he address it during dinner and she didn’t feel comfortable doing so either. Even so, she was able to put that aside and enjoy the date and was disappointed when she didn’t feel anything romantic towards him. Yet, she was perplexed about why he wouldn’t have disclosed such an obvious physical disability ahead of time and asked me if that was wrong of her to feel that way.
Although I don’t necessarily think her date needed to write about it in his JDate profile, he could have broached the topic in their emails simply by saying that he has a physical disability which doesn’t hold him back from living a normal life but that he doesn’t want her to be surprised upon arrival. And he absolutely should have addressed it immediately upon meeting her as it becomes the elephant in the room otherwise. It doesn’t need to become a focal point, he should have just said something along the lines of “clearly I don’t have hands, this is why and what happened and how I operate” and let her ask a question or two and then move on. The same would go for a glass eye or a prosthetic leg or anything else that is visually obvious because although it is not a lie to not disclose it ahead of time, it is omitting something important. Of course there are mental disabilities that people don’t have to disclose and can keep under wraps but that’s another post which would be 10x as long!
I’m getting tired of women not returning calls. What do I do?
Dear Dead Ringer,
Keep calling. But first, analyze what you are saying and how you are saying it to see if perhaps you are being too aggressive or too much of a pushover. Are you saying too much? Too little? Have some sort of script ready, one for if the prospect answers and one for the voicemail. It shouldn’t sound too rehearsed but you need something to keep you on track. A phone call should last about 10 minutes and consist of you asking the girl out on a date. A message should simply state who you are, a quick reminder of who you are (example: …this is Mike from JDate…) and your phone number as well as a short but sweet farewell (I’m looking forward to hearing back from you soon). People get nervous when they are making their first phone call which is why people often go off on tangents. having a framework to follow will help you have confidence calling and that confidence will come through in your voice. And don’t abuse the phone. Call once and if you get the voicemail or she answers but can’t talk at the moment, then go ahead and try again if you don’t hear back after 2 days, but don’t call again after that. Twice is nice. In this circumstance the third time is not the charm, it’s overkill. So when I said keep calling at the beginning of my response I meant keep calling different women. The fact that you’re getting the phone number is a testament unto itself as that’s often the hardest part!
I have no idea what I am doing wrong on JDate. I am a handsome, successful 27-year-old and I think I am just not able to convey that in my profile. I have really tried JDate: I’ve literally sent out a couple hundred messages and gotten very few responses. I don’t know what I am doing wrong could definitely could use some help.
Dear Mr. Handsome,
First off, you don’t necessarily want to convey that you are successful because you don’t want women showing interest in you based on your riches. And you don’t have to write about how handsome you are — your pictures should do the trick for you as long as you have good photos. My concern when I read “a couple hundred messages” is that you may be sending copy & paste emails — NEVER DO THIS! Make sure your emails are written specifically for that prospect. My other concern about so many emails sent is that your preferences may not be narrow enough and therefore you are sending emails to women who clearly would not be interested in you for whatever reasons. So make sure your profile is not obnoxious about how successful you are, make sure your photos are good, write charming emails, and narrow down your preferences slightly to be more realistic. Don’t give up. The odds are in your favor whether it feels like it or not!
“All my friends are engaged,” she said to me as if I haven’t heard that one before. “What am I supposed to do?”
I thought she meant gift-wise, so I instructed her on the types of gifts you should purchase for a couple, depending on where they are in their wedding timeline. But then, unexpectedly, she started shaking her head at me.
“No, no,” she said. “I mean how am I supposed to feel.”
When you see that all your friends are in long-lasting relationships, and the rings start magically growing on their fingers, it’s common to feel a bit jealous or internally sad. But it’s important to remember a few things.
- Do: Try to be happy for them. If they are a good friend of yours, this won’t be something you will have to try hard to do. It’s important to push away any negative personal feelings you have for the moment and instead congratulate them. Remember, this is not about you — this is about them.
- Don’t: There’s no need to compare yourself to them — or anyone. Everyone’s life moves at a different speed and you should never compare and contrast. Don’t ask yourself why you’re still single, or if there’s something wrong with you.
Learn about Jen Glantz’s new book, ALL MY FRIENDS ARE ENGAGED.
under Online Dating
Is it okay to write “Only respond if you like kids” upfront in your profile? Many men say they are “anti-child support.” And I, like many women, am for child support reform.
Dear Child Supporter,
I don’t think it’s necessary to be so blunt, but you can convey your desire in many other subtle, yet firm ways. Simply stating that you have kids will eliminate many prospects who don’t want to date a woman with children.
For the others who think it’s not a problem, but clearly aren’t going to be supportive co or step-parents, then make sure you mention — in just one sentence — about your love for your children or your desire to have children. I caution people not to discuss their divorces or children too much as you want someone to date YOU first and foremost, and to get to know YOU outside of your other roles in life.
A blogger from The Times of Israel recently posted an article called “15 Women Hotter Than Bar Refaeli.” It listed women such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Prime Minister Golda Meir and comedian Sarah Silverman. The point of the article is to show that what makes a woman “hot” is not just a gorgeous face or a sexy body, but brains and the ability to use them.
Looks are subjective; everyone has their own idea of what is sexy and what (or who) they are attracted to. However, brains, intelligence and ingenuity cannot be faked (at least not for long). You are going to click on someone’s profile because you’re attracted to their profile photo, but you’re going to continue being interested based on what’s beneath — so put more effort into getting to know your prospects before you determine that you are or are not interested.
I read somewhere recently that the beginning of a relationship should feel like a honeymoon period. Meaning there should be very little things that need to be worked out and absolutely no fighting. If someone comes at you with a negative attitude or starts an argument with you while you’re still in the “courting” phase, consider something to be very wrong.
- Do: Approach situations calmly and with your head on straight. When someone says something to you that makes you upset, wait before responding and never respond back attacking them. Remember, this is someone who is supposed to make you happy and feel safe and secure. If they are starting fights with you, especially early on, things won’t get better later on.
- Don’t: Feel obligated to give someone a second or a third or a fourth chance if they keep on starting fights with you or disagreeing with you. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t sacrifice your comfort level.
A friend of mine just announced her engagement on Facebook and after receiving more than 100 “Mazals” she posted a comment thanking everyone for their good wishes and stating that she had met her fiance online. This new thread then gained steam of its own with dozens of comments where many of her family and friends typed that they too had met their spouse online. It was a testament to what JDate and other sites strive to accomplish. My only issue was that people wrote it as if they normally don’t admit that they met their beshert online and seemed to only be doing so now because it was trendy. Listen people, the vast majority of singles are searching online and there is absolutely no shame in doing so. Own it and be proud of it, especially since you have pretty good odds of meeting your mate online.
A girlfriend of mine was telling me a story last night about how and why her most recent relationship ended. Apparently the guy, who’s a few years younger than she is, freaked out after continuously meeting all her engaged, married, and parenting friends. Since there’s still a “2″ before his age and a “3″ before his, he felt pressure that she would want to rush into getting married even though she had never said anything of the sort. She explained to me that she tried telling him that she wasn’t in any hurry but he had already made up his mind and broke off the relationship. After a few weeks he came back into the picture ready to listen to what she had to say and admitted that she hadn’t put any pressure on him and now they are cautiously talking again. She sat next to me and told me all this and my response to her was that neither she nor he could rationalize his feelings away and making excuses for the past month wasn’t going to magically change the fact that he freaked out nor was he going to magically not feel any subconscious pressure from dating a woman in her 30′s. I warned her to proceed slowly with her eyes wide open and that in the meantime I would ramp up my efforts to set her up with someone.
People don’t change in a month but they can change over time when they truly want to. Actions speak louder than words so if you are dating someone who hasn’t asked you for Prime Time Date Night within the first few weeks or hasn’t introduced you to his or her family and friends after a few months or refuses to have The Talk after half a year and always has excuses as to why, then stop making excuses for that person and move on to someone who is going to treat you as special as you deserve to be treated.