Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Read this Before Your Next Date

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

I just read a checklist of things to learn to have a lasting relationship by Tim Hoch and it is brilliant. There are 50 items, but each is short and sweet. Here’s a selection of my favorites — the ones you need to remember while you’re looking for prospects, on a date, in a relationship and beyond.

1. Burn your Blueprint

Rid yourself of whatever fantasies you harbor about the bliss of coupled life. They’re not helping. There is no script, so don’t be disappointed when your fairytale gets hijacked.

5. Grow

If you still have the same desires, opinions and beliefs at age 50 that you did at age 25, that’s your own damn fault. You will not, and should not, be the same person you were then.

10. Develop Your Own Interests

It seems counter-intuitive, but you will enhance your relationship when you pursue your separate interests.

12. Don’t Keep Score

I know a couple who keeps track of the number of times each partner completes a household chore. Don’t do this. It’s exhausting. And childish.

15. Admit When You’re Wrong (Even, On Occasion, When You Aren’t)

This is both the easiest and hardest thing to do on this list. But this simple gesture will pay immeasurable dividends; it will help you grow and it’s just the right thing to do.

32. Know You Are Equals

It doesn’t matter which one of you makes the most money. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the better REO Speedwagon vinyl collection. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the best nickname. It doesn’t even matter which one of you has the coolest food allergy.

39. Take Pride in Your Appearance

Your marriage license doesn’t give you a free pass to always wear sweat pants and T-shirts.

44. Don’t Be Petty

So I forgot to stop at the store to get your prescription. Did you have to throw away my ceramic cactus shot glass holder?

50. Adapting Beats Abandoning

There will be moments when you want to quit, walk out, or give up. You can do that. But you will probably be doing so without giving due consideration to the new life that awaits you. Will you be better off in six months? Will you be better off in 10 years?

For the complete list, click here.

Purchase Tamar’s book How to Woo a Jew now! Get it online and in bookstores everywhere.


Losing (Or Gaining?) My Religion

by Aaron under Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

After writing a blog about taking a hi-datus a few months back, there were obviously protests from women all over the world. But in terms of things that actually happened, one of my rabbis contacted me and said I was flat out wrong. “Being single,” he said, “is not how one grows in Judaism. True growth is done by growing together.”

As friends and readers may know, much of my life has been spent single, and I’ve grown Jewishly quite a bit in the years since college. There are definitely a lot of things I wonder about, such as whether I would’ve grown more or less with a steady partner in my life. So I did the logical thing and took to Facebook to question other friends on their religious growth — with or without relationships. Here’s what I found:

  • One friend started keeping Shabbat after dating her boyfriend.
  • Another married couple I’m close with now spends every Shabbat together, though the woman in the relationship did not grow up keeping it.
  • Some of my friends found that being alone, whether from moving or just being single and diving within themselves, made them feel more religious.
  • Other friends found their experiences to fluctuate more than they’d like when they are in relationships, both positively or negatively.

The responses I liked the most though, and fittingly enough for JDate, were the ones that held the idea that the relationship needed that religious foundation to exist in the first place. Very few people who claim religion is a dating dealbreaker will message outside of their religious affiliation, according to a study from Wired.com (special shout out to my friend Rachel for the link). One the most profound responses came from a Catholic friend; she said religion was an important part of her marriage, and something she could share with her husband. Additionally, other friends saw this shared religion as a model they wanted to base their future relationships on, even if they didn’t exist yet.

So does one grow more while single or in a relationship? It’s difficult to say, but what seems certain to me is that there is no point to stopping the growth. It’s worthwhile to explore what’s important to you when you’re single, and even better to find someone to share you passions and growth.


Just Do It

by Aaron under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

*This is a guest blog written by Jeff, a friend of JBlogger Aaron

As a result of the constant procrastinating and constant internal topic struggle in my head, I thought no better a topic than taking action. I told Aaron I was interested in writing a guest blog several months ago, but had produced bubkiss.  I’m willing to go out on a limb and take a chance generally, but I was not always this way, and in dating it can cost you plenty. I’d like a minute to talk about quitting, quitting coming up with excuses for not being more social (romantically or otherwise) and just taking a chance. If you can’t tell by now, I’m not a writer; but I am half-Jewish and an effective dater. If this does not impress you, feel free to stop reading now, but my point is to say “Yes” to more things.

I justified the whole process of failing to date; it was only years later that I realized it was irrational fear that was preventing me from asking out a girl I liked, or making a move when the time was right. What was I afraid of? I might have been rejected, or G-d forbid embarrassed. Growing up is progressively understanding yourself by trial and error. I know who I am and am not shaken by women not reciprocating my romantic interests.

Some meaningful relationships of mine have begun with someone I had my doubts about. It was through these relationships that I realized the kind of qualities I was looking for and what to avoid (in a partner and a relationship). After all, most of us are looking for love, and like other men who date a lot, I get lumped in as a “player,” when in reality I’m just looking to stop looking.

I don’t recommend putting on blinders completely, but reconsider the situation where you were on the fence. What is important, is stepping out of your comfort zone — if nothing more than to understand where your comfort zone really ends. A wise friend would tell anyone with a problem (be it alcoholism, mental illness or a something petty) to simply “Stop It!” So if you are lonely and single, stop it! If you want to get different results, you need to do something different.


Prince(ss) Charming

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

People are often on their very best behavior for much of the first phase of dating. Playing “Prince” or “Princess Charming,” making romantic gestures, acting affectionate, and using their very best manners. It’s easy to hide mood swings, flaws and ticks when you aren’t living together or experiencing all of the normal day-to-day doldrums of life without an escape hatch.

When you’re dating, and you have a terrible day at work, or traffic was a beast, or a customer service rep wasn’t helpful after being on hold for an hour, you typically have the chance to decompress before seeing the special person you’re dating. The luster of the relationship hasn’t dulled and your excitement over the possibility of a future together means you are going to put on a happy face, try to enjoy yourself and leave the ugly day behind.

But that’s not reality.

In fact, it would behoove you to keep it real after a month or so of dating to see how you both deal with times of stress, and how you handle each other when one of you is moody and stubborn. It is not realistic to always be charming; no one is that smooth all the time. Everyone has their issues and if you can’t figure out how to be on the same team and deal with them together, then you may need to find a different partner.


Hanging Your Dirty Laundry

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships
  • Single again. =(
  • Boys suck!
  • All girls are sisters.
  • What do I have to do to get a date?
  • All my friends are getting married and having kids, and leaving me behind. :-(
  • I’m never going to get married at this point.

These are only some of the Facebook status updates I’ve read within the past few weeks. Word to the wise — posting these types of updates is not going to help you find a date. Your friends will be sympathetic, but probably won’t want to set you up given your current state of self-despair mode. Nobody likes a pity party. Keep your dirty laundry off your social media profiles; simply vent to your close friends instead and then move on. You will find someone, but dating is a state of mind and you need to keep it positive in public.


Singledom Dumbdown

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

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.


JDating with a Disability

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

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!


My Phone Isn’t Ringing!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

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!


JDate 911 — What Am I Doing Wrong?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

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!


Love at First JDate: All My Friends are Engaged

by JenG under Relationships

“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.

Tags: