Archive for the ‘Single Life’ Category

Email Etiquette — How Do I Start a Conversation?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Hi Tamar,

I have no idea how to start a conversation with someone I’m interested in. What should I say that’s not too much… but just enough.

Thank you,

Lost in Conversation

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Lost in Conversation,

Great question! Interestingly, when both people are already intrigued by the other’s profile, it really doesn’t matter how you start the email as long as you take the time to send one. That said, here is an example that you can play around with and personalize:

Hi there,

I was attracted to your profile by your photos, but I was really impressed by what you wrote, especially _____________. We have a lot in common (which you can see by reading my profile) and I’m always excited to meet people who also love ________________. Have you ever ________________?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sam


Extreme Profile Makeover — Photo Perplexed

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

Hi Tamar,

Can you please tell me if my pictures or profile needs a make-over?

-Photo Perplexed ____________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Photo Perplexed,

I really liked what you wrote in your profile and you answered the questions quite nicely. You could go back and fix some typos, but I like what you had to say and found that you described yourself and what you’re looking for quite well. You seem to be true to yourself, and it is endearing.

I wasn’t as impressed by your photos; my initial reaction was that they are not “naturally you.” I do recommend going on photo shoots, but it’s not ideal when it is obvious you are posing for a camera. I advise deleting all the photos except for the 2nd one and the last one while you take or find new ones.

The other thing that I didn’t really like is that you aren’t smiling in any of the photos! The lack of a smile makes it seem like you are not as approachable as your profile makes you out to be. Whether it is a friend or a professional photographer, ask someone to take photos of you in a natural, organic setting (not posing, not in front of a white screen), somewhere that shows you relaxed and enjoying life!


JDating on the Road

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Have you ever JDated while visiting another city? In the spirit of spring break travels, I thought I’d write about expanding your dating horizons beyond your area code.  Oh, and I’m not talking about traveling specifically to meet someone you met online – that’s a post for another day.  And I don’t mean finding an overnight companion while on an 18-hour business trip – I can’t endorse that! I’m talking about looking online for people to meet while you happen to be in another city.

I’ve tried it, and you should, too!  A couple of years ago, I went to Washington, D.C. for a few days to visit a friend.  I flew in on a Thursday night and had the next day to myself while my friend was at work. Because I knew I would have a little time to explore the city, I chatted with some guys on JDate, and one took my bait.  After a morning of playing tourist on the National Mall, I arranged to meet him for lunch at a place he recommended.  As it turned out, he was a great guy and a total gentleman, and I had a nice time! Although it didn’t really progress, we had a lovely afternoon, he and I kept in touch for a bit, and I got more dating experience in a low-pressure environment, which never hurts.

I don’t live in D.C. and don’t plan to move there in the foreseeable future, so what’s the point of JDating out of town? Well, you never know what might happen. People are pretty mobile nowadays, and if you’re serious about meeting someone, why not? Maybe he has family in your city and visits often. Or maybe she is considering a new job in your city. Or he regularly travels to your state for work. You never know what might result.

Contacting and meeting someone in another city might seem weird or uncomfortable, so here are some tips for success:

  • DO be open! Whether you alter your profile location to match your destination city for a little while, or you receive a message from a traveler suggesting you give him a tour around town, consider all possibilities.
  • But DON’T have expectations. Just like any date, it could be disappointing. Oh well – move on and explore a new place!
  • DO be safe and smart. Avoid meeting anyone who seems suspicious or sketchy, as always.
  • DON’T seek out a date if you have a layover someplace overnight between 10pm and 6am. Unless you want to – whatever, I’m a blogger, not your mother. But still, I don’t recommend it!
  • DO meet in a public place. General safety rules, duh. But this is especially relevant if you are in an unfamiliar place.
  • DON’T bring an assortment of friends and relatives unless you have already discussed and agreed to it. Or, unless you’re famous and need a bodyguard or entourage.
  • DO be positive and pleasant.  Meeting new people is fun – enjoy!

So go book your tickets to visit family, or volunteer to meet a business client in a new city. A JDate Success Story could be awaiting you! Bon voyage.


What is Love?

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

What is love? Well, it’s not an easy thing to define, that’s for sure! Feelings never are. Perhaps it’s easier to describe what it’s not. Love is not attraction, and it’s not sex. Love is not wanting what you can’t have or missing someone when they’re away. All those things belong in the camp of lust. Are attraction, sex and missing each other important? Yes. But, it’s not what love is.

Every relationship is different, but each has to have some basic fundamentals. Love comes from building a foundation of trust, friendship, compassion, and being partners in (and sometimes against) life. Without these key elements you may like someone, and you may love being with them or love certain things about them, but you don’t have enough to survive.

It takes time to build this foundation but it is integral to the process. This doesn’t mean to run away from what I described as lust; it just means not to confuse the two, and to give love time to develop. It can take time to solidify, so try to be patient as some people need more time to be certain those elements are deeply rooted. Falling in love feels so good, it gives us a euphoric high, but that feeling can also confuse us from seeing signs that the building blocks are missing or crumbling before our very eyes.

Finding love isn’t easy, but it’s why you are on JDate – to look for it – so don’t give up! It may be frustrating, but it’s better to stay single than to enter a loveless relationship just for the sake of being in one.


Age Range Rage

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

JDaters are not shy about sharing their opinions — and the strongest and most popular one I get is about age. Check out a few of the emails I’ve received:

“I, at age 57, have had mostly older people (by 10 years) reach out to me. Even when I expressed that was too old because it was a different generation, a man lied and said he was 67. When I met him, he admitted to being 77. Don’t people ( I know women lie too) realize that once a lie is admitted you can’t start a relationship  with trust?”

“Tamar have you checked out the wishes of many men who qualify as one foot in the grave and one foot in a nursing home? Somehow I think these men have not looked in a mirror for at least forty years. When I see a 76-year-old gentleman looking for a woman 20-40, it gets me very nervous. The problem is these men have an overinflated idea of their looks and an underinflated idea of their age.”

I will advise this until I’m blue in the face: don’t lie about your age if you are serious about meeting someone because they will find out your real age eventually — so why fib about it to begin with? Just like the first JDater above wrote, starting off with a lie is not a great way to build a successful relationship. That said, your preferred age range is just as important.

A ten-year gap is a general rule of thumb, but of course there are exceptions to that. If you are looking for someone more than twenty years older or younger than you, then I strongly encourage you to rethink what it is you are truly looking for in a partner and in a relationship.  


Crazy Is As Crazy Does

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright
-from Meghan Trainor’s new single “Dear Future Husband”

Women (in general, it’s women) are often called the “c” word… get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about the word “crazy.” It gets thrown around pretty flippantly and it’s incredibly disrespectful. And, ironically enough, it is usually the action of the man (in general, it’s the man) that causes the woman to lose her cool and then to be called crazy by said man (again, this is a generalization). It’s enough to make your head spin.

Everyone acts crazy every once in a while. There’s a reason why so many love songs have the word “crazy” in them (Google it!). Love makes you do crazy things, feel crazy ways, and act crazy in love. Let’s remove using the word “crazy” as an insult from our vocabulary while dating… and continue the ban once you’re in a relationship. It’s not going to go anywhere good if you sling that word around!

Frankly, ‘crazy’ is also too broad of a description when you are describing a person’s reaction or an event. Let’s find other words in the dictionary to use, shall we? I don’t care if you have to pause and consult a thesaurus mid-argument, find other words that will likely better describe the situation. And then, when things really do get crazy — like the girl who got dumped and cracked open her ex-boyfriend’s patio door, slid the garden hose in, turned on the water, and left… or the guy who was cheated on and then poured milk under his ex-girlfriend’s driver seat (she didn’t even know what happened until weeks later, ewwwww!) — you can use the word “crazy” and not only will you actually mean it, but people will take you seriously.

And by the way, when we women use the word crazy to describe ourselves, we would appreciate you telling us that we are justified in our behavior! You will earn major points for that!


The Great Profile Debate: Specific vs. Vague

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following mock dating profiles is more effective?

CRTV-1575-300x250-nerd

Man seeking sexy Klingon woman!

Profile #1:

nuqneH!* I’m a tall, skinny guy of excellent taste looking for milady. I’m a Star Trek and comic book enthusiast, with special interest in limited-edition copies featuring superheroes that match my sheets. I also boast a large belt-buckle collection. Fun fact: I have a potentially fatal peanut allergy! My professional passion is aerospace engineering, and I love studying the electromagnetic spectrum to perfect the development of atmospheric satellites. In my spare time, I enjoy shopping for turtlenecks, playing World of Warcraft with friends, and building articulated robots.

 

CRTV-1575-300x250-synch

“I’m into music and stuff…”

Profile #2:

I’m a single guy looking for my best friend and partner in crime. I like to go out, but also stay in. I like all kinds of music. I also enjoy sports, hitting the gym, and eating out. When I am not busy with my career, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

 

 

Correct answer: NEITHER!  (Extra credit: can you name the fictional character described in profile #1?)**

But do you know why these are both unappealing profiles? Well, technically, there are several reasons, but today I will focus on specificity of interests.

Let’s start with Profile #1. This individual shows personality, which is terrific. But his interests are very specific to the point of possibly alienating many potential ladies. I’m not at all saying that he shouldn’t include those interests because girls don’t like robotics or comic books – many do! I’m saying that instead of talking about belt buckles and superhero comic books, for example, he could instead mention that he likes to build both robots, and some unusual collections.  This wording leaves a little bit of mystery, provides the reader with a little bait, and doesn’t necessarily disinterest readers with eccentricity. Similarly, instead of saying that you like to knit sweaters for your cat while watching Kosher Soul on Lifetime, consider saying instead that you enjoy crafting and following pop culture. Oh – and please don’t discuss allergies or medical issues in your profile. You may be thinking – hey, anyone who doesn’t like my interests or judges me based on them isn’t my bashert anyway. Valid point, intelligent reader.  However, if you are struggling to generate interest online or would like to increase your message response rate, you may find it a better strategy to keep your interests open enough to capture a wider net of profile visitors (while still keeping some individuality)!

I probably don’t have to explain the problems with profile #2. But, just in case, I’ll spell it out: b.o.r.i.n.g. Converse to profile #1, profile #2 could probably describe a very high percentage of the JDate population. (Seriously, why does everyone like to go out and stay in?) Be original. Just don’t be excessively original to the point where you might turn off potential suitors.

*According to my Google research, this means Hello in Klingon.  If you don’t know what Klingon is, ask your nearest nerd.

** Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory… sorry, ladies, but both the TV character and the actor who plays him are both married!


Save the Drama for Your Mama

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

When you are newly dating someone it is NOT the time to discuss the drama in your life, nor is it the time to whine and complain about things in your life. I’m not saying to make everything sound wonderful and perfect, but don’t turn a date negative with your stories about how your friends are fighting, or your siblings aren’t speaking to each other, or your job sucks, or… or… or…

There’s the normal vent about your computer crashing before you had a chance to back it up one last time, but spend about a minute on things like that and move on. That type of vent is something everyone can relate to and empathize with — and may even have advice to help you. If the dating turns into a serious relationship then you will have plenty of time to be the sounding board for drama!


Backing Up Your First Date Claims

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

You know how it is… you’re on a first date and you are telling the person sitting across from you all the positive things going on in your life that will impress them, possibly even embellishing things. You make your job sound exciting with a promotion just around the corner, or you portray your family as tight-knit and easy-going, or mention all your best friends and your packed social life.

And your date is impressed by the idea that you have it together and so you get a second date, and a third, and then eventually you are meshing your date and your reality… which is a job you hate and a promotion you’ve been waiting for a year already, or a family that is just as drama-filled as every other family out there, and a few great friends but with most nights spent at home alone (which is perfectly fine).

None of these things are abnormal, but when you’ve presented yourself as something other than what you are, then you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do, Lucy! All kidding aside, you are going to have to find a way to bridge the gap between what you portrayed your life as… and what the reality is.

Instead, mix the two together from the start. Everyone embellishes, just do so in a way that you won’t bite you in the tuchus later. For example: “I don’t love where I am with my career right now, but I’m excited that a promotion is coming soon” and “I love my family and we are always there for each other at a moment’s notice, but sometimes they make me want to beat my head against a wall!” and “I’ve learned that friendships are quantity or quality, and I truly adore my friends and their loyalty… and the trouble we get into together!”


Date in Reality, Not in Your Mind

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

I’ve been thinking about last week’s post, and today I’d like to piggyback on that same concept – specifically on the detriments of texting. Texting and emailing a new person (whom we haven’t met in person yet) is like inflating an imaginary balloon (stay with me here). But, instead of blowing in oxygen or helium, we tend to inflate it with all of our hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean: Let’s say you’ve been exchanging a few witty emails with a cute guy online and he asks for your number. Your conversation moves to text, and the banter continues. You’re feeling good about him, and you get excited and smile when you hear the beep of a new message. You know a lot about him – he’s cute in his picture, he has a good job, he uses grammar correctly and emoticons appropriately. You might even be able to tell that he’s smart, kind, and funny – after all, you two say that you like the same things, and his texts always make you laugh.  You start to wonder what your first date might be like – you’re sure he would pick you up and be such a gentleman while whisking you off to this really cool little Italian place you’ve never seen before. And you just know your family would love him. You both have younger brothers, and they would totally be friends, and oh, I wonder how many kids he wants? He would be the best dad… Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a nice, Jewish… pen pal. That’s it. You actually don’t know anything substantial about this guy with whom you are planning a life. So what happens when the day finally arrives when dream boy asks you out on a date (or wants to meet up, or whatever)? You’re ecstatic and can’t wait to have the last first date ever!  However…

The Italian restaurant in your dreams becomes a skate park in reality, his gentlemanly ways become surprisingly bro-ish, and he’s kind of impatient with other people, which you hate.  He plays with his phone while you’re talking and pops gum like a teenager. And poof – that balloon I was talking about just popped, sprinkling all your hopes over some dirty skateboard. He was supposed to be your prince in shining armor! What happened?

Unfortunately, this guy did nothing wrong (other than wait too long to take you out)!  The problem, I’m sorry to say – is you – or more specifically, your expectations.  Imagination is a good thing, but when you start to imagine certain scenarios, it’s really easy to get carried away and expect them to occur, especially when you get positive feedback from the object of your desires.  If you’re really hopeful that a relationship will bloom with someone, you’re more likely to make positive attributions to otherwise neutral occurrences.  So your mind turns “I like kids” into “I want to have kids with you!”

So what does all this have to do with texting? Well, the longer you text back and forth, the more opportunity your mind has to project good things onto a person you don’t really know.  Moral of the story: stop texting and meet already!  That, or totally manage your expectations. But, I think it’s easier and more fun to just go on a date and form a realistic opinion of someone without the use of emoticons.