Archive for the ‘Single Life’ Category

How to Woo a Jew

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

My book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” is a step-by-step guide to JDate, including how to know if and when you’re ready for dating, how to figure out what your type is, how to use your Jew-dar, and so on. Yet, whenever I meet people on my book tour or get interviewed by the media, all they want to know is THE answer to how to actually do the Jew-wooing?

Well, there is no one answer. Every person and every prospect is different. Overall, I always suggest that people “be themselves” which sounds cliché, but is true. People typically are on their best behavior when dating, they are putting their best foot forward and are being the best version of themselves. But, why stop doing that… ever? And especially once you’re in a relationship? Don’t.

Use the opportunity to continue being the best you. Why would you revert to being the mediocre you?  Let the dating process help you evolve as a human being and as you continue being the best you, you will attract the Jews you want to woo. See how that works!?


Annoying Texters: Social Epidemic?

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

Hey, wut up!! ;)

Have you ever been annoyed, frustrated, or confused by a text message? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We are in the midst of a texting epidemic that is particularly puzzling and detrimental to new daters! I’m not blaming the concept of texting – it can be very useful in certain situations and definitely has its time and place (ever tried to locate a friend at a loud bar or concert?). However, it can also produce misconstrued, mysterious messages that cause way more anxiety and analysis than necessary.  I’ll talk more about the problems with texting in a later article, but for now, I present to you a field guide to identify some of the more common types of offenders.  Are you dating or pursuing one?

  1. The Narrators
  • Common texts: “Hey, good morning! How are you? I am feeding my cat. lol” “How was your Tuesday? Work was really busy today b/c I had 2 meetings and met a friend for lunch.” “I am watching house of cards. This show is so awesome.”
  • Also may send pictures of food or pets with no explanation.

In the beginning (and middle) of dating or a relationship, Narrators can get annoying. Unless you both agree you enjoy this constant monologue, most people are too busy to keep up with this stream of consciousness, and even more people are turned off by the lack of intrigue. If you are narrating in an effort to ask someone on a date, forget the chit chat and ask her out!

  1. The Non-Responders
  • Common texts: “ya” or “k” in response to something said an hour ago.

Be wary of non-responders, who are the opposite of narrators. If you are a non-responder, take note that you may come across as indifferent or disinterested, which may or may not be your intention. If you are trying to communicate with a non-responder, stop sending messages and see what happens. If all communication stops, move on.  Yeah, some people are too busy to respond, but non-responders are notoriously just not that in to you.

  1. The Sporadics
  • Common texts: “hey, what are you doing now?”… 3 weeks later… “how r u?”

Sporadics are tolerable under few circumstances. If this behavior doesn’t bother you, then respond as you please. But, know that people who send these kinds of messages are most likely either uninterested in a serious relationship with you, or are keeping you on back burner while they try to date their higher priorities. My suggestion: ignore.

  1. The Pointless Chatters
  • Common texts: “hey, how’s your day?” “how’s it going?” “what are you up to this week?”

I know this is really common banter early on, sometimes even before the first date. If this is an attempt to ask someone out, however, forego the small talk and ask her out! If this is an attempt to flirt, try something actually flirtatious. If this is you being bored or lonely, text a friend, vacuum your house, or organize your sock drawer.

When IS texting appropriate and welcome? To let someone know you are running late or on the way. To tell someone you are thinking about him or looking forward to a date. To send a quick reminder or funny note. But not to say “hey” 11 times a day. And not to engage in real conversations. That’s what tweets are for! Jk jk, lol :p


Being Vulnerable

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Being vulnerable does not equal being weak or needy or desperate, it simply means that you are open to seeing where things could go, being open to falling in love, and being open to getting hurt.

Being vulnerable means saying yes to dates, saying sorry when you hurt someone’s feelings, saying you like someone when you’re not sure if the sentiment will be returned. Being vulnerable means sending a first email, asking someone out on a date, admitting you’re available on Saturday night… when it’s Thursday.

Being vulnerable is going in for the kiss after an awesome first date, calling the day after a great date to make plans, being honest when you don’t know something even if it mean losing out on a chance to impress someone. And of course, being vulnerable means admitting when you are wrong about something… but what you’ll find is that people respect the strength it takes to be vulnerable and to put yourself out there.


Did You Get Asked Out This Morning for This Weekend?

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

Did you receive an email, text, or (hopefully) a phone call today asking you out on a date this weekend? Kinda last minute, right? I mean, even if you are available, should you admit it and accept the offer? Does that make you seem too eager? Or, are you matching the momentum?

Well, it depends…

If you only met on JDate earlier this week and you’ve been exchanging emails and you’re making plans, then keep the momentum going and accept the date. After all, you both are free, so why not make plans with each other?

If you have been chatting here and there over the course of more than a few weeks, making and canceling plans, texting sporadically, and basically being as non-committal as possible, then perhaps pass on this one. You can counter with an offer to get together the following weekend to see if they are serious about going on a date or not, otherwise it sounds like they ran into Friday without plans for the weekend and are looking to fill it.

And lastly, if you don’t see this prospect with a serious potential future, but there’s attraction and you have nothing else to do, then say yes and enjoy yourself. However, be aware of two things: 1) be open to actually liking this person because it could happen, and 2) make sure you don’t hurt their feelings if they like you and were hoping for more.

 


If You’re Not Making An Effort…

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

If you’re not on JDate, and you’re not going to singles events, and you’re not going to Jewish events, and you’re not letting people know you’re interested in being set-up, and you’re not going out at night with friends… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

If you are going on dates with a wall built taller than you could metaphorically reach, and you aren’t letting your date get to know you, and you are walking into a date expecting it to go bad… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.

The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” comes into play here. Being single is tough, but you can’t let prospects know that you are fed-up and frustrated with dating. You need to smile and put yourself out there and pretend like you don’t mind your current circumstances until they change.


When Do You Reveal Something Major?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships,Single Life

Another episode of The Bachelor, and another post about dating. This time, a “final-three” contestant, Becca, waited until overnight dates to reveal that she’s a virgin. The Bachelor reacted in a respectful and classy way, and even kept her for the final two, but you could almost tell he did so because he didn’t want people to think he was a jerk for eliminating someone for their sexual experience (or lack thereof). Yet, the week before he eliminated the fourth-to-last contestant after she waited until he met her family to reveal that she had posed nude for Playboy.

The Bachelor

Chris and Becca on ABC’s The Bachelor

So, when is the right time to reveal something major? Is it anyone’s business if you’re a virgin, or posed nude, before you’re in a committed relationship? Yes.

You should give your prospect MAJOR information BEFORE you have “The Talk.” Would it suck if they used that information against you to decide not to want to be with you? Yes, but at least you know that now rather than later. You know what this major info is because you know there’s a chance you’ll get judged for it.

This is not the minor details about having dated someone you know they don’t like, or being one class short of earning your Bachelors even though you claim to have graduated, or having gotten hair plugs or a hair transplant, or anything that you wouldn’t really care about if roles were reversed.

But, if you have a latent yet permanent disease, or if you tested positive for the BRCA gene, or if you can’t have kids, or if you were previously married, then you should share this information after you’ve created momentum with several dates, but before you’re in a committed relationship.


To Be or Not To Be… a Date?

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

Is a date by any other name still a date? That which we call a date by any other name would still be as ambiguous.  Ok, it’s obvious I’m no Shakespeare, but I’m a JDater who has lately been wondering: Is this to be or not to be a date? That is the question! In the past couple months, either my friends or I have experienced the following scenarios:

  • Guy asks girl out to dinner. Picks up girl. Talks about what a gentleman he is. Asks to split check.
  • Guy asks girl to an event. Asks her to meet him there because he invited other friends along.
  • Guy makes plans to meet up with girl. Gets too drunk to leave the house and meet her; she is stood up.
  • Guy meets girl at event. They separate from group to get food. He pays.

Which of these is a date? All? Some? None? A (very) informal poll yielded some expected results:  Most people think that a date involves someone asking another person to do something particular at a specific time. The meeting should involve two people who show up with a smile and some conversational skills.  More generally-agreed-upon identifiers of a date:  The daters actually show up, they don’t bring extraneous people, props, or animals (unless there is a specific pet-centered activity involved), they aren’t obviously perusing JDate during said activity, and they aren’t donning sweats. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who need these clarifications!

Slightly more controversial characteristics are transportation and the bill. The more progressive among us may say that a date is still a date if two parties meet and split the bill. But a more traditional gal might interpret this situation as an unromantic business dealing. All this ambiguity leads to conclusion jumping, frustration, and general exasperation!  And what happened to the art of an actual date? After all, this is JDate, not JHang or JLaze.

To solve this pressing issue in the dating community, I’m calling for an international charter of defining the date.  Let’s just all decide to assume something is a date if two, and only two people, agree to go somewhere together under the presumption of romantic interest, and the guy at least offers to drive and pay.  Ladies, it’s up to you to accept these offers. This is a very open definition, but under this interpretation, more of us will have a date this weekend, so I’m just trying to help the cause!

Examples of date invitations under the international charter:

  • “Would you like to come hear my friend’s band play next week?”
  • “Do you want to grab dinner?”
  • “Do you want to walk your dog with me?”

Probably not a date:

  • “Can you babysit my little brother?”
  • “We should meet up sometime…”
  • “Would you please stay late at work to finish that report?”

I like to establish guidelines and definitions to make sense of an otherwise chaotic situation. Oh, and my personal definition swings more toward the traditional end of the spectrum, so you can pick me up for dinner at 8. :) But, your mileage may vary… This above all: to thine own self be true.


Nature vs. Nurture

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I studied “Nature vs. Nurture” a lot in college and debated what is biological, or not. One of the topics we never discussed, but I think about a lot lately, is if we are destined to become the same husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, that our own parents were. After all, they are generally the only role models we have as to what that looks like. If you are conscientious enough, then you may see a trait you didn’t like in your parent as a spouse or mother/father, and decide to try very hard not to become that way, or alternatively, admire a trait and choose to emulate it.

As singles who are dating and hoping to become someone’s partner, we have our own parents’ relationship as an example of a relationship dynamic… and even if we don’t agree with it, we will likely have a difficult time combatting it because it’s all we really know — that’s nature. Each relationship you yourself have can help you grow as a partner and shape you to become the husband or wife you want to be — that’s nurture. But nature still lingers.

If a man was raised in home where his parents had stereotypical gender roles, even if he wants a modern woman, he may have a difficult time adjusting his expectations. If a woman was raised in a female-centric home where Mom ruled the roost, then she may have a difficult time sharing power, even if she wants an egalitarian household.

But, it’s not impossible to combine the two. Ensuring you have a solid foundation will help as you grow together as a couple; and truly trusting each other will allow you to communicate openly without feeling criticized for traits you may have not even known you had or had not realized were undesirable.


First Impressions: Fixing a Bad One

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

When you’re actively dating you know that first impressions are incredibly important. I’ve mentioned body language — and when it comes to first impressions that means greeting your date with a big, genuine smile with your head held high and your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side or clasped in front of you. Introducing yourself without the positive body language listed above is basically starting a date in a negative manner; which will only force you to work a bit harder to fix things.

The best way to fix this initial snafu is to be honest and say, “Sorry, I’m nervous, but I’m really happy to meet you and look forward to drinks/dinner/etc. together.” Honesty about having anticipation about the date is endearing.

If it’s your words that may have turned off your date, then apply the same solution: excuse your behavior by explaining it away. If you had a bad day at work before the date, or if there’s drama with a good friend, or a sick family member, then simply explain why you’re not being yourself and promise your date that you’ll shake it off (better yet, call a friend on the way to the date to vent about whatever is bothering you so that it’s out of your system before the date). Again, being honest about why you’re “off” and possibly made a bad first impression is the best way to reel things back in. But, then you have to make good with your promise to be positive (which hopefully means being yourself!).

Recover, own it, and get back in the date before it’s too late!


Social Media Standoff

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

It’s not realistic to assume that you aren’t going to Google a date before meeting them, try to find them on Facebook, or even check their LinkedIn profile. On one hand it is smart to try and confirm certain details to make sure your date is being honest about major items (age, career, school, marital status), and perhaps even to see if you have mutual friends who could possibly vouch for them (not now, later!). On the other hand, however, it’s not always smart. By meeting someone on JDate you are already learning so much about them, and then by doing an online search you are now learning more than they have provided.

The meme above is not too far off… what if you were to slip up and mention those mutual friends? That would make it obvious that you checked your date out on Facebook. Or, if you were to ask why it took five years to graduate undergrad when they never mentioned that? It’s an easy alumni association search. Or what if you asked about their attendance at an event that saw on their newsfeed? Way too much information can be discovered before it’s time.

Some mystery is important — that doesn’t mean lying or omitting information — and if you spend too much time social media stalking before getting to know each other then you will ruin the excitement of uncovering commonalities. That’s the fun part of dating!