Archive for the ‘Single Life’ Category

Why Your Choices Matter

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

Every choice we make in life makes a ripple in our life pond. Sometimes an external force throws a stone (or a boulder) into our life pond, making unexpected waves. I am reminded often of how little control I have over my life. But that’s not exactly true either. Yes, I had to get into schools out of state to leave California. And yes, I had to do a lot of sweet-talking to get my parents on board. I didn’t just end up in the Midwest by happenstance. I chose to change the trajectory of my life. I wanted a different experience. I could have easily spent my entire life in Southern California.

You can’t effect external forces, but when you have a chance to have the say in a matter, choose to make a decision. You can’t control if someone else likes you or not, but you do have the opportunity to take a chance and put yourself out there. Not doing anything is a choice of its own, in a way. And if you don’t make a choice, someone else will act for you. Good example: a friend of mine, “Alex,” was pining away over “Mallory.” Alex couldn’t ask her out because he wasn’t sure that Mallory liked him. Well guess what? Neither was the guy who asked her out… but now he’s her boyfriend. But he went for it. While Alex waited and waited for more signs, someone else went in and swooped her up.

Next time you really like someone and are afraid to ask them out, go for it. The worst that happens is you get a no. If you never go for it, you may end up wondering what if? for the foreseeable future. I know I would be wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t go out and forge my own path in the Midwest.


Change Your Profile Picture NOW!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Perusing JDate yesterday for a newly single girlfriend, I searched for profile pictures of men who fit my preferences for her (rather than her narrow preferences for herself, I was trying to see if there was anyone who hadn’t made her cut but was still a great prospect), except, honestly, there was nothing to see! Why? Because I couldn’t actually SEE what any of the men looked like!

One profile after another showed a man from far away, or wearing sunglasses, or wearing a hat, or sharing the space with another person (or featuring an awkward cropping out of another person), or not looking at the camera, or it wasn’t a clear photo, or the person was doing an activity, or (and this may be the worst) it was a selfie! When someone’s corporate headshot is the best photo of the bunch, then we have problems.

Your main profile photo needs to show YOU… and only YOU. This means the top of your shoulders to the top of your head with your handsome, smiling, eyes open, bright face filling the box. Have a friend take photos of you in a relaxed position when you’re in a great mood and carry on a conversation that will make you smile naturally and then snap away. Make sure the photos are in focus, with good lighting, and do not add a filter.

I clicked on very few profiles due to the terrible first impressions. One time I liked a guy’s statistics for my friend, and even though he had a bad profile photo, I clicked out of curiosity and found a great looking guy! But not everyone clicks on every profile or reads the stats first. That is not superficial, it’s the reality of online dating. You need to catch someone’s eye, and quickly, which means you need to have an awesome profile photo (and a unique profile name and eloquent, witty About Me paragraph)!

Read more about creating an effective JDate profile in “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating” in bookstores and online now!


Interfaith Dating

by Haley Plotnik under Relationships,Single Life

Today I had a chat with a coworker who lives in my apartment complex. He dropped by my place unannounced and started talking about random things. I had a feeling there was something more on his mind.

I know he’s been thinking about this girl he likes, one of our mutual friends I’ll call “Megan,” but it took him a while to get around to talking about her. “I wish Megan was Christian,” he said eventually. “She’s Catholic, and I just don’t know if I can deal with that.”

I’ve always found it funny when Protestants don’t consider Catholics to be Christians. I consider Catholics and Protestants to be under the same umbrella of Christianity. I asked him how he felt about religions that were not Christ-centric (Since he doesn’t consider Catholics to be Christians, I figured I had to be more general). He replied that he didn’t think that it would be a good idea. However, he seemed to think it was a good idea for me to be open to dating Christians… What an interesting turn of events! Maybe I’ll chalk it up to the proselytizing nature of Christianity that doesn’t really exist in Judaism. What are your thoughts on this?


That Moment When You Realize

by Haley Plotnik under Relationships,Single Life

Earlier I mentioned that sometimes being “released” by another person is actually a blessing in disguise.  I was released a couple of weeks ago, although I’ve bounced back rather quickly. The guy mentioned he “wasn’t feeling it,” but he and I still run in similar circles for the time being, and I still have to see him sometimes.  I knew logically that we had some “fit” issues before we stopped seeing each other. But over the past few days, it’s really dawned on me that there are better-suited guys for me on my horizon.

I’m not for him, but more importantly, he’s not for me. I’m not heartbroken. I feel 100% free and ready to embrace what’s out there. It’s a good feeling to be liberated from the past and have a blank slate ahead. That moment when you realize you’re better off as is, than with someone who doesn’t appreciate you, is oddly empowering. Being single feels so much better than being stuck with someone who doesn’t care.


Autocorrect Embarrassment

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

I am not a fan of texting while dating, but I know you’re all guilty of it. So what happens when you have a texting fail and autocorrect changes something… and you hit send before realizing it? For the most part, whether the typ0 changes it to something obscene or absurd, you should immediately text back with the following:

“SORRY! DARN AUTOCORRECT! I meant to type…”

And then pick up the phone, call the person, and have a laugh over the hilarity of it all. Maybe you can even make a pact to not text as much to avoid any further misunderstanding.


Asking Why

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

I have a policy for when a date wants to know why I’m politely declining a second meet-up. Here’s the ugly truth: very rarely is the answer helpful or constructive. In fact, it’s highly likely to hurt their feelings, or make them hate me. The reason is often something the guy can’t change.

So, here’s a tip: If someone doesn’t want to see you again, don’t hate him or her. Be grateful that he or she had the decency not to waste your time and didn’t just disappear without a trace. They’re doing you a favor; you want the feelings to be mutual. If they aren’t that jazzed about you, you will likely find someone else who is.

Recently, I was dumped for the first time, and I found myself eager to know why. Then I remembered being on the other end, and I didn’t ask.  And when I really thought about it, I sort of knew the answer anyway.

 


Birthday Date: Yay or Nay?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

My friend Jackie’s birthday is next week and she’s been dating a new guy that she met on JDate for about three weeks now. She’s mentioned it’s her birthday, and he mentioned celebrating it, but she called me to ask what to do next: should she mention it again and see if he asks her out for her birthday? Or should she make plans and let him take the initiative to ask her out later that week? And if he does ask her out to celebrate on her birthday, should she accept?

Birthdays are a precarious subject… on one hand, you want to be with the person you’re dating. On the other hand, is it too soon to expect that? And what if you break-up next week? Are you going to be pissed that you “wasted” a birthday celebration? Or will you appreciate it for what it was?

My take: unless you’re in a serious, committed relationship, just make plans with your family and friends and save another night to celebrate with your date. It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top, a candle stuck in the dessert with a quick rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” should suffice if it’s early on in a relationship. No present is expected or necessary, aside from having your date pick up the check.

And if you’re poly-dating, and each date wants to celebrate your birthday, well then lucky you — your birthday just turned into a week-long celebration!


Pipe Dream Soul Mate

by Haley Plotnik under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

When I was in high school, I once had a very interesting experience with a guy I’ll call “Greg.” Greg and I weren’t close friends, but we were in the same friendship circles. Sophomore year, Greg was eating lunch near me and was talking about what type of girl he wanted. He was saying he wanted her to be around 5’7”, blond, tan, blue-eyed, and toned with a slight bit of curve. Notice every trait is physical. That aside, Greg wasn’t willing to compromise on more than a few perfectly nice, smart, attractive girls because they didn’t meet his criteria.

Fast forward to the next school year. We had an Italian exchange student, “Veti,” come to our high school. She was sweet, adorable, and nice. Physically, Veti met every single one of his requirements. She was breathtaking. I came home and told my mom about the new exchange student. My mom and I were taking a long walk around town, and we ran into Veti. She smiled dazzlingly at us and waved. “Oh my gosh,” my mom said. “I thought you were exaggerating. She really is amazing. She’s physically perfect!”

Loads of guys at my school had the reaction my mom had. What’s more, this Veti didn’t even know how amazingly spectacular she looked and was a very humble person.

I nudged Greg and said, “She’s the girl you’ve been looking for! Why don’t you ask her out?” Greg looked at me, stunned. “I can’t ask Veti out! She’s perfect,” he protested.

While Greg’s list is all physical traits, and yours may not be, I think his plight is something a lot of us struggle with. Sometimes we have an idea in our head of our pipe dream soul mate: who we want to be with if we could order it up on a platter. But we don’t anticipate that a real person can fulfill all of those requirements. When our pipe dream soul mate comes walking down the street, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s intimidating and scary and overwhelming.

If you aren’t all about looks like Greg, it may take a bit more investigating to identify your pipe dream soul mate. When this is the case, you can take your time and actually get to know the person.  They may not be who you cooked up in your mind, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the real person you’re getting to know.


Freedom of Religion

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

No, this isn’t going to be a political post, don’t worry.

My friend has been dating a guy she met on JDate for a few months now. His profile stated that he is a Conservative Jew. She leans more towards the “Reform/Traditional” stream, but isn’t opposed to dating someone who is a bit more “Jew-ish” as she is understanding, respectful and has an open mind. Until this guy who – since they began dating – started keeping Shabbat, walking to an orthodox temple on Saturday mornings, turning off his phone, and keeping kosher both in and out of the home. Clearly he is becoming more religious, but he is also continuing to date someone who is on the other side of the spectrum.

I’ve often met couples where one was already more observant than the other — they came together knowingly — and they chose to either become more observant or less so as a couple. But to suddenly become more observant while in the relationship is a different situation. My friend is just sitting idly by as her boyfriend becomes more and more religious. What is she to do? Nothing yet, if she likes him, except wait and see what happens. This could be an experimental phase, or he could go all the way frum. In doing so, he risks losing her, but he needs to follow his spiritual heart and not sacrifice being the Jew he wants to be because of a woman he’s been dating a few months.


Call Me

by Aaron under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Initially, the last car wreck I was in seemed awful (no one was hurt, just my car). It was an accident, obviously, but I felt terrible. It was completely my fault and I had to get my car repaired using money I was saving at the time for grad school. My rental car, required while I had my car repaired, made me feel slightly better about the accident — it was a sleek version of my car, but newer and full of little perks like Bluetooth connectivity.

As I drove home on my first Shabbat with that rental car, I wanted to try every feature (yep, playing around while driving — probably why I wrecked my car in the first place). Specifically, that Bluetooth was fun, and I used it to start making calls. It was Friday afternoon and I had to drive home from Wylie, Texas back to my little town of Plano, a 45-minute commute on a good day, but an hour or more on this Friday afternoon. It started, as it now does every week, with a call to my Zeyde, who at the time was an hour ahead of me in Miami. Then my grandparents, and then a friend or two… I just went on and on, calling friends and seeing how their week’s went, even if it’d been a while since we kept in touch.

The list changes frequently; I’ll forget someone or substitute someone in that I haven’t seen in a while for someone I just saw. In the age of texting, Facebook, and email, I was connecting to friends at a larger scale than ever had before. My network didn’t lose touch with me as easily (relegated to liking goofy Facebook posts occasionally); if I had their number, they got a call.

Nowadays in New York, my roommates know Friday afternoons before Shabbat are for calls. They’re a little different now though. I call my mom, my dad and my brother, in addition to all of those old friends and family I don’t see as often. I call friends from home and friends in New York, keeping some friendships stable and growing others.

But most helpful was the way it grew my relationship with my current girlfriend. I always worry about keeping a relationship in this age of texting. We have to be on our game so often early on in relationships (i.e. Am I saying the right thing? Did I wait long enough? etc.) But Shabbos calls were different. My girlfriend and I still do it every week, she’s usually my last call before my phone goes off for Shabbat, and we typically finalize our Shabbat plans together.

The habit is very much so in the spirit of Shabbat: just a simple call saying you’re thinking of someone. For me it was Friday afternoons, but whatever you do, using the phone is a great way to build relationships, platonic or romantic, and I think you’ll be surprised by how grateful people are for that little call.