under Date Night
I date a lot of guys, and I like to think that I do a pretty good job vetting the guys and assessing their character. However, I’m still pretty wary of first dates. Safety tends to be compromised when people get complacent. If it’s a first date, I meet in daylight and in public. I never let them see where I live: not the neighborhood, street, or building. If I can safely take public transit, I do. If not, I don’t typically go directly home from the date unless it’s more than a 15-minute drive. Call me paranoid, but I know that sexual assault and rape unfortunately happen.
Rewind to last year. I went on a date with a guy who I’ve known since I was 16. I thought him to be an upstanding person. He had just moved into a new house a few hours north of mine. After spending a day together, his mom made us a healthy dinner that we ate with his family. The whole thing seemed very sweet and wholesome. He then took me down a hallway to his new room. I sat on his bed to take off my shoes. My feet were tired and swollen after a long day of walking. Next thing I knew, he had one hand down my pants and the other was reaching into my bra. Since things escalated very quickly, I had to fight him off a bit. He was being very aggressive and his eyes looked mean in a way I’d never seen before. Luckily I nipped things in the bud very quickly, but I was taken aback by what happened. I was heartbroken that someone I had trusted – and someone I had known for years – turned out to be so shady.
My good female friend always says, “If you’re only friends, you have to ask before you stick your hands where the sun doesn’t shine.” Clearly my date didn’t know that. Of the nearly 30 dates I’ve been on, only one has taken a scary turn. However, one is enough. One is too much. And not everyone escapes as lucky as I did. Maybe you spare yourself that one date by being slightly more careful. I think it’s well worth the trouble.
Click here for a full list of safety tips from JDate.
under Date Night
Call it what you want, but when you aren’t telling the truth — the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – then it’s lying.
Telling a date a half-truth now because it sounds better than the actual truth means that if the relationship progresses, the whole truth will eventually come out… and then your now boyfriend/girlfriend could be upset that you weren’t entirely honest from the get-go.
Omitting the truth is another form of lying. When the truth comes out, you will end up with more issues then you would if you just told the truth from date one. I’m not saying you have to be an open book and admit everything under the sun, but when the time comes to be clear on a topic, do so! Think about the repercussions before you decide how to answer – is it worth not being forthright?
under Date Night
The other day, I got a random text from a guy I’ll call, “Joe.” Joe just graduated from my university, but I don’t know him very well. I would barely even consider him an acquaintance. I never gave Joe my phone number, but he appears to have it and use it liberally from time to time.
Whenever I don’t know someone, or they give me the creeps, I leave their name out of my phone to remind myself to be wary of them. To put things in context, I first met Joe when I was sober and he was very drunk at a college party. The only thing I remember from that encounter was his awful pickup line, “You don’t dress very cute. You should probably just take your clothes off.”
Back to a few nights ago: I got a text from a number saying, “I’m in your area. We’re going out for drinks Friday.” It took me a minute to figure out it was Joe.
A lot of guys think that being ultra-assertive works well for them after the nice guy approach fails. I am going to a charity event Friday night, and I let him know that I was unavailable. He said, “Saturday then.” I told him that I already had a date on Saturday. He said, “Well that guy probably sucks. I’ll show you a real good time.” It was hard to find a place to interject with a firm, “No.”
I found his attitude highly off-putting. Maybe Joe has tried to be nicer and less forceful in his approach in the past and it hasn’t worked. Being a doormat isn’t a great strategy most of the time. Although a lot of guys make the mistake of being an overeager puppy, at least puppies are sort of endearing. Joe didn’t ask me out. He told me he was taking me out. His approach took away my ability to weigh in on whether I want to go out with him. I had to be very direct to shoot him down, and honestly, I’m not sure all girls would feel comfortable being so blunt.
If your strategy for asking someone out isn’t working, trying the exact opposite approach may not be the way to go about it. The other person needs a polite way out if they are uncomfortable or uninterested. You can’t force someone to like you.
under Date Night
It’s so easy to come off as the “perfect” prospect online, and on the phone, and even during the first few months of dating. This is when people are on their best behavior, they are charming, they only reveal the best parts of themselves. Well, that’s how it usually works. I’ve been hearing story after story of people showing their true colors on a first date.
From the guy who admitted to having a foot fetish while staring and salivating over his date’s feet five minutes after sitting down for dinner, to the guy who invited a woman over after a nice dinner only to have her find his bed covered with dozens of stuffed animals and him asking her if she liked “furries” (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), to the gal who used the ingredients in her side salad to begin precociously exchanging sex stories with her date over entrees as he sat stunned.
In these instances it was easy to bid adieu to these shmos, but most times people hide their vices better… and for longer. Hopefully your dates’ vices are no more than just being mildly OCD or quoting Friends and Seinfeld every other sentence. Beaus do exist, but no one is perfect — just know there will always be something you don’t like about everyone.
under Date Night
It was seven o’clock on a Sunday, and I was frightened. I had already postponed our meeting thanks to a broken 1 train, and I was schvitzing from the bus ride. But I walked into the bar, ready to finally do this. It’d been a while.
We spotted each other right away, and though we’d never met, we instantly recognized each other as the people who had messaged each other such things on Facebook as “yo” and “wanna grab beers?”. It was so nice to have found this again.
“This” was friendship.
Moving to a new city was scary to me in many ways. I didn’t know anyone initially (luckily a last-minute roommate change meant I was living with a good friend who is also Jewish), and meeting new people in the big city can be tough. I was lucky to have mutual friends setting us up. So if you’re looking for new friends, whether in a new city or not, here’s some tips I’d like to offer:
- Tell your friends you’re looking. Like with dating, it’s easier for people to set you up if they know. And in this case, much less threatening to their relationship with that person if things go south.
- Even if you don’t plan to drink beer, go to a place that sells it. One of my best man-dates in the city was at a burger joint where the other guy drank some beers while I downed chicken fingers.
- Reach out to people you haven’t seen in a while. I met a guy in Barcelona who lived in New York and we reconnected, and I reached out to friends I met once in college.
- Work at it. For me, this has been a big one. Moving to a new city has meant I need to be proactive about my relationships. People will seldom go out of their way to make new friends, but building habits by staying in touch with people is a great lesson for all of life.
Though dating has been great here, I think friendships are also a vital part of life, especially with little family around you. Even if you’re not in a new city, try reaching out to friends of the same gender you may not have seen in a while. Building your network is vital, and you never know who might know a nice, Jewish girl (or guy) they never would’ve thought to introduce you to otherwise.
under Date Night
In a word: no.
Don’t do it. I don’t care how amazing the photo is, DO NOT USE A SELFIE AS YOUR JDATE PROFILE PICTURE! And don’t make a duck-face either. I know it makes your lips look plump and accentuates your cheekbones, but it’s obnoxious.
Find someone you love who can take your picture and let them snap away when there’s good lighting. Try out different poses and angles, move around, make sure your smile is authentic by laughing about a funny story with the friend or family member who is taking your photo. Change up your clothes and background and keep snapping away. If you cut or color your hair, shave or grow your beard, lose or gain weight, then do another impromptu, unprofessional photo shoot. Take photos when you’re dressed up to go to a party (better to have the party in the background then your front door on the way out though), take photos when you’re on vacation and relaxed. Try to aim for dusk or dawn or overcast days when the sun won’t create shadows or make you squint.
Then, let that same trusted loved one go over the photos with to help you choose. We are our own worst critics, which means that a photo you may not love could be seen as really attractive by someone else. Photos are too important a part of online dating not to take it seriously.
To learn more about creating a great JDate profile, buy How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating now!
under Date Night
A great blog about “15 Ways We Can Put an End to the Dishonest Dating Culture We’ve Created” echoes many of the same dating philosophies I put forth in the past few years while writing for JDate and in my book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating.” The author of the blog laments about how many missed opportunities there are due to going in circles while playing the dating game. She has a challenge for all singles out there: stop playing games by following the 5 tips below.
- Go out on dates and have fun
- Let the person you like know that you like them, and if they don’t like you back, then you’ve now saved yourself lots of time and energy
- Don’t settle or change what you want in order to fit someone else’s needs
- Don’t be afraid to get hurt, or use past relationships to stop you from making a commitment to a new relationship
- Respect yourself and those you’re on a date with whether you want to go out on another date or not, it’s the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. That said, if you don’t like someone then don’t lead them on.
As a Jewish adult, I’ve felt a lot of pressure to be successful. However, I don’t think the same emphasis is placed on being happy. Going into the working world after engineering school can feel like a nice change of pace for many recent graduates. However, the working world has its own stresses. Recently, people have been asking me what I want to do after graduation this December. Truth be told: I don’t exactly know! Many of my peers don’t know what we want our lives to look like.
The real question I’ve been asking myself is, “What does a happy life look like?” To be honest, I was in a deep rut midway through college, and I struggled to enjoy anything for a while. Now that the clouds have parted, I’m trying to emerge a stronger, happier, richer, and more compassionate person for the experience.
I sometimes still have dark days, but on the whole, things are looking up. Still, I can’t quite envision what my happy life looks like. Right now, it mostly consists of vague wants that are fairly universal. I’m trying to compile a who, what, where, when, and why of happy.
- Who: Do you need to live near your parents or a sibling?
- What: What are you going to spend the majority of your life doing?
- Where: Does geography matter? Does the “Who” category trump the “Where” category?
- When: When do you want these things to happen (if at all)? Not everyone wants children, for example.
- Why: Why do we want certain things? What do they say about us as a person? The “Why” category is the hardest for me, but I think if I could figure it out more concretely, I would have an easier time answering in the other four questions.
Even though happiness is a mindset, having concrete goals makes it easier for me to document progress and create a sense of accomplishment along the way. What does your happy life look like, and how are you working toward making it a reality?
under Date Night
Everyone has that one ex-lover to whom they compare everyone they ever go on to date. No matter how long ago it ended, or why it ended, or even how long the relationship lasted, everyone has their measuring stick (pardon the pun). Everyone also has that one ex-lover to whom they hope everyone thereafter will shine in contrast to because of how terrible they were treated. Sometimes both of these scenarios are the same person. Actually, oftentimes it’s the same person.
It’s perfectly acceptable and natural to experience this. The point is to make sure you are being realistic and have the right perspective. Don’t use an ex to trivial a new prospect, give each individual the respect to earn or lose your adulation. And just because a new prospect doesn’t measure up to all of your ex’s positives, that doesn’t mean he or she should be ruled out — perhaps they don’t have any of your ex’s negatives either!
under Online Dating
It appears that some people — both men and women — have forgotten some of the signals of what someone who isn’t interested in you looks like. When he (or she) is just not that into you, he/she:
- doesn’t call you
- doesn’t ask you out on dates
- doesn’t kiss you
- doesn’t flatter you
- doesn’t remember you
- doesn’t think about you
- doesn’t text you
- doesn’t respond to your texts or add to any continuity of a conversation
If you find yourself making all the moves, trying to create opportunities for your crush to notice you, and continuosly reaching out to someone who doesn’t engage, then it’s time to recognize that he or she is just not that into you. You can’t take it personally. If you are practicing poly-dating, which I address in my book How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating, then you should have other prospects in rotation and one so-called “rejection” shouldn’t make you skip a beat. Plenty of other people will be into you, don’t worry about the few who aren’t. You will never receive a satisfactory explanation as to their disinterest so don’t even bother asking.