under Date Night
After hosting a HurryDate event last week, I have some advice that all singles who are planning to attend speed dating events should read:
1. Dress to Impress
There was a man there wearing a hat. Really? Just like your JDate profile photo, why on earth would you show up wearing a hat? There were ladies wearing sandals. Not only is it February, but there is nothing sexy about sandals.
2. Be on Time
It’s tough to start the event if all the people aren’t there. Check in and then go grab a drink from the bar.
Nothing says “approachable” better than a smile. That, and don’t cross your arms over your chest.
4. Be Conversation Ready
Most of the questions that can be asked within the five-minute time frame of the speed date are the obvious ones, so be prepared to answer: “What do you do?” and “Where do you live/Where are you from?” And try to answer with easy, one-line answers that you haven’t rehearsed.
5. Don’t Ask: “Why Are You Still Single?”
“Why are you still single?” and “What is your relationship history?” are questions to be saved for a later time. If someone asks you these questions during a speed dating party, then your answers should go like this, respectively: “For the same reason you’re still single, I haven’t met the right person yet” and “I’ve been in some meaningful relationships where I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want in a mate, and I’d be happy to share that with you on another date.” Then change the topic.
Finally, stick around after and socialize. You may meet another single to attend future single events with you, or you may get to continue talking with someone, like the couple who was still chatting an hour after the event ended last week…
Buy Tamar’s book How to Woo a Jew on Amazon now!
under Date Night
Bad dates: we’ve all had them. Some of us have them back-to-back, and we swear off dating to the point where we’d almost agree to do anything other than go on another one ever again. There’s a lot to do when you find yourself feeling annoyed by another bad date. The best thing, however, is to take a step back and — when you are ready — try again.
- Do: Talk about it. The best way to get over a bad date is to find a way to laugh about it. Maybe they were rude, or you did something embarrassing, or there was more chemistry in the liquid concoction you were drinking during the date than there was between the two of you. Tell your friends about it, or your roommate, or whomever will take the time to listen. The more people that you tell, the better you’ll feel — and the more you’ll be ready to move on and try again.
- Don’t: Sulk in it. Try not to replay the details in your head over and over again. Try to let it go before it overwhelms you. The more you think about it, the more it will start to become a part of you — and it’s best to avoid that.
under Single Life
So many people let love pass them by because they simply are afraid to take a risk and say something. Whether it be “What’s your friend’s number?” or “Are you single?” or “Would you be willing to set me up with your buddy?” or “Would you like to go out sometime?” or simply saying, “Hi! My name is…”
That’s all it takes to see if that girl you saw volunteering at the JDate event is available, or if that guy you saw hanging out by the kitchen at your friend’s party is Jewish. What’s the worst that will happen? You’ll find out the person is either not Jewish, not single, or not interested. No big deal, right?! Make sure you don’t regret not saying something.
under Date Night
I’m hosting a HurryDate event in Los Angeles this Wednesday (today!) and it got me thinking about the advantages of speed dating:
For starters, you know the people attending are serious about finding someone because they aren’t going to spend the time or money to partake in such an event if they aren’t. Secondly, you get to meet other singles who fit your demographic: in this case Jews in their 20′s and early 30′s, and to top it off there’s about an equal number of each gender. And finally, you get to talk with so many people for a short enough amount of time to either get out of a bad or awkward pairing, or to discover you want to learn more about the person sitting across from you. Seems like a win-win situation to me.
Get your copy of Tamar’s book “How to Woo a Jew” at Barnes & Noble and Amazon now.
under Date Night
Body language is important — especially on a date or at a singles event — but when does physical flirting go too far? We all know about making eye contact, looking away, and then making eye contact again (women typically add in a hair flip or twirl for good measure); and then holding the eye contact and adding a smile. But when is it too much?
If you’re constantly licking your lips or biting the corner of your lip, remind yourself that you’re not LL Cool J and put your tongue back in your mouth. The same goes for caressing your fingers down your cleavage or mimicking a growl or a bite. Tone it down. Unless of course your intent is just to hook up because that’s the impression you’re giving off.
There’s a difference between flirting with class and flirting with crass, and it’s not a fine line. It’s a wide, multi-lane highway. You can be obvious about flirting without being over the top.
At the launch of my book, How to Woo a Jew, I was asked by a man if JDate was more of a hindrance to his dating life because of The Paradox of Choice. The Paradox of Choice is a book written by Barry Schwartz; it states that having too many options heightens anxiety and that having less choices will help your chances of achieving success and, therefore, happiness. The man who asked the question wondered if people don’t look at the great prospect in front of them because they think there might be someone better around the corner. Could there be too many fish in the sea?
My answer? No. People should poly-date in order to make sure they are not falling for someone too quickly, and they can make sure they aren’t settling by having options to compare. It’s easy to overlook faults when you don’t have anyone else to consider. It’s easy to convince yourself to accept less when you’re feeling desperate.
A little competition is good, it’s healthy, it keeps people on their game. But you also need to really know what you want — by having your short list of priorities — so that when you do find it, you aren’t doubting yourself and wondering if you could meet someone who meets some items from your longer, more nit-picky, less realistic list.
under Date Night
I’m 25 now and being single on Valentine’s Day is getting harder to ignore. Social media, married friends, and having a CVS on every single corner have become constant reminders that I’ll most likely be spending the day shoving Hershey’s Kisses in my mouth and watching the new season of House of Cards, on my couch, alone.
Here are 10 ways to get through the dreaded holiday:
1. Do something to pamper yourself. Something you wouldn’t do any other day of the year.
2. Combine three of your favorite things and do them all in one night.
3. Valentine’s Day is NOT just about romance. Appreciate the ones you love to love.
4. Treat yourself to the giant chocolate hearts from CVS.
5. Take yourself out on a “you” date.
6. Gather the troops together.
7. Use your off buttons.
8. Surround yourself with other singles.
9. Give back to others.
10. Remind someone of how much you love them.
If dating were a sport and you were an Olympic athlete, then would be your competition? The U.S. seems to usually have the highest medal count with Russia and China not far behind, so if you’re going for gold who is in your way?
Oddly enough, this season of The Bachelor on ABC got me thinking about this metaphor. There are always group dates on the show, and contestants have to do things to make themselves stand out from the pack. As awful as it sounds, they have to compete for the Bachelor’s — or Bachelorette’s — attention. Some contestants receive negative attention by drinking too much and soon get disqualified. Others make sure to always sit next to the Bachelor or Bachelorette, touching the star of the show discreetly on their arm or leg, smiling and making eye contact, and ultimately creating opportunities to get one-on-one time. These contestants are playing the game masterfully, particularly when it all comes across naturally.
This is a lesson one must learn for both the screen — on JDate — as well as in person — at a mixer or a bar. What are you going to do to stand out and to retain the attention of your prospect while still maintaining self-respect? Confidence is the overlying theme, whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a single who is ready to mingle. Either way, you need to exude confidence in your main profile photo, your About Me paragraph, and when meeting someone in person. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it matters how you carry yourself.
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.
under Online Dating
*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.