To everyone out there who is looking for love, success, and happiness: I urge you to learn from your past, be mindful in the present, and embrace the future with openness. Recently, I heard someone say, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
Don’t wait for tomorrow to start living your life. Every moment that passes is a moment that we’ll never see again in our life. As much as that is cheesy, I think it hits on the importance of now. Now is the time. Don’t wait to start your life until you’re 20 pounds thinner, you have a master’s degree, or your loved one passes away.
I often hear people say, “I wish I had achieved success/gotten married/had kids while (insert name of beloved relative here) was alive.” Well guess what? If you wait for life to smack you in the face, it eventually will. And you may be echoing similar sentiments. Today is the day. Not tomorrow or next week. Set measurable, achievable goals. Reach them. Build your confidence. Your mind and body are amazing tools that can be used for so many amazing purposes: whether that be productivity or laziness. If you want to be the world’s most dedicated couch potato, go for it. It doesn’t matter what you do. Make something of your life and believe in your ability to achieve your goals. Being passionate is personable. We all want something out of our life experiences.
Through my many dates, I think what makes people attractive to others is being passionate. My friends sometimes call it “living intensely.” Give yourself permission to take chances, be incorrect, fail, regroup, and try again. Living is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Plan something great. Even if you fail, you’ll do a lot of living in the meantime.
Waiting to become a JDate member? What are you waiting for? I know… you’re waiting until a few of those cute prospects view you multiple times… and until you get a few notifications that you have emails, which you can only read if you sign up… so you decide to join, again. But, this time you realize that buying a monthly membership every few months no longer makes sense… and you realize the savings of buying a long-term membership… and you realize you could tempt fate by getting the six month-er just to meet someone after three weeks.
Consider it money well spent!
under Date Night
There’s not a lot of dating advice left in me — I’m in a relationship now, and it’s something I think less about these days. A lot of the advice I give is common sense. But really, the one life lesson (I’m starting to learn more of those) I always share is be ready for anything and throw your expectations aside.
“Living in New York, expect life to kick your butt,” people told me before leaving. I was ready. My butt was ready. But it didn’t happen. No, the only way life has come at me is that things have gone so well here that I’m staying! I may be jobless, but I’m also being allowed to get my MBA by December — all from the glory of New York. I made the jump to a place where things are vastly different, and I got an amazing girlfriend along with a wonderful adventure.
I realize that I’ve rubbed this in your face enough and that I’m in an extremely rare situation. But, whenever I sit down to write these blogs, only one thing keeps coming up for me — just keep growing and changing. Perhaps that’s why this will be one of my last blogs giving dating advice. I don’t know how much longer I’m good for advice, but I’m going to try to cover other things to help you be a more viable dating partner in my posts over the next few weeks. My advice may not be like what you will find on other dating sites, but that’s what will hopefully make it stand out.
When I got into writing for JDate, I was a graduate student hoping to share about my years of dating efforts. Now, I’m an out of work near-graduate, hoping to network my way to a job in New York. I think it’s no mistake the year I spent trying to get to New York by networking also led to an increase in my romantic opportunities. When you excel at being a person and getting to know others, romantic success is bound to follow.
Romance is obviously a big part of my life still, but I can’t wait to take you on the other part of my journey over this last year, the part that will stick with you long past your JDate days. I’ll leave you with a great quote from Never Eat Alone — “A networker isn’t looking to achieve a single successful union. Creating an enriching circle of trusted relationships requires one to be out there, in the mix, all the time.” I can’t wait to be a part of getting you used to that, and maybe even finding love along the way.
If you are too scared to have The Talk about where you are in a relationship, then you simply cannot assume you and your new love interest are on the same page. To assume is to make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Basically, bypassing The Talk could lead one person in the relationship to feeling more interested than the other, which is never good.
Here’s a clue: if the other person avoids The Talk or behaves skittishly and skirts the topic, then that’s your answer. You can almost guarantee he or she does not want to enter into a monogamous, committed relationship with you for whatever reason. Take note and don’t try to convince yourself that they’re a commitment-phobe, or just not ready, or even that you are committed but don’t need to discuss it. This is a red flag. Ignore at your own risk. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
under Online Dating
Dating when you’re in a state of geographic transition can be tricky. Some people have even advised me against it completely. It really all depends on what you’re looking for, and what you want from a date. The more casual you are about relationships, the easier it is. However, these are some of the things I’ve considered when it comes to dating in “location limbo.”
• Putting yourself out there
• Getting some dating experience
• Meeting someone who you want to spend time with
• Gaining a new friend or activity partner
• Finding a short-term intimacy partner (if that’s your thing)
• Communication complications and logistical issues
• Having an expiration date on your relationship
• Switching to a long-distance situation under time constraints
• Hurting someone
No matter what, it’s important to be forthright about your situation. Some people will not want to date you if you disclose your situation, but you save both parties a lot of grief in the end.
A similar situation was brought to my attention by two different people this past week. Both ladies were wondering what intentions their respective “prospects” had with their random texting. These guys would text flirtatiously, but nothing would ever come of it and then they would disappear for while and surface anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to a few months later, only to begin the cycle all over again. Both women wanted to know what it meant and what to do?
I’m just going to be blunt — these guys are bored and are probably texting a number of girls to see who will answer. It’s not surprising that nothing ever comes of it, the guy is enjoying the attention he is getting from the texts and at least thinks that any of these conversations could lead to something more, if he wanted it to. If you are on the receiving end of these types of texts – and you respond – then you have no one to blame but yourself.
Stop answering and the texts will stop coming. Then again, if you’re also bored and aren’t emotionally involved, then why not respond? Just know that it is more than likely that nothing will ever come of the texting — the guy will more than likely disappear and reappear, and you will more than likely grown confused once again.
I was recently asked out by an intelligent, passionate guy who said he wanted to take things slowly at first. Sounds great, right?
Wrong. He also mentioned he was flexible about relationships. What he meant by that is that he is having sex with a married pregnant woman whose husband is also seeing other women. He assured me he was not the father. What was I supposed to do, jump for joy that he isn’t the biological father?
I just want something old-fashioned. I don’t want four people in my relationship. Two people can be complicated enough without trying to deal with the dynamics of other people’s emotions and problems. I don’t find open relationships or open marriages appealing at all… I don’t even get the point of being married in that case. Call me judgmental, but isn’t having sex with others against marriage vows?!? I can imagine my grandmother saying, “In my day, we called that infidelity.” Monogamous relationships are hard enough as it is.
under Date Night
At the beginning of the summer, I set my mind on becoming well read. Six books later, I’m feeling proud of sticking to that goal, and I’m even happier that it did not require me to drop any of my other ongoing goals. If you want to play a new instrument or learn to surf, I say go for it. Reaching for something reasonably within grasp and meeting a goal is a huge confidence booster.
If your goals are interpersonal, it’s a bit harder to just jump in, but it’s equally important to have measurable successes. Maybe you want to start going on more dates after a long dry spell. I always like to make goals quantifiable, but that’s just the engineer in me talking. Maybe you want to make more friends or go to temple more regularly. Goals are great, but they’re not as helpful tucked away on a shelf for later.
Someone who I’m close to (who hates unsolicited advice) mentioned they think they are going to “be alone forever.” How is she supposed to make progress toward her goal of having better relationships if she’s so negative from the get go? She hasn’t even tried to date since her relationship ended nearly three years ago.
Two small things I want to tell her:
- Attitude is HUGE! It’s maybe the most pivotal component to success.
- Why not now? Why not today? Your happiness may depend on it.
It doesn’t have to be a relationship. I’m sure she has other aspirations. You probably do too. Building your skills or trying something new may give you a funny new story to tell on a date, or may even make you a richer, happier person. There’s no harm in trying, in or out of the dating arena. You have nothing to lose, and only something to gain when you go for it.
under Date Night
Recently, a friend called me with a question and gave me permission to share his story:
“Ryan” is poly-dating (as I recommend) and is in the early stages of dating “Rebecca,” whom he met on JDate, and also communicating with “Rachel,” a woman he recently connected with on JDate as well. Ryan and Rachel have been trading instant messages, emails, texts, and chatting on the phone — all before their first date. Ryan and Rebecca, on the other hand, have spent time in person, talking until the wee hours of the morning and sharing a few kisses on a few occasions now.
Ryan knows that poly-dating is a smart idea so he doesn’t get too serious about any girl too quickly… but things with Rebecca are progressing naturally and he already really likes her. Now he feels guilty about his upcoming date with Rachel, and he also likes Rachel and feels guilty that he’s spent so much time getting to know her and building up expectations. Should he go out with her?
Interestingly, in this case, I said no, he shouldn’t. He has already spent time with Rebecca and likes her, and wouldn’t be giving Rachel a fair shake because he would be distracted by feeling he’s betraying Rebecca. As unfair as it is to Rachel, his communicating with her while dating Rebecca was the poly-dating that kept a good pace for their relationship to unfold. Now he can commit to dating only Rebecca and see where it leads. Meanwhile, he should be honest with Rachel and let her know that he met someone else and wants to see where it goes out of respect for her and his new relationship. He should end the conversation with a compliment, of course, noting how great he thinks she is since it was only timing that prevented them from exploring more, and nothing personal about her.
Side note: this is another example of why too much communicating before a first date is not beneficial and, in fact, is detrimental by creating unrealistic expectations.
As I started to write this post, I began by doing a “control-f” across the word document where I keep my blog entries. I was searching for the phrase “negativity” and it came up with zero results. I was pleased to see I’d never used it… until now.
This would be an easy week for me to be somewhat negative. I’m out of a job at the moment, I don’t know what my apartment situation is for the next month, and life just seems to be coming at me quickly. Add in Robin Williams’ death and the growing crisis in the Middle East, plus our rainy weather in the northeast this week, and life can seem pretty daunting.
That being said, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve found what I was looking for in New York: an amazing girlfriend, a job I loved throughout the summer (and hope to be going back to once a position is ready), and a great life in the city where I’ve always wanted to live. It’s so easy to get swept up in the details, or to worry about the little things, but I have two beliefs that keep me from worrying:
- One is my belief that with enough action and little enough worry, things tend to work themselves out. For example, I applied to two hundred different companies in New York. After three months, the very first company I applied to wrote me and I received the interview invitation after my favorite “no-worry-time-Shabbat.” Life definitely warrants concerning yourself over things, but action without panic has been an approach that has helped me breathe easier.
- The second trick to my happiness (which is not always constant, don’t get me wrong) is having a vision of the future that keeps me secure. I’ve become very close with my girlfriend in terms of how often we see each other, and it worried me a bit that we’ll be spending a good chunk of the next two weeks apart, but it helps me to think about reuniting in two weeks and how happy I’ll be then. An eye on the future, without losing your enjoyment of the present, is very important.
Sometimes it can all look rough. And I may even be writing this to avoid more job application work from a Dunkin’ Donuts window seat. But, you never know what’s going to happen next — and that’s the beautiful thing about life. So good luck this week, I hope your dating life surprises you!