JBlog®

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!


Your Preference Setting Your “Preferences”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

A lot of people ask me how to use “Preferences” and “My Ideal Match” on JDate. Should they answer the questions as broad as possible and then narrow it down from there based on level of importance? Or, should they answer as strict and narrow as possible — in essence creating their idealized, perfect (unrealistic?) match — and then broaden the areas of least importance?

It looks like this:

Scenario #1 — The Broad Answer (ie. casting a wide net)

  • location: with 100 miles
  • age range: 5 years younger, 10 years older
  • marital status: single or divorced
  • kids: has/wants/any
  • education: BA and above
  • religion: all except Orthodox options
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: yes
  • height: 5’10+
  • body style: any
  • activity level: any
  • kosher: no or to some extent
  • willing to relocate: maybe

Scenario #2 — The Strict Answer (ie. your perfect vision)

  • location: within 25 miles
  • age range: 1 year younger, 4 years older
  • marital status: single
  • kids: wants
  • education: MA/JD/PhD
  • religion: Conservative
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially
  • height: 6’+
  • body style: athletic/fit
  • activity level: active and above
  • kosher: no
  • willing to relocate: no

In the 1st scenario you would get a huge return with possibly 100s of prospects to sift through. In the 2nd scenario you may get just one pageful, which is maybe a dozen prospects to choose from (if any). In order to eliminate the ones in scenario #1 you would begin narrowing down location to 50 miles, then age to a 10-year range, then being more specific about activity level and/or body type. In order to see more options in scenario #2 you would broaden the mileage to 50 miles, expand the age range to a 10-year spread, include those who have a college degree (even if it’s not higher education), and be open to someone with a few extra pounds to lose.

Is there a right way or a wrong way? No, not necessarily. In fact, I think you should try both ways. First make your own list of what your ideal is and then what you would compromise on. Does someone truly need to be 6′ tall or would 5’11 suffice? If you keep kosher then that would probably not be one that you would be willing to negotiate on. Once you’ve made your two lists, plug one in first, then the other, and see what your results are. Based on which appeals to you more, use that approach and then start your narrowing or broadening. Remember, relationships are a lot about compromise so this is good practice for later!


Express Yourself

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

Your body language communicates more than your actual words… by A LOT! 55% vs 7% to be exact, with the remaining 38% of communication coming from your tone of voice. (When people say that more than 90% of communication is nonverbal, that could be referring to the math of 55+38=93%.)  So, what does this mean when you’re dating? It means you need to be cognizant of how you’re sitting or standing, your facial expression and what kinds of looks you’re giving, as well as how you’re saying what you’re saying.

If you don’t want the person you’re speaking with to automatically go on the defensive when you say something that could be perceived as offensive, or something that could easily be taken the wrong way, then make sure your arms aren’t crossed across your chest or placed on your hips. Make eye contact and smile so that your eyes give off warmth. Take a few deep breaths before you start speaking and relax your shoulders.

And while you’re at it — think twice about what you’re saying, does it even need to be said? By the way, these tips are also good for giving off an approachable vibe when you’re looking to attract others!


Ode to Love Poems

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

Shakespearean sonnets, sad country songs, even the clichéd wisdom of a Hallmark card… the written word of Valentine’s Day is alive and well as we count down to the dreaded date. As a dating blogger, I feel the pressure to give serious advice intended to land you a date for February 14, or how to survive the day as a single person, or how to acknowledge the day if you just started seeing someone.  But instead, I’m inviting you, the readers of JBlog, to be my Valentine.  Unfortunately, I can’t shower you with flowers and candy through the internet, but I can write you some poems to mark the occasion.  Who doesn’t love celebratory limericks and haikus?

 

He’s just not that into you

If he doesn’t call after date number two.

Don’t send him a text;

Just go on to the next

And log on to find your next Jew!

 

Had a great first date

Valentine’s Day is this week

Too soon for flowers?

__

A new message arrived just for me,

Looks like my dream man – could it be?

He’s tall and he’s funny,

He makes lots of money!

Oh wait, he’s not even 23!

__

Single on V-Day?

Don’t want to go to the bars?

Stay home with Netflix!

___

Why is it always so

That we tend to like those we don’t know?

But when seen up close

The unknown becomes gross!

So enjoy whom you’re with, head to toe.


Dating With One Foot Out the Door

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

No, this post is not about going on a bad date — in fact, it’s about going on a good date when you know you’re about to move.

When you have one foot out the door of the city you live in, and are proactively looking to move, then why bother dating in your current city? Would you change your plans if you were to meet someone? If the answer to that question is no, then I suggest waiting until you know where — and when — you’re going to move, and then switching your account to that city with the tagline “I’ll be moving to _______ soon and am looking forward to meeting new people!”

It’s not fair to your dates in your current city to consider you as a serious prospect when you are on the verge of moving away. It’s not fair to yourself, either. This is a good time to do some introspection as you prepare to embark on this new chapter. And while you’re at it, take some time to update your profile to reflect what you want for yourself as you move forward in life.


Valentine’s Day — Why Wait?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

Valentine’s Day… that Hallmark holiday where EVERYTHING is overpriced and the pressure behind doing something takes away from the effort put in. That said, you can’t NOT do something, right? But, why wait? Make your significant other feel special all the time, and then it won’t feel so forced on February 14th. Try these ideas for something to do!

In the meantime, if you are entering into a new relationship and V-Day is approaching far too quickly for the sentimentality… then talk about it to diffuse the pressure that is likely building between the two of you. Just simply say: “I know Valentine’s Day is coming up, and since we just recently started dating I would like to do something, but I also don’t want to make it into too big of a deal since it is so early on…” and then discuss some ideas together.

Once you’ve made plans together think of something small you each can do to surprise the other — whether that’s having flowers delivered to her office sometime next week or buying that new fitted ballcap from his favorite sports team. Put in a little extra effort to show the other person that they are appreciated and that you are excited to see what the future holds!


When Should You Tell Your Story?

by Tamar Caspi under Entertainment,Relationships,Single Life

A few weeks ago I wrote about telling “your story” and getting rid of the term “baggage.” And now I’m watching one of my guilty pleasures, The Bachelor, where one of the girls is proudly telling “her story.”

Chris and Kelsey

Chris and Kelsey from ABC’s The Bachelor

Kelsey is one of 11 women left on the show vying for farmer Chris’ love and attention. She also happens to have become a widow at the sad, young age of 26 when her husband died of heart failure. This is definitely a big part of who she is right now, just 18 months after the fact, but she technically doesn’t know Chris very well yet and, in fact, hadn’t even been on a 1-on-1 date yet. So, she sneaks away from the rest of the girls and goes to Chris’ room and tells him her story… then they embrace… and then they kiss for the first time… just seconds after she finishes discussing how the love of her life collapsed and died on a sidewalk a block from their home. Then she stares into a camera during an “ITM” (In The Moment) interview with Bachelor producers where she says: “Isn’t my story amazing? It’s tragic but amazing. I love my story.”

Nnnnnoooooooot exactly what I was referring to when I said to embrace your past and honor who it has made you today.

It was correct of Kelsey to tell Chris her story, however, how she did it was wrong. She was telling Chris her story to elicit pity from him and to draw him closer to her.

It is disrespectful to use your story for anything other than allowing someone to get to know you better, sharing about your journey, and explaining how it has made you who you are today. It’s also about timing. A first date isn’t the time to share your story; I’ve said it before but clearly it bears repeating. If you haven’t shared your story on a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th date — and you can feel the date slipping away from you, then keep your story to yourself, it’s not your lifeline. You don’t want to engage a date by sharing your story, especially if it’s not going well.

But, if you’ve been on a few dates and things are going well, and you want to take it to the next level, then it’s time to open up. The only way to get closer and to bond is to let your walls down and share your story.

 


The Less You Know…

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

Dating PSA: The less you know, the better.  In terms of prior knowledge of your online date, that is.

Online Stalking

Is not Googling your date the new abstinence?

Stop Googling your dates’ names before you meet them! I know we’re are all guilty of playing online detective to some degree. When you find out a fellow JDater’s first name, city, and profession, it’s usually not too hard to find this person’s LinkedIn or Facebook page (unless you are the equivalent of a David Cohen, ESQ in NYC).

The next thing you know, you have spent an hour in a trance-like state staring at the screen, reading up on this person’s entire career history, the names of his nieces and nephews, and every photo from the New Year’s Eve party he hosted in 2011.  Believe me, I totally understand how tempting it is to extensively research someone online before your first date! This behavior, however, presents several potential perils:

  1. Particularly in the early stage of a new relationship, having more details about someone increases the chance that you’ll find something objectionable about him or her. Say you’ve been exchanging a few messages with ‘Mike’ and agree to meet him for drinks. But, a Google search session reveals his online poker activity or his habit of instagramming three meals a day, or his photo album from his cousin’s Bar Mitzvah last year when he was 20 pounds heavier with a bad haircut. These kinds of things are no big deal, but if you are feeling neutral about Mike, this prior knowledge will color your perception and produce a negative attitude toward the date. Once you meet Mike and develop a mutual attraction with him, you probably won’t care as much that he used to be heavier or that he likes to play poker. If you know this information and haven’t even met him yet though, you may never learn that he has a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh.
  2. Another potential problem with over-researching your date is that you might forget what you are “supposed to know” about him or her. Have you ever wondered if she said she had two brothers in her profile… or if you just saw it on Facebook? If you act surprised to hear about her siblings, but she mentioned them in her profile or in a message, she’ll think you weren’t paying attention.  But, if you didn’t already discuss it, and you bring it up yourself, you’ll appear creepy!  This is basically a lose-lose situation, so avoid it by remembering only the information your date gives you – nothing extra.
  3. Third, even if Google reveals good things about your potential date, beware of falling into the “good on paper” trap – the opposite of the situation described above in #1. This situation happens when you expect someone to be a great match based on prior research, but he isn’t. The Internet might tell you that handsomedoc76 went to Princeton, grew up on your Grandma’s street, and was a counselor at your camp. If you can’t hold a conversation with him though, or you don’t share the same values, then you might need to let go of the Google image you conjured up that doesn’t actually exist.

In conclusion, Internet research can be dangerous to your dating life!  If you disregard someone because you find a picture of him with his three cats, you could be missing out on a great match. Conversely, if your date doesn’t live up to your high hopes, you could face disappointment. Step away from Google and go meet in person!


Friends with Ex-Boyfriends

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

Hi Tamar,

I was with my ex-boyfriend for four years. Since breaking up, we’ve been able to remain good friends. In fact, I’m still friends with most of my exes and I thought guys would see this as a good thing – that I’m known as a good person and clearly don’t attract drama. But, when I mentioned hanging out with an ex to my most recent dates, the guys were not cool with it at all. One even straight-up asked if I was still having sex with an ex! (We are not.) Why do the guys have a problem with this? Is it their problem or mine?

-Friendly Femme

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Friendly Femme

Theoretically, a man who is secure with himself, and your relationship with him, shouldn’t have a problem with you having a friendship with another man. It does become more complicated when you had a romantic relationship with that man in the past. Most men assume that a “guy-friend” – particularly one you had sex with in the past – is really only hanging around for (more) eventual sex. Being around an ex can make a new guy feel intimidated.

My advice is this: in order to find the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, you may need to put some distance between yourself and your exes. I personally don’t see a reason to be friends with every single one, but I do understand that you spent a good chunk of your life with someone and don’t want to lose that piece of your life. You need to ask yourself what an ex – or any friend for that matter – is contributing to your life? If you haven’t realized this yet, you will eventually: friendships are about quality, not quantity.

I suggest not mentioning your guy friends on a date, or the fact that those guy friends are exes. If things get serious and you begin introducing your new beau to your friends, then you will need to give a history ahead of time. But, you may also find you no longer want to be friends with an ex as things get more serious with someone else. Certain people from your past should stay in your past — even if the break-up was cordial and you get along now.


Dating Cues

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Single Life

There are lots of cues that help you navigate a date. By both knowing how to read these cues and knowing how to give these cues, you can hopefully determine the fate of a date.

If a date asks to meet for drinks/coffee/tea/juice, give it a fair shake — even though it’s not the commitment of a dinner. If you are interested in continuing getting to know each other after the cups are empty, and your date suggests ordering food or taking a walk, that means they are interested in you. If your date touches your arm, that means they are interested in you. If your date makes plans for a second date before the first date is even over, that means they are interested in you.

If you don’t see those cues, but are interested and want to see if your date is as well, then you need to send the right cues. Suggest grabbing a meal or taking a walk. If your date makes an excuse, then chances are they are not interested and you have your answer.

Unless… if your date says they have something to do or somewhere to go… but says they want to make plans for another date… and then follow through by calling you to make those plans… then the excuse was probably legitimate and you should accept the next date, and also accept that your date is interested in you.

Remember, dating is a numbers game. Just because drinks don’t turn into dinner, or there’s no call the next day for another date, that doesn’t mean you should get yourself down over it. Most first dates will not turn into second dates, and that’s okay. If you are interested though and your date is sending the right cues, make sure you aren’t losing out on a date because you don’t know how to read them!