Illinois Lady claiming to not be photogenic got me thinking about judging a book by its cover. Should her prospects not contact her because she only has one photo that is nice, but not stunning? Or should they contact her because her profile is pretty great? Does one element outweigh the other? Do you need both? Do you chance that the person who has a great profile could possibly be like “Illinois Lady” — i.e. not photogenic, but someone who impresses you once you actually meet in person? And then perhaps once you meet, you will be so impressed that you are even more into them because your attraction is based on more than purely physical or sexual factors? What do you guys think?
I’ve been thinking about last week’s post, and today I’d like to piggyback on that same concept – specifically on the detriments of texting. Texting and emailing a new person (whom we haven’t met in person yet) is like inflating an imaginary balloon (stay with me here). But, instead of blowing in oxygen or helium, we tend to inflate it with all of our hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.
Here’s an illustration of what I mean: Let’s say you’ve been exchanging a few witty emails with a cute guy online and he asks for your number. Your conversation moves to text, and the banter continues. You’re feeling good about him, and you get excited and smile when you hear the beep of a new message. You know a lot about him – he’s cute in his picture, he has a good job, he uses grammar correctly and emoticons appropriately. You might even be able to tell that he’s smart, kind, and funny – after all, you two say that you like the same things, and his texts always make you laugh. You start to wonder what your first date might be like – you’re sure he would pick you up and be such a gentleman while whisking you off to this really cool little Italian place you’ve never seen before. And you just know your family would love him. You both have younger brothers, and they would totally be friends, and oh, I wonder how many kids he wants? He would be the best dad… Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a nice, Jewish… pen pal. That’s it. You actually don’t know anything substantial about this guy with whom you are planning a life. So what happens when the day finally arrives when dream boy asks you out on a date (or wants to meet up, or whatever)? You’re ecstatic and can’t wait to have the last first date ever! However…
The Italian restaurant in your dreams becomes a skate park in reality, his gentlemanly ways become surprisingly bro-ish, and he’s kind of impatient with other people, which you hate. He plays with his phone while you’re talking and pops gum like a teenager. And poof – that balloon I was talking about just popped, sprinkling all your hopes over some dirty skateboard. He was supposed to be your prince in shining armor! What happened?
Unfortunately, this guy did nothing wrong (other than wait too long to take you out)! The problem, I’m sorry to say – is you – or more specifically, your expectations. Imagination is a good thing, but when you start to imagine certain scenarios, it’s really easy to get carried away and expect them to occur, especially when you get positive feedback from the object of your desires. If you’re really hopeful that a relationship will bloom with someone, you’re more likely to make positive attributions to otherwise neutral occurrences. So your mind turns “I like kids” into “I want to have kids with you!”
So what does all this have to do with texting? Well, the longer you text back and forth, the more opportunity your mind has to project good things onto a person you don’t really know. Moral of the story: stop texting and meet already! That, or totally manage your expectations. But, I think it’s easier and more fun to just go on a date and form a realistic opinion of someone without the use of emoticons.
I just joined JDate in January and I am getting mixed responses, mostly from older men that are unattractive or weird. Can you take a look at my profile and photo to tell me if something is not working? Everyone tells me that I look much prettier in person, so photos are always a dilemma for me. Please advise. I would also like to spice up my profile name as well!
Dear Illinois Lady,
Your profile is well-written and complete, but perhaps too polished. You clearly know who you are, which is awesome! I would simplify your profile because men may wonder how they can fit into someone’s life who clearly has it all together (whether you do or not, it seems that way). Confidence is sexy, and I’m not telling you to appear less so, just to not sound so sure of everything.
There is a bit of repetition, and as I advise in my book “How to Woo a Jew” there is no need to answer every question if it means repeating the same answer over and over. You mention the Chicago Botanical Gardens a few times — as well as being outdoors, feeling free to contact you, and traveling. I understand that these things are important to you, but it’s redundant, and when people are skimming through a profile things like that can be a turn-off.
As you know, you need more photos. It’s tough when you’re better looking in person, but it’s worse when you’re not as good looking as your photos! So snap away and get some photo-ops in and upload a few photos that your trusted confidants agree looks the most like you.
As for your profile name, right now you have your name and what I assume is your birthday. It’s not a bad profile name, but you could do better. There is mixed thought on using your actual name as your profile name — on one hand, it gives off a sense of familiarity, but on the other hand it may not be the smartest in the sense of security. Make a list of adjectives and nouns that describe you: what you look like, what you do, your hobbies, where you live, and so on, and then try to combine two of the words into a catchy profile name. Try not to use your age, since you will eventually have a birthday and then your profile name will be moot.
I think you’re very close to having a really great profile! Once you have revamped your profile, go through your search results and view the guys you match with so they know you’ve viewed them and are possibly interested in seeing if there’s more.
I read all the tips on how to send that first email to ladies. I also emailed more than a dozen ladies on JDate and not one of them responded. I think the fact that I am shy and inexperienced may have something to do with it, but I’m not sure. Here is the email that I sent to the ladies on JDate:
JDate.com probably thinks our profiles matched so I’m sending you this email. It is cool. If you are interested in continuing this research, please write me back when you have a chance.
Do you have any advice for me as to how I can change this email? Or maybe something I can put in this email so that when I email the ladies on the website they will respond to me? Please let me know. Have a good day and I look forward to speaking/hearing from you soon.
Dear Inexperienced Emailer:
You weren’t kidding when you said you were inexperienced! Your email is awkward, stiff, and, well, awkward. Emails to prospective dates should not be so formal, or appear to be copy/pasted, or appear to be written by Google translate for that matter.
Since you are writing to a prospect on JDate they know that something attracted you to them — so what was it aside from being told you’re a match? You shouldn’t be writing every single prospect an email, only the ones who fit the majority of your preferences and whom you’re attracted to. That said, you should write what it is that you’re attracted to that made the prospect worthy of your time and effort to write the email.
End the short email with a question that addresses something in their profile and shows that you want to get to know them better. You need to prove that you actually looked at their profile by writing both with a compliment and a question, being conversational and casual, and adding in a somewhat flirt tone as well.
My book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” is a step-by-step guide to JDate, including how to know if and when you’re ready for dating, how to figure out what your type is, how to use your Jew-dar, and so on. Yet, whenever I meet people on my book tour or get interviewed by the media, all they want to know is THE answer to how to actually do the Jew-wooing?
Well, there is no one answer. Every person and every prospect is different. Overall, I always suggest that people “be themselves” which sounds cliché, but is true. People typically are on their best behavior when dating, they are putting their best foot forward and are being the best version of themselves. But, why stop doing that… ever? And especially once you’re in a relationship? Don’t.
Use the opportunity to continue being the best you. Why would you revert to being the mediocre you? Let the dating process help you evolve as a human being and as you continue being the best you, you will attract the Jews you want to woo. See how that works!?
Hey, wut up!!
Have you ever been annoyed, frustrated, or confused by a text message? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We are in the midst of a texting epidemic that is particularly puzzling and detrimental to new daters! I’m not blaming the concept of texting – it can be very useful in certain situations and definitely has its time and place (ever tried to locate a friend at a loud bar or concert?). However, it can also produce misconstrued, mysterious messages that cause way more anxiety and analysis than necessary. I’ll talk more about the problems with texting in a later article, but for now, I present to you a field guide to identify some of the more common types of offenders. Are you dating or pursuing one?
- The Narrators
- Common texts: “Hey, good morning! How are you? I am feeding my cat. lol” “How was your Tuesday? Work was really busy today b/c I had 2 meetings and met a friend for lunch.” “I am watching house of cards. This show is so awesome.”
- Also may send pictures of food or pets with no explanation.
In the beginning (and middle) of dating or a relationship, Narrators can get annoying. Unless you both agree you enjoy this constant monologue, most people are too busy to keep up with this stream of consciousness, and even more people are turned off by the lack of intrigue. If you are narrating in an effort to ask someone on a date, forget the chit chat and ask her out!
- The Non-Responders
- Common texts: “ya” or “k” in response to something said an hour ago.
Be wary of non-responders, who are the opposite of narrators. If you are a non-responder, take note that you may come across as indifferent or disinterested, which may or may not be your intention. If you are trying to communicate with a non-responder, stop sending messages and see what happens. If all communication stops, move on. Yeah, some people are too busy to respond, but non-responders are notoriously just not that in to you.
- The Sporadics
- Common texts: “hey, what are you doing now?”… 3 weeks later… “how r u?”
Sporadics are tolerable under few circumstances. If this behavior doesn’t bother you, then respond as you please. But, know that people who send these kinds of messages are most likely either uninterested in a serious relationship with you, or are keeping you on back burner while they try to date their higher priorities. My suggestion: ignore.
- The Pointless Chatters
- Common texts: “hey, how’s your day?” “how’s it going?” “what are you up to this week?”
I know this is really common banter early on, sometimes even before the first date. If this is an attempt to ask someone out, however, forego the small talk and ask her out! If this is an attempt to flirt, try something actually flirtatious. If this is you being bored or lonely, text a friend, vacuum your house, or organize your sock drawer.
When IS texting appropriate and welcome? To let someone know you are running late or on the way. To tell someone you are thinking about him or looking forward to a date. To send a quick reminder or funny note. But not to say “hey” 11 times a day. And not to engage in real conversations. That’s what tweets are for! Jk jk, lol :p
Being vulnerable does not equal being weak or needy or desperate, it simply means that you are open to seeing where things could go, being open to falling in love, and being open to getting hurt.
Being vulnerable means saying yes to dates, saying sorry when you hurt someone’s feelings, saying you like someone when you’re not sure if the sentiment will be returned. Being vulnerable means sending a first email, asking someone out on a date, admitting you’re available on Saturday night… when it’s Thursday.
Being vulnerable is going in for the kiss after an awesome first date, calling the day after a great date to make plans, being honest when you don’t know something even if it mean losing out on a chance to impress someone. And of course, being vulnerable means admitting when you are wrong about something… but what you’ll find is that people respect the strength it takes to be vulnerable and to put yourself out there.
Did you receive an email, text, or (hopefully) a phone call today asking you out on a date this weekend? Kinda last minute, right? I mean, even if you are available, should you admit it and accept the offer? Does that make you seem too eager? Or, are you matching the momentum?
Well, it depends…
If you only met on JDate earlier this week and you’ve been exchanging emails and you’re making plans, then keep the momentum going and accept the date. After all, you both are free, so why not make plans with each other?
If you have been chatting here and there over the course of more than a few weeks, making and canceling plans, texting sporadically, and basically being as non-committal as possible, then perhaps pass on this one. You can counter with an offer to get together the following weekend to see if they are serious about going on a date or not, otherwise it sounds like they ran into Friday without plans for the weekend and are looking to fill it.
And lastly, if you don’t see this prospect with a serious potential future, but there’s attraction and you have nothing else to do, then say yes and enjoy yourself. However, be aware of two things: 1) be open to actually liking this person because it could happen, and 2) make sure you don’t hurt their feelings if they like you and were hoping for more.
If you’re not on JDate, and you’re not going to singles events, and you’re not going to Jewish events, and you’re not letting people know you’re interested in being set-up, and you’re not going out at night with friends… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.
If you are going on dates with a wall built taller than you could metaphorically reach, and you aren’t letting your date get to know you, and you are walking into a date expecting it to go bad… then you can’t blame anyone else for your singledom because you’re not making the effort to change your own fate.
The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” comes into play here. Being single is tough, but you can’t let prospects know that you are fed-up and frustrated with dating. You need to smile and put yourself out there and pretend like you don’t mind your current circumstances until they change.
Another episode of The Bachelor, and another post about dating. This time, a “final-three” contestant, Becca, waited until overnight dates to reveal that she’s a virgin. The Bachelor reacted in a respectful and classy way, and even kept her for the final two, but you could almost tell he did so because he didn’t want people to think he was a jerk for eliminating someone for their sexual experience (or lack thereof). Yet, the week before he eliminated the fourth-to-last contestant after she waited until he met her family to reveal that she had posed nude for Playboy.
So, when is the right time to reveal something major? Is it anyone’s business if you’re a virgin, or posed nude, before you’re in a committed relationship? Yes.
You should give your prospect MAJOR information BEFORE you have “The Talk.” Would it suck if they used that information against you to decide not to want to be with you? Yes, but at least you know that now rather than later. You know what this major info is because you know there’s a chance you’ll get judged for it.
This is not the minor details about having dated someone you know they don’t like, or being one class short of earning your Bachelors even though you claim to have graduated, or having gotten hair plugs or a hair transplant, or anything that you wouldn’t really care about if roles were reversed.
But, if you have a latent yet permanent disease, or if you tested positive for the BRCA gene, or if you can’t have kids, or if you were previously married, then you should share this information after you’ve created momentum with several dates, but before you’re in a committed relationship.