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Shana Tova!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Single Life

Here are some great lists, articles, and videos for singles to read/watch while hiding out in the bathroom during a break from High Holy Day services:

23 Reasons People Actually Ended a Relationship

71 Reasons We We’re All Still F*cking Single

If Women Were Honest on First Dates

10 Things Happy Couples Do Differently

Weird Things All Couples Fight About

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year, and I hope this year leads each of you to a better you… and possibly even to your beshert!


When Life Throws You a Curveball

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

After writing about gender roles in “Married at First Sight: The Finale,” I started to think about what happens when your partner changes their mind after you’ve made the ultimate commitment. What happens when life throws you a curveball? What if a previously egalitarian-touting partner realizes he or she wants stereotypical gender roles once you’ve set up house? What if your significant other proposes, but then decides he or she doesn’t want to ever exchange vows? What if your spouse decides he or she no longer wants to have any children, or wants to limit the number of children to lower than what you previously discussed? Are any of these relationship-ending decisions? Should one half of a couple be able to make a decision on behalf of both of them?

My suggestion would be to seek therapy for impartial advice from a neutral party and to be open to compromise. Typically, something has happened in that person’s life to make them suddenly change their mind. But you can also ask hard questions while you’re dating and look for certain signs along the way. If a man says he believes women are equal and that he will contribute to household chores, see how he treats female waitstaff in a busy restaurant. If your man proposes, but avoids the topic of setting a date, then think about whether or not you need that piece of paper. If you don’t have kids or if you’re not sure if you want more, then “borrow” (babysit) a friend or family member’s kid(s) for a weekend (they will be indebted to you for the mini-vacation!) to see how you are able to handle it for more than a few hours. You may be surprised that you find yourself not wanting more kids either, or it could be a total deal-breaker because you can’t imagine not becoming a parent.

No one should make any major life decisions without consulting their significant other, but when that does occur, don’t be afraid to seek help.


Married at First Sight — The Finale

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships

I first mentioned the show Married at First Sight back in July when it premiered on the fyi, network. After 5 weeks the couples had to decide to stay together or divorce. Then this past week they caught up with the three couples five months later (six months after the met) to see where they were, how they were doing, and what they thought after watching the show air.

Of the three couples, two decided to stay together and are still together to this day. The third had a difficult time getting along from the start and chose to divorce. They were the oldest couple, they were the only couple to consummate their marriage before their wedding night, and they were the only couple not to get a new residence, choosing instead to move into the wife’s existing apartment. None of these were necessarily the reasons they split up, of course, but it is worth mentioning the differences between them and the other couples.

There were a few items that stood out to me about the only couple who failed in this social experiment: as the oldest couple they were each more independent and set in their ways than the other couples; although they had great physical chemistry, they acted on it before establishing any trust or even a friendship; they had a difficult time communicating and each became very defensive when being criticized; and finally, they wanted vastly different types of relationships: he desired more stereotypical gender roles — while she did not. This is a fundamental difference of opinion — a clear incompatibility — and a topic that needs to be discussed on one of the first few dates.


#TheSinglesProject

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

#TheSinglesProject, Bravo! TV’s revolutionary show about singles dating in real-time with input from the Twitterverse, has become must-see TV.

The eligible bachelor and bachelorettes run the gamut of different “types” in the dating world right now. We have seen them date their status quo and then allow others — friends, family, and Twitter — weigh in on who they should date next. Most times the set-up fails miserably, but it is nonetheless interesting to observe who others think is right for each person. The best part about the show is seeing how the singles — Tabasum, Lee, Ericka, Joey, Brian, and Kerry — see themselves on TV and read about themselves on Twitter… and then make changes to how they each think and act.

If nothing else, the show has provided a unique microscope for which singles to examine their lives and make adjustments accordingly. Would you go on a show like this?


The End

by Aaron under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships,Single Life

I’ve posted about a lot of things in the last year — mostly personal stories and experiences. Maybe you’ve read my blogs as a JDater, hoping to cure your singledom; maybe as a potential user seeing what this site is about; maybe as a friend who saw me post a link on Facebook; or even a friend-of-a-friend who saw me post about what being a girl is like online. Whatever led you here, to these words of mine, thank you for reading.

I’m leaving this blog, though not because I don’t like it. I just think my time here is done. I’m out of frustrations and things to write about dating that I or others haven’t already said. It’s time for someone else to share their insights. I’ve had a really great time writing about my experiences and hope the person who takes my place has a great time, too.

I want to leave you by actually giving you advice for once, though. I have a girlfriend now, which I guess was the point of getting on JDate in the first place. I don’t know what will happen to us in the future, but every day I’ve been with her has made me glad I signed up for a JDate account. We didn’t meet on here (I went through the rabbit hole of Jewish dating and we’ll just call JDate my gateway site), but through my ventures into online/long-distance dating, I found an incredible person who complements my lifestyle perfectly.

Dating this last year since starting to blog has been all over the place for me. It all started with a girl in LA bound for Arkansas, and then me traveling to Long Island for a girl, among a number of dates in between — both in Dallas and elsewhere. But I never tried the same thing twice, I was always looking for what wasn’t working and how I could fix it.

So, in a nutshell, this is my advice — your Bisheret isn’t just waiting for you like a lot of us like to believe. No one is just going to accept you for “who you are,” and that’s a good thing. We should always be looking to improve ourselves, whether it’s our bodies, our communication skills (in a profile or an email), or even our spiritual observance in a way that makes us fulfilled. I’ve taken on a number of journeys in the last year: from getting my MBA to growing Jewishly to finally dating the greatest girl I’ve ever been with in the greatest city I’ve ever lived in. Each journey is special in its own way, and none of them happened because I waited for someone to accept who I was.

That’s not to say  you should change everything about yourself. At the end of the day, I’m still just a Kosher cowboy who likes to smile and make friends. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t change my behaviors in tiny ways that were in my best interest. So I’ll close things where I began; it’s not easy out there, and no piece of advice from me will make it so. But every day, try to better yourself in some way. Let today be the day you sign up for JDate. If you’re on the site already, let today be the day you look up a new piece of advice on social skills (really better than any romantic advice in terms of attracting people), or let it be the day you try looking in a new area of the world for your Bisheret, or even the day you try to enhance your prospects by reaching out to a rabbi or friends. Someone is undoubtedly waiting out there for you, but you will not find each other until you take those steps, each and every day.

I wish each and every one of you the best of luck. Thank you for reading, and I hope your Bisheret and you find each other soon.


Being Needy vs Having Needs

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Everyone has needs when it comes to a relationship and some people have more than others. Some need to hear they are loved every day. Other people need love in the form of affection and touch; to them, actions speak louder than words. And yet others just need to know they can trust you and that’s enough for them.

Being needy is an entirely different thing. Being needy is needing to talk and text all day, every day and expecting your partner to know how you are feeling without telling them… at any given time. Being needy is depending upon someone to complete you, rather than complement you (and yes, being needy is depending upon someone to compliment you as well). Being needy is needing to be doing something, with someone, all the time. Being needy is jumping from relationship to relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. If any of those descriptions sound mildly familiar then try taking some time to yourself to reflect on your life and what’s really important.


Pick a Fight

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Fighting in a relationship is important. It shows you if someone fights fair or nasty, if they can remain rational, and if you can actually work to solve issues together. In the honeymoon phase people tend to very agreeable and want to avoid confrontation, so you may have to pick a fight in order to see what happens when the going gets tough. Throwing barbs and purposefully trying to hurt the person you are in a relationship with is not someone you want to be fighting with for decades to come. And yes, you will fight, everyone does. But if both of you are unrealistically agreeable until after you’re engaged or even married and then you find out that they fight mean, well, what then? So go ahead and even let your partner know what’s going on and find a topic you disagree on (politics, sports, the absurdity of reality TV) or something else rather innocuous and see where it leads. Good luck!


Watch It: TV Shows to Start as a Couple

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,JDate,Judaism,News,Online Dating,Relationships

We hear it all the time — this is “the Golden Age of Television.” And while movies used to (and all too often, still do) dominate dating entertainment, TV is becoming a great substitute. Especially when you want a consistent excuse to see each other early on, TV shows can be a great bridge. That being said, sometimes choosing a show you both have an interest in starting can be difficult. Lucky for you, that’s why I’m here. So,here’s a list of shows I recommend watching as a couple:

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm/The Comeback (HBO)

If you like to laugh, enjoy the awkwardness of others, and have access to HBO, these are fun shows to watch together. Curb is especially relatable with other Jews, and The Comeback is similar but with Lisa Kudrow as an aging actress with no self awareness. The Comeback is a show I’m currently watching and it’s great in that not a lot of people have seen it. It’s only got one quick season so it’s a great starter show, and if things work out (or if you fall for Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish character), you can check out the decade-later return slated to air in November for a limited run.

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

While I’m sure this is a heavily viewed show, it’s also very gender neutral and easy to jump into. This was the first show my girlfriend and I watched together, starting with the second season (we’d both seen the first), and it made for great times together, or as a great cap to our dates.

3. Masters of Sex (Showtime)

My current partner-binge is a tough recommendation as we’re only one episode in, but so far we’re enjoying it. It’s sexy and has some fun stuff for everyone watching, plus great performances.

4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Parks and Recreation (Hulu/broadcast networks)

While the shows are both in very different places, both star likeable ex-SNL cast members in government roles of some kind, solving problems every week. Both shows are much more than that, however, and are very enjoyable to watch together.

5. Mad Men (AMC/Netflix)

The quintessential unisex drama, whether you’re drawn to it for it’s flashy looks or deep character studies, this show has something for everyone. Just beware it can be a little slow… which makes it all the better for some late-night cuddle sessions.

Fall honorable mention:

Affair on Showtime is supposed to be exciting, and that starts airing soon. We’ll be there for the get-go.

My list is brief, but there’s a lot out there to watch these days. What shows have you and your partner (real or theoretical) been watching or considering watching? At what point do you think people should commit to a series together? Comment below!


Rejection Etiquette

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

Is there rejection etiquette? Whether you didn’t enjoy a first date, or after becoming sexually involved, or even after meeting the family… the way in which you decide to break things off changes. However, you cannot use the same approach with the first scenario as you do with the last. So what is the best course of action? Is an official rejection even necessary after just one date? Should you just ignore their calls? Or perhaps a quick text stating, “last night was nice, good luck” would be better. In that case, should you actually answer their call, but turn down the offer for another date?

Obviously the latter is best (and is good karma), but it’s also the bravest choice. All the other circumstances absolutely deserve some kind of communication as to why you are no longer interested in dating. You wouldn’t want to be the person on the other side of a rejection left wondering what happened. It’s not easy; in fact, it totally sucks. Still, honesty is generally the best policy unless it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings even more than the rejection itself. You can always simply say, “My feelings haven’t evolved the way I’d like them to, so I think it’s best we both move on and I give you the opportunity to find someone who will adore you the way you deserve.”

No matter how upset the rejected person becomes, don’t start hurling insults. Apologize again and let them know you wish them the best and move on. This is always easiest on the phone, but if you’ve gotten very serious, then an in-person explanation is more respectful. Just never reject someone via text after the 2nd date!


No Relationship Is Easy or Perfect

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

You can look all you want, but you will never find a perfect relationship. It doesn’t exist. Every couple has problems. Scratch that. Every pair of people — be they siblings, roommates, best friends, business partners, or lovers, has problems. The trick is to find someone who deals with anxiety the same way you do. Stress is inevitable, but if you both are able to get through it together in a healthy manner, then it will make all the great times that much more amazing.

Don’t expect things to be easy, relationships are hard work and anyone who tells you different is lying. If you aren’t willing to do the work to make it work, then there’s no need to live with, work with, or be with, that person.

This may sound harsh, but it’s all true. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. You need someone who is going to be on your team with the same strategy to win at the game of life. So if you meet someone and issues arise (and they will), don’t fret, just wait and see how you deal with those issues together… or not.