JBlog®

Happy Birthday!

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships

My birthday was last week.  This is exciting only because it means I got to identify the most random Facebook wall-writer of the day. That’s a funny thing about birthdays in this era: it’s the one day a year you hear from people you barely know — your preschool bestie, someone you met once eight years ago on vacation, your old roommate’s cousin, a great aunt who is new to Facebook and now invites you to play Candy Crush every day, and sometimes even strangers. This year, someone I don’t know even enthusiastically wished me happy birthday on my wall! Conversely, I have friends I see regularly who don’t really acknowledge birthdays — it’s just not a big deal.  In some friendships, we’ve established an unspoken rule that we don’t exchange birthday gifts or really acknowledge the day. And that’s fine with me — no one gets mad — that’s just how it is.

My point is that there’s a lot of variability in how people acknowledge and celebrate birthdays. So how are you supposed to know if and how to acknowledge the special day of a brand new significant other? If you just started to date someone new, do you even mention your birthday? What if you don’t know if you’re exclusive yet — does it matter? What if you get him a birthday gift, but he doesn’t want to go out with you on his actual birthday? Is a surprise party out of the question? To avoid all these issues, you should probably plan to break up with this person right before either of your birthdays is approaching. You can get back together afterwards.

Kidding aside, this can be a tricky occurrence. So I’d recommend being honest and taking cues from the other person. If you’re a cake, ice cream, and presents-kind-of-person, say so! Assuming you’ve been out more than a couple times together, it can’t hurt to mention that your birthday is coming up and express your expectations.  Unless your expectations involve extravagant gifts or selfish demands. Then it could hurt.

However, if you like this new person, and you want her to be part of your birthday, invite them along to whatever you have planned.  If you’d rather spend your birthday solo, curled up with a book, that’s cool too!  Just tell your new significant other, so he or she doesn’t try to plan a surprise party.  And if you’re expecting a big deal, don’t say it doesn’t matter how you spend your birthday, because you’ll only wind up disappointed.  And don’t be offended if your new beau or lady excludes you from birthday plans — it could be that there were no plans at all, or they might want to do something really low-key with close family.

Oh, and a final note: if you do have a date on your birthday, please wear something other than your birthday suit!


First Date Tips: No Expectations

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

We all have mental checklists of expectations for new prospects, which can sabotage a date when they aren’t met. Some of these expectations include:

  • Calling to confirm the day of or day before
  • Making reservations/being easy-going about planning options
  • Arriving on time
  • Looking as though you put effort into your appearance
  • Asking questions/listening to answers/participating in conversation
  • Showing consideration while ordering
  • And so on…

As the lead-in to the date and actual date progress we tend to tally when a prospect does or does not achieve these benchmarks, and then begin judging the prospects based on these expectations… effectually taking us out of the date. When you do this, you’re not present in the date or giving a prospect a fair chance.

Try to appreciate each date for what it is and enjoy your time. It’s also difficult not to compare one date to another, especially when you’ve been on some amazing dates that may have set a high benchmark, but each date needs to be treated as a unique entity. After all, there’s a reason you’re still dating and not in a relationship with the prospects that set those benchmarks!

 

Follow Me!
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter


Dear Tamar: No Experience Needed?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

CRTV-2085-header-TS

Dear Tamar,

I’m turning 28 this year and have never been in a serious relationship… in fact, I don’t have any dating experience at all. I’ve always had my nose in books to be honest, and didn’t really have high self-esteem growing up. Now I feel like I’ve come into my own. After being in school for the past 25 years and collecting some really impressive degrees — and now gaining some pretty substantial success in life — I am ready to put myself out there. The problem is, I don’t know how to present the fact that I’m the real-life version of “Never Been Kissed.” Help!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear “Never Been Kissed,”

Congratulations on all your successes, and especially on gaining self esteem! That’s awesome! You do not need to talk about your lack of experience in your JDate profile, nor do you need to discuss it with dating prospects. You can simply state that you haven’t been in a serious relationship because you haven’t found anyone worthy while you were busy working hard to achieve your dreams.

Meanwhile, I suggest you accept every date invitation you receive in order to get some practice. Once you get more serious with a specific suitor then you can perhaps let him know more about your lack of experience. Any man that really likes you won’t care… and if he does, then good riddance!

 

Follow Me!
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram


First Date Tips: Don’t Analyze Everything

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

It’s natural; in fact, it seems to be in our DNA as Jews to overanalyze everything. It’s not one of our better stereotypes, and when you add dating into the equation, it can create problems. It’s a twofold issue:

  1. You’re reading too much into everything your date says (and does and more), and likely blowing things out of proportion.
  2. Meanwhile you aren’t tuned in or present because you’re spending too much time analyzing everything.

It’s understandable to be cautious, or to have a hard time trusting immediately. However, it’s unnecessary to doubt everything your date tells you. Relax and enjoy yourself. If you continue to date someone for a while, then many questions will likely organically be answered over time. You can also simply ask for answers to any questions you may have when the time presents itself.

 

Follow Me!
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook


Be There in Five…

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

There comes a pivotal moment while waiting for a date to arrive at which point you have to make the official call: you’ve been stood up. This moment differs from person to person – some people might give up after waiting fifteen minutes, others thirty, or even an hour for some.  Or you may be in the George Costanza camp and wait about five minutes, after which you eagerly go home, change clothes, order food, and bask in the glory of eating dinner in front of the TV in your underwear. (Wasn’t it George who said something like, “I never met an obligation I was upset to get out of!”?)

No matter your personal tolerance for tardiness, being stood up is no fun. But, how do you determine if someone is just really late, or if there is a legitimate emergency, or if they just aren’t coming at all? If you’re the one running late, how far in advance do you inform your date? If one party is running really late, at what point do you decide to just cancel or reschedule? If someone has a good excuse for being late or not showing up, do you give him/her another chance? As usual, I offer more questions than answers. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • I generally give people a ten-minute leeway without question, but I tend to run on the late side myself, so your tolerance may vary.
  • If you are going to be more than a few minutes late, inform the person who is waiting for you and apologize when you arrive.
  • If you’re waiting on someone who is 5-10 minutes late, try not to make a big fuss about his/her unpunctuality on the first date. Stuff happens – be forgiving. But if it happens continuously and it bothers you, speak up!
  • If you are going to be 20 or more minutes late, you better have a decent excuse (or make one up). Call your date, explain, and offer to reschedule if he or she prefers.
  • If you’re waiting on someone who is significantly late, call and/or text to make sure you correctly communicated the same date, time, and location. It’s definitely possible that one of you showed up at a different location of the same place, for example.
  • Waiting on someone longer than 20 minutes consistently? Possible grounds for dismissal.
  • In the event that you get a better offer on the day of the date (or on the way to) and you decide to ditch your plans altogether, please inform your date. Say something came up. I suspect that this happened to me once – I was waiting for a guy to pick me up, and he never showed. After texting and giving him a ring, I got no response and never heard from him again! But don’t worry about his well-being – I could see that he was regularly logging in online and even updated his profile photos not long after that night. Harrumph.

Anyway, the point is: be considerate of people’s time. If someone isn’t considerate of yours, proceed with caution. And if you’re completely stood up? At least you can always spend the evening with an awesome, good-looking person, i.e., yourself.


Patti Stanger is Single Again

by Tamar Caspi under Entertainment,News,Relationships,Single Life

Last week Bravo! TV’s The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger announced that she and her boyfriend of three years had split up. Patti got ahead of critics who would doubt her abilities as a matchmaker when she herself can’t seem to find a forever mate. And her statement is spot on:

“I’m a human and I own my issues… But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m incredibly good at my job. I excel at setting people up and helping them fall in love. Look, how many Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches have scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl? Coaching people into winning the big game is a different skillset than winning the big game yourself. I’m really good at being a love coach. In fact, I’d say I’m one of the best. But, at playing the love game myself? I’ve got some work to do and I’m chipping away at it. I know I’ll win my game soon, but until then, I’m going to keep being the best coach I can be.”

It reminds of the phrase “those who can’t do, teach,” and that’s exactly what Patti is doing. She can see the issues other people have and helps them to work on them while finding partners who would complement them — all the while she admits that she herself is a work in progress, setting a great example that none of us should ever stop trying to better ourselves.

I myself have admitted that my divorce, as well as most of my past relationships, made me better at dispensing dating advice. Does that mean I know everything about relationships? Absolutely not. Does that mean my relationship with my fiance is perfect? No. But, admitting that is what makes me — and Patti — good at what we do.

 

Follow Me!
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook


Response to EPM: “Alex”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

A response to the Extreme Profile Makeover for “Alex:”

“Thank you for the feedback. I’ll adjust some of what you said and try to get new photos. However, I don’t agree with condensing the profile; I want to stand out from the crowd and not be repetitive. I want to be myself and tell my story instead of having a generic profile. That’s why I went into detail.”

______________________________________________________________________________

Hi Alex,

I understand where you’re coming from; people often feel attached to their profiles, but I do stand by my recommendations. You use LOTS of adjectives, making your profile read as generic, which is exactly what you said you don’t want. Alas, I think we can come to a compromise.

  • First, condense your current answers and eliminate repetition as I suggested.
  • Second, add to a few sections with what YOU bring to the table and how YOU will be a great boyfriend/husband.

Writing a laundry list of keywords you want in someone doesn’t resonate. In order to stand out, go deeper and be more specific. Rather than saying you want someone with a sense of humor, describe what kind of humor would complement yours: is it more Seinfeld/Larry David style, or Friends/Chandler Bing style, or Will Ferrell/Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn, or Jim Carrey/Sacha Baron Cohen, or ___________???

Finally, I strongly recommend you take my original advice about changing your age range. A 28-year-old man should not have an age range of 18-35. You’re too old for college girls and perhaps slightly too young for a woman in her mid-30’s. My general rule of thumb is a ten year age range for JDaters in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, so at most I would suggest 21-31 for you.

Follow Me!
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

 


Encountering Past Dates in the Wild: A Field Guide

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

The world is split between two kinds of people: those who run toward an acquaintance at the grocery store, eager to say hello, and those who dart away and hide in the next aisle in an effort to avoid forced small talk.  Which kind of person are you?

Do you fall into the same camp if the acquaintance is someone you previously dated? What if you recognize someone with whom you’ve previously changed messages, but you never met in person? What if the other person doesn’t recognize you? What’s the protocol here?

Relax, dear readers, I’ve got the rules below.

First, as a natural hider, let me say that avoidance is always an acceptable option.  On days where I just don’t feel like talking to someone, or I’m in work-out clothes with post-gym hair, or whatever, I’ve been known to feign interest in the nutrition facts of Worchester sauce until the perceived social threat has passed.  However, once you commit to the avoidance tactic, what would have been a 10-minute run to the store can easily turn into a tactical strategy of hard-core hide and seek.  Be forewarned.

But once eye contact has been established with the acquaintance, things get a little trickier.  Proceed as indicated below:

If you recognize someone who…

  • Is on JDate and you might be interested: Smile and make eye contact
  • Is on JDate and you are probably not interested: Avoid or smile weakly
  • You recently exchanged messages with: Smile and make eye contact
  • You exchanged messages over 6 months ago but never met: Avoid or smile, depending on whether you are still interested
  • You went out with once or twice: Smile
  • You went out with on the worst date of your life: Avoid — or, if you’re in a movie, make a loud scene resulting in the destruction of a pyramid of produce, causing innocent bystanders to start tripping over oranges
  • You dated for a few months: Smile and wave politely, depending on how things ended
  • You dated for a substantial amount of time: This really depends on the nature of your relationships, but given its length, you will know what feels most comfortable
  • Is a random, cute stranger: Smile! And ask for a food recommendation  – why not?

If you’re ever unsure whether to approach someone whose relationship isn’t listed above, come find me for consultation – I’ll be the one hiding behind giant sunglasses pretending to inspect the melons really closely.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Alex”

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

Today’s Extreme Profile Makeover was requested by “Alex” — if you want your profile reviewed just send Tamar your JDate profile name by clicking here.

Profile Name:
I like your profile name — it includes your actual name without revealing too much personal information and has a catch phrase attached. No issues here. =)

Photos:
You need to add a headshot for your main profile picture, not a professional or business photo, but a close-up of your smiling face with your eyes showing. Next, I would advise some rearranging of photos:

  • Move the pic of you in flip flops from third to second place (the full-body shot typically goes second)
  • Your current second photo can be moved to the third slot
  • Delete what is now your current profile photo

The reason I don’t like your current main photo is because it’s too posed with a fake backdrop; plus it’s oddly cropped. Since you talk about family a lot, try and find a casual photo with a family member (or two or three) and add that as your last photo. Make sure you add a caption to identify who is who — and try not to have any female family members around your age in the picture as that can be confusing!

In My Own Words:
I like a lot of what you have to say in your bio, but I do think it can be condensed and edited. You say a lot of the same things in different ways as different answers, and it can get redundant. I understand that you want to make sure a woman knows you’re being authentic, but at a certain point the overkill has the reverse effect. Right now your profile is coming across a bit strong with the “keywords” — something you will understand since you’re in online marketing.

Here are a few quick tips to help you pare down your profile:

  • Cut any sentences that include the following words: honest/honesty, trust, respect, and any variation of the terms desire/adore/cherish/etc.
  • Sometimes less is more and you will prove that you believe all of the above by your actions
  • In fact, you can delete the middle two paragraphs of your “About Me” section
  • And in the “My Perfect First Date” answer, you use the word simple three times: delete the third one and simply say (no pun intended): I want to do something easy

Another way to condense is to not answer all of the questions since many force you to repeat the same answer in other ways. I think you can eliminate “The Things I Could Never Live Without” and “For Fun I Like To” and “I’m Looking For” (or “My Ideal Relationship”).

His Details:
Select “a couple extra pounds” for body type and delete your income.

My Ideal Match:
Delete “A Date” and “An Activity Partner” since you are looking for your wife. Adjust your age range. You are a 28-year-old man, so your ideal general age range should be 22-30.

Finally, when you’re searching, play with the preferences for location since New York City is so populated. You are in the perfect location to find someone, and I think the profile makeover will help you do just that!


Dear Tamar: How Can I Politely Reject Someone?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

I had a JDater send me an email (he was not my type, and not someone I would want to go out with), but I want to respond to the email as I think it rude not to. He asked me specific questions from my profile. Please help on how I can respond nicely, but let him know that I am not interested without hurting his feeling.

Thanks!

-Polite Rejection

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Polite Rejection,

It sounds like your prospect has read my tips on how to write an awesome first email! The flip side is what you’re experiencing — getting that really great email and still not being interested, but wanting to show appreciation for the effort. And that’s exactly what you should write:

“Thank you so much for your email… I can see that you put a lot of thought into it and I really appreciate it. Unfortunately I just don’t think we are a match. I wanted to make sure you knew that the effort you put into the email didn’t go unnoticed, but I also didn’t want to leave you hanging. Best of luck to you in this crazy dating world!”

Play around with those sentences so that it is authentic to your voice. Recognizing the effort and adding a bit of humor at the end will help soften the rejection.

 

Follow Me!
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook