JBlog®

Age Range Rage

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

JDaters are not shy about sharing their opinions — and the strongest and most popular one I get is about age. Check out a few of the emails I’ve received:

“I, at age 57, have had mostly older people (by 10 years) reach out to me. Even when I expressed that was too old because it was a different generation, a man lied and said he was 67. When I met him, he admitted to being 77. Don’t people ( I know women lie too) realize that once a lie is admitted you can’t start a relationship  with trust?”

“Tamar have you checked out the wishes of many men who qualify as one foot in the grave and one foot in a nursing home? Somehow I think these men have not looked in a mirror for at least forty years. When I see a 76-year-old gentleman looking for a woman 20-40, it gets me very nervous. The problem is these men have an overinflated idea of their looks and an underinflated idea of their age.”

I will advise this until I’m blue in the face: don’t lie about your age if you are serious about meeting someone because they will find out your real age eventually — so why fib about it to begin with? Just like the first JDater above wrote, starting off with a lie is not a great way to build a successful relationship. That said, your preferred age range is just as important.

A ten-year gap is a general rule of thumb, but of course there are exceptions to that. If you are looking for someone more than twenty years older or younger than you, then I strongly encourage you to rethink what it is you are truly looking for in a partner and in a relationship.  


Crazy Is As Crazy Does

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright
-from Meghan Trainor’s new single “Dear Future Husband”

Women (in general, it’s women) are often called the “c” word… get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about the word “crazy.” It gets thrown around pretty flippantly and it’s incredibly disrespectful. And, ironically enough, it is usually the action of the man (in general, it’s the man) that causes the woman to lose her cool and then to be called crazy by said man (again, this is a generalization). It’s enough to make your head spin.

Everyone acts crazy every once in a while. There’s a reason why so many love songs have the word “crazy” in them (Google it!). Love makes you do crazy things, feel crazy ways, and act crazy in love. Let’s remove using the word “crazy” as an insult from our vocabulary while dating… and continue the ban once you’re in a relationship. It’s not going to go anywhere good if you sling that word around!

Frankly, ‘crazy’ is also too broad of a description when you are describing a person’s reaction or an event. Let’s find other words in the dictionary to use, shall we? I don’t care if you have to pause and consult a thesaurus mid-argument, find other words that will likely better describe the situation. And then, when things really do get crazy — like the girl who got dumped and cracked open her ex-boyfriend’s patio door, slid the garden hose in, turned on the water, and left… or the guy who was cheated on and then poured milk under his ex-girlfriend’s driver seat (she didn’t even know what happened until weeks later, ewwwww!) — you can use the word “crazy” and not only will you actually mean it, but people will take you seriously.

And by the way, when we women use the word crazy to describe ourselves, we would appreciate you telling us that we are justified in our behavior! You will earn major points for that!


The Great Profile Debate: Specific vs. Vague

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following mock dating profiles is more effective?

CRTV-1575-300x250-nerd

Man seeking sexy Klingon woman!

Profile #1:

nuqneH!* I’m a tall, skinny guy of excellent taste looking for milady. I’m a Star Trek and comic book enthusiast, with special interest in limited-edition copies featuring superheroes that match my sheets. I also boast a large belt-buckle collection. Fun fact: I have a potentially fatal peanut allergy! My professional passion is aerospace engineering, and I love studying the electromagnetic spectrum to perfect the development of atmospheric satellites. In my spare time, I enjoy shopping for turtlenecks, playing World of Warcraft with friends, and building articulated robots.

 

CRTV-1575-300x250-synch

“I’m into music and stuff…”

Profile #2:

I’m a single guy looking for my best friend and partner in crime. I like to go out, but also stay in. I like all kinds of music. I also enjoy sports, hitting the gym, and eating out. When I am not busy with my career, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

 

 

Correct answer: NEITHER!  (Extra credit: can you name the fictional character described in profile #1?)**

But do you know why these are both unappealing profiles? Well, technically, there are several reasons, but today I will focus on specificity of interests.

Let’s start with Profile #1. This individual shows personality, which is terrific. But his interests are very specific to the point of possibly alienating many potential ladies. I’m not at all saying that he shouldn’t include those interests because girls don’t like robotics or comic books – many do! I’m saying that instead of talking about belt buckles and superhero comic books, for example, he could instead mention that he likes to build both robots, and some unusual collections.  This wording leaves a little bit of mystery, provides the reader with a little bait, and doesn’t necessarily disinterest readers with eccentricity. Similarly, instead of saying that you like to knit sweaters for your cat while watching Kosher Soul on Lifetime, consider saying instead that you enjoy crafting and following pop culture. Oh – and please don’t discuss allergies or medical issues in your profile. You may be thinking – hey, anyone who doesn’t like my interests or judges me based on them isn’t my bashert anyway. Valid point, intelligent reader.  However, if you are struggling to generate interest online or would like to increase your message response rate, you may find it a better strategy to keep your interests open enough to capture a wider net of profile visitors (while still keeping some individuality)!

I probably don’t have to explain the problems with profile #2. But, just in case, I’ll spell it out: b.o.r.i.n.g. Converse to profile #1, profile #2 could probably describe a very high percentage of the JDate population. (Seriously, why does everyone like to go out and stay in?) Be original. Just don’t be excessively original to the point where you might turn off potential suitors.

*According to my Google research, this means Hello in Klingon.  If you don’t know what Klingon is, ask your nearest nerd.

** Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory… sorry, ladies, but both the TV character and the actor who plays him are both married!


Save the Drama for Your Mama

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

When you are newly dating someone it is NOT the time to discuss the drama in your life, nor is it the time to whine and complain about things in your life. I’m not saying to make everything sound wonderful and perfect, but don’t turn a date negative with your stories about how your friends are fighting, or your siblings aren’t speaking to each other, or your job sucks, or… or… or…

There’s the normal vent about your computer crashing before you had a chance to back it up one last time, but spend about a minute on things like that and move on. That type of vent is something everyone can relate to and empathize with — and may even have advice to help you. If the dating turns into a serious relationship then you will have plenty of time to be the sounding board for drama!


Backing Up Your First Date Claims

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

You know how it is… you’re on a first date and you are telling the person sitting across from you all the positive things going on in your life that will impress them, possibly even embellishing things. You make your job sound exciting with a promotion just around the corner, or you portray your family as tight-knit and easy-going, or mention all your best friends and your packed social life.

And your date is impressed by the idea that you have it together and so you get a second date, and a third, and then eventually you are meshing your date and your reality… which is a job you hate and a promotion you’ve been waiting for a year already, or a family that is just as drama-filled as every other family out there, and a few great friends but with most nights spent at home alone (which is perfectly fine).

None of these things are abnormal, but when you’ve presented yourself as something other than what you are, then you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do, Lucy! All kidding aside, you are going to have to find a way to bridge the gap between what you portrayed your life as… and what the reality is.

Instead, mix the two together from the start. Everyone embellishes, just do so in a way that you won’t bite you in the tuchus later. For example: “I don’t love where I am with my career right now, but I’m excited that a promotion is coming soon” and “I love my family and we are always there for each other at a moment’s notice, but sometimes they make me want to beat my head against a wall!” and “I’ve learned that friendships are quantity or quality, and I truly adore my friends and their loyalty… and the trouble we get into together!”


Pretty vs. Nice or Pretty and Nice

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

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?


Date in Reality, Not in Your Mind

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

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.


Extreme Profile Makeover: “Illinois Lady”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

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!

-Illinois Lady

_______________________________________________________________________

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.


Dear Tamar: Help Me Write Emails Please!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Tamar,

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.
Best Wishes,
xxx

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.

Best Wishes,
xxx

_________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Good luck!


How to Woo a Jew

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

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!?