JBlog®

From Texting to Reality

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

An interesting new show called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce aired an episode recently about the main character and a man she was crushing on who were flirting via text for a long time. When they finally went out on a date there was conversation, but the chemistry was not there. He spoke when she wanted him to stop (during sex) and she spoke when he needed quiet (immediately after waking up), plus their kissing didn’t align and the sex was bad.

Therein lies the reason I say NOT to text before dating. You don’t know enough about each other and you put pressure on the first date to be as great in person as it is via SMS. You are setting unrealistic expectations. People can be very witty when they have time to compose a response. People can be very flirty from behind a keyboard when no one can see them blushing.

My advice has always been and continues to be: once you meet (on JDate, in person, or some other way), make plans and go on your first date as soon as possible. Keep the momentum going without the use of text messaging — except to possibly say that you are looking forward to that evening, or that you are running two minutes behind.


Musically Inclined

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships

Music plays a huge part in most of our lives. Most people can name songs from different times of their lives and reminisce about a personal moment when specific songs play on the radio.

So what does it mean when you have completely different tastes in music than your date? For starters, you have to take age into context. If you were born in different decades then there’s a chance that the soundtrack of your life will vary and you will prefer a different radio station. Overall, having different taste in music — or almost anything for that matter — is not a make or break. However, you do need other commonalities to keep you connected.

As long as you respect the other person’s taste in music and even try to learn more about it (and maybe even like it), then that should be enough. Try to divide the ride by allowing whomever is driving to choose the station. Same goes for at-home date nights — whomever arranges the romance can choose the tunes.

A fan of Top 40 and a fan of Classical and a fan of Rap and a fan of Motown and a fan of Hard Rock can not only coexist… but be madly and deeply in love.


Comparison Shopping

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

A friend was recently lamenting a double standard in dating where men genearlly have a greater selection of women than women do for men. One example is age range. Men are considered more “eligible” well into their fifties, whereas women have to contend with a biological clock. For whatever the reasons, men on the whole seem to have more options than women… and with more options comes greater selectivity.

I’m not interested in which gender has it easier – at the end of the day everyone’s experience is what’s important – but in what it means to be “selective.” Last week we spoke about checklists that people make before meeting, but what about the calculations we make after we meet people?

Options

Do you comparison shop?

I think there are two attitudes which are most common. The first is the “comparison shopping” model where people are evaluated against other people. This is particularly common in “scene” communities where new potential dates pop up every week, such that every person can be compared to everyone else. To some degree, there’s something natural in this approach, but the problem is obvious. For example, even if you find someone who is 85% of everything you’re looking for, you’ll always be able to find someone who is smarter, fitter, richer, or whatever-er, which makes it pretty tough to appreciate people for who they are. Essentially, people reject others under the assumption that someone “better” is just around the corner. This is, of course, specious reasoning since nothing is guarenteed, let alone the affections of unknown suitors.

Unless you’re in a complicated love triangle the real “choice” isn’t between one person or another, but rather between a relationship with this person or no relationship. According to this approach, the comparison is not selecting one person over another, but in comparing how one feels with or without a given person. Even if it’s possible that the person you’re seeing now is the last best chance you’ll have for a relationship, that doesn’t mean the relationship is healthy for you or that it will ultimately lead you to the happy life you deserve.

Of course, no one can ever know for certain how their decisions will pan out down the road. All we can do is make the best decisions we can with whatever information we have in the present. Even if we don’t know if anyone else awaits us, we hopefully know how to properly value ourselves.


Game Day

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships

Are you a major sports fan? Do you watch every football game on Saturdays AND Sunday? Are you obsessed with a basketball team and watch EVERY single game? Does your life revolve around going to games and watching them on TV and catching an episode of SportsCenter before going to sleep? Or are you dating someone who fits this description?

Unless it is your career, your life should not hinge upon any sports team’s wins and losses. Rooting for a team is good fun, but allowing it take over your life is not — at least for the other people in your life, particularly a lover. If you both love a team then it’s fun to throw a party to watch the game or tailgate together, but there’s a healthy limit.

Don’t let games dictate your dates. Don’t ruin quality time by turning on the TV. Don’t spend all of your time discussing sports. Hopefully you will fill the time left with lots of love and never even realize what you’re missing!


Seal It With A Kiss

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Single Life

For some reason there’s this new trend of not kissing at the end of a great first date. Why? I have no clue! Perhaps it’s to leave them wanting more, or to be perceived as demure — either way it make no sense.

If you’ve enjoyed the date then seal it with a kiss. Let them know that you are interested in them, and in seeing them again. And, of course, to see if there’s any chemistry. I’m not saying you need to engage in a full-blown make-out session; a sweet lingering kiss goodnight will suffice!


Those Little Gestures

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism,Relationships

You can buy a bouquet of roses from the market, or you can purchase the seeds of your girlfriend’s favorite flower along with soil and a pot so that she has an ongoing reminder of your thoughtfulness.

You can suggest a local brewery for date night, or you can get your boyfriend that online deal to learn how to make craft beer at home.

Oftentimes we overlook those subtle hints which could really help make your significant other feel special, loved, and appreciated. Listen for the things that your partner won’t ask for, but you know they like — whether that be a specific food or drink, an outfit (A man in a suit? Always hot!), a location (The peak of a mountain at sunset? So romantic!), and of course there’s also gift-giving.

This holiday season, make the effort to give the special someone in your life a gift that’s just as special. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even store-bought, just something to let the person know that you are listening.


Make a List, But Check it Twice

by Rabbi Josh Yuter under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Ah, the checklist. That necessary evil of dating where you’re forced to reduce the totality of the human experience into artificial and contrived parameters. Anyone who has ever been asked, “so what are you looking for?” has had to have their list memorized to deliver an elevator-pitch like succinct response. Dating sites like JDate force you to literally check off boxes to describe yourself and search for others. Naturally, people resist being placed into such boxes to the point where saying you “don’t fit in a box” is such a cliché that JDate could probably add that option to their profiles.

CRTV-1337-thumb-RJYThe trouble of course is that while websites, singles, and even shadchanim recognize both the utility and limitations of checklists, few people consider what these checklists really mean. Take the popular example of a checklist gone wrong is the “white tablecloth” requirement, where potential mates are rejected based on the content of their linen closet. I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the absurdity correlating tablecloths with maintaining a successful relationship, and instead suggest that the tablecloth symbolizes a personally important religious aesthetic. Anyone who could appreciate someone saying that Hannukah just isn’t Hannukah without Bubbe’s Famous Latkes can understand the value of religious sentimentality.

Remember what I wrote a few weeks ago about dating and hope I think what applies there also applies to checklists. Every item represents a possibility, or based on one’s experience, probability. A PhD usually indicates a person is reasonably intelligent or values knowledge, which yeshivot one attended can be indicative of religious upbringing, etc. It doesn’t matter if any of these sorts of assumptions are true, or if they’re relevant to the essence of the person in the present. What matters isn’t even what people think about the checkboxes, but how they imagine what the relationship would be.

Unless you automatically accept every single dating possibility which comes your way, you’re going to have some standards about the people you date. And if you’re in any way serious about having a relationship, you’re going to want to maximize the potential of the date being “good” however you want to define it. Checklists aren’t about separating the naughty from the nice (it might be, but since this is a Jewish dating website, we’re keeping things clean), but playing the odds to have the best chance of having a decent date.

The question is less about the checklists, but how much of them are dogmatic deal breakers. If you happened to hit it off with someone who didn’t have the right box checked, would you call it off or would you give it a shot? Obviously this is up to you, but every now and again, it’s worth checking in on our checklists.


Wine and Whiskey

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

What do wine and whiskey have in common? They both get better with age… and so should you.

There is no time in life when you should stop trying to evolve and improve. Some people call it “change,” which has a negative connotation (“you changed!” or “why won’t you change for me?” or “I’m never going to change.”), but finding something — or things — you don’t like about yourself and working to fix them is not a bad thing in the slightest.

Therapy is a great tool to work with a professional to talk things out. They will make you think about things in ways you never would. Allowing near-and-dear family members or friends to be brutally honest is also a great way to learn how you’re perceived. And if you find yourself going after the same type of prospects and never getting past a certain point in a relationship, then it might be time for you to take a look at yourself and see why you are pursuing those who aren’t the right fit.


Flirtation Confusion

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

My friend Brian is a friendly and outgoing guy, and as such, he often gets accused of flirting when he’s just being nice. The problem here is that he’s in a committed relationship, so things can get confusing when the women believe he is flirting with them and leading them on.

On JDate it’s clear when someone is interested because they will contact you, but in person, it can be less obvious. Someone who is chatting with you, asking questions about you, making you laugh, making eye contact, and smiling at you does not necessarily mean they are flirting with you.

So how can you tell when it’s more?

There will likely be some physical aspect when there’s romantic interest, such as touching your arm. There will also be questions about your relationship status, which you should reciprocate. Finally, the conversation will lead in the direction of a future — going on a date or at least exchanging numbers.

Not every conversation between two singles has to have romantic intent. Sometimes you’re just going to meet a nice person. Continue to be friendly and approachable and open regardless of who is standing across from you.


Attention Grabber

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

With all the holiday parties coming up, what should you do to stand out — and what tactics should you not employ?

The best way to attract others is to be happy, to enjoy yourself, and to laugh. Dress to impress — look good, feel good. Show your confidence and exert yourself. But don’t go overboard trying to get attention.

A woman I saw last night, who was being loud, had clearly been drinking too much, and was dressed provocatively, showing way too much skin. Unfortunately, she was only attracting the type of guys who were looking for a hookup. Her tamer girlfriends, meanwhile, were on the edge of the scene and enjoying the company of some great guys.

On the same note, a guy I noticed last night who was commanding the room with his lewd jokes, cussing a lot, and flirting with girls he clearly wasn’t interested in as a joke, was turning off all the women in the room. Even his guy friends were slowly putting distance between themselves because they wanted to meet quality women, and those women were not drawn to their friend’s spotlight.

Be respectful of yourself and others. Be positive, put out positive energy, and you will attract positive people — both friends and more.