JBlog®

Dear Tamar: Burned After Moving Too Fast

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

I am a 65-year-old widower and recently had instant chemistry with a woman. Within days we felt like our relationship was a comfortable old shoe.  The relationship grew quickly — she told me to slow down — I didn’t.  After a few weeks and a few warnings, she terminated the relationship by email.  She refuses to talk or give it another try.  How can I woo her back?

________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Burned,

I suggest contacting her the same way she broke off the relationship — via email. But first, make sure you truly comprehend what happened to bring an end to the relationship and take ownership of it. It seems from your letter like you understand that she asked you to slow down a number of times and that you didn’t listen, but don’t make excuses to her as to why you didn’t listen.

This letter needs to be about all the amazing things you like about her and how she makes you feel and how you hope to make her feel. Don’t make it all about you; if you want her back then it has to be about her — you already made it about you when you ignored her warnings and kept moving quickly when she wanted to slow down. You need to show her that you now understand where she’s coming from and offer to date her rather than jump back into a serious relationship. She may not want to though and you will have to accept that, but it’s worth a try!


Quick! Reply to That Message

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating

Nowadays, no one has the patience to wait for much at all: Everything is fast paced. Long gone are the days of flipping through a little black book to find a date for next weekend.  Welcome to the days of swiping right and securing a date for that same night within two minutes. We eat fast food (or fast casual), we  go to Quik Trip, we speed date, we make 30-minute meals, and we work out at 20 Minutes to Fitness. But… we are also told that you can’t hurry love.

So how does this all affect your dating life? More specifically, should the world’s fast pace inform your response time to JDate messages?

I’ve definitely asked myself this question before — when you feel the excitement from seeing a new message in your inbox — do you open it, read it, and respond right away? Do you play it cool and wait to open it so the sender can’t tell that you read it immediately? (Because, you know, you are way too busy doing important things and can’t be bothered to check your messages regularly.) Do you read it right away, but wait a while to respond? Do you Google the person’s username, try to figure out their actual name, and head straight to your online county court’s records to investigate? Does anyone else even think about these things?

After considering the pros and cons of each scenario, I realized that so many people walk around with their phones glued to their hand that it’s safe to assume most people are receiving messages instantaneously. So there’s no shame in reading right away! And while you’re on the message page, you may as well respond, too — the speed of your reply builds momentum and sets the pace for subsequent replies. After all, the sooner you read and reply, the sooner you can hopefully meet in person, which is usually the point of online dating. My conclusion: no sense in waiting to reply. Speed skating, anyone?


First Date Tips: Post Date Follow-up

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

After a first date what is the appropriate follow-up?

  • If the date went well and the man paid, then the woman should call the next day to thank him for a nice evening. Don’t linger on the phone though, steer the conversation towards when you will speak again or when you will see each other again. A text can sometimes be okay here if you know he has a busy morning; just make sure that it has a flirty tone so he knows that you aren’t blowing him off.
  • If the date did not go well and the man paid then the woman should text the man a thank you. Keep it simple and short. Make sure it’s not flirty so that you don’t lead him on.
  • If the date did not go well and you split the check, then you don’t necessarily owe your date a thank you… but it’s good karma to say thank you and wish the other luck.
  • If your date did go well and you split the check, then you should absolutely follow-up the next day with a call to let your date know you want another date
  • If the date went well and you are the man who paid, but you didn’t hear from the woman, then don’t write her off just yet. Don’t assume it means she wasn’t grateful or doesn’t want to see you again. Call her and see where that leads.

All in all, if you want another date with this person, then how can it hurt to call — or even text — the next day? Do it. Pick up the phone and call.

 

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First Date Tips: Saying Good-Bye

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

As your date comes to an end and you’re saying goodbye you may start getting nervous about what to do… handshake, hug, kiss, full-on make-out session? What should you do (or not do) to make sure you’re sending the right message?

Let’s operate on the assumption that the date went well — you’ve enjoyed each other’s company, so before bidding adieu: discuss plans to see each other again, thank each other for a nice time, and express how nice the date was. Then… go in for a hug while being open for a kiss without seeming to eager. That means having open body language and leaning towards your date with a smile and making eye contact. If your date returns those same signals then a short, closed-mouth kiss held for a few seconds is likely welcomed and will be reciprocated.

And if your date didn’t go so hot, well, there are even a few different scenarios within that area. If there wasn’t chemistry, but you still had fun, then give the hips-out hug. If it was just not-so-great, then a handshake will do. And, if it was awful, then a wave while saying thank you will suffice.

(And of course, I must address the dates where there’s lots of chemistry, but you don’t see a future… in that case, go in for the full-on make-out session and have fun!)

 

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First Date Tips: Paying the Bill

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

You’ve made it! Another first date is coming to an end and yet the most uncomfortable part of the date has yet to occur: paying the bill. There are two scenarios depending upon how the date went:

Scenario 1
The date sucked. You know you don’t want a second date. The end of the date couldn’t come soon enough (even if things are “nice” you don’t want to waste anymore time) and finally the waiter brings the bill. You both reach for it. Your date is shocked that you’re reaching for it too. You offer to split. Your date is stunned. What do you say? Simply say: “I just think it’s right, but thank you for a nice evening.”

Scenario 2
The date went awesome! There was comfort, conversation, and chemistry! Neither of you wanted the night to end, but the restaurant was closing down and the night was late. The waiter brings you the bill, lays it on the table, and leaves. You both look at it because you don’t want this situation to become awkward when things have been going so great. Ideally, the man should take the bill and say, “It’s my pleasure to treat tonight and I hope there are more opportunities in the future for us to both treat each other.”

A couple extra tips:

  • Pick a restaurant where you know you’ll be able to cover the bill.
  • If you really want to impress your date, pull out all the stops and arrange to have the bill paid for before the check even arrives. Slip your credit card to the hostess or server whenever you get the chance.
  • If your date does pay, then you must make sure you express gratitude and don’t take it for granted.
  • If you’re going to make the motion to pay or split, then you better be able to follow through; don’t pretend to offer if you can’t back it up.

 

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What’s Your Conversational Style? Grade Your Quiz

by Caryn Alper under Relationships

Welcome back!  Last week, I posted a quiz to (unscientifically) determine what type of conversational style you have while on dates.  Today it’s time to grade the quiz. We’re using the honor system here – no cheating!

To score the quiz, count the number of As, Bs, Cs, and Ds you chose.

  • If you chose mostly As…

You are an “interviewer.” You are generally interested in getting the facts upfront and quickly. The who, what, where, and when of your date’s past and future of utmost importance to you, and you’re not afraid to ask the tough questions to get the answers you need. You don’t have time to waste on a date who’s not up to snuff, so if you don’t like what you see, you call in a new candidate.  My advice to the interviewers out there: slow down! You don’t have to decide whether a first date will become your spouse. You just need to decide if you are having a good time in the present moment.

  • If you chose mostly Bs…

You are the “silent type.” Your approach is passive, and you are more comfortable listening than talking. Your confidence may be on the lower end of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good impression on a date – remember to smile and practice thinking of some conversation topics to bring up before your date.

  • If you scored mostly Cs…

You are a “chatterbox.”  Always interested in hearing your own voice, you like to talk about anything and everything.  You’re always telling long-winded stories and yakking about yourself and other people. Keep in mind that when you are on a date, you should spend about half the time talking and half the time listening, so chatterboxes of the world, adjust your conversations accordingly.

  • If you scored mostly Ds…

You are the “situational type.” You tend to live in the moment and adapt to the present situation, making observations about things you see, hear, and taste.  You might reference jokes or observations from earlier in the night or tease your date in a playful way. Situationals are fun and put others at ease, but remember that it’s okay to dig a little deeper after the first couple dates.

Accurate? Totally off base? Are you the same type on dates as with friends and family?  Keep in mind that nerves tend to alter our natural conversation pattern.  For example, I’m usually a pretty good listener, but when I’m nervous, I get chatty! Other people shut down when they are feeling anxious and get quiet. My point is to recognize how your speech comes across to the person sitting next to you so that you can maximize the success of connecting with him or her. Happy chatting!


First Date Tips: Conversation Starters

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

After playing the JDate game (viewing, favorite-ing, messaging, etc), exchanging a few emails and a couple quick phone calls (to make and confirm plans), you will no doubt find yourself battling nerves before a first date no matter how confident of a person you are. Once you’ve greeted each other, sat down at the bar or table, ordered drinks and discussed the menu, there is a time when the conversation may lull — and it’s nerve-wracking!

Don’t let that moment set the tone for the date. Be prepared with topics to bring up that will be a catalyst for ongoing conversation. Of course there will be the typical biographical questions (what you do for a living, your hobbies, where you grew up, your family, etc.) but most of that was likely covered in your initial emails and phone calls, and now you need to see if you can actually carry a conversation and jive with the other person.

Think of some thought-provoking questions like:

  • What do you hope your life looks like in 5/10/20 years?
  • Are you where you wanted to be in life 5/10/20 years ago?
  • If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
  • What is your best memory from your childhood?
  • Who are 5 people, alive or dead, that you would love to talk to?

The key is to not make it sound like a rehearsed question or an interview, but rather work it in somehow… “Hey that Caitlyn Jenner interview has really made me think…” or “My 96-year-old Great Uncle just passed away and I’ve been doing some soul searching…” and so on. Current events are a great tool: “Remember that Malaysia Air plane that disappeared in the ocean? It really got me wondering about the supernatural. Do you believe in…?”

Finally, listen to your date’s answer rather than being ready to pounce with your answer or another question. A lot of conversation will likely naturally occur, but if you are mentally preparing for what you’re going to say next then you will miss out. If you are a shy person then ask a friend or relative to practice with you.

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First Date Tips: Ease On In

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

When you’re planning a first date the biggest question is whether or not to commit to a meal versus just meeting for drinks. Well, I have the perfect solution! Make plans to meet at a restaurant that has a bar… and make reservations for dinner at that restaurant about an hour after you are to meet. If there is chemistry and conversation during the drink portion and you’re interested in getting to know your date more, then go ahead and follow the hostess to your table. If you don’t want to continue the date, then thank your date for his or her time and leave.

That said: you must check-in with the hostess ahead of time and let the restaurant know that the reservation is contingent upon the date going well and that you may end up canceling. Arrange a gesture or look that you will give the hostess if you want them to come and get you when it’s time, or not. (Or you can also walk-in without a reservation and if you are enjoying your time at the bar then go over to the hostess stand to ask for a table. If the wait is too long and you still want to stay, then order food to the bar.)

It may sound like a big hassle, but it solves a lot of issues about how to plan a date when you aren’t sure if you’re going to like the other person. You want options and you want to eliminate awkwardness. If you’re unsure when the time comes to go to your table, then take the plunge and sit down for dinner — sometimes people have nerves and the transition to the next stage of the date should help.

 

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First Date Tips: Don’t Talk About That!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Seriously, sometimes you need to just stop talking. It’s easy to get on to topics that are not really first date material — you’re vibe-ing and finding commonalities and having nice rapport, and it’s awkward to stop a conversation that’s flowing even when you know it’s not appropriate. So try and avoid the following topics and prevent the conversation from going there, before it gets to that point. This is a brief list:

  • Exes: husbands, wives, fiances, boyfriends, girlfriends (stating when your last relationship ended/how long it lasted, how long you were married/when you got divorced is fine, just no details as to why it ended)
  • Death: you just lost your grandmother, and that is awful, but it makes you sad… so perhaps don’t mention it. If you must, just don’t expand upon it
  • Drama: with your job, family, friends — Do. Not. Go. There.
  • Talking sh*t: whether your date knows who you’re talking about or not
  • Finances: ’nuff said

Of course there are other topics that are personal to you and your story that you may not want to share. Joke about topics that are off-limits and say that you’d love to talk more about a topic if and when you’re on a future date. There are so many more positive and engaging topics you can talk about without bringing up too much about your past, or bringing in too much negativity.

It’s perfectly acceptable to briefly mention when your last break-up occurred, or what your political affiliation is, or to play Jewish Geography for a minute, even if you find you have people in common you don’t like (see “talking shit” above). Make sure you are listening to the answers after you ask a question because that should organically keep the conversation going and not turn it into a job interview.

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What’s Your Conversation Style?

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

Are you a good conversationalist? Are you sure?  A simple conversation can reveal how you communicate with another person — and communication is such an important part of dating that it warrants a two-part series! When you talk to someone on a date, are you open? Passive? Direct? Brief? Today we’re starting with a pop quiz to identify your conversational type, since conversations can really make or break a first date. And, in next week’s second installment, we will score the quiz and learn what your conversation style says about you.

Disclaimer for the legal types out there:  This has no valid psychological basis – it’s intended for entertainment purposes only! So without further ado, grab your pencils and keep your eyes on your own paper (screen?).

 

What’s Your Conversation Style?

Choose the response that most closely matches your likely response in each of the following scenarios:

1.  You have just met someone in person for the first time, and after saying hello, you:

  • A)  Ask where she works, where she lives, and where she went to school, all in a row
  • B)  Wait for your date to say something
  • C)  Tell him all about your work drama that just happened that day
  • D)  Ask if he/she had any trouble finding your meeting spot and then add you like his/her shirt

2.  You’re on a first date and there is a lull in conversation. You:

  • A)  Ask where your date sees him/herself in 5 years
  • B)  Do nothing and look down
  • C)  Fill the silence by talking about what you had for lunch, including condiments and drink
  • D)  Make some comment on the décor of wherever you are

3.  It’s the end of a second date, and you wonder if you will have a third, but you’re nervous to bring it up. You:

  • A)  Ask your date if he or she sees a future with you
  • B)  Say goodnight
  • C)  Retell the story of something funny that happened on the date
  • D)  Say you had a good time

4.  You’ve had several pretty good dates with someone, but you can see that he/she has been regularly logging in to JDate.  You:

  • A)  Confront your date and ask where the relationship is going
  • B)  Do nothing
  • C)  Say your friend saw someone she was dating on another dating site… and then proceed to tell about what happened to your “friend”
  • D)  Instant Message your date when he/she goes on JDate

5.  You’re talking with your date and discover that he/she strongly favors a rival sports team. You:

  • A)  Demand to know why he likes that team
  • B)  Nod and don’t mention your team
  • C)  Tell him or her the details of the first game you ever attended
  • D)  Poke fun at the rivalry whenever there’s a future lull in conversation

Ok, time’s up, pencils down.  You can grade your quiz here!