JBlog®

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!


First Date Tips: Confirming Plans

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

Before a first date you should call to confirm plans. Why? Well, it’s good practice to make sure you are both on the same page regarding when and where… and it also makes a good impression and shows your date that you’re thoughtful. But, it’s not the time to begin chatting and getting to know each other! Save that for the date itself.

Call your date, let them know where you made reservations or where you’re going, agree on a time to pick them up or meet, and end by saying you hope they’re having a good day. Oh — and don’t forget to say you’re looking forward to seeing them! Make this call either the night before or the day of, about 8 hours prior to the date.

If your date has an issue with the place or time, play it cool and be flexible — you never know what someone’s day has been like (hopefully you had the discussions about food aversions/allergies/preferences and what time was best for you both when you made plans originally, but things can change). If anything, your phone call will help turn their day around as they start thinking about your date!

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First Date Tips: Patterns

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

We all have dating patterns — some good and some bad. Identifying which is which is difficult. Take a look at your last bunch of first dates, and at your last few relationships. What was similar? What was different? Not just their looks, or education level, or religious level, or jobs, or even their personality… but how you felt.

For instance, when you got those butterflies in your stomach on certain dates, did those translate into serious relationships or did the excitement crash and burn after a few weeks? Many people are searching for a “feeling” on a first date, and when they don’t get that feeling they write off the person before giving them a chance. If that is your pattern, then I suggest giving some of the dates more time: if the first date was pretty good and all you’re really missing is that “feeling” then go on a second date and see if the comfort level of another meeting will help the connection.

This is an intangible feeling, but we tend to put a strong weight behind having it or not. Remember though — more couples tend to be successful when their relationship is built on commonalities rather than lust; and butterflies tend to be an indication of lust.

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First Date Tips: Go Together or Meet There?

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

Dear Tamar,

I have a first date coming up with a JDater I really like. Should I offer to pick her up to show her how much effort I’m putting into this, and how chivalrous I am? Or will she be put off by the idea because we haven’t met before?

-First Date Driver

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear First Date Driver,

I think you answered your own question! Do both! Tell your date you would like to pick her up if she is comfortable with that idea, but that you understand if she would rather meet at the venue. Then just make sure to tell her that you look forward to meeting her at the restaurant.

If she accepts your offer, do not call or text from outside, but rather get out of the car and ring her doorbell and escort her to your car where you will both open and close her door (if you live in a city where taking public transportation is the norm then do not meet her at the nearest subway stop… but go to her home and then escort her to the subway where you can swipe your card for the both of you).

If she rejects the offer, don’t take it personally. Get to the restaurant five minutes early, check in with the hostess, and then wait for your date outside. That way you can alleviate the initial nervousness of not knowing where your date will be waiting and if you’re going to recognize her from her photos!

Good luck!

 

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Generating New Business

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Success Stories

Did you know that you are the CEO of your own love life? This means you get to make decisions, choose how and when to take action, and hire and fire people as you see fit.  This also means that sometimes, if sales are low, it might be time to generate new business.  So in the business of love, how do you go about finding new clients to interview? Or if you’ve been in business a long time, what’s the best way to keep your brand relevant? Ok, enough with the metaphor – what do you do if you’re in a rut and feel like you have already gone out with (or are related to) everyone on JDate?

Do not give up hope! It’s just time to employ some new marketing techniques. Read on for ideas.

  1. Direct Mail — Or, as I call it, Flirt Bombing. This technique uses very low effort, but has a potentially high reach. What’s involved? It’s easy — see who is online or who has logged on recently and check out profiles that catch your eye. Then send a quick Flirt to let them know you are interested! While I ordinarily recommend sending tailored messages to more targeted profiles, Flirt Bombing is one way to reinvigorate  your JDate action.
  2. Change Your Profile — Update your pictures or add something new to the “About Me” section – anything to earn the little “updated” button.  People like new things — this is why stores and restaurants feature new or seasonal products.  That “updated” button is like bait — it attracts attention, so remember to update your info from time to time.
  3. Change Your Search Parameters — Do what you need to do to reach your target audience. Just like it’s probably not a smart business decision for the advertisers of the Jitterbug cell phone to buy commercial air time during the MTV music awards, it’s probably not the best decision for a 55-year-old guy to be advertising to the under-30 circuit. At the same time, you don’t want to narrow your parameters so that your results decrease. My point is that it might help to tinker with all search options — age, distance, religiosity, etc. — so they yield new matches who are best for you.
  4. View Lots of Profiles — This is another passive form of bait. If I see that someone viewed me, there is a good chance that I will click on his profile. So generate more traffic by viewing more profiles. You should at least get some new visitors to stop by your profile.

And one marketing technique not to use: As much as I love a good coupon, I do not recommend using it as a strategy to drum up JDate business.  A 2-for-1 is great for dinner, but terrible if you advertise this as your reasoning for asking someone out on a date. Similarly, advertising that your first date is free doesn’t really come across very well either.  You might pick up some thrifty folks, but this may not necessarily be your target audience.

Anyway, try some of the aforementioned tips and you’ll be back in business in no time.  And if not, well, maybe your bankruptcy attorney is cute and single!

 


Setting a Standard

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

When you go on a first date with a JDater that you are super-excited about (as in, more than normal), it’s typical to pull out all the stops and do things a little more special than other first dates. Men could have flowers delivered to your date’s house earlier in the day, you could pick your date up in a chauffeured car when you normally would’ve met your date at the venue, you could make reservations at a highly sought-after restaurant rather than just grabbing drinks somewhere convenient, you could slip the waitress your credit card while on a trip to the bathroom, you could arrange for champagne to be waiting for you at the private booth in the back with rose petals strewn about, and you could leave your phone on silent and not check it all night. Women could arrange to get their hair done, have a facial, get waxed, nails manicured and pedicured, makeup professionally applied, wearing a new dress with height-appropriate heels, and act as though they are as easy-going and flexible as possible even though they are jumping out of their skin with excitement and anxiety.

Any or all of these things are bound to impress your date and leave them feeling incredibly special. Granted, you still need to fill the date with chemistry and conversation, but the wooing is well on its way. The problem? Unless you plan on repeating, matching, and upping your romantic gestures on every date, then you’ve set a precedent that will be difficult to match. And even if you do continue to roll out the red carpet then eventually real-life sets in and you will see each other without the shiny bells and whistles.

So here’s the conundrum: do you or do you not make that extra effort because you won’t be able to keep it going (no one can!)? You should make that effort, let the person know you think they are worth it! And once you’re sitting down and having flirty conversation you should simply come clean — “I was really excited about tonight so I took the time to primp/plan/etc., and I’m so happy it’s going well… just don’t expect me to look like I have it all together all the time!” Of course, that doesn’t mean you should show up to a date in your sweats after being snobby about the location.

If you like someone you should make some effort every time to show them that they are worth the effort. It takes five minutes to make a reservation so you don’t have to pick up your date and ask “So where should we go?” And it takes five minutes to apply a fresh face of makeup. These small acts let your date know they are special.

 

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You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Happy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

“You can be right, or you can be happy.”

A wise friend told me this phrase recently and it resonated deeply. So many of us are taught to be headstrong, stubborn, with a need so deep to win an argument that we would ruin a relationship in order to be proven right.

It’s not worth it.

It never is. If you know you’re right, just drop it and move on. Apologize and move on. Let go and move on. Who is benefitting from you being right? Only your ego. But everything and everyone else will suffer. Is that worth feeling superior or validated?

This is a lesson I’ve learned much later in life than I would have liked, and I have learned it the hard way… I’m gifting it to you now with the hopes that it will change your relationships — romantic or otherwise — for the better.

 

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Phone Calls Before a First Date

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Once you’ve met on JDate (or any other way) and decide to make plans there will be a certain amount of communication that will be necessary. The trick is to know when to stop that communication.

I recommend just a 10 minute phone call to plan a first date followed by another 10 minute phone call the night before the date to confirm the plans. Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much time on the phone getting to know each other anymore than you actually do already, prior to your first date. Spending hours talking on the phone is exhilarating and exciting but it creates an expectation of someone you haven’t yet met. You’re putting unneeded pressure on yourselves.

You already know so much about each other when you’ve met on JDate — and then you exchange a few emails, and finally you trade phone numbers with the intent on making plans to meet. If you then spend time on the phone getting to know each other even further, you’re in effect turning the first date into a third date due to how much you already know about the other… except you’ve never met.

And what happens if you don’t end up liking each other? Now you’ve not only spent your time on the phone, but you’ve confided things to someone who you may not care to ever see again. You opened up to someone you now don’t even want a second date with. Instead, spend just a few minutes asking how their day/week is going, making plans, and exchanging pleasantries. Tell them how much you are looking forward to the date and how you can’t wait to get to know them better. And then get off the phone. Let the excitement gather along with the suspense of wondering whether or not you will hit it off once you meet face-to-face.

Slow it down. Enjoy the process. And don’t text.

 

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JDate: For Jews Only?

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism

I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us are on JDate to find dates who are “J.” In other words, it’s probably important for most of us to meet other Jewish people to date and ultimately marry. I think this is a pretty reasonable goal and assumption; after all, that’s why JDate exists as a separate site from one of the big, all-encompassing options.  So imagine the dismay of someone (let’s call her Sarah) who meets a nice young man on a Jewish site (let’s call him Dan) who turns out to not be Jewish! And he didn’t have one Jewish parent or some distant Jewish relatives, or heck, even Jewish friends – he was not even familiar with Judaism.

It would be one thing if Dan had advertised his Christian status on the site and Sarah agreed to meet him with this knowledge, but he hadn’t. Plus, he even endorsed that he was conservative under the denomination category, which there was no reason to doubt.  When it gradually became clear to Sarah that Dan wasn’t Jewish, Sarah asked why Dan would be on a Jewish dating site. The answer? It was just another way to meet girls – he just didn’t understand that Jews on the site were looking to meet each other, and he hadn’t realized that his presence might be deceitful.

This scenario actually occurred, with names and details changed, of course.  And I can tell you that there was no malicious intent or hard feelings by either party involved – just disappointment, especially because the couple had been otherwise quite compatible.  But this got me thinking… how does one treat a non-Jew on JDate? Do people who say they are willing to convert or not at all Jewish have any success on the site? Does JDate have any responsibility in preventing the above situation?  I really have no answers here – just lots of questions!

I’ve always found it curious that “not willing to convert” and “not sure if I’m willing to convert” are profile options… there aren’t a ton of these profiles, but I’ve seen a few out there on the interwebs. If you happen to be reading this and you’re a non-Jew on JDate, please, enlighten me: I’m not judging – truly curious! And thank you for being upfront about your religious status. But what do you all think? If you are Jewish, have you met non-Jews on JDate? If you aren’t Jewish, are you actively seeking Jews?  In the meantime, you can find me on Christian Mingle.com.  Nothing like a [bad] joke to end a more serious post, right?


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Karen”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Could you kindly eyeball my profile? I’ve gotten plenty of emails and very few are viable. I’ve tried to convey that there’s a certain lifestyle that I’m accustomed to, don’t want to give up, (and am capable of giving myself), yet I don’t want anyone to assume I’ll take care of them too. I know, can’t have it both ways, huh? Perhaps you could tweak that part? I’d be very grateful if you could give it a quick once-over.

-“Karen”

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear “Karen,”

I’ll get to the wording of what you want to convey about your lifestyle in just a bit, but let’s start at the beginning of your Extreme Profile Makeover.

I like you how you combined your name with a description — although I initially thought it was your first and last name combined (MAJOR no-no for security sake). In order to show that you’ve combined a few words without confusing prospects, try capitalizing the first letter in each word (i.e. instead of tamarluvsya it would be TamarLuvsYa, see the difference?).

You have some great photos to work with! Switch 1 and 2 and delete number 4 and then you will be good to go! Photo 2 shows you in a bright pop of color with approachable body language. Photo 1 is nice and shows your full body but it’s taken from further away. Photo 4 may be realistic, but it’s not appropriate for your JDate profile — you said it yourself by labeling it as a shot of you “tired.” Lastly, photo 5 is great, but don’t be surprised to get emails from men asking about your daughter!

In your biographical responses I don’t really see where you think it conveys that you live an indulged lifestyle and that men may think you’re a sugarmama (for lack of a better term). What I would suggest is maybe eliminating some Q&As. You don’t need to answer all of them because some of them are a bit repetitive and it comes across as overkill. Delete “My Past Relationships” since you mention your ex-husband in “About Me” and then combine and eliminate either “I’m Looking For” or “My Ideal Relationship.” And finally, eliminate “On Friday and Saturday Nights I Typically” and combine that answer with “For Fun, I Like To.”

Lastly, under Ideal Match I would consider narrowing your age range. A man in his late-40’s is a bit young for a woman in her late-50’s. Perhaps that’s why you’re getting men that you don’t consider viable. A man in his mid-60’s is a good maximum though. I would consider a 10-12 year age range, for a woman who is 58 that means around 54-66.

Good luck!

____________________________________________________________________________________

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