It’s official. I’m hitting that age when everyone I know on Facebook is moving in with their significant other, getting engaged, married, procreating. It’s all right on time I suppose, considering I’ve finally hit the mid-20s checkpoint. I realize that I’m young and I’m meant to be in the mix of it all at this stage in my life. Still, I think I’m experiencing a minor case of FOMO. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely happy to see these good things happen to my friends. But at the same time, it’s causing a total shift in how I look at dating and my future. Their life events are the real thing: the beginning of their future. The beginning of life beyond the 20s. Nothing quite that big is happening to me right now. In fact, it’s safe to say that the highlight of my week was when my TiVo recorded a couple of Gilmore Girls episodes because it thought I might like it…and I did.
I’m not yet at the point where I’m bitter. I’m a little too young and naive for that. The problem is that the more I look at what is going on in other people’s lives, the more I start judging my own. I fixate on what others have that I don’t. I try to justify why I’m still single and they are not. I look inward to see if I can make sense of everything, as if I can really change things that I know will naturally happen. I have little to zero control over it. It will all happen eventually… or at least that is what I keep telling myself. But until that day comes, I’m going to really try and not let it drive me nuts. Instead I will see that I get my butt out of my apartment and out into the full-speed world of NYC and live my own life instead of sitting on my laptop looking at the lives of others. That should solve everything, or at least just keep myself from standing too still. And if not, there is at least some comfort in knowing who I come home to each and every night. My new boyfriend TiVo, and maybe an episode or two of Gilmore Girls.
At what age do you need to start taking dating more seriously? At what age should you stop dating around and start only dating Jews? Some people have always only dated Jews while others wait until they’re closer to what they consider to be optimal marrying age (30 is a common cut-off age). Some will date whomever they please in college but get serious about religion and other qualities afterwards. For me, it was right around 25 when something ‘clicked’ and I no longer wanted to, well, waste my time with goys. Men tend to see the light a little later, as they tend to mature later in general. Just because you don’t plan on getting married until you’re 30, doesn’t mean you won’t meet someone sooner. Life happens when you’re busy making plans.
I was sitting at a dinner party the other night when word got around that I write about dating. Suddenly all of the hostess’ girlfriends wanted advice from me, who they now called the “Jewish Carrie Bradshaw.” Flattered, I felt an obligation to try and help these single women in their early 20′s. As an “older” woman (nearly 30… they probably considered me ancient), I had an obligation to impart some wisdom.
My first question: “are you on JDate?” elicited one unusual response: a guttural sound emanated from Danielle’s throat while her face distorted into a look of disgust. While the corners of her lips turned down with her upper lip peaked into a snarl, her eyes became slits and her jaw tensed up. She finally recovered from her bout with repulsion and simply said, “ew.” And I could tell she was starting to doubt her opinion of me as the cool, older sister-type.
As for me, I couldn’t help but start laughing. I remembered I used to think the same way when I was her age. But still I eventually did sign up for a JDate membership where I found dozens upon dozens of eligible bachelors and was happily surprised to know I was in good (and good-looking) company.
I told Danielle that I too had preconceived notions about JDate, but found it to be a place where ALL Jews go to look for their beshert. By signing up on JDate, there would be hundreds of thousands of single Jewish men from around the world literally at her fingertips. She could narrow them down at her behest, whether by area, age, or however her critical heart desires.
As the JDate conversation continued most of the other people at the dinner party, guys and gals alike, all proudly stated that they too were on JDate. Danielle quickly became the odd woman out and I could tell she was even excited to sign up. She had discovered that JDate is not the place where desperate people go but rather where the “cool” people are.
*all names have been changed
I am about to turn 26 and live in New York City. I have never dated and am really interested in dating or getting into a relationship if and when I find the right person. I am shorter than average height and do weigh a bit more than I should, which makes it harder for me with online dating since the picture is all you really have to go on when looking at people’s profiles. I need some suggestions as to how to turn this all around in my favor.
I have a lot to offer and am a great friend, listener and would like to be someone’s best friend and partner in life. I really want to have a family and experience the amazing restaurants/parks/recreation NYC has to offer with that someone special or at least experience some fun dating in my 20′s.
Can you help me? Any advice?
To be 26 and single in the big city is fantastic! Your 20’s only come once and taking full advantage of these exciting years is my best suggestion.
Firstly, there is no shame in who you are. We women have so many stereotypes to live up to that it is no wonder we question our physical appearance. I know I have many more times than I even care to remember. What is wrong with being short? I once dated a guy who was 6 feet tall and he always commented on how grateful he was that I was considered short (I’m 5 feet 2 inches). He loved that I would ask him to reach items off of tall shelves and change light bulbs. Men like to feel needed, so this worked in my favor!
Who decided you weigh more than you should? If a doctor has given you this advice then yes, follow doctor’s orders. If however, you are comparing yourself to other women or what you think every man likes, then get that idea out of your head and fast! Men are attracted to all shapes and sizes. There is most certainly a match out there for you.
You mentioned all of the great qualities you possess. Keep those in mind and face the dating world with confidence. Looks fade; but qualities like being a good listener and a best friend last a lifetime. Any man that chooses a woman solely based on looks is a man you want to run far away from.
Spice up your profile a bit. Have a friend take some pictures of you doing things in the city that you enjoy. Make sure to smile and let your personality shine through.
Keep me posted and good luck with your JDate search!
Gems from Jen