Q & A — About Me

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating

How do you answer JDate’s questions without sounding repetitive, cheesy, fake or boring? Let me help you craft personal and enticing answers to both the basic and intimate questions.

  • “About Me”

I saved the best — and most important — for last. And I did so for a reason. By now you should have many, if not most of the other questions, out of the way. You have therefore eliminated the need to repeat the same answers in your “About Me” paragraph, making this section waaaaaay too long. You can always write “I love traveling… see below for The Coolest Places I’ve Visited,” but you don’t need to write “Contact me if you are interested in learning more” because you hopefully included that line under “You Should Definitely Message Me If…”

Your “About Me” should start with a basic introduction: “Hi, my name is Tamar and I’m a 33-year-old writer currently living in…” Use your first name only, don’t give too much detail regarding your exact job or specific neighborhood (for safety’s sake), and then continue:

“I’ve been told that I’m (fill in the blank)… and I agree that (fill in the blank)… I’m also a very loyal friend. I’m forgiving to a fault and I’m generous with my time and my heart.”

Include a few simple descriptions of your character and then follow with a few simple descriptions of what kind of person you’re looking for: “I’m looking for someone with strong Jewish morals and values, someone who is looking to have FUN being in love and to LAUGH a lot!”

You can give some more interesting details about yourself which aren’t addressed in other parts of the profile but don’t start a laundry list of things or go off on tangents. “About Me” should be about one paragraph (5 sentences), maybe two at most. Leave information to be shared on a first date since you’ve already revealed so much info as it is. Most first date questions have already been answered via the profile questions so if you reveal much more than you’re going into a first date feeling like you know each other more like a third date except you’ve never met! Slow your roll.

Let a trusted friend or family member read through the “About Me” answer to ensure that your personality comes through. If you’re a comedian then your shpiel should be funny just make sure it’s not coming across like you think JDate is a joke. If you’re serious then that should be the tone, just make sure your shpiel isn’t dull and boring.

This shouldn’t be your work bio, nor should it be too boastful. Have fun, but take this assignment seriously because it is.

 


Writing Wrong

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Don’t let your ego get the best of you. You may think you have such a great attitude but if you’re turning off prospects then you may be coming across differently than you think. Humble yourself and look at your profile again and your way of communicating to see where you’re being misrepresented. Are you trying to show your confidence and instead coming across as cocky? Are you trying to show how smart you are or how popular you are or how funny you are or how successful you are by exaggerating those attributes? Then you’re probably coming off as overeager or fake or pretentious. Be yourself. If you have to think too much about what you’re writing in your profile then you should probably delete and start over. Once you meet your JDates you’ll be able to let them see for themselves how amazing you are.

I know “be yourself” sounds so cliche, but trying too hard is worse. There is a way to let people know who you are with words on paper (or rather, on screen) without having to actually say “I’m really funny” or “I’m really successful.” Write your In My Own Words in a witty way or discuss how motivated and ambitious you’ve been your entire life.


Monday Makeover: Is It Fate or Timing?

by Tamar Caspi under Monday Makeover,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’ve signed up for JDate to put myself out there again to find a partnership that will lead to marriage and children (and hopefully last a lifetime)! I’ve been somewhat active on the site for the past month, and have sent a number of messages to folks, but have not received responses from anyone. That could just be fate, or timing; but I have to also consider the possibility that I’m not presenting myself in an optimal fashion! Please help.

-Is it Fate or Timing?

 

Dear Is it Fate or Timing?,

I’m happy to help. Sometimes not hearing back from a prospect is fate — she just wasn’t meant for you. Other times it is timing — don’t give up. Tweak your profile with my advice and hopefully fate and timing will align. Let’s get started:

  •  Photos:

You’ve got three great pictures, but you could use a 4th one that is also not a professional photo to show consistency and reality. The order is great, keep the candid color photo as your profile photo.

  • In Your Own Words:

In the “About Me” section I would delete your last paragraph. It supplies too much information and yet are all great conversation pieces for the first few dates with someone new.  Under “A Brief History of My Life” I would condense the information and delete the line “back in… for good!” since you also say you are willing to relocate. Maybe something more like: “Born in Northern California and raised in Southern California, I attended UCLA for undergrad and went east for law school in Boston before returning to the best, er, west coast. I love to go back to New England often and even became a loyal Red Sox fan, but Cali is where my heart is.” And with the “What I’m Looking For” section, try to describe the woman you’re looking for using words you won’t read on anyone else’s profile. Maybe try using either the first half or the second half of the paragraph, but both combined is a bit redundant and long-winded.

  • Preferences:

Make sure to answer all the questions, especially if you are “Willing to Relocate.” And I know you want to find a woman to have a family with, but I would increase your maximum age by a few years and for a few reasons. First, you don’t want to come off as misogynistic by capping the age of the women too young even though your intent has to do with fertility and second, you don’t want to eliminate some great women by just one or two years because plenty of women are having children into their 40s.

Hope this helps and good luck!


Real Housewives Of JDate

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

At the beginning of every episode of every city of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” hit series there are one line zingers stated by each woman to introduce herself. Here are a few examples of the Jewish housewives from various cities: NYC’s Aviva “Never underestimate a woman born and raised in New York City;” Orange County’s Heather “I may be married to a plastic surgeon, but I’m ninety-eight per cent real;” and Beverly Hill’s Kyle “I’m not the richest girl in Beverly Hills, but I’m the luckiest.”

What would your line be? It should show your personality, a little attitude, some humor and yet still manage to give some kernel of information about you. Basically, it’s the first line of your profile. It will get the most attention and lure prospects into reading the rest of your profile. Just make sure it comes off charming and not obnoxious!


Being TOO Honest

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

You should (must?) be honest in your profile, but there is such a thing as being TOO honest. If you are truly just a few pounds overweight, just select “athletic build” or “average” and leave it at that. You do not need to address your weight (ie. I just gained 10 lbs because I had a broken foot, I’m usually much thinner), let your photos speak for themselves. If you are a Democrat, you don’t need to discuss in your profile why you would never in a million years date someone who voted for Romney. It may be true, but it’s TMI. If you are 3 credits short of a Master’s degree but haven’t finished yet because of work/health/etc then you make the decision of whether to put BA or MA for what level of education you have, but no one needs to hear the details. Frankly, until someone gets to know you, they don’t care. All that detail does is make someone think that you are high maintenance, dramatic, and just too much to deal with.

Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) if you want a kiss!


Dating Game Shows

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Summer means watching a lot of silly TV shows. Back in the day, summer meant reruns and TV specials. Now, networks are creating new TV shows – namely, reality shows – for our viewing pleasure. So for research purposes only (smirk) I’ve been watching The Choice and Take Me Out. One is a play on The Voice with 4 single, male celebrities with their backs to the stage where women come out and introduce themselves with a shpiel. The men have a minute to decide if they want to turn around and possibly make her one of their prospects. One minute. On Take Me Out, 30 women get to check out a man and over the course of 3 rounds they get to know him and decide if they want to keep their light on or not and give the man the opportunity to choose from who is left at the end. These 2 shows got me thinking about the time you have on JDate to make your first impression. So you have one minute to make an impression and you have one minute to make a decision. As ridiculous as these shows are, the gist of it is pretty realistic. Impressions and decisions are made that quickly. If you were a woman on The Choice, what would you say to get a man’s attention in the most positive way? If you were a man on Take Me Out, what would you say on your video montage to get the woman to keep their lights on? You want to get their attention but you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re only looking for sex or money or kids, etc. So what would you say? Take that concept and apply it to your JDate profile. Your About Me is your opportunity. Take it seriously and think really hard about how you want to come across to attract your intended.


Smooth-Talking One-Liners

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I’ve written about this before, but the topic of the JDate profile one-liner came up again recently as I was speaking with a few single girlfriends. The one-liner I’m talking about is not the one you hear at the bar, but rather the one which shows up on the computer during your JDate searches. It’s the couple of words which appear next to your photo with your screen name, age and location, particularly when you’re a Spotlight Member. So these words are very important.

One person told me she even would count the number of characters which show up in that one-liner and then crafted the first line of her About Me paragraph to fit in that space. Brilliant! There’s about 60 characters in that line – less than half of a tweet – but it’s enough to say something unique, smooth and attention grabbing. It is not the place to say your name, age or location, since those items are already posted with your photo.

Say something witty, funny, enlightening, eye-catching. Use your words -and letters- wisely. Bounce the idea off of a number of people first, if need be, or even post it on Facebook and ask for feedback. Just make sure it’s not boring or cringe-worthy or an incomplete sentence. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s worth taking the time to develop because it truly is the first words JDaters will read about you.


The Chain Letter

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

A few weeks ago I received what looked like a chain letter but was actually a very interesting email from a man looking for a wife. Like a chain letter, the email had been sent to me by a friend who was forwarding the email from another friend who had received it from another friend. The letter was from a single Jewish man asking his friends and friends of his friends and their friend’s friends (you get the idea) to set him up. He said he was really serious about finding his soulmate and getting married, and he would reward whomever set him up with his future wife with a trip to anywhere in the world. I thought the letter was genius. What better way than to promote yourself and your pursuit of your Beshert than through good ol’ fashioned bribery?

Of course he included all of his amazing traits, but he also touched on a few of his shortcomings. His honesty was refreshing. He spoke about his hobbies, his likes and dislikes, and meanwhile kept his tone light and said it as a fact but not arrogantly. It was a great example of how an effective About Me paragraph should read.

So write a similar letter selling yourself and then tweak it to be your About Me paragraph. Maybe the prospects looking at you aren’t your type, but I bet they’ll be happy to send their follow JDating friends your way with the promise of a free trip!


Dating Without a Baby Daddy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am divorced and with a child of my own that I adopted as an infant.  When I meet men they always start asking so many questions about his father (they don’t know he is adopted) and about his upbringing.  What is their motive?  Why do they keep trying to get into my son’s life?  How do I answer them and get them thinking about us and not my son.

Dear Dating Without a Baby Daddy,

Your JDate profile says that you are divorced and that you have a child, so it bears some explanation that the two are not connected. I think you should make mention that you adopted your son as a single mother in the About Me portion of your profile, but also state that you’re looking for someone who is a mate to you first and foremost. Once you meet your dates and they start asking questions, politely say that you want to get to know each other first before bringing your son into the equation. You may get a response such as “well, isn’t your son a part of you?” and that’s a good point. You can answer yes, but don’t get defensive, and then give a quick rundown as to your history and change the subject. Your son, and the decision and process of adoption, are a huge part of your life. Can a guy really get to know you without that information?


Major Conundrum

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Major conundrum – I’m 41, not yet married, still would like to have a family but the odds are not looking good. I’ve received 4 emails in 5 months. I email women, they don’t have the courtesy to even respond with a thank you or no thank you. Then you’re left to wonder if they are a member and can read the emails or not. Some women aren’t even posting photos! Any insight?

Dear Major Conundrum,

Keep sending out emails and don’t let the ones who don’t respond (or don’t post photos) get to you. It’s not personal. Only worry about what you can control such as: what are you saying in your emails? How long or short are they? Are you commenting and asking about the women or just talking about yourself? How does your profile come across? Are the photos up to date and flattering? Does your About Me say that you’re “41, not married but still holding out hope that you’ll have a family” or does it say “I’m losing hope that I’ll never have a family since I’m 41 and still single”? Don’t let your frustration come across in your profile. Are your preferences broad and realistic?

As for not hearing back from women you’re emailed, it’s not nice and I’ve written about it before. People should at least write back “thanks but no thanks” if they are paid members and can read their email. But most don’t. Why? Because it’s awkward rejecting someone. So just shake it off and move forward. JDate has the numbers in your favor, so keep emailing because the more emails you send the more replies you’ll receive.