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.


Half-Hearted Profiles

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Why don’t people post answers to the questions, why don’t they post pictures, and why don’t they have a screen name instead of the serial number JDate gives them?

Dear Half-Hearted Profiles?

Respectively, I don’t know, I don’t know, and well, I don’t know. These are good questions and simply put, if someone didn’t take the time to complete their profile then you don’t need to take the time to look at their profile. It’s their loss and it’s a shame. I don’t understand why someone would sign up and then not finish filling out the questionnaire or post some photos. If you like the part of the profile you do see then it can’t hurt to send a message letting them know that you’d like to learn more, but don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back. Check out these links to see what I previously had to say about these topics: What’s in a Name? Everything. and Under Interrogation. Lastly, don’t let your frustration with people’s half-hearted profiles linger because then you’re letting their dating issues effect your dates.


Photo Flop

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am an older, single male with no children. I realize most of the women my age have children in high school, college or beyond and I recognize the importance of those relationships. However, I do not understand why these women are posting [multiple] pictures with their children, other family members and their pets. This is a dating service for adults. It is not a service for child adoption. Or pet adoption. I think the logical progression is for the adults to meet, and if there is chemistry, to form a relationship with each other. If we get past this step, then we can see if / how the partner and the children, family and pets are compatible. I am here to, initially, meet a woman – not her children, parents, girlfriends or pets. I can understand one picture with, say, a single person’s pet, but what I am seeing in terms of children, parents and friends in multiple photos does not make sense to me. Again, the written information states whether an individual has children and whether they live with the person. One would expect to meet them, later, if a relationship developed.

Dear Photo Flop,

I agree with you 100% and in Picture Perfect and More Picture Perfect I discussed how to post appropriate photos. After posting a few of yourself — face, full body, in action — only then is it okay to post ONE of you with your pet or another person both of which you must quickly refer to in your About Me paragraph.

I don’t think parents or kids should be a part of your photos because this is about you right now and not your family. Let your prospective dates get to see you without any distractions. That said, posting photos of loved ones is not a make or break. If the woman has everything you’re looking for and you’re attracted to her, then don’t let her photos stand in the way. People are proud of their kids, their parent’s lasting marriage, their adorable dog, etc and they think it’s compelling (even when it’s not). At the end of the day, are you going to reject your Beshert because she put a photo of her and her chihuahuas in her profile?


Back on JDate Again

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been on and off this site for 10 years, and have not had much success. I have changed my pictures and rewritten my “About me” which is who I am, my first and ideal date, what I am looking for, and what I have learned from the past. Yet, when I write it seems I go all over the place? I was wondering if someone can help me? Thanks!

Dear Back on JDate Again,

The key of writing (or rewriting) your JDate profile is to take your time. Don’t sit down to sign up and try to finish it all in one night. Copy the questions into a blank document and spend a few days writing and editing. Make sure you’re focused, concise and use spell check. Allow a trusted and brutally honest loved one read it over and take their advice. Don’t change your profile too often otherwise you may come off as sketchy by people who are interested but haven’t yet made contact. Spend time reading other people’s profiles to see what you like and don’t like, what would appeal to you and what wouldn’t, and make sure you don’t use too many cliches.


Changing Your Status… and Outlook

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

My friend Michelle flies out to Los Angeles over President’s Day weekend every February to meet up with all her sorority sisters. This time, I told her that not only should she change her location and About Me paragraph on her online dating profile to show “Los Angeles” but she should do so now, a few weeks in advance. Although she will only be visiting the area for the long weekend, you never know who you could meet, which means she also has to change her outlook regarding long distance relationships.

Needless to say, telling a guy you’re only coming into town for the weekend will give off a very wrong impression, so a little white lie may be necessary. Saying you’re “thinking of moving” may not be the truth, but it also won’t hurt anyone. All it will do is open Michelle up to more prospects. Sure, the guy may be on the other side of the country right now, but hey, since she hasn’t had luck in New York then why not give it a shot? If it’s Beshert then one of them will gladly move eventually.

When I met “S” while on vacation in Israel I was thinking of moving – although not out of the country! – so my mindset was open. And when “S” heard that I was in a transitional phase of my life, plus had a portable career, he started to consider the idea of something more developing between us. It was each of our openness that allowed a deep connection to develop so quickly, propelled him to ask me to move and gave me the ability to say yes.

It may sound weird to change your online dating profile to a city you’re only visiting for a short time, but why not see who’s out there? And if someone catches your fancy then why not make time to meet up while you’re there? Once I explained this all to Michelle she changed her location from New York to Los Angeles and made her first line in her About Me paragraph to read that she would “be in L.A. and is hoping to meet someone that will help me make a decision about moving to the City of Angels.” She also started checking out her matches in the area and contacted a few guys who caught her eye.

Michelle has already begun communicating with one guy and they’ve arranged to meet-up in a few weeks when she’s in town. Now she’s even more excited about her trip and is already looking for reasons to return even though she hasn’t even gone yet! By opening herself up to possibly meeting someone out of town she has reignited the fire within and now instead of being frustrated with being single she has a positive outlook about dating that she’s already emoting. Who knows, maybe this new attitude will result in her meeting someone in New York before she even goes to L.A.!

This was the whole point of my exercise with Michelle – to help her rediscover her spirit during what can be a frustrating journey. It’s so easy to lose sight of what kind of person you’re looking for and to let the quest get the best of you. By taking a trip, whether it be to a neighboring state or another country, and scoping out the prospects there, you can find that positive energy you’ve lost along the way. A vacation fling could be just what the dating doctor ordered!


Standing Out

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

How do you stand out in your About Me essay? Make sure your first few words are catchy because that’s what people can see in searches, don’t overuse cliches and try to use descriptive and colorful language.

This isn’t a business proposal and doesn’t need to be stiff and conservative. Although dating may feel like a job interview you can’t treat it that way. Lay it all out on the line because you have nothing to lose. It’s better to go too far and then edit and reel it in a bit rather than not go far enough. You can’t expect someone to read your blurb in the tone you wrote it, so you need to exaggerate and emphasize. Write your profile as though you were talking to your best friend – casual, relaxed, funny, friendly – times 10.

This is the time you need to sell yourself. If you’re funny, don’t just say “I have a sense of humor” say “I promise to keep you laughing all day long.” If you’re smart, don’t say “I’m a genius” say “I’ve never lost at a game of chess, but I’ll let you win and let you think you won.” If you’re successful, don’t say “I’m rich” say “I’ve worked really hard but now it’s time to settle down and enjoy life.” (Or any variation of these phrases.)

Everyone is “looking to share the rest of my life with someone,” but how can you say it in a unique way that expresses your personality? Maybe “I want to fall in love with my best friend, someone I can golf with, watch “Top Chef” with and root for the Patriots with.” This shows your interests and hobbies without just listing them and conveys the same message.

Simply put, you need to stand out – starting with the first few words and going from there. Keep the energy up, have someone who will be honest with you read it and allow them to critique and edit it if necessary. And remember, this isn’t the time to get offended – your loved ones want nothing but the best for you!


Let’s Get it Started

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

I’m new to this whole online dating thing.  What’s the best way to go about it?

Thanks

Dear Let’s Get it Started,

My suggestion would be to first take a look at my past columns about creating a screen name, picking photos, writing “About Me” and choosing your preferences. Then use the search engine to check out your competition and see what their photos look like, how their paragraphs read and so on. Then take your time to craft your profile. Finally, ask some bluntly honest friends and/or family critique your profile. Once that’s done, go through your first round of matches and select who you want to Click!® with so they know you’re interested. Now go get JDating ®!


Geographically Challenged

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I live in a mid-size Southern city where the Jewish population is very limited. Let me start out by saying that I cannot move because of business reasons. I am sure that they are lots of Jews in the U.S. who simply do not live in an area where there lots of Jews but still want to marry Jewish and raise their families Jewish. But simply put, the demographic is tough. I do not have the luxury of living on the East or West Coast, Chicago, South Florida, or even Atlanta. Nothing would make me happier than to find a nice Jewish girl who wants to settle down and have a family. BTW, I am 45, never married and am very happy with my life other than the fact that I cannot find a nice Jewish girl who wants to settle down and have family. It is challenging to  logistically “import” one. What suggestions do you have? Have you ever dealt with this issue before?

Dear Geographically Challenged,

You’re in quite a predicament. If there aren’t any Jewish gals in your town or surrounding area, then you’re going to have to, as you say “import” one… although in a much more polite fashion. Your JDate profile needs to read that you live in a great, but smaller town for business and are looking to meet women who would be willing to start in a long distance relationship and ultimately move to your town. This is not as complicated as it sounds, you’d be surprised how many women would move for love — I did! That said, you don’t want a woman who is willing to drop everything and then ends up relying on you for her happiness. I am a freelance writer and can carry on my business from anywhere in the world, so a woman who’s career is computer-centric would be perfect for you. On your end, you’ll have to be open to meeting women from anywhere, fly out to meet them and host them when they come to you. You are asking a lot, which means you have to be willing to make sacrifices on your end. My husband and I are living proof that it can be done, so don’t give up hope. You have the right attitude and the right idea, now you gotta go out and find your girl.