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.

More “About Me”

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A JDating® friend of mine that I’ll call Jay asked me for help writing his JDate profile. The thing is, Jay’s current profile comes off as someone who is quiet and reserved while on the phone and in person his voice emits energy, enthusiasm and gobs of personality. This is a huge problem for people who simply are not good at typing or not good at conveying themselves on paper. But when it comes to JDate – or any online dating forum – you don’t really have a choice.

Jay needs to figure out how to let his personality come across in a way that would attract the same amount of women online as he does in person. But I wasn’t going to be writing the paragraph for him, because he needed to learn how to do it himself so when he does contact women via email he won’t run into the same problem.

I explained to Jay that this isn’t a business proposal and didn’t need to be so stiff and conservative. Although dating may feel like a job interview you can’t treat it that way. I told him to lay it all out on the line because he had nothing to lose. In this situation it was 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 – but times 10.

Remember my tip about making sure the first few words are good ones because they will show up on the searches. Saying “I’m a vagabond” is not a great start (actual profile I found) because even if you have a really awesome explanation afterwards you first need the person to click on your profile.

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

No, I Didn’t Read Your Profile, But You’re Hot

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Online Dating

So what if I didn’t read your profile?  I instant messaged (is that a verb?) you based solely on the first picture on your profile.  I’m going to ask you questions that could easily be answered by reading your profile.  You’re going to angrily answer them knowing all the while that I have not read anything about you.   I want to learn things about you by chatting with you; not by reading the same thing that 300 guys have already read.  I want a unique perspective on your life.  I want nuance.  I want misspellings.  I want imperfection.

Everybody’s ‘About Me’ is essentially the same and I’m tired of reading the same thing.  I already assumed that you love to laugh and that you’re looking for a great guy.  Though, I would love to chat with a girl that hates laughing and is looking for an awful man.  That would be interesting and contrary to basic human instincts.  If you hate laughing, I am really interested in just talking to you.  I want to know why.  I am really curious.  Please.  I don’t think I can give my phone number here, but I live in Houston.  It’s a pretty small town.  Look for the Jewish guy.

Anyway, I am also lazy, and often skip over all of the things that you have written about yourself.  Pictures are so much easier to quickly judge another human being by.  I realize that often people’s profile pictures don’t really represent what they actually look like.  I don’t care.  I like the illusion that I am talking to a beauty queen.  Actually, I don’t even care if you posted pictures of a completely different person.  Virtual reality is better than authentic reality.  Remember the ‘Virtual Reality’ video games at arcades?  How great were they?


Rule of Thumb

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’m having problems with what to include in my “About Me” paragraph. I know what I’m looking for and what I want in a potential partner, but I can’t describe myself well enough for fear I will be judged the wrong way. What would be your best advice? I’ve tried including my love of sports, hiking, camping, the outdoors, and I’m getting nothing! It’s frustrating. Also, if I see someone that I’m interested in, what’s the rule of thumb when sending the first email to a girl? I’m having a hard time getting responses. Thanks for your help!

Dear Rule of Thumb,

I think the best thing you can do for yourself right now is to stop worrying how you’ll be perceived and to start sending emails. You’re not going to get any responses if you don’t make the first move. That said, if you know the description of yourself will offend the majority of women, then please do edit it and, while you’re at it, think about why you have to do so. Make sure your first line is catchy and I recommend having a sister or female friend read the paragraph to make sure you won’t be judged the wrong way. As for sending the first email, it’s never a bad thing and it never hurts. In the first email it’s imperative to let the woman know why her profile caught your eye, compliment something about her photos and mention 1-2 things you have in common. Finally, ask her if there’s mutual interest. Try to think about what you would want to read in the About Me paragraph and in a letter and apply that same concept to your repertoire. Good luck!

Profile Help

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’m having a hard time writing the “about me” section on my profile. I’m not really sure what to say. I want to sound interesting but at the same time also fun and cute. Can you help me on what I should say? Thank you!

Dear Profile Help,

My suggestion would be for you to start with making a list of your best qualities and a list of what you are looking for in your beshert. Now, many of these things are mentioned later in your profile in the fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice sections, so make sure you don’t simply repeat those things but expand upon them. Make sure your first line is catchy but not corny and make sure to mention things that make you unique and set you apart from the pack. Double check your grammar and spelling and make sure not to write too much, this isn’t your autobiography. You want to sound intriguing but leave them wanting more. Here’s an example:

I’m a 27-year-old journalist who loves having fun and being funny, even if it’s at my own expense! A guy who can’t laugh at himself is definitely not the right guy for me — and sarcasm is a plus! I like to go out but I also really enjoy a nice night just hanging out at home. I’m looking for a man to be my lover and best friend, a guy who will make me laugh every day, and someone who will bring out the best in me as I hope to do with him. I refuse to settle but am definitely realistic about my expectations. Oh, and a big bonus if you own the complete 10 seasons of Friends!

What’s My Problem?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been on JDate for a few weeks now and I have not gotten any emails or IM’s. What is wrong with me, my pics or my profile?

Dear What’s My Problem?

It could be both! If you doubt your pics and profile, then it sounds like you need to revisit both. Employ a trusted friend or family member to critique your photos and profile. This person should have your best interests at heart and you need to be open to what they suggest. The pictures you may think are good may not be as flattering of you may think. Remember that others see you as up to 20% better looking than you see yourself, so if your confidant wants you to use other pictures you should listen. Then, let your confidant edit your About Me profile to his or her heart’s desire because the written word is only as good as the person reading it. Once you’re done, you will get the super-cool “New” icon and will be at the top of searches, enabling you to catch someone’s eye who may have overlooked you before. And remember to Click!® and Hot List people you like so they know you’re interested and will feel secure sending you an email. Good luck!

Enough About Me…

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

Dear Tamar,

Having read a number of “about me” essays on here, I noticed many are extremely short and non-specific.  Because the other pages are essentially check boxes that are answered similarly by many, I view this essay as one of the most critical ways to get to know that person. In light of this, I made my essay somewhat lengthy and fairly specific. How should I go about describing myself?  Any do’s or don’ts?

Dear Enough About Me… What Do You Think About Me?,

Great question! I agree that most people should write more about themselves because no one really looks too closely at the check boxes unless they’re looking for something specific. BUT, your About Me essay shouldn’t be too long or too specific. Remember, you want to get their attention and stand out from the crowd, but keep some information to yourself so you have some fresh material for your first dates.

Here are my tips:

1) This is not a job interview so make sure your tone is relaxed and casual, fun and flirty.
2) Sell yourself but don’t be generic. Instead of saying “I’m funny” say “I’ll have you laughing so hard you’ll  pee your pants” or “I guarantee you’ll laugh everyday.”
3) Try not to use or overuse cliches. “I like long walks on the beach” is so unoriginal!
4) Spell check and grammar check even if you have to type your essay in Word and then copy & paste it.

Most of all make sure the first few words are good ones because they’ll show up on searches. I’ve seen some profiles that turned me off just by four words even when I thought the person in the picture was attractive! Good luck!