Dear Tamar: Age Range in Your 20s and 30s?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I met a guy on JDate a couple of months ago and we’ve become nearly inseparable! It’s been amazing… except for one thing: he’s 5 years younger than me. It may be normal for the guy to be older, but not so much for the girl. Although it doesn’t bother me (he’s really mature and better than any guy my age or older that I’ve met in the past few years!), I think he’s starting to feel pressure because I’m turning 30 next month. I do want to get married and have a family and all that, but it’s not like my biological clock is deafening. I don’t want him to get freaked out now that I’m entering my thirties. He’s made a few comments here and there, and the friends and family we’ve introduced each other to have joked around about it. What do I do?

-JDater Turning 30


Dear JDater Turning 30,

First, many mazals on meeting someone awesome! I’m glad that you both were open to someone who likely wouldn’t fall within the generalized “preferred” age range for your age. A connection is a connection, and being a couple of years older or younger than who you “thought” you should date becomes irrelevant.

I think the best move for you is to confront it head on. Next time the opportunity presents itself, tell your boyfriend that you know your impending birthday might be freaking him out, but that it doesn’t change anything. Let him know that you’re happy where you are in your life, and in your relationship, and that entering a new decade doesn’t need to put any pressure on your relationship. You have to back up those words with actions and perhaps also politely let your friends and family know that the age jokes are not appreciated.

That said, you both do need to have a sense of humor about the fact that you’re a “cougar” at age 29 — and be able to laugh because you’re confident in your relationship, rather than cringe because you’re insecure in your relationship.

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Extreme Profile Makeover: “Barry”

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

Hi Tamar,

My friend is cute and sweet, but not getting any attention on JDate. Can you take a look at his profile and see what you think?



Dear “friend” of Barry,

You’re right… your friend is cute and does seem sweet! So, let’s see how I can help your, I mean, his profile get more attention.

Let’s start with the photos. I like the main profile picture a lot, but do prefer more of a headshot for this photo rather than one where we can’t see his face (although I can tell that he is indeed cute). The other two photos are just okay, but would be better if there was that clear close-up of his face so that these were the fun complementary photos since they are both kind of dark.

Profile Name
Leaves something to be desired. Very typical “male” profile name of what is likely his last name and some digits. Barry seems to have much more personality than this profile name suggests.

In My Own Words
You know, there’s nothing here I would really change. I like what he had to write, which is why I think the focus needs to be on fixing his profile name and photos to support this. I would add a bit here and there… saying that your history is not “brief” can be seen as a sketchy answer since a 34-year-old should really be able to answer this without writing a book like the 62-year-old JDater who asked for an ‘Extreme Profile Makeover’ last week.

I can deduce by his tidbit about Philly sports teams that he’s likely from there originally — at the very least he can expand upon that and explain how he got to Los Angeles. This can either go in the “About Me” section or “Brief History” section. He also mentions not being able to live without his family, so he can also add which family members he’s close to so that dating prospects can begin to create a connection.

His Details
There are WAY TOO MANY blanks in this section, which only adds to the sketchiness I mentioned before. Too many blanks, unanswered questions, and too short of answers make it seem like the person is not really taking this seriously. Not everything needs to be filled in, but “My Ideal Match” needs more. What are his general preferences for a woman’s age? I suggest 25-35 for a 34-year-old man. Since he has his bachelor’s degree and says he’s established in his career, then he likely wants a woman who also has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. He says he’s Reform and never goes to temple, so he should add those to the list as well.

Find more profile advice in the book “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating” available now!

Extreme Profile Makeover — “Deb”

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

Dear Tamar,

I really want to find someone to share the rest of my life with… or at least someone to share life’s days ahead, one day at a time. I’ve been independent since 1992 — with relationships — but only a select few (as I had a young son). I’ve been camera shy till recently, so I need a full figure photo (which should go in my favor). Plus, I’d like to show my 2 pups: LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOGS.

Can you help?


Dear “Deb,”

Let’s see, where shall we begin? I love your profile photo — and yes, you need additional supporting pictures (as you know). I also like your profile name and how you tie it back into the profile later. The rest I will dissect below:

In My Own Words
I’m going to break this down by section since you answered every section.

  • About Me
    Nice, concise, witty, and complete. Leave as is, aside from one thing: you talk about looking young for your age. Rather than list the exact age people think you are, simply say that people think you’re 20 years younger, and that you often have to show your ID to prove them wrong.
  • My Life and Ambitions
    There are some typos that need to be fixed. Also, I would delete the part about “this New Year” since Rosh Hashanah will come and go, and then you’ll be left with an outdated profile or the need to update again. A timeless account is best. In fact, I’d delete that sentence and the ones following it. What you wrote up until then is good and the rest is redundant.
  • A Brief History of My Life
    The keyword here is brief. Six paragraphs is not brief. I’d eliminate the last part of the first paragraph about your father’s family, as that is awesome information to share on a date. Delete the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraphs. Then condense the first and third and make it cohesive. The cities you’ve lived in and why you moved, when you divorced and your son, your career. The rest either belongs in other categories — which you may have even already covered in those sections — or they should wait to be used on dates.
  • My Perfect First Date/On Our First Date Remind Me to Tell You About
    Both of these are great!
  • The Things I Could Never Live Without
    Also great!
  • My Favorite Books, Movies, etc
    I’d suggest condensing and listing more like this:
    Books: Tony Robbins, 20th Century Classics
    Movies: I’m obsessed with classic films and am quite the trivia buff!
    TV: all Law & Order, Sci-Fi, epic dramas, NO reality TV
  • The Coolest Places I’ve Visited/ For Fun I Like To…
    I don’t think these are necessary. You don’t need to answer all the questions, and since you only have so much time in which to pique the interest of a prospect, you should only keep the ones that add something of substance.
  • On Friday and Saturday Nights
    This is good as is.
  • I’m Looking For/ My Ideal Relationship
    Pick one or the other, you don’t need both.
  • My Past Relationships
    I think you’ve given waaaaay too much information here. We get it: you are friends with your exes, and that’s awesome! Just saying that is enough; you don’t need to go into detail. Leave the first line and delete the rest.
  • You Should Message Me If…
    This is good as is.

Your Details and My Ideal Match are both fine. Make sure you play around with some of those preferences to make sure you’re seeing all your prospects (age range, marital status) and that they know you are open to them as well. You’re 62, but look younger, so a 70-year-old man who looks younger may be a great fit — don’t count him out!

For more advice on revamping your profile, visit HowtoWooaJew.


Dear Tamar: Help Me Transition From Recluse to Active Dater

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

Dear Tamar,

Help! I’m a longtime recluse, just escaping my cocoon after a series of life events. I look and feel great, but am gun-shy, rusty and IGNORANT on how to date successfully online and in-person. Though I’m 63 next month, NO ONE (even doctors!) believe I’m over 42. I’m at the age where I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person. My fear is saying too much, the wrong thing, or coming on too hyper. Any advice?

-Former Recluse


Dear Former Recluse,

Congratulations on coming out of the cocoon, and welcome to the world of online dating! The biggest piece of advice I have for people who don’t know what to say on dates is to make sure you’re a good listener first and foremost. You can listen well by showing attentiveness, engaging your date by asking follow-up questions, and making a connection by inserting comments when you have something in common.

As a young looking 63-year-old woman you have a bit of a challenge ahead of you. It would be better for you to list an age range of 55-70. It’s wide, but your age is right in the middle and gives the chance to show a 55-year-old man that age is a state of mind… just as much as a 70-year-old can prove to you the same thing. When you look different from your age, your pictures need to back up this claim and, of course, you do as well in-person. And it goes without saying that it doesn’t matter if you look 20 years younger than your age if you act 20 years older. Again, age is a state of mind.

Send me your profile so I can review it for an Extreme Profile Makeover and help you on your way to finding a great companion!

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Extreme Profile Makeover: “Isaac”

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

Dear Tamar,

I’m new to JDate, and I’ve been messing around with my profile here and there trying to write something great. I’m trying to share enough information about myself without writing my whole life story — I don’t want it to be boring, and want to be completely honest. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten any replies to emails, or any initiation by anyone who is a good match. Can you please maybe check it out and tell me from your point of view what can be improved… or is a complete makeover necessary?



Hi Isaac,

Your profile looks pretty complete and well-written to me. So, I’m going to be nit-picky here and help you make your profile as awesome as possible!

This may be your biggest downfall, honestly. You’re a good-looking and TALL Jew, yet your photos aren’t of the greatest quality. And, until I glanced at your stats, I assumed you were a shorty… weird, huh? I don’t really like any of the photos enough to go through the motions of rearranging and editing them. Take new ones by someone who understands lighting and angles. Then you can add back in the photo of you with your sister at her wedding, and the last one with two friends — just be sure to write in the description that you’re the one in the middle… the tall one! You can also keep the second one and use that one as your profile photo for now until you get new ones taken. Delete the rest.

Profile Name
I believe you used your initials and birthdate for your profile name. It’s fine, but it’s not WOW, you know? You can use adjectives: TallFunnyNYJew or you can use the humor you say you live by and create a new, eye-catching name.

In My Own Words
I don’t think you need to rewrite much here. Just review it for some typos that you may not have caught. Also, since you’re 25 (a youngun in the dating world), perhaps add in a line about why you are looking for someone so they know you’re serious about a relationship.

My Ideal Match
You’re 25… your age range is 18-28… I appreciate that you follow my ten year age-range rule, but I also encourage those in their 20s to narrow the range (and encourage “older adults” to widen the range). You don’t want to date a teenager, even if she is in college and is mature. Edit your age range to minimum 21, maximum 27 — that will let prospects know you’re serious about finding someone. When I see a guy in his mid-20’s being open to dating an 18-year-old I immediately think “he’s looking for a hook-up,” and I don’t believe that’s the perception you want women to have.

Overall, I think you’re well on your way to a great profile! So the next step is to see if you are making the right moves to let women know you’re interested (views, Favorites list, sending Flirts, etc.), and of course after exchanging a few of these then sending an email. What are you writing and how is it coming across? If you would like me to review emails, then please feel free to send in some samples!

Did you know that How to Woo a Jew‘s longest chapter is all about creating your JDate profile? Grab a copy and see how you can revamp your online dating profile!

Extreme Profile Makeover — “David”

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


I am getting views on my profile, but no responses to my emails. I know it’s a numbers game and what not. I just wanted an expert to review my profile and see if any changes need to be changed.

Thank you,



Dear “David,”

You’re right; it is a numbers game, but I appreciate you seeking help where others’ egos may prevent them from doing so.

Let’s start from the beginning: with your JDate username. I like that you incorporated one of your hobbies into the name and think it’s a keeper!

Your photos need some tweaking. The first photo is great! It shows your face and that you put some effort into taking a photo for your JDate profile. The next two can be deleted. The one with your cat doesn’t show your face and it’s confusing as to what’s going on. The third one is a beautiful photo of your family, but my eyes aren’t immediately drawn to you. I suggest you find 2-3 more photos that show you, facing the camera, without any distractions. You can always tack the family photo back on as option #5.

Of all the biographical paragraphs under “In My Own Words” the only one I don’t like is “My Life and Ambitions.” You already discussed being a successful entrepreneur, but then say you work for your family business… which is it? You don’t need to list your skill sets either. I do like your final line about law enforcement though, and think you could leave that as is, but this is also the place where you want to talk about if you want to get married and have a family. And since you included a picture of your family, you should include one line about them somewhere.

Aside from those few things I think your profile looks pretty good. You have a sense of humor and prove it. You seem like you would be an easy conversationalist. You’re in your mid-20’s and have set a good age range of 23-30. The only thing that might make a woman waver is… your height. You know how tall you are, so you know that 5’7 is considered “short” for a guy. Luckily for you, Jewish ladies are not known for their height either. Make sure your preferences aren’t limited to height, and possibly even address it somewhere in your profile. For example: “I may not be very tall, but my personality more than makes up for it!”

I really think new photos will help turn views into dates. Remember, women will view you repeatedly to let you know they’re interested, so play the “viewing game” to make sure they’re into you before sending an email. Also, keep in mind that non-members can’t read their emails. If you would like me to review a sample email to see if you could be coming on too strong or writing something that’s a turn-off, please don’t hesitate to write again! Good luck!
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Response to EPM: “Alex”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

A response to the Extreme Profile Makeover for “Alex:”

“Thank you for the feedback. I’ll adjust some of what you said and try to get new photos. However, I don’t agree with condensing the profile; I want to stand out from the crowd and not be repetitive. I want to be myself and tell my story instead of having a generic profile. That’s why I went into detail.”


Hi Alex,

I understand where you’re coming from; people often feel attached to their profiles, but I do stand by my recommendations. You use LOTS of adjectives, making your profile read as generic, which is exactly what you said you don’t want. Alas, I think we can come to a compromise.

  • First, condense your current answers and eliminate repetition as I suggested.
  • Second, add to a few sections with what YOU bring to the table and how YOU will be a great boyfriend/husband.

Writing a laundry list of keywords you want in someone doesn’t resonate. In order to stand out, go deeper and be more specific. Rather than saying you want someone with a sense of humor, describe what kind of humor would complement yours: is it more Seinfeld/Larry David style, or Friends/Chandler Bing style, or Will Ferrell/Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn, or Jim Carrey/Sacha Baron Cohen, or ___________???

Finally, I strongly recommend you take my original advice about changing your age range. A 28-year-old man should not have an age range of 18-35. You’re too old for college girls and perhaps slightly too young for a woman in her mid-30’s. My general rule of thumb is a ten year age range for JDaters in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, so at most I would suggest 21-31 for you.

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Extreme Profile Makeover: “Alex”

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

Today’s Extreme Profile Makeover was requested by “Alex” — if you want your profile reviewed just send Tamar your JDate profile name by clicking here.

Profile Name:
I like your profile name — it includes your actual name without revealing too much personal information and has a catch phrase attached. No issues here. =)

You need to add a headshot for your main profile picture, not a professional or business photo, but a close-up of your smiling face with your eyes showing. Next, I would advise some rearranging of photos:

  • Move the pic of you in flip flops from third to second place (the full-body shot typically goes second)
  • Your current second photo can be moved to the third slot
  • Delete what is now your current profile photo

The reason I don’t like your current main photo is because it’s too posed with a fake backdrop; plus it’s oddly cropped. Since you talk about family a lot, try and find a casual photo with a family member (or two or three) and add that as your last photo. Make sure you add a caption to identify who is who — and try not to have any female family members around your age in the picture as that can be confusing!

In My Own Words:
I like a lot of what you have to say in your bio, but I do think it can be condensed and edited. You say a lot of the same things in different ways as different answers, and it can get redundant. I understand that you want to make sure a woman knows you’re being authentic, but at a certain point the overkill has the reverse effect. Right now your profile is coming across a bit strong with the “keywords” — something you will understand since you’re in online marketing.

Here are a few quick tips to help you pare down your profile:

  • Cut any sentences that include the following words: honest/honesty, trust, respect, and any variation of the terms desire/adore/cherish/etc.
  • Sometimes less is more and you will prove that you believe all of the above by your actions
  • In fact, you can delete the middle two paragraphs of your “About Me” section
  • And in the “My Perfect First Date” answer, you use the word simple three times: delete the third one and simply say (no pun intended): I want to do something easy

Another way to condense is to not answer all of the questions since many force you to repeat the same answer in other ways. I think you can eliminate “The Things I Could Never Live Without” and “For Fun I Like To” and “I’m Looking For” (or “My Ideal Relationship”).

His Details:
Select “a couple extra pounds” for body type and delete your income.

My Ideal Match:
Delete “A Date” and “An Activity Partner” since you are looking for your wife. Adjust your age range. You are a 28-year-old man, so your ideal general age range should be 22-30.

Finally, when you’re searching, play with the preferences for location since New York City is so populated. You are in the perfect location to find someone, and I think the profile makeover will help you do just that!

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.



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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JDate is Turning Me Into a Cougar!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Is it common for younger men to email older women because I’ve gotten more messages from men in their late 30’s than I’m comfortable with. Why would 39-year-olds be contacting a 58-year-old? Opportunists?

-Not a Cougar


Dear Not a Cougar,

Could a man 20 years your senior be an opportunist? Sure. Could it be that you are a pretty and young-looking woman who has a lot to offer and attracts men of all ages? Absolutely! Depending upon what you’re looking for — which I believe to be a companion for the next half of your life — you will need to review each man’s profile to see how he presents himself and what he is looking for before eliminating them. Of course, you can have a strict minimum to your age range and if that doesn’t start with the number 3_ or 4_, then so be it.

At the end of the day you need to be comfortable with the other person, and if their age is going to bother you then don’t lead these men on. Take it as a compliment and say so: “I’m so flattered that you took the time to email me and you seem really sweet, but I think I would be more comfortable with someone closer to my age. Good luck to you!”