5 Lessons I Learned From JDate

by Kelly under Relationships

1. Not all Jews are created equal. As a Reform girl, I learned quickly that dating someone much more religious than myself was not right. I also learned that Orthodox Jews’ iPhones are not immune to Shabbat. And I promise you I was bat mitzvahed.
2. Sometimes your date can go so badly that halfway through your first drink he will say, “Yeah, this isn’t going well.” At this point, feel free to ask them if they have friends to set you up with. Obviously, this isn’t always protocol but if it’s that apparent you’re both having a bad time, why the hell not?
3. Not everyone wants a serious relationship. Some JDaters want activity partners, not someone to bring home to the fam. Try and get to the bottom of this before you hit date #5 and wonder why that ohmygod-this-is-amazing spark is going out faster than you can say afikomen.
4. Sometimes you might flee a date (see: Stage Five Clinging Salsa Dancer) and then see that person while you’re on another first JDate. And it only takes 15 minutes of them giving you the stink eye for you to realize it. I like to call this JDate Karma.
5. Not everyone tells the truth about their height, their weight, their looks. But everyone wants a chance in real life. And if you’re not willing to be open-minded, don’t say yes to the date. It’s not like when you say yes to a first date that you are automatically signing on for a second or third one. So if you’re even a tiny bit curious, give up an hour of your life to see for yourself.

Okay, I lied there is a 6th lesson…

6. Sometimes a date can go well. It can go so well, in fact, that you leave the date and feel so unexpectedly excited that you grab your phone to call your friends and tell them everything. And you stare at your phone waiting for them to call or text you. And your mind wanders down that road where you see future dates play out. And then everything that happened in lessons 1-5 slips away and you’re in the moment and it’s a good one. And it was all worth it.

Strip Club Connoisseurs and the City

by Kelly under Relationships

“Wow. I’m impressed by your knowledge of strip clubs.”
“Wow. This is the second time in the last month that I’ve been on a date and can say that I am genuinely impressed by your knowledge of strip clubs.”

Raise your hand if this has happened to you? Anyone? No? Okay, so it’s just me then. Can someone at least enlighten me to where the good guys are hiding? Are they off summering in the Hamptons or traveling somewhere fabulous? That’s the only feasible explanation I can come up with. I’ve only been on four dates this summer, and each and every one of them has left me thinking “what the what?” Perhaps, it’s the heat and humidity that is draining us New Yorkers of any and all sense of what’s up and what’s down. And maybe this heat exhaustion just makes guys feel the need to reveal their inner strip club connoisseur only halfway through their first beer. But whatever it is, it’s making me feel like I need a Gatorade and to run for the hills.

I hope you can understand my decision to take precautionary measures toward self-preservation. I’ve found that dating in the summer is a little slower paced than during the rest of the year. I believe the general rationale is that instead of focusing on starting something new in your life, you can just take a Summer Friday and escape it for a few days? It sounds good just thinking about it. So here’s my plan. If anyone interesting comes along, I won’t say no, but I’m not going to actively look for the next month or so. After all, it’s the summer. All I want to worry about is when I’m going to get my next tan, not that my next date will be at The Gentleman’s Club.

Tales From A First Date: The Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer

by Kelly under Relationships

Once upon a JDate, I was out at a really cool speakeasy in the Lower East Side with a guy who was just my type. We were having a good time – I was actually laughing at what he was saying, not just my own ridiculous stories. He was starting to tell me that he recently took a salsa dancing class and suggested we go. I laughed it off assuming he meant at another time, but he kept talking about it.

“We should go salsa dancing,” he said.
“Now?” Uhh, seriously?
“Yeah. I know a great place. Or we can go to that bar you mentioned in Chinatown.”
“Let’s go to the bar. It’s called Apotheke,” I said. Crisis averted.

To be fair, salsa dancing is a good idea for a date – just not a first date. First dates are about getting to know someone – NOT going salsa dancing so your date can show off what they learned at a lesson they bought on Groupon. But once I got him to Apotheke, the date started to rebound. This was the first time I had fun on a date in a while. I started to relax and let my guard down when out of left field he says, “After this we should go salsa dancing.”

I should have left when I had the chance.

“Not tonight. Maybe another time,” I offered.
“No problem. Let’s go to another bar.”
“Ready to go?” he asked.

Yeah. Home! I panicked. This guy was not going to let me go easy. It was a salsa dancing or bust. I stared down at my phone to look at the time to stall and think of a plan. Instead of thinking of a polite way to excuse myself, I panicked.

“Oh no! My roommate just texted me. She forgot her keys and is locked out of our apartment.” This wasn’t a total lie. My roommate did actually get locked out…it just happened to be the week before.

As soon as we walked out onto Canal Street, a cab pulled up and I hopped in. I barely had a chance to wave goodbye. It wasn’t quite the graceful exit I hope I usually pull off on a bad date, and certainly not my proudest moment. Had Mr. Salsa Dancer and I parted ways after the first bar, he would have absolutely gotten a second date. But no. He came on so strong in the first date that he actually scared me off. Since then, I’ve tried to take what I learned that night to prevent it from ever happening again. I even created a rule about it: Thou shall only go to one bar on the first date, unless they want to risk exposure to a Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer Who Just Can’t Take a Hint. Don’t let it happen to you.

Do Not Take Your Date To The Village Pourhouse

by Kelly under Relationships

Rule #1 of dating in NYC: Do not take your date to the Village Pourhouse. Do not even give her/him the option of the Village Pourhouse. Don’t even mention that you go to the Village Pourhouse or similar establishments.

This isn’t a difficult thing to avoid. While the Village Pourhouse is best known for a good time (if you can remember it), cheap beers, beer pong, and a young crowd, it’s not known for being a place of romance. That is, unless your idea of romance is making out in a dark corner with a stranger only to ask, “Are you on Facebook?” Now, I’ve never been asked to go to the Village Pourhouse on a first date, or any date for that matter. But my BFF recently went out with a guy whose first option was the Village Pourhouse. She convinced him to go elsewhere, and needless to say, the date sucked before it even began.

I appreciate when guys take into account convenience, noise level, seating (ie. not side-by-side, really that’s just awkward), and menu. You can’t go wrong with a wine or cocktail bar – lots of options and usually a nice, low-key ambiance. I also find it appealing to not have to fear for my life on my way to a date. One guy failed to mention that the bar he picked directly overlooks the East River. This meant I would have to walk across the FDR highway, behind abandoned buildings, decorated with graffiti and broken bottles on the ground. As I walked there, I whispered to myself, “I am not going to die. I am not going to die.” And trust me, if I did die, they would have never found my body.

Honestly, there are so many options in big cities like NYC. And if you can’t think of a place, ask a friend for suggestions. Give your date options so you’re both comfortable. And whatever you do, I beg you: do not make your date fear for their life or even think about the Village Pourhouse. Ever.

The Mask

by JeremySpoke under Single Life

I am writing on the following topic because I have exhausted all interesting topics, and if I continue with exponentially more boring posts about myself, I will divulge into a five paragraph post about the most effective way to eliminate back hair (laser removal).

Before I found out about JDate®, meeting women online was a lot more difficult, and dangerous. I was in the tepid water that was America Online®. Please keep in mind that AOL® has claimed to be a lot of things, but ‘dating site’ has never been one of them. It was a mecca when I was first introduced to the internet. It had magical ‘Channels’ that allowed you to, for example, order a pizza online while simultaneously listening to music! I know! This was unbelievable. This was 1997.

By 2003, I still had an AOL account because I think my mom forgot to cancel our subscription. After a break-up, I turned to AOL on late nights when I couldn’t sleep. I went to what sounded like trustworthy chat rooms like ‘BBW in Texas’ and ‘One Night Stands’. My innocent mind had, for some reason, thought that BBW stood for Boisterous Black Women, and I was totally into that. For some reason, chat rooms always seemed infinitely more entertaining at 3 am. This time also coincides with the time that the shadiest people on earth were also in these rooms.

I found one of these women, and we chatted for several months. She lived in the same city as I did, and we agreed to meet. However, she decided to come visit my dorm days before our meeting date. This particular afternoon also happened to coincide with a time that I was experiencing an allergic reaction to my Clearasil® pads. Remember Clearasil? Gosh this post is so nostalgic.

So my face had broken out in red spots, which was, ironically, what Clearasil claimed to cure. These red spots, though, were more like itchy hives. I had forgotten that I had them on my face when I answered my door. When I opened it, what I saw in front of me was a horrified young woman pretending to not notice the welts on my face. “Hi there!”, I said. This began one of my top ten most awkward three hours of my life.

We walked around campus, and she kept a good distance from me. After lunch, we went up to my room to watch a movie. My roommate was still asleep and we sat on the bed because I didn’t have a couch. After the movie ended, she darted for the door and did not say a word. That was one of the worst dates of my life.

There is Nothing Left to Lose

by JeremySpoke under Date Night

Is there anything worse than being on a date with a person whom you never want to see again?  Okay, aside from disease, starvation, and the WNBA, is there anything worse than being on a date with a person whom you never want to see again?  It’s miserable.  Your date is so annoying.

You think the date is going well at first, because dates always start out great.  You pick her up and you’re both smiling like idiots and she seems really interested in everything she has to say.  Then you worry that her sensibilities are too delicate for your tastes, but then she makes a joke and you think that everything is going to be okay.  But everything is not okay.  You slowly realize that you don’t like this person and the $50 lobster that you ordered will not be enjoyed with good company.

However, not all is lost.  Remember, you are never going to see this horrible person again.  Go ahead, tell her your deepest secrets.  Ask if she will pay for dinner.  Since most people don’t like confrontational situations, she probably will.  Now that lobster isn’t going to be so bad.  You are going to enjoy it for free with the knowledge that you can do whatever you want to in front of this person.  Tell her that you just got out of prison on appeal for murder.  Who cares.  When life hands you lemons, eat a lobster.

Bad Date Gymnastics

by JeremySpoke under Date Night

Up until now, it is never fun to realize that your date has gone bad.  Maybe your date poured salt into your drink (that isn’t a margarita),  Maybe she isn’t a dog person.  Maybe she is a racist.  This doesn’t have to be a death sentence for a date.  This can be the catalyst for having your own Bad Date Gymnastics.

Once you realize that you have no real connection with your date, why not perform social experiments for science! For example, if your date is, in fact, racist, do an experiment and study your date like she is a laboratory sample. Lie and tell her that you are also a racist.  In order to do this, you will have to pretend to hate a people based on their skin color.  Ask her how much she hates Haitians and why.  She may say that the people of Haiti are poor and are prone to violence.  Do not tell her that they are probably prone to violence because it is their only way to survive.  Rationality only angers racists.  Go country by country.  This will provide a plethora of insight into racist people.

Your date, however, is probably not racist.  If she is, she will probably hide her racism so as to not disgust you. This is the basic MO for any racist.  Maybe the two of you don’t connect because she yells too much.  Instead of cowering in your seat and pretending that you don’t know her, join her in the crazy.  Start yelling as well.  Yell at everyone; the waiter, the bartender, the police officer that pulled you over.  “I’m sorry, officer, is there a problem!”  “I completely agree with my driving and will abide by the rules of the ticket!”  “I am looking forward to taking a course in defensive driving!”  That can only end well.

Maybe, though, your date just doesn’t like you.  She may give you clues by saying something like, “I don’t think we’re connecting” or “I strongly dislike you.”  There is nothing really to lose at this point.  Tell her that you dislike her as well.  Now is a good time to act impulsively obnoxious.  Ask if she can pay for dinner.  Tell her how the movie ends.  Take her to your mother’s house to watch TV.  The date will not end well, but it wouldn’t have ended well anyway.