Common Interests = Compatibility?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life
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Does it really matter if your date is also into basket weaving?

Let’s say you are really into underwater basket weaving, Italian renaissance art, and roller skating. And you’re perusing JDate profiles and see someone who is also really interested in basket weaving (sometimes underwater, sometimes not), Italian renaissance art, and roller skating. Could it be? Have you finally located your soul mate?

After all this time, have you found the one person destined to fulfill all of your hopes and dreams? Probably not. Might you have more to talk about on the first date with this person than someone who has no common interests? Yes, probably. But having several common interests with someone does not guarantee that you will get along! In fact, it guarantees, well, nothing more than you both like the same things.

It’s easy especially if you have unique or specific interests to mistake the excitement of enjoying the same things for long-term compatibility and commitment. Or, if you really like someone, it’s easy to be amazed at how coincidental it is that you BOTH LIKE TV and DOGS! What are the odds?

But in my experience, general activities and interests are somewhat shallow. What you like to do, in my opinion, says only so much about you. How you like to spend your time, your tolerance for trying new things, and your willingness to do what your partner wants to do – these are all more indicative of relational compatibility. For example, you might like going to the ballet, and a new guy you are dating might really like going to basketball games. This distinction in and of itself isn’t important. But does he listen when you talk about your favorite ballet, or is he checking the score on his phone? Is she willing to go with you to the Knicks game and at least pretend to pay attention? These kinds of questions are much more important to ask when assessing compatibility. The fact that you both have a brother or you both like classic music means little more than both having brown hair.

Although common interests might not be a predictor of long-term relationship success, JDate knows what they are doing. Profiles include interests for a good reason, even if the reason is not to instantly match up destined partners. See someone with a the same hobby as you? Awesome – send a mention and reference the activity! Both like mini golf? Sounds like you have an easy first date suggestion. Does a cute guy say he is into krav maga and you don’t know what it is? There’s an instant excuse to send a message – ask him! Oh, and this goes without saying, but don’t pretend to know all about something that you don’t unless you are currently on a sitcom.

So remember – common interests are great and provide a useful way to initiate contact with someone. But they don’t mean anything more than what they are.


Balancing Act

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

People think they want to date and marry someone that they’re similar to, but really you want someone different who will balance you. My husband and one of my close girlfriends are very similar in how they deal with stress and they joke around that if they were married to each other they would never speak. They both feel that they need spouses such as myself and her husband to balance them out.

If you both like all the same things, life will get a little boring. I love football and my husband loves basketball so we’ve both taken the time to learn and enjoy the other’s sport. My husband loves UFC so that’s something he gets to do with his friends, sans wifey. I love sushi, and I go with my friends for a girls night out.

So don’t rule out another single just because you don’t like all the same things or have the same hobbies, instead celebrate your differences, teach other about your interests and enjoy maintaining some independence.


Marketing Yourself

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

I recently attended a local JDate event to people watch and see if people knew how to market themselves without a computer screen separating them from reality. Sad to say, I was disappointed.  Whether it means looking your best, putting a smile on your face, thinking about what you’re saying before you say it, or even how your nametag reads, everything counts and many people were failing on numerous levels.

Sometimes it’s general attitude. A few individual’s body language was so negative – arms crossed, shoulders hunched, sour look – that there was no way they were going to be approached. There were wallflowers left and right, people wandering through the crowd looking lost, others sitting down alone. You shouldn’t be ashamed to be at a JDate event because guess what? The people you’re meeting are there too! When you sign up for a JDate event, it’s time to throw caution to the wind, put yourself out there, lower any walls and find yourself some possible love interests.

Self-promoting is not an easy thing to do. We are not raised to be arrogant but, rather, humble yet confident so to talk about how great we are, how popular, how funny, how successful, how smart, how fabulous and so on is not natural. However, if you’re going to a JDate event then you gotta do it. You need to look your best, be outgoing yet natural, and not seem too desperate all at the same time.

The best thing about JDate events is that you should feel an instant kinship with everyone there and draw instant comfort from that. Everyone there is there for the same reason – to meet someone Jewish. Try to enjoy the opportunity of having hundreds of local Jewish singles in the same place at the same time with the same motivation.

More to come about what people show up looking like at the events in a few days.


Social Networking

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

Dear Tamar,

I was just wondering if JDate has a way for me to correspond with people just for social networking, aside from dating. I’m 38 and single and many of my friends are in relationships. I’d be interested in networking with other women for socializing, going to singles event, etc… Thanks!

Dear Social Networking,

I think utilizing JDate to find single girlfriends to hang out with is a great idea! Although there aren’t specific ways to do so, my advice is to go to JDate events being held in your area and meet other girls in person. It’s definitely easier to go to Jewish singles events with a buddy and there are, without a doubt, other gals on JDate whose friends are all married. I admit, I used to check out the other girls who would show up in the same searches as me and sometimes I would think to myself, “gee, we have a lot in common” or “wow, she looks like she would be a lot of fun to hang out with.” I never went so far as to email them, but I did think about it and I don’t think it would be wrong for you to do so.


True Love Take 2

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

Dear Tamar,

Do you think after spending 39 years with your Beshert, there is another one out there?  I am a young-ish widow (58 years old) and wonder if I will spend the remainder of my life without that type of love again.

Dear True Love Take 2,

First, I am sorry for your loss. Losing my spouse at a young age is one of my worst nightmares. My parents have friends in this situation as well, and I’ve fully supported them in signing up for JDate, attending temple functions and going on blind dates. You are young, active, and could have 40 more years of living to do (knock on wood) and want someone to share that with. Totally understandable!  That said, I do think it’s possible to find true love again! Not only do I believe in there being more than one Beshert for each of us, but I believe that once we’re in a different stage of our lives — as you are — our idea of who or what defines a Beshert is different from our definition when we were much younger.  Just think, compared to 39 years ago, your list of preferences is so much simpler — you’re not worried about finishing college, having kids, buying your first place, getting a job that will support your growing family and so forth. You’re probably more concerned with sharing the same interests in movies, food, traveling, and spending time with grandchildren. Keep your JDate preferences as broad as possible and let your friends, family, Rabbi and virtually everyone you come in contact with know that you’re interested in being set-up. Good luck!


The Subject Line; A Common Thread

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Online Dating

Dear Gems from Jen,
 
I have a pretty simple question (I think).  I never know what to put in the subject line of an email I’m sending to a girl for the first time.  I’m sure the girls I’m messaging are getting a lot of emails from other guys as well and I want to be able to stand out.  Any ideas, hints or tips???
 
Much appreciated,
 
David

 
Dear David,
 
Standing out from the competition is the key here.  Not everyone is getting bombarded with emails, but you want to ensure yours are read. The subject line is the first clue that you have read through their profile.  My best suggestion is keep it short and hit upon a common interest. For example, if a woman has the same religious ideals as you then something along the lines of: I agree with your beliefs regarding religion, seems like we have a lot in common. If a woman you are interested in is an animal lover try this: I enjoyed reading your profile, especially the part about loving animals. Or, you could let her know that you have the same feelings regarding animals and state; from one animal lover to another.
 
Stay away from subject lines that contain sexual innuendos and flattery regarding looks. Some men make the mistake of using the subject line as a pick up line.  You don’t want to sound cheesy or creepy.  In other words, don’t use the subject line to come on too strong.  Women that are serious about meeting someone want to know that you took the time and energy to read through their profiles thoroughly.  You want to stand out from the crowd and connect from the earliest point possible. The best way to do this is follow my suggestions above and let the women that you are emailing know you have something in common with them and that you are sincere in your interest.
 
Signed,
 
Gems from Jen