I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us are on JDate to find dates who are “J.” In other words, it’s probably important for most of us to meet other Jewish people to date and ultimately marry. I think this is a pretty reasonable goal and assumption; after all, that’s why JDate exists as a separate site from one of the big, all-encompassing options. So imagine the dismay of someone (let’s call her Sarah) who meets a nice young man on a Jewish site (let’s call him Dan) who turns out to not be Jewish! And he didn’t have one Jewish parent or some distant Jewish relatives, or heck, even Jewish friends – he was not even familiar with Judaism.
It would be one thing if Dan had advertised his Christian status on the site and Sarah agreed to meet him with this knowledge, but he hadn’t. Plus, he even endorsed that he was conservative under the denomination category, which there was no reason to doubt. When it gradually became clear to Sarah that Dan wasn’t Jewish, Sarah asked why Dan would be on a Jewish dating site. The answer? It was just another way to meet girls – he just didn’t understand that Jews on the site were looking to meet each other, and he hadn’t realized that his presence might be deceitful.
This scenario actually occurred, with names and details changed, of course. And I can tell you that there was no malicious intent or hard feelings by either party involved – just disappointment, especially because the couple had been otherwise quite compatible. But this got me thinking… how does one treat a non-Jew on JDate? Do people who say they are willing to convert or not at all Jewish have any success on the site? Does JDate have any responsibility in preventing the above situation? I really have no answers here – just lots of questions!
I’ve always found it curious that “not willing to convert” and “not sure if I’m willing to convert” are profile options… there aren’t a ton of these profiles, but I’ve seen a few out there on the interwebs. If you happen to be reading this and you’re a non-Jew on JDate, please, enlighten me: I’m not judging – truly curious! And thank you for being upfront about your religious status. But what do you all think? If you are Jewish, have you met non-Jews on JDate? If you aren’t Jewish, are you actively seeking Jews? In the meantime, you can find me on Christian Mingle.com. Nothing like a [bad] joke to end a more serious post, right?
under Date Night
There are some profiles on JDate I’ve viewed five or more times. It’s not because I’m in love with the profile, or even that it’s more remarkable than all others. It also doesn’t necessarily mean I am romantically interested in the person. I have a predicament I call “profile overexposure.”
Here’s how “profile overexposure” works: At some point, I view someone’s profile. The person views me back. Then… nothing. Sometimes I will re-click on their profile, forgetting I’d already looked a month back. I call this “playing cat and mouse.” There are so many profiles out there and so much to look at. How can anyone possibly remember the important details without having a spreadsheet or taking notes? I sometimes consider devising a system for this issue, but I then convince myself it isn’t worth my time.
My frustration with this “Cat and Mouse” phenomenon sometimes leads me to accept dates with non-Jewish men. Non-Jewish men take more interest in me than Jewish men for reasons I cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s because I don’t look “that Jewish” (according to many of my peers). Regardless, I accepted a date with a guy I’ll call “Chris.” Chris and I had a great initial interaction. No major butterflies, but we’re both engineers, and we had a lot to chat about… until he asked me what I had done earlier in my weekend. I mentioned I had been to synagogue for Friday night services. He knew I was Jewish when he accepted the date, but it appears he found me to be too Jewish. If you’ve seen my previous post on not being Jewish enough, you can imagine my delight when someone found me to be “too Jewish!”
The conversation took an odd turn when he realized I partake in Judaism, rather than just wearing it as a cultural badge of honor. He then admitted he “didn’t really like Jewish food,” and I could see him sizing me up against stereotypical Jewish “boxes.” He outwardly compared me to some of the most typical ones: nose, hair texture, and athletic ability.
People ask me why I go on so many first dates. To be truthful, it can get very tiresome. Chris said he was “nonreligious,” but when push came to shove, I sensed his discomfort and misunderstanding of Judaism. He tentatively asked, “Isn’t every child born to a Jewish woman automatically Jewish?” He was clearly not okay having a Jewish child. At that, I was ready for another round of “Cat and Mouse” on JDate.