March (Dating) Madness

by Adam under JBloggers,JFacts

March Madness is upon us, with sixty-eight teams, each fighting for the ultimate title of NCAA Men’s (and women’s) basketball championship. Starting tonight with the play-in games, then continuing Thursday and Friday with the “second” round games, hours of productivity, and thousands of dollars will be lost as a large segment of the population is glued to their television sets (or mobile phones), praying that a small school from the boonies of Louisiana can knock off Tim Tebow University.

There will be those Cinderellas- those directional state schools, and small private colleges, who win the hearts of many by knocking off schools like Duke, Kansas and Indiana, who then use their performance as a springboard for future basketball success. On the flip side, there are the busts- those teams who everyone had in their Final Four, but who flame out in the second round.

March Madness is a lot like dating. Think about it- you have those girls, or boys that in your mind are your prohibitive favorites (think Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Gonzaga) or best matches, who you think you will have the most chemistry with, or think looks good, is what Dick Vitale would call a “Prime Time Player”.

Sometimes, however, those best matches don’t exactly pan out. Maybe it goes well for a little bit, and you think it’s going to be smooth sailing to the finish (marriage), but huge bumps in the road (chemistry, change in priorities, you find out she’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan) put a halt to it.  Or maybe, a girl/boy pops up out of nowhere (think Virginia Commonwealth University during their Final Four run in 2011) and makes you heart flutter in ways you never knew existed.

March Madness and dating: it’s all about surviving and advancing. Who will end up being your “One Shining Moment”?


Love At First JDate: When To Walk Away

by JenG under Online Dating,Single Life

No one wants to get their heart broken, and likewise, no one wants to intentionally break anyone’s heart. That’s why many of us decide that when it’s not quite working with someone, when the stars just aren’t lining up, instead of getting fireworks in our belly, we get indigestion — it’s easy for us to tip toe around the brutally honest truth and try to hide our true feelings behind polite one-liners that we hope will do the dirty work for us:

  • It’s not you, it’s me.
  • I’m terribly busy and this really isn’t a good time.
  • I’ve started really, seriously, seeing someone else.

The only thing worse than throwing one of these sentences onto a person you don’t want to see again is having them not get the hint. There’s no trick when it comes to figuring out if someone is not interested in you, it’s just being able to accept the truth. Follow their words, but ultimately trust your gut.

Do: Follow up with someone you enjoyed going out with on a date. See how they are throughout the week, then ask them if they’d like to go out again. If you are feeling unsure whether or not someone would like to see you again… or you are getting too many wish-washy responses from them, pick up on their signs and swallow their constant “I can’t” as an indication that, unfortunately, they are not feeling this (Don’t fret, there are plenty of other people out there that will have goo goo eyes for you)!

Don’t: Be overly persistent or pushy with your follow-ups. Don’t sign off your text messages or emails with “Please go out with me one more time, I promise you’ll be impressed” or threaten them with a “I won’t give up on asking you out.” If you’re feeling that you are the only one who is excited to see you again, don’t force it. Bow out gracefully and search for someone else who will be your true match.


The Kosher Chili Cook-Off

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate

For those reading this who do not live in Texas (or Memphis where they have a Kosher BBQ cook-off) the Kosher Chili Cook-Off is a big deal in Dallas, Austin and Houston. Around 50 teams in Dallas and 20 in Austin prepare diligently, starting at 8am. They cook for hours, and won’t stop till the final vote is cast at 3pm to make sure they make the best chili and procure the most amount of votes. One kosher ingredient can make all the difference.

Every team starts with the same amount of meat, around 18-22 pounds of it, unless, of course, you happen to be on a vegetarian team. What ingredients you use next is up to you, just as long as it stays kosher. Many people spend days searching for the perfect recipe and then working out the math to make sure the amount of other ingredients correlates to the amount of meat provided. There are certain rules of chili cook-offs to abide by, like don’t cook all the meat at once, and don’t put all the jalapenos in at once, so children and the elderly don’t burn their mouths eating it. You win with a combination of great chili and a personality that endears you to the general public.

Dating is the same way. Regardless of what you think, everyone starts on the same plane, with the same amount of meat (relatively). It’s the ingredients, and your presentation, that make all the difference. Everyone buys vegetables, and chili powder, and some cumin, but what else? What sets you apart? For the chili example, our team used Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and pineapple, giving it a tangy taste, combined with the loads of spice we put on there. Additionally, we managed to be a highly personable team, conversing with literally everyone that came by our tent and screaming wildly after someone put their vote in our bowl.

What makes you different when it comes to the dating scene? Sure you may workout five times a week, graduated magna cum laude from some school that starts with H and ends with “arvard,” and spent your childhood playing polo on the weekends with Bill Clinton, but what else? You certainly have some solid ingredients, but which one stands out when you play the dating game? When people think of you, is the aftertaste in their mouth, “Oh, he’s just a polo player from Harvard” or “He’s an engaging guy with an interesting background that not only includes that weird game called polo, but he also has tried every item on the McDonald’s dollar menu.”

Dating and the chili cook-off. You have the ingredients, so how do you combine them to achieve the best possible result?


Love At First JDate: Telephone Talk

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

There used to be a time when we were all not so scared of using the telephone.

Do you remember the days when you used to have your best friend’s phone number memorized? Or how you’d beam with excitement and your tummy would swarm with nervous butterflies when your mom would shout from the downstairs corridor, “Jennifer, there’s someone on the telephone for you.”

Today, I have friends that don’t even know their significant other’s phone number by heart. While they do know their Twitter handle or their Instagram name, that won’t help them one bit if they were to be stranded somewhere, face-to-face with a payphone. They’d only be able to communicate by typing a message in 140 characters, or less.

With the cold weather making us want to hide underneath a blanket (note: if you live in Florida, or somewhere else tropical, that blanket has holes and those holes are nicely filled in with sunshine—so enjoy!), it’s often difficult to muster up the amount of clothing and energy required to leave the heat that radiates from between our couch cushions to attend a first date. And if we do make that first move, we often spend the first couple of “getting to know you” minutes defrosting, or like me on my most recent first date, dealing with an unattractive case of a nonstop running nose.

How about breaking the ice (until summer time can do that for us) with a preliminary get-to-know-you phone call-date before meeting in person?

Do: Phone your new friend during appropriate hours. No one appreciates an energetic “HELLO, I’m Jen!” as their early morning wake-up call at the dreadful hour of 8am, or as a late night booty call at the lazy-eyed hour of 11pm. If you’re going to make the move of dancing your fingers on the keypad, do it at a respectable hour.

Don’t: Stray away from rehearsed “about me” speeches, or a set of designated job-like interview questions. On the phone, you should give off an inherently relaxed tone, as if you were having a conversation with someone in person. Carry a casual and flowing conversation, taking a deep breath during natural pauses and creating an infrastructure that will be easy to build on top of once you meet up in person.

Read more of Jen Glantz here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


I’ve Dated My Whole City… Now What?

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships

Because of my newfound fame writing dating columns for JDate during these past 3 months, every so often I’ll get email inquiries from men and women alike, looking to solve their dating dilemmas. This one comes from Mack B. of Austin, Texas.

(NOTE: THIS POST IS HEAVY ON AMBIGUOUS SPORTS METAPHORS)

Dear Dating Prognosticater,

I have a problem. I’ve been in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area since 1998, and have enjoyed my time here, both professionally and personally. I have a couple of problems though- I feel like I’ve dated just about every Jew in the area.

I had a four year relationship with a religious girl, before she moved to Cleveland, and was in a really high-profile relationship with a girl who brought me a lot of fame seven years ago, and just moved back to be a model at a steakhouse downtown, and I’ve dated a bunch of girls in between.

I feel like I’m damaged goods, and destined for a life of singledom. Especially since there was this one girl who really liked me, but I didn’t like her back, so she moved to Waco, and now is a famous personality in Washington D.C. I cry inside every day about that.

What should I do?

Mack B.

 

Mack B.,

Have no fear. I have one solution for you: Look elsewhere. Have you been doing the same activities in Austin for the last fifteen years? Have you seen your friend group change? Have you dated the same types of girls (I guess not, since you dated a religious girl and a steakhouse model)? Answer that first.

Find a new hobby. Do you go to happy hour every single Monday-Friday? It might be time to take one of those drinking days off, and go to yoga. Maybe a pottery class is in your future? Join a co-ed book club? You still want to drink heavily on one day? Well, there’s always kickball.

Having a routine is great. The great thing about dating, however, is it relies on spontaneity- you don’t find your date through search engine optimization, but through chance encounters in person and online. You’ve been dating the same girl over and over again? Might be time to look at yourself and change some of your personal characteristics. That way you won’t miss out on the girl who might be “The One”.


Simple Ways for Relationship Success

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships,Success Stories

I have been fortunate in both Dallas and Austin to be friends with two long-term couples. Both have been together a long time (3+ years) with the Austin couple set to have their first child in March. They are two seemingly low-maintenance couples who find constant joy in being around each other no matter the circumstance. Below is a list of observations that I’ve seen from both couples, things that can be easily translatable to your own love life.

1. Dallas couple: After every time they hung out in the getting-to-know-you stage of their relationship, the male always texted “I had a great time! Can’t wait to see you soon!” It was something simple, yet something that resonated with his girlfriend even to this day. This might give away a dating secret of mine, but its something that I’ve copied to an extent, as it’s a simple, yet far-reaching gesture.
2. Austin couple- I happen to be in a leadership group with them, and what I notice is touch. Not PDA, not ridiculous hand-holding, but a simple touch on the back when getting up, or a tap on the leg when in a conversation. It’s not overt, but a mechanism that still indicates affection without being too teenage-like.
3. Dallas/Austin couple- Both couples are able to tease each other, even in the public sphere. Once again, there’s a huge a difference between making fun of someone maliciously and teasing, but the two couples understand and are ok with their faults enough to make light of them in front of others.
4. Dallas/Austin couple- While both couples absolutely adore each other, they also give each other space. The girl in Dallas is one of my best friends, but there’s just something about the idea of “guy time”, as she encourages her boyfriend to go watch the game with his guy friends, talking about guy things, as she goes shopping and watches reality TV with her friends. Yes, my Dallas buddy incessantly texts her while he is watching the game, but there’s still that idea of “doing your own thing”, allowing both people in the relationship to have some sort of independence.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will probably have the same productive relationship that these two couples have enjoyed.


Buffet Line Dating

by Adam under Relationships

Like any guy whose mother calls his stomach a garbage dump, I love a good buffet. For one price, whether $10 at Golden Corral, or $40 for the Bellagio dinner buffet in Vegas, I get as much food as I want, and can try all sorts of different combinations.

Now, say I don’t want Golden Corral, and want a more specialized buffet? Well, there’s Pizza Inn, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet and Golden China Buffet. I don’t have the tough choice of deciding between meat, enchiladas, kiwi, and kung pao chicken every time I want to fill up my plate, but I do know at Pizza Inn that I can decide between pepperoni, pineapple, spinach alfredo, and mushroom pizza. It’s a lot of decisions, but I know that at the end I’ll still be eating pizza.

So where does JDate fit in all this? JDate is a specialized buffet- many people to choose from but the reason you all are on here is to marry a Jewish person. For some (women especially), this is an easy concept (New York City, Los Angeles) as the choice of entrees allows for even the girl who still dreams of marrying the Jewish Pizza Piper to date multiple alfredos, vegetable surprises, mushrooms, and maybe a pineapple pizza or two. Sure, you may find a couple of meat lovers in there, but that all comes with the process of finding your one true slice, and regardless that person still possesses the one characteristic most important to you (Jewish faith).

Wait, what about those in smaller Jewish towns? Well, even though there happens to be only 7 pages of people to look at, it’s still a buffet. You are on JDate for a reason, so why limit yourself to the 24-27 year olds, even though that 34-year-old might actually be sauce that meshes with your cheese? From my count, 150 people on a search is still a bevy of people to choose from, so no reason to complain about not being a success story, when you go for the same thing over and over.

With a buffet numbering 50,000 strong, why complain about the menu options, when all you’ve had is one small serving?


Put the Brake on the Fake

by Adam under Relationships

“Oh, my friends actually maintain my profile.”

I got this response from a girl I was supposedly “messaging” at an event I went to during the High Holidays. She had apparently “Secretly Admired” me and we were talking about our High Holiday services and break-fast plans. She seemed nice, with a witty personality to boot, and was a sports fan, so I was definitely interested and took the initiative to message her first.

Saying, “Hey my name is Adam and we’ve been talking on JDate,” probably wasn’t the best opening line, especially in front of mutual friends of ours. Still, what kind of person lets their friends control their dating profile?

Now, understand I don’t include fake Craigslist or OkCupid profiles in this rant, because they are free sites, and it’s much easier to make a profile on a free site than a site like JDate where you really need to pay to get a real benefit from the site (which is a good thing). I bring this issue up now because it seems to be a recurring problem. “Oh, my mom signed me up for JDate” or “Yeah, my friends do it so they can see who else is on this site” are the usual excuses. You wouldn’t give your friends control of your bank account — so why let them handle your dating life?

I know some of you may read this and say, “I don’t care, my mom/friends can handle it, whatever,” but it boils down to more than that. And “fake it till you make it” is probably not the best way to attract a potential partner. Rather, it opens up more questions about your personal character. Listen, if you don’t want to date, than get off the site. Don’t hurt your online persona, and your dating reputation, by letting other people control your “actions.”

I abide by the principle of “say what you mean, mean what you say.” My friends can look, but not touch my profile. Why? Because they are A) not as creative as me and B) may say something totally opposite of what I want to say. If I message a girl with a dumb question or cheesy pick-up line, I’ll own up to it because I may end up seeing that girl at a later date (especially with how small Austin is).

Don’t be Donald Rumsfeld. Your dating profile should always be a known known. It might be an unknown known how people respond to you, but you should never be unknown as to what is known about the interactions that go on within it.

Do you.


Sustaining an Erection after an Election

by Adam under Entertainment,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

“Why?”

While bartending last night, this was the question posed to me by a 25-year-old Libertarian congressional candidate, who spent a year of his life trying to promote himself and his message, only to garner less than 5% of the vote, as he sobbed over a whiskey and coke, unsure of his next steps. Why, even though the aspiring politician barely managed a blip on the congressional results, was he continuing to speak with constituents, and fervently articulating his unconventional ideas well into the night?

“How?”

My parents have gone through three kids, layoffs, disagreements, drama, and tragedy, yet have still managed to stay together for over 25 years. How, in a society where relationship distractions number ten times what they were when my parents were growing up, have my mother and father managed to sustain their relationship?

“What?”

This is the question many of you ask yourselves as you scan potential matches on JDate.  What am I looking for in a potential relationship/activity partner? What compelled me to sign up for an online dating site? What happens if every match is a failure?

“Will?”

How do you sustain your political erection, in light of severe election disappointment? How do you sustain your “erection of love” within your relationship, besides with the use of Viagra? How do you sustain your erectional (yes, I made up that word) drive after countless dating mishaps, which have you believing in your eternal residence in the land of singledom?

What keeps an unfunded entrepreneur creating 20 hours a day? What keeps a couple together for 60 years, after their kids are moved out and established? Why, even in the event of a string of bad dates, does someone continue to subscribe to an online dating site?

Desire.


Pasta Profiling, or My Date with Dominoes

by Adam under Date Night,Relationships

Last night, while watching the Cowboys game, Cutler (his story referenced in a previous post) and I decided to splurge on dinner. “Splurge” meaning $25. “Dinner” meaning a large Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Dominoes, with a BreadBowl Pasta, and Parmesan Bites.

The BreadBowl Pasta was the crown jewel in that mix, similar to how the Millenium album is to any Backstreet Boys fan’s CD collection. Dominoes made it a point to ensure the pasta was well advertised, and that guys like Cutler and myself would salivate at the prospect of purchasing it during football games.

As the delivery guy pulled up, we raced upstairs, and opened the pasta. To our chagrin, it was smaller than we anticipated, the pasta was all broken up, with only four pieces of chicken included. It was absolutely depressing, and made me bring out frozen pasta to calm my stomach’s internal frustration with my poor Sunday night spending.

What is the point of this story? In the dating world, there are those who try and say what they aren’t. It may look great at the outset, and get plenty of views, but once your descriptive writing skills are put into action, be prepared for some blowback.

That being said, don’t undervalue yourself. Yes, you might be a quiet, shy, reserved person, but that doesn’t mean you stay that way when someone gets to know you. Saying you’re “quiet, but when you get to know me, am very sarcastic and prone to awkward humor” not only is funny, but adds intrigue to your online persona, and encourages people to get to know you.

On the other hand, writing “I am witty, gregarious and open to all types of conversation” when, in reality, you’re about as exciting as an Ayn Rand novel (apologies for all the conservative political theory folks out there), may lead to some dates gone awry.

In conclusion, I do not recommend the Dominoes BreadBowl pasta.