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.


Dating and the Dallas Cowboys

by Adam under Date Night,Entertainment,JBloggers,JDate,JFacts,Relationships

Why Dating is a lot like being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys:

Before every NFL season, Cowboys fans (and Jerry Jones) set unreasonably high barometers for success.

Before every first date, most people set unreasonably high expectations as to how the date is supposed go and next steps.

Usually during the mid-point of the season, Cowboys fans realize that a 4-4 record might not be championship-worthy and immediately start clamoring for the head coach to be axed, without realizing how mediocre the team actually is.

Usually during the early weeks of dating, someone ultimately gets bored, or thinks a ring should be on their finger, and goes back to aggressively searching on JDate.

Come December, Cowboys fans start taking bets about how badly the team is going to choke, citing the past 20 years for reference.

Come December, those people dating each other start questioning how badly they are going to screw up the relationship due to the holiday pressure, citing their past 5 failed relationships.

After yet another season of failed expectations (aka no Super Bowl), Cowboys fans take to message boards and start burning effigies of Tony Romo and Jerry Jones’s face en masse, while holding vigils commemorating the anniversary of the last time the Cowboys appeared in an NFC Championship game (that would be going on 18 years).

After yet another failed 6 month relationship, people take to message boards and start using the other person’s name anonymously for dating blogs for their own personal amusement, bemoaning the fact that they’ve gone through 12 guys/girls in the past 2 years and not one has lasted as long (relationship-wise) since Johnny Football, the 4 year high school boyfriend.

Come the following April, Cowboys fans complain about every draft pick, pitting unproven rookies in an unfair comparison against past Cowboy Hall of Famers.

Come the following April, people are scanning JDate, finding reason to complain about every match, making unfair comparisons to their sister’s husband who they love dearly.

Dating and Dallas Cowboys fandom, it’s a vicious cycle.


Yours For The Taking

by Kelly under Relationships

This happens to be my last post on JBlog. I have loved sharing the best of my dating stories, even the ones that make me cringe and want to move far, far away from NYC. But I’ve decided to take a break from online dating for the moment. And since my JDate subscription ends on October 15th, I have determined I have two solid options for how to use my last two weeks here. I could spend my time looking at profiles of guys I have previously seen, talked to, or maybe even dated. (Dude, do you seriously not remember the look I gave you when you ordered your second virgin Shirley Temple of the night?) Or I could offer up a date with myself and see who rises to the opportunity. Truthfully, the latter sounded like the more fun option…but don’t worry, I won’t blog about it (yet).

So if after reading the last 3 months of my dating stories, you have yet to find yourself running for the hills, battening down the hatches, or wondering what kind of guy would ever want to keep me around – this is your chance to ask me out. I should lay out some ground rules so I don’t find myself instantly regretting this offer. You must be: male, age 25-30(ish) and living in NYC. You must be kind, fun, silly, smart, and know better than to order a Shirley Temple without knowing that I will immediately text my friends about it. If that all of the above sounds like you, feel free to email me at kellylaurenstryker@gmail.com and tell me why you think we should go out.

To all of you on JDate, I wish you only the best of luck in your dating endeavors. May you always find humor in your dates, the good, the bad, and the hilarious. And whatever you do, don’t let the schmucks get you down.

xx


Note To Self: Don’t Get Bitter

by Kelly under Relationships

It’s official. I’m hitting that age when everyone I know on Facebook is moving in with their significant other, getting engaged, married, procreating. It’s all right on time I suppose, considering I’ve finally hit the mid-20s checkpoint. I realize that I’m young and I’m meant to be in the mix of it all at this stage in my life. Still, I think I’m experiencing a minor case of FOMO. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely happy to see these good things happen to my friends. But at the same time, it’s causing a total shift in how I look at dating and my future. Their life events are the real thing: the beginning of their future. The beginning of life beyond the 20s. Nothing quite that big is happening to me right now. In fact, it’s safe to say that the highlight of my week was when my TiVo recorded a couple of Gilmore Girls episodes because it thought I might like it…and I did.

I’m not yet at the point where I’m bitter. I’m a little too young and naive for that. The problem is that the more I look at what is going on in other people’s lives, the more I start judging my own. I fixate on what others have that I don’t. I try to justify why I’m still single and they are not. I look inward to see if I can make sense of everything, as if I can really change things that I know will naturally happen. I have little to zero control over it. It will all happen eventually… or at least that is what I keep telling myself. But until that day comes, I’m going to really try and not let it drive me nuts. Instead I will see that I get my butt out of my apartment and out into the full-speed world of NYC and live my own life instead of sitting on my laptop looking at the lives of others. That should solve everything, or at least just keep myself from standing too still. And if not, there is at least some comfort in knowing who I come home to each and every night. My new boyfriend TiVo, and maybe an episode or two of Gilmore Girls.


The How We Met Story

by Kelly under Relationships

I have one friend who refuses to acknowledge that we met on JDate. We’ve known each other for almost four years now, but a while back he made the executive decision to rewrite the history of how we met. So all of his friends have the new truth, while all of my friends have the original story from our first JDate. I even had a nickname for him based on his “About Me” section that I still refer to him as to my friends. I have total respect for his privacy on the subject, because I realize that for most people (myself excluded), online dating is a personal choice. However, I do believe that you can’t decide how you meet the love of your life. That’s going to happen when and where it’s going to happen. Unlike most things in my life, that’s one thing I can’t schedule.

The thing that I find so funny about is that I know of so many couples who met online. It’s like everywhere I look I see online dating success stories standing as tangible proof that it works. And yet when they are asked, “How’d you meet?” They lower their voices and say, “JDate” or say it so quickly that we don’t fixate on that part of the story.  I just don’t get the stigma about it. I’d much rather claim JDate, as opposed to telling my kids the story of how I met their father at a frat boy filled dive bar. “Well, hunny. One night I was out with some friends at Brother Jimmy’s. Daddy saw me standing at the bar when I was going to buy a drink, we started talking and before I know it we were flirting and he bought me my next vodka soda. At the end of the night he asked me for my phone number. We texted for a couple of weeks and then he asked me out! Isn’t that, like, so romantic?!” (Disclaimer: I do not go to Brother Jimmy’s).

Don’t get me wrong, I’d really like to meet the great love of my life in person, and have a great story to go along with it. My parents had the kind of story that just makes you smile and laugh and you can even feel your heart just warm. I can’t help but want the same. But like I said, you can’t schedule the where and when. That’s why we so often turn to online sites – it can make it happen, even if it’s not spontaneous. I just know that if I ever meet a guy at Brother Jimmy’s, Central Bar, Bar None, or any bar like that, and things get serious between us, please sit me down and have an intervention about which bars I frequent and my recent life choices. And then please help me figure out how to rewrite the How We Met story. Because that’s a story that just won’t be pretty.


Shut Up And Dance

by Kelly under Relationships

There’s that moment when you’re dating when you realize that if you hold on just a little bit longer, it might take off and become something more. Something significant. Something notable. Something to write home about. When this happens, you can’t help but feel inflated with excitement, passion, joy, and if you’re anything like me, a large amount of fear. That’s right. The girl who is the JDate blogger, the one who has been going on dates for the last three years, in and out of short relationships, only one of which wound up in a head over heels kind of love, and wants more than anything to  find Mr. Right, is afraid of relationships.

When I got into my last relationship early last winter, I remember falling asleep one night laying next to my ex as he stroked my hair until my eyes finally closed. He kissed me gently before turning over to fall asleep himself, and all I could think was that this was everything I had wished for… and I am scared out of my freaking mind. I knew that from that very moment, I could no longer pull back my feelings or keep my walls up. It was all hanging out. Every piece of who I am was revealed and extremely vulnerable. And if that’s not scary, I honestly don’t know what is. Okay, horror movies are scary. I can’t even watch scary movie trailers without covering my eyes, but that’s a totally different story. But I’ve realized that this fear is the most difficult thing to overcome. You can be a serial dater, or in my case a serial first dater, if you’re always dressed in your suit of armor. No one can hurt you, disrupt your daily routine, or embed themselves in your life when they’re standing at arm’s length.

That’s what happens when you date the way I have, recently had your heart broken, or don’t have much experience in dating at all. You learn to keep your distance as a defense mechanism. You might go to the dance, but that doesn’t mean you will actually dance. It means you’re thinking about dancing. Then when the moment finally comes when someone offers to take your hand and lead you to the dance floor, you have two options. You can say, “It was nice of you to ask, but no thank you.” Or you can let it all go and shut up and dance.