Writing the Right Words

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

The “About Me” paragraph in your JDate profile is crucial. You could have the best photos, but if you write the wrong thing, you’re going to attract the wrong prospects. Sure, you’ll likely still get lots of attention, but it may be for the wrong (ie. superficial) reasons.

Writing the right words is not easy. First and foremost you want to sound like an educated, coherent, charming, trustworthy person. That doesn’t mean you say that you “are educated, coherent, charming, and trustworthy.” The key word in that sentence was to “sound” like all those things, not just say that you are them. That also doesn’t mean that you write multiple paragraphs explaining why you are all of these things in detail either. Rather, make sure that you proofread, be consistent throughout your profile, don’t be too serious or too flippant about the process, and allow your personality to shine through.

Secondly, you don’t want to spend all the space talking about what you have to offer or what you are looking for. Talk about who you are and what’s important to you in life and you will attract the right type of people. Don’t get into your relationship history except to briefly state if you are divorced, widowed, and/or a single parent.

Don’t forget: your online dating profile is already providing a lot of typical first-date conversation information, so don’t over-share any more than you have to and keep some interesting tidbits about yourself for the date itself!


Date Night No-No

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

Last night I attended an event for young adults in my local Jewish community. There was a guy there that I referenced as a serial dater in my book, How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating. And guess what? He was there with a new girl he is dating. Shocker. He came over to say hi and I asked if she was his girlfriend and he told me they had only recently begun dating and had met at a Halloween party.

I spotted another guy across the room and pointed him out to a single girlfriend of mine. She rolled her eyes. I raised my eyebrows. Apparently they had already gone out and she had brought him to one of these functions only to have it be a major fail. She knew a lot of people and had helped organize the event, and he didn’t like having to share her attention.

So here’s my date night no-no: don’t bring a date to an event early on in your relationship. Too many people you know will be there inquiring, pulling your attention away from your date who is the one who should matter the most at that time. Early dating is not the time to try to impress, or prove to your date how popular you are. You are still in the getting to know you stage, so go somewhere you can get to know each other without any distractions!


Comfort First

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

At the end of the day, at the end of a date, you have to have a sense of comfort with the person you’re with. If you’re not comfortable saying what you’re feeling, or giving your opinion, or disagreeing with your date… then perhaps you should think twice about accepting the next date.

I’m not saying you should be oppositional on a first date, but if your date is ordering shrimp to share, and you don’t eat shellfish, then you should feel comfortable to say so. Or, if your food order was served incorrectly, then you should feel comfortable to say so.

Things may not be comfortable enough on a first, second, or even third date to start debating current events, politics, or sports… but you should feel comfortable enough to not have to sit stiffly and hold your tongue. The best dates are when you are comfortable enough to laugh so hard that your embarrassing snort comes out, or share your most embarrassing story, or simply admit that you can’t wait to see your date again… soon!


How Do You Feel About Israel?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Israel,Relationships

If you’re going on first dates right now it’s probable that the war on and in Israel will become a topic of conversation. If you’re passionate about Israel then it may come up — even when there’s not a war going on — or if you’re passionate about another major current event then you can use that as a measuring tool as well. Finding out how someone feels about what’s going on in Israel, and around the world, will likely have an effect on how you feel about your date.

Let’s assume you’re a devout supporter of Israel’s right to defend herself:

If your date doesn’t have much of a clue aside from some headlines while they scroll through their Facebook feed or watch TV, then you may be turned off by the lack of interest in a topic that effects all of us.

If they are knowledgeable but don’t spend time advocating for Israel, then that may be acceptable to you.

If they are sharing articles, attending pro-Israel rallies, and losing sleep after watching the news then you may feel a deeper connection.

If your date thinks Israel is at fault, and denies Hamas’ use of civilian shields, and tweets FreeGaza, and so on, then this person is very, very likely not for you.

You can gage a lot about a person by how involved they are politically, and make some valid assumptions, and then decide for yourself if this is the type of person you want to be with in a romantic relationship. That said, don’t spend your entire first date debating anything political, that’s less than romantic. Simply stating that you’re stressed about what’s going on in Israel right now and listening to their response, should be enough of a telltale sign. Then carry on as you see fit.


Revealing Your Backstory

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Not everyone has a backstory, but lots of people do. Positive or negative, when to reveal that story after you begin dating someone you really like is a normal worry — especially when you have something important to divulge.

I’ve written previously about being honest and addressing a physical disability from the beginning; and I’ve written about how to discuss a divorce and/or having children in a minimal way in your profile and on a first date; but how about a backstory that isn’t visible? Are you a cancer survivor or do you suffer from depression or were you abused or were you adopted or any other background that made you who you are… but no one would necessarily know unless you told them?

This type of backstory is not one to include in your JDate profile, or even to bring up on a first date, but you do need to open up relatively early on. If the story is too much for your date to handle, then let them leave — clearly it’s not the right person for you and that’s why you need to reveal your story sooner rather than later. Unless it’s relevant to a conversation you are having on a first date, then save your confession for your second or third date. This does not mean that you are ashamed of your backstory, just that you want to have prospects get to know you for you, and not your story, particularly if it is a sob story.


Learn to Listen

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships

Going on dates, being someone’s significant other, and just being an all-around good friend means that you need to be a good listener.

When you’re on a date, it’s normal to chime in with a “me too!” when you’re looking for commonalities, but make sure you allow the other person to complete their thought. When you’re in a relationship, it’s normal to become a sounding board and to chime in with advice — but sometimes it’s best to just be there as a symbolic shoulder. Being a good friend does not always mean needing to speak, but instead just allowing the other person to talk and feel heard.

Listening is a skill. Learn it. It will come in handy in your love life and many other areas of life.


Dating & Politics

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Israel,News,Relationships,Single Life

In light of the attack on Israel, and all the conversations and debates going on, it seems as good a time as any to discuss how to deal with politics when you’re dating.

This is not typically a first-date topic, but skimming the surface is important if politics is one of your passions. Knowing if your date shares your stance on domestic and international issues can be imperative in deciding if there should be a second date. Getting into a full-on debate over dinner on your first date, however, is not a good idea. Having a healthy disagreement on a fourth date is awesome though as it will reveal your date’s views on current events, their level of interest in current events, and how well they listen and respect your opinion.

Obviously if you are a pro-Israel advocate, and your date is a Palestinian sympathizer, then you may have difficulties. Same goes for a staunch left-wing, card-carrying member of the NRA and a super-liberal, anti-corporation socialist. Probably won’t work. But never say never. Respect goes a long way!


Forced Affection

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

What happens when you really like someone, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable being overtly affectionate quite yet? How do you force yourself to make sure you’re sending the right signals that you’re interested in the other person? Eye contact, placing a hand on a leg (or arm or small of the back), letting your foot or thighs or arms touch when you’re sitting near each other, giving authentic compliments, laughing at jokes, greeting each other with a hug, saying a long lingering goodbye. Little things go a long way.

Inversely, if you keep going out on dates with someone, but never make a move or flatter your date, then don’t be surprised when your date eventually rejects your next phone call.


Be Vulnerable

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

I have some random TV show on in the background while I sit at my computer working, it’s called “UnDateable” and (so far) it’s unwatchable… but good enough for background TV. However, I glanced up a bit ago just in time to hear the words “be vulnerable,” and thought “YES!”

So many singles are NOT showing their vulnerable side, and then they wonder why they never go out on second dates. It’s okay to have a wall up, but only to a point. You have to show that you are open to love, which means being open to getting hurt. You can do this in one simple step: let the person sitting across from you (or next to you, depending upon how you’re sitting LOL) know why you want to be on this very date with him or her at this very moment.

Start there and see where it goes.


Manners Reminder

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Single Life

I have heard SO MANY awful stories about dates with bad manners that I was compelled to write yet another post about manners — not only on a first date, but for the first few months of a new relationship.

  • Boogers — If you feel that a nose nugget is loose and tickling you, then excuse yourself to go to the restroom to dig it out. Sounds funny I know, but there is no reason that you should pick your nose in front of your date.
  • Farts — Sometimes you can’t hold it. I get it. We are all human. If you’re successful at passing gas quietly then you can probably ignore a stench the first time or pretend that one stinky one is from the passing waiter, but you only get one. Once you know your flatulence is foul then excuse yourself to the restroom to see if you can avoid another nose-wrinkling scenario.
  • Belching — Sometimes a burp escapes before you can stop it. Just excuse yourself and move on or say something along the lines of “compliments to the chef,” but don’t worry about it again. If you feel a burp coming then try and stifle it. Keeping some antacids on hand is always a good idea, especially if dinner is taking place at a restaurant that serves food which include garlic, onion, or other belch-inducing ingredients.

Those are just the top few social miscues that keep coming up (pardon the pun) lately. It’s a good idea to practice preparation and avoidance before and during a date by checking yourself (and your bodily functions) before leaving the house, and by not eating or drinking anything that could create a reaction.