As I type this a Victoria’s Secret commercial is airing just after a commercial for some reality show featuring young women joking around about breast implants to feel sexier. Such blatant sex appeal might be needed for corporate advertising, but when it comes to advertising yourself sex appeal is more of a mindset. Feeling comfortable and confident in your skin is much sexier than showing a lot of skin when you’re a single person seriously looking for your beshert. It’s not about showing your undergarments or baring skin or wearing clothes not meant for your body style. You know what is sexy? A great smile!
They say first impressions count for a lot. If anything, the first couple of minutes that you spend meeting your date is a moment that won’t ever leave the wiring of your brain—for both good and sometimes really, terribly bad reasons. On a recent first date I recently went on, the guy turned to me just after we ordered our drinks and said, “I’m sorry, I just woke up from a deep nap and didn’t feel like changing.” There was no need for an explanation as the wrinkles of his white Hanes shirt and zip up jacket said it all. His look was fine, except it was a Saturday night and he had never met me before. The least he could do was comb through his fallen, dandruff hair.
When you’re getting ready for a first date, please wipe the nap-time crud out of your eyes and pull together a nice, simple and memorable (for a good reason) outfit. Here are some tips:
- Do: Wear something that you’ve worn before. Now is certainly not the time to try new outfits. Neither is it a good idea to pair two pieces together if you’re unsure how they will look on you. Girls, put on light makeup and simple accessories. Boys, just one spray of cologne is all you really need.
- Don’t: When picking out an outfit, it’s a good rule of thumb to select something to wear that your grandma would approve—in other words, be modest. Don’t wear something too revealing, something with too many wrinkles in it, or something that could easily turn into a wardrobe malfunction and have you channeling your inner Janet Jackson circa the 2004 Superbowl. Guys, it’s best to change out of your work clothes, or something that you’ve had on all day. Keep it fresh and clean.
Read more of Jen Glantz: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com
Summer means watching a lot of silly TV shows. Back in the day, summer meant reruns and TV specials. Now, networks are creating new TV shows – namely, reality shows – for our viewing pleasure. So for research purposes only (smirk) I’ve been watching The Choice and Take Me Out. One is a play on The Voice with 4 single, male celebrities with their backs to the stage where women come out and introduce themselves with a shpiel. The men have a minute to decide if they want to turn around and possibly make her one of their prospects. One minute. On Take Me Out, 30 women get to check out a man and over the course of 3 rounds they get to know him and decide if they want to keep their light on or not and give the man the opportunity to choose from who is left at the end. These 2 shows got me thinking about the time you have on JDate to make your first impression. So you have one minute to make an impression and you have one minute to make a decision. As ridiculous as these shows are, the gist of it is pretty realistic. Impressions and decisions are made that quickly. If you were a woman on The Choice, what would you say to get a man’s attention in the most positive way? If you were a man on Take Me Out, what would you say on your video montage to get the woman to keep their lights on? You want to get their attention but you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re only looking for sex or money or kids, etc. So what would you say? Take that concept and apply it to your JDate profile. Your About Me is your opportunity. Take it seriously and think really hard about how you want to come across to attract your intended.
I’ve written about this before, but the topic of the JDate profile one-liner came up again recently as I was speaking with a few single girlfriends. The one-liner I’m talking about is not the one you hear at the bar, but rather the one which shows up on the computer during your JDate searches. It’s the couple of words which appear next to your photo with your screen name, age and location, particularly when you’re a Spotlight Member. So these words are very important.
One person told me she even would count the number of characters which show up in that one-liner and then crafted the first line of her About Me paragraph to fit in that space. Brilliant! There’s about 60 characters in that line – less than half of a tweet – but it’s enough to say something unique, smooth and attention grabbing. It is not the place to say your name, age or location, since those items are already posted with your photo.
Say something witty, funny, enlightening, eye-catching. Use your words -and letters- wisely. Bounce the idea off of a number of people first, if need be, or even post it on Facebook and ask for feedback. Just make sure it’s not boring or cringe-worthy or an incomplete sentence. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s worth taking the time to develop because it truly is the first words JDaters will read about you.
The saying goes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but can what you order on a first JDate actually turn a guy (or gal) off? I’m allergic to sulfites which means I can’t drink wine or eat onions and garlic. That sounds awful to most people, but too bad. When I order I have to make sure to ask if there are onions and to tell them I don’t want onions. So already I can come across as sounding difficult to my companions at dinner. It’s not my fault though. If a guy I dated in the past didn’t like it, then too bad. I believe that says more about him than me. I’ve been guilty of it too — one guy I met on JDate asked me out, and when I asked where we should meet, he said anywhere, except he’s a vegan allergic to dairy and wheat. I claimed I forgot about previous plans because I simply couldn’t imagine having to deal with that the rest of my life. Narrow-minded I admit. We all have things we don’t like or can’t eat at a restaurant; just try to downplay your ordering so that it doesn’t come off as difficult or high-maintenance.
How do I look past a bad first impression? I’m a divorced mom and I met a divorced dad on JDate. We’ve been dating 6 weeks, but I can’t forget what happened on our first date – while on our date at a restaurant, he touched me in an inappropriate way which made me feel very uncomfortable. I’ve continued to date him and even like him. He’s met my family and they thinks we’re a great match, but I still can’t forget the embarrassment nor can I understand why he would do such a thing as to be so awkwardly intimate with me so soon. He hasn’t done anything weird since and I really want to get over it but I can’t forget it. How can I move on so we can get more serious.?
Dear First Impressions Last,
Unfortunately for your date, you can only make a first impression once but, fortunately for him, (and unbeknownst to him) you’ve conceded by seeing him for the past 6 weeks. My advice is to tell him, in a joking tone, that he should never do said act again and let him know in a teasing way that he should know how lucky he is that you gave him a second chance. Allow him to respond and then drop the topic, forget about it and start making new memories to replace that one awful one. If you really want something with this guy you need to confront the situation head-on.
Remember that people are often extremely nervous on first dates, want desperately to make a good impression and therefore can make complete fools out of themselves instead. If you want to make this work then chalk his behavior up to first date jitters and excuse the act. When you’re not the nervous one it’s easy to forget that the other person might be. Ultimately you have to weigh your pros and cons when deciding if you’re going to continue seeing the other person – is the awkward act bad enough to stop seeing the guy? Aren’t people allowed to make mistakes?
In your case, it wasn’t bad enough behavior to stop accepting his dates, so what are you afraid of? Do you think he’s going to continue doing whatever it was he did or possibly do something else that embarrasses you in public? Are you thinking that he has tried this on other first dates? Are you afraid that was his true self? Or are you just looking for some kind of fault in him so you can put up your guard and stop yourself from possibly getting hurt? None of these questions can be answered without first casually confronting him and then next looking towards yourself to see why you might be intentionally ruining a good thing.
When you find yourself in doubt wondering if there is a fault you can overlook there are two things you can do. First, listen to your instincts and second, try to look at your situation from a different perspective and see if it’s really as awful as it is from the inside because it’s probably not.
I admit it, I watch “The Bachelor.” It’s my guilty pleasure and I love it! I find it interesting to see woman after woman putting it all on the line right away when there are two dozen other women vying for this one man’s attention whom they know nothing about and have spent little to no time with. On the other hand, it’s baffling when women have walls up and then wonder why they’re sent home. If you’re going on a show looking for love then why even bother pretending to have any pride left? Maybe that’s harsh of me, but it just seems like a waste of time. These women have so little time to get to know the Bachelor and yet some of them are not willing to open up at all.
JDate is the same. The numbers mean you are going to meet a lot of people and start many conversations and tell and retell your life story a million times until you meet your Beshert. Your chances of meeting your Beshert sooner have everything to do with how open you are and willing to share.
Many of us keep to the same script on first dates. We only want to let the person get to know us a certain amount and we want to control that amount because we’ve all been on one of those first dates where we talked for hours and hours only to never see the other person again. Why bother exchanging more than pleasantries until you know if there could be another date? This is the normal, human type of wall that most people, not just singles, seem to have naturally up to protect themselves.
Last week I went out on a first date with a woman I had met on JDate about a week and a half prior. She had originally instant messaged me and the conversation had gone so well that we began emailing the day after. Our email correspondence was so interesting and engaging that it led to us making a date to meet for dinner at 7:30 last Wednesday. I was coming straight from work and was going to have to drive through downtown Chicago in order to get to the restaurant, so how long it would take me to get there depended heavily on whether there was traffic in the loop.
Despite worrying that afternoon that I wasn’t going to get out of work in time to make dinner, I ended up leaving only a little after 6:30. While walking through the parking lot to my car, I used the GoogleMaps™ app on my iPhone® to confirm directions and predict my approximate travel time: 35 minutes, so it said.
Now with the knowledge that I would arrive in plenty of time, I drove confidently to my date with the tunes cranked up and little on my mind. As I flew through the city and reached my exit quickly, I realized that all I needed to do once I got off the highway was go about half a mile west before I would be at the restaurant. However, subsequent to this realization, it also dawned on me that I would be arriving twenty minutes early.
Even though it’s obvious that I would rather be twenty minutes early than even a few minutes late (call me old-fashioned but a woman that I’ve asked out on a date shouldn’t be the first one to arrive and have to wait for me), I was slightly unsure how I was going to pass the time. Furthermore, standing outside the restaurant, which was located on a busy street, became more and more awkward the longer I loitered. Unfortunately, as the result of my discomfort, after about 10 minutes of waiting I started to get inside my own head.
I began to get nervous thinking about how much she would look like her pictures, if we would have anything to talk about and whether the date would go well, in general. When she finally arrived, just about exactly on time, I definitely wasn’t feeling as good as I had when I was flying through the city, blasting music and singing at the top of my lungs. As a result, it definitely took me longer to settle into the natural flow of the date, though I must say that I think I rallied well and we both ended up having a nice time.
Even though you only get one chance to make a first impression, which obviously puts extra emphasis on it being a good one, that isn’t always going to happen. Ultimately, you just have to try to keep your confidence up, (in spite of the fact that you haven’t initially made the impression that you had hoped to), and do the best you can to be yourself and feel comfortable during the rest of the date. In life, how we look when we finish is often far more important than what we looked like when we started.
*iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
I have been on JDate for a few months. More than 100 men have viewed my profile. I am communicative and don’t hesitate to reach out. I don’t usually have self confidence issues, am optimistic and funny but no one responds to me. Many of those men seemed like serious, interesting people who I’d love to meet just for coffee. I do not mind being on my own, but I desire companionship and connections with other people. My father suggested it’s because I am healing from a spinal problem. I have so much to offer the right person, but I won’t be dishonest. Could people possibly be rejecting me because I can’t do cartwheels right now? The lack of response is disheartening, but also baffling. I tell myself I am only looking for one, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one responds to me. Any advice?
Dear What’s TMI?
I give you credit for making such an effort while recovering from a spinal injury. That said, I don’t think mentioning that injury is necessary in an introductory email and especially not in your profile — this includes not having photos showing your injury. You’re not lying; this information is simply none of their business at this point. To put it blunt — these guys are basically strangers right now. A disability, a divorce, or depression, or anything that could be seen as negative or as “baggage,” is TMI — too much information. My advice would be to not mention your injury and recovery until you are making plans to meet. The first date will probably take place at the typical bar, restaurant or coffee shop, so simply mention you’ll be arriving in a brace or using a walker or what-have-you and briefly explain why and offer to tell the whole story on the date. Do not mention your injury before then. Any emails you send to men on JDate should be casual, upbeat, and short and sweet. Mentioning this and explaining your recovery from a spinal injury is anything but those three things and it unfortunately doesn’t surprise me that you haven’t received a response. I bet with your new approach, you will! Good luck on your recovery and on finding love!
I’m having a hard time writing the “about me” section on my profile. I’m not really sure what to say. I want to sound interesting but at the same time also fun and cute. Can you help me on what I should say? Thank you!
Dear Profile Help,
My suggestion would be for you to start with making a list of your best qualities and a list of what you are looking for in your beshert. Now, many of these things are mentioned later in your profile in the fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice sections, so make sure you don’t simply repeat those things but expand upon them. Make sure your first line is catchy but not corny and make sure to mention things that make you unique and set you apart from the pack. Double check your grammar and spelling and make sure not to write too much, this isn’t your autobiography. You want to sound intriguing but leave them wanting more. Here’s an example:
I’m a 27-year-old journalist who loves having fun and being funny, even if it’s at my own expense! A guy who can’t laugh at himself is definitely not the right guy for me — and sarcasm is a plus! I like to go out but I also really enjoy a nice night just hanging out at home. I’m looking for a man to be my lover and best friend, a guy who will make me laugh every day, and someone who will bring out the best in me as I hope to do with him. I refuse to settle but am definitely realistic about my expectations. Oh, and a big bonus if you own the complete 10 seasons of Friends!