Priorities, Ideals and Traits, Oh My!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What are you looking for when you’re perusing JDate? Looks? Age? Education?  Success? And how strict are you about those ideals? I’ll tell you that the more flexible you are about what’s important to you the faster and easier you’ll be impressed.

My friend Julie cares about where a guy went to college and how many years he graduated in and what he majored in. If I were a guy I wouldn’t meet Julie’s standards because it took me five years to graduate from UCLA and I majored in Women’s Studies. She admitted that she wouldn’t even have dated Steven Spielberg because he never did graduate from Long Beach State (okay, okay, he eventually received an honorary degree). At a certain point all these silly ideals need to disappear. I guess Julie isn’t desperate enough to meet someone yet because when you are truly ready to meet your Beshert you’ll put your superficial wants aside and focus on the truly important stuff. Intelligence is important, but level of education maybe shouldn’t be.

Am I attracted to my husband and do I think he’s dashingly handsome? Sure. But that alone wasn’t going to get us this far. He had to have other, more important traits to get us to where we are today. He respects me, loves his parents, is nice to strangers on the street, is smart, is hysterically funny and we have a lot in common. In addition, we have a lot that we don’t have in common which makes life a lot more interesting. We enjoy watching American Idol together but I’ve had to learn to love the Dallas Mavericks. And to top it all off we have great conversations. Looks fade but you’re going to have to talk to your spouse for the rest of your life!

So make your list – goodness knows I had mine! – but be able to adjust and appreciate what’s right in front of you.


Restaurant Wars

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

When you’re making plans for a date – whether you’re doing the asking or being asked – it’s imperative that you be flexible. If she suggests sushi, don’t make a gagging noise. If he suggests coffee or drinks rather than a meal, don’t sigh. If she suggests the newest, trendiest, most expensive restaurant, don’t audibly roll your eyes. And if he suggests a midweek date, don’t grunt or guffaw. Being flexible is an admirable and sought after quality. It doesn’t mean you’re desperate for a date anytime or anywhere but rather that you’re open to trying new things and willing to compromise – both attributes we desire in a mate.

Sure the ladies love a guy who tells them to get dressed up to go out on Saturday night – Prime Date Night – to a fancy-shmancy restaurant where he can impress you with the fact that he was able to finagle reservations. But a gal should be just as comfortable and excited to be in jeans at the greasy but delicious hole-in-the-wall neighborhood joint on a Thursday night because your date knows that’s when they have a special and delicious delicatessen that’s not on the menu.

If it’s your first phone conversation ever the last thing you want to do is come across as snobby or inflexible by heeing and hawing over every suggestion. If it’s a second or third date and you know her favorite food is sushi then take her there even if it means you order an overpriced teriyaki chicken dinner. Just don’t make an icky face or yucky noise when the raw fish arrives at your table. If you want to add some fun and interaction and spice up a date go to Gyu-Kaku or another type of restaurant where you can order the food and cook it together.

As I mentioned last week, I’m allergic to onions but even I would be willing to go to the Blooming Onion if that’s where my husband wanted to go because I know there’s going to be something on the menu I can eat. There’s something you can order everywhere you go even if it’s just the house salad with grilled chicken, so there’s no need to be difficult by rejecting every restaurant suggestion your date makes.

I met a guy on JDate a few years back who was allergic to this, that and the other. He couldn’t have anything with gluten, he was vegetarian and he was allergic to nuts. I asked him how he ever left the house, forget about eating in a restaurant. Needless to say he wasn’t my Beshert. In his case, he needs to make the phone call and ask out his date with a list of a few restaurants already in mind which he knows has food he can eat. And he shouldn’t mention all his allergies until they’ve ordered and even then he ought to do so in a self-deprecating manner. Thank goodness he didn’t list his allergies in his profile!

You can take turns on dates being the one picking the place – if it’s a flop you’ll be able to tease your date from then on. If you’re making plans via email or instant messenger it’s even more important to not make a sarcastic comment about the food or the service or what have you because so much gets lost in translation online. “LOL” only gets you so far. Don’t be a doormat – if you ate Chinese food last night and don’t want it again, it’s okay to say so. Some couples will bond over both being food snobs but for the most part nobody wants dinner to turn into restaurant wars – this is the situation where you want to be easy and not a challenge.