I have a close friend who recently moved to a new city for graduate school. She’s looking to meet a Jewish guy, but isn’t sure how to navigate the Internet dating scene. I am usually shy about advertising that I date online. It’s not something I feel most people need to know about me, and I feel nervous about being judged as “desperate” or “weird.” However, online dating has fundamentally changed how I approach men (in a good way).
When I finally admitted to my friend that I’ve online dated, she replied, “Oh my gosh. Once I move to graduate school, I totally want to try!” I had been so worried about her judging me that I forgot how many of us out are curious about the online dating world. She wanted to pick my brain about it before choosing to ultimately join in on the online dating rollercoaster. It’s something that has now bonded us. My friend asks my advice about messaging guys, if she should reply, etc. And in a way, it’s strengthened our friendship. So, while I don’t wear a sign around my neck that says, “I Love JDate,” I’m more open to telling close friends about dating on the web!
Every single needs someone to vent to who will both understand where you’re coming from and not take advantage of your insecurities. You don’t want to confide in someone just to have them throw you under the bus at the next singles event. You need someone who will be honest with you about your JDate profile and help you make it better. Being single can suck. It is hard. All singles will get frustrated at one point or another. All singles need a good cry. Sometimes it’s nice to be alone, but other times you need a good friend who you can have a therapy session with and be sure they won’t judge you. Everyone deserves a friend who will love you unconditionally. If you don’t have that confidant, then you need to find one. It’s not impossible, but it is more difficult to get through the single period of your life without someone to lean on when things get rough.
I think that a really good way to meet people is through friends. Certainly this is a very common practice in college due to the close proximity in which people live, and the exceedingly social nature of their surroundings. But I think that once we enter the “real world” this dynamic can become slightly more complicated. If you have read any of my previous blogs you are probably aware that I have a tendency to over-analyze dating situations more than the average person; I don’t necessarily believe that this is always a bad thing, and I would much rather be safe than put a friendship in jeopardy.
Last Saturday night I attended a birthday party for one of my best friends, and during the course of the evening I made it my mission to mingle and get to know some of her friends whom I hadn’t met or spent much time with before. Over the course of the evening I chatted with, and had nice conversations with, most people at the party, and as the night wore on I found myself actively looking to make sure there was no one left I hadn’t at least introduced myself to.
After the crowd had mostly thinned out I decided to approach my friend whose birthday it was to make sure that she was having a good time and, after stating that she was, said she wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers whom she didn’t think I had met. After my friend gave us a brief introduction she quickly left us to talk and, from the moment our conversation began, it was obvious we had a connection. After talking for about half an hour I realized that it was getting late and that I should probably start to wrap things up and ask for her number, but unfortunately I began (in typical fashion) to over-analyze the situation.
My main apprehension in asking for her number was that since we had a very close mutual friend I thought that I should check with her first, out of respect, before asking another one of her close friends out. Even though my decision to handle things this way made the end of our conversation a little awkward, since it was obvious that she was confused why I wasn’t asking for her number, I was resolved to handle things in this manner and take the safe approach.
The next day I talked to my friend and explained the situation, and my thinking, to her. In turn she was appreciative of how I handled the situation, and even though she said it would have been completely fine had I asked for her friend’s number, she thanked me for respecting her position in the situation. Ultimately, everything worked out for the best since my friend was happy with how I handled things, and she was excited to give me her friend’s number. But, you just never know. In the end I know that I made the situation more complicated than it needed to be. But when it comes to matters involving close friends I don’t think you can ever be too careful.
I have a really good long-time friend that has always wanted to date me. We flirt but, until recently, were only friends. I finally agreed to go on a date with him and now that I have, I’m completely confused. Did I have a good time because we’re such good friends and I enjoy his company, or is it more? I can’t even tell if I’m really attracted to him or not. I don’t want to hurt him. What do I do?
Dear Friends or Lovers,
You’re definitely in a tough predicament. You run the risk of losing a great friend while you take the risk of finding out if he’s your Beshert. I suggest having this conversation with him if you haven’t already. He’s obviously had the hots for you for many years and wants you to feel the same way so I strongly believe he’d rather you jump in 100% to finding out if it could be true love, rather than play it safe and never know. To be blunt, the only way you’ll know if the chemistry you felt on your date is real is to keep dating and to get intimate. Cuddle, kiss and see how you feel. You know what that feeling is you’re looking for — the tingly sensation, the butterflies, the spark. And regardless of if you do or don’t feel it, make sure you keep the lines of communication open with him. If you don’t feel anything for him, hopefully your honesty will allow him to one day soon resume a friendship; just don’t expect it to happen overnight. If you do feel something, don’t rush into it because you feel so comfortable together. Just take your time and enjoy!
Dear Gems from Jen,
I am coming out of an almost 24 year marriage. My husband decided he did not want me/this marriage any longer, Ouch! Anyway, I am beginning to heal. I met a man through online dating and he has been in and out of relationships for awhile, nothing has stuck. We are keeping this at a friendship level so far. He knows I am not ready to give my heart and I want to be aware not to rebound. But, we went out the other night and I wanted to kiss him, but he gently told me no and I respected this. I have never had a real male friend. I am struggling with being attracted to him and wanting to kiss and hold and be held without ruining this friendship we are trying to build. I am lonely and I am craving being held and kissed and wanted. I can’t tell if he is attracted to me this way or not. It feels like he is and he is respecting our friendship first unless I am totally hallucinating?!
What do I do?
Dear Friendship to More,
It sounds to me as if you might be a bit confused about what it is you are really looking for. On one hand you appear to be enjoying this friendship and on the other you seem to be craving physical intimacy. You are going to need to figure out what it is you truly want from this man. Is it friendship or romance? Take some time to think about this question. Once you cross the friendship line there is no turning back. Take your time, there is no rush. It appears as if he is respectful of your friendship, so while you are thinking about what it is you really want, enjoy having a new friend!
Gems from Jen