On Gratitude

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dating can be pretty emotionally draining. Let’s face it – regardless of your age or gender – there’s a good chance you’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions, from the high of a hopeful new prospect to the low of rejection. Or the excitement of receiving a new message… then the disappointment of realizing the person looks nothing like their picture! With so much emotional whiplash, it’s tough to remain grounded, calm, and hopeful.


“I am grateful for the sun, my dog, and coffee…”


To help focus on the positive and prevent freak-outs, I offer one suggestion (that I, myself, could really take to heart!): Practice gratitude.  To me, gratitude is more than just feeling grateful, although this is a big part of it. But, it also evokes qualities of humility, kindness, and empathy, which are generally attractive to everyone.  And it combats entitlement and unhappiness, which are definite turn-offs! Several studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve emotional health, your mood, AND your relationships. So it really can’t hurt to try, can it?


Here are 3 simple ways to show gratitude:

  1. As Jews, prayer is a major way we can show appreciation. Speak to G-d in whatever language you prefer, from anywhere in the world.  Or go to a synagogue – I’m sure someone saying kaddish would love to have you help make a minyan.  It really doesn’t matter if you know how to daven or not – the point is to pause and appreciate the food on your plate, or the clothes on your back, or the fact that you woke up this morning!
  2. Gain perspective. You might be going through a rough patch, but notice what happens if you start to see the glass as half empty, not half full. Are you feeling jealous or jaded?  Try focusing on really appreciating your friends.  Lacking good friends? Be grateful you have a job. Don’t have a job? Appreciate your good health. In poor health?  Be grateful for being alive! No matter what’s going on, things could be worse.
  3. Appreciate others. Tell someone why you are grateful for his or her friendship. Give your date a specific compliment that’s not about her looks. Let your new boyfriend know specific reasons why you’re grateful for his company.  This might win you some new friends, but it will make you feel good about yourself, too.


If I were to read this post after just getting dumped, I’d probably roll my eyes and dump a bowl of ice cream on my head because it’s really hard to feel grateful when you’re in a bad mood.  But, that’s exactly the time when you need the benefits of gratitude the most.  If you practice gratitude all the time, it will become second nature and you’ll be able to more easily apply these strategies when you’re feeling down and out.  And no matter what you’re feeling, consistently expressing gratitude will help you to stay positive in the dating process, gain some perspective, and exude a positive, open vibe.

Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

by Aaron under JFacts,Judaism,News

This year marks an extraordinary occurrence that many people outside of this JDate blog will likely be talking about to an annoying degree this week: the fascinating meeting of Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first and last time in many of our lives (though I’m feeling confident about being here for Chanukah closing out Thanksgiving 2070). It’s an obvious subject for me to talk about as my blogs are posted on Thursdays, and Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this and every other year.

However, I don’t tend to enjoy the obvious topics, so you’re not about to read why you should be thankful for everything. Instead, I would like to explain a bit about why Chanukah and Thanksgiving go great together, and why Chanukah should remind us not to be complacent.

For the uninitiated, Chanukah is about a small amount of something going a long way, particularly a small amount of oil burning for eight days (though really, the miracle was the victory of the Maccabees). Making a lot of nothing is the key point of the holiday, and it emphasizes how to make the best of any situation. Fittingly, Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for what we have and being proud of that.

Similarly, I was discussing prayer with one of the rabbis I regularly study with a few weeks back, and we went over what Jewish prayer has to consist of. It has to contain three things: praising, thanking, and requesting. We have to be grateful for all around us, even if it’s not the specific things we’ve asked for. We also thank G-d for anything we’ve gotten that we’ve wanted. And lastly, we ask for more again. The idea of wanting more always seems like such a taboo thing on Thanksgiving, we should be lucky we have what we have. But lucky for us, this year is also Chanukah, and so you can thank and praise, but don’t forget to want some more, too. Next year won’t have Chanukah and Thanksgiving meet again, but you can still ask for it to be an even better time than this year.

And of course, I wish everyone reading this a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving, and hope you’re here with me for all the blogs ahead. Thanks for reading!


by JeremySpoke under Entertainment

Every day I go to the gym; there is a man there that walks on the treadmill. He has a lot of difficulty simply walking. His steps are awkward and jerky, and he has to grip the sides of the machine tightly so he doesn’t fall. Every step is obviously very painful. Though I can’t see his face, I can hear him wincing sometimes, and he always looks like he is on the verge of falling.

I recently saw this man at the local movie theater where he was taking tickets as an employee. I talked to him for a moment. He has difficulty talking as well, and is confined to a chair.

Everybody needs perspective sometimes. If this man can find the strength to get out of bed every morning and not only live through the pain, but force himself to exercise (which is probably especially painful for him), and also force himself to get a job, which may not be easy either, maybe I can not have a huge fit in my car if traffic is making my commute three minutes longer in the afternoon.

I sometimes think it’s some huge burden to have to spend an hour and a half at the gym every day, but whenever I’m exercising, and I see him, I not only gain faith in humanity, but I try not to think about my problems — the biggest problem at that moment being how much my feet hurt and how badly I want to die or at least pretend to faint and fall off my machine so that I can momentarily experience some sort of physical relief.

Then again, once I leave the gym, I completely forget about everything I just learned. I just want to get my dinner and sit in bed and feel sorry for my terrible middle-class life. The Daily Show is on reruns all week? Are you serious? I need The Daily Show to be on and be new immediately after I get out of my nightly shower. I already heard that joke! Not only that, but I knew it was coming, and I already know everything the political guest trying to maintain relevance to the younger generation is going to say! I just want to wake up and have it be next week. I can’t live like this anymore.


by JeremySpoke under Relationships,Single Life

I believe that you never truly appreciate anything you have until you either lose it or wake up from that dream where you marry your high school sweetheart and win the lottery. Of course, in reality, you would have to win the lottery first, because, come on. Look at you. Plus, your high school sweetheart is married with two kids and lives in France. You have no chance with somebody in France. You think you’re an ‘advice columnist’ for a dating site, but really you are just hoping that somewhere out there, the perfect person is reading your blog and will contact you once her shrine dedicated to you is finished and all she needs is a lock of your hair so she can pray to you as a deity even though she’s probably Jewish.

In reality, if you’re in a relationship, there’s a good chance that a good part of you wishes you were single. Conversely, if you are single, there’s a definite chance that all of you wants to be in a relationship. You are never satisfied with the status quo. However, once your situation changes, your desires flip and you are equally unsatisfied. The only way to realize how much another person means to you is by losing the person. Of course, a break-up is not the only way to lose a person, but it’s the most convenient to write in this post because the other topics can be more depressing.

Take my ex-girlfriend. No, take her! That wasn’t a joke, please take her. This has nothing to do with this blog post, I just really dislike her and sometimes she pops into my head while I’m doing things like writing, eating, sleeping, fishing, etc.

What I meant to say was that you should step back sometimes and imagine how great it is that you have someone in your life. It doesn’t even have to be someone you’re in a romantic relationship with. It could be a sibling, parent, child, friend, or really anyone. All it takes is one bad dream that you don’t have them anymore, and you’re grateful all of the next day. Pretend you’ve had a terrible nightmare every night in a scenario where you lost this other person. Then you would be grateful for life. Also, you would be scared beyond belief. Nevermind. Don’t do this. Just be happy.