Playing Cat & Mouse

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

There are some profiles on JDate I’ve viewed five or more times. It’s not because I’m in love with the profile, or even that it’s more remarkable than all others. It also doesn’t necessarily mean I am romantically interested in the person. I have a predicament I call “profile overexposure.”

Here’s how “profile overexposure” works: At some point, I view someone’s profile. The person views me back. Then… nothing. Sometimes I will re-click on their profile, forgetting I’d already looked a month back. I call this “playing cat and mouse.” There are so many profiles out there and so much to look at. How can anyone possibly remember the important details without having a spreadsheet or taking notes? I sometimes consider devising a system for this issue, but I then convince myself it isn’t worth my time.

My frustration with this “Cat and Mouse” phenomenon sometimes leads me to accept dates with non-Jewish men. Non-Jewish men take more interest in me than Jewish men for reasons I cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s because I don’t look “that Jewish” (according to many of my peers). Regardless, I accepted a date with a guy I’ll call “Chris.” Chris and I had a great initial interaction. No major butterflies, but we’re both engineers, and we had a lot to chat about… until he asked me what I had done earlier in my weekend. I mentioned I had been to synagogue for Friday night services. He knew I was Jewish when he accepted the date, but it appears he found me to be too Jewish. If you’ve seen my previous post on not being Jewish enough, you can imagine my delight when someone found me to be “too Jewish!”

The conversation took an odd turn when he realized I partake in Judaism, rather than just wearing it as a cultural badge of honor. He then admitted he “didn’t really like Jewish food,” and I could see him sizing me up against stereotypical Jewish “boxes.” He outwardly compared me to some of the most typical ones: nose, hair texture, and athletic ability.

People ask me why I go on so many first dates. To be truthful, it can get very tiresome. Chris said he was “nonreligious,” but when push came to shove, I sensed his discomfort and misunderstanding of Judaism. He tentatively asked, “Isn’t every child born to a Jewish woman automatically Jewish?” He was clearly not okay having a Jewish child. At that, I was ready for another round of “Cat and Mouse” on JDate.


Start the New Year Right!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating

Shana Tova to the dating MOTs!!!

Start the Jewish New Year off by revamping your JDate profile, paying for a membership if you’ve been relying on the free one, and contacting that perfect match (with the cute profile pic) who you’ve been playing “View My Profile” with for the past few weeks.

If you are frustrated with still being single this high holiday season, but you’re not being totally proactive, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Use this religious fresh start to jump-start your dating life.

Take new photos, rework your profile Q&A’s by using my tips from the past few weeks, ask your JMom for a six month membership…or just hit your wallet up (you’ll thank me later for the sound investment), and email that hot guy or gal you’ve been peeping.

Then enjoy: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danoshinsky/rosh-hashanah-the-q-and-a


Do Something About It!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

You’re single… you hate being single, you hate feeling desperate, you hate putting yourself out there, you hate being rejected, you hate having to sell yourself, you hate being single. But if you’re not putting yourself out there then how are you going to meet anyone? And if you don’t risk being rejected then how are you going to meet anyone? If you hate having to sell yourself then how are you going to meet anyone? If you hate being single then do something about it! You really can’t complain about being single if you aren’t on JDate and aren’t going to Jewish single shmoozers and aren’t asking to be set-up.

My friend Beth was just lamenting to me about how much it sucks being single. I asked her if she was on JDate and she said “not right now” and kvetched about the cost. I told her that she shouldn’t put a price on finding her Beshert especially when she pays that much to go out just one night. And even if you don’t meet your Beshert on JDate, the experience and mindset will help you on your other dates. She relented and went back to reactivate her membership.

Hopefully I’ll be able to put her money where my mouth is!


Get Out There

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Being on JDate is great. Being active on JDate is better. But you can increase your chances of meeting your Beshert by getting out there. Sitting behind a screen is not enough — you have to get out there. Just as only going out isn’t enough — you need to be on JDate too. It’s easy and comfortable to be able to sit home in your jammies browsing JDate, but it’s much more difficult to get it together and put yourself out there. I know way too many people who are only on JDate, but think they’re too good for the Jewish events. That makes no sense to me!

Think about it like a job interview — if you had an opportunity to land your dream job, you would do absolutely everything you could to get it, right? You would apply, secure awesome letters of reference and write a stunning resume, you would appear sharp at the interview, write a thank you letter, network, make contacts, follow-up, and so on. Why wouldn’t you do that to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?


Cost of Love

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Being single isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. Between finding dates and going on dates, the cost of love adds up quickly. In this economy it would be easy to cut down on certain soulmate-searching techniques but all that would mean is that you lessen your opportunities of meeting your Beshert. Rather, think of it as an investment. If somebody asked you how much money you would be willing to spend to find The One, you wouldn’t hesitate to spend every dime you have. And if they said that all you needed to do is spend a little more money to meet said Beshert sooner, you wouldn’t hesitate to call your Mom and ask her to sponsor your JDate membership.

You could sign up for JDate for just one month, but let’s be honest, we’re Jews and we like a deal and signing up for 3 or 6 months will cost less in the long run. I know you hope you’ll meet someone the first month – and maybe you will – but if you buy the most expensive package chances are you’ll up your chances of meeting your Beshert in the first month. That’s just how things seem to work, you know? So just budget in some extra money a month after signing up for 6 months.

Count on attending at least one Jewish singles event each month. That will cost you about $20. But you’ll probably go to two Jewish events so that’s about $40 a month. Next you have the cost of going out to “mainstream” bars, networking events and parties in the hopes that you’ll meet a Jewish single there. Let’s just say that will cost you $200 a month. So just to put yourself out there is going to cost you nearly $250 a month. That sounds like a lot, but if someone told you that for less than $10 a day would get you a husband or wife, you would fork over the cash in a heartbeat.

After you finally meet someone you have the cost of going out on dates and all that it entails. Eventually if not sooner you’re going to have to buy some new “going out” clothes, you’re going to want to get a haircut, you’re going to want to wash your car and, of course, you’re going to have to pay for meals and drinks and movie tickets and concerts and flowers and so on. It all adds up. And if you look at it the way I’ve just laid it out there it sounds overwhelming and expensive, but again, it’s all worth it if leads to your Beshert.

We all buy new clothes eventually and we all need haircuts eventually and we all need to wash our cars eventually. And paying for all or part of a meal, drinks, tickets, etc. is par for the course. It’s called dating. If you’re not spending that money while you’re out on a date then you’ll spend it while out with friends. You can either spend the money on a date without thinking twice (as you should) or you can dwell over each penny when the date is a dud. But don’t look at it that way, remember that it’s an investment and one day soon you’ll be in sticker shock over the price of a wedding.


Back on JDate Again

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been on and off this site for 10 years, and have not had much success. I have changed my pictures and rewritten my “About me” which is who I am, my first and ideal date, what I am looking for, and what I have learned from the past. Yet, when I write it seems I go all over the place? I was wondering if someone can help me? Thanks!

Dear Back on JDate Again,

The key of writing (or rewriting) your JDate profile is to take your time. Don’t sit down to sign up and try to finish it all in one night. Copy the questions into a blank document and spend a few days writing and editing. Make sure you’re focused, concise and use spell check. Allow a trusted and brutally honest loved one read it over and take their advice. Don’t change your profile too often otherwise you may come off as sketchy by people who are interested but haven’t yet made contact. Spend time reading other people’s profiles to see what you like and don’t like, what would appeal to you and what wouldn’t, and make sure you don’t use too many cliches.


Response Rate

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Well, the main question is, how can I get a higher response rate to emails I send out?  It seems that so many emails go unread and most of the ones that are read go unanswered.

I know it’s a numbers game, but really it would be nice to hear back.  I think there is too much judging going on out there.  Even after going out a few times, people run.

I really do try to give someone a chance.  We all have issues. We all have quirky things we do.  It would be nice to meet girls who are ready, ready to commit, ready to have a life together.  I am 43, I know that I will have to make compromises and I will have to change a bit to fit in with someone new.

It would be great to hear your take on this. Thanks!

Dear Response Rate,

Remember that people without a paid JDate account cannot read their emails, so don’t take every “unread” message to heart. As for the ones that are read, now that’s another story. It’s easy to put the blame on the receiving end, and sometimes they are to blame, but all you can do is try and see how you can better your emails and profile and photos to elicit a higher response rate. Are your pictures showing you in the best light? Is your profile appealing? Are your emails too forward? Try to see how you can switch things up a bit to make sure you’re coming across the way you want to because a lot can be lost in translation online. Aside from that, you seem to have a great attitude, ready to meet someone and realistic about what that means in terms of compromising. Good Luck!


Just Jews

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

In my mid-twenties I signed up for JDate after thinking I was too good to “stoop down” to that level. Needless to say, I ended up loving it! It wasn’t even about all the dates, but just knowing that there were so many possibilities out there made me feel a lot more secure about the whole Jew-only dating thing. So I started raving about it to all the singles I knew, convincing many who were also hesitant to sign up. But it took much more to get my single, handsome and successful cousin convinced… he first wanted to use my account to check out the ladies!

I figured that  it was worth whatever it took to further his sudden interest in settling down – and with a Jewish woman, at that. I used the search engine to find women he’d be attracted to and then nagged him to expand his age range and guilt-tripped him into reading profiles and not judging off of photos only.

Not surprisingly (at least to me) my cousin was excited by all the possibilities! He opened an account and I was impressed by his thoughtful, funny and intriguing profile complete with super cute photos of him with his nieces and nephews.

I was happy with his mindset and the fact that he was finally making an effort on his own and still feel – even though it’s been a few years and he’s still single – that he’ll find a the right woman in the near future. Some people just have to be eased into the whole online dating concept, but once they’re in, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be hooked! By introducing my cousin to JDate slowly, I managed to get him interested in considering marrying a Jewish woman altogether, and for me that was the ultimate goal.


Follow-Up Letter

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

What do I do if someone does not respond to my letter? Forget it or send another letter? And if so, should it be of a serious nature or humorous? Any ideas would be welcome.

Dear Follow-Up Letter,

Good question. On one hand you don’t want to be obnoxious and not recognize rejection, while on the other hand it never hurts to give it another shot. The trick here is to pay attention to their activity level — did she read the email? If not she may not be a paid member in which you’re wasting your time trying to contact her that way. If she did read your letter, has she logged on since? Make sure to give her some time to respond. Did she check out your profile after reading your email? If so, has she done so repeatedly? If you deem it worthy of your time to write another email then I most definitely believe that humor is the way to go. Women want nothing more than a man who will make them laugh. It will make her reevaluate why she didn’t respond the first time and pay you more mind.


E-mail Denial

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Last summer I created a free JDate profile without a picture. In December I decided to pay for the membership and I got two e-mails from back in July.  I answered one of them and for a day I was on cloud nine.  But the next day I received an e-mail from the guy and he said we were in different places in our lives. He wished me luck and that was the last I am going to hear from him.  I thought we had a lot in common and we live in the same town. I lost my husband and this guy is also a widower and this is my first time venturing out and trying to date. I don’t know what I said exactly in the two or three e-mails that I sent to him, but I must have said something to turn him off to me.  Now, I am afraid to contact anyone else.  I am afraid of rejection in short.  How do I get over this?

Dear E-mail Denial,

A lot of time has passed between when the guy initially e-mailed you and now and you have no way of knowing what has occurred in his life since then. I would write the guy one more e-mail and let him know that if he changes his mind you’d love to hear from him, as you have a lot in common. That’s all you can do and afterwards you need to move on. It sucks but unfortunately that’s the risk you take not paying for a membership and being able to read your e-mail and contact people. Don’t be afraid to contact anyone else… if you have such commonalities with this guy, you will find another one, if not two, three or four more men. Being afraid of rejection is normal, but if you want to meet someone you have to take that risk and not take it personally if someone isn’t interested. Believe me, you will be approached by many a man whom you will not be interested in!