Freedom of Religion

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Relationships,Single Life

No, this isn’t going to be a political post, don’t worry.

My friend has been dating a guy she met on JDate for a few months now. His profile stated that he is a Conservative Jew. She leans more towards the “Reform/Traditional” stream, but isn’t opposed to dating someone who is a bit more “Jew-ish” as she is understanding, respectful and has an open mind. Until this guy who – since they began dating – started keeping Shabbat, walking to an orthodox temple on Saturday mornings, turning off his phone, and keeping kosher both in and out of the home. Clearly he is becoming more religious, but he is also continuing to date someone who is on the other side of the spectrum.

I’ve often met couples where one was already more observant than the other — they came together knowingly — and they chose to either become more observant or less so as a couple. But to suddenly become more observant while in the relationship is a different situation. My friend is just sitting idly by as her boyfriend becomes more and more religious. What is she to do? Nothing yet, if she likes him, except wait and see what happens. This could be an experimental phase, or he could go all the way frum. In doing so, he risks losing her, but he needs to follow his spiritual heart and not sacrifice being the Jew he wants to be because of a woman he’s been dating a few months.


JNF/JDate Singles Trip to Israel – Day 3

by Mark Feuer under Israel,JDate,Judaism,Single Life

New JBlogger Mark Feuer is joining several Jewish singles on an unforgettable singles trip to Israel! Mark will be sharing all about the sights, sounds, flavors and spirit of Israel on his unique and unforgettable journey! Here’s a little snippet from day 3:

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Day 2

The day began with getting up and using the gym at the facilities at the Dan Carmel Haifa Hotel. I really have to say, JNF/JDate set us up at a great hotel.

Pic1

View from overlook near the hotel

After a quick shower and change, I met the rest of my tripmates for breakfast, which was typical Israeli fare. We spent the meal discussing the previous day’s events. We were glad that we had not heard a single Red Alert since the tour started. We were very lucky in that regard, but we know that our tour leadership would not knowingly put us in any danger.

Group Pic

Group photo

First Stop – Atlit Displaced Persons Camp – South of Haifa

Today we visited what was once a displaced persons camp where the British detained Jewish people trying to enter the land of Israel while it was under the British Mandate in the 1930′s and 1940′s. We went through the processing center, the barracks, and a replica of the type of ship used to transport Jewish people into the land. It was a powerful experience.

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Sleeping area at Atlit Displaced Persons Camp

Second Stop – En Nof Artists Colony

The next stop was the En Nof Artist Colony. We met with several artists, saw some beautiful artwork, and enjoyed some homemade ice cream to help cool down in the heat!

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Some of the great artwork we saw

Third Stop – Tishbi Winery

After the Artists Colony we were off to the Tishbi Winery for lunch and a wine tasting. Lunch was simply fantastic. Just when we thought that they were done serving us they kept bringing more and more food. Gnocchi, Ravioli, Pizza, Salads of all types and the wine kept flowing too. They took us on a tour of the winery after lunch.

Wine and chocolate tasting

Wine and chocolate tasting

Last Stop: Baha’i Gardens

We were heading back to the hotel but one last stop, literally behind our hotel was the Baha’i Gardens.

Baha'i Gardens

Baha’i Gardens

Bastille Day!

Today was Bastille Day, so there was a great block party down in the German Colony. Everyone there was having a great time, with live music and drinking. Security was high, but non-obtrusive. It was exactly the thing people needed to decompress from the tensions of the past week. The conflict of the past week was on everyone’s minds and this was a great way to blow off steam. When people found out that we came from the states they were always very appreciative for our support in coming.

Bastille Day Block Party

Bastille Day Block Party


Everyone and No One and Anyone

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

If everyone is on JDate then how come people complain to me “there’s no one on JDate!” Or, why do they lament about being unable to find anyone on JDate!? The people who make these statements and ask these questions run the gamut, from males to females, old and young, straight and gay, short and tall, and so on.

My answer is always simple: they’re out there, you’re just not looking hard enough. Typically people fall into two categories: they either tend to have their preferences set too narrowly and therefore don’t have a large pool of prospects to choose from and get frustrated by the lack of options — or they have their preferences set way too broadly and have far too many prospects to scroll through, and then get overwhelmed until everyone’s profiles begin to blend together.

In my book, ”How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating,” I recommend beginning with the former and setting your preferences to your absolute “perfect” idea of a match, and then broadening your options slowly from there. That will allow you time to see who’s out there and what one year of age, or one inch, or one level of education translates to in regards to the number of prospects you find. This will help you easily determine who is new to your search results in a slow and deliberate manner.

Here’s an example from one of my female clients, “Jamie,” age 34, of her ideal match:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 34-39
  • located within 25 miles of her city
  • marital status: single
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 6’0-6’6
  • body style: athletic
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

After I tweaked Jamie’s profile, we slowly adjusted one category at a time until she had a good number of options without compromising on her preferences too much. With age and height, we adjusted one year and one inch, respectively, at a time. This is how it looks now:

  • woman seeking a man
  • age 33-41
  • located within 50 miles of her city
  • marital status: single, divorced,
  • religion: reform, traditional, culturally Jewish, conservative
  • ethnicity: any
  • smoking: no
  • drinking: socially, on occasion
  • height: 5’10-6’9
  • body style: athletic, lean, firm, muscular, average, proportional
  • education: bachelor’s, master’s, JD/PhD
  • kosher: not at all
  • temple: on high holidays, sometimes
  • has kids: no
  • plans on having children: yes
  • custody: any
  • activity level: very active, active, selected activities
  • languages: english
  • willing to relocate: no

Jamie went from having about 60 prospects, many of which she knew already, to having more than 200 prospects, many of which she had never seen before. Put a little elbow grease into your profile and preferences, and your prospects will increase in quality and quantity!


Q & A — About Me

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating

How do you answer JDate’s questions without sounding repetitive, cheesy, fake or boring? Let me help you craft personal and enticing answers to both the basic and intimate questions.

  • “About Me”

I saved the best — and most important — for last. And I did so for a reason. By now you should have many, if not most of the other questions, out of the way. You have therefore eliminated the need to repeat the same answers in your “About Me” paragraph, making this section waaaaaay too long. You can always write “I love traveling… see below for The Coolest Places I’ve Visited,” but you don’t need to write “Contact me if you are interested in learning more” because you hopefully included that line under “You Should Definitely Message Me If…”

Your “About Me” should start with a basic introduction: “Hi, my name is Tamar and I’m a 33-year-old writer currently living in…” Use your first name only, don’t give too much detail regarding your exact job or specific neighborhood (for safety’s sake), and then continue:

“I’ve been told that I’m (fill in the blank)… and I agree that (fill in the blank)… I’m also a very loyal friend. I’m forgiving to a fault and I’m generous with my time and my heart.”

Include a few simple descriptions of your character and then follow with a few simple descriptions of what kind of person you’re looking for: “I’m looking for someone with strong Jewish morals and values, someone who is looking to have FUN being in love and to LAUGH a lot!”

You can give some more interesting details about yourself which aren’t addressed in other parts of the profile but don’t start a laundry list of things or go off on tangents. “About Me” should be about one paragraph (5 sentences), maybe two at most. Leave information to be shared on a first date since you’ve already revealed so much info as it is. Most first date questions have already been answered via the profile questions so if you reveal much more than you’re going into a first date feeling like you know each other more like a third date except you’ve never met! Slow your roll.

Let a trusted friend or family member read through the “About Me” answer to ensure that your personality comes through. If you’re a comedian then your shpiel should be funny just make sure it’s not coming across like you think JDate is a joke. If you’re serious then that should be the tone, just make sure your shpiel isn’t dull and boring.

This shouldn’t be your work bio, nor should it be too boastful. Have fun, but take this assignment seriously because it is.

 


Mothers, Mensches, and Manliness: The Aaron Stayman Blog

by Aaron under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

About twenty-four hours before being told I was going to be blogging for JDate, I was sitting with my new classmates from business school. They were sitting on their LinkedIn accounts, building networks and uploading resumes. What was I doing? I was sitting on the “currently online” section of JDate and mass viewing profiles.

My name is Aaron Stayman and I am a mass JDater in Dallas, a city without much of a young JDatabase (I wish I could promise that is the worst pun you will see in this column, but I do intend to be a Jewish dad one day). I spend a lot of time on JDate and going out on dates, and even more time thinking about dating. It’s something I enjoy so much, I’ve written and changed friends’ profiles, given Jewish males in my area makeovers, and have referenced books for friends to read to help them get better at the extremely niche game of Jewish online dating.

I’m 23 years old, but like many of you I’m looking to find someone for a serious relationship, even if marriage isn’t in my sights for a little while. One thing I’ve really enjoyed on JDate is long-distance dating. That’s been my niche, and I have plenty of fun stories on that front (especially involving my mother and the lengths she attempted to go to when I went to Arkansas to meet a girl from JDate after Skyping for months, or when she tried to follow me through Central Park on a date during our latest trip to the Big Apple), but those will have to wait until we’ve gotten to know each other a bit better.

The good news for everyone out there, male or female, is that I’m trying to make my time on JDate better every day, as well as everyone else’s time. I have helped guys become cooler versions of themselves — as well as helped them to understand how to bring out the naturally cool people they are. I’ve also made girls laugh and even given tips to female friends about things they can do to improve their dating. I’m no pro, and my advice may even be wrong from time to time (everyone is unique on this site, after all), but I look forward to sharing my random thoughts with you and hope you’ll enjoy the journey we’re about to share together as well!


Love At First JDate: Google Me

by JenG under Date Night,Online Dating

The internet gives us the best of times and it also gives us the worst of times. We can find out just about anything about the average internet user—AKA our new potential date. But how much information is too much information? How much intel is better learned through hours of in-person conversations and how much do we NEED to know beforehand?

  • Do: look up someone briefly—just to make sure they are who they say they are. Search around until you have enough information to feel safe going out to meet this new person offline. Good sites to use for your search include LinkedIn, Facebook and Google.
  • Don’t: Try to be an investigator. Don’t stalk through 5,000 of their Facebook photos, click around to find out information about their Ex, or waste too much time trying to find out every single crumb that makes them who they are. That’s what in-person conversation is for. It’s always awkward sitting across from someone, nodding your head and acting surprised when they tell you about how they were the varsity champion of their middle school soccer team—but you already know, because that’s how intensely you stalked them (guilty)!

Read more Jen Glantz here.


The Seder

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate

It’s Passover. You’re at an unfamiliar Seder with unfamiliar people. In fact, it’s probably a young professionals Seder for the people who couldn’t really go home to mother, father and a bevy of home-cooked food.

You think to yourself, “This is going to be another awkward Jewish event that I paid money for that could’ve gone to my Thursday kickball dues”. Then you realize you’ve boarded yourself in your room (other than work) after Florida Gulf Coast University ruined your bracket this weekend, and are probably in need of social interaction. Understanding this, you walk out of work, Gucci Man and Kid Cudi on repeat, and park at the synagogue/JCC/random rich dude’s house.

Upon arriving fifteen minutes late (Jewish standard time), you notice some new talent seated around the 75-100 person Seder table. This excites you, however you decide to sit next to David Goldstein, your go-to basketball-watching and gambling buddy, for familiarity reasons.

As the Seder goes on, you slyly check your phone every so often for work emails and to text your buddy across the room about this new talent.  Once the charoset and maror are passed around, you recite your Four Question checklist again:

  1. Why is this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman on my right different from all other women?
  2. Why does this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman on my right recline with such unbelievable posture? Is she a yoga teacher?
  3. Why does this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well dressed-woman on my right pop Kosher for Passover breath mints after every bite of the Hillel Sandwich  (charoset, maror, matzah)?
  4. What is the reason for this brown-haired, brown-eyed, well-dressed woman’s obsession with cats, tangerines and Duke basketball?

You then check your phone one more time to see if your buddy got any 411 on the ginger girl to your right, pick up your fork, and start eating your catered chicken.


March (Dating) Madness

by Adam under JBloggers,JFacts

March Madness is upon us, with sixty-eight teams, each fighting for the ultimate title of NCAA Men’s (and women’s) basketball championship. Starting tonight with the play-in games, then continuing Thursday and Friday with the “second” round games, hours of productivity, and thousands of dollars will be lost as a large segment of the population is glued to their television sets (or mobile phones), praying that a small school from the boonies of Louisiana can knock off Tim Tebow University.

There will be those Cinderellas- those directional state schools, and small private colleges, who win the hearts of many by knocking off schools like Duke, Kansas and Indiana, who then use their performance as a springboard for future basketball success. On the flip side, there are the busts- those teams who everyone had in their Final Four, but who flame out in the second round.

March Madness is a lot like dating. Think about it- you have those girls, or boys that in your mind are your prohibitive favorites (think Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Gonzaga) or best matches, who you think you will have the most chemistry with, or think looks good, is what Dick Vitale would call a “Prime Time Player”.

Sometimes, however, those best matches don’t exactly pan out. Maybe it goes well for a little bit, and you think it’s going to be smooth sailing to the finish (marriage), but huge bumps in the road (chemistry, change in priorities, you find out she’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan) put a halt to it.  Or maybe, a girl/boy pops up out of nowhere (think Virginia Commonwealth University during their Final Four run in 2011) and makes you heart flutter in ways you never knew existed.

March Madness and dating: it’s all about surviving and advancing. Who will end up being your “One Shining Moment”?


Love At First JDate: The Language of Online Love

by JenG under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

There is a language for love and then there’s a language for finding love online—both, I whole-heartedly believe, take trial and error, and countless embarrassingly syntactical mistakes to master. But when learning how to present yourself and tame your feelings for a person you have just scrolled upon online, there is a certain etiquette to foster if you want to rendezvous in the real world.

Just like it took me some time to understand when to use the “Poke” button on Facebook (which is never), it also took me a bit of time to understand when to use and when to respond to messages in my JDate inbox that are “Flirt Messages,” (the standard template of one-liners JDate provides users).

  • Do: Send a “Flirt Message” if you want to make someone smile, for a second, to show that you are thinking about them or interested. Follow up with a personal message that showcases a bit of your personality, and above anything else, that you took an extra couple of seconds to browse more than just their selection of glamour shot photos.
  • Don’t: Use it as a cop out and send someone a “Flirt message” over writing your own personal note to them. Remember, your first message to someone doesn’t have to be a novel of questions or a five-paragraph essay. It can be a simple remark about something that caught your eye about them on their profile. Your chances will skyrocket that someone will respond back to a personal message over a standard template message.

Read more of Jen Glantz here.


Love At First JDate: Saying Thank You

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

The best part about being on JDate is having other friends who are on it as well and can fully understand what you’re talking about when you start to vent and run away wildly into an online dating story.

The other day my friend was telling me about how she met this guy on JDate and things were going smoothly. I nodded my head in happiness and sighed with a bit of jealousy, hoping that one day soon I could say the same. But then she told me after each date she texts guys saying, “Thank you” and that she “had a lot of fun.”

My eyebrows immediately raised and I let out a giant, “WHAT!” I had always thought it to be girl code that you wait until the guy texts you first after the date. My friend, who is a couple of years younger than me (but obviously a few years wiser), told me no way—that is how you lose them!

She couldn’t be more right.

Do:

  • Tell someone you had a good time with them — both in person and then after — via a thoughtful text or a quick phone call. There are so many anxieties that cross our minds before, during and after dates. Alleviate the tension, the guessing and the what if’s through positive affirmations — if you are indeed having positive feelings.

Don’t:

  • Hold back. You took the giant step of putting yourself out there, and then, you took an even bigger step by going on blind dates with people you’ve briefly conversed with by chomping down sentences on your keyboard. If you promise yourself not to hold back, to break some of those age old rules, you will have nothing to lose.

Read more advice from Jen Glantz here.