The Case For Valentine’s Day as a National Holiday

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate

If you check Twitter, Facebook, your email, a dating site, an adult film store, or your local big box retailer, you’ll find aisles upon aisles dedicated to Valentine’s Day goodness. It’s a big deal, and great for the service industry (as you can take our your misery or happiness on happy hour)!

Why is Valentine’s Day so important? Why is there one day focused on showing affection to your spouse, or picking up another single person at the local “Stoplight” party? Why is Target only selling pink, red and white M&Ms? Did Kobe and Shaq kiss and make up two nights ago so they wouldn’t have to go out together tonight?

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s grown in popularity over the past 50 years, and in terms of retail holiness for Jews, might be entering Hanukkah territory (admit it, when have you ever seen a Rosh Hashanah movie on TV?). On a national scale, it ranks up there with Christmas, New Year’s, Halloween, and July 4th as the most Instagrammed holiday of the year… per statistics that I made up.

With this increased importance, is it time for us to replace Columbus Day as a national holiday with Valentine’s Day instead? If someone recently suffered a break up, and their depression is too much to stomach at work, shouldn’t they be granted a Valentine’s Day off to watch timeless romantic classics like Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally and Space Jam? On the other hand, shouldn’t the government grant us an “Intimacy Day” due to the fact that we have a “demographic cliff” problem in the USA, as the birthrate is declining?

Think of the impacts this could have. Singles, married people, and people in all other types of relationships will be able to fully recover from their depression/euphoria/taking a hit to their bank account by having a day off from work and will come in fully rested and ready to work on February 15 — excited that their next day off is President’s Day in just a few days.


The Kosher Chili Cook-Off

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate

For those reading this who do not live in Texas (or Memphis where they have a Kosher BBQ cook-off) the Kosher Chili Cook-Off is a big deal in Dallas, Austin and Houston. Around 50 teams in Dallas and 20 in Austin prepare diligently, starting at 8am. They cook for hours, and won’t stop till the final vote is cast at 3pm to make sure they make the best chili and procure the most amount of votes. One kosher ingredient can make all the difference.

Every team starts with the same amount of meat, around 18-22 pounds of it, unless, of course, you happen to be on a vegetarian team. What ingredients you use next is up to you, just as long as it stays kosher. Many people spend days searching for the perfect recipe and then working out the math to make sure the amount of other ingredients correlates to the amount of meat provided. There are certain rules of chili cook-offs to abide by, like don’t cook all the meat at once, and don’t put all the jalapenos in at once, so children and the elderly don’t burn their mouths eating it. You win with a combination of great chili and a personality that endears you to the general public.

Dating is the same way. Regardless of what you think, everyone starts on the same plane, with the same amount of meat (relatively). It’s the ingredients, and your presentation, that make all the difference. Everyone buys vegetables, and chili powder, and some cumin, but what else? What sets you apart? For the chili example, our team used Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and pineapple, giving it a tangy taste, combined with the loads of spice we put on there. Additionally, we managed to be a highly personable team, conversing with literally everyone that came by our tent and screaming wildly after someone put their vote in our bowl.

What makes you different when it comes to the dating scene? Sure you may workout five times a week, graduated magna cum laude from some school that starts with H and ends with “arvard,” and spent your childhood playing polo on the weekends with Bill Clinton, but what else? You certainly have some solid ingredients, but which one stands out when you play the dating game? When people think of you, is the aftertaste in their mouth, “Oh, he’s just a polo player from Harvard” or “He’s an engaging guy with an interesting background that not only includes that weird game called polo, but he also has tried every item on the McDonald’s dollar menu.”

Dating and the chili cook-off. You have the ingredients, so how do you combine them to achieve the best possible result?


Love at First JDate: Jen Glantz

by JenG under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

It’s been almost one year since I stuffed my entire life into two 50-pound suitcases, smooched goodbye a life underneath the Florida heat waves and moved to New York City. And throughout my adventure here, having to navigate my way around cohorts of tourists and consciously avoiding getting swiped by speeding yellow taxi cabs, the two most popular and regular questions my loved ones back home dare to ask me are: “Are you surviving the weather?” and “Did you get married yet?”

My constant response to both always comes decorated with a deep-pitted sigh and a fumbled laugh: “NO!”

Let me rewind for a second. I moved to New York for the same reason most 20-somethings drain their savings accounts: to live inside a shoe box, eat the crust of days old bread here, and to flirt with adventure. I came here to jump start my career and be spoon feed a constant reminder that every moment I spend swallowed between my couch cushions would set me back an indefinite amount toward reaching my wildest dreams. However, with quite a large number of people cha-cha sliding around such a small city, if I did, by chance, meet a guy who would look at me with the same kind of goo-goo eyes that I only save for a delicious slice of street pizza, well then that would be a great added bonus, and a exhale of relief for my mother.

I always thought I’d meet someone naturally. Perhaps while reading through 100 pages of a Norah Ephron novel in a bookstore, or while tapping my toes in line to get a fresh, hot bagel with some strawberry shmear. I’ve spent my Friday nights in a cesspool-like environment, covered up as a West Village bar, making small talk with guys that reek of Whiskey and then lost track of my Subway stop because I was gazing into the eyes of a cute straphanger. But nothing. There’s been no connection worth writing home about — and most of my first dates end with me wallowing on a warm bench alone, declaring my love to a pint of Chunky Monkey.

It’s been almost a year. Now that I’m finally settled into working at my 9-whenever-the-day-ends-job, and can finally traverse the city (or at least the parts of the cities with numbered streets), without whipping out Google maps, it’s time to focus on navigating my heart.

And in the process, I fancy to share all the gory and beautiful details with you, my new JDate friends, about the dos and don’ts of first dates (the awkward hellos and the even more awkward goodbyes).

All to finally be able to bring a mensch home to my darling parents, all in the name of hoping to find “Love at First JDate”.


Dating While Dating

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,JDate,Single Life,Success Stories

Dating my girlfriend is so much easier than dating single.

Okay, first I want to make a disclaimer that all of you will hate this post, outside of the fact that a lot of you hate my posts anyway, because I’m writing about my girlfriend. However, after being single almost my entire life, outside of a short stint at Jewish sleepaway camp and dating a few other horrible people, I no longer care.

Anyway, dating your girlfriend is so much more pleasant and bearable than going out with strangers. I am a JDate success story, and though it has often been frustrating, which was mostly the fault of my own personality, I stuck with it for a long time, and all of those people I had previously hated that told me to not give up I hate slightly less now. Roughly five years of rejection, incompatibility, and lethargy did pay off in a big way.

I first signed up for JDate roughly five years ago, when, probably like many of you, my mother offered to pay for my account. I was new to online dating and was amazed that I could browse many women in my area, and was equally amazed by how little I knew about dating/the human condition. I was pretty proactive at first, but after years, I slowed down. I got to the point where I would get about one message a month from a woman, and we would go out, and it was usually okay, but would never see each other again.

Now, I’m in a wonderful relationship, and dating somebody consistently is so much better. If you’re out there in the JDate world, and are starting to lose hope, the best advice I could offer would be to not give up. I completely understand slowing down. Perhaps maybe you should not browse JDate nightly. This could come off as desperate while also increasing desperation within yourself. I’ve said this before, but take a step back. However, stay somewhat active. Browse peoples’ profiles, but do it in a more thorough way. Read their entire profiles this time. Don’t just rush through reading it to feel better about yourself. Don’t just send out mass messages in a one-night frenzy that you know in the bottom of your heart will not result in anything. Look for things that may pique your interest, or at least things that the two of you may have in common. I know this sounds obvious, and this may partly be due to the fact that I’m writing this while sick, but the way you act on JDate should reflect the way you act in the real world. You wouldn’t just run up to every women in a bar, one after the other, and scream, ‘Hi! You’re hot!’, and if you would, I really want to meet you.


Manners: The Best Stalking Mechanism

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

So you’ve met this girl or guy. You like him or her, but you don’t know if they like you. You know where they work, live, play, and hope for a Hollywoodesque chance meeting at the local coffee shop where you can compare your latte orders and hopefully pick up a number. You want them to like you, but you also don’t want a restraining order against you a month after you meet them.

Given this situation, how do you properly “stalk” someone in a way that enables you to form some kind of relationship?

First, be nice. It’s a simple quality that goes a long way. It’s a “hi, how are you doing?” when you see them again. If you’re a guy, it’s even opening the door to a building if you walk in at the same time. However, being nice just doesn’t include the person you are after, it’s respecting the people around them when in a group setting. Show respect to their friends, and even random strangers who happen to be in the conversation. That way, the next time you run into your crush in a group setting, her friends will remember that initial niceness you showed them, and you’ll rank a little higher in their book.

After the initial niceness, it’s having the ability to make conversation. As outgoing and gregarious as I am, I have a slight tendency to act extraordinarily awkward around girls I like, rendering my conversational skills to zero. Once again a simple ,”Oh, I’m excited for this event “, or “hey, how was work today?” or “I really thought Shaniqua was going to get the rose on the season finale of the Bachelor” conveys a lot without making the person feel uncomfortable.

People go on dates with those they feel comfortable around and find intriguing. Yes, persistence is a nice trait to have, and telling your crush’s friends you like him/her may make them smile for a bit, but actions speak louder than words. I could be the greatest romantic in the world, but if I’m not a nice person, who’s going to actually want to date me, or even better, hope for a chance meeting in the local coffee shop?


Simple Ways for Relationship Success

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships,Success Stories

I have been fortunate in both Dallas and Austin to be friends with two long-term couples. Both have been together a long time (3+ years) with the Austin couple set to have their first child in March. They are two seemingly low-maintenance couples who find constant joy in being around each other no matter the circumstance. Below is a list of observations that I’ve seen from both couples, things that can be easily translatable to your own love life.

1. Dallas couple: After every time they hung out in the getting-to-know-you stage of their relationship, the male always texted “I had a great time! Can’t wait to see you soon!” It was something simple, yet something that resonated with his girlfriend even to this day. This might give away a dating secret of mine, but its something that I’ve copied to an extent, as it’s a simple, yet far-reaching gesture.
2. Austin couple- I happen to be in a leadership group with them, and what I notice is touch. Not PDA, not ridiculous hand-holding, but a simple touch on the back when getting up, or a tap on the leg when in a conversation. It’s not overt, but a mechanism that still indicates affection without being too teenage-like.
3. Dallas/Austin couple- Both couples are able to tease each other, even in the public sphere. Once again, there’s a huge a difference between making fun of someone maliciously and teasing, but the two couples understand and are ok with their faults enough to make light of them in front of others.
4. Dallas/Austin couple- While both couples absolutely adore each other, they also give each other space. The girl in Dallas is one of my best friends, but there’s just something about the idea of “guy time”, as she encourages her boyfriend to go watch the game with his guy friends, talking about guy things, as she goes shopping and watches reality TV with her friends. Yes, my Dallas buddy incessantly texts her while he is watching the game, but there’s still that idea of “doing your own thing”, allowing both people in the relationship to have some sort of independence.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will probably have the same productive relationship that these two couples have enjoyed.


Buffet Line Dating

by Adam under Relationships

Like any guy whose mother calls his stomach a garbage dump, I love a good buffet. For one price, whether $10 at Golden Corral, or $40 for the Bellagio dinner buffet in Vegas, I get as much food as I want, and can try all sorts of different combinations.

Now, say I don’t want Golden Corral, and want a more specialized buffet? Well, there’s Pizza Inn, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet and Golden China Buffet. I don’t have the tough choice of deciding between meat, enchiladas, kiwi, and kung pao chicken every time I want to fill up my plate, but I do know at Pizza Inn that I can decide between pepperoni, pineapple, spinach alfredo, and mushroom pizza. It’s a lot of decisions, but I know that at the end I’ll still be eating pizza.

So where does JDate fit in all this? JDate is a specialized buffet- many people to choose from but the reason you all are on here is to marry a Jewish person. For some (women especially), this is an easy concept (New York City, Los Angeles) as the choice of entrees allows for even the girl who still dreams of marrying the Jewish Pizza Piper to date multiple alfredos, vegetable surprises, mushrooms, and maybe a pineapple pizza or two. Sure, you may find a couple of meat lovers in there, but that all comes with the process of finding your one true slice, and regardless that person still possesses the one characteristic most important to you (Jewish faith).

Wait, what about those in smaller Jewish towns? Well, even though there happens to be only 7 pages of people to look at, it’s still a buffet. You are on JDate for a reason, so why limit yourself to the 24-27 year olds, even though that 34-year-old might actually be sauce that meshes with your cheese? From my count, 150 people on a search is still a bevy of people to choose from, so no reason to complain about not being a success story, when you go for the same thing over and over.

With a buffet numbering 50,000 strong, why complain about the menu options, when all you’ve had is one small serving?


Put the Brake on the Fake

by Adam under Relationships

“Oh, my friends actually maintain my profile.”

I got this response from a girl I was supposedly “messaging” at an event I went to during the High Holidays. She had apparently “Secretly Admired” me and we were talking about our High Holiday services and break-fast plans. She seemed nice, with a witty personality to boot, and was a sports fan, so I was definitely interested and took the initiative to message her first.

Saying, “Hey my name is Adam and we’ve been talking on JDate,” probably wasn’t the best opening line, especially in front of mutual friends of ours. Still, what kind of person lets their friends control their dating profile?

Now, understand I don’t include fake Craigslist or OkCupid profiles in this rant, because they are free sites, and it’s much easier to make a profile on a free site than a site like JDate where you really need to pay to get a real benefit from the site (which is a good thing). I bring this issue up now because it seems to be a recurring problem. “Oh, my mom signed me up for JDate” or “Yeah, my friends do it so they can see who else is on this site” are the usual excuses. You wouldn’t give your friends control of your bank account — so why let them handle your dating life?

I know some of you may read this and say, “I don’t care, my mom/friends can handle it, whatever,” but it boils down to more than that. And “fake it till you make it” is probably not the best way to attract a potential partner. Rather, it opens up more questions about your personal character. Listen, if you don’t want to date, than get off the site. Don’t hurt your online persona, and your dating reputation, by letting other people control your “actions.”

I abide by the principle of “say what you mean, mean what you say.” My friends can look, but not touch my profile. Why? Because they are A) not as creative as me and B) may say something totally opposite of what I want to say. If I message a girl with a dumb question or cheesy pick-up line, I’ll own up to it because I may end up seeing that girl at a later date (especially with how small Austin is).

Don’t be Donald Rumsfeld. Your dating profile should always be a known known. It might be an unknown known how people respond to you, but you should never be unknown as to what is known about the interactions that go on within it.

Do you.


Black Friday Love

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Have any of you ever read those “Best Places to Find Love” lists? If you’re like me, and you constantly peruse Yahoo!, Google, and BET.com for those lists, you’ll find many of the same places listed: Yoga class, some random cooking expo at Whole Foods, a dog park, a Jewish singles event after 5-6 drinks, and during the Yizkor service at Yom Kippur.

However, these lists pale in comparison to the one place/holiday where everyone is out: Black Friday.

Think about it: Everyone starts shopping (provided their football team isn’t playing) from midnight on Thanksgiving to 11 pm the next day. You can find fiscally responsible men and women, shopping for the best “deals,” or those who just want the exhilaration of competing with 500 other people jammed into Macy’s, JCPenny, Bloomingdales (for my East Coast readers) or Hollister (for my wannabe West Coast readers) for the least expensive pair of socks they can finagle.

Isn’t money one of the biggest issues in a relationship? Doesn’t, “Hey baby, I don’t want to buy that vacuum now, I want to wait till Black Friday when it happens to be 45% off with the purchase of a large sofa” solve that problem?

The conversation starter is easy: “Hey, so what sales are you going to today?” Nothing creepy, just an easy question that can turn in to, “Hey, I’m shopping for superhero graphic tees too, want to come to Wal-Mart with me and grab a cup of coffee?” You can even start off with, “Oh, Good Burger is $3.99? I used to watch Kenan and Kei in my younger days.”

Not sure of the type of man/woman you are looking for on Black Friday? Go to a big box retail store and look in the electronics or general clothing section. Looking for a nice, city-dwelling yogi of a woman? Go to Lululemon. Want to find a man who has great finger dexterity and a competitive nature when it comes to shooting zombies? Go to Game Stop.

If face-to-face conversation scares you when finding love, don’t worry, there’s always Cyber Monday.


Dating and the Dallas Cowboys

by Adam under Date Night,Entertainment,JBloggers,JDate,JFacts,Relationships

Why Dating is a lot like being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys:

Before every NFL season, Cowboys fans (and Jerry Jones) set unreasonably high barometers for success.

Before every first date, most people set unreasonably high expectations as to how the date is supposed go and next steps.

Usually during the mid-point of the season, Cowboys fans realize that a 4-4 record might not be championship-worthy and immediately start clamoring for the head coach to be axed, without realizing how mediocre the team actually is.

Usually during the early weeks of dating, someone ultimately gets bored, or thinks a ring should be on their finger, and goes back to aggressively searching on JDate.

Come December, Cowboys fans start taking bets about how badly the team is going to choke, citing the past 20 years for reference.

Come December, those people dating each other start questioning how badly they are going to screw up the relationship due to the holiday pressure, citing their past 5 failed relationships.

After yet another season of failed expectations (aka no Super Bowl), Cowboys fans take to message boards and start burning effigies of Tony Romo and Jerry Jones’s face en masse, while holding vigils commemorating the anniversary of the last time the Cowboys appeared in an NFC Championship game (that would be going on 18 years).

After yet another failed 6 month relationship, people take to message boards and start using the other person’s name anonymously for dating blogs for their own personal amusement, bemoaning the fact that they’ve gone through 12 guys/girls in the past 2 years and not one has lasted as long (relationship-wise) since Johnny Football, the 4 year high school boyfriend.

Come the following April, Cowboys fans complain about every draft pick, pitting unproven rookies in an unfair comparison against past Cowboy Hall of Famers.

Come the following April, people are scanning JDate, finding reason to complain about every match, making unfair comparisons to their sister’s husband who they love dearly.

Dating and Dallas Cowboys fandom, it’s a vicious cycle.