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.


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?