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.


The How We Met Story

by Kelly under Relationships

I have one friend who refuses to acknowledge that we met on JDate. We’ve known each other for almost four years now, but a while back he made the executive decision to rewrite the history of how we met. So all of his friends have the new truth, while all of my friends have the original story from our first JDate. I even had a nickname for him based on his “About Me” section that I still refer to him as to my friends. I have total respect for his privacy on the subject, because I realize that for most people (myself excluded), online dating is a personal choice. However, I do believe that you can’t decide how you meet the love of your life. That’s going to happen when and where it’s going to happen. Unlike most things in my life, that’s one thing I can’t schedule.

The thing that I find so funny about is that I know of so many couples who met online. It’s like everywhere I look I see online dating success stories standing as tangible proof that it works. And yet when they are asked, “How’d you meet?” They lower their voices and say, “JDate” or say it so quickly that we don’t fixate on that part of the story.  I just don’t get the stigma about it. I’d much rather claim JDate, as opposed to telling my kids the story of how I met their father at a frat boy filled dive bar. “Well, hunny. One night I was out with some friends at Brother Jimmy’s. Daddy saw me standing at the bar when I was going to buy a drink, we started talking and before I know it we were flirting and he bought me my next vodka soda. At the end of the night he asked me for my phone number. We texted for a couple of weeks and then he asked me out! Isn’t that, like, so romantic?!” (Disclaimer: I do not go to Brother Jimmy’s).

Don’t get me wrong, I’d really like to meet the great love of my life in person, and have a great story to go along with it. My parents had the kind of story that just makes you smile and laugh and you can even feel your heart just warm. I can’t help but want the same. But like I said, you can’t schedule the where and when. That’s why we so often turn to online sites – it can make it happen, even if it’s not spontaneous. I just know that if I ever meet a guy at Brother Jimmy’s, Central Bar, Bar None, or any bar like that, and things get serious between us, please sit me down and have an intervention about which bars I frequent and my recent life choices. And then please help me figure out how to rewrite the How We Met story. Because that’s a story that just won’t be pretty.


Excuses, excuses

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Not everyone likes to go out. And a lot of people are sick and tired of the singles events, pick-up bars and club scene. And yet others don’t have the time or energy to go out due to work, kids, projects, etc. So what do you do if you’re a couch potato or burnt out or just plain busy? That’s why JDate is so useful. You can check out singles from your laptop at home with your feet up on the couch or at work from your desktop. You can check out singles once a day or once a week. You can check out singles for 10 minutes or for an hour.  The point is, there are no excuses to not be putting yourself out there.


Dating Don’t: The After Date Facebook Poke

by Kelly under Relationships

He poked me on Facebook. Twice. Was one poke just not enough? We had only gone on one date, and it was just a cup of coffee in Gramercy on a Saturday afternoon. And immediately after he texted me that he had a good time. That’s it. And then a week later, when I had not texted back, he thinks about all the ways he could get in touch with me – phone, email, text, singing telegram, fax – and decides after much consideration I imagine, nope let’s go with a poke. That’ll get her heart. So when I didn’t answer him back, hoping he’d get the point, this guy throws the Hail Mary of Facebook communication and pokes me again.

Now that we were two pokes in, I knew I had to officially let him down. This might come as a surprise, but up until this moment I’ve only had the experience of telling guys I’m not interested after very ordinary interactions. None of my mother’s lessons in etiquette even remotely prepared me for post-JDate Facebook poking. I never even dreamed Facebook poking would be something I’d have to deal with. So I was completely on my own when I sat down to write him back and convey that I wasn’t interested and while I know he meant well, Facebook poking after a date is just wrong. So, so wrong.

Hi D—,

I really was hoping I didn’t have to write this message. I think you’re a great guy, however, I don’t think we clicked when we met for coffee. I don’t know how to say what I am about to tell you without sounding harsh. I’ve thought of a ZILLION ways to say this nicely, and this is the best I can come up with: Poking someone on Facebook, especially after an interaction like ours, doesn’t come off charming. It was really awkward – both times – and I didn’t know how to react. I’m only saying this because I think other girls might have the same reaction as I did. A message is much nicer and more upfront than a poke (I’m sorry if that sounded as mean as I think it does. I just really wanted to let you know for the future).

Take care,
Kelly

I thought about this recently when I told a guy I wasn’t interested in him after 3 dates. I was shocked when he asked me where he went wrong. He said I could think of it as a favor, as he wanted to learn from this experience. I gave him a little feedback, and I think he genuinely appreciated my honesty. You know, maybe it wasn’t my place to tell the Facebook poker that poking is creepy, but part of me wanted to save him. What if no girl ever had the chutzpah to break it to him that poking is socially unacceptable? Would he still be Facebook poking girls innocently thinking that he was flirting? I really believe that all of the guys I’ve gone out with – well, at least for the most of them – deserve a fair shot. And besides, if you can’t learn from your dating mistakes after a JDate, when can you?


5 Lessons I Learned From JDate

by Kelly under Relationships

1. Not all Jews are created equal. As a Reform girl, I learned quickly that dating someone much more religious than myself was not right. I also learned that Orthodox Jews’ iPhones are not immune to Shabbat. And I promise you I was bat mitzvahed.
2. Sometimes your date can go so badly that halfway through your first drink he will say, “Yeah, this isn’t going well.” At this point, feel free to ask them if they have friends to set you up with. Obviously, this isn’t always protocol but if it’s that apparent you’re both having a bad time, why the hell not?
3. Not everyone wants a serious relationship. Some JDaters want activity partners, not someone to bring home to the fam. Try and get to the bottom of this before you hit date #5 and wonder why that ohmygod-this-is-amazing spark is going out faster than you can say afikomen.
4. Sometimes you might flee a date (see: Stage Five Clinging Salsa Dancer) and then see that person while you’re on another first JDate. And it only takes 15 minutes of them giving you the stink eye for you to realize it. I like to call this JDate Karma.
5. Not everyone tells the truth about their height, their weight, their looks. But everyone wants a chance in real life. And if you’re not willing to be open-minded, don’t say yes to the date. It’s not like when you say yes to a first date that you are automatically signing on for a second or third one. So if you’re even a tiny bit curious, give up an hour of your life to see for yourself.

Okay, I lied there is a 6th lesson…

6. Sometimes a date can go well. It can go so well, in fact, that you leave the date and feel so unexpectedly excited that you grab your phone to call your friends and tell them everything. And you stare at your phone waiting for them to call or text you. And your mind wanders down that road where you see future dates play out. And then everything that happened in lessons 1-5 slips away and you’re in the moment and it’s a good one. And it was all worth it.


Friday Night Lights

by Kelly under Relationships

A Reform girl and an Orthodox guy walk into a bar…

Don’t tell me you’ve heard this one before. Because I assure you, you have not. Last year, I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. And then I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. Yes, you are reading that right. Oh, and I should mention they went to the same college. Yes, you are reading this right.

25 – Perfect.
Divorced – At 25?
Modern Orthodox? Didn’t they see that I’m Reform on my profile? And how did I notice this on their JDate profile? I’m Reform. As Orthodox Guy #1 later told me, “You might as well be Christian.” Hello, I was Bat Mitzvahed! He might as well said, “you are never going to meet my parents.”
Two of them – Really, universe? Really?

Like most of the Reform Jewish kids I grew up with, I went to Hebrew school and JCC summer camp, was Bat Mitzvahed, went on Birthright, spent much of my adolescence wearing Juicy sweatpants and listening to Dave Matthews Band. That’s the only way I know how to be Jewish.

It wasn’t until one Saturday at sundown that it hit me just how different our versions of Judaism really are. I was doing that girl thing and getting annoyed that Orthodox Guy #2 wasn’t responding to my texts. It had been about a day. Then around 6 pm that night he started texting me back. Earth to Kelly – his phone was off. Off because he was busy observing shabbat. Shabbat because he’s Modern Orthodox. What was I doing when I got his texts? Blow drying my hair, listening to music, and texting my friends.

It never dawned on me that I would have to consider religious differences on JDate. First of all, neither of these guys gave away their denomination on their profiles. And not to mention, all three times I’ve fallen in love was with Catholic guys. I didn’t think this would be an issue on JDate. The universe or God or maybe just my luck clearly wanted to make a point. And trust me, it did. I now try to avoid dating anyone much more religious than myself. Because as I learned – twice – some Jews prefer a total Shabbat shutdown, and some of us like our Friday night lights.