Do You Even Like Him?

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

This year as the book is sealed, only G-d knows who shall live and who shall die; who shall get married and who shall remain single; who shall get a text back, and who shall get stuck checking their phone every two minutes in anticipation of a post-date call.  In this time of prayer and reflection, remember to ask G-d for what you want in the year to come.  However, be careful what you ask for – it might come true!

Allow me to explain: sometimes after a date or after meeting someone who asks for my number, I get in the habit of checking my phone more than usual. We’ve all been there – the post-good-date obsessive cell phone checking phase.  You know, when you bring your phone to the bathroom in case it beeps during the three minutes when you’re in there, when you’re glancing at it during work meetings, when you even restart it just to make sure there aren’t any missed messages that were somehow stuck in cyberland.

It doesn’t even matter if you plan to casually wait a calculated 37 minutes to reply – it’s your text, and you want it now! And in some cases, it doesn’t even matter what the message says or implies, or even what it doesn’t say – this game is about control. You’re playing a romantic game of phone badminton and the birdie is now in your court. You can make someone sweat if he’s into you by waiting too long to reply, you can end everything right there by not responding at all, or you can play games and be crazy about it by intentionally varying your response times or sending selfies or whatever else the kids do these days. The point is that as long as someone has texted you and the ball’s in your court, you have the control.

Let me be clear (said in my best Obama impression voice): I don’t advocate deliberate game playing, nor do I think it necessarily yields a good outcome. But, I bring this up to illustrate my longwinded point: after all this phone obsession, it’s easy to forget to ask yourself: do you even LIKE this person??  Have you even considered whether you would like to see this person again? Or are you just obsessed with the idea of keeping this badminton game going? Seriously, texting can become addictive, and it’s pretty easy to have no feelings for someone, but still feel excited at the idea of him, because, heaven forbid you go through a boring day at work without having a boy to text back and forth.

If this describes you, seriously ask yourself if you’re really interested in the person at the other end of the phone, or just the rush of the phone beeps and notifications you’re getting (or awaiting) throughout the day. Because if it’s the latter, and you’re seeking a relationship, don’t waste your time, the time of the other person (who might actually be into you – it’s not fair to him or her!), or your cell battery. Focus on finding someone you actually do like spending time with in person. On Yom Kippur and the upcoming yom tovs, practice living life without your cell phone glued to your hand – you might even meet someone in person.

150 Seder Tables Ago

by Haley Plotnik under Judaism,Single Life

On Sunday, I went to my first event for Jewish young professionals. It was through a program in the Chicago area, and we went to the Oriental Institute at UChicago. I highly recommend seeing it if you like art history or archaeology. During the tour, something that came up struck a chord with me.

The tour guide referred back to an event that happened about 3,000 years ago.  “That was 120-150 Seder tables ago,” she said. It made me realize that all of the rich Jewish history that has been passed down for generations hangs gently in the balance. My grandparents and parents wouldn’t have dreamed of marrying outside the faith. But nowadays, a lot of people I know don’t really care whether they preserve the Jewish culture or religion.

Do we owe it to our father’s mother’s father’s father’s father’s mother to keep the tradition alive? I feel like I do. Family is about more than the individual, and Judaism is too. During my formative years, I was heavily immersed in Judaism. I started my education at a Jewish pre-school. Before I could read, I could recite the five books of Moses.

I recently went on a few dates with a guy who was very Jew-friendly, but not Jewish. He said he wanted to raise children without any religion. The museum and discontinuing dating this guy made me realize that I feel compelled to pass on the tradition. I can’t see raising kids without a Seder table. Being Jewish not only enriched me, but it gave me strength as a child and continues to do so in my adulthood. I think I owe it to my ancestors, and my children, to pass it on.

For Every Woman, There Are 250 Men

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Guys, we’re in trouble.  There are way too many of us.  Not biologically.  The ratio of men to women, in the world, is roughly even.  That is, if you don’t count China.  The JDate community is a lot like China.  It’s large, the population generally shares a common characteristic, and there is an overflow of men.  It is true that because the men of China are outnumbered, many good, eligible men will stay single.  There really isn’t hope for many of them, unless they develop some sort of reverse-polygamy method, which doesn’t sound like it would be inherently popular.  But in China, men outnumber women because of past laws governing the sex of children.  On JDate, however, the overflow of men is de facto.  Nobody forced more men than women to sign up.  What has caused this unequal distribution?  It’s simple: JDate is a microcosm of Jewish culture.

Men, if you are online and do a search for women that are online and in your area, you may find one woman.  That’s fine because she seems pretty and friendly and there isn’t a reason she wouldn’t enjoy a conversation with you.  What you sometimes don’t realize is that there are five other men in your area thinking the same thing.  Though you are handsome, charming and funny, so are the other five men.  You have to think strategically.  You can’t start a conversation by saying “hi.”  Do you realize how many ‘hi’s’ the average woman on JDate receives daily?  I do not know the exact number, but it is probably in the billions.  We are like undead zombies programmed to both message ‘hi’ to every woman we find, and eat brains.  Jewish women have nightmares about random men saying ‘hi.’  They have probably been conditioned to the point where they can’t even deal with people saying ‘hi’ to them in real life.  Their families have ostracized them so they must live in exile  where they live out their years unable to begin conversations.

There is only one solution, in my mind, to this problem.  It’s simple: Let’s start a campaign to get Jewish (or non-Jewish) women to sign up to this website.  We can start by making posters on college campuses and community centers.  Word of mouth will be essential.  Go to your synagogue.  Ask your rabbi to mention this growing problem in his next sermon; or you can become a rabbi explicitly to solve this problem.  Call your senators.  Let them know that they will be unelectable in 2012 unless they understand the severity of this disparage.  Finally, find a mate and produce children.  When the women grow up, introduce them to JDate.  Tell your sons that they have to fend for themselves.  They will be okay.