Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there. For the rest of you, the holiday just happened this past weekend, so I can’t remind you to get a gift. But, this is your cue to start planning for next year. Also, you might be wondering what mothers have to do with a dating blog. In case you forgot, this is a Jewish dating blog, so… everything! In fact, I know of two Jewish moms who actually created JDate profiles so they could shop for potential sons-in law. Seriously. Or at least to check out the local prospects and competition for their kids. (My mom is NOT one of them!) Letting your mom take the reins for a day or two: fun and potentially helpful. Giving her full control to search and send messages on your behalf? Not so much. So yeah, for better or for worse, moms have certainly earned their place in this column.
When it comes to moms and dating, my perspective is that of a single daughter with a married mom. But JDaters come from all family structures… some are single moms, some don’t have moms, and some are dating at the same time as their kids! (Does anyone know of a mother-daughter [or father-son] duo on here? So cute. I would love to feature them in a future column.) So as strange as it might sound to have your mom checking out the site to recommend pre-vetted profiles, imagine how it must feel to have your daughter (or grand-daughter!) do the same.
Would you let your mom write your profile on your behalf? On one hand, I’m sure it would be very glowing: “Little Davey is a brilliant, lovely young man with a heart of gold from a good family. He has a stable job and is confident and handsome.” On the other hand, no one knows your shortcomings quite like mama: “He is looking for a good woman to laugh at his poorly timed jokes and fold his laundry because his, on the rare occasion that he decides to wash it, is always stuffed into drawers with no order. He wasn’t raised to live like such a savage.”
When you marry someone, you marry the family. Similarly, if you’re dating someone, you might date the family too. And no matter how embarrassing or nosy or annoying your mom, your daughter, or anyone in the mishpacha might be, remember that they all want one thing in common: your happiness!
A few months ago, after getting sick of hearing the constant nagging from my mom over why I’m not meeting anyone on JDate, I finally gave in. I gave her the username and password to my JDate account and let her explore for a few hours. I had imagined this moment to be awful and embarrassing, but what I found was that her perspective and judgments on who the good candidates were was very englightning. If you’re going to have a parent or a dear friend take over your accounts, here are some do’s and don’ts.
- Do: Set a time limit. Tell them this won’t be a recurring event, but if they’d like to go on for an afternoon (under your supervision) that’s okay. Set rules beforehand and make sure you’re comfortable with them either messaging people for you or answering messages.
- Don’t: Let them take over your account without your consent. Be sure that you have a say in who they are messaging and be even more sure they are not setting up dates or messaging back and forth with people for you. After they see someone they think is a good match, they should let you take over from there.
Read more Jen Glantz here or on Twitter: @tthingsilearned.
When you take your new boyfriend or girlfriend home to meet your parents, you might as well hold up a big sign that says, “Sh*t just got real.” Because if you’re introducing someone to your parents, it is real. You’re making a conscious choice to test the waters of a real future with someone. But back in the days of arranged marriages, a man would search for a wife, meet with a prospective father-in-law who would offer a dowry on behalf of his daughter, hands would shake, Heineken bottles would clink, and happily ever after would be off to an amicable start. Okay, maybe there was no Heineken, but if my dad were involved there would be. It’s now totally backwards. These days we are expected to go out into the wild and successfully find not only a mate, but our soul mate. And on top of that we are expected to trust our own judgment. We can’t just go blaming our parents if it ends up badly. It’s all up to us.
Only two guys have ever had the opportunity to shake my dad’s hand, and let’s just say they both later screwed up on catastrophic levels. Now I won’t even entertain introducing a guy to my family until I’m very confident in our future. This guy will not only have to meet (and hopefully exceed) my expectations, he will have to be able to keep up with my dad and brother. He will have to endure their lengthy discussions about law and politics, the NFL and MLB, the Beatles and Dylan, nine irons and wedges. And then, of course, he will have to pass the Jewish mother test with flying colors. And while my mom passed away when I was in high school, I know without a doubt that the first question she would ask is, “When was the last time you spoke to your mother?”, the right answer being “today.” The next question: when was your last haircut?
Just getting to this point in a relationship is a feat in itself, and I can’t even make it to the checkpoint where meeting the fam is a topic of discussion. So I’m thinking, why don’t we take the whole soul mate search and go back to the days of yore? I’m confident that my dad, who is amazing, would put together a pretty outstanding dowry and then I’d have a good selection of possible husbands to choose from. It would include high end guitars (acoustic and electric), TaylorMade golf clubs, Jack Daniels, and not to mention, season tickets to Marlins games (don’t blame the man – we’re from Florida). Seriously, what guy wouldn’t love that? Then my dad and I would discuss who is Mr. Right, the men would shake hands, I’d call my dating shenanigans quits. Boom. I’d get my happily-ever-something. Any takers? I just have one more question. When was the last time you talked to your mother?