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?


There is no “end” in Courtship

by Adam under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

Did anyone see the New York Times article on the end of courtship? It was thought-provoking, with way too many shares between females showing up on my Facebook page.

With the high amount of “Girls” references, and the myriad of examples on guys missing dates, or bouncers hooking up with girls over whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese, the article seemed slanted against males. Girls were quoted as saying “guys don’t want to date, courtship is dead,” etc.

While “courtship” in its true 1950’s-esque definition means it is 100% on the guy to call the girl up, take her out, buy her flowers, and almost control the relationship, courtship in the millennial sense is entirely different. As I alluded to in my previous article about casual sex, we live in a time of convenience, and a time where 20 and 30-something females are on basically the same footing as males in terms of getting careers on track. It is not the era of “at 22 women will be bound to the house, studying up on Betty Crocker Recipes, and preparing themselves to be baby makers”. For the record, I don’t think my mother ever made a Betty Crocker recipe.

It’s not the end of courtship, it’s a change in courtship. I’m one who would rather call a girl to ask her out than text her. However, the problem lies when she doesn’t CALL back, but rather texts… saying that texting is easier for her. So, she really has no right to complain after setting that precedent early on in the dating cycle.

In terms of the Jewish world, Jewish young adults have a tendency to get married at a much older age than their other U.S. young adult counterparts. The marriage age has also increased from 21 and 23 during the 1970’s for Jewish brides and grooms, to 27 and 29 in 2010. Jewish young adults also have a tendency to be more career-focused than their other American young adult brethren, and millennial young adults in general have a tendency to be more transient than in generations past.

Given those facts and conclusions stated above, it is only natural that dating has undergone a change too. Courtship is still alive, but if you think you’re going to get a serious relationship out of a hook-up complete with whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese, well, you’ve got a wide other set of problems.


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?


Detached

by JeremySpoke under JFacts,Single Life

I have never felt more out of place than in the company of religious Jews. I went to a southern Baptist funeral once, and compared to the former, it felt like a close familial occasion. It was really pleasant, aside from the decaying corpse in the open casket at the front of the stage with that strong, detectable stench emanating throughout the tiny room.  I was trepidatious about going in as we parked because being a sheltered white kid from a sheltered home in a sheltered suburb protected by a sheltered sheltie, I had previously not been confined to a room containing more than one black person. Now, I was about to walk into one containing not 2, but 84.

Though I felt out of place the entire time, it was okay because it was a new experience and I was supposed to feel out of place since I was (am) not a southern Baptist. However, I am Jewish, and this is why I feel so bad when in the company of religious Jews. They are very nice. That is the extent of our similarities. The house is always cramped and hot, and the religious mores always outweigh the pleasures of the company of others. Also, this should not be understated: the food never comes. I always go in after being promised food. Though the food does eventually come, it is usually about three days and 87 small-talk topics later. When the food comes, it’s extremely weird. I swear to God one of the dishes tonight was a mixture of bell peppers, raisins, melted cheese, and pineapples. You have to eat it because you’re so hungry that by this point you would eat much, much worse. On second thought, there is nothing worse than the combination of the four foods I just described.

Also, at these events, people try to set me up a lot, which is usually fine. Though I can never argue with the idea of a woman liking me, I want to say something like, “Yeah, but I also want to be able to do things in life like eat things that aren’t bell peppers, raisins, melted cheese, and pineapples. I also want to be able to not have to produce 16 children within a period of six months.” In a couple of years, though, I will be out of time, and will have to settle with one of these women and start making good use of my fertilization skills.


Patti Stanger on JDate and Jewish Men

by JDateAdministrator under JDate,News,Relationships

Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker and author of Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate recently made headlines because of some recent comments she made about Jewish men being liars. In light of her recent comments, we’ve dug into the JDate archives and pulled out a few excerpts from a JMag® interview we did with Stanger a couple of years ago.  See what Stanger had to say about the topics of Jewish dating and Jewish men to Greg Liberman, President and CEO of Spark Networks®, owner and operator of JDate, the leading online community for Jewish singles.

Some highlights:

When Liberman asked Stanger about the dynamics between men and women she responded similarly to her recent interview. She said, “If you’re over 40 and you’re not getting any hits and you look younger, drop a few years off your age. Just to get in the window. But, no more than five. Don’t do a 10-year drop. You’re going to get into in trouble with that. We’ve seen men lie about their age, their height, their weight. So it’s not uncommon for men to lie. It’s been the same story. If you’re a woman in your 40s, you should date guys in their late 40s or 50s. If they’re being really particular about it because they want to have children, leave those men alone and go for a better man who’s maybe been divorced with kids. But don’t give up hope, he’s out there!”

But don’t be fooled while Stanger might seem to be hard on our Jewish men she’s still got a soft place in her heart for them as well. Liberman asked Stanger, “As a Jewish woman, do you feel that there are cultural differences between Jews and non-Jews when it comes to dating and relationships?” to which Stanger responded “I still believe that Jewish men are the best husbands because they’re providers. And there is still the whole thing where the woman gets to stay home, raise the kids, and the husband slays the dragons at work.”

What are your thoughts? Does Patti Stanger have it right or is she being too tough on our Jewish men? Comment below.

Have you heard JDate is responsible for more Jewish marriages than Match.com®  and eHarmony®  combined?


JDate Reaches New Milestone For New Year

by JDateAdministrator under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Success Stories,Weddings

We’re celebrating more than just the beginning of the Jewish New Year. A new study confirms that JDate is responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined. Of course we already knew this was true, but now we have the facts to back it up.

We recently commissioned an independent research company, ResearchNow, to survey nearly 1,000 married Jewish internet users. One of the most compelling findings: JDate is responsible for 52% of the marriages that started online, while only 17% of those surveyed met on Match.com® and 10% on eHarmony®.

Those who were surveyed were more likely to find a date on JDate than on any other online dating site. In fact, 63% of all online dates came from JDate. That’s three times more than Match and nine times more than eHarmony.

We couldn’t be happier about JDate’s success and contribution to the Jewish community, and are thrilled to share the good news!

Additional Highlights

·         5 out of 9 Jews married since 2008 used online dating during their search

·         63% of online dates amongst Jews originated at JDate

·         76% of Jewish online daters use JDate

·         Match.com’s President even used JDate

JDATE INFOGRAPHIC FINAL


New Jew

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

My family has known that my Grandma was Jewish though she became a Christian after all her family died when she was 10. She always told us about anything she could pertaining to Israel and she even visited three times, bringing back a Star of David for all her granddaughters. I’ve proudly worn the necklace since I was 5 years old. Thanks to the internet, I’ve learned that both of my mother’s parents were Jewish and so was my father’s mother’s side! I’ve decided I want to convert and be with my people. The question is, can I claim to be Jewish before I convert?

Dear New Jew,

What an interesting story! I would select the denomination of Judaism you are converting to and write in your profile that, although you are Jewish by blood, you were not raised Jewish and are in the midst of converting. Your story is going to be a hot topic so be prepared to tell it again and again and again. Some dates are going to want to hear details about the legitimacy of your Jewishness and your conversion, so don’t get offended when you’re questioned.

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JDate Cool Factor

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I was sitting at a dinner party the other night when word got around that I write about dating.  Suddenly all of the hostess’ girlfriends wanted advice from me, who they now called the “Jewish Carrie Bradshaw.” Flattered, I felt an obligation to try and help these single women in their early 20’s. As an “older” woman (nearly 30… they probably considered me ancient), I had an obligation to impart some wisdom.

My first question: “are you on JDate?” elicited one unusual response:  a guttural sound emanated from Danielle’s throat while her face distorted into a look of disgust.  While the corners of her lips turned down with her upper lip peaked into a snarl, her eyes became slits and her jaw tensed up. She finally recovered from her bout with repulsion and simply said, “ew.” And I could tell she was starting to doubt her opinion of me as the cool, older sister-type.

As for me, I couldn’t help but start laughing.  I remembered I used to think the same way when I was her age. But still I eventually did sign up for a JDate membership where I found dozens upon dozens of eligible bachelors and was happily surprised to know I was in good (and good-looking) company.

I told Danielle that I too had preconceived notions about JDate, but found it to be a place where ALL Jews go to look for their beshert.  By signing up on JDate, there would be hundreds of thousands of single Jewish men from around the world literally at her fingertips. She could narrow them down at her behest, whether by area, age, or however her critical heart desires.

As the JDate conversation continued most of the other people at the dinner party, guys and gals alike, all proudly stated that they too were on JDate. Danielle quickly became the odd woman out and I could tell she was even excited to sign up. She had discovered that JDate is not the place where desperate people go but rather where the “cool” people are.

*all names have been changed


Dazed & Confused

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’ve been seeing a man who’s not Jewish that I met on a dating site 7 months ago.  We’ve said we love each other, however when we first met, it was Hanukkah and he bought me a huge number of gifts and it felt uncomfortable and overwhelming.  He also bought a menorah and a book about Judaism. It felt like too much for me and he felt rejected by the way I felt. Since then, I thought we had moved on and have spent almost every day together. Recently, he was reading my e-mail and saw a letter I had written to my Rabbi back in January where I had doubts about the relationship because of the fact he wasn’t Jewish. He broke my trust and has apologized but feels hurt I felt that way when we had already been dating for a few months and wants to take a break for a month. I want to respect his wishes but I miss him and know he misses me as he did write me yesterday. I’m just trying to understand whether we have broken up or not and if I should move on or if we are truly taking time to figure out what we want with the intention of possibly getting back together. I don’t understand how you can work something out without talking about it. Can you provide some input and help me to understand? Thank you!

Dear Dazed & Confused,

My initial impulse is to ask: why are you on JDate asking for advice about a relationship with a non-Jew? But the answer doesn’t matter, I’m happy to help as long as you answer a question for yourself first: how important is it to you to marry a Jew? This answer does matter. When you first had doubts, you went to your Rabbi. Now you have doubts again and you’re coming to JDate, so my inclination is to believe that religion is important to you and while you’re on this break you should really think deeply about it. It sounds like this guy might be willing to convert, have you discussed it? If you want to be with this guy – Jewish or not – you need to get him on the phone and then in person to talk. A few days apart to think things through is understandable, each of you needs to put things in perspective and decide what you want from each other, if anything. But now it’s time to get talking because you’re right – you can’t work on a relationship without both parties being present. Good luck!


Serious Relationships

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

I had two serious relationships, the last of which ended almost four years ago.  I’ve dated a lot since then, but no one longer than three and a half months.  Both of my serious relationships ended because of the religion issue (i.e., they weren’t Jewish).  Both girls were incredible and we had amazing relationships otherwise.

I feel like I can’t find the same spark with anyone I’ve dated since.  I’ve actually liked a lot of the girls I’ve dated and I’m even friends with two of them, but it’s just not the same.  I fully believe this issue is mine.  I’ve never really sought out a professional to ask how I can overcome whatever issue I have.  I’m very successful in every other area of my life.

Thanks for your help. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts.

Regards,
M

Dear Serious Relationships,

I am wondering if you are comparing these two past relationships to the women you are dating now? Sometimes people tend do this without even being aware that they are doing it.. You knew these relationships from your past were not going to work out, but you chose to stay even though you knew neither was right for you.  Have you considered the possibility that perhaps you don’t want a successful relationship?  I’m not necessarily saying this is your truth, but it is something for you to think about.  Spend some time figuring out what the “spark” you felt really was. Was it knowing these relationships were a no-no, or was it true chemistry? If you truly want a serious relationship, make your list of your non-negotiable items, including the Judaism piece, and stick to it. Spend time every day looking at profiles on JDate and contact only those that fit your criteria.  Allow yourself to let go of the past and move forward with your future.

Signed,
Gems from Jen

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