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.
under Date Night
I am a food sharer. A sampler if you will who prefers, and usually insists, that at least one other person that I am enjoying a meal with splits it with me. Growing up my mom was the one who cleverly instilled in me the idea that if you are at a restaurant, where a bunch of things on the menu look good, you don’t have to be burdened with the difficult decision of choosing one singular item to order.
Instead, my mom opened my eyes to the idea that we could each pick one thing that we wanted and share so that we would, in actuality, get to try two different things. Thus far, this has turned out to be one of the most important and lasting lessons that my mom has taught me, since I attempt to follow this bit of wisdom every time I go out to eat.
While I’m not willing to definitively say whether or not someone who enjoys sharing or splitting food at restaurants is a “deal breaker” as to whether I will ultimately date them or not; it certainly helps. A couple of months ago I went out on a first date to a Mexican restaurant that I really liked, where there were two things on the menu that I had trouble deciding between. I figured that since she knew that I had been there before that she might ask for a suggestion or give an indication that she might be open to sharing.
She ended up not giving any clues as to her ordering preferences, but I did get lucky that she ended up requesting one of the dishes that I would have wanted to share. Upon hearing her order I quickly asked for the other dish, but once our food came I failed to inquire about sharing. Instead I opted to let it go since you never know what people’s preferences are going to be and simply ate only my food.
In spite of my disappointment in not sharing we still both had a fun time and decided to go out again. After having a first date where we didn’t share anything, we were once again at a restaurant in a food ordering situation for our third date. After blankly staring at the menu wondering whether or not I should bring up the fact that I like to share food I was fortunate that she interrupted my thinking with a novel suggestion, “Do you just want to get two things and share?”
After letting out an obvious sigh of relief I told her of my affection for sharing food. She answered back that we should have shared on our first date since what we both ordered looked so good. After acknowledging her response we went on to have a conversation about how we both enjoyed sharing food for the exact the same reasons. This once again proves that unless you let people know your tastes and preferences, whether they be for sharing food, eating a particular type of food or even something non-food related, you won’t have as many opportunities to share cool things in common.