Tales From A First Date: The Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer

by Kelly under Relationships

Once upon a JDate, I was out at a really cool speakeasy in the Lower East Side with a guy who was just my type. We were having a good time – I was actually laughing at what he was saying, not just my own ridiculous stories. He was starting to tell me that he recently took a salsa dancing class and suggested we go. I laughed it off assuming he meant at another time, but he kept talking about it.

“We should go salsa dancing,” he said.
“Now?” Uhh, seriously?
“Yeah. I know a great place. Or we can go to that bar you mentioned in Chinatown.”
“Let’s go to the bar. It’s called Apotheke,” I said. Crisis averted.

To be fair, salsa dancing is a good idea for a date – just not a first date. First dates are about getting to know someone – NOT going salsa dancing so your date can show off what they learned at a lesson they bought on Groupon. But once I got him to Apotheke, the date started to rebound. This was the first time I had fun on a date in a while. I started to relax and let my guard down when out of left field he says, “After this we should go salsa dancing.”

I should have left when I had the chance.

“Not tonight. Maybe another time,” I offered.
“No problem. Let’s go to another bar.”
“Ready to go?” he asked.

Yeah. Home! I panicked. This guy was not going to let me go easy. It was a salsa dancing or bust. I stared down at my phone to look at the time to stall and think of a plan. Instead of thinking of a polite way to excuse myself, I panicked.

“Oh no! My roommate just texted me. She forgot her keys and is locked out of our apartment.” This wasn’t a total lie. My roommate did actually get locked out…it just happened to be the week before.

As soon as we walked out onto Canal Street, a cab pulled up and I hopped in. I barely had a chance to wave goodbye. It wasn’t quite the graceful exit I hope I usually pull off on a bad date, and certainly not my proudest moment. Had Mr. Salsa Dancer and I parted ways after the first bar, he would have absolutely gotten a second date. But no. He came on so strong in the first date that he actually scared me off. Since then, I’ve tried to take what I learned that night to prevent it from ever happening again. I even created a rule about it: Thou shall only go to one bar on the first date, unless they want to risk exposure to a Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer Who Just Can’t Take a Hint. Don’t let it happen to you.

Jersey Girl

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I live about a half hour outside of NYC.  It seems that every man on JDate lives in the city! Since I don’t drive in the city, it would cost me about $20 every time I want to go in for a date, and I find that most New Yorkers aren’t willing to come to New Jersey.  Is it worth the money to keep spending on traveling to first dates? Should I expect the man to make the trip to see me?  I’m a pure Jersey girl, and I think this is hurting me in finding a relationship.  How can I fight this distance barrier? Please help!

Dear Jersey Girl,

How much is the chance of meeting your Beshert worth? $20 each time can add up quickly, sure, especially when the first dates are duds. But eventually that $20 is going to lead to a serious relationship at which point the man will start driving out to Jersey on a regular basis. Is there somewhere you can suggest to meet in between or at least somewhere near where your train lets off so you don’t have to commute plus deal with NYC traffic? I know Jersey gets a bad rap (thank you Jersey Shore), but as a true Jersey girl try to reshape people’s views by being a class act about the commute.

First Annual JDate Day!

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Single Life

Hear ye!  I have a proposal involving all members of JDate.  When you read this, please keep an open mind.

Okay.  Here we go.  I think that once a year everybody on JDate should say and act in real life the same way they do online.  For example, instead of using the ‘Search’ feature, members should literally go door-to-door and assess each person that answers.  I realize that this may work better in more densely populated Jewish areas like Israel or New York City and so, therefore, you must first ask the respondent’s religious persuasion.  This will likely offend almost everybody.  Next, if their persuasion is of your liking, you must then read from a prompt.  Following is a prototype:

“Hello. My name is (insert username).  (Look at the person).  Now that I have visual confirmation, I will proceed with my next set of questions.  Now, please hand me at least four photographs of yourself.  I will use them to analyze whether or not further conversation is necessary.”

If you are still interested say, “I generally like your photographs.  May I ask your age, please?  Also, please give me a short description about yourself.  Telling me your physical characteristics is moot as I am looking you in the eyes right now.  Please do tell me of your ideal relationship as well as your past relationships.  What have you learned from them?  Also, what does your perfect first date consist of?”

If all goes well, finish with, “Thank you for your time regarding my interest in dating you.  Please give me your phone number and email address so that we can continue conversing in a normal matter such as this.”

My Sisters Experience

by SoundofDolin under JBloggers,JDate,Success Stories

I spent this last week in Greensboro, NC.  It’s the city I grew up in.  My sister was getting married, coincidentally enough to a guy she met on JDate 3 1/2 years ago in New York City.  The wedding was a smashing success, and everyone had a lovely weekend.  I spent some time with my brother-in-law Chris, and while we were shooting hoops in the backyard, we discussed JDate.

Chris had dated a few girls from JDate before he met my sister, Miriam.  He said the same  thing I have been experiencing; he would meet a girl, they dated for a bit before they both realized it wasn’t working, and then he went back to browsing profiles.  Eventually he came across my sister’s, and after reading her profile that stated how much she enjoyed Broadway shows, sent her an email.  In it contained a well-written and thought-out letter, which included a less-than-true statement about his own passion for musical theater.

Lo and behold, it worked!  My sister was intrigued, and they met for coffee later in the week.  He gladly went to Broadway shows, and in return she was willing to give professional hockey a chance, a sport that Chris enjoyed.  Of course, later in their relationship, Chris admitted that he wasn’t a Broadway enthusiast, but by then it didn’t matter.  His willingness to embrace a passion of my sister’s was enough for her, and in return she did the same for him.

What does this teach us?  That you should lie about your interests?  Not quite.  But I don’t think there is a problem with embellishing them slightly to catch the interest of a certain JDater®.  Who knows, maybe you can impress upon them an interest of yours!

Fan Mail

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under JBloggers,Single Life

Recently JDate passed on to me some fan mail. This is significant because my blogger moniker is different than my profile moniker so it is a little hard to locate me (shhh).  Well, I’m flattered.  Who knew MOTs followed the blogs.  I’ve never claimed to be a therapist, a dating expert or the like.  I’m just a thirty-something caught between the Moon and New York City (name that movie/song for $100 bonus) looking for her Lobster (as Ross so eloquently put it on the TV show Friends).

Halloween And Empathy

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Judaism

It’s that time of year again. It is in the air, Halloween.  A few weeks ago, while visiting my parents, I asked each one of them what Halloween was like for them as children.  Their answers were completely different than what I had conjured up in my own mind about each of their childhoods.

My mother was raised as a Conservative Jew. Her father was very observant and did not believe in putting any time and/or energy into holidays that were not strictly Jewish. My mother who grew up in New York City wasn’t allowed to trick-or-treat. She never dressed up, felt the excitement all day at school, or got to look forward to the chocolate bar before bed on Halloween night.

 My father was raised as a Reform Jew and was able to partake in trick-or treating. I always imagine his early years as Leave it to Beaver. He had an older brother, a working father, and a mother who seemed to be able to fix any problem in 22 minutes or less. His Halloween night was spent in costume going door to door collecting money for Unicef. Again, no chocolate bar before hitting the pillow for the night. But, what a concept; spending an evening with friends doing something for someone else. How many of us really, truly do that?

I grew up waiting for the one night of the year to collect as much candy as possible.  My brother and I would compete to see who could get more. It is not easy to admit, but at times I’m still like this. Putting my needs, even if they are just a hankering for a good old-fashioned chocolate bar before someone else’s.

If for just a few minutes a day we were to all do something kind for someone else I believe this world would be a much happier, kinder and gentler place. Think about this next time you go on a date.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for just a few moments. If you feel nervous imagine how the other person must feel. It takes a lot of effort to date and to put oneself out there. It makes us vulnerable which can be a scary place to be. Be kind with your dates. Honesty, integrity and helping someone feel more at ease are all signs of great character.  Make these attributes part of who you are and treat people in a manner that you would like to be treated. In essence, collect for Unicef on Halloween night, instead of going out there for as much candy as you can get your hands on. You still get the pleasure of trick-or-treating without gaining an ounce, and you did something good for someone else.  I imagine if we all took the time to do this all of our dates would have much happier endings.

Zagats for Dating

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under JBloggers,Single Life

New York City Singles 2009–The Ultimate Dating Guide from the Dater’s Point of View. As usual, my friend and I were deep in “serious” Seinfeld-esque discussions involving our celebrity lists…Emmanuelle Chriqui, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington…Then we quickly switched gears to what we thought was a brilliant idea. What if there was an imdb or Zagat for dating? All necessary information would be available with feedback and ratings. We could have categories like “Cost” (high/low maintenance/Am Ex Black Card), “Decor” (Carson Kressley HELP!), “Service” (Getting into Harvard is easier) and “Overall Date.” That way before you asked someone out, you’d know prior what to expect. Efficiency at its best.

Imagine the reviews: “Great in its heyday,” “lovely garden,” “neighborhood favorite,” “NYC’s finest hottie,” “kind of, sort of,” “chaotic,” “authentic without extraneous enhancements,” “doesn’t disappoint”, “cheapskate took the phony offer,” “phony offer made,” “ever-changing menu-commitment phopic” and “Per-fect palate awakening.”Of course included in this guide will be those fun adhesive tabs “Love it,” “Must Try,” “Best in Bed,” “Top Pick” and specialty sections “Geographically Desirable,” “Key Newcomers,” “Back on the Market,” and “Brunch Worthy.”

Coming soon…

Correction: There is indeed a Zagat Guide for Dating entitled Zagat Dating and Dumping Guide – one for New York and one for Los Angeles readers! As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a Zagat iPhone application where you can find the best places to go on a date!

No Luck with Dating

by GemsFromJen under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dear GemsFromJen,

I am about to turn 26 and live in New York City. I have never dated and am really interested in dating or getting into a relationship if and when I find the right person. I am shorter than average height and do weigh a bit more than I should, which makes it harder for me with online dating since the picture is all you really have to go on when looking at people’s profiles. I need some suggestions as to how to turn this all around in my favor.

I have a lot to offer and am a great friend, listener and would like to be someone’s best friend and partner in life. I really want to have a family and experience the amazing restaurants/parks/recreation NYC has to offer with that someone special or at least experience some fun dating in my 20’s.

Can you help me? Any advice?


Dear Lindsay,

To be 26 and single in the big city is fantastic! Your 20’s only come once and taking full advantage of these exciting years is my best suggestion.

Firstly, there is no shame in who you are. We women have so many stereotypes to live up to that it is no wonder we question our physical appearance. I know I have many more times than I even care to remember. What is wrong with being short? I once dated a guy who was 6 feet tall and he always commented on how grateful he was that I was considered short (I’m 5 feet 2 inches). He loved that I would ask him to reach items off of tall shelves and change light bulbs. Men like to feel needed, so this worked in my favor!

Who decided you weigh more than you should? If a doctor has given you this advice then yes, follow doctor’s orders. If however, you are comparing yourself to other women or what you think every man likes, then get that idea out of your head and fast! Men are attracted to all shapes and sizes. There is most certainly a match out there for you.
You mentioned all of the great qualities you possess. Keep those in mind and face the dating world with confidence. Looks fade; but qualities like being a good listener and a best friend last a lifetime. Any man that chooses a woman solely based on looks is a man you want to run far away from.

Spice up your profile a bit. Have a friend take some pictures of you doing things in the city that you enjoy. Make sure to smile and let your personality shine through.

Keep me posted and good luck with your JDate search!

Gems from Jen

The Search…

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under Relationships

It seems most folks are in a constant search for one thing or another. As a recent NYC transplant, this week I have been engaged in an apartment search and honestly I’m not sure which is more challenging…finding the right apartment or the right guy to date? I’ve been pounding the pavement on the UWS (Upper West Side) for the perfect apartment and so far there is something always a little off…which reinforces that it is all about priorities/compromise (as with dating)…perfection does not exist…and maybe if it did, it might actually be a little boring. So, when does my search end for my apartment/mensch?I believe when I have an intangible “content” feeling that this is “the perfect fit” with all its imperfections.

Though my practical side is at odds with my romantic notions, reminding me that in both searches timing is crucial and out of my control, both with an apartment vacancy and finding that perfect-enough-for-me bachelor.

Who am I?

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under Relationships

I have always been a contradiction even to myself…1/3 impetuous adventurer, free spirit, willing to try “most things” from scuba diving the Great Barrier to skiing Aspen…to living in Japan for several years in my early twenties. 1/3 traditional romantic idealist, who roots for the underdog, believes in karma – that good guys/women finish first, and believes in happy endings. 1/3 responsible, fiercely independent and trying to live up to the expectations of others and most importantly, for what I have set up for myself.

I am a sassy single woman in her mid-thirties who continues to evolve and take risks, not sure where my path may lead but recognizing “change” is generally never a bad thing. As such, after 14 years of a comfortable life in the burbs of D.C., I picked up and moved to NYC to try my hand as a city gal….