Let’s Get it Started

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

I’m new to this whole online dating thing.  What’s the best way to go about it?


Dear Let’s Get it Started,

My suggestion would be to first take a look at my past columns about creating a screen name, picking photos, writing “About Me” and choosing your preferences. Then use the search engine to check out your competition and see what their photos look like, how their paragraphs read and so on. Then take your time to craft your profile. Finally, ask some bluntly honest friends and/or family critique your profile. Once that’s done, go through your first round of matches and select who you want to Click!® with so they know you’re interested. Now go get JDating ®!

What’s My Problem?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been on JDate for a few weeks now and I have not gotten any emails or IM’s. What is wrong with me, my pics or my profile?

Dear What’s My Problem?

It could be both! If you doubt your pics and profile, then it sounds like you need to revisit both. Employ a trusted friend or family member to critique your photos and profile. This person should have your best interests at heart and you need to be open to what they suggest. The pictures you may think are good may not be as flattering of you may think. Remember that others see you as up to 20% better looking than you see yourself, so if your confidant wants you to use other pictures you should listen. Then, let your confidant edit your About Me profile to his or her heart’s desire because the written word is only as good as the person reading it. Once you’re done, you will get the super-cool “New” icon and will be at the top of searches, enabling you to catch someone’s eye who may have overlooked you before. And remember to Click!® and Hot List people you like so they know you’re interested and will feel secure sending you an email. Good luck!

Ready to Give Up

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

I am so incredibly puzzled. I have gone on numerous dates that all seem really great. They’d last an average of 2-3 hours for dinner. My photos are completely accurate and updated.  In fact, I am often thanked for being so honest. I am 48 and look much younger (and awkward to say about myself, but I am considered very attractive). I have teens and am dating men around the same age as me. I have been completely puzzled because I am not being called for second dates by those I would like to have a second date with. One recently texted 30 minutes after the date to say he had a great time…and then no follow up. I am really confused and feel like shelving dating.

Dear Ready to Give Up,

Don’t shelf dating just yet. I look at this from a “so far, so good” perspective: you obviously have good photos (and look like them!), you have a lot of life left to live and the men are spending a pretty big chunk of their time with you. If you remember dating the first time around, you’ll recall it wasn’t easy then either. And now you’re bringing age, experience, kids, and all the pluses and minuses that come with that to the table — and probably so are the men you’re dating. So what’s the problem? Why aren’t you getting 2nd dates?

I think what you have to look at are the conversations you’re having on the dates: are you talking about yourself and asking questions about your date? Or, are you commiserating about your past relationships, the stress of having teenagers and so forth? Although these topics may seem like bonding conversations and you may think that by putting all your cards on the table the man will know what he’s getting into, these topics also have negative connotations and may not leave a man thinking he’s had a great time.  Instead, he may think he’s left a therapy session.

Once you meet someone you like you’ll each have plenty of time to discuss your past, but right now you should be talking about upbeat, positive subjects. What interests and hobbies do you have in common? Play Jewish Geography (but don’t talk badly about anyone, that’s bad karma). Talk about what you’re both looking for in the future. I believe if you stick to these topics on 1st dates you will start landing some 2nd dates. Just don’t give up, it will happen! Good luck!

JDate Strangers

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

It was a glorious weekend, taking a stroll on the upper west side to meet the girls at our favorite Sunday brunch place Isabella’s, very “sex and the city” as we toasted with our Bellini’s.  As I was walking, I locked eyes with a good-looking gentleman who waved hello.  He looked familiar but I could not place how I knew him.  I definitely did not know his name and I definitely had not gone on a date with him.  After racking my brain, I realized we had actually never met.  We only knew each other through cyber space and recognized each other from our photos.  How strange it is to recognize a familiar JDate face in a city of over 8 million people.  I guess strangers are only friends who have yet to meet.  To make it a little stranger, I saw him enter my building which I assume he lives in.  NYC for as big as it is, is amazingly small sometimes.


More Picture Perfect

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

JDate gives you the option to post 12 pictures, and you need to use at least four options if you want Internet dating to work to your advantage. Research shows that people view you as 20% more attractive than you view yourself (“The Beauty Prescription” 2008). That’s a pretty big jump. The authors of this study – a pair of female doctors, one from Beverly Hills, one from South Beach – argue that individuals don’t take their personalities  into consideration when they look in the mirror, while others who look at you do. But unfortunately, when you’re trying to promote yourself via JDate you don’t get that extra 20% boost from your personality. And if you choose the wrong pictures on top of that, you will actually be losing attractiveness points.

When you’re choosing your photos try to look at them from other people’s perspective. If you saw your photo online squeezed between eight other profile pictures, what would make you stop? Not that fuzzy out-of-focus photo or the one taken too far away to see the face or the one with three other people in it. And while you’re thinking about it, if you did click on the first photo, would it make you want to check out the next one and so on? Although the photo in your Halloween costume is cute, it should be the third or fourth photo while the one of you dressed-up for your friend’s wedding should instead be first.

Follow the four F’s in this order when choosing your photos: Face, Full body, Fun, Friends and Family. Hook ‘em with the face, reel ‘em in with the full body, keep ‘em interested with the fun photos and make ‘em fall in love with the friends and family photos.

The first picture, the profile picture, should be a close-up of your face. They say the eyes are the window to your soul, so make sure your eyes are clear and visible (i.e. use the red-eye reduction option on your camera). A smile can light up your face, so make sure the photo is a happy one. And don’t crop out your neck… a woman’s narrow neck automatically makes her appear graceful and swanlike, a man’s thick neck makes him appear strong and masculine. These gender traits are appealing to the opposite sex.

The second photo, the full body photo, should let people see you. The body type options you’re given can be easily misconstrued so even if you’re overweight or out-of-shape, show yourself because everyone is someone’s type! You wouldn’t want to go out with a floating head, would you? Your body type isn’t super important, but be proud of what you got and flaunt it. Confidence is sexy.

Use that Halloween photo, beach photo, party photo or other photo showing you having fun for your third picture. This is not the place for your corporate business photo or the extra copies of your passport photo. Uptight photos are downright wrong for JDate.

If you want to use a photo of you with friends or family, the fourth photo option is the appropriate place for that.  JDate will use their magic powers to identify you and zoom in on you. Make sure you refer to the people in your photo later so people don’t think your brother is your ex-boyfriend or your nephew is your son. If you have a great circle of friends or are close to your family, then simply say so.

Changing your photos will also boost your JDate profile back to the top of list and get you that cool little “New” or “Updated” logo next to your name. Don’t retract your photos too often, but if you take a break or need a refresher online, take the time to scroll through the past year or two of your photos and pick some new ones to post.

And by all means, post more photos but I think more than six can make you look a bit narcissistic.

Lastly, if you don’t have photos you like or they’re outdated, then the next time you’re at a party ask your friends to snap a lot of photos. Even if you’re in the same outfit, new pictures are better than none at all.

Avoiding 1st Date Awkwardness

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

I remember when I was on JDate and meeting someone for the first time… it was so daunting! Would he look like his photos? Would we recognize each other? Would it be one of those awkward introductions where someone sticks out a hand to shake while the other goes in for a hug? I have a few solutions for these very problems!

Check out your JDate’s profile one last time before the date. Look at all the pictures offered since you never know which one he or she is actually going to look like. Then, as you’re pulling up to the restaurant, coffee shop or bar (I’ll get to that later) call your date and ask him or her to meet you outside. That way you don’t have to scan the back of people’s heads at the bar trying to figure out which is your date without looking like a deranged stalker. Once you see each other — and trust me, you will recognize each other when no one else is around! — you should both go in for a friendly hug. Afterall, you know enough about each other at this point that its more like a 2nd date, right?

Next:  Making Small Talk

A Captivating Photo

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under JBloggers,Online Dating

In supposedly a voyeuristic manner I enjoy reading profiles (yes, I look at more than the photo) and reading others perspectives on their ideal and lessons learned.  A good majority of profiles are generic in nature seemingly without much introspection but once in awhile you find one that makes you pause and take note. Recently I took note!!  It was both the writing and photo that had me in awe. Granted it was playing on a soft spot of mine; photography and my Asian fetish. The photo was an aerial shot displaying the perfect expression of a young Asian boy in the grass assumingly going through tickle torture by Mr. Captivation.  The scene and expressions is one that can be easily seen in a gallery shot.

I find myself looking at the photo and wondering who is this person; is he kind, generous, fun, charismatic, curious, spontaneous…who knows…

To my luck, Mr. Captivation lives in another city so who knows if we will ever meet.  But this photo indeed spoke a thousand words AND brought a smile to my face.