The Paradox of Choice

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

At the launch of my book, How to Woo a Jew, I was asked by a man if JDate was more of a hindrance to his dating life because of The Paradox of Choice. The Paradox of Choice is a book written by Barry Schwartz; it states that having too many options heightens anxiety and that having less choices will help your chances of achieving success and, therefore, happiness. The man who asked the question wondered if people don’t look at the great prospect in front of them because they think there might be someone better around the corner. Could there be too many fish in the sea?

My answer? No. People should poly-date in order to make sure they are not falling for someone too quickly, and they can make sure they aren’t settling by having options to compare. It’s easy to overlook faults when you don’t have anyone else to consider. It’s easy to convince yourself to accept less when you’re feeling desperate.

A little competition is good, it’s healthy, it keeps people on their game. But you also need to really know what you want — by having your short list of priorities — so that when you do find it, you aren’t doubting yourself and wondering if you could meet someone who meets some items from your longer, more nit-picky, less realistic list.


The Heat of Summer

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A recent survey reveals more women than men want to be single this summer to enjoy their time and have fun without any strings. This means more women want to avoid entering into a relationship right now and prefer poly-dating this summer.

I don’t buy it. I believe people say things like that because it’s what they think people want to hear so they don’t come across as desperate. If Mr. Right came along, none of the women who said they just wanted to party this summer would ever tell him, “No thanks, I’d rather lay on the beach, drink all day and hook up with random strangers. Maybe after Labor Day.”

Overall, poly-dating will give you the attitude of not being overly into anyone because you are busy getting to know multiple suitors, so there’s no need to lie. Enjoy life — with or without a significant other — and don’t rely on a date to determine your fun factor.

Tags:

Poly-Dating During the Holidays

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Schmooz-A-Palooza and other Jewish-on-Christmas-Eve (or New Years Eve) parties are great opportunities to meet someone, but they are also ample opportunity to run into more than one someone, which could create awkwardness. Everyone on JDate spends time studying the faces of their JDate matches so when you attend one of the huge holiday singles events you are bound to run into more than one person you recognize and possibly more than one person that you are actually communicating with — or even dating. You may even attend the event with a date and run into someone else you have been JDating. What do you do when this happens? First off, play it cool. As long as you’re not pretending to be in a committed relationship then you’ve done nothing wrong. Make introductions, otherwise it will be even more awkward if it’s obvious that you don’t want two people to meet, and then tell one of your JDates that you will catch up to them later. You may inadvertently burn a bridge with one of your prospects, but that’s par for the course. You could have run into one date while with another at any bar or restaurant, so it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock to anyone if you run into more than one prospect during a major holiday singles event. If you’re the one seeing a JDate with another prospect, don’t take it personally and don’t let it ruin your night. Everyone is there to meet someone, including you. Keep a smile on your face and try to meet new people!


Sacrificial Lamb

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What do you do when you find out your JDate is JDating both you and your friend… and doing so knowingly? Well, you can be flattered for starters. You like your friend and you made the decision to be friends so therefore you must deduce that your common JDate has amazing taste! But how do you decide who should continue dating said JDate? By leaving it up to the JDate you are giving up all semblance of control over your heart and your friendship. He or she has continued dating you both, so maybe you should give him or her a taste of their own medicine by both of you dumping the loser! Except what if the JDate isn’t a loser and you both are awesome and you both are still interested? Well, you could both continue dating the same JDate, but don’t be surprised if you lose your friendship along the way. I endorse poly-dating, but not when it can hurt feelings. So take a step back and use one of the following measurements in order to fairly decide who will jump ship.

-who met first?
-who has gone on more dates?
-who has spent more time getting to know each other/who knows more about the prospect?
-who has gone further sexually?
-who has “that feeling”?

It shouldn’t take much more than these questions to figure out the answer. Save the friendship. It’s never worth it. And if that couple ends up becoming a JDate success story, then the sacrificial lamb better be honored in the wedding!


Your Rights in a New Relationship

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What happens when you’re newly dating someone and find out they’re dating someone else – but not just anyone else, someone you know? Do you have the right to get mad? Should you just act cool? Should you keep dating the person or end it?

Way back in the day, I was on a third date with a guy, and we went to a concert. It was there we ran into a guy I had just gone on a first date with, and it turns out the two knew each other. Can you say awkward?  The guy I was on a date with didn’t seem to mind much, but his old friend would never speak to me again.

I honestly didn’t think it was a big deal, as I was newly dating the both of them and didn’t know they knew each other, but I obviously broke some sort of guy code. In the end, you have to do what feels right for you – if feelings have developed or if you see potential, or if you’re still dating others or if you want to keep it casual for now, whatever your reason you have every right to keep dating the person without feeling guilty or wrong about it. That said, you also have every right to end the relationship. Just do me a favor and give the person an explanation. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what you did wrong, especially when neither of you really did anything wrong.


When Poly-Dating Turns Troublesome

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Per your advice, I’ve been poly-dating for quite some time (although I didn’t have a name for it before, lol, so thanks for that) but I’m in a jam – I really like two of the guys I’m dating and I can’t decide which to break it off with. Not to say it’s totally up to me, but I’m pretty sure they both feel strongly towards me and I need to make a move now before it becomes more difficult. Have you ever been in this predicament?

Dear Poly-Dater,

Lucky for you (and unfortunately for me), I was in your situation before. I had met two guys when I was in the midst of a poly-dating phase of my life and was stuck. Surely these guys knew I was holding back as I was still only seeing them each twice a week, and although I was naturally flirtatious, I hadn’t let the physical chemistry get the best of me.

Both were great guys, but there was something about one of them which I couldn’t put my finger on and couldn’t ignore. I ultimately “chose” him and broke things off with the other guy. Things became really serious once I let my guard down and truly became available. Of course, after a few months the relationship ended, but for that time I had made the right choice.

It’s a gut feeling. Neither ended up being right for me, but of the two at that time one was more right than the other. You have to trust your instinct. The best way to do so, if you’re confused, is to try and imagine yourself with each of the men down the road – can you picture having a conversation with each guy in a month, a year, ten years? Can you imagine yourself living with each guy, marrying each guy, parenting with each guy? That may sound extreme, but if you can’t envision yourself making a home with a man, then why bother?

That said, keep this process and your poly-dating past to yourself. The guys don’t want to hear that there are other men in your life even if they’re dating other women. And they for sure don’t want to know that you can’t choose between them and another man.


Serial Dater

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

My girlfriend Esther* called me last night with a new dating debacle. She met this guy she knows from the community on JDate. His name is Yoni and once they started instant messaging each other, conversation flowed, she laughed, she was interested and it seemed 100% mutual. They went out and the date went really well, too. There was chemistry and they had a lot in common and they wanted to make plans to see each other again. Then the problem reared its ugly head.

Esther started telling some girlfriends that she had met this great guy, a guy she knew from the community but a guy she admittedly probably wouldn’t have given a chance to had he approached her at a local Jewish event. Once she said it was Yoni she started to hear rumors about more and more friends and acquaintances whom had all dated him. Turns out the guy is a serial dater.

Since I know Yoni, too, I was able to give Esther some advice. Yoni really wants to get married (although not exactly in a stinking-of-desperation kind of way) and is willing to turn over every rock to find his Beshert, I don’t see a problem with that but it’s tough to hear he has dated every relatively attractive woman who is active in the community. Some were just one or two dates, others were long term relationships. None of the women had anything bad to say about Yoni, just that “it” wasn’t there. When Yoni runs into his exes at events they greet him cordially with a warm hug and kiss on the cheek. There is no animosity. But there’s also no concrete reason any of them stopped dating. There’s just something you can’t quite put your finger on.

Instinctually, I didn’t think Yoni was right for Esther, but I thought he would be good dating practice so I softened the edges for her. I told her that she shouldn’t have a problem with someone who has dated everyone possible, it just means they are looking for the same thing as her. As long as her friends who dated the guy give her their blessing and warn her if there’s anything worth knowing, I say all he’s free game. Esther had realistic reasons to be concerned, but she had already been on a date with him and enjoyed herself, so why should she be punished because other people didn’t have as successful as dates? I told her that I would be more concerned if she didn’t know one person whom he had dated. Yoni was obviously committed to finding a Jewish woman, and that’s exactly the type of guy Esther was looking for.


Poly-Dating

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am new to dating.  I have been divorced for nine months.  How do I tactfully start dating two or three gentleman? Dating for me means going out to do activities both persons are interested in. How do I date, on this simple premise, without feeling awkward?

Dear Poly-Dating,

Welcome back to dating… I guess. It’s easy and can be fun to date more than one person at a time particularly when you’ve recently returned to dating. Think of it as practice or rebounding or what-have-you, but until you get your training wheels off it would be smart of you to date more than one person at a time. As for how to do it tactfully well, simply put, it’s no one else’s business. Sleeping with more than one person at a time is a different story, but just dating isn’t harming anyone; in fact, it’s healthy. Definitely stick to activities you are both interested in as that will create a common bond but be careful if you repeat the same activity with another date because you may get mixed up and forget whom you did what with and when. Now is the time to enjoy yourself and if you happen to find someone you really like and the feeling is mutual then you will simply tell the others exactly that. Have fun!


Two Timer?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Hi! I’m new to the whole online dating scene. Right now I am talking to two girls at the same time and I am not sure whether I should take them both out on dates or just one. Should I take one girl out on a date and stop speaking to the other girl even if I’m still interested in meeting both? Thanks!

Dear Two Timer?,

“Meeting” a girl on JDate does not a relationship make. I am a strong, strong advocate of poly-dating until it gets serious with one person. First of all, you may pick one girl and have no chemistry with her and now you’ve already ruined your chances with the second girl. Take them both out on dates, try to be unbiased and not compare them to each other, and save any decisions until after each date. There may be no attraction, no chemistry, or it may not be mutual with one or both of the ladies. Keep your options open at all times. Between when you “meet” a girl on JDate and when you actually meet her in person, you may “meet” even more ladies online… and guess what? That’s great! If you were able to meet that many great Jewish gals at a bar then JDate wouldn’t exist, but the fact is that you can’t; no one can, which is why JDate is so successful. Take the opportunity to meet as many women who fit your preferences as possible because the more women you meet the better your odds are of finding your Beshert. Good Luck!