Is That Your Nephew or Your Son?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

After taking the cutest picture with your nephew (or niece), you decide to upload the photo as your main JDate profile pic because you look great, it’s current, and you want prospects to know that you’re a family person.

There’s only one problem: all anyone will see is a kid with you in your photo, and they won’t bother looking at your profile essays to find out who the kid is.

After taking the cutest picture with your son (or daughter), you decide to upload the photo as your last JDate photo of 12 pictures because you look great, it’s current, and you want prospects to know that you’re a family person.

Problem? Your prospects may not notice that one last photo buried amongst the rest, and are surprised when they find out you’re a parent.

Whether you’re the aunt, uncle, mom, or dad, there is a right way to post a photo of you with a child on JDate. A photo with family should be the fourth of your half dozen or so photos after face, full body, and a fun pic. Use the space to describe who is with you in the photo, and then talk about it again in your “About Me” paragraph. If it’s not your kid, then simply make note of who the cute kid is and how much you love family. If it is your kid, then succinctly describe the situation without getting into too much detail and without going into any drama, and make sure you mark the places that ask if you have a child!

Including photos with a cute kid is a good idea when executed correctly. Follow the above instructions to avoid any confusion.


Selfies

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

In a word: no.

Don’t do it. I don’t care how amazing the photo is, DO NOT USE A SELFIE AS YOUR JDATE PROFILE PICTURE! And don’t make a duck-face either. I know it makes your lips look plump and accentuates your cheekbones, but it’s obnoxious.

Find someone you love who can take your picture and let them snap away when there’s good lighting. Try out different poses and angles, move around, make sure your smile is authentic by laughing about a funny story with the friend or family member who is taking your photo. Change up your clothes and background and keep snapping away. If you cut or color your hair, shave or grow your beard, lose or gain weight, then do another impromptu, unprofessional photo shoot. Take photos when you’re dressed up to go to a party (better to have the party in the background then your front door on the way out though), take photos when you’re on vacation and relaxed. Try to aim for dusk or dawn or overcast days when the sun won’t create shadows or make you squint.

Then, let that same trusted loved one go over the photos with to help you choose. We are our own worst critics, which means that a photo you may not love could be seen as really attractive by someone else. Photos are too important a part of online dating not to take it seriously.

To learn more about creating a great JDate profile, buy How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating now!


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Julie”

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Hey there!

Could you help me makeover my profile as to attract more people/get more responses?

Thanks!

_______________________________________________________________

Hi Julie,

I’m happy to help. To start, you have a great profile name! Putting an adjective or descriptive phrase before the year you were born is perfect! So, we can skip right to the profile.

     1. PHOTOS

I’ll be honest, this is where you need the most work. You need more than 3 photos, but I would take the time to also get better pictures. The New Year’s hat photo is super cute, but should be moved to the 3rd or 4th slot for your “fun” photo. Have a friend take photos of you with no one else in the picture and no other distracting elements. Make sure there’s good lighting. The second photo of your full body should be swapped out for another. I like that you are confident and that you followed my rules to have a full body pic be the second photo, but I am not a fan of studio photos. At that same photo shoot you schedule with your friend, have him or her take a few full body photos as well. Go outside when there’s not direct sunlight and find a place with rocks or trees or cool architecture and take photos there. Finally, the car pic can be deleted or used as a final, supplementary photo.

     2. IN MY OWN WORDS

You’ve done a nice job with your ABOUT ME answer, although it could be thinned out a bit. I would delete the line which begins, “In my free time…” since that goes under the area titled FOR FUN, I LIKE TO. You can also delete the football line and TV lines (put it under MY FAVORITES…) and that will connect the movies line with the Netflix line, which is cute!

I would also recommend not answering every single question; it can get a bit repetitive. You could also delete MY PERFECT FIRST DATE and either THINGS I COULD NEVER LIVE WITHOUT or THE COOLEST PLACES I’VE VISITED. Answering every single question is overkill. You don’t want to come off as over-zealous and you don’t need to reveal so much. This will leave a few general topics for discussion via email and on your first date!

     3. DETAILS

Most of your details are good, the changes you should make are all under MY IDEAL MATCH. If you are truly looking for a date, then you can leave that in, but I suspect you really want a relationship leading to forever, so delete the less committal options (a date, friend, etc.). The other place to edit is the age range. A 27-year-old woman would typically connect best with a guy just a few years younger and at maximum more than a few years older. I’d suggest expanding your age range from 24-30 to a 10-year range of 24-34. I’d also narrow down some of the streams of Judaism you’d be willing to date.

You’ve got a good start, Julie! You just need to take some awesome photos, edit your “About Me” paragraph, broaden your preferred age range, and then narrow down the relationship type and the religious level you’d be willing to date and I think you’ll find yourself seeing lots of new, “real” prospects.


Extreme Profile Makeover — “David S.” (Part 1)

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

Hi Tamar,

I’ve been on and off JDate for a while; I’ve never had much success in attracting positive responses, either from women contacting me or responding to my emails. I’ve always had my theories as to why, but if it’s really what I’m saying in my profile, or my pictures, I need a little advice.

Thanks!

____________________________________________________________________

Hi David S.,

I’m going to start with your profile review in Part 1 and then review your emails in Part 2.

I am actually quite impressed with your profile. The pictures are nice, your paragraphs are well-written and interesting, and you seem like a great catch! That means we need to see what your preferences are to determine if you are going after the wrong type of woman.

Although you’re a young-looking 41-year-old, your age range ends at 41 — and being that you’re in your early 40s, I believe you need to expand your max age to abut 43. Your minimum age range of 32 is correct in following my advice, but since you are young looking and active, I’d lower it a bit to 30. Adding two years to both sides of the age range spectrum will widen your pool of prospects. You can do the same to your height requirements and your geographic boundaries.

Additionally, I don’t see much about your family in your profile and I think it’s important to include some tidbits, whether it be in an additional photograph (with description) and/or a line in “About Me” and “A Brief History of My Life.” If this topic is a contentious one then try to find some positive memory from your childhood and include that.

Since there doesn’t seem to be too many issues with your profile, I’m going delve into the email samples you’ve supplied in part 2 of this series (which posts tomorrow) in order to see where any other issues may lie!


Creepy Photo Question

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Basically, I’ve recently “Secretly Admired” about 12 guys, and no one admired me back. Since I am not particularly ugly, and still (relatively) young, it occurred to me I might have committed some gross mistake with my profile. Are the pictures I posted inadvertently creepy? Is there something else?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Dear Creepy Photos,

First, you are nowhere near just “not particularly ugly” and in fact are quite pretty! Own it!

And no, your photos aren’t creepy at all, but I would change the order around. The first 2 with that pretty dress are both taken at an awkward angle which makes it look like the dress is falling off and you’re about to expose your breast! I would just delete those. Regardless though, I really love the 3rd photo close-up in the white shirt as your main profile pic and the 4th photo with your chin resting on your hand as your 2nd pic. The photo of you blowing out your birthday candles is very cute but the one of you posing in the Alps is kind of stiff. I’d take a new full length photo for the 4th photo.

I would lower your preferred age range to find more prospects. Starting with a man 5 years older than you and only having an eight year age gap is not going to produce many results. Expand your age range to at least include your own age and go up from there.


Monday Makeover — Nice Jewish Boy

by Tamar Caspi under Monday Makeover,Relationships

Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers each Monday. This week she’s tweaking the profile for “Nice Jewish Boy.”

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Luckily I know what NJB stands for (Nice Jewish Boy), I hope girls do too because otherwise your JDate username is a bit confusing. Although tacking your city on to your username was a good call. Acronyms are not always smart to use in your screenname (or your “About Me” spiel) because some initials can be taken the wrong way, while others will leave people dumbfounded. Adding your city to your username is smart because a person’s location search parameters can be cast wide — and this will remind them where you live.

I really like your photos — lots of different angles and different lighting, plenty of close-ups with a few full body shots — good job with that. Since you have friends, especially girls, in your photos I would add the captions underneath to describe who it is in the photos with you. Beautiful women in men’s photos can be intimidating (and same goes for the reverse — handsome men in women’s photos) so let JDaters know if it’s your sister, or a friend’s wife.

Your “About Me” paragraph is simple and to the point. Since you mention traveling as a new love, I would update and add new places you’ve visited after each trip. Adding the ages of your niece and nephew is tricky because you will have to update as they age. Updating is good, however, because it adds an “updated” badge to your profile. Still, being slightly more generic (ie “preschool-age niece and a nephew who’s a toddler”) is better for these purposes. You can be more specific on your dates! I especially like how you ended your essay with a bit of humor. Women like a man who can make them laugh. Good job.

I recommend expanding upon the “I’m Looking for…” and “My Past Relationships” sections (even if it means just adding another sentence). Answers for these questions can be cliche, but you’re not giving the question enough credit by only writing a few words.

I appreciate that you’ve filled out nearly all your “Details” as you’d be surprised by how many people don’t! The only two that are blank ought to be completed. As for what you’ve selected for age range, I would impress upon you to add two years above your own age for your maximum age limit. Even if you would never (and never say never) date or marry a woman older than you, you can’t make assumptions based on just a year or two. Additionally, women who are viewing your profile will be encouraged that just as you are open to a woman 10 years younger than you, you are also open to a woman a few years older.

I hope these slight tweaks help! Good luck!


Off and On JDate with an Updated Profile

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

I’ve been on and off JDate for several years, making sure to update my profile every now and again.

A few months ago, I signed up for a six-month subscription once again and reactivated my profile from the year before. I changed my essays and updated a few of my photos, but have received so little attention. Am I doing something wrong?

Even the emails I send out to guys (which I know are read) get no response! I have no idea if I am on the right track with my profile — or if there is something terribly uninteresting about it.

Additionally, all the matches I get are always the same people that I have either messaged, or I am sure I am not interested in. I changed my search criteria a little bit, but it didn’t change much. This is so discouraging and I am not sure what to do.

 

Dear Off and On,

After checking out your profile I have a few notes. First, your profile name is great! It shows you are both fun and creative. I like that you have multiple photos, I would only suggest that you have someone take clearer and more close-up photos of your face with great lighting — and I would have you look straight on to the lens! Then I would reorder the pictures and put the last three photos after the close-up. They show your personality and will bring a smile to the face of your prospects because, again, your fun side is shining through.

I really like your “About Me” and other paragraphs. I would go through and double-check your spelling and grammar — it’s not an uncommon error I find, and it’s also not a “make-or-break,” but it is nice to have a comprehensive profile.

I would try to spice up the section about what you like to do on the weekends… don’t lie of course, but try to show your adventurous side here by talking about what you WOULD do with the right person (jump in the car spontaneously to visit that restaurant you just saw on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” in a neighboring state) or what you HAVE done (a progressive dinner with friends hitting up New York’s best restaurants for one course at a time) and not what you do the other 75% of the time.

Finally, in your preferences, I would widen the age range. Honestly, I don’t think that in your mid-to-late 20’s you would date someone three years younger (although I do appreciate the openness to doing so). I would bring your bottom range to a year below your age and your upper range to eight years above your age. 27-36 is a much more realistic range for you than 25-32.

Expand your search criteria for location as well since you are from one state and live in a neighboring state, there’s no reason to not include a wide radius! And don’t be afraid to take a new look at guys who you remember from a few years ago because, just as you have grown and changed, so have they.

I hope these tips help, and good luck finding your Beshert!


Dark Knight Doesn’t Rise

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

In trying to prove a point to my girlfriend Julie, I sat down with her in front of her laptop as she logged on to JDate. I expanded her preferences as necessary (age, distance from, level of Judaism, level of education, height, etc) and then clicked “search.” I wanted to show her that there are indeed plenty of men out there who are her type. And there were definitely tons of more options, but I was aghast at the vast number of dark, overexposed photos! Yeah, I get it, you were on vacation and standing in the ocean and your body looks great and your hair is perfect, except… I can’t see your face! That’s because the sun is behind you (or the light if you’re indoors) when the best lighting is either you facing the sun (while trying not to squint of course) or overcast. You think it’s a great photo of you because you know what you look like. We don’t. And we can’t figure it out because you look like your shadow. Only use such photos if you have 4 other great, close-up, well-lit photos and never use such a photo as your profile picture. As much as I proved my point that Julie has many more potentials to check out, about a third had to be automatically docked because why would she even bother with the ones she can’t see?


I’m Not Photogenic!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’m not photogenic! My photos are very different than what I look in reality.  In person I look much much better, but no matter how much I try, my photos come out bad.  I am not getting a single reply from anyone I email! What shall I do?

Dear Not Photogenic,

Keep snapping away. Hire a professional and see if he or she can capture the angle and lighting that makes you look like you. Then ask your trusted family and friends for their opinions. Other people see you more attractive than you see yourself so even though you may not like your photos or think they look like you, your trustees may disagree. You need at least 4 photos to ensure the consistency of your look, so don’t worry about finding a dozen pics, but the 4 you find should show all of you – from your neck up, from your waist up, from your toes up, and then a complementary and complimentary fourth. Not everyone is Claudia Schiffer, but you can surely find a handful of recent pics especially if you shell out the worthwhile funds for a professional photographer.


Camera Shy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been trying not to add too many profile photos, as I didn’t really want someone choosing to talk to me just off of what I look like. I’ve sent numerous emails though and am not getting any responses. Are photos really that important?

-Camera Shy

Dear Camera Shy,

In short, yes, photos are important. You don’t need to post a ton of them, but about 4 will do. This is the thing: people are not choosing you based on your photos alone, they’re reading your profile as well. The two combined is what ups or lowers the ante. So you need a strong profile and a number of photos that show you are consistent in your looks. Everyone has a type, so don’t automatically assume why people are not responding to your emails. Do you realize you are judging people for wanting to see your photos in order to judge you? How are you any different than them? The problem with photos is that if you don’t add enough then people think you are trying to hide something. Add too many (same outfit, same angle, same pose) then it’s just obnoxious.

Back when I was single and on JDate, the guys without photos would drive me nuts! Why take the time and make the effort to be on JDate if you’re not going to go all in and post photos? What’s the point? There’s someone out there for everyone but you’re only hurting your chances if you don’t complete all the criteria.