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! 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.
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?
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.
I’m 41, divorced, with 2 girls, very satisfied in my career, self sustaining, etc. and hope to meet someone really nice – after a really bad divorce (not mentioned in my profile).
The problem is, the majority who contact me on JDate are 25-35, have no kids, are single and are only looking for the cougar Mom to have great sex with.
I’m not the cougar type (tried it once…not for me), really trying to find someone nice that I can have a relationship with and build a relationship with.
Do you have any advice?
Dear The Cougar Who Isn’t,
I read your profile and I think you did a great job addressing your divorce without addressing it: “My past relationships gave me my two gorgeous children… and for that, I am grateful…..”. I think you did a great job with the 6 photos showing you from different angles. I would delete picture #3 as it looks like an older photo and is not consistent with what looks like more recent photos. I would also delete #4 as it shows you having fun, but looks awkward. Take more active photos to replace these with. The remaining 4 photos are consistent and clear.
As for the content, I think your profile is well-rounded and eloquent. In your answers you repeat yourself a lot and I know you are trying to get your point across but it’s an obvious copy&paste so either reword or delete those paragraphs. And I know you don’t want boys looking for cougars, but I’d pull back on your “what I don’t want” list at the bottom of your profile.
Additionally, I would change your age range. I don’t think 35-44 is right for you and what you’re looking for. I would shift your age range to 38-46 for starters, maybe even as high as 48. I believe adjusting your age range and making your profile flow better will be a good start to finding the type of quality men you’re looking for.
Your photos are old. Your photos don’t look like you. You haven’t taken a good photo since you created your JDate profile. You haven’t snapped a shot of yourself with your new facial hair/bangs/without your braces/clear skin/etc. Forget the reasons, forget the excuses, it’s time.
Go freshen up. Shave. Put on make up. Brush your hair. Whatever you need to do to look your best.
Grab your cell phone.
Go to the mirror.
Start snapping photos from different angles, with different lighting, making different facial expressions. Keep snapping away. Don’t stop snapping. Now go upload those photos to your laptop and send them ALL to one trusted friend/relative.
Pick a few that you like the best and compare with the ones your friend likes the best. Whichever are the ones that overlap, use them as your JDate photos.
Do it now.
You view a friend’s JDate profile, and it’s a train wreck, yet they don’t want to accept a word of your advice. You see a friend falling for a scumbag, but they don’t care about your opinion. You watch a friend walk to the chuppah to meet Mr. (or Mrs.) Wrong, but they don’t want to hear one word of caution from you. Should they? Some people have to make mistakes on their own to learn life lessons. It doesn’t matter if you went through THE EXACT SAME THING, they need to figure it out for themselves. And don’t you dare say “I told you so” afterwards. Would you have listened? Probably not.
I had a serious boyfriend when I was 20, and he wasn’t Jewish. My parents didn’t guilt me or pressure me; they just let it play out. I got seriously heartbroken… and I kept dating goys. My parents made jokes here and there, but they let me go on my journey. Were they surprised I didn’t find my Beshert until I started dating Jews? Probably not. But they kept it to themselves. They knew their opinions would do nothing but alienate me. So when my younger friend Jessica was following in my footsteps, I shared my story with her as a subtle way to show her what I thought I was the right path. Ultimately Jessica chose her own path and is happily married to her non-Jewish Beshert.
People have to do what feels right for them, even if you can foresee trouble ahead, you need to let them do their thing.
Halloween is fun: we get to dress up and pretend to be someone (or something) else — usually a sexier, sluttier version of whatever costume we choose. And playing pretend as if we’re back in grade school allows us to let loose and have a heckuva lot more fun than we usually have in our normal doldrum lives. It’s a win-win situation. Too bad there aren’t more opportunities to get out of our own heads. Whatever you dress up as tonight, take some great photos that show you having a ton of fun and add one to your JDate profile. It’s the perfect chance to capture your silly side for all to see!
The adjectives you use to describe yourself in your profile can be more harmful than you may know. The worst word a female can use to describe herself is “cute.” It simply doesn’t illicit a positive response. “Cute” is translated into meaning unattractive, just as “curvy” is translated into overweight. Babies, puppies and stuffed animals are cute. A personality can be cute, but you should find other words to describe your looks. Use a thesaurus if you must.
My friend Mike started chatting with a girl on JDate® who didn’t have a photo but described herself as “cute.” Mike made the rookie mistake accepting “cute” as a description from the girl herself! Now, as I mentioned earlier, attractiveness is subjective, but when Mike asked her to send him a photo, she made up excuse after excuse which should have alerted him. Instead, he made plans with her on the basis that she send him a photo before the date. Again, she had an excuse, but again, he ignored his suspicions and drove thirty minutes to meet her anyway. Lo and behold, she wasn’t exactly Mike’s version of attractive, and he learned a lesson the hard way.
Luckily your JDate profile includes photos, so your own descriptions of your looks doesn’t totally matter.
HI! I am new to JDate – I have been a member for about 6 weeks and I am not getting much response. I do not know what is wrong, and I assume it is something in my profile. I cannot get any positive feedback from anyone online and do not know who else to ask. Any advice you could offer would be appreciated.
Dear New Member Needs,
Thanks for providing your screen name so I can check out your profile and give you feedback. I’m going to start with the photos. The first one is great! Bravo on that! The second is just a close-up of the sixth photo, which I think is better because it shows your body type which is important, so eliminate the 2nd photo. The 3rd and 4th are cute but the 5th is questionable. I know it’s you and your Mom, whom you talk about in your profile, but it’s obvious that it’s dated and to be honest it’s difficult to garner much from it because of the distance.
Regarding your About Me paragraph I would leave out the part about your Mom and save that for when you’re actually on the date. I know it must have been a difficult part of your life, but it’s a downer. This line: “Another is cooking. I have been told I am quite good at it…” should be changed to: “Another passion is cooking. I’ve been told I’m quite the chef and look forward to proving it to you.”
I like what you said in My Ideal Relationship and My Past Relationships. My Perfect First Date is fine, but I would edit I’m Looking For from: “Well-educated man, money is not important, intelligence and education are – once an educator always an educator. A very close second is a man who is faithful. Honesty is a must. Funny is always enjoyable. A man who likes to have fun!” to something along the lines of: “a well-educated man who is also intelligent (two different things). Money isn’t important. Honesty is. I’m looking for a faithful man who can make me laugh and likes to have fun!”
I like that you’re open to all marital statuses, but I would extend your age range. You’re willing to go 10 years younger but only 5 years older? Why not 10 years on each side then? Can’t hurt, right?
Once you’re done editing, add two new photos to replace the ones you’re eliminating. Take new ones this weekend (have a friend snap away, get different angles including full body) and start doing some Flirting. Write me in a few weeks and let me know how it’s going!
I was perusing JDate for a single friend in a very general way (30 year old females in Manhattan) and I was only clicking on photos which caught my eye and were his type (petite, dark and exotic). Out of the hundreds I looked at only 12 stood out for the right reason. But for the most part I was appalled by page after page after page of piss poor profile pictures. I’m not even talking about the supporting photos, just the ones that show up in the search as a thumbnail. This is THE MOST important picture, so why are men and women alike using totally inappropriate photos?
Your profile picture SHOULD NOT:
1. include sunglasses or a hat
2. include other people or pets
3. be taken from a long distance away
4. be blurry (obvious, but you’d be surprised)
5. show you looking anywhere but at the camera
Your profile picture should basically be a headshot — your face, with a smile, filling up the screen. And your eyes should be, in the words of Tyra Banks, smizing. Your eyes should express happiness and invite me to click on your profile to learn more about you and see your other pictures.