Learn to Listen

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships

Going on dates, being someone’s significant other, and just being an all-around good friend means that you need to be a good listener.

When you’re on a date, it’s normal to chime in with a “me too!” when you’re looking for commonalities, but make sure you allow the other person to complete their thought. When you’re in a relationship, it’s normal to become a sounding board and to chime in with advice — but sometimes it’s best to just be there as a symbolic shoulder. Being a good friend does not always mean needing to speak, but instead just allowing the other person to talk and feel heard.

Listening is a skill. Learn it. It will come in handy in your love life and many other areas of life.


Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

If you like a friend of yours as more than a friend, and don’t tell them, and then they start dating someone else, you have no one to blame but yourself.

What have you got to lose? Chances are you’re not going to stay friends with someone you had a crush on if they get into a serious relationship with someone else, so why not tell them how you feel?

If you are in a relationship and don’t speak your mind about how you want to be treated, or touched, or teased, then don’t be upset when your partner disrespects you, or isn’t affectionate, or doesn’t know your limits… because you never made your expectations clear!

People are not mind readers, you need to tell them how you feel and what you’re thinking. If you are honest with your words (and your actions support them) and the feelings are not reciprocated, then at least you put it all out there and will have no regrets.


Don’t Let an Opportunity Pass You By

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

We all have crazy schedules and many responsibilities. Everyone has a life outside of dating and relationships, and sometimes it is difficult to find time to see someone you like. That’s why you need to take opportunities when they arise.

If the school you teach at has early dismissal before a long weekend, then make a date for the afternoon rather than going home to catch up on sleep. If you can stretch out your lunch hour and sneak back into the office late, then go on a date in the middle of the day when you don’t have to cut it short and rush back. If you have a busy weekend with out of town family, then break away to have a brunch date or a coffee date, or even a walk around town.

Bottom line: If you want to see someone, then make the time to see them.


Are You Dating Dishonestly?

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

A great blog about “15 Ways We Can Put an End to the Dishonest Dating Culture We’ve Created” echoes many of the same dating philosophies I put forth in the past few years while writing for JDate and in my book, “How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating.” The author of the blog laments about how many missed opportunities there are due to going in circles while playing the dating game. She has a challenge for all singles out there: stop playing games by following the 5 tips below.

  1. Go out on dates and have fun
  2. Let the person you like know that you like them, and if they don’t like you back, then you’ve now saved yourself lots of time and energy
  3. Don’t settle or change what you want in order to fit someone else’s needs
  4. Don’t be afraid to get hurt, or use past relationships to stop you from making a commitment to a new relationship
  5. Respect yourself and those you’re on a date with whether you want to go out on another date or not, it’s the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. That said, if you don’t like someone then don’t lead them on.

Compare & Contrast

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Everyone has that one ex-lover to whom they compare everyone they ever go on to date. No matter how long ago it ended, or why it ended, or even how long the relationship lasted, everyone has their measuring stick (pardon the pun). Everyone also has that one ex-lover to whom they hope everyone thereafter will shine in contrast to because of how terrible they were treated. Sometimes both of these scenarios are the same person. Actually, oftentimes it’s the same person.

It’s perfectly acceptable and natural to experience this. The point is to make sure you are being realistic and have the right perspective. Don’t use an ex to trivial a new prospect, give each individual the respect to earn or lose your adulation. And just because a new prospect doesn’t measure up to all of your ex’s positives, that doesn’t mean he or she should be ruled out — perhaps they don’t have any of your ex’s negatives either!


Making Introductions

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Single Life

We’ve all been there. You’re out with someone you’re newly dating, it’s not a full-on committed relationship yet, and you run into someone who you used to date, and still have feelings for, or you run into someone you’d typically be interested in dating had you not met while with your date!

So, how do you make introductions without burning either bridge? Simple: don’t include titles. Say hello, introduce the person you’re with to the person you’ve run into by first name only, and don’t get flirty. Respect yourself by being respectful to your date. You can always send a quick email, text or Facebook message later that day letting the person you ran into know that it was nice seeing them.


How to Live Happily Ever After

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A great article in The Week titled “How to Live Happily Ever After, According to Science,” written by Eric Barker, the author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, gave one amazing piece of advice all couples should remember — whether they are new couples or veteran couples: rather than trying to fix the bad, instead try to increase the good.

The point here is that couples can argue about the same topic for years and never come to an agreement because neither one thinks they are wrong. Neither of you is going to change. Instead, accept that you disagree, and then focus on finding things you agree upon and things you have fun doing together.

Barker also says you can increase the excitement in your relationship by pretending you’re on your first date. Why? Because we were still making an effort to try and impress each other on that first date. Try it!


Relationship Jumping

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

When you’re poly-dating (dating multiple people at once in order to stay in a healthy mental state of dating by not getting too serious about any one person too quickly), you may come across someone who is seriously dating someone else. This person would be off-limits. Respect yourself by respecting other people’s commitments. Except when that person tells you that they have been wanting to break off said relationship and you are the catalyst for them finally pulling the plug. This may sound sweet: “he’s breaking up with her to be with me!” but you really should make sure the break-up has absolutely nothing to do with you. Allow a break up to occur, allow the recovery to occur, and then, if you’re still available and still want to date, then do so.

In the same theme, you shouldn’t jump from relationship to relationship either. It’s imperative to learn from a relationship — why it worked and why it didn’t — before moving on to the next one. Again, this is where poly-dating comes in. Enjoy being pursued and falling in “like” until someone really takes the lead in the rat race that is dating.


If You Won’t Talk About It, Don’t Do It

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I had a mantra during my teenage years that if I couldn’t tell my Mom what I was doing, then I shouldn’t be doing it. My parents are fairly liberal, yet protective, so they had boundaries that would widen with honesty. If I would tell them I was going to a house party with no parents, their response was that if anyone was to drink — me included, of course — and needed a ride home, then I should call them. Pretty cool, eh?

The older I got, particularly once I moved out of their house, I stopped following this philosophy. I was in college, and then in my twenties, and I was having fun and living it up! My parents wouldn’t understand and I didn’t want to share, certain things are private… at least that’s what I told myself to excuse any behavior I knew they would deem unacceptable. That alone should have told me something, but, of course, I can only see that in hindsight.

If you can’t tell your parents (or at the very least, your friends) about it, then don’t do it. If you’re dating someone that you know your parents won’t like, then there’s probably a reason for it and you’ll figure that out after you get your heart broken, or get stood up, or wake up with your wallet missing. As hard as it is to accept and to say “you were right,” our parents have our best interests at heart. You shouldn’t be ashamed to share, that’s a red flag warning if there ever was one.

So if you’re considering going on a date with someone you’re unsure about, or you’re pondering whether to get serious with someone you don’t think the ‘rents will approve of, or you’re thinking about quitting your job to move to another city either for a mate or to find a mate, then have a heart-to-heart with your mom or dad (or another trusted confidant) and see what their opinion is, and what their instincts tell them; then take that into consideration before making any decisions.


Obligatory Loyalty

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A few months into dating someone and you’ve had “The Talk,” have possibly met each other’s families, have celebrated a holiday together, and are casually discussing the future… when something happens. Something, usually tragic, that binds you two together as a couple. Whether you like it or not.

It could be a sickness in the family, or even with one of you (G-D forbid). It could be the death of a close friend, or a dear pet. It could be a debilitating injury that causes your partner to need to care for you as you recover, or anything else life-changing that brings you closer together. However, it can also make you feel obligated to stay together when things were possibly not headed for an absolute future.

It depends on the occurrence, but there shouldn’t be anything that would make you want to stay with someone you don’t want to be with just because you survived a terrible time in one of your lives together. You will always think fondly of the person you went through that experience with, but it doesn’t mean you have to be together forever.