Dear Tamar: When Is Perfect Too Good To Be True?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I started dating a guy from JDate about a month ago and things have been perfect, but I’m scared they’re actually too good to be true. We get along great, we have so much in common, we never argue, there’s chemistry, we call and text without any hesitation or doubt, my parents already met him and love him, and we naturally referred to ourselves as being in a relationship without having “The Talk.” But now I’m scared it’s all going to explode in my face. I’ve never been in a relationship that went so smoothly… but maybe this is how it’s supposed to be? Am I sabotaging it?



Dear Marisa,

It is very possible that you’re sabotaging a truly great relationship, but I also understand why you’re being cautious. We are so used to dating being difficult that when it’s not we are stunned.

That said, one red flag of the things that you mentioned is the fact that you never argue. It’s not that you should argue — compromising is really important — but you need to see how you both react when one or both of you gets angry… because you will argue eventually. Don’t pick a fight on purpose, the longer you are together the chances are it will happen on its own and you can see how things go down.

Speaking of the amount of time you’re together… it’s still pretty early on in the relationship. You both are still on your best behavior and have the new relationship glow creating a bubble around you where everything is fun and loving. Until that bubble pops and reality sets in, then you won’t really know if it’s too good to be true or not. I suggest enjoying the bubble while it lasts, but know that it won’t last forever. In the meantime try to set a really good foundation while things are good. And good luck!

Follow Tamar on Instagram @howtowooajew

Will Your Relationship Last?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

John and Julie Gottman are considered the foremost experts in couples therapy and being able to predict if a relationship will last, or not. Rather than discuss the signs of what they call a “disaster” I want to relay what they found to be a predominant precursor to what they term a “master” — a successful relationship.

In the simplest terms, the Gottmans said that couples who respond to each other’s “bids” for connection. Basically, being interested in what the other person is saying. The Gottman’s research showed that 87% of successful couples responded correctly to their partner’s bids. This begins with being a good listener and extends to selflessness. If you are busy scrolling through Facebook when your significant other asks you a question, do you put down your phone/tablet/laptop and turn toward your partner to engage, or do you not even flinch and answer half-heartedly?

Hint: the former is good, the latter is not. What do you do?

If you’re interested in learning more about the Gottmans, start with this article.

How to Woo a Jew is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow for more links and funny memes!


Dear Tamar: No Experience Needed?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life


Dear Tamar,

I’m turning 28 this year and have never been in a serious relationship… in fact, I don’t have any dating experience at all. I’ve always had my nose in books to be honest, and didn’t really have high self-esteem growing up. Now I feel like I’ve come into my own. After being in school for the past 25 years and collecting some really impressive degrees — and now gaining some pretty substantial success in life — I am ready to put myself out there. The problem is, I don’t know how to present the fact that I’m the real-life version of “Never Been Kissed.” Help!


Dear “Never Been Kissed,”

Congratulations on all your successes, and especially on gaining self esteem! That’s awesome! You do not need to talk about your lack of experience in your JDate profile, nor do you need to discuss it with dating prospects. You can simply state that you haven’t been in a serious relationship because you haven’t found anyone worthy while you were busy working hard to achieve your dreams.

Meanwhile, I suggest you accept every date invitation you receive in order to get some practice. Once you get more serious with a specific suitor then you can perhaps let him know more about your lack of experience. Any man that really likes you won’t care… and if he does, then good riddance!


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Dear Tamar: Burned After Moving Too Fast

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

I am a 65-year-old widower and recently had instant chemistry with a woman. Within days we felt like our relationship was a comfortable old shoe.  The relationship grew quickly — she told me to slow down — I didn’t.  After a few weeks and a few warnings, she terminated the relationship by email.  She refuses to talk or give it another try.  How can I woo her back?


Dear Burned,

I suggest contacting her the same way she broke off the relationship — via email. But first, make sure you truly comprehend what happened to bring an end to the relationship and take ownership of it. It seems from your letter like you understand that she asked you to slow down a number of times and that you didn’t listen, but don’t make excuses to her as to why you didn’t listen.

This letter needs to be about all the amazing things you like about her and how she makes you feel and how you hope to make her feel. Don’t make it all about you; if you want her back then it has to be about her — you already made it about you when you ignored her warnings and kept moving quickly when she wanted to slow down. You need to show her that you now understand where she’s coming from and offer to date her rather than jump back into a serious relationship. She may not want to though and you will have to accept that, but it’s worth a try!

You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Happy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

“You can be right, or you can be happy.”

A wise friend told me this phrase recently and it resonated deeply. So many of us are taught to be headstrong, stubborn, with a need so deep to win an argument that we would ruin a relationship in order to be proven right.

It’s not worth it.

It never is. If you know you’re right, just drop it and move on. Apologize and move on. Let go and move on. Who is benefitting from you being right? Only your ego. But everything and everyone else will suffer. Is that worth feeling superior or validated?

This is a lesson I’ve learned much later in life than I would have liked, and I have learned it the hard way… I’m gifting it to you now with the hopes that it will change your relationships — romantic or otherwise — for the better.


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Twitter @jewishlove

Are You a Cat or a Dog Person?

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

You may think the question about “Pets” in the Lifestyle section is a throwaway, but — in fact — it’s important. Some people are hardcore pet people, while others are not. And within that category you have people who love or prefer one kind of animal but not another, or are allergic to some but not others.

I’m a dog person, but I don’t like their saliva on me or having their hair all over my clothes. I’m not a cat person, but as long as they leave me alone, we’re cool. That said, dogs love attention and cats love those who ignore them, so I often find myself with an animal by my feet whenever I visit friend’s with pets.

I was really turned off by a date’s three cats and the litter box in his bedroom, but I appreciated that he cared for them and took care of them. I found another boyfriend’s relationship with his playful dog to be a redeeming quality, until that boyfriend allowed the dog to sleep in the bed with us.

It’s important to know before getting into a relationship with someone if you have an aversion or allergy to an animal, but it’s not worthy of addressing in your profile or worrying about it until you’re on a date and he or she mentions it. The Lifestyle question doesn’t ask if you own those pets or simply like those pets, or possibly had one as a child or hope to have one later in life.

Don’t make assumptions. If someone is obsessed with their pet then it will be apparent either in their profile or on the first date and you will be able to politely discuss it then. Keyword is “politely” — don’t disrespect their chihuahua that they carry around in their purse (as obnoxious as that sounds) or insult their cat whose vet bills are higher than your own medical bills (as obnoxious as that sounds).

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright
-from Meghan Trainor’s new single “Dear Future Husband”

Women (in general, it’s women) are often called the “c” word… get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about the word “crazy.” It gets thrown around pretty flippantly and it’s incredibly disrespectful. And, ironically enough, it is usually the action of the man (in general, it’s the man) that causes the woman to lose her cool and then to be called crazy by said man (again, this is a generalization). It’s enough to make your head spin.

Everyone acts crazy every once in a while. There’s a reason why so many love songs have the word “crazy” in them (Google it!). Love makes you do crazy things, feel crazy ways, and act crazy in love. Let’s remove using the word “crazy” as an insult from our vocabulary while dating… and continue the ban once you’re in a relationship. It’s not going to go anywhere good if you sling that word around!

Frankly, ‘crazy’ is also too broad of a description when you are describing a person’s reaction or an event. Let’s find other words in the dictionary to use, shall we? I don’t care if you have to pause and consult a thesaurus mid-argument, find other words that will likely better describe the situation. And then, when things really do get crazy — like the girl who got dumped and cracked open her ex-boyfriend’s patio door, slid the garden hose in, turned on the water, and left… or the guy who was cheated on and then poured milk under his ex-girlfriend’s driver seat (she didn’t even know what happened until weeks later, ewwwww!) — you can use the word “crazy” and not only will you actually mean it, but people will take you seriously.

And by the way, when we women use the word crazy to describe ourselves, we would appreciate you telling us that we are justified in our behavior! You will earn major points for that!

When Do You Reveal Something Major?

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

Another episode of The Bachelor, and another post about dating. This time, a “final-three” contestant, Becca, waited until overnight dates to reveal that she’s a virgin. The Bachelor reacted in a respectful and classy way, and even kept her for the final two, but you could almost tell he did so because he didn’t want people to think he was a jerk for eliminating someone for their sexual experience (or lack thereof). Yet, the week before he eliminated the fourth-to-last contestant after she waited until he met her family to reveal that she had posed nude for Playboy.

The Bachelor

Chris and Becca on ABC’s The Bachelor

So, when is the right time to reveal something major? Is it anyone’s business if you’re a virgin, or posed nude, before you’re in a committed relationship? Yes.

You should give your prospect MAJOR information BEFORE you have “The Talk.” Would it suck if they used that information against you to decide not to want to be with you? Yes, but at least you know that now rather than later. You know what this major info is because you know there’s a chance you’ll get judged for it.

This is not the minor details about having dated someone you know they don’t like, or being one class short of earning your Bachelors even though you claim to have graduated, or having gotten hair plugs or a hair transplant, or anything that you wouldn’t really care about if roles were reversed.

But, if you have a latent yet permanent disease, or if you tested positive for the BRCA gene, or if you can’t have kids, or if you were previously married, then you should share this information after you’ve created momentum with several dates, but before you’re in a committed relationship.

Nature vs. Nurture

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I studied “Nature vs. Nurture” a lot in college and debated what is biological, or not. One of the topics we never discussed, but I think about a lot lately, is if we are destined to become the same husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, that our own parents were. After all, they are generally the only role models we have as to what that looks like. If you are conscientious enough, then you may see a trait you didn’t like in your parent as a spouse or mother/father, and decide to try very hard not to become that way, or alternatively, admire a trait and choose to emulate it.

As singles who are dating and hoping to become someone’s partner, we have our own parents’ relationship as an example of a relationship dynamic… and even if we don’t agree with it, we will likely have a difficult time combatting it because it’s all we really know — that’s nature. Each relationship you yourself have can help you grow as a partner and shape you to become the husband or wife you want to be — that’s nurture. But nature still lingers.

If a man was raised in home where his parents had stereotypical gender roles, even if he wants a modern woman, he may have a difficult time adjusting his expectations. If a woman was raised in a female-centric home where Mom ruled the roost, then she may have a difficult time sharing power, even if she wants an egalitarian household.

But, it’s not impossible to combine the two. Ensuring you have a solid foundation will help as you grow together as a couple; and truly trusting each other will allow you to communicate openly without feeling criticized for traits you may have not even known you had or had not realized were undesirable.

Dating Differently

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

After a tough breakup a lot of people think they need to start looking for someone who is the opposite of the type of person who just hurt them. But, finding someone who is blonde instead of brunette, corporate instead of an entrepreneur, quiet rather than loud, an introvert vs an extrovert, and so on, does not mean that the next relationship is going to be successful. There’s no one thing that is going to change the fate of a relationship. There are going to be traits that you’re attracted to which will contribute to a relationship never working, and there are traits that you will need in another person in order to complement your own traits. It will take some introspection to figure out which traits are which.

Liking a strong and outgoing person, but not wanting someone who is controlling is a difficult balance to find. That doesn’t mean that you should look for someone who is shy and quiet. Wanting to laugh and have fun is not the same as being made fun of and hearing constant sarcasm. That doesn’t mean you should find someone who is boring and serious all the time.

What it does mean is that you need to take your time and get to know someone, and see who you are and how you are when you are together.