Love at First JDate: When to be Facebook Friends

by JenG under Relationships

After reading someone’s online dating profile and feeling enough of a burst of interest to meet them in person, you may find yourself on the steady track of getting to know them and seeing them weekly. But when is it time to finally connect with them, or easier said, be their Facebook friend, perhaps follow them on Twitter and begin to press the “heart” button on their Instagram photos?

Do: Wait to meet the person in real life before connecting with them across all or any social media platforms. If you’re able to figure out their first and last name before meeting them or after the first date, it’s fine to go ahead and innocently explore their profiles but don’t add them.

Don’t: Add that person on Facebook in the middle of your first date or before you have actually been out with them. If they ask you, before meeting you, to be your Facebook friend, consider going against that. It’s never a good idea to have someone look through years of your online information and photos before meeting you. Let the majority of their first impression of you be made in person, if possible.

Read more of Jen Glantz: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


Extreme Profile Makeover — “Emily”

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers. Today she’s tweaking the profile for “Emily.”

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Dear Tamar,

I’ve called JDate customer service and solicited the advice of some girlfriends, but so far nothing has helped.

I’m a fairly attractive and very smart/fun girl… in real life I get approached by a good number of smart and pretty good-looking guys. Online, however, very few guys message me (and almost none reply to my messages). Plus, all of the ones who do contact me are, frankly, poorly educated, inarticulate, and unattractive.

I don’t mean to be dismissive of these people but I just have the feeling that something is terribly wrong with my profile and is turning the ‘good’ guys off.

I suspect that my profile is too long (and I read that this can indicate desperation), but I put in all those details so that I could attract a like-minded guy. I’m afraid that a shorter and more generic profile will attract people I have nothing in common with.

Can you help me to figure out what’s wrong with my approach?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi Emily,

Thanks for writing in and letting me know that you updated your profile already. I agree, your previous one was far too long and this one is much better. Let’s start from the beginning though…

PROFILE NAME
Your profile name isn’t your name although it is a name, so that right there can be confusing. I’m a huge fan of Lucille Ball, so if you’re trying to reference her then at least incorporate a more obvious connection. If it’s some other reference then I’m personally not catching and maybe you want someone who does understand it but then you might end up losing people who aren’t in on the joke even though they don’t know that there’s a joke to get. I wouldn’t judge potentials on whether they do or don’t get your profile name. Of course, it would be very impressive and earn major points if a prospect mentioned the inside joke in his initial email to you but that is just one little connection. I would prefer you had a profile name which described you better.

PHOTOS
You have lots of great photos! Maybe too many though. I love your main photo and the second one with the red background, I also love the fourth one in the white dress and the eighth one in the green dress. The 11th one showing your side profile is super cute too. The others are not preferable to me for a few reasons — I don’t love the idea of alcohol in photos so that eliminates the 6th and 7th photos. The 12th one is just too small (low-resolution) of a photo that it’s a toss away. There are 2 others which have the ame background of the cool and colorful wall but you have enough photos that you don’t need to repeat. I do like the Halloween pic as it shows your fun personality but the third picture, the one in the black lace dress is just okay to me. I think you can do better with a full body pic (in a sexy dress like that one) with your great smile to match. I don’t think the full 12 pics is necessary. Your look is consistent in all 12, so if you just offered 6-8 that would be sufficient.

IN MY OWN WORDS
You’ve written some really eloquent paragraphs so I’m going to be pretty nit-picky with you. Under ABOUT ME, get rid of the word “boyfriend” and just keep that sentence to “friends.” In the last paragraph I would also remove the following: the part about books and about movies. I love a great book and indie flick too but you mention it a number of times throughout the entire profile (and of course it’s asked further down under MY FAVORITES) so this would be a good place to delete and shorten the response, including the last cutesy exclamation. Instead put something like “If you like any or all of these things too then maybe we’ll have more fun doing them together!” With MY LIFE AND AMBITIONS saying that you want to find someone you “really love” is, for lack of a better word, weird. Of course you should really love the man you marry! That’s a given. Alas, I get what you mean. Instead say “I hope my husband and I are passionately in love for the next 60 years” and then add in the rest of the sentence. I love your answer to MY PERFECT FIRST DATE and I think the remainder of your responses are all solid. You could shorten and tweak I’M LOOKING FOR as it is, literally, a tall order. I too had a height requirement but you can narrow that down yourself, you don’t necessarily need to say it in your profile as that may give a guy the wrong impression about your priorities when I know you truly prefer someone who is intellectual and cultural above everything else.

MY DETAILS
Your details all look pretty solid and reasonable. I applaud you for selecting a minimum age range a few years below your age and a maximum age range 10 years above. This is the perfect range. You do seem like the type of person who would be fine meeting someone who ended up being an “activity partner” but that’s not what you’re on JDate looking for, so there’s no problem with eliminating activity partner, friend and a date from the list of what you’re looking for.

I think you’re well on your way and your most recent trend of great guys writing to you will continue. If you want me to review some of your initial emails or responses, feel free to email me some examples. Good luck!


Fracture

by JeremySpoke under Single Life,Success Stories

Okay so some college basketball player recently and horrifically broke his leg. I’ve broken my leg several times, and though it wasn’t nearly as painful as his must have been, nor was it televised, it still hurt very much. This guy is getting a lot of deserved sympathy. Will he be able to play again? He had a very promising future. I actually have no idea. He could have been the worst player of all time. I have no idea.

I think my point for this new pointless post is that in order to gain sympathy, you have to be really good at something. When I broke my foot in junior high by landing funny on my sandal, the only attention I got was from my friend who laughed at me as I limped back into his apartment and cried. Sports radio stations did not discuss my debilitating injury, nor was I on the front page of cnn.com. However, the next day at school, I did gain some sympathy from some of my female classmates until I noticed them looking at my Hershey’s bar in my hand. I’m not man candy! This chocolate is my last bastion of happiness that I’m desperately clinging to until I can lock myself in my room and glue myself to the television.

This theory remained constant throughout adulthood. Sympathy is only evoked if you have other redeeming qualities, and I can’t always carry around a Hershey’s bar. I’m not made of money. Actually no, that’s completely wrong. Most women have hated me, despite any unfortunate circumstances that have come my way. It wasn’t until I met my fiancée that I realized that sympathy is not a tool to use for self-esteem. Instead it is a mutual thing to help both people realize not just their codependence but also their fusion as a coherent whole.


Pushing Through

by JeremySpoke under Success Stories

Anxiety is a funny thing. Just kidding it sucks.

It’s difficult to push through the day when you have a heavy, sinking feeling in your chest. Deep anxiety makes doing everyday activities difficult.

It just took me half an hour to turn on my computer, and it only takes my horrible computer eighteen minutes to start up. That left two hours of lethargy and apathy. That’s two minutes I could have instead spent putting in my password and pressing ‘Enter’. What a waste!

So I somehow managed to open WordPress and I’m now writing this.

Finding someone to share in my misery is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. For example, for many people suffering from some sort of anxiety and/or depression, the morning can be especially difficult. Sometimes this stems from loneliness. Whatever the case, getting a text message immediately after waking up evokes the best feeling ever. It gives me just enough motivation to get out of bed and drive to work.

I know there will be ups and downs, but this ride is great so far. Things are far from perfect, but if I had to write this same blog post one year ago, I would have managed to open my laptop halfway and then gone on an icing-eating rampage which would have devolved into just eating sticks of butter.


Above and Beyond

by JeremySpoke under Relationships,Success Stories

Unless you’re already a celebrity or naturally secrete cologne out of your pores, you have to treat dating and relationships like it’s the only thing keeping you from death. Don’t be on time to s***, be an hour early. Don’t buy her a Kit-Kit bar, buy her a King Size Kit-Kat bar.

Whenever you think you’ve gotten her a nice gift, it’s not. Get her more. Always more. You need to have my mindset in that you’re always convinced she’s going to leave you. If not, and you have nothing to fear, you will lose her. Even if you love her, without fear, you have nothing to lose, and this is more scary than anything else. If you’re thinking about her, call her. If you’re not thinking about her, call her. If you’re asleep, call her. Better to by clingy than an asshole.

Of course, if you’re just starting to date someone  it’s probably best to not call all the time. Maybe this is a good time to be a tad more arrogant and to prove your self worth or something. After she realizes how great you are, then you can be a little more modest, and settle down in a comfortable relationship. If you are an asshole, then hide it. Or at least hide it for a little while until the time is right to tell her. You’ll know when the time is. Maybe it’s while somebody cuts you off on the highway and she’s in the passenger’s seat, and she gives you a little nod signifying it’s time to unleash Road Hulk. If she’s comfortable with how much of a jerk you are, then the two of you are truly in love.

Of course, there will come a time when things will settle down, and the spark will fade a little. This is when divorces happen. That’s why you have to keep it up. Make it a routine to show her how much she means to you. Shower her with love, or with showers, because hygiene is important above all else.


I’ve Dated My Whole City… Now What?

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships

Because of my newfound fame writing dating columns for JDate during these past 3 months, every so often I’ll get email inquiries from men and women alike, looking to solve their dating dilemmas. This one comes from Mack B. of Austin, Texas.

(NOTE: THIS POST IS HEAVY ON AMBIGUOUS SPORTS METAPHORS)

Dear Dating Prognosticater,

I have a problem. I’ve been in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area since 1998, and have enjoyed my time here, both professionally and personally. I have a couple of problems though- I feel like I’ve dated just about every Jew in the area.

I had a four year relationship with a religious girl, before she moved to Cleveland, and was in a really high-profile relationship with a girl who brought me a lot of fame seven years ago, and just moved back to be a model at a steakhouse downtown, and I’ve dated a bunch of girls in between.

I feel like I’m damaged goods, and destined for a life of singledom. Especially since there was this one girl who really liked me, but I didn’t like her back, so she moved to Waco, and now is a famous personality in Washington D.C. I cry inside every day about that.

What should I do?

Mack B.

 

Mack B.,

Have no fear. I have one solution for you: Look elsewhere. Have you been doing the same activities in Austin for the last fifteen years? Have you seen your friend group change? Have you dated the same types of girls (I guess not, since you dated a religious girl and a steakhouse model)? Answer that first.

Find a new hobby. Do you go to happy hour every single Monday-Friday? It might be time to take one of those drinking days off, and go to yoga. Maybe a pottery class is in your future? Join a co-ed book club? You still want to drink heavily on one day? Well, there’s always kickball.

Having a routine is great. The great thing about dating, however, is it relies on spontaneity- you don’t find your date through search engine optimization, but through chance encounters in person and online. You’ve been dating the same girl over and over again? Might be time to look at yourself and change some of your personal characteristics. That way you won’t miss out on the girl who might be “The One”.


Chinese Food and a Movie: The Surefire Date Idea

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

Every Christmas, Jewish young adults are faced with the same routine: some sort of Matzo Ball Christmas Eve, watching the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade (usually hungover), volunteering or watching the NBA, then going to eat Chinese food and watching a movie.

With that in mind, the question I have is this: Why can’t Chinese food and a movie be a possible first date? I know in my previous post, I stated an ideal first date would be coffee, but the Christmas date presents an interesting option.

In my opinion, the Chinese food “dinner” date is different than a regular “dinner date,”  as Chinese restaurants are usually the only ones open on Christmas Day. It is rather low pressure, since you were already going to go to a Chinese food restaurant anyway. In addition, a successful Chinese food date, with enough time, could lead to the New Year’s Date that you have been seeking, whether a simple pre-New Year’s drink, or that person you are desperately looking to have a sloppy make-out session with at midnight. Not only that, but chances are high your friends will probably be at the same Chinese food location that night, so what better way for this “prospect” to meet them and attempt to make a good first impression on them, as well as you?

Now, let’s take the opposite angle: What if your date doesn’t work out? What if you have no connection whatsoever in between bites of endamame and sushi, and now dread going to the movie?

Well, think of it this way: If you’re going to see Lincoln, you can sit watching an awesome three hour movie in silence, while feeling good that you ate moderately healthy at a reasonable price, and are now that much closer to finding the person who you CAN stand a whole Chinese food and movie date with.


Simple Ways for Relationship Success

by Adam under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Relationships,Success Stories

I have been fortunate in both Dallas and Austin to be friends with two long-term couples. Both have been together a long time (3+ years) with the Austin couple set to have their first child in March. They are two seemingly low-maintenance couples who find constant joy in being around each other no matter the circumstance. Below is a list of observations that I’ve seen from both couples, things that can be easily translatable to your own love life.

1. Dallas couple: After every time they hung out in the getting-to-know-you stage of their relationship, the male always texted “I had a great time! Can’t wait to see you soon!” It was something simple, yet something that resonated with his girlfriend even to this day. This might give away a dating secret of mine, but its something that I’ve copied to an extent, as it’s a simple, yet far-reaching gesture.
2. Austin couple- I happen to be in a leadership group with them, and what I notice is touch. Not PDA, not ridiculous hand-holding, but a simple touch on the back when getting up, or a tap on the leg when in a conversation. It’s not overt, but a mechanism that still indicates affection without being too teenage-like.
3. Dallas/Austin couple- Both couples are able to tease each other, even in the public sphere. Once again, there’s a huge a difference between making fun of someone maliciously and teasing, but the two couples understand and are ok with their faults enough to make light of them in front of others.
4. Dallas/Austin couple- While both couples absolutely adore each other, they also give each other space. The girl in Dallas is one of my best friends, but there’s just something about the idea of “guy time”, as she encourages her boyfriend to go watch the game with his guy friends, talking about guy things, as she goes shopping and watches reality TV with her friends. Yes, my Dallas buddy incessantly texts her while he is watching the game, but there’s still that idea of “doing your own thing”, allowing both people in the relationship to have some sort of independence.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will probably have the same productive relationship that these two couples have enjoyed.


Put the Brake on the Fake

by Adam under Relationships

“Oh, my friends actually maintain my profile.”

I got this response from a girl I was supposedly “messaging” at an event I went to during the High Holidays. She had apparently “Secretly Admired” me and we were talking about our High Holiday services and break-fast plans. She seemed nice, with a witty personality to boot, and was a sports fan, so I was definitely interested and took the initiative to message her first.

Saying, “Hey my name is Adam and we’ve been talking on JDate,” probably wasn’t the best opening line, especially in front of mutual friends of ours. Still, what kind of person lets their friends control their dating profile?

Now, understand I don’t include fake Craigslist or OkCupid profiles in this rant, because they are free sites, and it’s much easier to make a profile on a free site than a site like JDate where you really need to pay to get a real benefit from the site (which is a good thing). I bring this issue up now because it seems to be a recurring problem. “Oh, my mom signed me up for JDate” or “Yeah, my friends do it so they can see who else is on this site” are the usual excuses. You wouldn’t give your friends control of your bank account — so why let them handle your dating life?

I know some of you may read this and say, “I don’t care, my mom/friends can handle it, whatever,” but it boils down to more than that. And “fake it till you make it” is probably not the best way to attract a potential partner. Rather, it opens up more questions about your personal character. Listen, if you don’t want to date, than get off the site. Don’t hurt your online persona, and your dating reputation, by letting other people control your “actions.”

I abide by the principle of “say what you mean, mean what you say.” My friends can look, but not touch my profile. Why? Because they are A) not as creative as me and B) may say something totally opposite of what I want to say. If I message a girl with a dumb question or cheesy pick-up line, I’ll own up to it because I may end up seeing that girl at a later date (especially with how small Austin is).

Don’t be Donald Rumsfeld. Your dating profile should always be a known known. It might be an unknown known how people respond to you, but you should never be unknown as to what is known about the interactions that go on within it.

Do you.


Sustaining an Erection after an Election

by Adam under Entertainment,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

“Why?”

While bartending last night, this was the question posed to me by a 25-year-old Libertarian congressional candidate, who spent a year of his life trying to promote himself and his message, only to garner less than 5% of the vote, as he sobbed over a whiskey and coke, unsure of his next steps. Why, even though the aspiring politician barely managed a blip on the congressional results, was he continuing to speak with constituents, and fervently articulating his unconventional ideas well into the night?

“How?”

My parents have gone through three kids, layoffs, disagreements, drama, and tragedy, yet have still managed to stay together for over 25 years. How, in a society where relationship distractions number ten times what they were when my parents were growing up, have my mother and father managed to sustain their relationship?

“What?”

This is the question many of you ask yourselves as you scan potential matches on JDate.  What am I looking for in a potential relationship/activity partner? What compelled me to sign up for an online dating site? What happens if every match is a failure?

“Will?”

How do you sustain your political erection, in light of severe election disappointment? How do you sustain your “erection of love” within your relationship, besides with the use of Viagra? How do you sustain your erectional (yes, I made up that word) drive after countless dating mishaps, which have you believing in your eternal residence in the land of singledom?

What keeps an unfunded entrepreneur creating 20 hours a day? What keeps a couple together for 60 years, after their kids are moved out and established? Why, even in the event of a string of bad dates, does someone continue to subscribe to an online dating site?

Desire.