Picking the Place

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Picking the place to eat is a sensitive game. Never, ever pick a place that you like. This is for several reasons. First, if you like a place, then the staff there might recognize you and end up saying really stupid things to you on a first date like “Hey, why pants all of a sudden?” or “Your girlfriend has put on some weight.” Second, because a date can be a very anxiety-filled experience, you don’t want to have to be nervous when enjoying your favorite food. Third, if you take a girl to a place you like, she will know of this secret place too, and you will always be nervous that she will be there in the future when you just want to gorge yourself alone.

Also, always suggest a place where she wants to go, even if you’re violently allergic to the food. Suggest a place close to her home as well, because, while it’s nice of you to ask to pick her up for a first date, she will never say ‘yes’ because she’s never met you before. If she’s indecisive, which she will be, just tell her to let you know when she decides. Put the food ball in her restaurant court. Now, the burden is off you in terms of venue and it’s off of you to be the person to initiate the next call.

Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for her to eventually not want to see you again. If you’re pessimistic like me, postpone the date as much as possible. In this way, you can not only delay inevitable heartbreak, but you will also come off as cool and not quite as desperate. Rejection has a silver lining. It makes you not as eager to put yourself out there, thus projecting a nonchalant disposition, when, really, you just need some time to recover.

Right now, the best part of my day is the one-and-a-half hours after my shower, but before bed. This doesn’t have anything to do with the post, but this is about to happen, and I’m not about to stop it.

The Way to a Man’s Heart

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Relationships

The saying goes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but can what you order on a first JDate actually turn a guy (or gal) off? I’m allergic to sulfites which means I can’t drink wine or eat onions and garlic. That sounds awful to most people, but too bad. When I order I have to make sure to ask if there are onions and to tell them I don’t want onions. So already I can come across as sounding difficult to my companions at dinner. It’s not my fault though. If a guy I dated in the past didn’t like it, then too bad. I believe that says more about him than me. I’ve been guilty of it too — one guy I met on JDate asked me out, and when I asked where we should meet, he said anywhere, except he’s a vegan allergic to dairy and wheat. I claimed I forgot about previous plans because I simply couldn’t imagine having to deal with that the rest of my life. Narrow-minded I admit. We all have things we don’t like or can’t eat at a restaurant; just try to downplay your ordering so that it doesn’t come off as difficult or high-maintenance.

Restaurant Wars

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

When you’re making plans for a date – whether you’re doing the asking or being asked – it’s imperative that you be flexible. If she suggests sushi, don’t make a gagging noise. If he suggests coffee or drinks rather than a meal, don’t sigh. If she suggests the newest, trendiest, most expensive restaurant, don’t audibly roll your eyes. And if he suggests a midweek date, don’t grunt or guffaw. Being flexible is an admirable and sought after quality. It doesn’t mean you’re desperate for a date anytime or anywhere but rather that you’re open to trying new things and willing to compromise – both attributes we desire in a mate.

Sure the ladies love a guy who tells them to get dressed up to go out on Saturday night – Prime Date Night – to a fancy-shmancy restaurant where he can impress you with the fact that he was able to finagle reservations. But a gal should be just as comfortable and excited to be in jeans at the greasy but delicious hole-in-the-wall neighborhood joint on a Thursday night because your date knows that’s when they have a special and delicious delicatessen that’s not on the menu.

If it’s your first phone conversation ever the last thing you want to do is come across as snobby or inflexible by heeing and hawing over every suggestion. If it’s a second or third date and you know her favorite food is sushi then take her there even if it means you order an overpriced teriyaki chicken dinner. Just don’t make an icky face or yucky noise when the raw fish arrives at your table. If you want to add some fun and interaction and spice up a date go to Gyu-Kaku or another type of restaurant where you can order the food and cook it together.

As I mentioned last week, I’m allergic to onions but even I would be willing to go to the Blooming Onion if that’s where my husband wanted to go because I know there’s going to be something on the menu I can eat. There’s something you can order everywhere you go even if it’s just the house salad with grilled chicken, so there’s no need to be difficult by rejecting every restaurant suggestion your date makes.

I met a guy on JDate a few years back who was allergic to this, that and the other. He couldn’t have anything with gluten, he was vegetarian and he was allergic to nuts. I asked him how he ever left the house, forget about eating in a restaurant. Needless to say he wasn’t my Beshert. In his case, he needs to make the phone call and ask out his date with a list of a few restaurants already in mind which he knows has food he can eat. And he shouldn’t mention all his allergies until they’ve ordered and even then he ought to do so in a self-deprecating manner. Thank goodness he didn’t list his allergies in his profile!

You can take turns on dates being the one picking the place – if it’s a flop you’ll be able to tease your date from then on. If you’re making plans via email or instant messenger it’s even more important to not make a sarcastic comment about the food or the service or what have you because so much gets lost in translation online. “LOL” only gets you so far. Don’t be a doormat – if you ate Chinese food last night and don’t want it again, it’s okay to say so. Some couples will bond over both being food snobs but for the most part nobody wants dinner to turn into restaurant wars – this is the situation where you want to be easy and not a challenge.

What’s TMI?

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I have been on JDate for a few months. More than 100 men have viewed my profile. I am communicative and don’t hesitate to reach out. I don’t usually have self confidence issues, am optimistic and funny but no one responds to me. Many of those men seemed like serious, interesting people who I’d love to meet just for coffee. I do not mind being on my own, but I desire companionship and connections with other people. My father suggested it’s because I am healing from a spinal problem. I have so much to offer the right person, but I won’t be dishonest. Could people possibly be rejecting me because I can’t do cartwheels right now? The lack of response is disheartening, but also baffling. I tell myself I am only looking for one, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one responds to me. Any advice?

Dear What’s TMI?

I give you credit for making such an effort while recovering from a spinal injury. That said, I don’t think mentioning that injury is necessary in an introductory email and especially not in your profile — this includes not having photos showing your injury. You’re not lying; this information is simply none of their business at this point. To put it blunt — these guys are basically strangers right now. A disability, a divorce, or depression, or anything that could be seen as negative or as “baggage,” is TMI — too much information. My advice would be to not mention your injury and recovery until you are making plans to meet. The first date will probably take place at the typical bar, restaurant or coffee shop, so simply mention you’ll be arriving in a brace or using a walker or what-have-you and briefly explain why and offer to tell the whole story on the date. Do not mention your injury before then. Any emails you send to men on JDate should be casual, upbeat, and short and sweet. Mentioning this and explaining your recovery from a spinal injury is anything but those three things and it unfortunately doesn’t surprise me that you haven’t received a response. I bet with your new approach, you will! Good luck on your recovery and on finding love!

What Should “We” Order?

by RollingStone9862 under Date Night,Relationships

I am a food sharer. A sampler if you will who prefers, and usually insists, that at least one other person that I am enjoying a meal with splits it with me. Growing up my mom was the one who cleverly instilled in me the idea that if you are at a restaurant, where a bunch of things on the menu look good, you don’t have to be burdened with the difficult decision of choosing one singular item to order.

Instead, my mom opened my eyes to the idea that we could each pick one thing that we wanted and share so that we would, in actuality, get to try two different things. Thus far, this has turned out to be one of the most important and lasting lessons that my mom has taught me, since I attempt to follow this bit of wisdom every time I go out to eat.

While I’m not willing to definitively say whether or not someone who enjoys sharing or splitting food at restaurants is a “deal breaker” as to whether I will ultimately date them or not; it certainly helps. A couple of months ago I went out on a first date to a Mexican restaurant that I really liked, where there were two things on the menu that I had trouble deciding between. I figured that since she knew that I had been there before that she might ask for a suggestion or give an indication that she might be open to sharing.

She ended up not giving any clues as to her ordering preferences, but I did get lucky that she ended up requesting one of the dishes that I would have wanted to share. Upon hearing her order I quickly asked for the other dish, but once our food came I failed to inquire about sharing. Instead I opted to let it go since you never know what people’s preferences are going to be and simply ate only my food.

In spite of my disappointment in not sharing we still both had a fun time and decided to go out again. After having a first date where we didn’t share anything, we were once again at a restaurant in a food ordering situation for our third date.  After blankly staring at the menu wondering whether or not I should bring up the fact that I like to share food I was fortunate that she interrupted my thinking with a novel suggestion, “Do you just want to get two things and share?”

After letting out an obvious sigh of relief I told her of my affection for sharing food. She answered back that we should have shared on our first date since what we both ordered looked so good. After acknowledging her response we went on to have a conversation about how we both enjoyed sharing food for the exact the same reasons.  This once again proves that unless you let people know your tastes and preferences, whether they be for sharing food, eating a particular type of food or even something non-food related, you won’t have as many opportunities to share cool things in common.

From JDate to 1st Date

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

When you’re making plans to meet a JDate for a 1st date (or a 2nd or 3rd date) the venue is very important. Choose a bar inside a restaurant to meet for a drink. Then, if things are going well you can order food at the bar or get a table. Or, you can bring a bad date to an end after downing a drink and getting out of there. See, restaurants are quieter, better lit and have fewer distractions. A 1st date is not the place to be flashy or go somewhere flashy. Don’t pick a place where you’re likely to run into friends, where you took a date the night before or where you used to work. It doesn’t have to be four-star dining but it should be nice.

Don’t schedule the date directly after work, give yourself a little leeway to go home, unwind and freshen up because you don’t want to be frazzled or frizzy (or – yikes – smell stanky!). Men should dress business casual: a button-down shirt with jeans always works. Make sure you’ve gotten a haircut in the last 2 weeks.  Or, at the very least clean up the back of your neck and run the clippers over your face  for a fresh shave. Finally, brush your teeth and make sure you smell nice. Women also want to make sure they look their best: wear a dress or a fancy top, don’t wear something too tight or too trendy because you don’t want to take the attention away from YOU. Don’t wear too much make-up but please reapply loose powder and mascara. Run a brush through your hair, brush your teeth and spritz on a little perfume in a not-too-strong scent.

Next up: Avoiding 1st Date Awkwardness