A lot of people ask me how to use “Preferences” and “My Ideal Match” on JDate. Should they answer the questions as broad as possible and then narrow it down from there based on level of importance? Or, should they answer as strict and narrow as possible — in essence creating their idealized, perfect (unrealistic?) match — and then broaden the areas of least importance?
It looks like this:
Scenario #1 — The Broad Answer (ie. casting a wide net)
- location: with 100 miles
- age range: 5 years younger, 10 years older
- marital status: single or divorced
- kids: has/wants/any
- education: BA and above
- religion: all except Orthodox options
- smoking: no
- drinking: yes
- height: 5’10+
- body style: any
- activity level: any
- kosher: no or to some extent
- willing to relocate: maybe
Scenario #2 — The Strict Answer (ie. your perfect vision)
- location: within 25 miles
- age range: 1 year younger, 4 years older
- marital status: single
- kids: wants
- education: MA/JD/PhD
- religion: Conservative
- smoking: no
- drinking: socially
- height: 6’+
- body style: athletic/fit
- activity level: active and above
- kosher: no
- willing to relocate: no
In the 1st scenario you would get a huge return with possibly 100s of prospects to sift through. In the 2nd scenario you may get just one pageful, which is maybe a dozen prospects to choose from (if any). In order to eliminate the ones in scenario #1 you would begin narrowing down location to 50 miles, then age to a 10-year range, then being more specific about activity level and/or body type. In order to see more options in scenario #2 you would broaden the mileage to 50 miles, expand the age range to a 10-year spread, include those who have a college degree (even if it’s not higher education), and be open to someone with a few extra pounds to lose.
Is there a right way or a wrong way? No, not necessarily. In fact, I think you should try both ways. First make your own list of what your ideal is and then what you would compromise on. Does someone truly need to be 6′ tall or would 5’11 suffice? If you keep kosher then that would probably not be one that you would be willing to negotiate on. Once you’ve made your two lists, plug one in first, then the other, and see what your results are. Based on which appeals to you more, use that approach and then start your narrowing or broadening. Remember, relationships are a lot about compromise so this is good practice for later!
In my mid-twenties I signed up for JDate after thinking I was too good to “stoop down” to that level. Needless to say, I ended up loving it! It wasn’t even about all the dates, but just knowing that there were so many possibilities out there made me feel a lot more secure about the whole Jew-only dating thing. So I started raving about it to all the singles I knew, convincing many who were also hesitant to sign up. But it took much more to get my single, handsome and successful cousin convinced… he first wanted to use my account to check out the ladies!
I figured that it was worth whatever it took to further his sudden interest in settling down – and with a Jewish woman, at that. I used the search engine to find women he’d be attracted to and then nagged him to expand his age range and guilt-tripped him into reading profiles and not judging off of photos only.
Not surprisingly (at least to me) my cousin was excited by all the possibilities! He opened an account and I was impressed by his thoughtful, funny and intriguing profile complete with super cute photos of him with his nieces and nephews.
I was happy with his mindset and the fact that he was finally making an effort on his own and still feel – even though it’s been a few years and he’s still single – that he’ll find a the right woman in the near future. Some people just have to be eased into the whole online dating concept, but once they’re in, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be hooked! By introducing my cousin to JDate slowly, I managed to get him interested in considering marrying a Jewish woman altogether, and for me that was the ultimate goal.
I am a healthy 77-year-old divorced dentist. I’m looking for a nice Jewish lady who is into the outdoors and would enjoy some (limited) hiking, camping, fishing and skiing. It seems like most Jewish women are not into those activities. On the offish chance I do find someone that enjoys these activities, she is usually in her late 50’s or early 60’s but they don’t want to go out with me because they say the age difference is too great. So what am I supposed to do, lie about my age? What do you suggest?
Dear Older & Active,
Your letter made me laugh, not because it’s an odd question but because I’m one of those women who’s not into the whole camping and fishing thing. But the good news is that I know a lot of women who are! I’m not sure how many of them are in your age range, but I’m positive there are some out there. My advice would be to broaden your area as wide as possible –160 miles from your zip code. In addition, broaden your age range as far as you think is realistic – maybe 62 to 80? Next, be as flexible as possible regarding denomination, marital status, education and height. I say this not only because of your age but because you feel so strongly about an outdoorsy woman that the other stuff shouldn’t really matter. Don’t lie about your age, but you should make it clear in your profile that you’re young at heart, active and looking for someone to enjoy the great outdoors with.
The great thing about JDate is you can use the “Search” function to do a keyword search to find the women in your area and surrounding areas who enjoy the same things as you. Don’t type more than one or two keywords at a time or you’ll eliminate a lot of great prospects. Lastly, be open to introducing your hobbies to a woman who may enjoy skiing but has never been fishing and would be willing to sit in the boat with you, or a woman who enjoys a day hike but doesn’t ski and is willing to try the bunny slope or sit by a fire in the cabin. And make sure you’re willing to try new things, as well! Good luck!
I was just wondering if JDate has a way for me to correspond with people just for social networking, aside from dating. I’m 38 and single and many of my friends are in relationships. I’d be interested in networking with other women for socializing, going to singles event, etc… Thanks!
Dear Social Networking,
I think utilizing JDate to find single girlfriends to hang out with is a great idea! Although there aren’t specific ways to do so, my advice is to go to JDate events being held in your area and meet other girls in person. It’s definitely easier to go to Jewish singles events with a buddy and there are, without a doubt, other gals on JDate whose friends are all married. I admit, I used to check out the other girls who would show up in the same searches as me and sometimes I would think to myself, “gee, we have a lot in common” or “wow, she looks like she would be a lot of fun to hang out with.” I never went so far as to email them, but I did think about it and I don’t think it would be wrong for you to do so.