I’m single

by Aaron under JBloggers,Single Life

My first year of college was spent at a community college. I wanted to be close to home, I could’ve gone anywhere probably, I had great grades in high school. I was transferring the next year, I told everyone.

I always had to defend my choice, I thought. Who would be impressed by me getting my core classes out of the way for a small price? I was scared to leave home and wanted to save money, but you can’t just tell people that, I thought.

I’ve had the same stigma attached to being single since I was aware of the fact at age 4. I don’t think I ever thought it was okay to be single. It just seemed to me like people had to be together.

At the risk of sounding like I shouldn’t be writing for this column, it may surprise you then that I’ve been perpetually single since the beginning of high school. Maybe it was my constant need for a committed relationship that’s been stopping me. Maybe it’s that secretly I’ve just been trying my whole life to impress people enough to want to be with me, and that constant need to be better has gotten in my way.

In one of my favorite movies, Before Sunrise, Ethan Hawke observes that he is always around himself and never gets a chance to be someone different. Everything he does, every kiss, every moment, has to involve him no matter what. I think I’ve felt some of that too, I just wanted to experience someone else, to not have to just experience me.

That’s not to say I’m not happy with who I am, far from it. Rather, I think the problem is that I can never accept just me as enough. I’ve always felt like some other half I was supposed to know is missing. But publicly, I would like to admit to myself here that I am very happy with who I am and very proud of the person I’ve become. I’ve done a lot of great things in an effort to make a name for myself, and I think even that I have done successfully.

So now I find only one thing left to do. There’s obviously a reason I’m writing this piece this week, and I’m sure you can figure it out based on my tone here. I’m ready to start a very extended Hi-Datus, as I call it, and just spend some time getting to know myself. I want to learn more what it is I like, how I can be happy alone, and how I can better find what exactly it is I’m even looking for, and even better, help others to do the same. As the wise artist Fergie once said, “This [guy] don’t stay single for long,” but as long as I can help it, I’m gonna say I’m single, and I’m not going to justify a damn thing.


Love At First JDate: What to Wear on a First Date

by JenG under Relationships

They say first impressions count for a lot. If anything, the first couple of minutes that you spend meeting your date is a moment that won’t ever leave the wiring of your brain—for both good and sometimes really, terribly bad reasons. On a recent first date I recently went on, the guy turned to me just after we ordered our drinks and said, “I’m sorry, I just woke up from a deep nap and didn’t feel like changing.” There was no need for an explanation as the wrinkles of his white Hanes shirt and zip up jacket said it all. His look was fine, except it was a Saturday night and he had never met me before. The least he could do was comb through his fallen, dandruff hair.

When you’re getting ready for a first date, please wipe the nap-time crud out of your eyes and pull together a nice, simple and memorable (for a good reason) outfit. Here are some tips:

  • Do: Wear something that you’ve worn before. Now is certainly not the time to try new outfits. Neither is it a good idea to pair two pieces together if you’re unsure how they will look on you. Girls, put on light makeup and simple accessories. Boys, just one spray of cologne is all you really need.
  • Don’t: When picking out an outfit, it’s a good rule of thumb to select something to wear that your grandma would approve—in other words, be modest. Don’t wear something too revealing, something with too many wrinkles in it, or something that could easily turn into a wardrobe malfunction and have you channeling your inner Janet Jackson circa the 2004 Superbowl. Guys, it’s best to change out of your work clothes, or something that you’ve had on all day. Keep it fresh and clean.

Read more of Jen Glantz: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


Love At First JDate: Saying Thank You

by JenG under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

The best part about being on JDate is having other friends who are on it as well and can fully understand what you’re talking about when you start to vent and run away wildly into an online dating story.

The other day my friend was telling me about how she met this guy on JDate and things were going smoothly. I nodded my head in happiness and sighed with a bit of jealousy, hoping that one day soon I could say the same. But then she told me after each date she texts guys saying, “Thank you” and that she “had a lot of fun.”

My eyebrows immediately raised and I let out a giant, “WHAT!” I had always thought it to be girl code that you wait until the guy texts you first after the date. My friend, who is a couple of years younger than me (but obviously a few years wiser), told me no way—that is how you lose them!

She couldn’t be more right.

Do:

  • Tell someone you had a good time with them — both in person and then after — via a thoughtful text or a quick phone call. There are so many anxieties that cross our minds before, during and after dates. Alleviate the tension, the guessing and the what if’s through positive affirmations — if you are indeed having positive feelings.

Don’t:

  • Hold back. You took the giant step of putting yourself out there, and then, you took an even bigger step by going on blind dates with people you’ve briefly conversed with by chomping down sentences on your keyboard. If you promise yourself not to hold back, to break some of those age old rules, you will have nothing to lose.

Read more advice from Jen Glantz here.


Love At First JDate: Will You Be My Valentine?

by JenG under Relationships

Why is this day different from any other day? A day where love birds bat their eyelashes on top of one another and gallivant around providing an ungodly amount of PDA that’s seriously crowding your comfort zone.

You may find yourself asking that Passover-like question this week as the glimmering red tissue paper and stuffed bears haunt you as you’re just trying to make it through another Valentine’s Day — alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For us, the ones who are on a holy quest to find a mensch that can warm their frosty winter heart (as much as a quick slice of pizza can), it’s day that warrants us to feel special.

I’ve spent Valentine’s Day squeezing teddy bears filled with chocolate given to me by my parents, on first dates at fast food restaurants, over a glass of Pinot with good friends, and even, occasionally, face-to-face with some ice cream cake while turning the pages of a book of Neruda poetry. Whatever it is that will make you feel extraordinary, do it. It’s just one day out of the year that you absolutely deserve to be dazzled, just like everyone else.

Valentine’s Day Dos:

  • Ask someone out for a rendezvous on Valentine’s Day (even if it’s a first date) and make them feel as special as you would on any other date.
  • Add a little bit of flair with a single rose, a selection of chocolate, or any other type of simple acknowledgement that here you are, together, on a day that’s designed to make people feel exotically special.

Valentine’s Day Don’ts:

  • Sit at home alone and sulk.
  • Send messages out of desperation to an enormous amount of people online because you are eager to experience any type of in-person connection on this holiday.
  • Consume too much wine, chocolate, or episodes of Sex and the City (alone).
  • Turn down a potential suitor just because you find it “pressuring” to go out with them on Valentine’s Day.

Want to be my Valentine? Contact me here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com


Love at First JDate: Jen Glantz

by JenG under JDate,Relationships,Single Life

It’s been almost one year since I stuffed my entire life into two 50-pound suitcases, smooched goodbye a life underneath the Florida heat waves and moved to New York City. And throughout my adventure here, having to navigate my way around cohorts of tourists and consciously avoiding getting swiped by speeding yellow taxi cabs, the two most popular and regular questions my loved ones back home dare to ask me are: “Are you surviving the weather?” and “Did you get married yet?”

My constant response to both always comes decorated with a deep-pitted sigh and a fumbled laugh: “NO!”

Let me rewind for a second. I moved to New York for the same reason most 20-somethings drain their savings accounts: to live inside a shoe box, eat the crust of days old bread here, and to flirt with adventure. I came here to jump start my career and be spoon feed a constant reminder that every moment I spend swallowed between my couch cushions would set me back an indefinite amount toward reaching my wildest dreams. However, with quite a large number of people cha-cha sliding around such a small city, if I did, by chance, meet a guy who would look at me with the same kind of goo-goo eyes that I only save for a delicious slice of street pizza, well then that would be a great added bonus, and a exhale of relief for my mother.

I always thought I’d meet someone naturally. Perhaps while reading through 100 pages of a Norah Ephron novel in a bookstore, or while tapping my toes in line to get a fresh, hot bagel with some strawberry shmear. I’ve spent my Friday nights in a cesspool-like environment, covered up as a West Village bar, making small talk with guys that reek of Whiskey and then lost track of my Subway stop because I was gazing into the eyes of a cute straphanger. But nothing. There’s been no connection worth writing home about — and most of my first dates end with me wallowing on a warm bench alone, declaring my love to a pint of Chunky Monkey.

It’s been almost a year. Now that I’m finally settled into working at my 9-whenever-the-day-ends-job, and can finally traverse the city (or at least the parts of the cities with numbered streets), without whipping out Google maps, it’s time to focus on navigating my heart.

And in the process, I fancy to share all the gory and beautiful details with you, my new JDate friends, about the dos and don’ts of first dates (the awkward hellos and the even more awkward goodbyes).

All to finally be able to bring a mensch home to my darling parents, all in the name of hoping to find “Love at First JDate”.


You Think You Have it Bad

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I will never understand what it’s like to be a single 40-year-old woman (because even if G-D forbid I am single, I would be a divorced 40-year-old single mother, and that’s not the same). I can try to sympathize, but when I’m talking to acquaintances who are in that position there never seems to be the right thing to say.

I recently ran into an old family friend named Beth and I asked her if she was available for being set-up. Her reply? “Don’t bother, I’m going to be alone forever.” She wasn’t looking for pity, that was simply how she felt and she was speaking her mind. I was sad for Beth and I told her I would still keep her in mind, but the conversation stayed with me. She seemed so resigned to being single and had no faith left in love. Because I am 10 years her senior and married with a child I would never get it.

The problem is, that attitude is going to get Beth no where and in fact will turn away friends too. I know it’s tough to be single. If it was tough to be single at 27, I can only try to imagine how tough it is at 40. But never give up hope that you will find your Beshert.


Making an Appearance

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

When you go out to a JDate event or any other Jewish event you need to be made up. That means you should be freshly scrubbed and washed, hair done, shaven, clothes clean and ironed. You’d be surprised the way single people arrive to events, it’s shocking. I went to an event tonight that wasn’t solely for singles, but of course it was singles that dominated the crowd. So I was surprised to see roots that weren’t touched up, clothes that were ill-fitting, faces unpainted and so on. You are there to possibly meet someone people!!! Dress to look your best! I seriously don’t know what some people are thinking when they walk out the door. You can’t afford to put anything less than 110% into getting ready for a singles event. You don’t have the luxury of choosing and editing photos as you do on jdate.com and then corresponding via the computer or phone. No, you are live and in person, so prepare accordingly! OK, rant over.