What Does a Happy Life Look Like?

by Haley Plotnik under Relationships,Single Life

As a Jewish adult, I’ve felt a lot of pressure to be successful. However, I don’t think the same emphasis is placed on being happy. Going into the working world after engineering school can feel like a nice change of pace for many recent graduates. However, the working world has its own stresses. Recently, people have been asking me what I want to do after graduation this December. Truth be told: I don’t exactly know! Many of my peers don’t know what we want our lives to look like.

The real question I’ve been asking myself is, “What does a happy life look like?” To be honest, I was in a deep rut midway through college, and I struggled to enjoy anything for a while. Now that the clouds have parted, I’m trying to emerge a stronger, happier, richer, and more compassionate person for the experience.

I sometimes still have dark days, but on the whole, things are looking up. Still, I can’t quite envision what my happy life looks like. Right now, it mostly consists of vague wants that are fairly universal. I’m trying to compile a who, what, where, when, and why of happy.

  • Who: Do you need to live near your parents or a sibling?
  • What: What are you going to spend the majority of your life doing?
  • Where: Does geography matter? Does the “Who” category trump the “Where” category?
  • When: When do you want these things to happen (if at all)? Not everyone wants children, for example.
  • Why: Why do we want certain things? What do they say about us as a person? The “Why” category is the hardest for me, but I think if I could figure it out more concretely, I would have an easier time answering in the other four questions.

Even though happiness is a mindset, having concrete goals makes it easier for me to document progress and create a sense of accomplishment along the way. What does your happy life look like, and how are you working toward making it a reality?


by Aaron under JBloggers,JDate,Judaism,Single Life,Success Stories

Failure, inherently, is a gigantic part of life. As your life goes on and opens up new opportunities, you are bound to fail at some point. But more rewarding than anything are those moments when you seem so on the brink of failure, and success somehow comes crashing toward you anyway.

In particular, I can remember two times in the last year where failure that I couldn’t begin to fathom came crashing on me. The first was a long-distance date with a Jewish girl from New York I’d been chatting with on JDate. As I planned to fly out to New York from Dallas, the greatest ice storm we’d seen in years began to take over the city. I had the foresight to move my flight to a day earlier, but even then, the ice piled on and basically froze all of Dallas in fear. I witnessed a truck crash on my way to the airport and was almost late for the flight. When I got to the airport, panic struck as I was told I’d miss my connector no matter what. At the last second, things changed, and they let me race through security for a long weekend in New York that, while a one time event, was still a good time.

As I sat in the baggage check-in line that day, I felt a dread I never knew before — here we are, having Skyped for two months, our big meeting finally at hand. We were so excited and the prospect of waiting any number of weeks more seemed awful. There is a certain power of getting to know someone, even over video, and it was devastating to not be able to be happy with that person in person… even for a weekend.

But as things often do, it worked itself out.

I had a similar experience again this last week. I had been trying and trying to get to New York for the summer, becoming so good at long distance networking that I started my own company to help people do it (TheSocialCustodian.com, though the site is not totally complete yet). As the one company I’d made it far with in New York was reaching a final decision, it was down to crunch time. They told me they’d let me know by a certain time, and I heard nothing.

And yet, I didn’t stop. I took my phone and called, and sure enough they were getting ready to offer me the job as I called. It was a moment that changed my life essentially, and will change the rest of my year by its very nature.

Yeah, that’s great, my life is awesome. How does it affect you? Life will bring on big challenges, and again on the theme of the beginning of the new year, don’t let that fear freeze you. The world offers great things to those who are ready for failure in pursuit of success, as I was when I made the call and tried to make the flight, and it rewards those ready to fall on their faces. Let this be the year you try to make a sketchy flight, make a new call, or just say hello to someone unexpected. Sure, you’ll probably fail at some point, but success is the greatest feeling in the world. See you in New York, JDaters.

Are you Intimidated by a… ? (Pt. 2)

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Are you intimidated by a successful man?

Would you let a man’s success make you feel like you’re not good enough for him?

I know a man who has conquered the businessworld and is well known not only in our community but nearly everywhere he goes. Women have always adored him as he is handsome and charming in addition to powerful, but women were also so completely intimidated by him that they didn’t even approach him. Finally, a woman with some cojones took her time getting to know him as a friend while still keeping enough about herself private that he was intrigued. At 41 years old, he is finally engaged.

I know a man who makes millions and he lets everyone know it.  And no woman will ever measure up but it’s not because he thinks he’s too good but because he’s too afraid she is with him for his money. The problem with that is he makes her feel that way too. He will have to trust someone, someday or be alone forever. Chances are he is not going to meet a woman with as much money as he but that doesn’t mean a woman is inferior or a golddigger for that matter.

Men: you’ve got the success, the money, the looks, but you’re single. You almost have everything – almost – but you’re the one keeping yourself from more. You will figure out if a woman is with you for your fame and fortune really quickly, just trust your instincts, but if you have to give them a chance first! Stop acting arrogant, or like you’re better than thou, just chill and be humble. Humble is hot.


by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Gems from Jen,

I am a successful pediatrician who finds that the men I meet are threatened by my title and success. How do I keep from scaring away men who are eligible? – Malka
Dear Malka,
My suggestion would be to look at your profile.  Does it talk more about you and your career rather than whom and what you are searching for?  Are you limiting your search to men who are in your same professional sphere?  Are you excluding men who might be great matches, but do not possess the same status or title that you have earned? Do you focus more on your successes and accomplishments rather than who you are? Our job titles do not define us, rather they complement us. I understand that we career women have worked very hard to get where we are, but that is only one aspect of ourselves. What do we stand for?  What makes us happy?  What makes us vulnerable? Who are we minus the career?  What makes us different from the next picture/profile on the list? How are we unique?  What qualities can we offer to a potential relationship? Refine your profile and let the real you shine through.
Secondly, men that are scared away by successful woman are lacking in their own self-confidence. It tends to threaten them. There are many eligible bachelors who are attracted to successful, accomplished women.  I just don’t believe you have found him yet.
Gems from Jen