Date in Reality, Not in Your Mind

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I’ve been thinking about last week’s post, and today I’d like to piggyback on that same concept – specifically on the detriments of texting. Texting and emailing a new person (whom we haven’t met in person yet) is like inflating an imaginary balloon (stay with me here). But, instead of blowing in oxygen or helium, we tend to inflate it with all of our hopes, dreams, and visions of the future.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean: Let’s say you’ve been exchanging a few witty emails with a cute guy online and he asks for your number. Your conversation moves to text, and the banter continues. You’re feeling good about him, and you get excited and smile when you hear the beep of a new message. You know a lot about him – he’s cute in his picture, he has a good job, he uses grammar correctly and emoticons appropriately. You might even be able to tell that he’s smart, kind, and funny – after all, you two say that you like the same things, and his texts always make you laugh.  You start to wonder what your first date might be like – you’re sure he would pick you up and be such a gentleman while whisking you off to this really cool little Italian place you’ve never seen before. And you just know your family would love him. You both have younger brothers, and they would totally be friends, and oh, I wonder how many kids he wants? He would be the best dad… Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a nice, Jewish… pen pal. That’s it. You actually don’t know anything substantial about this guy with whom you are planning a life. So what happens when the day finally arrives when dream boy asks you out on a date (or wants to meet up, or whatever)? You’re ecstatic and can’t wait to have the last first date ever!  However…

The Italian restaurant in your dreams becomes a skate park in reality, his gentlemanly ways become surprisingly bro-ish, and he’s kind of impatient with other people, which you hate.  He plays with his phone while you’re talking and pops gum like a teenager. And poof – that balloon I was talking about just popped, sprinkling all your hopes over some dirty skateboard. He was supposed to be your prince in shining armor! What happened?

Unfortunately, this guy did nothing wrong (other than wait too long to take you out)!  The problem, I’m sorry to say – is you – or more specifically, your expectations.  Imagination is a good thing, but when you start to imagine certain scenarios, it’s really easy to get carried away and expect them to occur, especially when you get positive feedback from the object of your desires.  If you’re really hopeful that a relationship will bloom with someone, you’re more likely to make positive attributions to otherwise neutral occurrences.  So your mind turns “I like kids” into “I want to have kids with you!”

So what does all this have to do with texting? Well, the longer you text back and forth, the more opportunity your mind has to project good things onto a person you don’t really know.  Moral of the story: stop texting and meet already!  That, or totally manage your expectations. But, I think it’s easier and more fun to just go on a date and form a realistic opinion of someone without the use of emoticons.


Annoying Texters: Social Epidemic?

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Hey, wut up!! ;)

Have you ever been annoyed, frustrated, or confused by a text message? If so, you’re certainly not alone. We are in the midst of a texting epidemic that is particularly puzzling and detrimental to new daters! I’m not blaming the concept of texting – it can be very useful in certain situations and definitely has its time and place (ever tried to locate a friend at a loud bar or concert?). However, it can also produce misconstrued, mysterious messages that cause way more anxiety and analysis than necessary.  I’ll talk more about the problems with texting in a later article, but for now, I present to you a field guide to identify some of the more common types of offenders.  Are you dating or pursuing one?

  1. The Narrators
  • Common texts: “Hey, good morning! How are you? I am feeding my cat. lol” “How was your Tuesday? Work was really busy today b/c I had 2 meetings and met a friend for lunch.” “I am watching house of cards. This show is so awesome.”
  • Also may send pictures of food or pets with no explanation.

In the beginning (and middle) of dating or a relationship, Narrators can get annoying. Unless you both agree you enjoy this constant monologue, most people are too busy to keep up with this stream of consciousness, and even more people are turned off by the lack of intrigue. If you are narrating in an effort to ask someone on a date, forget the chit chat and ask her out!

  1. The Non-Responders
  • Common texts: “ya” or “k” in response to something said an hour ago.

Be wary of non-responders, who are the opposite of narrators. If you are a non-responder, take note that you may come across as indifferent or disinterested, which may or may not be your intention. If you are trying to communicate with a non-responder, stop sending messages and see what happens. If all communication stops, move on.  Yeah, some people are too busy to respond, but non-responders are notoriously just not that in to you.

  1. The Sporadics
  • Common texts: “hey, what are you doing now?”… 3 weeks later… “how r u?”

Sporadics are tolerable under few circumstances. If this behavior doesn’t bother you, then respond as you please. But, know that people who send these kinds of messages are most likely either uninterested in a serious relationship with you, or are keeping you on back burner while they try to date their higher priorities. My suggestion: ignore.

  1. The Pointless Chatters
  • Common texts: “hey, how’s your day?” “how’s it going?” “what are you up to this week?”

I know this is really common banter early on, sometimes even before the first date. If this is an attempt to ask someone out, however, forego the small talk and ask her out! If this is an attempt to flirt, try something actually flirtatious. If this is you being bored or lonely, text a friend, vacuum your house, or organize your sock drawer.

When IS texting appropriate and welcome? To let someone know you are running late or on the way. To tell someone you are thinking about him or looking forward to a date. To send a quick reminder or funny note. But not to say “hey” 11 times a day. And not to engage in real conversations. That’s what tweets are for! Jk jk, lol :p


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: Handing Out Your ‘Digits’

by JenG under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

When I first told a small group of my closest friends that I was going to join JDate, one of them (who has spent a couple of months on the site), turned to me with endearing and enthusiastic eyes and asked, “What’s your plan?”

Plan? What kind of plan did I need? Don’t I just set up a profile with my “who, what, where, why, and when,” and just wait? Did I need to make a to-do list, or a color-coded chart to handle my new wired up dating life?

I told my friend that my plan would include simply emailing any guys I had interest in to set up a date. “Email?!” she said with a non-stop laugh. “That wont go over well.”

Before I joined the site, I was wary about giving out my number. I have a very close-knit relationship with my phone, it goes everywhere with me, even the bath tub (thank you overprotective phone case). The last thing I want is a swarm of text messages from a jumbled mess of men I wouldn’t be able to place a face to a name to… yet. My “plan” of action would be to give out my phone number to a guy, but only after we met in person, and only if we really hit off.

After spending a week on the site, and having several requests to exchange numbers, I quickly realized the only sense of a “plan” I had going into this was suddenly an ultimate failure. I was even turning off guys where I thought there might have been potential. When someone intriguing asked for my digits, I’d say something awkward and nonsensical, making me seem mistakenly distant or uninterested.

So, here’s what I’ve uncovered about sharing your digits:

Don’t: If you’re still not sure you like someone you’re chatting with, and feel as though you need to go on bantering a little more online before handing over your digits. Keep the conversation flowing and casually mention you’d like to keep getting to know more about them before meeting up. If they are turned off, or make you feel uncomfortable, accept this as a possible red flag.

Do: Give out your digits if you feel like you’ve hit it off with someone and wouldn’t mind a quicker chat to occur via the dancing of thumbs on your cellular phone. Also, do give them 500 bonus points if they take your digits, and instead of admiring them, they actually pick up the phone and call you to ask you out on a date.


When Persistence Becomes Pernicious

by JeremySpoke under Online Dating,Single Life

Whenever you don’t hear back from someone you went out with, there’s always some sort of desire to contact this person again. Whether it’s because you like her, or because you just don’t want to feel rejected, you really want to write her back. However, you are not allowing for the delicate balance of sender/sendee. For every text or call you receive, you are allowed only one equal and opposite text or call back. Don’t upset the balance. Don’t tip the equilibrium. Once you send a text out of turn, especially if it’s a casual text conversation (only one message a day), it’s over.

Persistence is good sometimes. Like when you’re fighting a lion, or trying to stay off drugs. It is almost never good, though, when pursuing a girl that doesn’t like you. It just makes you seem annoying and desperate. I am often a victim of persistence, and have come up with a few tools that help me curtail it most of the time. First, if someone doesn’t return my texts, I often remove their number from my phone. This way, even when I’ve been drinking, I will not be sending this pleasant, though selective, woman a text message. Though this won’t necessarily help me expand my love life, it certainly may help me look less needy. Another good tool that goes along this same line of thinking is unfriending on Facebook®. Though this seems a little more cruel, it is no more cruel than the eventual realization that this person really doesn’t want to talk to you anymore. Unfriending someone is also somewhat liberating. Even if there’s nobody that doesn’t necessarily dislike you, I’m sure there are people on Facebook whom you dislike.

I literally hate at least half of my Facebook friends. This doesn’t even include the ones that constantly update with pictures of abused pets, food, Ron Paul updates, or baby pictures. Unfriend at least one Facebook friend a year. It is kind of like a small weight you need lifted off every once in a while. Either do that or unfriend a person in real life. That may get messy, though.

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Texting v. Calling

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Single Life

After a date, I think it’s a pretty good established rule that you don’t immediately contact the woman. Now that we all agree on that, now let’s debate the text v. the call. Texting shows that you don’t care enough to call and calling shows that you are too needy. There needs to be something in between. Of course, though, you can’t show up at her house in the middle of the night to surprise her because of laws and the fact that you don’t want to be arrested.

Therefore, you are relegated to either texting, calling, or JDate messaging. Please don’t JDate message after a date. If you’ve already gone out, and your only contact with a woman is through her JDate profile, it’s time to use those JDate skills to find another profile. If you do have her number, what do you do? Of course, the ideal situation would be for her to contact you. Wouldn’t that just be the best? Ladies, if you enjoyed a date with me, how about contacting me every once in a while? We don’t know what the hell we’re doing. Throw us a line. It’s Monday and we’re depressed. All you have to do is send me a text that says, ‘hey’ and that would make my entire week. I don’t even care if you don’t want to see me again.

I’m out of things to text. I’m tired of thanking you for a date in which I paid $100. I don’t even like tapas. I would have rather gone to Chili’s. I could have gone to Chili’s by myself and had way more fun. In fact, I do that almost every day.

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The Perfect Text

by JeremySpoke under Relationships,Single Life

The first text message I ever received read, “i love u.” It was all downhill after that. For example, the latest text message that I received read, “at gym. don’t call me.” In terms of the full range of all text messages you can potentially receive, those two are on complete opposite ends.

Ever since 2003, text messages have continuously disappointed me. Every time any phone I’ve had lit up with a little envelope symbol, I’ve opened it in anticipation of something even more awesome than “i love u.” I think that as I am writing this I am simultaneously experiencing an epiphany. This has to be why text messaging pisses me off so much. You know what’s even worse than getting a regular, shitty text message? It’s when you think you have a text message, but it’s an automatic text from your bank telling you that your account has been overdrawn. I hate text messages so much.

Just once, I want my bank to tell me, “i love u.” I would gladly pay that $5 ATM fee everyday if my receipt simply said, “i love u.” Actually, that would be really weird and would probably freak me out and force me to switch banks. To be honest, if I got a text from a girl today that said, “i love u”, that would probably freak me out and force me to switch girlfriends. I don’t know why I’m still single, but I think this blog post makes a few good supporting arguments.

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I Feel Your Pain

by JeremySpoke under Date Night

After a countless number of first dates (47), I had decided that I had to do something about my self-esteem before my self-deprecatory comedic nature led me to laugh with my friends about how much of a loser I am until my thin veil of happiness melted in a fit of unbridled rage against people that formerly would have identified me as a friend.

I needed an ego boost. I am not happy or proud of the way I tried to do so. I decided to accept a date with any woman. I arrived at the restaurant early because I was still nervous. As I sat there looking at the wait staff who had to have reluctantly agreed to all wear horrible Halloween costumes, I figured that nobody in this restaurant except for the old man drinking by himself was truly happy. The date was pleasant. We had good conversation and the food was equally pleasant. Though I was not attracted to her, and her voice reminded me of my step-sister, who I like, but I do not want to date, she was very nice. The day after the date, I received a text that I had previously sent out 47 other times. It said she had a great time and wanted to hang out again this weekend.

I knew exactly how she felt at that moment, and I know exactly how she would feel if I didn’t respond. It is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. It’s just complete rejection after pouring your heart out for an entire evening to a total stranger. You stand by your phone waiting for that buzz that never comes. You can’t eat or sleep, and getting up for work is even more of a chore. I had to send her something, but I did not want to go out with her again. Next week, I will tell you what I eventually said, and how she responded.


Texting To Build Comfort Part 1

by jpompey under Relationships

Just got a new phone number online?  Haven’t met yet?  Haven’t even talked on the phone yet? Grab that smart phone and start texting! 

These days texting is an essential part of online dating.  It will help you get to know the person you are with for a long period of time.  While you spend days randomly texting here and there, the comfort levels will increase and go way up.

By the time you meet for a first date, comfort levels will be so high that it will not feel awkward or like a blind date at all.  Run your messages right and you may even feel like you have already been dating for a long period of time.

How often should you text?

Don’t overdo it.  Remember, you don’t know each other yet, so you don’t want to come across as creepy or stalkerish.  A random text here or there will get the job done. 

More on what to text in the next entry!


Text: “Marry Me”

by SWEETADVENTURE8 under Date Night,JBloggers

A recent date told me he was a little bummed that I didn’t respond to his offer, not of marriage but a date.  I would have responded had I gotten it… Who knows whose phone cracked under the pressure but, should it matter?  I get we live in an instant, available all the time, communication world…when was the last time you sent your romantic interest an old fashioned card to open??  Not only is texting effortless but also kind-of unromantic.  It puts another layer between 2 people– but I guess it is also efficient, protects egos involved, and makes it easier to decline invitations as well.  It is no longer personal.  I guess my thought is take a chance– put in the effort, call your interest and you’ll know first-hand the situation and you won’t have to rely on technology to “maybe” deliver the message, or have the crackberry crack under pressure.

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