A Brief Defense of Pickiness

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Last week, I talked a bit about how you should give more matches a chance. Just because you’ve seen and ignored the same tired profiles over and over again in your zip code doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good match for you!  This is true. However, I tend to play devil’s advocate quite a bit (with myself) and was thinking: why date people you aren’t interested in just because they are available?  I might only find a dozen young men in my area who are my age, but what if I don’t want to date any of them? Should everyone in the same zip code just pair off with another person they find the least intolerable? Is that how marriage works?

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that some people are just naturally more picky, or, excuse me, selectively-inclined, than others. And this is fine. If we all dated like Jerry Seinfeld, no one would ever get married, family structure could break down entirely, and we’d all end up alone eating lots of cereal. But if everyone were forced to just “pick someone,” many people, though not necessarily all, would be miserable. If someone has found a happy medium between these extremes, please inform me what it looks like.

How do you know if you’re too picky? I’ve definitely been accused of having an overly healthy degree of selectivity. There are likely several reasons for this, none of which I’ll describe here, because honestly, I’m not sure what they are. But am I being too picky when I reject an offer to be set up with the cousin of someone’s neighbor who is 20 years my senior, lives in another country, and just finalized his divorce?  I say no. Mrs. Goldberg at shul might say otherwise. But I’m holding my ground. I mean, you see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.

In my opinion, there’s no need to go out with someone out of pity, convenience, spite, revenge, or obligation. If you aren’t interested or don’t see the possibility of potential, it’s okay to pass. If you’re feeling that resistant toward meeting someone, it’s much more likely that you’ll feel resentful or act rudely than feel surprisingly delighted after meeting him or her. Feeling neutral is one thing – if you don’t know someone or feel on the fence, by all means – it’s just a date – go! But feeling repulsed by a photo, getting in an email argument over opposing views of the world, or even a strong negative gut feeling – these all warrant some selectivity.

Those examples might be pretty straightforward, but what if you don’t want to date someone because one of her nostrils is a little bigger than the other, or because he won’t let his food touch on the plate? Or because she didn’t go to an Ivy League school, or his glasses are out of style? This is where pickiness gets interesting. There can be a fine line between appropriate selectivity and self-sabotage, so give people the benefit of the doubt, but trust your gut.  There’s a lot more to say about this topic — stay tuned for a future related post. In the meantime, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Clueless this month, I’m Audi!


Is Honesty the Best Policy?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

People often say that their #1 priority in a relationship is honesty, but is honesty the best policy?

In general, of course, you should always tell the truth. But, there are some little white lies that are acceptable when you’re just beginning to date. But what about once you’re in a serious relationship? Is it okay to bend the truth to protect someone’s feelings or is the truth always best? Sometimes being honest will make you feel vulnerable, but trying to bury how you feel will only make things worse in the long run. Trust your loved one to be truthful with them.

Are there any types of lies that you think are acceptable when you’re in a relationship?


Let Your Kids Do Your Dating

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Kids have amazing instincts. As youngsters, we have an innate sense of knowing who we can and cannot trust. Unfortunately it dissipates as we get older and begin doubting ourselves. But if you have kids (or even nieces/nephews or friends with kids) you can have them help you sniff out your prospects. Speaking of sniffing, animals are pretty adept at this too (not to say that kids and pets are the same thing, but you get my drift). If a small child or a pet won’t approach your date then you may want to take note and have your guard up. Conversely, if your kid immediately grabs your date’s hand to go play or your dog/cat continuously rubs on your date’s legs, then you may have a winner.


Figuring Out Falling In Love

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Everyone wants to be in love, but how do you know when you’re in love and when you just can’t see straight because you want it so bad? Chemistry, lust, compatibility, all of that can confuse you. You can think, believe, swear to G-D, you’re in love, but how do you really know? No one does. Each time you think you fall in love it’s going to be more impactful than the time before and will make all your past loves pale in comparison. But then how do you know this is the one and that he or she isn’t just another stepping stone on the way to your true Beshert?

Crazy to think about right? There’s no answer. There’ no way to know. You have to take a leap of faith at some point, but try to do so in an educated manner. Try to know what you really need in a mate to live happily ever after. Hint: it’s not chiseled abs or big boobs. You need to find out how that person reacts under pressure and if that is on par with how you react. Does he or she close up and stop communicating? That is not conducive to a healthy, successful relationship. These are the types of things you need to find out before taking that leap, but please, do take that leap eventually because being in love is tremendous and amazing. It is also difficult, but so worth it. Do it. Go for it.