December 17, 2018

Dating 101: An Update

While at the movies this week, I met a lovely woman named Ida. She is an avid reader of mine here at the Jewish Journal, and shared she was wondering how my dating life was since I had not written about it lately. I appreciate her for not only reading, but for being in my corner and wishing the best for me. Ida said she was certain I was going to meet my bashert, which was nice to hear. Since I know you are reading Ida, you are fantastic and I loved meeting you.

 

I’ve been writing here for almost a decade, and to be honest with you, I sometimes forget anyone other than my family is reading! I have met wonderful people through this work, and have built a community of friends though the Jewish Journal who are kind, funny, wise, opinionated, political, compassionate, and loving when it comes to not only what I share about my life, but in how they share their lives in return. Having you read is a blessing I am deeply, deeply thankful for.

 

As for how my dating life goes, I love it that so many people are interested. I have shared the good, the bad, and the ugly here, and am always comforted by your kindness. Over the years of my sharing all the details of my dating life, we have laughed together, cried together, shook our heads together, got angry together, were heartbroken together, and rolled our eyes together when we discovered we dated the same men! It has been both glorious and tragic to be single with all of you wingmen by my side.

 

As I told Ida, I have met someone, we are dating, and it is new. He is kind, funny, and Jewish. That however, is all you’re getting. I’m not going to share anything else because I want to keep it to myself, and also because he is a private person. The truth is I don’t know what I’m doing when dating, and never really have. What I do know, is that as complicated as dating can be, it is even harder when you write about it, so I won’t. I am blessed to be more hopeful than jaded, which is why I keep trying, and why I am keeping the faith.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Today is not only Thanksgiving, it is also my dad’s birthday. He would have turned 80 today, and my heart remains broken by his passing. My dad died when was only 63 years old, never having had the opportunity to be old. He was only ten years older than I am now when he got sick, and passed away only months after being diagnosed with cancer. It is a sad day for me because I think about everything he’s missed over the past 17 years. It is tragic, but I also feel blessed to have had 35 years with my beloved dad. Happy Birthday Bobby Angel. We love and miss you.

I have never really celebrated Thanksgiving, and think I have been to less than a dozen Thanksgiving dinners during my 27 years in the United States. I got divorced when my son was a baby and since my ex-husband was from LA and had a large family here, Charlie would spend Thanksgiving with his dad and his family, and I would have Charlie with me for the Jewish holidays. I have generally spent Thanksgiving at home, resting and being reflective, or shopping and pampering myself. For the past few years I have written down things I am thankful for, so since I am 52 years old for Thanksgiving 2018, here are 52 things I am thankful for.

  1. Memories of my dad
  2. Seeing my dad in my son’s eyes
  3. Having my mother come visit me today
  4. My brother Mark and his family
  5. My sister Roni and her friendship
  6. My mother Rena
  7. My son Charlie
  8. Every single thing about Charlie
  9. My friendship with Charlie
  10. My job
  11. My assistant Jordan
  12. Fiddles the cat
  13. Fiddle’s boyfriend, Gopher
  14. Manicures
  15. Pizza
  16. Dr. Donna Cashdan
  17. Synthroid
  18. Cosmopolitans
  19. Red wine
  20. iPhone
  21. The Jewish Journal
  22. Vodka
  23. My car
  24. My bed
  25. My Oncologist
  26. My cancer free life
  27. My entertaining dating life
  28. My belief I will find love
  29. My sense of humor
  30. My kind heart
  31. Kleenex with lotion
  32. Bacon made from soy beans
  33. Rabbi Naomi Levy
  34. Nashuva
  35. Prayer
  36. Laughter
  37. My son coming home
  38. Scented candles
  39. Potato chips
  40. Chocolate
  41. Therapy
  42. Forgiveness
  43. Being a mom
  44. My blissful pregnancy
  45. My healthy child
  46. My health
  47. Idris Elba
  48. Celine Dion
  49. Trips to London
  50. Time at Beckham Manor
  51. Vegetarian options
  52. Writing

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you will take time today, even for just a minute, to think about what you’re thankful for. Make a list. It is important to acknowledge your blessings because life is short and there are no guarantees. Writing down what you are thankful for gives those things life. Be safe. Be kind. Be grateful. Know that I appreciate you for coming here and value our friendship. As I head to LAX to pick up my Mom, please know that I wish you joy, health, and happiness. I am thankful we are all keeping the faith.

Dating 101 – Bald is Beautiful

Last night I went out with friends for drinks. On my way home I spoke with a man who had emailed me online, and in a moment of unusual spontaneity, I agreed to meet him for a drink at a bar in my neighborhood. I went to the bar, didn’t see him, so I sat at the bar and waited. When he was ten minutes late I decided I was going to wait five more and head home.

 

Just before I hit the fifteen-minute mark he called me and strangely asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine, but had waited fifteen minutes and was going to head home. He then told me he was waiting for me at the bar and had been on time. I felt bad and told I was there too and didn’t see him. He laughed and said he was coming to find me. We stayed on the phone as I looked around.

 

A man from the other side of the bar approached on his phone and laughed when he saw me. He hung up his phone, gave me a hug, and said he was sorry we missed each other. He then told me I was more beautiful than my picture and shared that I had beautiful hair. I looked at the man, smiled, thanked him, and wondered how quickly I could leave without being rude.

 

Over the next 45 minutes of getting to know each other, I found out that his inline photo is 15 years old. I also discovered that he had three patches of hair which he appeared to have grown out, and then carefully wrapped around his head. I am not sure if it was taped, or perhaps glued, but he had fashioned himself a helmet of hair. A helmet of strategically placed hair. Dear Lord.

 

I stared at his hair as it was a great wonder of the world. I listened to him tell me how he couldn’t find a more recent picture of himself, how his wife left him for another man, how he had not been on a date in four years, how he had not spoken to his son in three years, and how he had to medicate after his divorce. I listened, distracted by hair, then politely wrapped up the date.

 

He didn’t seem surprised when I told him I didn’t; think we were a match and declined a second date. I felt bad and almost explained what went wrong on the date, but quickly changed my mind. There will be a woman who finds him handsome, charming in his honesty, and want to be with him. I believe there is someone for everyone, which is what keeps me hopeful and dating.

 

I didn’t find him attractive, or particularly interesting, but someone will. It is not my job to tell anyone what I think unappealing, as what is unappealing to me, might be sexy as hell to someone else. I happen to think bald is beautiful and helmet hair is not, but that’s just me. My dating life continues to be interesting, tragic, and funny. It is also exhausting, but I am keeping the faith.

 

JDate to Refund Customers After Renewing Payments Without Consent

Online religious dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle are now required to pay up to $985,000 in restitution to customers whose subscriptions were automatically renewed or those denied refunds when requested, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Monday.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office and local prosecutors including the District Attorney’s Office found that site’s creator Spark Networks U.S.A LLC, was “automatically renewing customer payments, without their express prior consent as required by federal and state law, among other alleged violations of law.”

According to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, federal and state law requires businesses to make these auto-renewals clear to consumers, and to get their “express, affirmative consent” – before they collect any money.

Chief Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky told the Journal the investigation started after California residents complained about renewing subscriptions without their consent.

According to its site, “Spark Networks SE is a leading global dating company with a portfolio of premium brands designed for singles seeking serious relationships.”

JDate, the company’s first site, launched in Los Angeles in 1997.

Driven by the success of JDate, Spark Networks continued to develop “niche-focused” online-dating communities including Elite Singles, Attractive World, eDarling, LDSSingles, Adventist Singles, and Jswipe.

The online dating company was fined $500,000 in penalties Monday and was ordered to have full transparency with its customers about automatically renewing memberships.

Radinsky also told the Journal that they hired an administrator to distribute restitution and that only California consumers who were affected will receive notice about their refunds.

“This is a California case so they will give notice to California customers,” Radinsky said. “It’s a four-year time frame so consumers who were automatically renewed without consent will get $25 dollars.”

Along with paying a fine and paying restitution, the company is now following a new set of regulations to ensure full transparency.

These rules, that were provided to the Journal in a statement from the L.A. C.D.’s Office, include, clearly and conspicuously disclosing the renewal terms, getting consumers’ consent through a separate checkbox that does not include other terms and conditions, sending clear summaries of the renewal terms after payment and allowing consumers to cancel accounts easily.

Spark Networks CFO Robert O’Hare told the times they have been cooperating with the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office for the past three years, “are happy to bring this matter to a positive resolution,” and “are committed to ensuring all of our brands comply with consumer protection laws.”

Dating 101 – Laughing and Crying

My dating life is pathetic. I could try to sugar coat it to make me look better, or make me feel better, but the simple truth is that my dating life is pathetic. I want a man more than I need one, yet I don’t have one. I am in my sexual prime, yet not having sex. I have a blessed life to share, yet I am alone. It is pathetic, tragic, strange, unfortunate, and frankly unbelievable. I have been divorced for 22 years, my last relationship ended a year ago, and here I am, alone. Not for a lack of trying. I don’t date to date, but rather with the hope of meeting someone special.

 

I went on three dates last week. None of them went as expected, and I spent the weekend trying to figure out why. One has led to friendship, one was doomed from the beginning, and one was a surprise. All three have left me with questions. Sadly, the questions are more about me than them. What is it about me that attacks who I attract? I am very aware of what I put out into the universe, and so what comes back to me is confusing. I am a patient and kind woman who wants to love someone. Some of the men I dated were unworthy, while others weren’t attracted to me.

 

I am clear on what I want in a partner, just unclear on what he looks like. That is a good thing because it leaves my options open, but I am surprised he has not turned up yet. I have had long term relationships since getting divorced, and was even engaged a decade ago, but my choices have been right for me and my son. Charlie is now 22 and so my options have grown. I never wanted to have children from different fathers, so now that I am older and children are not on the table, it helps to narrow down the men I will date. I can’t imagine raising a baby now, plus my eggs are poached!

 

Important to note I am not passing judgement on women who have different children from different relationships, only that it was not something I wanted for myself. It was a personal choice, not a judgement, and while I would have loved to have had more children, it was the right decision for me. Now, back to my pathetic dating life. Let me tell you about last week. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more, and now I am laughing again. I am laughing because at the end of the day it is funny. My life is blessed and dating is not ever going to change that.

 

I met a man last week for a drink. He is 58 years old, Jewish, divorced, has 2 kids, and is a cancer survivor. He might be the funniest man I have ever gone on a date with. He seriously needs his own HBO special talking about his view of Donald Trump. He had me in stitches from the first minute we said hello. He was not only funny, but gracious, and had lovely manners. We shared two cocktails together and it was great. He had interesting ideas and views and we both spoke openly and fearlessly. He was wonderful to be.

 

When we wrapped up the evening I was unsure if we had a friend vibe, or a romantic one, but I thought it might be good to go out with him again to see what it was. He truly was a pleasure to be with and I wanted to be attracted to him because his personality was so terrific. Here’s the thing though, I don’t ever want to talk myself into someone, or feel like someone is talking themselves into me. There doesn’t need to be love at first sight, but there needs to be something that compels me to see them again. I am looking for a partner not a friend, so I try to tune into it so I am not wasting my time or theirs.

 

So, as I thanked him for a fabulous night, he took my hand in his, leaned in to kiss me on the cheek, and told me that while he thought I was a magnificent woman, he did not feel there was any sexual chemistry between us and he thought we should end up being the best of friends, and perhaps starting an I Hate Trump club. I started laughing and told him I was just wondering if I was attracted to him as a man, or just thought he had the best personality. He accused me of being desperately in love with him and making it all up.

 

He walked me to my car and we talked about how weird it was to love being in someone’s company, yet not being attracted to them. It was a fascinating conversation and when we got to my car, decided we should talk about it some more. We went into another bar, had another drink, and talked about relationships. He has been divorced for ten years and had one long term relationship that ended about 5 years ago. We spoke of being lonely and wanting to share life with a partner. In the end he was a male version of myself.

 

We were having the best time. We engaged the bartender and the other people at the bar, and it occurred to me we were experiencing something special. My heart did not flutter, and there was no flirting, but something special was happening. We hung out for another hour and then I needed to get home. He again walked me to my car and asked if a spark had been lit for me. I told him it had not, and he agreed. It was hilarious. He asked if we should kiss, and I was game, so we kissed, but nothing. There was no spark.

 

The good news is we’ve spoken every day since our date and met again. He’s a wonderful person and it is nice to hear a man’s perspective. There is no explanation why we’re attracted to some and not others. Perhaps I would’ve been attracted to him had he been attracted to me. I don’t know, but he is a keeper. He will be my friend and I truly hope he meets a wonderful woman. I genuinely want him to be happy and she will be a lucky girl. I can’t explain why that girl is not me after such a great time, but it just isn’t me.

 

My second date was with a man who I had people in common with. When he told me of the people we mutually knew, my gut feeling was to cancel the date. I have strong feelings about certain people and the mutual person we know is someone I love very much. He spoke unkindly about her and I wasn’t interested, but he assured me he knew her for a short time, a long time ago, so we made plans to meet for drinks. He is Jewish, divorced, again not nearly as tall as he thinks he is, and quite entertaining. He was handsome and interesting, but came with an agenda.

 

He wanted to speak about our mutual friend and was not flattering in what he said about her. When I didn’t want to talk about it, he pushed ahead to keep talking about her. He was yelling at me to listen to him, and I started to cry. It was awkward and uncomfortable. He was a bully and I did not appreciate how aggressive he was. He clearly had a plan to talk about our mutual connections. They were people tied more to his ex-wife than himself, and he spoke a lot about his ex-wife, so clearly there are issues he needs to work through.

 

After our rather abrasive exchange, I left and he told me to let him know I got home safely. I sent him a text letting him know I was home, and he sent a rather provocative and sexually charged text in return. It was very odd. This man was, for lack of a better word, broken. I am a nurturing soul and am attracted to things that are broken. In the words of my beloved Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I welcome cracks, seek the light, and will try to help. This guy however was not cracked, he was crushed.

 

It has taken me a few days and a therapy session, to understand our exchange.  I’m not even sure I understand it, but I’m not crying about it anymore. It was hurtful and in retrospect felt mean spirited. He used a weak connection we had to vent issues with his ex-wife, and that is shitty. I could be trying to blame him to help me recover from a rather embarrassing breakdown, but I don’t think so. He was unkind in his choice to discuss his issues on me. He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t really know my friend, and should have spoken to a therapist.

 

Three dates with rejections, laughter, and tears. I’m still standing, still hopeful, and thankful for vodka. Yesterday I had a date with my son. We went to see A Star is Born, (go see it) then had a fantastic lunch at Petit Trois Le Valley, (delicious and the Beauty School Drop Out cocktail was fantastic). Whenever I have a bad date, he restores my faith. He reminds me I am a good person and deserve one in return. He is also the designated driver so mommy can have a cocktail. Now I sound like a drunk. Which I’m not. Just a drinker!

 

I wrote about the third date yesterday. You can read it here.

 

I appreciate the kind replies I receive about my dating life. I have the best readers. You are in my corner and when you write with similar stories, I am sad for you, but thrilled to know it is not just me! I read every one of your emails and messages. You hold my hand when I am in the dark, and lead me to the cracks so the light can come in. I am thankful, grateful, and inspired by you. I am clearly aware that all of you are the reason why I am literally and figuratively keeping the faith.

 

Is age just a number?

I went on a date last night with a man who is 15 years older than me. He is charming, funny, handsome, young at heart, active, and has a Jewish sense of humor, which I find to be so attractive. He saw my profile online, said hello, I said hello back, and we chatted on the phone. From our first phone call he was concerned about the age difference. I assured him it wasn’t an issue for me and reminded him we were meeting for dinner not getting married, so we made a plan.

 

I was to meet him at the restaurant Saturday night, and come Saturday morning, the texting began. He was funny and playful and I found myself liking him before we met in person. By the time I got to the restaurant I was comfortable and looking forward to spending time with him. He looked like his pictures, which is always a good sign when online dating, He is a handsome man and has great teeth. He’s not quite as tall as he thinks he is, but was lovely, and a true gentleman.

 

We had easy conversation and he was open and honest. We talked about our children, past relationships, and the world we live in. He made me laugh, and think, and I found myself relaxed, which I rarely am on a date. Dinner was a couple of hours, then we decided to go out for frozen yogurt. He lives in my neighborhood so we picked up his dog and the three of us went for dessert. In the interest of full disclosure, there were two times I plotted about how to steal the fabulous dog.

 

Those who have been with me on this journey for the past decade know I am the queen of first dates. You also know I am really good at dating men who are strange, or perhaps should be in prison, but this date was different. I liked him. I felt like secrets would be safe with him. I felt like he would be a good man to have in your corner when chips are down, and the perfect man to have in your corner to witness the joyous things in life. He made sense to me, which didn’t really make sense.

 

I felt happy, and nervous, but mostly hopeful that I had met a person I would want to spend time with and get to know better. He drove me home, thanked me for a lovely evening, and hugged me goodnight. I kissed the dog, and went inside. I sent him a text to thank him for a lovely evening, and told him I would like to see him again. Sadly, he didn’t feel the same way, and said the age difference would be an issue for him, and ultimately for me. Of course he could have been using age as an excuse for just not wanting to see me again, but either way my heart sank for a second.

 

On a good note, I went out with someone older and it was a great date, so that is a lesson in terms of opening my mind and heart to finding love in unexpected places. On a sad note, I can’t help but feel I missed out on something with this gentleman. I am never, and I repeat, never, relaxed on a date, so this was a pleasant surprise. One I hope I experience again with someone wonderful, who feels it back. I wish this man the best of luck on his search and am sure will meet someone great Old and great.

 

I had three dates last week. One was with a man who is not even worth mentioning, one was with a man who made me cry, and one was with a man who felt I was too young for him. To clarify, the one not worth mentioning is totally getting a blog, I just need to stop laughing first. The one who made me cry is also getting a blog, I just need to stop crying first. The one who was worried our age gap was too big, well it’s a shame he didn’t figure that out before asking me out.

 

Sidebar: I appreciate he could have blown me off for reasons other than my age, but he just didn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would lie. If he thought I was unattractive or not interesting, he would have ended the date after dinner, instead of suggesting we continue on. I like to think the best of people, and want to believe people are inherently kind, so I am choosing to believe he didn’t want to see me again because I am younger, not because I am too ugly, too fat, or too stupid. Thank God I remain more hopeful than jaded.

 

I suppose becoming jaded is to be expected when one has been dating as long as I have. The good news is that I am miraculously not bitter.  I am however tired of the process, and if I am going to be completely honest, which I always am, it makes me kind of sad sometimes. My life is blessed and wonderful and I’d like to share it. It is a shame it has taken so long, but I remain hopeful. I am off to the movies and a lunch date with Charlie, so it is a glorious day and I am keeping the faith.

Dating 101

I went on a date this week with a man I met online. While speaking on the phone before meeting, we talked about religion. He referred to himself as spiritual, but not at all religious. He also said if forced to label himself, it would be agnostic. I told him I believe in God and was a practicing Jew. He said there were things about Judaism he thought were interesting, but was not a fan of organized religion as a whole.

 

I shared I would never have a Christmas tree, and he shared he hadn’t had one in over twenty years. I told him I like to go to temple for Shabbat services and celebrated Jewish holidays. He said he’d accompany me if he was there as simply someone to have by my side, and not to convert. It was an easy and open conversation. I’m trying to think outside the box, so we made a plan to meet for drinks. He is 55, divorced with one adult child, has a dog and a cat.

 

A Jew and an agnostic walk into a bar. They say hello, order drinks, and sit down for a chat. After five minutes of small talk about traffic and weather, the agnostic asks the Jew what she thinks about Jesus. The Jew replies that she doesn’t often think about Jesus. The agnostic then tells the Jew he “thinks about Jesus often and how he died for his sins”. The Jew reminds the agnostic that he said he was agnostic, and the agnostic tells the Jew religion and Jesus are not synonymous and can be separated from each other.

 

The Jew, also being a lady, then spends the next 30 minutes listening to the agnostic talk about Jesus. By talk of course he speaks of his hair, clothes, sacrifice, and most importantly, how Jesus didn’t want to ever be considered a Jew. The Jew tells the agnostic it was lovely to meet him and she enjoyed the drink, but she was going to have to head out. The parting words of the Jew are “take care’. The parting words of the agnostic are “Jesus loves you.”

 

I am a woman who gains strength through faith, so I would never judge someone based on what they believe. To each their own and I feel strongly that religion is personal and everyone can worship in whatever way brings them comfort. I am Jewish and I take comfort in private prayer and being with my tribe at services. That’s how I roll. I am not an expert on Jesus, but I am quite certain that even Jesus was confused by this guy and was shaking his head while watching our date..

 

My dating life has always been interesting, but lately it has taken a bizarre turn. You can’t make this stuff up, so I have to wonder what it is about me that attracts such dating. I would like to think it is because I am kind so perhaps these people simply need kindness. I asked Jesus about it, since he was clearly on my date with me, and he just laughed. He actually laughed out loud, told me he was sorry, then laughed some more. Sweet Jesus is awesome. Shabbat Shalom and Happy Friday. Be safe out there and remember to keep the faith.

Dating 101: Lies & Shorts

I had an interesting dating weekend. By interesting of course I mean I am one step closer to another cat. My dating life is tragic. Tragic and hilarious. While I’d like to think it is because I simply date the wrong men for me, I cannot help but wonder if it is fact me. How is it possible for one woman to have such bad luck when dating? What am I putting out into the world to attract these men? The bottom line is dating sucks and it’s not me.

I met a man online last week. We emailed one time and exchanged phone numbers.  We made plans to meet for drinks and dinner on Saturday night. I really liked him. He was a beautiful writer, had gorgeous blue eyes, and a lot of stories. I like people who have stories and experiences. As I prepared for the date I was not only NOT nervous, I was actually excited to spend time with him, which is unusual. I usually feel quite sick before going on a date.

I walked into the bar and as soon as I say him my heart sank a bit. I shook it off because I’ve learned that at this stage of life people are often dishonest about basic things in order to appear more attractive. It is silly and stupid because it makes them liars right from the start. I suppose they’re simply trying, so there must be kindness. He said he was 5’11”, but was 5’8”. He said he was 58, but was clearly in his mid 60’s. He also said he never lies. Okay. He was drowning in half truths.

When we spoke on the phone he told me about his work, but in person his story kept changing. He went from having sold a script, to trying to sell it. He went from having met a celebrity, to having actually met the celebrity’s son. He was trying to keep it together, but lost his grasp of what he was saying and it unraveled. The lies were piling up and he quickly became pathetic. What he said on the phone was not at all grounded in truth. It was almost funny.

I hope people lie from a place of loneliness not a desire to deceive, but that hope can occasionally be hard to hold onto. Not only did he lie, but he lied about things that would be obvious the moment we met, which makes him not only a liar, but stupid. It is disrespectful to me, to himself, and at the end of the day a waste of time, and getting ready for a date takes time! I won’t be seeing him again. Hopefully he found his way home as he forgets things.

The second man was equally disappointing more. We were recently matched with on a dating app and he looked really familiar. I felt like I knew him, but didn’t know from where. I didn’t want to respond to him until I remembered who he was, then it came to me. He had reached out to me a couple of years ago. We spoke 2 or 3 times and made plans to meet for a drink. He had 2 young kids so his time was limited and the date was set for a week later.

Before I had even starting talking to this man, I had made a plan to meet another man for drinks. I was getting ready for that date when he happened to call. I let him know I was meeting up for a drink and would call him on my way home. He wanted to know who I was meeting. I mentioned it was a fix up. Not to rub in I was seeing someone else, but because it was the truth. I did not know this man, and it didn’t seem like a big deal, so I was honest.

He became very offended I would go out with someone else. He said I was disrespectful and abruptly hung up on me. I never heard from him again. Important to note I texted him to explain the date had been set up before we started talking, but he never responded. Cut to him reaching out again this week, and my reminding him about what happened when we last spoke. He said he didn’t remember hanging up on me and apologized. I don’t think so.

When we spoke on the phone he eventually admitted to “vaguely” remembering me and his hanging up. We chatted a couple of times and he was lovely. He said he was going through a lot in his life then, and perhaps it was as simple as our timing being off. He suggested everything happens for a reason and we were not meant to be then, but found ourselves connecting now, because now was the time. It was sweet and romantic and I appreciated the effort.

Here’s the thing though, when somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time. We chatted and texted for a few days and decided we’d meet for a drink and see if there was a connection. In one of our text chats, while talking about our upcoming first date, we somehow got onto the topic of gym shorts. He was buying a new pair, and said he would wear them when we met. I joked that he might want to rethink shorts on a first date. It was funny.

He then got upset and texted something about being a New Yorker, he is who he is, I need to accept him, and gym shorts on a first date is totally cool. That was on Saturday, we had plans on Sunday, but I never heard back from him. Not a word. It makes me laugh. From where I’m sitting the man has issues, and unless we are going to the gym, or a hike on a first date, don’t wear gym shorts. It is just not proper first date over cocktails dress. Ever.

Important to note that I live in the valley and it is freaking hot, so of course shorts are fine. That said, there are nice shorts and there are gym sorts. It is gym shorts that I take issue with, before someone writes that I am uptight and judging. I am going to Canada for the weekend. Thrilling to be home with my family, and thrilling to not have a date. Dating is hard. It is also fun, exciting, and exhausting, so when dating one must focus on keeping the faith.

Dating 101: A Week in LA

I sometimes think I shouldn’t write about my bad dating experiences because at some point one cannot read the huge volume of shared information and not assume it must be me who is the problem. While occasionally embarrassing, it is only when I write about what I go through, and other women share what they have gone through, that I realize I am not alone. Dating truly sucks and one can only hope each bad date gets us closer to our last date. We must pray the last date comes when we find love, and not when we give up on dating.

I was contacted by five men this week through online dating. Here is a look into how it went.

Man #1 – “I was married for 30 years. The last 5 were very lonely. When the kids were all grown and out of the house I had the courage to put myself first and leave. I want to be happy for the last part of my life. I am going to laugh and enjoy things. I want to travel, not be told what to do every second of everyday. I want to wear what I want, eat what I want, and meet a woman who is open to a threesome and anal sex. I’ve waited thirty years to be this free. I am not sure I can find what I want in a Jewish woman, but I’d like to, and you seem really terrific.”

Man #2 – “For the record, I am actually 66 not 60. I didn’t want to limit who searched for me. The pics are from when I was 60 though, so I’m not deceiving as much as I am fudging a little bit. Hahahahaha.”

Man #3 – “I’ve read your blog. You are so funny. Wow. You have really had some colorful dates. Time for you to meet a mensch! If it turns out I am your Prince Charming can you get me free advertising with the Jewish Journal? You could be good for business!”

Man #4 – “You are a beautiful woman. Your eyes are stunning. Would love for you to send me a picture in your bathing suit then we can make a plan to go out.”

Man #5 – “I’m so glad you called. What was your name again? So glad you called. Who is this? What is your name? Hello? Have we met yet? Oh man, I’m a little drunk. Who is this?”

So….. I will be spending the weekend at home. I will indulge in a cocktail or two, maybe try a new recipe for something yummy, and enjoy the company of Fiddles the cat. There is always the possibility I will be contacted for a date, or perhaps I will reach out to a man for a date. There is also the possibility I will win the lottery or meet the man of my dreams in the booze aisle. Anything can happen so I am going to buy a lottery ticket, go to Shabbat services at Nashuva, and pick up some vodka on my way home. By vodka of course I mean vodka and tequila.

I am hoping for the best and fighting the urge to throw in the towel. It would be easy to get another cat and call it a day because dating is hard, but love is grand and sex matters, so we must remember good things come those who wait. I have been waiting a long time, but there is enough good sprinkled in with the bad to keep me hopeful. Dating requires hope, and vodka, so I am keeping a sense of humor and keeping the faith.

Fake Dating 101 – Porn Addiction

I met a man for drinks on Saturday night. He was in his 50’s, employed, twice divorced, a father, and unfiltered in conversation. The time I spent with this man was interesting. By interesting of course I mean not even remotely interesting. I spent an hour with him and came home and cried. Dating is exhausting and I cried for no other reason that I was tired of the dating process. Important to note I only cried for a minute, but worth mentioning tears were shed.

We arrived to the bar at the same time, recognized each other at valet, said hello, hugged, and went to the bar. We made small talk about work and kids, then he said he was having a great time and would I like to move to a table for dinner. I wasn’t sure if we were a match, but he was pleasant and the conversation easy. I’m trying to date with an open mind and no expectations, so I agreed to dinner and we relocated to a table for dinner. We ordered dinner and to the best of my recollection, this was our conversation:

Him: Here’s a question…. Do you like porn?

Me: Did you just ask me if I like porn?

Him: Yes. I hope you’re not offended.

Me: It’s a rather bold question for a first date.

Him: First dates are about getting to know each other.

Me: You jumped from how old is my son to porn.

Him: Are you intimidated by sex and talking about it?

Me: Really?

Him: Porn can be a great addition to a relationship.

Me: Really?

Him: I think it is an important topic and it matters to me.

Me: I think we’re done.

Him: I don’t want to start something that can’t go anywhere.

Me: Whether or not you date me depends on if I like porn?

Him: Yes.

Me: I don’t think I’m the girl for you.

Him: I think it is a conversation worth having

Me: Then why not put it in your profile so it’s out there?

Him: It’s private.

Me: If it is private, why are we talking about it?

Him: I’m sorry.

Me: I’m going to head out, here’s money for dinner.

Him: I’m sorry, please don’t go.

Me: I wish you the best of luck with your search.

Him: My marriage ended because of my love of porn.

Me: Take care.

Him: I’d like you to stay.

Me: Goodnight.

I went home, made myself a porn star martini in honor of my date, and went to bed. It was a fake porn star because I didn’t have vanilla vodka, but I figured it would be okay to have a fake drink after a fake date. I have decided the man on Saturday night was not a date, he was a test. I enjoyed my cocktail and was sleeping by 10:00. The good news I passed the test. How do I know I passed? Because I am still keeping the faith.

Dating 101 – Texting

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not big on texting. Of course there are times when I text, but do not think it is a particularly valuable form of communication. I use texting for quick messages, or to check in, but having full blown discussion by text are not something I do or am interested in.  Texting is for kids. It is also a very bad idea when you are trying to date someone new.

There is too much room for misinterpretation. When you meet someone new you do not know the nuances of their voice, so you can read a text in a tone that was not intended by the writer. Additionally, if you have never met someone, but have exchanged number in the hope of talking, texting is simply stupid. I think it is also a red flag. If a man sends texts rather than call, one has to wonder why.

I do not trust a man who only communicates by text. I cannot think of why a person would not be able to find a minute to make a call. Even if the call is to say they are unable to talk, that call should be made. If he has kids, then he steps away from the kids and makes a call. It takes the same amount of time to text you can’t talk, as it does to call and say the same thing.

Important to note that when you know someone, and have or are starting a relationship, texting is fine because there is less of a chance of misunderstanding what is being written. I text a lot with my son, and my siblings, but we know each other, and we know that while texting is convenient at the moment, a call will follow. To just communicate by text is strange to me and I don’t do it.

I recently met a man online who is big on texting. So much so that 99% of our communication was done over text, and 50% of my texts were to tell him I do not like texting. He didn’t get it, and I kept waiting for him to get it, but he didn’t. He just kept texting. After two weeks, I just stopped responding and so he stopped texting. Two weeks? I know, pathetic.

There was something very compelling about him, and his eyes were so blue I was mesmerized, but I can’t help but wonder why texting was his thing. I thought maybe he had a wife, or a girlfriend, or perhaps a parole officer who is monitoring his phone log. I don’t know, and at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter. He likes to text and I don’t text, so that is the end of that.

Sidebar: When you are in a meeting at work, or at an event, or simply busy with life and cannot talk, getting a text from someone you are interested in is a great thing. Getting a flirty sex, or perhaps a sexy text, can make your day and start your heart fluttering, but those texts can only be good if they are accompanied by phone calls and real life interaction. One does not make sense without the other one. it’s not rocket science gentlemen.

I’m still dating and remain hopeful. I am honestly amazed it is this hard to meet someone I want to invest in. My heart is open, and I am putting myself out there, so it will happen. There will be a man who knows texting is not the only way to get in touch. Hopefully I’ll find him while I still have my own teeth and a healthy sex drive. I am 52, so the chances may be dwindling, but my odds are better if I’m keeping the faith.

Dating 101: The Trump Test

I cannot date a man who thinks Donald Trump is a good president. I simply cannot do it. I have tried, but at the end of the day it doesn’t work for me. Hands that voted for Trump do not deserve to touch my breasts. My boobs are fabulous, and Trump is a shmuck. Not happening. I can tell you I love this country. I am an immigrant who is living the American dream. My son was born here and I am blessed to call America home. My disgust for the president is about the man who is currently in the position, not the country. Donald Trump is truly dangerous.

This is not about my political views however. It is about my dating life. I am looking for my bashert. I believe he is out there and while some days I believe it more strongly than others, there is always hope. Remaining hopeful is the biggest struggle with dating because if you give up hope, you give up. I am currently dating online and in my profile I have written the following: Important to note that if there is anything about the current president that you are not offended by, we won’t be a match. It matters to me, so I put it out there.

Today I received an email from a man in Woodland Hills. He sent me the following note: what are you talking about? Trump is for Israel and Obama nor Hillary are. Trump moved US embassy to Israel on its 70th anniversary. Trump is for the Constitution. Hillary is not. How can you be against a president that recognizing enforcing the freedoms of the Constitution? Oy vey. Stupid is exhausting and I don’t have the time or patience to deal with someone this stupid. Does he think the US just put an embassy in Israel? I can’t.

I am trying to break old patterns when it comes to dating. I want to be happy and I am smart enough to know that I don’t know what my person will look like, or what he does for a living. I am looking for kindness, honesty, laughter, loyalty, and great sex. That’s my list and I am not willing to compromise on any of it. The Trump test is frankly pathetic, but necessary. I can’t respect a man who respects this president, and I’d rather be alone than with a Trump supporter. It is a blanket statement, but I am sticking to it.

I am writing this blog while I watch the new dating show The Proposal, which proves that my dating life is not that bad. The thirst is real and the desperation of some women is suffocating. It is also hilarious. At the end of the day it is a crap shoot and finding love can take a long time, but love and luck go together, so I hope I am lucky. The only thing I know for sure is that the man I fall in love with will not be a Trump supporter. To the charming man who wrote me today from Woodland Hills, I wish you well because life must be hard when you are so stupid. Bless your heart. I am laughing, hopeful, and keeping the faith.

Dating 101: Curse of the Blog

Last night I met a man after work for a drink. We met online, emailed once, exchanged numbers, and spoke yesterday. It was a fun conversation and I found him to be very entertaining. In the interest of not overthinking and being spontaneous, we decided to meet for a drink. He came to my neighborhood, which I always appreciate. I arrived first, found us a spot at the bar, and waited.

He arrived and any interest I had going into the date disappeared. Oh dear. He looked like his pictures, and was clear on how tall he was, but the issue was that he arrived from the gym. Not a big deal, unless he opts not to shower or change clothes. He was soaked with sweat, smelled like a pig, and had the balls to go in for a hug. I extended my hand and cringed when he went in for cheek kiss.

He smelled horrible and I was truly surprised he thought this was an acceptable way to turn up to a first meeting with a woman. The weird thing was he never mentioned it at all. He simply asked what I wanted to drink, placed an order, and jumped into casual first date conversation. I was grossed out, but slightly amused, so I asked him how his work out was. He said he had run to our date. Literally.

He ran the 9.5 miles from his place to the bar. He said he ran to me thinking if we hit it off I could drive him home. He then proceeded to tell me he is an avid reader of my blog and was sorry I had been dating so many losers. He told me I was funny, smart, pretty, and worthy of a nice Jewish guy. He said perhaps he was the one to turn it around for me. He said timing is everything and this was our time.

I sat looking at a man who was literally dripping in sweat, marveling at his chutzpah, when he asked me if I wanted another drink. As I contemplated whether I could manage one more round with this strange man, he told me my hair was beautiful and he looks forwad to “pulling it while we make love”.  I was shocked by what he said and he took my moment of silence to mean I wanted another round and ordered.

I pulled myself together and told him I didn’t think we were a match, but appreciated him coming out for a drink. He then gave me a passionate speech about my blogs and what he thought about my dating life. He mentioned men by name, told me what was wrong with them, what I did wrong on my dates, and concluded by telling me I’d be a better dater if I was having sex as it would make me free.

I sat in wonder as he rattled off his opinion of the last year of my life. It was as fascinating as it was creepy. It was interesting to hear a man’s perspective on my life, until I snapped out of it and realized I was not listening to man as much as I was listening to a pig. He concluded his lengthy speech by saying if I didn’t want to date him, we could just sleep together so I’d be more attractive to others.

I thanked him for the insight and told him that while I appreciated the offer of sex, I would have to pass. I wished him well, payed for my own drinks, and told him I needed to go. He then said he was going to pop into the restroom and would be right back so I could drive him home. I think I actually laughed out loud at that point and told him I would be gone when he got out of the bathroom.

The most interesting thing about this date is that is was the most interesting date I have had in a long time. It is not every day a man offers to have sex with you in order to make you more attractive to others. This is the curse of the blog. As I approach my tenth year of Keeping the Faith, for the first time I see an end in sight. I’m not sure if it will be the end of the blog or the end of my dating, but change is coming. For now I will keep dating, keep writing, and keep the faith.

Dating 101 – The Last Word of Caution

I have written a couple of times this weekend about Benjamin. He is a man I spoke to for a week, made plans to meet, and then I was 30 minutes late for our first in person meeting due to insane Friday night LA traffic. After letting him know I’d be late, twice, and chatting on the phone while I was stuck in traffic, when I arrived he stood up, gave me a hug, sat down, and told me he was pissed off I was late and was leaving. Our meeting lasted about 40 seconds. This is after we spoke for endless hours on the phone before the meeting.

I drove 2 hours in traffic to meet a Frisbee player for 40 seconds. Annoying to be sure, and it totally hurt my feelings, but I took comfort in the comments I received from my readers when I wrote about it. People were kind when he couldn’t be, which was wonderful and made me feel better. It is impossible to have an experience like this and not take it personally. We’d been getting to know each other, had a great connection, then he saw me in person and bailed. I was late. I didn’t stop to kill someone on my way, I was just late. I don’t get his reaction.

Important to note that we met at a place between our two homes in the valley. I drove 2 hours from the Palisades, (Sunset Boulevard was a nightmare), but he drove to the meeting from his home, which in horrible traffic was about five-minutes away. I could assume he saw me and changed his mind, but that doesn’t really make sense, and why does it need to be something about me that made him go? The honest truth is I am beautiful, funny, and kind. Having a cup of tea with me would have been easy. He simply made a choice to be a douchelord.

Or, maybe it wasn’t a choice, maybe he is just a schmuck. Maybe he is rude, elitist, selfish, weird, and emotionally stunted. So different from what I thought about him BEFORE we met. This is the guy who is going to blame you for everything. He is controlling and intimidating, confusing and scary. He did me a favor by leaving, even though it wasn’t him who left. I got up and left. He was still sitting at the table when I drove by. Perhaps waiting for his next date. This is not a nice guy and I didn’t see it at first. Or did I?

Reviewing our conversations before we met, I thought he was great. Thinking back on our conversations after we met, he said some strange things, but I didn’t hear it because I heard what I wanted to hear. There is a lesson in this humiliation. We need to pay attention when dating. If there is a red flag, don’t tuck it away in the hopes you are misreading it. If you sense something is off, believe yourself. When you are dating it is easy to talk yourself into something you know in your gut is not good. I am embarrassed he was done after seeing me, but I don’t think it was me. He was enraged I was late and he took it as disrespectful. That is scary.

This was about him not me, but it doesn’t make the embarrassment any less. Dating is hard, and there are no guarantees, but it should not be hurtful. If someone is unkind, walk away. If someone talks unkindly about an ex, walk away. If someone blames you for things that are not your fault, walk away. In the course of 6 days this man charmed me, made me think I had been rude, made me think I needed to apologize, then ended our first meeting after 40 seconds because I disrespected him by being late. That is crazy and I can hardly believe it happened to me. For a minute I thought about taking down the blogs I wrote about him and simply erasing the experience, but that isn’t how I roll. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am a smart girl and it is fascinating I didn’t catch the red flags when they first appeared. Someone might read this and think I am overreacting and it was just a bad date, but I don’t think so. This is a horrible guy. This is not about having the last word, as much as it is about sharing words of caution. We are all in this together and as a woman searching for love, I sometimes stumble. My readers have picked me up every time I’ve fallen, and so I am swallowing my pride, exposing the ugly side of dating, and hoping it helps someone else keep the faith.

Dating 101: Jaded but Hopeful

This week I was asked out by a yet another man in a dress, one in his eighties, one who posted jail pictures, and one who has a dog named Ned. By Ned, of course I mean his name is N.E.D. as in No Erectile Dysfunction. Important to note when he wrote to tell me what NED stood for, he spelled dysfunction wrong, which I found to be sad and hilarious. My dating life continues to be entertaining and pathetic. I’m exhausted from all the eye rolling I do.

Over the weekend I received an email from a man we will call “Benjamin”. Benjamin wrote me a short but sweet note. I responded, we briefly emailed, then moved on to phone calls. He is entertaining, funny, educated, open, honest, Jewish, a dad, good with banter, and attractive if he actually looks like his pictures. Over email he was very clever, which I find appealing. He drew me in with a wonderful combination of boyish charm and sarcastic smartass. I was interested.

He is very aware of who he is, what he needs, and how he is going to get what he wants. He is articulate and not afraid to speak his mind, which I find to be very attractive. He is a lot like me to be honest, which is interesting and strange. I like who I am and there are parts of my personality I think are wonderful, and the more we talk, the more I see similarities, which is fascinating because we are very different. It makes him both intriguing and intimidating.

I have been down this “pre-dating” road before and as you all know, and it never turns out well. I have pre-dated men who I was certain I was connecting with, only to meet them and have there be no connection at all. Pre-dating is tricky, somewhat necessary, yet useless. I’ve been divorced for 22 years. I have dated, had three important relationships, and had my heart broken. I want to believe each experience got me closer to my bashert, but that isn’t always easy to do.

I want to find love, share my life, go on adventures, and have a partner. I want my son to see me in a relationship with a man who loves me in the same way I love him. I want my son to see me happy in a way that he wants for himself. I have a wonderful life and sharing it is the goal, but it is a hard game to play, so goals can be elusive. I remain hopeful, which is frankly a miracle because I know many who have stopped trying. But enough about me, let’s get back to Benjamin.

We were texting and he responded to something I sent in a way that hurt my feelings. I wrote back with what I thought was a clever reply. I suppose I was thinking about only my feelings, so it never occurred to me that my response was anything other than funny and charming. What I said however, rubbed him the wrong way and he was put off. This is why texting is not good when you are getting to know someone, as interpretations are most often wrong. I am not a fan of texting and try to avoid it whenever possible.

Then yesterday something funny happened and I wrote to tell him about it. (We don’t know each other well so I wasn’t sure if I could call him the middle of a work day, thus the text.) He wrote back telling me to give him a call. I called, we chatted for a minute, then he said he wanted to talk about the text exchange. He told me how he interpreted my text, which was not good. He thought it was rude and condescending, which of course was not my intention, but in retrospect I could see how he might have thought it was. He then explained how he thought I had interpreted his text, which he understood, but felt was wrong.

It is truly interesting to be dealing with a grown up. He didn’t sulk, he didn’t disappear, he wasn’t an ass, he simply wanted to talk about it in a kind and open way. He is an advanced communicator, as am I, which I appreciate. We talked, each taking time to explain ourselves, both apologized for the miscommunication, agreed texting is not a good way to communicate, and moved on. He handled the situation with maturity, which I respect. It was a pleasant surprise to hit a bump, talk about it, and have it be done.

At the end of the day I have no idea what I am doing. I am jaded but hopeful, and blessed that hope is in the lead. I am old enough to know exactly who I am and I am searching for someone who is secure with who he is, so that we make sense. Benjamin seems like a good guy, but also very complicated, so we’ll see how it plays out. We are meeting today, and I have no idea how it will go, but there is pre-dating flutter that is lovely. I could be wrong, as I most often am, so all I can do is just roll with it, relax, and focus on keeping the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating 101: Hookers and Judgment

Yesterday I was written to online by a 59-year-old man. He was attractive and had written an honest and funny profile about himself. He stated he was newly divorced and just starting to date. It was charming and I appreciated the honesty, so I wrote back. After 2 notes I gave him my number and he called. We are grownups, and texting and email is painful when getting to know someone, so we quickly jumped to a call. He reached out and we began the dating interview.

I found him to be interesting and witty, and was enjoying our chat, until I wasn’t. When he said he was newly divorced, what he meant was that he had signed his divorce papers last week. While he has been out of his marital home for a year, he is barely divorced and still hanging onto his old life. He spoke a lot about his ex-wife, which is fine, until it wasn’t. I suggested that perhaps he hadn’t been divorced long enough to know how it would affect him. I also told him dating had changed a lot in the years he had been married.

I explained that while I had been divorced forever, I remember my first relationship after divorce and it was doomed from the start because I arrived with so much baggage that still needed to be unpacked. He let me know he had unpacked all his bags already and was good to go. I explained that after 24 years of marriage, perhaps he should sew some wild oats and have single fun before diving into a relationship. Sleep with new people and discover who he was at this stage of his life.

He then assured me he had sewn his oats already. Without being prompted to go on, he let me know he had a sexless marriage and had spent the last few years of said marriage sleeping with hookers. He felt it was the respectful thing to do because he wanted the marriage to work, just needed sex, so he made it a business decision rather than an emotional one. Oh. My. God. Who tells someone they just met, and are interested in dating, they not only cheated, but paid for sex with hookers?

Important to note I have no issues with women who have sex for money. I have a good friend who worked as a prostitute to put herself through college. We met a few years ago while getting our nails done and I not only love her, but have no judgement about how she makes her money. When it came to this man however, I found myself sitting in a pile of judgement. I don’t care that he paid for sex, but that did it while married “to respect his wife”, is ridiculous and disgusting.

I can applaud him for being so honest I suppose, but no. He asked if I would like to go out on a date and I chose to decline. I also chose to suggest to him that perhaps he withhold some information from women moving forward. There is a lot to be said for honesty, but there is some information that simply does not need to be shared. I cannot think of any good that come out of my knowing the man I am dating not only cheated of his wife, but did it with hookers on a regular basis and over a long period of time.

It has been an interesting few days in my dating life. I was asked out by a man who was 82. I was also asked out by a man who was 25. They weren’t even the weird one. I was asked out by a man who is on parole and has limited mobility. Whoever said dating was fun, was drunk. Not tipsy and cute drunk, but vomiting on yourself and falling down stairs into a gutter drunk. I have been dating for a long time and I am tired. Not tired of dating, because I know it is necessary, but tired of the game.

I remain hopeful, which is key. Without hope there is no need to keep dating. I will meet a great man one of these days. He will be Jewish, not married, not wearing a parole tracker, and the only hooker he is interested in will be the one I am roll playing while we have a sexy night in Vegas. There is the right man out there looking for me. We will stumble upon each other one of these days. I simply need to pay attention, keep my eyes open, keep my heart open, and keep the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating 101: Three Strikes

In the never ending madness that is my dating life, I’ve been asked out by three men this week, and it is only Thursday. It would be fair to assume the odds are in my favor for at least one of them to be worthy of meeting for a cocktail, but when you remember it is MY dating life we are talking about, you must know that each man was stranger than the one before him, and I struck out three times.

Man #1 is 54 years old, Jewish, divorced, and estranged from his three grown children. He is coming out of a long term relationship with a woman who has a young child. When I asked how long it had been since they broke up, he said he was actually in the process of moving out of the home they shared. He was at their house when we spoke, taking out her garbage. Dear Lord, I simply can’t.

He assured me that even though they technically still lived together, he was moving out and their relationship was long over. I quickly realized he mentioned her a lot, so I started to count. For the next three minutes he referred to his not-really-ex-girlfriend by name 26 times. He then explained that in the interest of full disclosure, he wanted me to know he voted for Trump, and would do it again.

His living situation was no longer the grossest thing about him. This man is a personal mess and a political nightmare. No good can ever come from dating that combination. We ended our conversation and that was the end of that, which brings me to man #2. This man let me know he had been divorced for three years, but was still living with his ex-wife. They have four kids, one of them still at home.

Rather than disrupt her life, they agreed to live together until she went to college, which would be this fall. He assured me I didn’t need to worry about dating him, because they had a system in place. She slept in one room, he slept in another, and they took turns dating on weekends. To clarify, they alternated weekends at the house so they could both pursue fulfilling sex lives with other people.

On his weekend at the house, his ex-wife and daughter sleep at her parent’s home. Then when it is her weekend, he goes to his mother’s house with his daughter. Really? How can this be a thing? I think this is going to screw up that kid in worse ways than a divorce would. I don’t want to judge, and everyone should do what works for their family, but I’m going to have to say no on this one. No.

Man #3 is 58 years old, not Jewish, educated, handsome, and the father of five kids. Important to note he has never been married and his five kids have four different mothers. Interesting fact, two of the kids were born sixteen days apart. Yup. His kids range in age from 8 to 36, and he would really like to have more. Fun fact: he has two grandchildren who are older than his youngest children.

I don’t have any women in my life who would find his story attractive, but bless him for sharing it so proudly. Ugh. I have struck out without ever having even made it to bat. All I can do is laugh because at the end of the day it is funny. There is someone for everyone though, so I’m sure all three of these men will find love. I’ve got 20 bucks that says they will all find it before I do, which is hilarious.

I find my dating life to be very entertaining, which is a good thing or I may want to impale myself. One day my prince will come and the only things I am certain of, are that he won’t live with his ex-wife, have multiple kids from multiple women, or think Donald Trump is anything other than garbage. So until my bashert finds me, I will continue to be entertained and remain hopeful, while keeping the faith.

Dating 101: What is a relationship?

I woke up this morning feeling like a loser. Not a loser in life, because I’m a rock star at life, but a loser in dating. I can’t seem to get it together when it comes to sharing my life with a man. I historically date good men who are simply not the right men for me. There has been an occasional asshole of course, but that is how love works sometimes. I’m good at counting my blessings and finding silver linings, which is why I look at past relationships without regret. There is some anger, and certainly some bitterness, but not regret.

I don’t think things happen for a reason, but I can pinpoint the reasons some things happen. Does that make sense to anyone other than me? I woke up this morning thinking about my life and wondered why I am alone. I’m not alone alone of course, but I am not sharing my life with a partner, and that is sad to me. I don’t need a man, but I would like to have one. More importantly, I want a man to want to be with me, not need to be with me. I also don’t want anyone to settle for me or talk themselves into me.

I have been “dating” a man for a few months and yesterday I asked him if we were friends or dating, and he said he wasn’t sure. We talked about our relationship for a quick minute, but when I got home I cried. Not sure why exactly, but it made me sad that after so many months he was unsure what we were. It would have been easy to say we were dating, if we were, but he viewed us differently I guess. His answer was fine because it was his truth, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore.

It is sad because he is great. I don’t think he thinks he is great, but I am a genius and I know for a fact that he is great. Here’s the thing though, if I spend four months dating a man and he is unable to say whether we are dating or not, he is confused because that is dating. Furthermore, if this conversation had happened between a girlfriend of mine and a man she was dating, I would tell her to walk away. If we don’t see our worth, then the men we are dating certainly won’t. It is not about how he sees me as much as how I see myself, and I am quite fantastic.

I will miss this man. We have settled into a comfortable relationship, even though it appears he is not sure we even had a relationship. He makes me laugh every time we speak on the phone or are together. He is educated and witty, clever and sensitive. He is also completely unaware of how lucky he would be, were I to love him, and that is the goal when dating isn’t it? I don’t think it is hard to get laid, or have a man buy me a drink or dinner. It is hard however to find love, but that is why I date. I am shamelessly looking for love.

I spoke to my “friend” last night before I went to bed, and again this morning. Ugh. That will be hard to stop. He is the person I go to for things, my date for events, my sounding board, and in the end a really good friend. He is not however looking for a relationship where he can give and receive love. I think he is worthy, but I am not a therapist or a mind reader, and I don’t know what he wants. I do know me though, and I want more. Want it, need it, deserve it, and certain I will find it. The search continues so I am keeping the faith.

Dating 101 – Bring on the rain

I started dating someone late last year and even though I totally thought we would be a thing, in the end we are not the thing I had hoped for. I really like him and we are friends, but it is a shame it didn’t become more. The simple truth is that at this stage of my life, I want to be with someone who is ready for a relationship. I have a wonderful life to share, and I am a wonderful human being, so there is no energy or point in spending time convincing someone to be brave.

If I don’t value myself, then how can I expect someone else to value me? I have had my heart broken, more than once, but I have never let that pain stop me from trying.  Love is grand and I am not going to let hurt influence my happiness. The memories of heartache certainly shape my heart, but they do not have the power to change what I want and what I believe I am worthy of. I hope this man gets to a place where he knows he is worthy of a good woman who values him.

Dating is not fun, but if you view it with the knowledge that even a misstep gets you one step closer to love, you’ll be okay. I had a date this weekend with a man a friend set me up with. I was told he would make me laugh, so we made a plan to meet for breakfast. He was handsome, on time, had a job, and fantastic green eyes. We said hello, settled in for the dance, and it was going well. Then he decided that he was going to call the waitress a bitch. Not once, but twice, to her face. We were done in just under ten minutes.

There is no world in which I am going to be okay with this behavior, so I went in. I started by apologizing to the waitress. She was lovely, which made his treatment of her even more disturbing. I told him he was rude and I was not only not interested in staying on our date, but he needed to apologize to the waitress. It was then that he told me I was, wait for it, a bitch. I got up, “accidentally” spilled my iced tea on his lap, and headed home.

I was sad for about five minutes, then it was just another step in my journey.  There is someone for everyone. The man I met for breakfast will meet a woman to spend his life with, and I’m hoping she ends being a total bitch. The man I was dating will also meet someone, and she will inspire him to risk getting his heart broken again. He will see her worth and that he is better beside her. I will be that woman for someone one day. Just not today, and that is okay.

It is Monday morning and raining in in Los Angeles, which is a great thing. The universe is washing away the weekend and allowing the week to begin fresh. I will keep trying because that is half the battle. You can’t be sad that you are alone if you are not trying to meet someone. How we try is not important, as long as we try. We are all worthy of love and if you want a relationship, you will have one. Be brave, take a risk, know your worth, believe in love, and keep the faith.

 

 

Dating 101 – A Poem

He asked me out for a drink.

I agreed to meet after work.

He arrived on time.

I was five minutes late.

He was dressed nice.

I was having a good hair day.

He was the age he said he was.

I was hopeful.

He was the height he said he was.

I was still shorter in my heels.

He had a job.

I was impressed by his manners.

He had hair.

I thought the grey was sexy.

He was missing a bunch of teeth.

I prayed he was a hockey player.

He had never played hockey.

I couldn’t bring myself to ask about it.

He never mentioned it.

I stayed for 46 minutes.

He asked me out for a second date.

I went home to impale myself.

He will find a nice girl with missing teeth.

I will never understand how dating works.

Three front teeth people!

I am jaded, but  keeping the faith.

‘Shalom’: New Dating App Launches

Photo from Pixabay.

Jewish millennials are familiar with the widely popular dating app JSwipe and the longtime dating website JDate. Now, a brand new Jewish dating app has come on the scene, and it was not created by Jews.

Created by a couple of Sikh entrepreneurs, the Shalom app was launched on Wednesday and is being sold as the middle ground between casual dating and more serious relationship seeking. Most dating apps provide users with a random selection of people to swipe left or right to get possible matches. Shalom, by contrast, creates a selection pool that’s less random. It searches for likely matches based on “social media profiles, and behavioral data, like how users have interacted with others on the app, in order to make connections,” according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

“We think we definitely have a better product and the back-end technology stacked to actually match people based on data,” KJ Dhaliwal, one of the app’s co-creators, told JTA. “We do a lot of work in making sure our algorithms are set up in a way that actually results in people matching with people they end up marrying one day.”

Interestingly, Dhaliwal, his co-creator Sukhmeet Toor and their team in San Francisco, CA all consist of non-Jews. But they have prior success in the field of dating apps, as their prior app, Dil Mill, has become the South Asian version of Tinder. Dil Mill uses the same formula that Shalom uses.

Dhaliwal told JTA that he figured that the Jewish community would be perfect for an app using that kind of formula given the similarities between the Jewish and South Asian community “in terms of the values around community, the values around family, the values around marriage.”

Dhaliwal and Toor certainly have their work cut out for them in competing against JSwipe, the app that already claims the mantle of the “Jewish Tinder”, boasts a four-star review on Google Apps, and already has 410,000 users. But perhaps these Sikh entrepreneurs will be savvy enough to establish Shalom as a viable alternative in the lucrative market of Jewish dating.

Dating 101 – Siggy Flicker, Mind Reader

I have had a series of relationships with a series of men who were unkind. Not bad people, just unkind to me in the end. I can draw parallels between all the men I have dated, and in the end the one thing that ties them all together, is that I probably loved them more than they loved me. It is a difficult thing to admit, and I suppose a little embarrassing, but it is true. When I fall in love I am all in, and the men I have fallen in love with have never jumped all the way in with me.

I am not sure why it has been this way, but I want very much to change the pattern. Wanting something however, is not enough to make it happen. I’m trying to date outside of box I have built. Maybe if I date a different kind of man, I will have a different result. That is difficult because we are attracted to who we are attracted to, and while my thing has always been to date Jews, at the end of the day I guess I also like to date an asshole. Jewish assholes are my thing.

I have two dates planned for next week. Both are with Jews. One is with a man I met on match.com, and the other one is with a man I have dated in the past. I have written about him here of course, but I won’t mention who it is because I’m feeling unsure about it and perhaps a little embarrassed to be going backwards. I’m simply trying to stay positive, thinking that the new guy might be great, and the old gay might be misunderstood. It was all rather gross, then my phone rang.

It was relationship expert Siggy Flicker, who I know through my blog. She called to wish me a Happy New Year and see how the holidays were. As we were chatting and catching up, I told her I was searching for something more with someone better. Without her knowing what I was thinking about my upcoming dates, she told me I needed to not go backwards and date new people. Then she said I needed to fall in love with a man who loved me just a little bit more than I loved him.

Really? I have no idea how Siggy went into my head to see what I was thinking, but she called me out on the two things that were troubling me. I suppose that is why she is an expert. We spoke for five minutes and she narrowed it down to the basics in a way that frankly freaked me out. When I got off the phone with Siggy I cancelled my plans with the man I dated in the past, and changed my coffee date with the new guy to drinks. I am going to keep my eyes facing forward.

I am 51 years old and alone. Not because I want to be alone, but because at this stage of my life I finally learned that I would rather be alone than be with an asshole. I’m going to take Siggy’s advice and change my dating patterns. I am going to find someone new and not look back. I am going to value myself, and therefore attract someone who values you me in return. I will take the advice of an expert, instead of guessing on my own. I am jumping all in and keeping the faith.

 

Dating 101 – Not OK Cupid

I spent the weekend at home. I was dealing with jet lag and fighting off a cold that was trying very hard to derail me. I drank a lot of tea with honey, soaked in the tub a few times, and basically just rested. When I got an email from OK Cupid on Saturday afternoon letting me know someone was interested in me, I logged in thinking a good man might make me feel better.

That was the only mistake I made all weekend. These are the actual pictures of the man who got in touch with me. They have not been altered in any way, other than to delete his face. Yes, you got that right, they are posted online, for all to see, with his face clearly showing. This man is not shy or embarrassed by who he is or what he is looking for. Good for him I guess that he is so comfortable in his own skin, but surely there is a fetish dating site for him to be searching on.

Needless to say, after one week on OK Cupid, I was done.  Dating is a nightmare under the best of circumstances, and this was almost too much for me to handle. Maybe it was because I was tired, or perhaps because I was sick, but I wanted to scream and think I actually may have. I got up today at 4:00 am and the first thing I did was delete my OK Cupid account. Why didn’t I delete it immediately upon hearing from this man? Because my head exploded and I lost the use of my hands for a short time. That and I threw my phone on the floor and was too tired to go get it.

Dear Lord. I am 51 years old, cute, funny, successful, independent, kind, loving, supportive, open to love, and a great woman, yet this is what is available to me to date in Los Angeles? I will remain hopeful, because that is who I am as a human being, but to say this man did not crush my spirit a little would be a lie. In an attempt to shake it off and embrace the midlife crisis I am currently going through, I chopped off all my hair. A bit rash I suppose, but it’s just hair and it will grow back. At the end of the day I will be fine, because I am always fine. When it comes to my dating life however, today it is a bit of a struggle to keep the faith.

Dating 101 – Baggage

Men often say women have a lot of baggage and they don’t want to deal with any drama. I read as much in countless profiles of men dating online. They are very specific about not wanting to deal with the damage of all the men who have come before them. I get it, but if men think it is only women who have baggage, they are delusional. Men are also scarred by previous relationships and it is funny when they insist they are not. Men not only have baggage, but it is much heavier.

I have spent the past week speaking to a man from Santa Monica. He is 61, divorced with 2 kids, and painfully fragile. We didn’t have any interactions that did not include him telling me he did not like what I was saying. If I said something sarcastic, as I am known to do, he would say “I don’t like that.” He spent a lot of time telling me what he didn’t like, what he wouldn’t do, and letting me know he was desperate for acceptance and kindness. It was sad and exhausting.

We spoke and texted for little while, then in what would be our last conversation, he had what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. We were chatting about relationships and sex. I asked him if he was still sexually active, which I think is an acceptable question. We are adults, he is 61, and I thought the question in the context of our conversation was fair and appropriate. He didn’t think so and started to scream at me that he doesn’t answer those questions.

One might of thought he was rude, or perhaps assume he’s dealing with sexual issues, or conclude he has been treated unkindly, but either way it was weird and his reaction was disproportionate to the situation. He was angry, confused, flustered, and embarrassed. This is a man who is carrying around so much baggage he is weighed down and simply walking around in circles. It was strange, then funny, then really quite sad. Needless to say, we won’t be speaking again.

Relationships are hard and more complicated at age 51. Everyone is coming to the table with history, and with history comes baggage. I don’t expect someone to not have needs or reactions based on their past, but I do expect someone to not yell at me, and certainly not approve or disapprove of everything I say. To this man who felt he could yell at me, I hope you take a moment to step back and reevaluate what it is exactly you are doing in terms of your dating style.

I would recommend you focus on your kids and work and not date right now. You are emotionally not ready. The truth is that any woman who is willing to date someone at your level of pain, is equally as unavailable. You’ll end up having a relationship that is unsatisfying for you both. There is nothing wrong with having baggage. We are adults and that is life, just be careful how you pack it. I am continuing to date, doing a little unpacking of my own, and keeping the faith.

Dating 101: Fingers Crossed

I have been quietly dating a lovely man for a few months. He is a wonderful father, grandfather, and son. He is kind, smart, funny, generous, gentle, and respectful. He treats me with a tenderness I have never experienced in a relationship before. He extends the same respect to my son, which I appreciate and admire very much. We have a wonderful time together and I feel nervous, but content.

We don’t have a lot of things in common, and are politically on opposite sides of just about everything, but he allows me to have my opinion. He also allows me to spend a lot of time trying to change his opinion. He is open to change and growth and knowledge. I adore this man am quite certain that if I can get out of my own way, we will be important to each other in a lot of different ways.

I have had a series of complicated and difficult relationships, and while my relationship with George is complicated in some ways and difficult in others, it is also easy, calm, nurturing, and fun. We laugh at many things, including each other, and I feel blessed to have stumbled upon this man. He is unlike anyone I thought I would ever date, but has all the qualities I was looking for in a man.

It is new, exciting, comfortable, and connected. I don’t know where we will end up, but being on this road with him has brought me happiness. I have been writing about my dates and relationships for years, always being clear that I only date Jews and Democrats. I am now dating a man who is not a Democrat or a Jew, and I am counting my blessings.

Time will tell what we become to each other, but we are both happy and hopeful. It is strange to be dating a man who is not Jewish, but I am working through it. It is frustrating to date a man who is not a Democrat, but he is working through it. It is unusual to be dating a man who takes such good care of me, so I am crossing my fingers and keeping the faith.

Dating 101: Snakes & iTunes

My dating life is interesting. By interesting, of course I mean slightly more pathetic than interesting, but still interesting. I truly have to laugh at the absurd things that happen to me, otherwise I would cry. Cry and scream. Cry and scream and adopt a cat. By cat of course I mean a dozen cats, two dogs, and perhaps a parrot. One I could train to laugh every time I said “I have a date”.  I am good at a lot of things, but detecting crazy in men is not one of them. I suppose in the big scheme of things this is not a terrible gift to be saddled with, but some days the inability to see exactly how insane a man is exhausts and depresses me.

I was chatting on Match with a man from Beverly Hills. He works in mining, was sweet, and if you took out one contact lens and squinted with your other eye, looked a little bit like Kelsey Grammer. We were texting back and forth as I am in London, and made plans to go out when I get back. He asked me to tell him something interesting about myself every day that I was in London. Seemed like a cute thing to do. I told him I was Canadian and had a Canadian flag tattoo. He told me that he had a very large penis, that he refers to as “snake”, and you can see it even when he is wearing a suit. You can’t make this stuff up people.

I marveled that of all the things he could have told me as we did the dance of introduction, he opted to tell about his genitals. I told him I thought it a was strange and disrespectful choice. He told me he meant no disrespect and was simply sharing. I reiterated it was offensive, and he told me I had no sense of humor, sent him mixed messages, and should “fuck off and die”. He then proceeded to tell me I would remain alone because I hated men. Dear Lord. I don’t think I hate anything, other than Donald Trump as President, so his outburst was hilarious. The snake charmer was anything but charming and I was in shock.

He was texting nonstop, then started to talk about my son, who he knows nothing about. Well that’s no fun, so I blocked him on my phone, blocked him on Match, and sent them a screen shot of his text telling me to die. This is a guy who has put his picture online, given me his phone number, then threatened me, all because I told him it was disrespectful to talk about his penis with a stranger. His name is David and he’s 48 years old with glasses, so if anyone comes across him run because he is unstable and dangerous, with or without his snake. As of this morning Match had not suspended him. Dating is strange to be sure, but this is terrifying.

Cut to James, also from Match, who also happens to do something with mining. He is originally from Brazil, and is looking for love after having his heart broken. We exchanged a few emails, then exchanged phone numbers and started to text rather than call as I am in London. He wrote to say he was going to Boston and would let me know when he had arrived. He did as he said he would, and when I asked him how it was going, he told me he got an iPhone. I am a diehard Apple person, so I congratulated him on stepping into the light. I asked what he was up to on a Sunday in Boston, and he told me he was downloading an app he needed for work.

He then told me he did not have his credit card and could I buy him an iTunes card and send it to him by email. Really? Yes. Really. I’m not sure how he bought the phone since he said he left his credit card at home, but I’m guessing details are not important to James. Details or the truth. When I told him he was insane to think I would send him anything, he stopped writing. Not a word since I said he was creepy and I would report him to Match. It makes me sad because there are women who will fall for things like this and in an attempt to not be lonely or feel desired, will buy into this type of scam. James should be arrested, not dating.

Cut to today, when James wrote to tell me I misunderstood him and he expected more from me. He doesn’t know me, so I’m not exactly sure what exactly he was expecting, or what was disappointing. He said he wasn’t asking for money, just asking for an iTunes card to get some apps, for his work, so he could give a great presentation. He said he has a daughter, and friends, and a boss, and family, so why ask a woman he does not know? This is insanity and makes me sad for people who are dating from a place of deep loneliness, as I am sure money is being sent and snake selfies are being taken. It is very sad and frightening.

I looked this morning and the profiles for both James and David are now hidden from the Match website. I am not sure if that was done by them or Match, but they should be looked at more closely. These men are predators and ruin it for others who are online genuinely trying to meet someone. I invite Match to get in touch with me at angel@jewishjournal.com and I will give them the details of these two loser who are polluting their website and good work. Dating is scary in general, but when you do it online, there are risks involved that perhaps women don’t think about. It can be creepy, but if you want to find someone, a necessary evil.

I date not because I love to date, because who would love something so revolting? I date because I would like to share my life with someone, and dating is how I will meet that person. I am hopeful, which is truly the most important thing to have when dating, because without hope you’ve got no shot in hell of ever meeting anyone. Please just be careful out there, and I don’t just mean the ladies. There are women online who are scamming people just as often as men. Do not send anyone any money, do not tell anyone where you live, meet in a public place, and don’t let anyone pick you up at home. You cannot be too careful.

It is sometimes hard to trust people you know, let alone strangers, but you really must try to be aware. If you come across people you sense are dangerous, tell someone. Write to the dating site you are using and tell them. You owe it to yourself, and also to the other people who will innocently stumble across these people. If you’re wrong and they are not dangerous, just crazy, still better to have said something than to be quiet. James and David are bumps in the road and I will not be scared off by a couple of idiots. I will be cautious and I will be brave because my bashert is out there and he is keeping the faith.

Rounding out a big year, JDate CEO has reason to celebrate

Last year was big for Spark Networks. At an open-bar mixer and comedy show in January to celebrate the re-launch of its flagship website, JDate, the company’s CEO was exuberant.

There was one metric in particular Michael Egan wanted to highlight when he took the stage at the Improv in Hollywood on Jan. 20: the number of Jewish marriages that have resulted from the service.

“We think we’re responsible for more mother-to-child conversations than any other website — we’re still trying to prove that one,” he told a room full of Jewish singles interspersed with a few JDate success stories invited by the company.

Since he took the CEO job in January 2015, he’s been in charge of JDate and ChristianMingle, which together form the bulk of the web company’s portfolio, and he’s had some figures to brag about. 

In particular, Spark Networks introduced mobile apps for JDate and ChristianMingle last year, growing to more than 318,00 active mobile users from virtually zero late in 2014.

That’s not to mention JSwipe users: Spark Networks purchased the upstart millennial-targeted Jewish app in October for $7 million, with a potential extra $10 million going to JSwipe’s four founders if they meet certain earning targets. (In July 2015, just a few months before acquiring JSwipe, Spark Networks had sued the app for infringement of its copyright on the name “JDate.”) Egan said the mobile app will begin pursuing profit strategies this year, but existing services will remain free.

Egan is neither Jewish nor single. Having been married 19 years, he’s never seriously used a dating app a day in his life. He uses the word “gosh” and speaks excitedly about building Internet communities, having spent a decade in Web businesses and another in crisis communications.

On a recent day at Spark Networks headquarters, which occupies the sixth floor of a Westwood office tower, the bald and wiry Egan wore a salmon button-up shirt and blue jeans with a sports watch and Oakley eyeglasses, ditching the blazer he’d worn at the Improv. 

“I missed this entire online dating thing,” Egan told the Jewish Journal. “And I told [Spark Networks] that when they were asking me about the job. I told them, ‘Look, I might not be your guy.’ ”

Spark Networks is a publicly traded corporation on the New York Stock Exchange valued above $90 million (its stock ticker is LOV). Just months before Egan was hired, a group of shareholders put up what he called a “proxy battle” and succeeded in replacing the board of directors.

In August 2014, the new board chairman, Michael McConnell, replaced the CEO of three and a half years, Greg Liberman, taking on the role of executive chairman. After a corporate restructuring, the company announced Egan’s hire in December 2014.

Since then, Spark Networks has hired a new chief financial officer, chief marketing officer and chief technology officer.

The company’s executive team isn’t all that looks different. Its two top websites have undergone re-launches aimed at streamlining features and integrating them into the same Web platform.

As Egan explains, the makeovers were part of the vision of the new management. For years, the company had used stable profits from JDate’s monthly subscribers to grow ChristianMingle, he said.

“But what started to happen was that JDate got a little old,” he said. “It had no mobile application, and we know that the world has shifted very heavily into mobile.”

Since 2012, the world has seen the advent of the dating app Tinder, widely popular with singles in their 20s, where users select or deny each other by swiping left or right on one another’s photographs. In April 2014, JSwipe launched as its Jewish counterpart. 

Spark Networks evidently had some catching up to do.

“The new board recognized that, hey, mobile is critical, we’ve got to reinvest back into JDate,” Egan said. “JDate is sort of the crown jewel of this company, and it’s been ignored for too long.”

In addition to JDate and ChristianMingle, Egan took charge of a host of Spark’s much smaller niche dating sites, including SilverSingles for older singles, LDSSingles for Mormons and Adventist Singles Connection for Seventh Day Adventists, along with JDate’s Israeli, French and United Kingdom counterparts. 

With the acquisition of JSwipe, Spark Networks received an additional block of users: At the time, the mobile-only platform boasted 450,000 downloads and 40 million messages between users. 

(Adding further drama to the incestuous world of the Jewish digital dating space, Joe Shapira, who cofounded JDate in 1997 and departed in 2004, last year launched a competing Jewish dating app, Jfiix, which operates like a cross between JSwipe and JDate.)

The acquisition of JSwipe also made Spark Networks’ Jewish user base a lot younger. 

Whereas about 85 percent of JDaters are 35 and older, 90 percent of JSwipers are 30 and younger, according to the CEO. 

JDate, Egan said, is “a more serious dating site — you come to us when you’re tired of playing the crowd and you want to actually settle down and find somebody to marry.”

Accordingly, the customer satisfaction surveys he implemented this year show that departing users either love JDate because they met somebody fabulous or hate it because they feel ripped off. Egan said the company plans on rolling out curriculum about dating and relationship building, such as webinars and blog posts, as well as live events, so that even those customers who don’t meet the love of their life can still feel as though they’ve gained something.

It was largely that category of still-single customers who attended the re-launch party at the iconic Melrose Boulevard comedy club on Jan. 23. 

One attendee, a divorced schoolteacher, said she’d gotten on the service because of a Black Friday deal. She wasn’t alone. One of the comics, Taylor Williamson, complained that JDate had cheated him by offering a promotional deal and then charging him full price, leading to the inevitable “cheap Jews” joke.

The prevailing mood of the evening, at least among the comics, was jaded and self-effacing.

“My dating pool is like a picked-over clothing rack at T.J.Maxx,” said Nicole Aimée Schreiber, the night’s emcee. “I’m a woman over 30.”

Then the crowd of Jewish singles watched gleefully as the evening turned in on itself, a PR event cannibalizing the product it intended to hawk.

When the night’s headliner, Adam Ray, pulled a victim from the crowd, he unwittingly picked a Spark Networks employee, proceeding to grill him about his love life and inadvertently turning the evening into an awkward JDate office party.

He asked the bespectacled employee’s name and received an extremely Jewish-sounding one.

“Really?” he asked. “Was Matzah Ball Circumcision taken?”

My Single Peeps: Elyse G.

Elyse, 43, is a freelancer for this magazine — but that doesn’t mean she was coerced into being interviewed for My Single Peeps. At least as far as I know. I’ve never met a single person at the office. I write from home. Maybe it’s a tyrannical organization. All I know is she showed up to meet me, and she seemed interested in genuinely finding love.

“I basically grew up in the Chicago suburb of Evanston,” Elyse begins. “I went to the University of Illinois [at Chicago — UIC] and got my master’s in journalism from Syracuse University. I began my journalism career as a music journalist and interviewed bands while maintaining straight A’s. While an undergrad at UIC, I co-founded the Chicago Flame,” a community newspaper that was around for 20 years. That’s where Elyse honed her chops as a restaurant and travel writer. “I pretty much lived the whole plot of ‘Reality Bites,’ minus the two cute guys fighting over me. It was time for a fresh start, so I moved out to California in October of ’94.” She did temp work for a few months before landing her first real job, at Rogers & Cowan. She moved on to other PR companies, writing press kits and press releases, but, “I discovered I love the work and didn’t care for the politics. After 9/11, it made me realize how fragile and fleeting life is, and I decided to go into business for myself.” She’s a freelancer who writes about food, travel and wellness. 

Elyse describes herself as quirky. “Quirky works if you’re Zooey Deschanel on TV and under 30. I’m told I was quirky, and guys don’t like quirky.” I ask her what makes her quirky. “The way I express myself; my hand gestures; my eyes … I look away. I just have my own way of seeing the world. I see my competition in L.A. — they have the long, straight hair, they come off easygoing, and I come off uptight until I can relax and express myself.”

When she first sits down with me, she’s ready to talk. I slow her down because she’s talking faster than I type. She pauses, and then continues midsentence when I prompt her. I think she’s too serious — that she doesn’t know how to laugh at life. But as she gets out her story, I realize that she just wants to show me that side of herself. We all want to show our best sides right away — and to Elyse, her best side is one of a serious journalist. But it’s when she makes jokes about the horrors of being single that I see her at her best. Later she tells me, “If I seem stiff and uncomfortable, it’s because I like to get to know people. I have this whole other side where I’m fun [and I’m the] life of the party.” And I believe her.

She wants an educated man. “Somebody who likes to actually get out and do things — try new foods, have new life experiences. Somebody with a good job. I want a guy who’s comfortable in his own skin. I like a guy who’s tall and works out. I realize at this stage in my life, I don’t want IKEA. I want Ethan Allen — something I can just take home and enjoy.

“If it’s in the cards for me to have a child of my own, that’s great; but if not, I can adopt. There are certain things I’d like to do in life before I become a parent.” “Like what?” I ask. She thinks for a few moments and realizes she’s done everything she’s wanted to do. “The only thing I haven’t found is a great guy.”


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

 

David Henry G.

David, 27, seems to be brimming with confidence. He’s got a good, deep voice, and he’s still when he speaks. I fidget. My fingers or toes are generally wiggling, and I shift my position constantly. It suddenly dawns on me — I’m jealous. Why can’t I be as sure of myself?

“I’m from Washington, D.C. My mother’s a Jewish cookbook writer, Joan Nathan. My father’s a lawyer. I have two older sisters. I went to Columbia, studied English. I went to England and studied acting [there]. Made a few films. Acted in a few films. I lived in New York for the last eight years, since Columbia. I moved here a few months ago. I’m loving it. My sister lives here. She’s a journalist. I also work as a private chef on the side. I used to want to be a chef for a long time. I started working in restaurants when I was 15. My mother told me I couldn’t be a chef, so I spited her and became an actor.” He laughs.

“I like interesting women who do interesting things — who are really their own people and sort of motivate you. Kindness is important. Not niceness, but kindness. There’s something false about niceness and something authentic about kind[ness]. People I’ve dated in the past have been farmers [and] painters.” He met them summering on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve never been there, but I picture him hanging out with the Kennedys on a yacht. And jealousy keeps rearing its ugly head.

“Generally, I’ve liked sort of goyishe girls — blond, beautiful … I like brunettes, too. I like small women. I like earthy women. I like women who know how to stick their hands in soil. I’m that way, too. When I was living in Brooklyn, I had my own vegetable garden in the backyard. I can build stuff.”

I need to find this guy’s kryptonite. “What makes you difficult?” I ask. 

“I tend to be reserved sometimes … which can come across as cocky.” He nails exactly what’s been bothering me about him. He seems cocky. “I have this weird balance where I’m super cocky and secure, to just being panicked and [this] nebbishy doubting everything and wondering what I should do. That’s just the worst. You want to stay away from that aspect of yourself as much as possible.” His cockiness is his defense mechanism. But he tells me he often feels insecure. My jealousy quickly dissipates.

“I can also be very demanding — wanting to do it my way. That’s probably my biggest problem in general — wanting to do it your way, which is a good thing, [but] can also set you back in a lot of ways. I’ve done enough where I don’t feel insecure, and then I sit next to Andrew Garfield and I think he’s done so much. That’s what’s so hard is feeling like you have to justify yourself when you haven’t won your Tony or your Oscar yet, when you know [you have the potential]. I think my other big fault is I can just be too uptight. I can take things too seriously. I think I want to take things less seriously. I was grinding my teeth in New York.” Part of the reason he moved to Los Angeles was to get back in touch with what’s important. I think if people in general are in that place where they’re fully themselves, then we’re in a better place. 

“What makes you great?” I ask. 

“I think I have a unique way of looking at the world. And I’m a doer. I like to do and make things happen. I’m always looking for beauty … whether it’s visually, about character [or] about the world … I’m always trying to find beauty.”


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

 

My Single Peeps: Denise M.

Denise, 46, shows up at our interview dressed to the nines. The woman is put together — from her perfectly coiffed hair down to her Christian Louboutin shoes. A few years back, I was running around Manhattan with a friend and we met a group of tipsy girls on the street. My friend was trying to get one of the girls to join us for a drink, but her night was ending and she was on her way home. I jumped in: “How can I convince you to stay out with him?” She said, “Get me a pair of those red-bottoms and he can take me home.” It was a joke — but only sort of a joke. Women covet those shoes. And Denise knows how to rock a pair.

Denise looks high maintenance and she carries with her a heavy protective wall. So I assume she’s something she’s not when we start talking. But her wall quickly comes down and I realize my first assumption is wrong. She tells me she gets that a lot. “People who know me say, ‘When I first met you, I thought you’d be the biggest bitch — but you’re not.’ ” I think it’s our own intimidation, though. She’s really nice.

“I’ve spent my whole life in Los Angeles. I was a film major, but I ended up in the beauty industry, and I worked in the salon and on film sets for many years.” Denise was always interested in real estate, and for the last decade she made it her career. But, she tells me, “If I ever won the lottery, I would still do hair.” After a “great ride,” she rode out some tough years in real estate. “But it’s a busy time again. There’s an upswing.”

I ask her what she does for fun. “I love going to the beach. I like to travel. I like going on walks.” She clarifies that statement, as one date took her on a hike where there were rattlesnakes — “I like to walk on a path. I like to have fun, but I’m not a daredevil. I love being around friends. I like cooking. I love going to museums. I definitely have a passion for art — theatrical and fine arts. I come from a family of artists.”

She likes men who are warm, caring and ambitious. “But not neurotic. Because some men who are successful in their businesses are a little neurotic and can’t ever take a break from work — even if you go away or go out for the evening. A big turn-off to me is laziness. I can’t be with a lazy man. I like a man who takes care of himself. I’m into physical fitness, and I don’t want some guy to be lying on the couch drinking beer all day long. That’s just not my thing.”

Her marriage didn’t end well, but, Denise says, “I can always make lemonade out of lemons. It’s honestly the only way I function every day. I want to be loved and adored and respected. I want someone to be kind to my children, who are 5 and 8. I want to give that back. I’m not looking to be selfish. I want to love someone, adore them, cherish them. I want to cook for them, hang out, go for walks, watch movies and open up a bottle of wine. I’m looking for my best friend. Someone to share the rest of my life with. I was brought up by a stepfather who was a survivor from the Holocaust, so if I ended up meeting a man who was half as wonderful to his children as he was to my brother and me, I’d be a lucky lady, and they’d be very lucky children.” 


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.