Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engagedand Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire), out this week from Simon & Schuster. With the release of the new book, Jen is guest blogging for Jewish Book Council all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series here on The ProsenPeople.
Everything we do, we do online first.
We scan different websites to find the lowest prices on items before we snag them in-store, or just add them directly into our virtual shopping cart. We Google search somebody before we shake their hand in-person for a job interview, as if we’re amateur detectives cross-checking their life story via their MySpace, LinkedIn, and if we’re savvy enough, their LiveJournal page too.
So of course, for many of us, going online is where we bring our love lives when we are ready to find a good deal—or at least a better one than we may find late night at a bar or when we’re out with friends and a stranger approaches with a pick-up line that makes our eyes roll to the back of our heads.
For me, it was JDate. After watching the majority of my friends find their prince charmings on dating apps and websites (and having what felt like everyone from my mom to my childhood rabbi send me a promo email for the Jewish dating website), I gave in and joined five years ago. Since then, I went on more first dates than I did bar and bat mitzvahs in middle school—which is saying something: I went to a Jewish school and sometimes had to squeeze in two a weekend—and even surrendered my password to my mom, so she could take over my dating profile and match me with the mensch of her liking.
With all the experience I’ve had on that website, it’s my pleasure to hand over some of the top secrets I’ve learned that will help you spend less time browsing the website and more time meeting your potential future husband offline. Here are my top five tips to hacking JDate:
1. Tell the Truth
While we may not want to type out our entire life story on our profile, we do want to highlight four or five interesting facts about ourselves. These should be honest, fun tidbits of information that spark conversations and give the person messaging you an idea for an opening line or a first date. I took off the paragraphs of text from my profile and instead wrote about my love for live rock music, my habit for eating pizza more than five times a week, and my obsession with spending time at the local library.
2. Avoid Holidays and Late Nights
The worst times to search for love are on holidays and weekend nights. You’ll find that the website feels empty and the people crawling on it are usually looking for a quick hook up and not a relationship. The best time, and most popular time, to use the website is on Sunday or right after work on a weekday.
3. Make the First Move
We may be sitting back and waiting for our Mensch matches to message us, but if we want to be successful online, sometimes we are the ones who need to take the first step. If there’s a Nice Jewish Boy that catches your attention, reach out with a message and break the ice before your match (or their membership) expires.
4. Meet IRL ASAP
Avoid having the conversation linger online and instead make plans to meet in person as soon as you feel comfortable sitting across from the person in real life. If they seem to be dragging their feet on making a game plan, throw out an offer to meet for coffee on a weekend or a glass of wine on a weeknight.
5. Give People a Chance
After spending more time on JDate than I can count on my left hand, I have learned that often times the guys I like in person are the ones I’m not overly impressed with online. Most of the time, they didn’t do a great job putting up recent photos or describing their interests in detail online, but offline they are captivating and surprisingly the guys I look forward to seeing again. The guys who often woo me online are the ones, I find sometimes, are the most boring and unpolished offline.
Jen Glantz once wanted to become a rabbi but instead she became the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the author of the new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire). She’s the heartbeat behind the website The Things I Learned From and the author of All My Friends are Engaged. She spends a good chunk of her free time searching for a mensch who will look at her with the same kind of googly eyes with which she looks at pizza.
- Tamar Caspi: Faking the Big A: Five Tips for Finding the Right Dating Attitude
- Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff: Would Tu B'Av Dating Work Today?
- Ilana Garon: How Do We Connect?