April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Observations From the Front Lines

Due to life changes, becoming a widow two years ago, I have entered the world of, well, I can’t say Internet dating, as I’ve had very few dates, but I’ll say dipping my toes into the cold waters of Internet dating possibilities. WOW! Has it ever been a bracing experience!

The particular site I’ve engaged with is JDate. The first surprise is that, although it stands for the opportunity to meet Jewish persons, there are many participants who are not Jewish. (Never knew so many non-Jewish men were seeking a nice Jewish girl!). There is the request from the site to set up a profile—meaning responding to ready-made questions by means of drop-down menus, answering some other prepared questions in your own words, and filling out a form that supposedly puts forth the parameters of a person you’d like to meet. Of course, there is the opportunity to put in a photo or—as many have done—numerous photos of oneself.

It is, at first, very exciting to get an e-mail announcing a new match for you to check out—Oh, boy, let me see this possibility. So, you click, click away and the prospective match comes up. Oh—there’s no picture. Okay, let’s see what else there is to find out. Well, he’s only answered one of the seven questions they’ve set up. Umm, he’s filled in all of about seven items under the 37 listed within the details section (covering Physical Information, Lifestyle, Background, and My Ideal Match). So, who is this guy and why would anyone want to go out with someone who is so unwilling to share and is, basically, a complete mystery?

The next match comes up and now there’s lots of information—sometimes too much—along with 12 photos (does he really think that much of himself?) and his description bears nothing in common with the qualities you’ve expressed you’re hoping to find in someone. Also, the woman he describes he’s looking for bears no resemblance to who you are. And—even better—according to JDate, this match is listed as 100 percent worthy.

I wouldn’t say I question JDate’s abilities in making assessments, but, included in the people who have checked me out are two women, who clearly state in their profiles that they are seeking men. Really don’t know how this occurred, as I never get to see women’s profiles while I browse possibilities. At least they weren’t listed as a 100 percent matches.

I am sure there are many almost unbelievable entries among the women who enroll, but, as stated, I never see their listings, so I can’t give my impressions. What I can write about are those profiles among the men’s listings I’ve seen that are just hard to believe.

Among first impressions are the photo issues. As stated, there are men who don’t put in their picture and those who overwhelm with pictures of themselves and particularly those in which they are posing with very attractive women. Are they trying to say, I really don’t need YOU?

Next are the ones who feature a photo that is anywhere from 20 to 40 years old and, in smaller pictures, one that is more recent. (Some don’t include the more recent ones.) My next favorite photo issue is the one in which the man is wearing an old, faded, T-shirt, in which he looks like a police mugshot, or as if, in general, he hasn’t smiled in many a moon. I appreciate, also, when the gentleman in question deems it important to let viewers know how handsome and good looking he is, just in case they can’t judge that for themselves.

The next turn-on is reading about The Perfect First Date. Exact quotes: “First, bringing my date flowers (roses, carnations), followed by a candlelight dinner with champagne, with me telling her how beautiful she looks and how sweet she is. This is followed by a long walk (holding hands and kissing), or a carriage ride, whichever she prefers.” And another: “A look that makes my knees weak, my mouth dry, and a lump in my throat. She will be feminine and sexy, have a dazzling smile, a twinkle in her eyes, and a warm handshake. Dinner and dancing will last for hours, but the time will fly by in seconds. PERFECT SECOND DATE: Reservations at a romantic restaurant, anticipations very high heart pumping, and when you arrive she says: ‘It’s raining out would you mind if we just ordered in tonight?’” Oh brother! Hearts twang, eyes sparkle, fireworks go off—instant connection! Really? I didn’t even think that when I was 17. Give me a break!

But my favorite is the age range desired. In the interest of full disclosure, I listed an age range from five years younger to five years older than myself. To me, that sounds reasonable. What I’ve learned when presented with a possible match, is to immediately go to the question: What age range woman are you looking for? This section has validated my JDate fees for the shock and amusement it’s provided. Examples: I just now found someone who is 72, been married 3 times, states he is very financially strapped and is looking for a woman 50 to 60. Really, what 50-year-old woman could resist that set-up? Others: man, 81, wants woman 35 to 52; man, 70, wants woman 35–42. Well, I could go on and on. I am just amazed that the average man, not George Clooney, not particularly good looking, in fact, often appearing much older than the age he claims to be, not wealthy, with really nothing exceptional to offer, thinks that a woman 20, 25, or 30 years younger than he would want to go out with him. Why would she? And the best of these are the ones between 60 and 85 who either aren’t sure whether or not they want children or who definitely do want children! What world do these men live in—especially the ones who state they make under $30,000 annually? Why would a woman 25 years younger be interested in them? And what does it say about what they think of themselves and, more, how they would relate to someone if they are so unrealistic?

Sometimes I see men whom I know, so I know they’re lying—significantly—about their age. What’s the point? There are men who are very blunt about the fact that they want, basically, a physical relationship, that they want arm candy (you need to wear Manolo Blahniks when going grocery shopping), and that’s okay. Who they are may not appeal to me, but at least they’re honest.

I have had a few attempted connections that have left me quite puzzled: men between the ages of 19 (man or boy?) and 44. Men from California, Poland, Belgium, England, and Israel. Really? That’s a long way to travel for a Saturday night date—especially those months when Shabbos ends so late!

I truly never anticipated being on this dating merry-go-round again. And, while I enjoyed it the first time, this current ride is leaving me feeling somewhat dizzy.

All the quotes I’ve used are from men who are far from this community and so would not see this article.

Nancy Silverman Zweibach can be contacted via http://www.thepsychspeaks.com. Responding to your need for workshops, evaluations, and psychotherapy.

By Nancy Silberman Zwiebach

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