Thursday, April 28, 2005

Technology: Dating Friend, or Foe?

I need your help, my readers and friends: Does Internet-based technology (email or IM) help or hinder romance?
  1. How far into a relationship do you exchange email/IM info?
  2. Do you think people communicate better or worse over email/IM?
  3. How do you prefer to communicate with potential dates? (Phone, email, IM?) Why do you prefer that method over others?
  4. Have you ever misunderstood someone in IM/email that has led you to heartbreak or disappointment?
  5. Do you think the IM window is a better or worse way to get to know someone?
  6. Have you found that your online impression of someone (through IM or email or even through blogging) is different from how they really are in person? Has that been difficult for you to accept?
Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section, or email me with your response. Please indicate your age, location, profession (especially if you're in a tech field) and whether you'd like to be quoted by name or by a pseudonym. Your help is appreciated!

Can a Blog Have a Paper Anniversary?

If it can, JDaters Anonymous's Paper Anniversary is today. One year of kvetching about dating, online and off, sharing ideas and stories with others who are struggling and who have struggled in their searches for love. One year of discovering the quirks of JDate and the quirks of the people who inhabit the site: some are people who are very much like us, and others are, well, not. I've learned a lot this year. Hopefully, you have too. Let's recommit to the community we're becoming. And to the prospect and hope of finding someone to love. If these crazy kids can make a go of it, maybe we can too. Happy birthday, JDaters Anonymous!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lies Lies Lies, Yeah

And now, from the "News That Isn't Really News" Department... just released a study that confirms what we already suspected to be true: that online daters lie about what they really look like. I know what you're asking: What's Think of it as Epinions for online dating profiles:, providing today's online daters with the ability to read or review the truthfulness of people¹s dating profiles, asked its users which quality online daters are most likely to exaggerate in their dating profiles. Men and women both said the two qualities most likely to be misrepresented were weight and overall physical appearance.

"Amazon has book reviews, TrueDater provides dating profile reviews. Based on ourfree service, we are encouraging online daters to pledge honesty not only in their profiles, but in their everyday lives and a growing movement is championing this effort," said Jason Jordan, TrueDater Co-Founder.

Users were asked what qualities online daters exaggerate or lie about most often. Choices were: height, weight, age, income, marital status, physical appearance and "other."

  • 34% of the respondents chose weight, with physical appearance coming in at 27%.
  • Male voters ranked weight first with 45%, and physical appearance second with 20%.
  • Marital status ranked third with 13%, all others received 10% or less.
  • With female voters, general physical appearance ranked first with 36% of the vote, followed by weight (19%) and age (16%).

Surprisingly, female voters said men were more likely to exaggerate weight and appearance than height and income level. Also, more men than women complained that online daters had been dishonest about their marital status.

Very interesting results. Although the imbalance noted in the last paragraph (anecdotally, I know the situation to be just the opposite) has me wondering how many people they interviewed for this survey. One last note that will sound familiar to my regular readers. There are certain elements of physical appearance that are objective, and will be learned/observed/discovered when we first meet someone. Height is one of these elements: if you're 5'5 and tell me you're 5'8, and if "5'8" you and "5'5" me are looking into each other's eyes without the aid of heels when we finally meet, then I know, you've lied. Does the height matter that much, especially if the personality and humor are a match? Not to me. (Especially on JDate: I tend to automatically deduct 2-3 inches from the stated height in a JDater's profile. For some reason Jewish guys seem to have no idea how tall they are.) But the fact that you lied? That matters a bit. And it might make a girl wonder what else you're hiding... And in terms of the lying about weight thing, I just need to reiterate that while weight is by definition an objective measure (even a non-science oriented person like me understands that a pound is a pound), weight looks different on different people. It can depend on how muscular a person is, how tall s/he is, the build, where s/he wears his/her weight, etc. Because of those variables, I think the "frame" descriptor is better than listing a numerical weight. Unless I'm your boxing coach (or you're mine) and we're prepping for a match, I maintain that there's no need to determine whether we're lightweights, middleweights or heavyweights. I also think it goes without saying that sometimes an internal attraction can alter a perception of physical beauty. There's also another component...I'm reminded of that scene from The Matrix, wherein Neo is in the simulation for the first time, and he sees himself in a certain way. Morpheus explains to him that this is the way he sees himself (even though in the "outside" world, he wears sackcloth and has all these connectors up his spine and in his head). Because we all see ourselves a certain way, we may be unable to see why a photo might be construed as an underestimation or overestimation of our physical assets. I may (theoretically) see myself as "fit" or "muscular" while someone else might describe me as "average," "overweight," "medium," or even (in the Jewish world with my 5 feet and 5 inches) "tall." In our heads, we're all individual Neos. But how each individual set of eyes in each person in the world sees us? We can't control that. As for, who knows if it will take off. I guess that depends on how many people feel they'd like to review their dates for the site. And how many people will tune into this new site as a vetting process to decide whether or not the person's worth going out with. And whether people will be able to distinguish the lies that matter from the unwitting misrepresentations that we undoubtedly all make when describing ourselves to others.

Welcome, New Readers

Just wanted to welcome any new readers who might be here because of Ken Wheaton's Metro article about bloggers who blog their dates... Posting's a little light this week due to Passover, but there's lots of stuff already here, so stick around, peruse the archives and new posts will be with you shortly! Got questions? Email me, and I'll gladly answer. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wookin' Pa Nub

I'm sorry, I cheated on you. I did a blog post over at Jewlicious that I thought the boys there would consume with a sharklike frenzy. But alas, it received no love. I was, as Buh-weet might have sung back in the day, "Wookin' Pa Nub in Aww Da Wong Paces." Was that because the post itself wasn't as compelling as I'd thought? Or because it was overshadowed by subsequent posts about the election of a new Pope? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was blogkarmic retribution for not looking for love somewhere other than in my own blogyard... I've learned my lesson. Next time, if it's a good JDaters post, I'll post it here first (and cross-post it later...) Putting the "Man" Back in "Afikoman": Craigslist Personals for a Satisfying Pesach

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tired of Endless Dating? Might As Well Eat...

According to Reuters in London, speed dating is out, and "feed dating" is in, "where the love-hungry can at least enjoy a good meal if they don't find romance." Meeting people at dinner parties has become the most popular way for Britons in their 30s to find a new partner, according to a survey by food firm Geest. Of 1,000 single people, 34 percent said they wanted to combine food with flirting -- with a safety net of having friends with them if the dinner date went pear-shaped. Because JDaters Anonymous is a service-based weblog, we are pleased to provide you with this handy list of things to avoid when "feed dating": 1. The Blooming Onion (greasy oil all over face and hands is almost never a portent of romance) 2. Any garlic-based dishes (no explanation is required, is it?) 3. Pesto (believe me, this one is bad--no matter how many times you try to dislodge the stuff from the crevices between your teeth, it's not coming out until you brush it out with some Crest or Colgate later at home...) 4. Poppy seed bagels (see "pesto") 5. Deli (deli is not sexy...except maybe pastrami, with its blend of pungent spices, which can get stuck in your teeth, see "pesto") 6. Red wine (it stains your teeth almost instantly, and certain colors of long-wearing lipstick actually can also pick up the tint, creating a "clown mouth" effect...don't ask me how I know that...) 7. Grapefruit (no way to eat this and not spritz your date in the eye with a blinding spray of citrus) 8. Chocolate (because of the teeth thing--see "pesto"--, and because it may remind you that you have no need for companionship of the opposite sex) 9. Matzah (crumbles into a million specks that will instantly adhere to clothing and make you look like you suffer from gargantuan dandruff) 10. Pasta with red sauce (because you will ALWAYS spill it all over yourself, especially if you're wearing white) Not quite the Ten Commandments. But I think they're decent suggestions.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Equal Time: Enter the Anti-Gump

Usually, we present the female perspective here on JDaters Anonymous. But I read this article by Matt Lipeles in the Jewish Journal and thought I'd share it with you, in the interest of equal time and for the purpose of discussion. In the article, titled "The Love Impaired," Matt writes: But it really got me to thinking, what is love anyway? I bet you thought I was going to answer that question, didn’t you? Well, I can’t. That’s the point. I don’t know. I’m 37 and single. I’m a relationship moron. I’m romantically impaired. I don’t know what I’m doing — at all. (Matt, don't worry. None of us know what we're doing. Partially because everyone's different. And partially because of John Hughes movies and Sex and the City.) He continues: But, before we go looking for solutions to this problem, maybe it would be worthwhile to take a look at past generations. Why was it so easy for them anyway? Maybe it was because they had matchmakers and arranged marriages. It used to be that your parents would arrange a match for you and, unless you found your intended completely repulsive, you married them. Boom. Just like that. So Matt got me to thinking...would it be better/easier/more results-oriented for us to revert to a more antiquated system of relating, dating and mating? Then we could spend our time worrying about things other than dating and emerge from whatever bubbles of insecurity that we've been hiding in throughout our dating years...romance could be created within the context of a relationship between two people who are empirically likely to be compatible. Or would you change nothing, and maintain the agita, the slings and arrows, the misunderstood emails, misconstrued IMs and misinterpreted gestures of the dating process? Your ideas to be discussed here, please...

Good News for the Single Druse

Welcome to (I know what you're thinking: "They don't look Drusish.") In a culture distinguished by its privacy and closely guarded traditions, Web sites like are revolutionizing the Druse dating scene. The Druse are a small and distinct religious group that broke with Islam about a thousand years ago; their communities are mainly in Lebanon, Syria and northern Israel. Because the Druse do not accept converts, a strong emphasis is placed on self-preservation through marrying within the Druse community. While is the first all-Druse dating site, there is evidence that Druse singles have been using the Internet as a dating tool for years. A quick look at the message board of the American Druze Society in Washington, DC (, shows personal ads being posted on the message board as early as 2000. While most of the ads list the typical requirements – apparently "nice face" and "slimness" play an equally important role in the American Druse community as in the general American one – many ads rant about the "closed-ness" of the Druse community. "Druse girls are impossible to date," wrote one frustrated user. "They expect so much and think they can be so picky. I am going to give up on them soon, and start dating white chicks!" That whole construct of men wanting women to have nice faces and be slim while complaining that it's the women who are picky? Sounds awfully familiar to me. I really wonder how many of these complaints are universal dating issues, how many are indigenous to strongly affiliated tribal cultures, and how many are 21st century societally impacted. More at Jewlicious.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Where the Pets Go

So, we all knew that there was an online dating site for everyone under the sun, with every conceivable interest. Now, pet lovers can find lovers who love pets and love to pet the pets and their pet-lovers: Pet-love sites are the latest of the breed. AnimalAttraction--"the meeting place for pet owners"--says it is reaching out to the estimated 40 million people in the United States who walk their dogs or curl up with their cats alone. Meanwhile, at, a site with about 400 subscribers, Bruno the Chihuahua greets singles with the site's motto: "Date me, date my dog." Not to be confused with "Date me, even though I'm a dog." Just sayin'. Hat tip: Chicago Tribune

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The More You Know, JDaters Anonymous-style

A friend wrote me yesterday about a friend of hers. I'd file this under "Be Careful" and "The More You Know." And just to clarify, I'm not saying that this kind of thing only happens on JDate. It just pays to be careful. Last week a friend went on a JDate. It was a her first date with the guy. He took her to dinner and a bar. He walked her home and asked to use her bathroom. She let him up and he proceeded to brutally rape her. The DA is working on the case so I can't reveal much but I do want to warn you. His name is Devon or Devin, he's 33 and lives in Brooklyn. Apparently his profile is still up but I don't know what it is. Please be careful and don't let anyone up to your apartment if you do not know him!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

April 6, Rants & Raves, 7pm (JCC of Manhattan)

For readers in the New York area: REMINDER--APRIL 6, 7pm JCC of Manhattan (Upper West Side) "J-Dating in NYC" Rants & Raves dating discussion moderated by JDaters Anonymous proprietress Esther D. Kustanowitz $10 members/$15 nonmembers (includes wine and discussion) Program description: It started with JDate and now we’ve got Jmerica, JKarma, JSoulMate and JGreat. Raise your hand if you need a break! Join a group of other 20- and 30-somethings for some ranting and raving about dating, living and loving in New York City. New York Jewish Week singles columnist, Esther D. Kustanowitz, who knows this terrain, will moderate. She is proprietress of two blogs, My Urban Kvetch and JDaters Anonymous. BYOD (bring your own dinner) and we'll provide the wine! Old Program Code: RANTS/JYOW5 Click the above link to register, or just show up at the door. Hope to see you there!