Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mars & Venus Go To Shul: Jewish Dating Blogcarnival's Potentially Last Date

Blogcarnival! Probably the last one for a while, too, since people have stopped submitting posts and I simply don't have the time. Plus, I'm not convinced that anyone's been really reading this series, so I'll take June and July to reconsider, potentially reviving the Carnival in August, but we'll see. My favorite piece of news from recent weeks--which means, for those of you not following my sarcasm, my LEAST favorite piece of news--is that the Jewish singles "crisis" has been upgraded to "Tropical Storm David." Just kidding. But if an ad in a recent issue of the Jewish Week is to be believed, the crisis has indeed escalated, to the point that they're calling it a..."catastrophe." So in case you thought tsunamis or hurricanes or war or terrorism were catastrophes? I quote Inigo Montoya: "You keep on using that word...perhaps it doesn't mean what you think it means." But more on this later. The new ABC show "How to Get the Guy," is set in San Francisco and features Teresa Strasser, former host of "While You Were Out," as well as the former FOX 5 morning show correspondent who interviewed me about Rosh Hashanah in 2004. JTA reports on the JDate trip to Israel, which was advertising as a trip that was for ages 20s to 70s. (Why didn't I go?) and also informs of a Ukrainian Jewish singles site to help combat intermarriage in that region.
Attention Frumster Shoppers documents the end of his long-distance relationship, with humor and then with a more introspective post. AFS also shows his sense of humor with his utilization of Frumster screen names as lines of poetry. Sarah compares herself to Angelina Jolie. Sort of. And Writersbloc talks of alone time and wanting a certain kind of clutter in her space.
I'd love to say that every singles piece I read teaches me something. I wish I could summon the love for this piece from the Jewish Journal about online dating and how great it is. I'm thrilled that it took the writer, a veteran of years of long-term relationships, a matter of two short years to find someone special via the internet. But I can't. You read it, and maybe you'll be able to...
Cruises (and other things) cost more when you're single. Via the Jewish Standard comes this oddly disjointed piece that seems to make three points (life's cheaper when you're coupled; there should be some sort of rule for who pays when couples go out with singles; and in fact an entire book of etiquette is needed to help people cope with singles-related situations) or none at all. Full disclosure, I know the writer--she's a longtime family friend and talented writer/editor who's been very supportive of me. Which is one of the reasons that this piece is puzzling to me. If she's reading this, and wants me to comment in a follow-up piece, I'd be happy to.
Shmuley Boteach irks me again, this time with his response to a mother who's concerned about her 29 year old not finding her bashert. His advice takes several parts: 1) the mother should definitely get involved in helping her daughter meet men, 2) that the daughter needs to cut herself off from her friends and get really lonely. And I quote:
"When I counsel singles like your daughter, I tell them first to cut themselves off from their friends for three weeks. After three weeks, they'll really yearn and crave company. Then, they'll see a man as someone special instead of someone in whom they can find flaws. Second, I urge young people to observe the two-date rule: go on a second date no matter how bad the first date was. Don't dismiss people immediately, but instead learn to simply enjoy human company. It is usually those second dates that lead to real possibilities."
Second-date rules are probably a good idea generally speaking. But if a woman, say, in her mid-thirties, cuts herself off from her friends for three weeks, the result is less likely to be healthy dating and more likely to be depression and suicidal tendencies. When you're depressed, you make no one a good date or a companion. Or at least that's what my friends tell me. Here's wishing you all love, happiness and satisfaction. Have a great summer.

12 comments:

Ricardo said...

Rabbi Boteach has always annoyed me and that's the worst advice I've seen. Actually, he gives a lot of bad advice. As for the Jewish Journal piece, I find online dating sites frustrate me and destroy my ego as opposed to what it did for hers. It seems like she had fun with her experience. I haven't.

VJ said...

From my limited experience, I'd have to 2nd much of ricardo's remarks. And me, I like the blogcarnivals. It's often the only way folks have to keep up on the more obscure less traveled blogs. Often as not if I don't see anything much interesting in them for a few months, I'll rarely visit again. This gives folks a chance to catch up with those infrequent posters. So I do hope that you're using the time over the summer to earn some mad coin Esther. (There's many other productive ways to spend the summer, but you might as well be paid decently for this too!) Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

Anonymous said...

Hi Esther,

First of all, watched your foxtv interview. How wonderfully well-spoken and articulate you are!

As for Melanie's success with internet dating, I have two comments. First, notice that she is very attractive. That makes all the difference in the world. Unfortunately, this is the way the world is today. People who are 8s, 9s and 10s are going to have an easy time of it on internet dating sites. People who are 6s and 7s ... or less ... aren't. Secondly, jdate has a long list of success stories. We are always going to be able to read about success stories. Just put it in perspective and in proper context: How many people do you think have subscribed to and used jdate in the past ... say 5 years? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions (don't they advertise millions of clients?). How many success stories do you see and have you seen on their website in the past 5 years? Dozens? Hundreds? Possibly low-thousands? Big deal! The success ratio is miniscule, and certainly no better than any other way of meeting people.

As far as Rabbi Boteach is concerned, his motives are proper ... his methods are not. We all do need to try to find ways to see a date as someone special rather than someone in which we can find flaws. I'm afraid many of us are guilty of this type of attitude. As for cutting off your friends for 3 weeks, that's ridiculous ... but then again, you're talking about a man who counsels Michael Jackson! What many of us need is either the ability to self-reflect and make "adjustments" in our dating attitudes and "modus operendi" ... or maybe even some sessions with a dating coach or behavioral therapist who can help us work through the same issues. No one likes to think that they are going to have to compromise or settle. But the plain pragmatic facts are that as we get older ... if we haven't met anyone yet, we do have to self-reflect and ask ourselves why. Being more open-minded and less critical upon meeting someone initially ... or upon making a decision on whether to even consider someone for a date or not ... or by going out on a 2nd or 3rd date with someone ... is NOT settling. There are many people who have had PROVEN success with this technique. It doesn't do anyone any harm, and you might even enjoy it. So I'm all for the concept and objective of the Rabbi's statement, just not for his methods.

Blogger S.

ptwelve said...

Miss Jewish Journal didn't altogether meet a guy via online dating. She already knew and liked him. It's more of a coincidence, akin to running into him at the supermarket, than an online dating success in its pure and failure-prone form.

Tamara said...

I didn't know you needed material. You could have used any of my stories with TikkunGer :) LOL....Hope you're well.

Jennifer R said...

It seems to me that Boteach's entire MO is "You're too picky and need to settle ASAP." Which is just depressing, especially given what the term bashert is actually supposed to mean. It shouldn't mean "that guy on JDate that wants to get married, but other than that has little or no appeal, so I'd better grab him now." How happy are you going to be with that? I TRIED settling for people I don't like, and I hated every minute of it.

And comparing friends to lovers with regards to loneliness is pretty stupid. My friends aren't going to be around all the time the way a (presumably live-in) SO is more likely to be. One doesn't necessarily 100% make up for the other.

So, "be so lonely you will settle for ANYONE?" Awful advice!

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's one area where the Rabbi is right. Many ... if not most of us are too fussy ... especially the ones who are still out there and single in our late 30s and 40s. Sorry, I happen to agree with him on that one. I do acknowledge what you are saying though ... I've tried to date people that I just wasn't that "into" and I was very unhappy. But that could be just because I haven't found the right one yet. Point is ... it really does you no harm to give someone a chance. Not saying you have to force yourself to be in a relationship with him ... but there are just too many instances of people not being what they appear to be on the outside once you get to know them (you know ... never judge a book by its cover?).

Blogger S.

Eve said...

I COMPLETELY agree with your assessment of Rabbi Boteach's advice and I could not, nor will I try, to say it better myself.

Needsabetterjob said...

Yes, Shmuely is such a blowhard. A chicken hawk. What amazes me is that his idiot show is getting enough ratings to warrant another season.

Are people so bored, stupid, and camotose that they drink this piece of garbage, like a nice tall glass of water?

ebbye said...

speaking as a single 30 year old Jewish girl, what makes me laugh is it always seems to be that there must be SOMETHING wrong with the girl, so cut off your friends and stop looking for flaws and that sad lonely desperate balding guy with no personality will be perfect for you! lol. I truly believe it works both ways and that all this advice won't make a difference in the end!

partygirljessica said...

one thing i have to say about online dating is that people should be open minded about it. i know people who are successful and i also know people who aren't. it's just up for you to take a chance when there's really nothing to lose. when i signed up at webdatedotcom i just opened up to the possibility of finding true love. i did and i'm really happy. :)

dianne_lone said...

I think there is nothing REALLY wrong about online dating. I do that when I'm bored or during sleepless nights. I registered in webdate*com so I'd be able to mingle with more people and be able to have an active social life. Plus, you gain friends and make you learn about more things through intelligent conversations. There is really nothing to lose. Instead, there is more experience to gain. =)