Last week, I had an enlightening discussion with some colleagues about dating – and it was inevitable that we ended up talking about Jdate. While I do know a handful of people who married someone they met through the site, I can’t help but note that for the majority of current and past Jdaters (at least those I know), it hasn’t been so successful – but not by the fault of the site.

there is even a book!

there is even a book!

First of all, Jdate success seems to depend on your geographic location. In this small town, Jewish dating options are extremely limited, so it’s not such a surprise that Jdate options here are even more so. In addition, it’s hard to weed out the sketchy and skeevy ones when you’re communicating online and judging people through a few pictures and a profile they’ve surely spent hours perfecting.

Then there are those non-J-daters. They come in two varieties: those who have no qualms about telling you outright or describing themselves in their profile as non-Jews and  those who “will tell you later”. It makes very little sense to me why they’re on Jdate – I guess it stems back to those stereotypes. Maybe the female non-Js are looking for a nice Jewish lawyer or doctor and the male non-Js are looking for their own Monica Lewinsky? I highly doubt you’d find a Jewish person on a Catholic dating website…but maybe I’m wrong.

And when you look at the education level requirements for one’s ideal match, it’s shocking to me that any man with a bachelors or masters degree, even some with a JD, PhD or MD are OK with dating women with just a high school diploma…really? REALLY? Something about that seriously bothers me and should bother you as well.

As a final point – I joined Jdate for a short time after my last relationship. It was only to make my mother happy. Just three weeks after the breakup, she was pestering me to “get on Jdate and meet someone” already. Why do (some) Jewish moms think that by joining Jdate, their recently single or even perpetually single son or daughter will miraculously find love? Let me say that I didn’t find anything through Jdate other than some seriously awkward first dates and hundreds of profile views from creepy older men. But if any other moms have reacted to a child’s breakup in the same way, one has to wonder how many miserable sons or daughters are on Jdate just to make her stop bothering them.

I’m not anti Jdate, or any online dating site. I just think that everything and everyone warrants a second look, especially when it comes to dating.

About the author

arielle

36 Comments

  • I am not anti-dating. If I wasn’t so busy creating the Vilnius Jewish Library, I would be out there looking for a date right now. 🙂

  • My mother pushed me to get on Jdate the day after we broke up and we got back together again a week later. OY!!!

    I was not very impressed with Jdate. Way overpriced and overrated.

    I never understood the non-J’s either. Since we are going to a J site what makes them think we’d be interested?

  • not really sure… but the better question is, why are moms pushing daughters to use online dating services so soon after breakups?

  • Arielle,

    I’ll answer that one even though I’m a father, don’t have a child who dates and have never used JDate myself: because she loves you and knows the ex-boyfriend was either a putz or a jerk.

    Now that you’re free, rather than letting you wallow in self misery, or possibly even get back together with the jerk (who is such a jerk that you might get married and then end up finding out he’s a jerk afterward in which case getting rid of him is going to be much tougher and impossible if kids have been born), she wants you to see for yourself that there are other men out there, many of whom are putzes but a couple of whom are worthy of your time.

    Worst case scenario, you have fun with somebody instead of weeping for the lost putz; best case scenario, you find that one special guy who is right for you and isn’t a putz. After all, it’s kinda like looking for a job: you only need one good one for now. 😉

  • “you only need [to find] one good one” That’s what my mother always says. Until now I thought she made that one up. It’s probably a Yiddish proverb. I’m so disappointed

  • I don’t speak Yiddish and I’ve never heard anybody use that phrase before other than yours truly. I thought I was being clever.

    Oh wait, I was! And so was your mother. 😉

  • I’m with Mia, maybe, what’s the problem with dating someone in a different education bracket?

  • Well, if a Ph.D. in Biology hooks up with a Ph.D. in Classics with a focus on Greek Mythology, will they have something to talk about?

    Is the assumption here that levels of education determine intellect or curiosity about things?

  • i’m not saying that it has to be any particular way. it just doest make sense to me. and there doesnt need to be a match in education.

  • and one thing i didnt mention but is related to the education thing – these same guys who are interested in dating someone with “some high school” up to a doctorate are also interested in dating people of any religious sect. there’s not even the slightest bit of discernment or definitive answer to what they’re looking for.
    for example this guy who looked at my profile before is looking for someone whose religious background is: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox (Frum), Orthodox (Baal Teshuva), Modern Orthodox, Traditional, Conservadox, Hassidic, Reconstructionist, Another Stream of Judaism, Secular.
    and whose education level is: Elementary, High School, Some College, Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, JD/Ph.D/Postdoctoral

    come on!

  • OK, that pisses me off too but I guess for some men, if she’s breathing and has girl parts, that’s plenty good enough.

  • Okay, but that’s just some schmuck who wants to get laid and telegraphs that message clearly. I’d be less worried about him and more worried about the schmuck who wants to get laid but pretends to be seeking long term relationships and targeting the women who seek them. That’s the guy who ends up wasting their time and sapping their strength as people.

  • sapping their strength as people? that’s pretty extreme. There are so many of these guys who click all the options and by doing so (hopefully) turn off all of us who are intelligent & self-respecting.
    And I think my point is, they’re all dbags trying to get laid.

  • Ok, my sis doesn’t read Jewlicious, so I can share her dating site story. 🙂

    She’d subscribed to a German “friend” site (which is widely known to be for dating) and picked a username she probably found apt. The way I learnt about the name was that she’d checked her current “views” on my laptop, and I’d activated autocomplete. My best friend and my younger brother were hanging out with me when my sis was using my laptop, so after my sis had left, and we had wondered why she’d acted so strangely, we looked into the browser history, and then it only just took us going through the alphabet to find out about her username. Anyhow, I misread her username and read it out aloud as something that would translate as “snot cat” while it actually meant “red cat”. Ever since, the “snot cat” has stuck with my sis as a code name among friends and family.

    As for her success on that site, she met somebody she was with for about a year, and it was quite clear from the start that this wasn’t going to end well. Both had described themselves rather favourably on their profiles, and it appears he had mostly joined the site to escape his mother’s nagging (which spread onto about any gf he had ever had; her wish for him to get active in restricted dating basically was a way of controlling his dating behaviour).

    Rule-of-thumb, leave your mothers out of your dating lives. A sound partner will respect your mother, but will not want a mere copy or a willing puppet of hers for a partner. Be yourself if you want somebody to like / love the true you.

    There are dating venues that reek of despair, e.g. parties designed for over thirty-year-olds are nicknamed “leftover-fucking” or “rotting meat parties” here. This isn’t nice, but you get the idea.

  • As someone who met and married his spouse from an internet date (going on eight years married), I want to tell you it CAN happen. But you have to keep some things in mind:

    First, you know how when you go to Marshall’s there’s a lot of stuff that is complete excrement? But occasionally you will find that one thing that is an absolute MUST HAVE? Well – guess what – the same is true for dating sites. Most of what’s there should be in the “mark-down” aisle, but sometimes, your beshert will be there looking for a nice jewish man or woman.

    Second, why did most of you (I’d venture to say….) take prep courses before taking your SATs? BECA– USE IT INCREASED YOUR CHANCES, THAT’S WHY!!! Well, do you know ever Jewish single in the world? Does your mother or other family members? Uh, no. So going to the Jewish dating site of your choice merely increases your chances!

    And last, stop all this worry about educational level. The likelihood that your eventual spouse will be exactly what you THINK you’re looking for is virtually nil. Disparities in education, experience and outlook can be wonderful.

    Just get married. It’s a wonderful thing. Most of the time. 🙂

  • oh smug marrieds.

    i’m not suggesting what anyone else should be doing for their dating life. Just expressing myself and my feelings about my experience with Jdate. I do know a few people who have met and married someone through Jdate, but I think it might be the exception to the rule

  • Arielle, curious as to what other ways you’ve met potential dates? I always wonder this question out of curiosity, because most people I know meet someone through family, friends, work, classes, etc; that is, settings where they have the chance to be close to someone for sometime and observe them, thus ruling them eligible or not. I’m not saying that this is right or wrong; I’d like to open the discussion up to how people meet other people in general, if possible.

  • when i first moved here, people set me up with guys they wanted me to date. the problem with that was that no one really knew me and just set me up with any single jewish guy without concern for what they were like, or what I am like.
    i’m not complaining about my dating life, just analyzing my experience with jdate.

  • Oh my sister and me always had a great time when she showed me her JDate account. And guess what her now husband is someone she met on JDate.
    I met my husband at a party and he wasn’t looking for a wife that night. But he looked like prime husband material to me, so I made it happen. Moral of the story, don’t be too picky about what someone marked or didn’t mark at a given moment. I don’t think you can judge anyone by anything less that some kind of conversation or interaction (messages).

    By the way my husband and I studies in the same education in the same field. We even work in similar professions but we never talk those things at home.

  • In my experience, the ratio of quality dates (and relationships) available through JDate to off JDate is somewhere around 20 to 1.

  • I’m a non Jew, actually Italian, and I have dated several woman on J-Date, specially in my affluent North Shore area of Long Island and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I might actually prefer to date Jewish women if it is ok with you!?! Actually I may be doing the Jewish community a service and I seem in demand in some way also having a Bachelors Degree,a quick wit, and an outgoing personality. My gripe with J-Date is after your subscription lapses, the other members send messages to non-subscribers thinking they are messaging a fellow member with the ability to respond. Free members mainly fill the roles yet they aren’t functional and if I was paying for such a site at least I should be informed about this or who is a full member. Shame on J-Date for misrepresenting themselves and collecting all that money! If a guy doesn’t answer, he’s a cheap date and isn’t paying for the service – or is way too smart to shell out those high fees. I believe they allowed Instant Messaging to non-subscribers in the past but recently took that away also upon their last software upgrade. Again, without informing members. Just try and look up these details in their HELP or FAQ section.

  • jdate is a waste of time and money. no one drinks and no one smokes. give me a break. i took a woman out from jdate. her profile read that she was a non smoker. she smoked half my pack of cigarettes while she was drinking which she said she didn’t in her profile. i dated two other women from the sight who smoke pot. that was fine with me. the women on jdate come across as goody two shoes. they need to get real, and most need to place a photo that isn’t 15 years old. i won’t join it again.

  • I could not agree more!!!
    I have been on the site for 7 months now for the same reason… I was with a non Jewish guy and wanted to marry him, my mom freaked out, we broke up and I challenged myself to 50 Jewish Dates… Neddless to say I am at 38 dates, have not found anyone and have blogged about every date along the way!!! I would love for you to check out my blog 50jdates.blogspot.com! P.S.I love your blog, we should chat!!!

  • So long, JDate.com (a very short play)

    MFD: Hello, Lydia, I’m your Fantasy Date tonight. Nice to meet you.

    LS: Hi. I must say, you are very attractive. In fact, you are considerably more attractive than anyone I have ever gone out with.

    MFD: Thanks for saying so. I am also well-groomed and I smell good.

    LS: Are you on a dating site? How did you find me?

    MFD: It’s beshert! Nah, I read your terrific bio online. Your pictures are really cute and your fake age is easily believable. And, I’m into short women, as long as they aren’t too slender.

    LS: Cool. What about you? What do you like to do in your free time?

    MFD: Hey, I am your Fantasy Date. Our interests, politics and outlook on life are absolutely compatible. Besides, I’d much rather pretend to be interested in what you have to say.

    LS: Well, um, er . . .

    MFD: . . . don’t worry at all about making a good impression. I like you a lot already.

    LS: This is turning out very well. Did you have anything in mind to do this evening?

    MFD: Dinner and theater? I’m thinking either sushi or Middle Eastern. Then, would you prefer a big downtown musical or a little off-loop storefront production? I have heard great things about both. If you prefer, we can stay home. I’ll cook dinner, then we can make out.

    fin

  • Old topic, new development. Jdate now requires users to subscribe (i.e. pay) not only to read incoming email, but also to accept incoming IM chat requests. i.e. Both sides have to pay! I bet that most paying subscribers don’t realize that 9/10 of the email messages they send CANNOT be read by the recipient and that 9/10 of IM Chat requests CANNOT be accepted by the recipients. Jdate is sleazy beyond belief. Oh, the company that owns Jdate also runs a parallel service for non-Jews – at half-price. Jdate just oozes sleaze…

  • I cannot believe the negativity, snippiness & eliticism i’ve been reading here. For example, the one by Froylein who stated as follows:
    There are dating venues that reek of despair, e.g. parties designed for over thirty-year-olds blah blah.

    Has that poster considered the over-50 “geriatrics” like myself, prior to posting? Besides, none of you begin to know the meaning of despair. FYI, IMO, it’s the teflon youngsters of today who are causing all the despair you see in the world today.

    And Froylein is but one example of why i’m so totally turned off by the overtechnified, underempathized ME-generation, which can also be considered the DB-generation.

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