Posted by Ilana Angel
My last three long-term relationships were all with men I met on JDate. I only date Jewish men and so it makes sense that JDate would be my online dating site of choice. By choice of course I mean it is a necessary evil in the day and age we live in. JDate works if you are willing to take your time, not get discouraged, and remember that is its not JDate that works, it is you.
I would never have met these men where it not for JDate and I am grateful for that. The relationships ending had nothing to do with JDate and so my bad feelings towards JDate are not for the service they provide, but for the services they do not provide. JDate cares about money and money is important, but without customers they make no money, so we should matter.
I’m not a programmer and know nothing about how dating sites work, but if we live in a world where a man can walk on the moon and Kim Kardashian can become a millionaire for being a whore, then can’t JDate find a way to make their customers more important than money? It’s not brain surgery, it’s dating. We are paying to be there, so why not make it the best it can be?
JDate is a place for Jews to meet Jews, or those who are not Jewish but want to date Jews, can meet Jews. No matter how you describe it, JDate is for Jews. In reading one of their “Success Stories”, they felt the need to explain what aliyah was. Really? Jews know what aliyah is, and it is a site created for Jews, so why insult our Jewish intelligence with this crap?
I received an email this week on JDate by a man who has the exact same pictures posted that he had 10 years ago. Ten years. Would it be that hard for JDate to require their members to post current pictures? If they can see a picture has not been uploaded in ten years can’t they tell that member to supply a recent photo? All it does it help those who are serious.
People lie when dating online. It is typical, expected, entertaining, silly, fascinating, sad, and at the end of the day, not the end of the world. It’s just dating. If you meet someone based on certain things they say, and they are something else, don’t date them again. There are always risks involved in dating, even with people who are honest with you. It is a crapshoot.
I’m not expecting JDate to investigate every person who joins, just to help out in the most basic of ways. People will continue to lie because is the nature of the beast. People are lonely and desperate, but also hopeful and excited to meet someone new, so we all get it that there may be a stretching of the truth. It is human nature to want people to like you.
JDate needs to be a little more mensch, and a little less bitch. They need to remember that we are, for the most part, Jewish people, and there is a certain level of decency that we require from other members of the tribe. We will happily pay for their service, but we want to feel like they want to help us, not just take our money, laugh at us, and run to the bank.
I have written countless articles about JDate and my experiences with both dating men from their site, and the people who run the site. A few years back they contacted me and I met a couple of their employees for lunch, only to discover that JDate is completely out of touch with the majority of their users, which is a real shame because it doesn’t need to be like that.
I don’t know who runs JDate these days, but I’d love to have a chat with them. By chat of course I mean I would like to have a serious conversation with someone who is not 20 years old with no clue of what it means to date online. I don’t need to speak with a computer programmer or a membership specialist, I want to talk to someone who actually cares about me.
I am freaking hilarious! JDate does not care about me. They do not care about my opinion. They do care about my money and the fact is that they will continue to get it because JDate can and does work. While perhaps a little fragile this time around, I am a believer in love and know that love can be found in weird places, and nothing is weirder than the Internet.
I wrote the man with the ten year old pictures and let him know that I knew his pictures were ten years old. He informed me that I didn’t need to worry about it because he looks exactly the same. You need a tough skin to date online. You need a sense of humor and lots of wine to date on JDate. At the end of the day you just cross your fingers, and keep the faith.
12.21.13 at 9:03 am |
12.19.13 at 2:57 am | My son has a free schlepping service.
12.12.13 at 8:05 am | Well played my son. Well played.
12.11.13 at 6:58 am | I watch in awe and stare with envy at these. . .
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
12.3.13 at 3:05 pm | Every time I go into the kitchen I half expect to. . .
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (394)
7.25.11 at 5:38 pm | We need more Jews! (292)
12.19.13 at 2:57 am | My son has a free schlepping service. (260)
May 17, 2013 | 5:27 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I had a coffee date yesterday that proved what I have always known: coffee dates don’t really work for me. It is an unnatural meeting and feels more like a job interview. I am too old, too intelligent, and frankly too cute, to play these dating games. If someone is interested in me, we should go out for a meal or a walk, not sit in a coffee shop checking off a list we have in our heads to determine if we want to go on a real date.
Not every date is going to lead to love, or sex, or even a second date, but at this stage of my life I can sit with a stranger, even if there is no physical or intellectual attraction, and have a conversation. Having that conversation sitting in a room with a bunch of other people having the same conversations is not cool. There are a million and one things that two people can talk about on a date, and having something in common is not required.
Why not take a leap of faith and meet for a real date instead of a quickie? Listen, quick can be good sometimes, but not on a date. Well that is not true because I have left a date after 5 minutes, but that was not a date as much as escaping someone dangerous. A cup of coffee is not a date. If I am going to go on a date I want it to be a real date. If I meet my Beshert I don’t want to look back on our first date as a quickie over coffee.
Each bad date gets you one step closer to love. It could also get you one step closer to getting a cat and an IV of wine, but either way, it is one step closer to something. My date last night was a lovely man. He is attractive, funny, open, and charming. It was impossible however to know if there was any connection. I meet my girlfriends for a cup of coffee. I go out with my son for a coffee to catch up. Coffee with a stranger is strange.
So, I have made an executive decision. No more coffee dates for me. They are awkward and weird, and I am not doing them anymore. I will exchange emails, I will talk with them on the phone, and I will invest enough time into a stranger for them to not want to be a stranger anymore. Then we can have lunch, or dinner, or go for a walk, or meet for a cocktail. Important to note that meeting for a cocktail is not the same as a coffee.
Meeting up for a cocktail, feels like a date, not an interview. I think most women would dress differently for a coffee than they would a cocktail. For example, I am wearing flats to coffee and heels to a drink. I am wearing lip-gloss to a coffee and lipstick to a drink. Subtle but important differences that change the vibe from that of work to pleasure. Dating is work, but should still be fun and not feel like a chore. Dating should be fun.
Sometimes I crack myself up. Dating should be fun? Dating is not fun. There is actually nothing fun about dating at all. Dating is brutal. It is full of angst and pressure. There is excitement of course, but it comes from the possibilities of where it could lead, not an actual date. Dating is just the vehicle used to find love. I am easing back into dating and as long as I stay away from coffee shops, I will be able to keep the faith.
May 14, 2013 | 4:36 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
The process of dating is really hard. When you are going on a series of first dates, it is also exhausting. It takes a lot of time to get ready, to engage in banter with a stranger, to convince yourself that you want to be there, and not at home in your pajamas with a glass of wine. Dating is simply a means to an end, and everyone’s ending is different. Some end in love, some end in sex, and many end with the simple hope that the next one will be better.
When we meet someone new for the first time we may think we are meeting Prince Charming, when in fact we are having dinner with someone more like Ted Bundy. It is actually quite scary and if I thought about it for too long, I would talk myself out of ever dating again. When I factor in my child, I think he should never date either. Dating is a risky business. The risk is too high for just sex, so I hope for love, and try to limit my expectations.
People are on their best behavior when dating, usually, and it is only with time that we learn all the details that make them who they are. Sometimes we never learn, or perhaps learn too much, but is it time that truly allows you to know who you are dating? Love is blind, which make us blind to the red flags that come with loving someone. How someone treats you when you are dating is important, but is that how they will be with you long term?
Are we are able to see clearly when blinded by love? When dating, is the hope for love enough to blind us? Why are we so easily blinded in all the ways that make love grand, but also in all the ways that break our hearts? That is the thing about love, there are no guarantees. Love makes people crazy. It also makes smart people stupid, kind people mean, funny people bitter, and nice Jewish girls pray to Jesus for their hearts to mend.
It turns out that Love is a bitch. Love teaches you how to fly, then breaks your wings. How can Love be so grand, and also be so bitter? Love and Karma must be sisters. Bitches. I know they are women because men are just not smart enough to screw us over like they do, which says a lot considering how much men screw us over. I am too scared and too smart to date for sex, so I’m stuck looking for Love. God help me. Wait, God help her too.
I am over Love and her devilish ways so I am not going to put up with her games anymore. I am looking for Love and when I find her, I am going to kick her ass. I am going show her who is boss. In return she will respect me, and my heart. She will treat me with dignity and decency and allow our time together to be grand and not hurtful. I am now talking about Love in the way that only a crazy person can. Damn her for doing this to me.
Dating sucks. It sucks a little more when you are 47 and surprised to find yourself dating again. There are fun parts of it of course, but still, it sucks. The real struggle is not to find Love, but to find the strength to keep trying, to avoid the animal shelter, and to not do permanent damage to your liver. Love is grand. She is also mean, nasty, vindictive, sarcastic and a pain in the ass. The only shot in hell I have to find her, is by keeping the faith.
May 11, 2013 | 12:44 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
In honor of Mother’s Day, I am submitting my mother's blog and would like to give 17 reasons as to why my Mother is the best, on account of the fact that is how many Mother’s Days she has had.
1. She is extremely uplifting. She tells me how proud she is of me, and how incredible my jeans make my butt look.
2. She is very attractive, commonly referred to as a M.I.L.T.T.T.D. (A Mother I’d Like To Take To Dinner)
3. She is quite humorous. She understands 60% of my jokes, which is 30% more than the average Canadian.
4. She doesn’t fully understand how to work technology. This is good because it makes me feel intelligent when she comes to me for help.
5. She is Canadian. Canadian’s are usually kinder and more well rounded than most Americans.
6. She is Jewish. This is fairly self-explanatory.
7. She appreciates the things I love. This doesn’t mean my Mother is a die hard Lord of the Rings fan, but she doesn’t judge the fact that I am.
8. She introduced me to the film “Love Actually”. This is a simply incredible film that I never would have seen if it weren’t for her.
9. She likes my cat. There is just something very endearing about your mother stroking your cat.
10. She likes my friends and my friends like her. Unfortunately, the downside is that my friends would rather hang out with her than me.
11. She is very good at cooking. Whether it be pasta, soup, or steak, I always walk away from the table feeling like the twice the man I was when I got there. Both metaphorically and literally.
12. She supports me in all of my endeavors. She has always told me to follow my dreams, and because of that, I am happier than ever.
13. She’s always willing to help. Everything from school functions, to my homework. (Not the kitty litter. I never get help with the kitty litter.)
14. She is short. This makes me feel much taller and stronger than I actually am.
15. She doesn’t like loud music. This aggravates me a lot now, but I’m sure I’ll appreciate it for some reason later in my life.
16. She has raised me to be Jewish. I’m becoming more grateful for this every single day.
17. Finally, my Mother has raised me to be me. She has never told me to be anyone different. She has been kind and helpful and supportive through thick and thin. Not all kids are lucky enough to have that.
I love you so much Mum.
You are a truly remarkable human being.
Happy Mothers Day!
May 9, 2013 | 4:10 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am not really a transitional kind of girl. I hate the dating dance and at this stage of my life am able to make quick decisions in terms of the men I want to spend time with. I have friends who swear by the "transitional man" method of getting over a love. A man that will get you back in the saddle so to speak, so you can mend your broken heart, and then meet the next man you will love. For me, I'd rather have a practice round instead of a transitional man. I'm not transitioning from anything. I had love, lost it, and want it again.
Yesterday I spoke with a single male friend of mine. He is in his 50's, divorced, successful, sexy, smart, funny, planted firmly in Judaism, and unable to find love. I have had a crush on him for years and don't get why he is not in a relationship. We spoke about dating and it was interesting to get a look into how a man's mind works. It is very different. Forget about Mars and Venus, apples and oranges, or black and white. They differences between men and women are far vaster than planets, fruits, and colors. We are just inexplicably different.
He spoke of being bored with meeting women for coffee or dinner. He sits and talks to people all day and so going out to talk is not appealing. It made perfect sense to me. Isn't the real test of compatibility whether you can be quiet together? I can talk to anyone, it's a gift, but being quiet with someone is a special thing. Relationships are not just about talking. Or sex for that matter. There is more intimacy in lying down with someone and listening to them breathe, than in having sex. Sex is important, but not necessarily always intimate.
I never invite men to my home unless we are in a relationship. My son lives with me, and meeting him must be earned. I will go to a man's home if I feel comfortable, but if that comfort fades once I'm there, I leave. My friend spoke of inviting a woman to his home on a second date. He loves his home, and thought having her over would be relaxing and less of a forced talking marathon, which dates can be. She took the invitation to mean he wanted a relationship, as home meant intimacy to her. Wrong, but understandable.
If a man is invited into my home, the place where I am my most happy and self-aware, in my mind it is a relationship. For my friend, inviting her into his home was simply another location for a date. Women are seeking signs from men to make us feel special. If we are invited to his home, we’re special. The truth is that if we saw a list of women invited there before us, we would see it is not special at all. Not everything men do and say has a hidden message of love. Men don't think like that, and women are unwilling to understand or believe it.
Couldn’t all dating for men be classified as transitional? How exactly will a transitional man help me? What am I looking for? I don't need to get married again, I don't want to have another child, I have my own home, car, and ability to support myself. My son does not need a father, and neither do I. I am looking for a friend, confidant, lover, and ultimately a witness. I want a witness to my life. I want to look next to me and know they have the same memories as me. I want to include someone other than my son and myself in my dreams.
Men are, in my opinion, better able to handle a transitional relationship. They can get from point A to point B with a few pit stops along the way. Women want to get from point A to point B quickly, with no stops in between. I am spending my transitional period with myself, and that is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I am avoiding some of the pitfalls that come with transitional dating, and a curse because I spend more time looking backward than forward. I am not sure how I am supposed to see a future when I’m facing the past.
Is the point of a transitional person to make you move on faster? Is fast really the way to go when mending a broken heart? When a relationship ends we focus on the heart, which makes no sense. You can fix a broken heart, transplant one that is not functioning, patch a hole in one, or make it slow down so you can catch your breath. The focus when suffering through heartache should be the brain. You can’t get a brain transplant, or path a hole in your brain, or slow it down so you can catch your breath. Heartache requires a new brain, not a new heart.
I like my heart. It loves deeply and openly. Is has compassion, empathy, hope, and love. My brain however, needs a little work. It is unable to acknowledge red flags, listens to the ramblings of my heart, which let’s face it, is a bit of a drinker, and seems incapable of learning from its mistakes. At the end of the day I am a bit of a mess. My heart, while lovely, is not that bright. My brain, while brilliant, is that that savvy. They are both important, but need to get along. If they could just pay more attention to each other, I’d be much better off.
My heart needs to communicate better with my brain, and my brain needs to acknowledge the feelings of my heart. They both mean well, and have my best interest in mind, but they both want to win the battle of love and in battling with each other, are making me a little crazy. Love s certainly a game, but it does not need to be a war. I am not sure who to listen to most days, which is simply exhausting. I am getting through each day, hoping to spend more time looking ahead than back, and trying to always keep the faith.
May 7, 2013 | 7:41 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I never like it when men ask me why I am single, yet I recently asked a man that very question. It is an odd question and should never be asked, except when discussing your love life with a therapist. There are only two ways to answer it, and both ways are never going to be good. If you lie, which the question begs you to do, you will forever be a liar, and if you tell the truth, you will be complicated, with just a dash of red flag thrown in.
It is an interesting question to be sure, but how many people can answer it honestly? I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Why am I single? Why are my single friends single? How many of my married friends would be happier if they were single? How many of my single friends are actually happy being single? I don’t like being single. I am not only happiest when in a relationship, but great at being in one, so why am I single? I truly thought my single days were over, but here I am. Again.
If I were going to lie, I would say I am single because I have not met the right man. A blatant lie. I have met the right man, probably more than once, and for reasons I could not control, it did not work out. You can’t make someone love you, and you can’t ignore red flags forever. Love is everything, but it is not enough to sustain a relationship. You don’t need to want the exact same things, but you must be headed in the same direction.
I want love and all the things that come with it. I find that at 47 years old I am more willing to compromise, but less willing to settle. I want a relationship that brings the things I don’t have when I am alone. I like being alone, but I don’t want to be lonely. As my son prepares to leave home and pursue his own dreams, I want to share the rest of my life with a wonderful man. A man who wants to share his life in a meaningful way.
I am not single because I have not found a great man. I am single because when push comes to shove, I want it all, and will not settle on a pretty good relationship, when I can find a pretty great one. I want a man who makes me laugh, teaches me things, makes me feel safe, enjoys sex, is not intimidated by intimacy, is not afraid to be vulnerable, and would rather spend his time with me, than not. It’s not that difficult, it is just love.
Why am I single? I truly have no idea. I am smart, talented, pretty, funny, caring, sexy, supportive, and have the ability to not only count my blessings, but see blessings where others may not. I am low maintenance, but also a little complicated. I have many layers of joy and sorrow in my history and when you dig through them it can be exhausting, but also wonderful. It takes a wise man to get me, and wise is hard to find.
There are a lot of available men, and I have my fair share of interested ones. It is not hard to get a date, it is however, in my opinion, hard to get to a second date. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially my own. I can tell in about a minute if there is going to be a connection, and it is not about a physical attraction as much as it is an unexplainable connection that makes me flutter, think, hope, relax, and not want to vomit.
When you start dating after a break up there are inevitable comparisons to who you broke up with and it can be challenging. If they broke up with you, it can be quite scary. When you still love that person, it can be strange, but if you are honest with yourself about what you want love to be for you, the comparisons become encouraging rather than debilitating. There is no right answer to the question why am I single?, so don’t ask it.
People always say everything will be okay in the end, so if things are not okay, it just means it is not the end. There are a lot of questions I don’t know the answer to and if I could get answers handed to me on a silver platter, why am I single?, would not be on the list of questions to be submitted for an answer. I don’t know why I am single, and I don’t know how long I will be single. I do know that everything will be okay if I focus on keeping the faith.
May 5, 2013 | 3:19 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Blogging about your personal life is an interesting journey. There are days when I think it is the greatest job ever, and others when I want to crawl under a rock and never write another word. In the end it simply is what I do, and the good outweighs the bad, but that does not make it easy everyday. I write about all aspects of my life, and my worldview. The topics vary, and nothing is off limits, which may be a problem.
Writing is very solitary and when one gets in the zone and starts to share their thoughts, you can forget that anyone else is going to read it. When I first started writing it was just me and my family and friends that were reading, yet three years later I am still writing as if it is still just for us. I forget how fast the written word can travel, and how vast, yet small the Internet has made the world. A blog is a powerful tool.
I have had a difficult couple of months in my personal life and it has left me somewhat fragile. I write everything here and have received much needed support, coaching, understanding, and humor from people all over the world. When I get blessings from Israel, hugs from England, concern from New Zealand, and letters from a single mother in Wales who takes strength from my stories, I am lifted up and feel humbled by the love.
When you write about your life people relate to the stories in a way that makes them relate to you. People write to tell me they have experienced the same things as me, and that it helps them feel safe and less alone. I also have many people write to say they do not agree, and their emails can be frightening, but they all provoke conversation and inspire me to write without fear and use my most truthful and heartfelt voice.
Writing about my life makes it fuller. Writing about my dates makes it funnier. Writing about my relationships, makes it challenging. I am going to continue to write about my life as a mother, a Jew, how I see the world, and things happening in it, but I am not going to write about the men that I have a relationship with. I am not a relationship expert, but writing about men in this way is not a topic that makes me feel comfortable.
There are certainly things to be shared, but also things to be kept private. Relationships are hard and require work. It took my experiencing heartache to realize that too much attention is not good. I have been blessed to raise a good man, love great men, and have great men love me. I know in my heart that I will find love again. When I do, I will share that it has been found, but the details will rest safely in my heart, not my blog.
I have made mistakes along the way and lessons have been learned. Blogging when you have a broken heart is cathartic, but perhaps not wise. Meeting someone wonderful when you are not ready is a boost to a fragile ego, but sadly not wise. Reacting quickly is a release, but definitely not wise. The hardest lesson to learn is to be quiet and reflect, not speak. I need to get better at that so I am trying, and keeping the faith.
May 4, 2013 | 7:50 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
After a week of online dating I feel I must lend a helping hand to the men who are online trying to meet a nice woman. By men of course I mean man, because in the sea of men available online, I imagine that only one in a million is actually looking for something more than a booty call. Do I sound bitter? Well there you go. I am a little bitter I suppose, but bitter is the new black and I am rocking my bitterness in the form of a sense of humor.
There are lovely men online to be sure, the problem is that they are not dating, they are shopping on Amazon or looking up the NFL draft results. Online dating men are an interesting group of people. They will freely tell you you’re beautiful, share what they’d like to do to your body, divulge their phone numbers, emails, and admit that they lie about their age. I’m guessing women dating online have their own shtick, but I’ll focus on men.
As a public service I would like to point out the top five things that men who date online should stop doing. I’m not a dating professional, but I am a woman who dates online, and I know stuff. I know a lot of stuff actually and I am enlightening you from a place of concern. I want everyone to find love and someone to share their lives with. I also want the men who engage in these particular items to stop writing me. Seriously. Please stop.
Important to note that these are listed in no particular order. They are equally offensive and should be corrected as soon as possible. There are a lot of crazy women online, but you will increase your chances of finding one that is relatively “normal”, if you refrain from these things. I must also clarify that finding “normal” online may in fact be an urban myth. It’s all a crap shoot, but at the end of the day at least we’re trying.
1) Don’t say that The Notebook is your favorite movie because we know you are lying. You’re favorite movie is The Godfather, and you are trying to make us think you are romantic and sensitive. It is a great movie, one of my favorites, but it is a chick flick and your saying it is your favorite makes you creepy.
2) Don’t post selfie pictures taken in the bathroom with your shirt off and the toilet in the background. We don’t want to see you without your shirt on in the bathroom with the flash distorting your left nipple. If you don’t have a recent picture of yourself you may have just gotten out of prison.
3) Don’t list your age as 52 if you are really 58. If someone is going to date a man who is 52, you’ve got a good shot that she will jump a few years to 58, but listing yourself as younger, then admitting that you did it in order to make it onto more searches, make you a liar. Date younger women, but own your age.
4) If you live in Virginia, don’t write a woman in Los Angeles and ask her if she’d like to call you, then grab a drink in three months when you visit LA. Translation: You are married, coming to LA on business, and rather than go to the trouble of finding a hooker, you want to line it up to save some time.
5) Do not ever mention your sexual prowess in an online profile, or your initial contact with a woman. While we may want to someday know that you have a “healthy sexual appetite”, or that you want us to help “unleash your beast”, if you mention it too soon, or ever, we will think you are a sexual deviant.
All five of these things come directly from my first week of online dating, and I am left laughing at the men who engaged in this behavior. Online dating is not natural, not fun, not interesting, and not a complete waste of time. Love can be found. It can be found faster of you do not do these five things. Even faster if you drink. Good luck and keep the faith.