After months of encouragement from my friends, I joined JDate in 2009. After almost a year on the site, this is my story:
10 Things I Hate About JDate
1. Fallback Phrases – 90% of the profiles I’ve seen have at least one of the same three phrases: “I’m a fun loving individual,” “I’m laid-back/easy-going,” or “I like a good sense of humor.” All three of these phrases are pretty meaningless, and yet…I’m pretty sure they all appear in my profile. Also, nobody is going to write: I am boring, anal-retentive, and couldn’t tell a joke to save my life.
2. First Date Surprises – My friends and I have found that first dates with JDaters can come with unexpected surprises: criminal records, missing limbs, avoidance of going out in the rain, desire to only socialize with vegans, and so on. While these people are certainly entitled to find love, JDate doesn’t give you the “by the way” heads-up that a mutual friend arranging a set-up would provide.
3. No Middle Ground On Interests – I enjoy a good game of poker once in a while, but if I click that I like “card games/bridge/canasta,” is the girl on the other end going to assume that I spend my free time melding 5s with Ethel and the girls?
4. The “J” Part – There are non-Jews on the site – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But please don’t make your profile picture the one where you’re wearing a big cross around your neck, especially if you’re listing yourself as “conservative.”
5. Initiating Conversations – My track record at starting conversations stinks. I can instant message 10 girls in a row and not get a single “hi” back. I was convinced for about a month that I was going wrong with “hey,” and I started experimenting with “hi,” “how are you?” “how was your day?” “hello,” “I see you love watching repeats of ‘The West Wing’, I do too!” etc. Yes, you’re all single Jews looking for a date, but you’re not obliged to talk to each other. This isn’t Cousin Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah.
6. Russian Brides – i know you nice girl from russia who make good wife but i not interested
7. The IM Disappearance – When you realize that your instant message conversation is not going well, you can just disappear without a goodbye or anything. On second thought, this works in my favor. One point awarded to JDate.
8. Long-Distance Instant Messages – I’ve received instant messages from Israel, the Netherlands, Florida, and California, among others. I’m from New York and you’re a complete stranger. I don’t think it’s going to work out.
9. My Evaluation Process – There are a lot of women on JDate. I found that the longer I was on JDate, the more I developed a quick but terrible way of judging these women. At first, my objections were understandable (she has a face tattoo). But slowly, they slid towards superficial (she’s 5 inches taller than me), before finally landing at the ridiculous (I can’t date her, she likes Indian food).
10. The Illusion of JDate – Before joining JDate, I saw it as a quick-fix to my singlehood. Though the site is all about introducing singles, the JDate process is just as frustrating as being out in the real world. Moreover, spending nights on the site browsing profiles and having conversations feels productive. But, after long streaks of conversations and first dates that didn’t result in relationships, I realized that being on the site only gave the appearance of productivity. Yes, many people (including several friends of mine) have met their spouses on JDate – but they also admit that it took a lot of work and many hours on the site to find their mates.
So, my final note on JDate is to not see it as a cure-all but realize, like relationships formed anywhere else, that it will be hard, frustrating, and time-consuming. On the plus side, you’ll get a nice tour of all the cafés, parks, and Starbucks locations in midtown.
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