December 30, 2021
Stop Swiping; Start Dating
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is no more aptly stated than when describing today’s dating environment. It’s not a stretch to say that this all-important first impression is often made by a mere representation of a person - some photos and a profile.
As a Jewish matchmaker who has worked with thousands of Jewish singles from all over the world, I’ve witnessed first-hand how much the dating scene has changed over the past decade. Although I’m impressed with the technology; I’m not impressed with how singles are using it (or should I say, abusing it). Stop swiping and start dating!
I could talk at length about how only a minority of singles put thoughtful effort into which photos to include in their profile and what to write. Many singles have a difficult time writing even a short paragraph about themselves. How can one fully describe the intricacies of personality in a paragraph? Impossible. Often you see the same cookie cutter description repeated… “love of travel, music, cooking, sense of humor, close with friends and family, etc…etc…etc..”. It is rare to read a profile infused with tangible personality.
And don’t get me started about the quality (or lack of) of photos that singles use in their profile. When you understand how VISUAL people are, you are careful when choosing photos. Maybe people can’t be objective when looking at their own photos; we don’t really know what is a good photo or a bad photo of ourself. I suggest you get feedback from friends and family before uploading profile photos. Choose a dozen or so recent pix that accurately reflect how you look and ask trusted friends or family to tell you which are the most flattering. Don’t put them on the spot by dissecting their response; accept their feedback graciously so they are comfortable being honest. Even better, use an anonymous online resource like photofeeler.com or ratemytrait.com where strangers rate your photo. You’ll get unbiased responses from strangers and it’s a great way to find out how appealing (or not) your photos are to members of the opposite sex.
What’s the Point?
The focus of Jewish singles who want a long-lasting relationship is determining partner compatibility. Ineffectively, the profile and photo are the first place they start - with a swiping left, swiping right mentality. It’s like shopping online. You try to accurately judge whether something will look good on you, whether the color or pattern is accurate to the photo, what the measurements are and how it will fit on your body and match with your skin tone. Then the item arrives which might be a terrible look for you - or a perfect fit. It’s a crap shoot with online shopping AND IT’S A CRAP SHOOT WITH ONLINE DATING.
Getting in your car and driving to a brick-and-mortar store to shop might feel more time-consuming than shopping online, but it’s ultimately more effective. There is no guessing at the store. You can feel the item, evaluate the fabric, judge the color while holding it against your skin, grab a few sizes to be safe, try the item on and in five minutes, you know if it’s a fit for you. It takes more effort to get in the car and drive somewhere than to plop down in front of your computer, but it’s a better way of clothes shopping.
We’re in a similar scenario with dating. It’s easy to sit at the computer swiping left and right based on some idea of who you think will or won’t fit the endless criteria that you’ve conjured up as necessary in a partner - but it’s a flawed technique. Just like that dress or suit jacket, you simply cannot be sure until you try it on. In dating, “trying it on” means spending time with someone.
I know you’re tired, I know you’ve got a lot of stuff going on in your life, and I know that the effort it takes to meet someone only to be disappointed has sapped the desire right out of you. Yet your choice of partner is one of the most important choices you will make in this life, if not THE most important choice. This is someone who will be sharing your space every single day, the last person you will ever be physically intimate with, the person who will see you at your very best and your very worst (and vice versa!), maybe the person with whom you will create and build a family. How could there be a more important decision? And you’re approaching it like the flip of a coin, swiping left and right? Do you see how flawed this is?
A new year is dawning, 2022 is here; tabula rasa - a clean slate. If you want this year to be the year, embrace a new strategy, a new attitude, a new vibration, a new energy. You desire to meet a loving, giving, attentive, considerate, intelligent, funny, successful, fit and active person with whom you have shared interests and shared attraction. How about stepping up your game by bringing a similar high level of attentiveness and energy to the search? If you want a high-stakes windfall, you need to play a high-stakes game and bring high-stakes resources to the table.
After years of Jewish matchmaking, I assert that the highest level of energy you can invest in dating is the energy of optimism, adventure, open-mindedness, and ACTION. No more sitting on your duff in the buff expecting a dynamic, interesting, attractive, and available match to appear on your screen, ripe for the picking, while you swipe all the riff-raff away. Passivity is the enemy. This is YOUR year - embrace dating with gusto and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means saying “yes” to meeting in person, saying “yes” to investing time and energy into going out a few times to get to know someone, saying “yes” to being pleasantly surprised by someone you thought wasn’t your type.
It’s time to up your game. Stop swiping; start dating.