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Archive for October, 2009
It’s that time of year again. It is in the air, Halloween. A few weeks ago, while visiting my parents, I asked each one of them what Halloween was like for them as children. Their answers were completely different than what I had conjured up in my own mind about each of their childhoods.
My mother was raised as a Conservative Jew. Her father was very observant and did not believe in putting any time and/or energy into holidays that were not strictly hookup. My mother who grew up in New York City wasn’t allowed to trick-or-treat. She never dressed up, felt the excitement all day at school, or got to look forward to the chocolate bar before bed on Halloween night.
My father was raised as a Reform Jew and was able to partake in trick-or treating. I always imagine his early years as Leave it to Beaver. He had an older brother, a working father, and a mother who seemed to be able to fix any problem in 22 minutes or less. His Halloween night was spent in costume going door to door collecting money for Unicef. Again, no chocolate bar before hitting the pillow for the night. But, what a concept; spending an evening with friends doing something for someone else. How many of us really, truly do that?
I grew up waiting for the one night of the year to collect as much candy as possible. My brother and I would compete to see who could get more. It is not easy to admit, but at times I’m still like this. Putting my needs, even if they are just a hankering for a good old-fashioned chocolate bar before someone else’s.
If for just a few minutes a day we were to all do something kind for someone else I believe this world would be a much happier, kinder and gentler place. Think about this next time you go on a date. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for just a few moments. If you feel nervous imagine how the other person must feel. It takes a lot of effort to date and to put oneself out there. It makes us vulnerable which can be a scary place to be. Be kind with your dates. Honesty, integrity and helping someone feel more at ease are all signs of great character. Make these attributes part of who you are and treat people in a manner that you would like to be treated. In essence, collect for Unicef on Halloween night, instead of going out there for as much candy as you can get your hands on. You still get the pleasure of trick-or-treating without gaining an ounce, and you did something good for someone else. I imagine if we all took the time to do this all of our dates would have much happier endings.
Yoga. There I was for the first time sweating (understatement) in 115 degrees. Thinking, why the heck do people do this Bikram Yoga? My mind was running and my body was about too as well. After 60 minutes my clothes were drenched and I had run out of water. With 30 minutes left, I was about to sneak out the door. I figured I made a good showing at my first class. But the teacher coaxed me into staying – even running to get me more water – so “I would keep with it.” As it comes to dating, maybe we should all have the same teacher. Someone who coaxes us to stay longer, try harder, not run so easily. Yes, after a while it does no good for anyone to stay any longer than necessary in the wrong scenario, BUT just maybe, we should all stay a little longer and sweat it out.
So 56 or so minutes into one of several conversations with current crush the whole “when was your last relationship” topic was brought up. Not a typical aphrodisiac inducing conversation, but neither one of us was ready to back down. So this man of few words said all the right ones without hesitation – either serious relationships, or nothing at all, there is no in between. Now, as a girl who’s entire life consists of only in-betweens, the writer with an ever ready array of witty rapport was left without words. Suddenly, I was face to face with the fact that in-betweens are often unfulfilling and a mere waste of the space continuum, rather than a way to bide time until the next in-between can become the last. I had not been forewarned that the foreplay was about to take a serious turn for the better, but I went with it. After all, in a world with endless options, sometimes you just want “The one.”
So I have a friend who I have known since I was 14. I am convinced she has not changed one tiny bit since our teenage years. She is one of those girls who is overly concerned with what everyone else is thinking. Questions like; ‘Do you think he is cute?’ ‘Would you date him?’ ‘Do you think he dresses nicely?’ ‘Do you think he makes enough money?’ Blah, blah, blah. The list could go on for pages, but I won’t bore you any longer.
This got me wondering, how important is it to have our dates accepted by our friends and family? Sure, we all want everyone to like our dates, but should that be the criteria? No way! Generally, our friends and family can spot things we are unwilling to see, but they don’t have to date the person, we do. I once made the mistake of telling my life-long friend that it didn’t really matter what I thought, it mattered what she thought. She became paralyzed by this statement. I genuinely feel badly for her, without some sort of approval she cannot date. I guess the moral is no one else has to approve of anyone we choose to date. Forget about what everyone else wants and go with what you want. After all, it is your dating life.
I distinctly remember one of the first conversations I had with an ex as we walked along the beach in Mexico. He asked, “Do you think the person you marry will be your greatest love?” It was very insightful, so, I pondered this question. My gut instinctual response was: Probably not, but I will marry the best “life partner” for me. First know, there are few people as corny, cheesy, romantic as I. That said, I am also a realist. These two personality traits often conflict with each another.
I think the adrenaline rushes we got as kids are irreplaceable memories. For example, think of the first time you thought your heart was broken and life would never be the same. Somehow, you managed and moved on. There will be some relationship memories that stick just because they do. The intensity, the passion, the excitement, the differences, the drama, the attraction, and so on… Yet, those people, no matter how deep your love is, may not make the best life partners. So I guess although my answer was instinctual–I think for me, the most important qualities in a life partner are 1) attraction (most agree that is one thing you are not supposed to go out of the marriage for), and 2) someone who you work well with as a team,has a similar outlook on life as you. There will be so many other bumps in the road, so creating drama yourself is not a bonus in the ride of life that said, settling is not an option, no matter how old you are. I guess the answer to everything in life, is the “compromise” between attraction/passion and finding someone you are “in sync” with.
In an effort to ditch the guys I know I shouldn’t want, but tend to get anyways, I started looking for potential dates in places other than the usual Hollyweird hotspots. What I failed to notice, since apparently it’s been five years since I’ve had a crush and not a crash, was that most of the great guys are always right in front of you. Now, I’m totally against the available “meat” (& greet) market available at the gym. I’m more of a get in, get out, go home kind of girl (insert obvious that’s what he said joke), so I failed to notice that the cardio wasn’t the only thing making my heart race. Instead of the obvious five second once-over that you get along with any cocktail and club cover, the flirty faux friendships formed at any fitness joint are cause for something that has an expiration date beyond that of a one night fling thing. So, take the cardio from the elliptical to a post-work-out wind-down that serves as motivation to stay in sleek shape.
What a week! I was so busy this week that it got me thinking. How in the world can I find a meaningful relationship while earning a living and partaking in the necessities of life? I have repeated this question over and over while answering readers’ questions, because I think it bears repeating, if for no one else but myself. 100hookup is a great way to assist those of us who are looking for a relationship. I need to remind myself that dating takes time and energy. I am re-committing myself to daily use. I will put aside 15 minutes a day to look at profiles, respond to emails, send out Flirts and respond to anyone who has messaged me. My daily routine will include 100hookup. If I am serious about this, which I am, I know this needs to be done. Thank G-d for 100hookup or I don’t think I would ever have another date again!
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Dear Gems from Jen,
I started emailing back and forth with this guy. We totally hit it off and could not wait to meet each other. We met last Monday night for drinks and immediately connected. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we texted each other all day long and spoke at night on the phone. He made tentative plans with me for Friday, but said he had to take care of something so he asked if I wanted to meet on Saturday night and I accepted. We texted Friday evening back and forth all evening and then around midnight I answered a question he asked me and he did not answer back. I thought maybe he fell asleep (he did that one night and apologized profusely). Saturday morning came and I never heard from him. I called him and left a voicemail and still nothing. I texted him later to say I was concerned and wanted to know if he was ok…still nothing. I texted him Sunday morning to tell him how baffled I was to not hear from him considering he claimed to be a very up front and straight forward person. I thought we had connected on so many levels and so did he. So, I am asking…what happened here?
Dear What Happened,
I’m truly sorry this happened to you. No one deserves this type of treatment. I know it can seem confusing, especially when the two of you seemed to have hit it off so well. Unless there was a real emergency there is no excuse for this behavior. Consider yourself lucky that you did not get any further with this guy.
I wish I had an answer for why this happened. It could be so many things that I don’t even want to speculate. Just realize this is about him, not you. It is cowardly not to explain. Think of it this way; do you want to date someone who is not willing to even let you know he is not going to follow-through with the plans he made with you? He told you he was a straight forward person. Now you know right off the bat that he was not honest with you. Most guys are not like this so don’t let this experience deter you. Keep up the search and chalk this up to one bad seed in the bunch.
Gems from Jen