Flirts and other Fails: Jdate, the remix

Per usual readers, I have a confession to make. No, this confession doesn’t feature me deeply offending a date or flagrantly breaking my first date rules. Instead, I’m about to tell you something about which I am a bit more ashamed. But I have to tell you, because I don’t like secrets between me and the internet (unless it’s my search history after a night of binge drinking that includes things like “what to do about underarm fat?” or “what can I catch from a toilet seat?”)

Now that I’ve begun gradually embarrassing myself, I’ll just come out and say it:

I rejoined Jdate.

After all that whining and complaining last summer about how much I hated it, I decided to give it another go. Why, you ask? GREAT QUESTION.

I disabled my OKC profile shortly after my date with the Kid, because I just wasn’t feeling the dating thing.

larry david dating

http://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/24-signs-dating-isnt-for-you#3qqsag1

But then, a few days ago, I decided I wanted to get back out there. But I wanted something new (ish). OKC, while still my favorite dating site, has allowed me to indulge in some bad patterns, which can be summed up in one run on sentence: I love to go out with guys who are cute BUT 1) not that nice 2) have a serious drug problem, or 3) I have nothing in common with, or 4) all of the above. This is what happens when you’re too shallow and make your decisions based on looks, folks.

Deterred from Match and Eharmony due to the horrific experiences of my co-bloggers, I decided I had, perhaps, been too hard on Jdate, and decided to give it another try.

After a couple days, I’ve learned that, of course, the problem was not that I was too hard on Jdate. It’s that I wasn’t hard enough on Jdate. It’s fertile soil for mockery and complaints, my latest of which include:

1. It is possible they don’t have a single engineer or web designer on staff. I mean after one year, it’s “nice” to know Jdate has  not improved its user experience AT. ALL. It still looks like it was created by a high school senior in 1999 who was experimenting with an early version of Javascript. Moreover, I can’t load the site on my phone half the time. It just half loads, and then freezes my new iphone 5. 

2. They still can’t figure out where I live. Even though you have to indicate your current city of residence in your profile, and, EVEN THOUGH I have marked 50 times that my preference is to see guys in the DMV area, my Jdate homescreen is usually populated with “Member Spotlights” featuring men (and sometimes women) from as far away as Columbus, Ohio. I am sure this is especially heartening news to those suckers out there who shelled out the extra $5 to have a “member spotlight” feature. 

3. They continue to run a fascist ship, uncomfortably reminiscent of some very dark times in our people’s history. When I rejoined Jdate, I decided to freshen up my username a bit. Turns out, if you change your username, you have to undergo a highly scrutinized review process (similar to a CIA level background check or when the Bar Association makes you submit character references). Until your new screen name is approved, Jdate assigns you a MEMBER ID, which is a nine digit string of numbers. Jdate, COULD YOU THINK OF SOMETHING IN SLIGHTLY BETTER TASTE than assigning me, granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, an ID that involves a string of numbers? POOR TASTE, JDATE. POOR TASTE.

But my biggest complaint about Jdate right now is the presence of a stupid little feature called the “flirt.” Flirts are basically the equivalent of facebook pokes, but for single adult strangers, which makes them all the more sad.

Basically, flirts are something a Jdate member can send another  member to indicate interest without having to go through the trouble of typing 2-3 sentences based on the other user’s profile. Instead, Jdate crafts some dumb one liners that make you sound lazy or cheesy, or if you are lucky, both. Behold some examples:

flirt example 1

Wait? WTF? You are sending me a message to “get the conversation started” and your way of getting the conversation started is to tell me to do it myself? Does it get any lazier than this?

horizontal runningilltumblrforya.com

Or, there is this gem:

flirt example 2

Excuse me, but did you just ask me why I was still single (in a totally outdated, cheesy, Uncle Geoffrey-esque way?)

uncle geoffrey

http://gifsoup.com/view/4604861/hop-hop.html 

If I knew why I was still single, dude, I wouldn’t be on here in the first place.

Finally, they say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Unless of course, Jdate is generating the question. Behold:

flirt example 3

Again, WHAT IS HAPPENING? You are already writing me! That is presumably why we both signed up for this online dating service! How do I respond to this? With a simple, “Yes????” 

Now look, it would be depressing enough if these men were crafting these messages themselves. But what sets Jdate apart is that they actually craft these absurd pick up lines, and then encourages members to send them.

Do us a favor Jdate, and listen to Nina Garcia.

nina garcia

http://giphy.com/gifs/FExBzCja8eghi

No. Just no.

But in all seriousness readers, does one respond to these sort of things? I know guys are probably sending them because they are too scared/lazy/sick of being ignored to craft a personalized message. On the one hand, I don’t want to hold this against them, but on the other, I feel like I am worth at least a two uniquely crafted sentences. And, as you can see, these flirts are actually really hard to respond to, since the questions/statements are so senseless. So if you have advice for me, leave it in the comments section, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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JDate: The worst thing to happen to Jews since…

…they started putting  bacon in mac and cheese, of course. Did you think I was going to make a really offensive Holocaust joke or something? Puh-leez.

I have been waiting for the day to write about how Jdate is the worst since I joined back in May. Now that my subscription has expired (PS-Up yours autorenew! You cannot con this Jew into parting with her hard-earned dollars in return for a Red Sea of NOTHINGNESS), and I’ve stopped seeing the guys I met on there, and I’ve caught up on all the episodes of New Girl I missed before the new season started, I can finally record the long -awaited rant that has been living in my head.

I can divide my hatred of Jdate into two categories. 

1) Hated the user experience

2) Hated the people

User experience

1) Hideous graphics and homepage. First of all, remember Friendster? From the early 2000s? Or, as I like to call it, Myspace’s perverted uncle? Facebook’s annoying great grandmother? It was this really JV social networking site that people used in late high school and early college, and it looked something like this:

friendster

That, my friends, is what Jdate looks like now. Its homepage is a mishmash of small fonts, and confusing directions, and tiny, low quality pictures of Jews. I mean, if Jdate gets as lucky as Friendster, and is repurchased and flipped into a gaming site for Southeast Asians, then it should consider itself blessed. Because it looks like it was designed by two blind programmers over the age of 65, who have just discovered HTML for the first time. (Yes, I made a programming joke. Engineers, holler at me!)

2. Profile Nazis. Sorry/I’m not sorry about the inappropriate historical reference. Jdate brings it on themselves, by monitoring every single word you put on your profile like it’s a police state. You can’t make any changes to your profile, not even so much as correcting a typo or adding a comma, without receiving the following message.

approval by customer care

(Disclaimer: I made this up and promptly deleted it so as not to give away real details about myself. I will say, this is a much cooler biography than my real one, so I was tempted to leave it up and see what happened.)

For godsakes Jdate! How many people work for Customer Care that you have the bandwidth to monitor every single update? (And, PS: I think you’d be MUCH better served investing in a few new software engineers to do a full site overhaul!) And what are you guys looking for any way? Veracity? Anti semitism? Pro Palestine propaganda? Tasteless Jewish jokes (well, look no further than this blog!). Newsflash, Jdate Customer Care, the NSA is watching everything we say already. I don’t need you to do it too.

3. Features that make no sense. I’ve been a pretty big fan of OKC’s approach to creating online dating profiles. A picture, a short bio written in response to some witty prompts, and answers to some revealing questions are PLENTY for me to decide if I’d like to go out with you or not. Jdate has the picture and profile thing down, but really misses the mark on other features that are intended to help users get to know each other. My personal least favorite? Something called Kibitz Corner. What is that, you ask? Well, this is what “kibitz” means:

kibitz defined

Oh, my. What an attractive thing to do to someone you’re trying to woo! One of the first things I do on dates is try to offer the other party some unwelcome advice. (i.e. “Is that a mole? You should really see a dermatologist!”) I mean, honestly, can you think of anything less appealing than unwelcome advice from a stranger? (To be fair, I do dole out my share of unwelcome advice, but it’s to friends and family only.) But apparently Jdate thinks it will endear people to each other if they could all start bossing one another around before meeting in person. In reality, Kibitz corner is really a poor man’s OKC questions (Given the clientele of Jdate, I find it funny they’d do a “poor man’s”  anything! Ahahaha! Tastless joke # 4. I really can’t resist). 

Here’s the way Kitbitz Corner works:

Jdate poses a question to its users, and then anyone from anywhere in the world can just randomly answer it.

kibbitz corner

 

 

OK, first of all, please know this answer is from some person who lives MILES away from me and who is a WOMAN, but Jdate thinks I’d be super interested in it anyway. I can also choose to send this question to a friend to answer!

4. Finally, just like Match.com, Jdate charges you for everything. All you can actually do on the site is Browse members. If you want to receive a message, or a “flirt” (another terrifying, Jdate only feature through which users can send each other really corny pick up lines that are pre-crafted, presumably by the geniuses on their Customer Care team, like “With a smile like that, why are you still single?”), you have to have a paying subscription. Now, I understand that this is par for the course on most dating websites. But, the thing I HATE about Jdate, is you can’t tell who is a paying member and who isn’t. So, half the time, people are messaging people who aren’t even able to receive email. Now, these messages wait in your inbox until you get a paying subscription. I had actually snuck on Jdate in February when I first started internet dating, just to see what was out there, but never paid for it till May. This means I had an inbox of messages that were 3 months old, that I felt really weird acting on. What would I say–“Hi Abraham Cohen Goldstein. Are you still single?” This also gave me supreme anxiety about sending any messages myself, since I wasn’t sure if they were going to be successful. Of course, every time you sign on, Jdate bombards you with “specials” and tries to get you to get a subscription:

jdate sale

Jdate, the jig is up. While the chosen people do LOVE a good bargain, we’re also smart and we’re hip to your game. You’re always having a sale. No one would actually pay the outrageous full prices for your service. 

The people

Once you figure out how to use the confusing and somewhat irrelevant site and find profiles of people of your preferred gender, I’d like to tell you things get better. But they don’t.

I will stop for a moment and say that I am speaking only in my personal opinion. I have a wonderful friend who has met tons of guys on Jdate who she’s really enjoyed. She was the one who urged me to get on Jdate in the first place. But my experience on Jdate can be summed up in one full sentence: I hate my people and they hate me.

Now, readers, especially Jewish readers. If this is upsetting you, please calm down. Obviously I love my Jewish friends and family. And I did have some real anxiety about posting this frank diatribe. I said to co-blogger S:

jdate gchat 1

Lucky for you readers, S and I share an irreverant sense of humor.

gchat rant clean

So, just to be clear, don’t take me too seriously. COUGHnsaCOUGH.

Now, let me continue to criticize my people:

1) I received WAYYYY too many messages from people who did not live in the vicinity. Now, again, I recognize this is a problem on every dating site. Tacosdelish is frequently messaged by Thai bankers and Swedish millionaires who cannot resist the smell of her farts. But, the number of out of state, OUT OF COUNTRY, messages I received on Jdate was alarming. Sorry Isaac from Tel Aviv! Momma’s not available to CHAT! (And PS, lots of messages were from guys who live in Israel. Isn’t Israel one big Jdate? Hate to break it to you guys, but if you can’t find a Jewish girl there, you can’t find one anywhere).

2) Thirty percent of men’s profiles reference their moms.  I would say that one in three profiles contains one or more of the following statements:

“Looking for a nice Jewish girl who I can bring home to mom”

“Looking for a girl who cooks like my mom”

“My mom made me get on this site.”

“My mom and dad have taught me a lot about relationships.”

I am totally down with guys who love and respect their mothers. But the fact that they are already referencing them on an online dating site makes me a little nervous.

I’m not trying to end up with Buster Bluth:

buster GIF

3) They are a little too, you know, Jewish. I know, you’re shaking your head. Or your fist. What did you expect, L? You are on a site for Jewish Singles. You’re really too much. Listen, I never said I wasn’t crazy. I’m soldiering on with my last complaint.

My very wise friend K advised me at the beginning of this experiment that I might encounter some real Jews:

katie jdate

*Editor’s note: K is also half Jewish. Though evidently, not a “Sabbath goer.”

Welp, K was right, as she almost always is. Every J I went out with, at one point in the night or another, wanted to talk with me about my Judaism.

“So, how often do you go to synagogue?”

“Are both your parents Jewish?”

“Are you doing anything for the high holidays?”

“MAZEL TOV!”

What I learned from this experience is I’m not nearly in touch with my Jewish side enough to field these questions with a straight face, even thouhg they are perfectly legit questions. So sue me! (Actually, Js, don’t sue me. I don’t have any money. It will be a waste of time.)

Despite all my Jhate, I am glad I tried Jdate. I had a really good time with a couple of guys on the site, which means, readers, that you have more fall blogging material coming your way. In the meanwhile, if you didn’t get your fix of “self-loathing Jew-mour,” I leave you with this gem: