EmunaDating: How to meet people

by Samantha Hulkower

Our last post was about how to know if the person you are dating is worth your time - but how do we even get to the point where we need to be asking this question? First, how do you even meet someone? Let's dissect the options:

Singles events. These can feel like competitive dating. I've heard stories of friendships ruined because two friends go together and one ends up chatting up the guy or gal their friend was eyeing. A girl friend of mine says she always comes back from singles Shabbatons with tons of numbers - of other ladies she hit it off with and wanted to stay in touch with. Heartwarming, but not necessarily the point of these.

Bars and clubs. The number one problem with meeting someone in a dark place after a few drinks, is that the guy who you were happy to give your number to might not look the way you remember when you meet him again (sober and) in daylight. I'm not as concerned with not being able to meet quality people at bars, ever since a good friend of mine met her husband at one. Both claim their friends dragged them out that night, perhaps they need to, as he's a rabbi and she's now a rebbitzen. It is worth noting this happened in Jerusalem, where meeting a rabbi in a bar is far more likely to happen (and less reason for concern) than in LA or the UWS.

Dating sites. It seems everyone knows someone who met their spouse on Saw You At Sinai/Jdate/JWed (I actually know couples from all three sites, Jewish Bingo!), so at least these methods are proven. SYAS has the added benefit of having matchmakers search for you, saving you the hassle of having to turn down the guy 18 years older than you and 5 time zones away from you, which has been known to happen on some of the other sites. Every now and then you can get someone contacting you who isn't even Jewish. While I can't blame them, like the t-shirts say, Everyone Loves A Jewish Boy/Girl, this can be frustrating if you are going on a Jewish site with the intention of meeting a Jewish person.

Activity groups. These are a great way to meet people, because they don't have the pressure bars or singles events do - you're there (usually) for the activity. It's also more natural to meet someone you're compatible with, since you're with people who enjoy the same things you do. At the very least, you're likely to make friends who might know other people. Which leads me to the last way...

Through friends. This, is my favorite. I find that most of my parents' friends met this way (or anyone I know that was dating before the 1990s and the internet became a thing), and they are still happily married. Usually, the people we are friends with are also friends with other people we would enjoy spending time with. This is why it never hurts to ask if your friends know anyone they think might be good for you. This method is great because the person has already been vetted, ostensibly your friends are only going to set you up with decent people they know (the flip side to this is you are less likely to come home with entertaining stories for your roommate about how crazy your date was).

There are numerous ways to meet the right person, but the number one thing is to put yourself out there! If one method isn't working for you, try leaving your comfort zone and meeting people a different way. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

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