The pick-up bar

Get off your tuchus and go out with some friends to a bar because your beshert may already be there waiting for you.

Since my article on matchmakers was published, I continue to receive emails from Jerusalem Post readers asking me how else – besides a shadchan and J*Date – to meet people. The answer is that it’s difficult but not impossible. Bars and clubs may not seem like the best places to meet someone, but if you don’t go out, what alternatives do you have? As the infamous, and eternally single, party girl Tara Reid famously said, “You’re not going to meet anyone sitting at home alone on your couch.” It may seem crazy to take advice from her, but alas, she’s right.
At times I said it was impossible to meet a nice, Jewish guy at a bar because the odds were just not in my favor. Using that philosophy, it would mean the more I went out the better my odds would eventually get. And so I made a pact with myself to go out twice a week, whether it be to a singles event, a networking event, Happy Hour, a celebration or just for the sake of it.
Other times, I wondered more about the quality of Jewish guy I could meet at a bar and, of course, inversely, if they would take me seriously as a prospect after meeting me at a bar. But then I figured, hey, if I’m at a bar for a friend’s birthday party or a ladies night out or to celebrate a coworker’s promotion, than why can’t the man of my dreams be there too? And that’s exactly what happened…
My name is Tamar Caspi and I’m in a committed, monogamous relationship with a man I met at a bar. Whew, that’s a lot of weight off my shoulders. This is the story: I went to a friend of a friend’s birthday party at a bar in Tel Aviv and “S” was also taken there by a friend of the same birthday girl. A little eye contact, an “accidental” bump and two hours of flirtatious conversation later he asked me on a date. And the rest, as they say, is history (or at least that’s what we’ll call it for the sake of this article). And now I can say, with the utmost certainty, that you absolutely can meet someone at a bar. In the meantime, the girl whose birthday we went to is over-the-moon happy for us, hopes the luck will rub off on her and is considering it her ticket to heaven.
IN ACTUALITY, it’s never as simple as it sounds. Timing is indeed everything. Meeting someone in a bar means you have to really, really know what you’re looking for and be really, really ready to meet that person and to know who that person is when he or she walks through the door. A bar in Israel automatically eliminates having to worry about if the person is Jewish (for the most part), but what you don’t know is if the person is single and if they are available then are they looking for love or a hook-up?
So many people go out just to party, and meeting someone is the furthest thing from their mind, but that’s just the point! It’s when you’re not looking that it will happen… except if you are single then you are always looking or at least checking out the crowd in your peripheral vision.
Bars in Tel Aviv are actually referred to as “pick-up bars” because the bars themselves take up most of the space, the male-female ratio is way off, the people tend to be aggressive and you are so crowded that you have no other option than to flirt with the person closest to you. Maybe not a great place to meet your future husband or wife, but definitely good practice, and hey, you never know, right?
Outside Israel it’s even more difficult because you have to determine if the person is single and Jewish. Would it be easier if there were some indiscreet, obsolete way which could identify the single Jews in a bar? Absolutely. Trust your instincts that if you truly and only want to marry a Jew, then your intuition will lead you in the right direction. The easiest way to find out is to simply come out and ask. During the first few minutes of small talk while you’re introducing yourself, just ask if he or she is single and while you’re there, why not slip in a quick question to see if he or she is Jewish. This question won’t sound shocking to the other person if he or she is single and also wants to meet a Jew, and you won’t waste anytime in the meantime.
The thing is, you have absolutely nothing to lose by asking someone if he or she is single and Jewish. It may be a little embarrassing at first and it may be awkward if the answer is “no,” but when the answer is “yes” the ice will automatically be broken. So get off your tuchus and go out with some friends to a bar because your beshert may already be there waiting for you.