Dating Games: Take a look inside

When you’re looking to fall in love, the chances are you will get hurt along the way.

Cartoon 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cartoon 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Two of my close girlfriends are as different as night and day. The only thing they have in common besides being Jewish is that they’re both single. The problem is neither of them realizes that she’s not exactly making it easy on the single guys out there.
Miriam* is an entrepreneur who graduated from a party college and started her own company as a way to meet men. She lives in a rented apartment with her teeny, tiny (what was that I stepped on?) dog. She is 10 years out of school but hasn’t stopped partying. She’s the type who takes cell-phone pictures of herself in the mirror and posts them on Facebook right before she goes out. She also makes purposefully vague status updates as a way to get people to give her attention. Miriam likes to be surrounded by people at all times and dresses provocatively. In her mind, sex sells. She doesn’t see – or want to see – any correlation between how she represents herself and the fact that she’s still single.
Julie is a lawyer who lived at her parents’ home until she was 30 years old while she shopped for a condo that was never good enough. She’s finally in her own place downtown but she doesn’t go out a lot since she hates clubs and Jewish events. She is a social butterfly, has tons of close girlfriends but not much luck in the men department. So when she does go out she is with her girlfriends at dinner or getting drinks. She’s the epitome of “always the bridesmaid and never the bride.” She’s really into fashion but you wouldn’t know it from the way she dresses. She is at the very least conservative and modest and although those are great traits, they won’t help you meet anyone if you don’t put yourself out there.
Miriam knowingly dates guys who are totally wrong for her (i.e. not Jewish, not looking for a relationship, and sometimes not even single) but says she wants to meet a nice Jewish guy who loves sports above all else. Not exactly a great list of priorities. Julie has a strict list of what she wants in a man and very few men can measure up. He must be a Conservative Jew as well as a college graduate (preferably from a good four-year college) with a higher degree such as JD, MD, MBA or PhD. Although a better list, hers eliminates way too many potential suitors.
Miriam speaks her mind without thinking and can be brash but is a loyal friend and a really fun person to be around. Julie tends to come off as over-eager and is so sweet people think she’s being fake. She too is a loyal friend and fun to be around.
Miriam probably moves too fast when she meets a guy she likes, sending signals loud and clear and coming off as desperate. Julie is the opposite: she takes her sweet time with dates and doesn’t always send obvious signals, which tends to make her come off as uninterested. Though contradicting in nature, they both tend to turn guys off with their respective habits.
I SUPPOSE they do have a few things in common now that I think about it: both are able to hide their insecurities well; both have found great guys in the past but found inane reasons to end the relationship; both are on JDate but didn’t choose pictures or write profiles that portray them as the beautiful and wonderful women they are; and both are steadfast in their ways, never admitting that their priorities could use a little shake-up.
Miriam and Julie combined would make the perfect woman. Interestingly, they don’t get along at all. I suppose their outward values, the ones they portray to the world, are different, but as I’m friends with both, I believe that inside they’re more alike than not. They both desperately want to find a man who will appreciate them, love them and not want to change them. Miriam and Julie could learn a lot from each other: Miriam could tone down the way she dresses and speaks while Julie could become more outgoing and less oblivious. But first, both need to learn to love themselves… which, coincidentally, is the fastest way to attract men.
What I realized through my journey to find my beshert is that we all put up facades to cover up our respective insecurities and the fact that, bottom line, everyone is scared to get hurt. Each of my girlfriends is scared and so they are doing what they can to act strong. Miriam’s sexy, outgoing swag and Julie’s conservative nature are their body armor.
But when you’re looking for your beshert and looking to fall in love, the chances are you will get hurt along the way. So wouldn’t you rather put yourself out there and say you tried rather than escaping unscathed and, therefore, alone? Think about it. I don’t know one person who has never been hurt, but the people I know who are happily in love definitely got hurt more often because they opened themselves up to the opportunity to fall in love. Yes, they failed a few times, but ultimately and eventually, they succeeded.
*All names have been changed.