It’s the time of year when the Jewish calendar turns to love–Tu B’Av (which falls on August 5th this year). The traditional, somewhat obscure day of Jewish matchmaking originated in the time of the Talmud, and it may seem irrelevant today. But there’s no question that matchmaking, in its many forms, is still a common way to meet “the One.”
When I moved to New York, everyone told me it was the perfect place to meet a nice Jewish boy, date for a bit, and get married. I chuckled and quickly shifted the conversation.
Well, I came to New York a few years ago, and I just wasn’t meeting those nice Jewish boys. So I did itâ€¦I joined JDate.
I refused to pay for the service and didn’t really expect to find anyone. (JDate allows you to participate in messaging and view member profiles without paying. In order to initiate conversation or view your “emails” you need to be a paid member.) I just wanted to meet new people. Then, after a bunch of really strange dates (like the one where the guy wouldn’t walk next to me but instead ran ahead and waited for me to catch up, ran ahead, waited, run ahead, waitedâ€¦well, you get the picture) and a few good ones in between (which didn’t turn into anything), I finally found someone I thought was worth a second, third, and fourth date.
At the beginning of our relationship, when people asked how we had met, we said it was through mutual friends. We figured if people knew we met on JDate, they’d make assumptions about us: we were desperate, we weren’t religiously observant or were willing to date the many non-Jews on JDate, we lacked the social skills to meet people on our own, or the many other stereotypes attached to Internet dating and JDate in particular, all of which, for us, were totally untrue.
Well here I am, almost two years later, sporting a diamond on that all-important finger and planning a wedding with my JDate match. We no longer feel embarrassed to tell people we met online and, in fact, we’re excited to say so. We’re psyched to give all of the Internet daters out there some hopeâ€¦it can work out! You can find someone! These days online dating may be just about the easiest way to meet new people, and meeting new people is one of the easiest ways to find love.
Finding love might sound so easy, but the truth is, it takes work. Whether it’s with a shadhan, the Millionaire Matchmaker, a mutual friend, or a dating website, Jewish matchmaking is alive and well.