Author Archives: Tamar Caspi

Tamar Caspi

About Tamar Caspi

Tamar Caspi is an advice columnist for JDate and has a syndicated column that has been published around the world since 2008. Her writing has appeared in publications like The Jerusalem Post, The New York Post, The Jewish Advocate, The San Diego Jewish Journal, and more. Caspi has a background in news, TV, radio, and marketing with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from UCLA. She currently lives with her family in San Diego, California. Read more about her and her book How to Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating here.

Lessons of a Broken Heart

How to Woo a JewIt’s amazing how your first broken heart feels like the end of the world. Until your next broken heart which makes the one prior feel like a farce. I can recall how completely crushed I felt when my college boyfriend transferred schools and dumped me. Little did I know at the time that he was doing me a huge favor, but in the moment I was utterly obliterated. I didn’t know what to do with myself or who I was without him. I kept in touch with his family as a way to feel connected to him and as a way to delay having to deal with what was next for me. I had immersed myself into us as a couple and had not spoken to my friends at length in many months. I had to swallow my pride and call them. Of course they all understood as everyone goes through that relationship phase at least once in their lives. They allowed me to commiserate and I’m sure were bored to death when all I could do was talk about my ex, but they stayed by my side until I got it out of my system.

Finally, I had recovered. I had gotten to the point where I realized that him breaking my heart was the best thing he could have ever done for me. I was over him and moving on—just in time for him to come home on winter break and call me. Eight times over a two-hour period. Didn’t he know about Caller ID? I was flattered and quite pleased with myself. He wanted me back and I now had the power, but I also had the strength to tell him to bug off. I pondered what to do for a few hours, I admit, and even called those girlfriends to confirm my decision to not call him back. I knew that he was not right for me, and I knew that I deserved better. He hadn’t set a high bar for the next boyfriend, but at least I knew I would never settle for something that low again either. Of course, I went on to have heartbreaks much, much worse than I could have ever imagined back then but I learned that I would survive and go on to be stronger regardless of the circumstances. This proved itself when my marriage was crumbling. I experienced massive heartbreak once I realized that my marriage couldn’t be saved, and so I mourned the marriage and gained the strength to leave—partly due to the lessons I learned as an innocent twenty-year-old. I had learned that I would survive, that the bar was set higher once again, and that I wouldn’t settle even if it meant being a divorced, single mother.

The Visiting Scribes series was produced by the Jewish Book Council‘s blog, The Prosen People.

The Jewish world is full of debates. Get the latest in MyJewishLearning’s weekly blogs newsletter.

Posted on January 24, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Faking the Big A — Attitude!

tamar-caspiDating is all about attitude. If you’re in a pissy mood about something totally unrelated to your date, or if you were forced to go on a blind date by your overbearing mother and you arrived and knew instantly that this was not your beshert, it would behoove you to still smile and try to enjoy yourself. Nothing is worse than indifference. What’s a Jew to do?

1. Smile. Smiling sends positive signals to your brain and tricks it into thinking you’re actually happy. And then you might actually find yourself having a good time.

2. Be nice. Remember that your beshert could be around the next corner. So be nice to everyone because you don’t know who they know. Your dud of a date could have a friend who is perfect for you. That girl who is checking people in at that singles mixer your friend dragged you to could catch your eye.

3. Have faith. We’re Jews, which means we are persistent people. Dating is a numbers game so you may have to kiss a few or a lot of frogs before you meet your prince or princess.

4. Take a break. If your attitude is just so down in the dumps, whether it’s dating-related or not, that you can’t bring yourself to have anything positive to say, then take a break from dating. You aren’t going to yourself any favors by having a negative attitude.

5. Fake it. Some people are not naturally peppy, but when creating an online dating profile or going out on what feels like your thousandth first date, you need to crank it up a notch. Ask questions, be a good listener, and open up. Having too big of a guard up is a huge let down.

The Visiting Scribes series was produced by the Jewish Book Council‘s blog, The Prosen People.

The Jewish world is full of debates. Get the latest in MyJewishLearning’s weekly blogs newsletter.

Posted on January 22, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Finding My Jewishness

How to Woo a JewAt birth I was blessed with not one, not two, but four Jewish names. Tamar Avital is the name my parents gave me, and then they also bequeathed upon me a Hebrew name because apparently Tamar Avital isn’t Hebrew enough. To honor my great-great aunts I was also named P’nina Yafa. And with the last name Caspi I didn’t have a fighting chance to be anything but Jewish. People would know I was a Jew before they would meet me and for most of my life that was fine as I always identified as Jewish, an identity which was only further ingrained via the Jewish Community Center for preschool, private Jewish elementary school, Jewish sleepaway camp, temple youth group, Hillel in college and so on. My first kiss took place during my birthday party when I turned twelve, during a game of spin the bottle with the nice Jewish boy from the neighborhood who previously was my “husband” in Kindergarten at the San Diego Jewish Academy. My first real make-out session happened beneath the redwood trees of Saratoga, California at Camp Swig—with a nice Jewish boy from Northern California.

I never thought twice about having a Jewish family until midway through high school when I subconsciously and unintentionally decided that I didn’t need a Jewish husband to make that happen. None of my high school boyfriends were Jewish, nor were my college boyfriends or any of the guys I dated through my early twenties. I was planning an interfaith family in my head. I knew there were rabbis who would agree to officiate at an interfaith marriage, and I even once had a discussion with my college boyfriend about allowing future children to celebrate Christmas at his parent’s house just not in our house. Eventually, as I matured and gathered more life experience, I came to the realization that I did indeed need and want and desire a Jewish husband. As my Jewish girlfriends were getting married and starting families, I realized that having a Jewish husband who was raised similarly made these milestones all the more meaningful and that awareness changed my mindset completely. Suddenly all I saw were Yids. In fact, I would ask if a guy was Jewish before even wondering if he was single. Non-Jews were persona non-grata and I had zero attraction to those who were not members of the tribe. Not only did I want a Jewish home with a Jewish family, but I wanted a Jewish husband too—bonus points for having multiple Jewish names.

The Visiting Scribes series was produced by the Jewish Book Council‘s blog, The Prosen People.

The Jewish world is full of debates. Get the latest in MyJewishLearning’s weekly blogs newsletter.

Posted on January 21, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy