The title to Tamar Caspi’s guide for dating can be a little misleading at first. “How to Woo a Jew” is not only for those seeking out Jewish partners. Nor is it solely directed at a female audience. Anyone needing advice on dating can benefit from reading this book. Caspi not only references stories from her experience as JDate’s blogger, but also uses her personal dating experience. She devotes each chapter to a different stage of a relationship. The first helps you figure out if you’re ready for dating. The following chapters describe online dating, how to set up a profile, awkwardness of first dates, advantages to poly-dating, and when to get serious, aka “The Talk.” Caspi’s tone throughout the guide is so conversational that at times I forgot I was reading a book versus having coffee with her while we exchanged dating stories.
I did more than just read the guide—l listened to Caspi’s advice as I went out on dates. It’s important to remember while reading that dates aren’t going to play out exactly how Caspi describes. Some of her suggestions are hard to follow, such as not texting until after the first date. That’s not easy. Texting is, unfortunately, the preferred form of communication for people who are my age. I didn’t want to completely discount a potential date because we communicated mostly through text. The best way to use to this guide is just that: as a guide. Depending on your own values and preferences, you can adjust to Caspi’s advice.
Other than the boost in confidence, there are two other aspects that I take away from Caspi’s piece. First is making “The List” of approximately twenty values that are important to you and rating them on a scale of 1 to 10. This activity helps you figure out which potential dates are worth your time. The second takeaway is a term Caspi coins, “poly-dating.” This is the cure for Hopeless Romantics, like myself. By dating multiple people at once, you won’t fall as quickly for someone because your attention is spread out to multiple suitors. There are many takeaways from “How to Woo a Jew”—for the rest, you will have to check it out for yourself!
Dvorah Lewis is pursuing her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Archival Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.