Modern Jewish dating has moved way past the traditional matchmaking days á la Yenta of Fiddler on the Roof. Nowadays, Jewish dating generally involves the following questions: Is he a nice Jewish boy? Does she attend synagogue? Is she going to be a doctor or a lawyer? How tall is he? Does he keep kosher? All of these questions can be answered with just one swipe when using the Jewish dating app JSwipe. You no longer have to go out of your way to find out all of the nitty-gritty details about whom you would potentially want to date; rather, everything is instantly laid out in your date’s bio. To put it straight: this ain’t your mama’s traditional dating.
Swipe right to find your next boyfriend or potential soul mate. Swipe left to dodge that awkward guy with the blatant “Your mother would love me!” quotation in his profile.
JSwipe’s system is straightforward and simple: you only get notified if there is mutual interest from both parties — a win-win situation. This minimizes the sense of vulnerability that comes with putting yourself out there, because JSwipe’s system ensures that the interest is mutual. Once you do get a match, “Mazal tov!” appears on the screen along with dancing rabbis, symbolizing a Jewish wedding.
Conversation starters on JSwipe usually include “Hey you look familiar” or “So what’s your story?” or “Hmm where were you in your third picture?” or “I like your smile.”
JSwipe also allows you to filter factors such as location and level of Jewish observance to make the process easier and more convenient. You can see users who are as far as 200 miles away, or even someone who lives in your residence hall, whom you may bump into on Bruin Walk. David Yarus, JSwipe’s founder, illustrated his vision of an innovated forum for Jews to connect and see the potential matches available within reach. “It’s about connecting people for love, friendship, travel, or whatever they seek,” he told The Times of Israel while on a recent visit to Israel.
Are the people on there looking for a quick hookup? A nice date? A potential soul mate? Or just someone to talk to at their convenience?
The intentions of JSwipe users are yet to be determined. One JSwipe user opened up about her frustration regarding JSwipe dating: “I still can’t tell if guys on JSwipe are serious or not. I have received some questionable messages and a lot of messaging that goes nowhere.”
However, users shouldn’t let potential matches linger in technological limbo, but take the initiative to take the next step and meet face to face. Relationships are already complicated enough, why add to the chaos by adding technology to the mix?
Dating apps may no longer be unusual, but they haven’t been around long enough to evaluate long-term results. Are they more damaging or do they connect people who wouldn’t have met under normal circumstances? Another JSwipe user whom I spoke with conveyed his satisfaction with the app: “JSwipe has allowed me to connect with many Jewish singles that I would not have crossed paths with otherwise.”
Another student I spoke to recounted her eccentric date with a somewhat metrosexual part-time model and business student. He was very aesthetically driven and complemented her physical appearance more than what she had to say. He didn’t value the conversations they shared, and hardly gave her a chance to speak. On top of that, he insisted on them sharing a meal meant for one and justified that neither he nor his date should be eating so many carbs single-handedly. She came to the conclusion that “unfortunately there are certain things you can’t learn about someone until you meet them face-to-face.” To sum it up, she left the date hungry and disappointed with the new methods of dating in today’s society.
Finding someone to date when you’re an active college student can be very arduous and time-consuming, which is why having an array of potential matches right at your fingertips may come in handy. Another UCLA student that I spoke to revealed, “I find it most awkward when matching with someone I have [a] class with, and then seeing them in person, pretending I don’t know who they are or even what their name is.” It could take away from the intimacy of meeting someone for the first time and raise expectations of what each person is supposed to do in the in-person setting.
Seeing your match in person, unintentionally, may be awkward at first. You almost have to resist the urge to say, “Oh hey, you’re so-and-so, age 22 and a bio major.” The next question that arises is who’s going to make the next move and start the face-to-face conversation? The next time you see your JSwipe match in your psych class, get past the awkward eye contact and take initiative by introducing yourself. Remember, “you could always tell people you guys met at Trader Joe’s.”
JSwipe definitely colors outside the lines of old-school Jewish dating. This comes with a downside, however; online dating could be deceptive. The guy posing with the great smile on a yacht could just be an average Joe who works at Ralph’s, not the millionaire you thought he was. The way in which one can create a mirage of who he or she is on social media could be far from reality. Jswipe is a great alternative of putting yourself out there in the dating world without having to actually get out of your pajamas, and the intimidating factors that come with a social setting. It’s a wonderful app that opens doors for people, but remember, nothing replaces the intimacy of meeting face to face, even in today’s 21st century.
Dating with JSwipe could be compared to being given a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. So next time you’re swiping away, keep a bottle of Manischewitz handy and remember that your next potential love interest could be just a swipe away.