One of the more prominent idiosyncrasies in the Jewish Young Adult community is the online dating website known as JDate. What is unique about the website is that it specifically caters to the Jewish community as a whole, with the overwhelming bulk of patrons falling in the JYA category. The relationship between JYAs and the website known as JDate is tenuous. Even though JDate purportedly assists in creating potential conjugal experiences between JYAs, JYAs feel mixed emotions toward the website.
Initially, JYAs do enjoy the process of selectively screening potential mates, hacking through profiles with a discerning machete. JYAs also enjoy sharing potential matches with friends, comparing notes, and gathering objective opinions on the “hotness” of possible dating partners. One JYA, “Tricia”, accurately explained the initial appeal of Jdate, stating “So Jackie sent me this photo of this guy that she is chatting with and maybe might go on a date with. And he totally went to high school with me. And then I was like, OMG, Jackie, that photo is from high school, he’s totally like 30 pounds heavier now. She fully owes me big time for saving her from going out with a fatty”.
Fairly quickly after the initial charm of JDate wears off, JYAs feel a distinct aversion to the site. Typically after a month, the JYA will deem JDate “lame” or “desperate” (see The Matzah Ball), and will claim to shun all association with the site. This reversal of sentiments usually stems from a string of failed encounters with potential JDate matches, resulting in grudge-bearing against the site as a whole. “Tricia” again presented this argument well, stating “Ugh, the guys on Jdate are such losers. I went out on three dates, each guy was uglier than the one before it. The last guy just talked about this girl he was still in love with from college, and he didn’t even pay”
Finally, after a latency period of around three months, the typical JYA will again overturn their opinion of the site, again showing favoritism, except through different usage. Instead of using the site to find potential matches, they will share their negative experiences from months before with other JYAs, usually by commiserating over new members to the site, or stalking members they previously dated. Anecdotal evidence has also indicated that JYAs will show renewed favoritism to the site also because they harbor hope that newer members will be more attractive. “Tricia” summed up her rekindled partiality toward JDate three months after she initially logged on, stating “Jackie and I totally sit around and laugh at all these new dorks that are on the site. I mean, its not like I’m paying for it anymore or anything. Please, I only did it for a month. But, you never know, you know?”
While JDate has become a veritable household name for JYAs, both in Israel, the States, and elsewhere, the emotive response to the site is anything but uniform. JYAs like the site, while at the same time they hate that they like the site, while at the same time they like that they hate that they like the site. Fortunately for JDate and its financial backers, JYAs have a strong enough internal need to procreate where even with their mixed emotions there is no fear of going bankrupt.