While some online dating sites ask about religion in the same dismissive way as eye color and hair color, for some users, the answer to that is a major deal-breaker.
In this Jdate Review, this is a place where hundreds of thousands of romances, friendships, engagements and marriages have been launched since 1997.
According to the site, 52 percent of Jewish marriages started online in a survey of nearly 1,000 married Jewish internet users. Scroll below to find out what makes Jdate work well and where it has room for improvement.
If you’re joining this site, keep in mind you don’t have to be Jewish. Does it help? Sure. But in the sign-up process, you can also choose “willing to convert” if this is an area where you are open to learn more.
This site is easy to navigate from the end of the sign-in process. See who is online, search by distance, review match percentage and/or create a LookBook. Even without signing up, the LookBook will allow you the opportunity to figure out whether this is a good site for you to join. You can see the first image of other users, their profile descriptions and who they are seeking. If you’re not into really long relationships, then you may find the search option handy to choose someone as close as 5 miles away.
The Match percentage drop-down could possibly be the most helpful for you. Why? This will make it easier for you to see who you mesh with the best. It’s not as analytical as a personality quiz that helps match answers more specifically, but it does give you a percentage from top to bottom to let you know who you should be paying the most attention to.
Let’s say you leave the site and come back. Check out “Viewed Me,” “Mutual Likes” and “My Likes” to see what you missed out on. There may have been someone you passed up on before that you want to revisit later. Contrary to romantic comedies, real life isn’t always love at first sight. It may take two, three or four.
Where Are the Majority of Members Based?
Self-proclaiming itself as “the modern shidduch,” the site is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Jdate is an operating business of Spark Networks SE (a NYSE MKT Company, LOV) and has an international office in Israel.
You also have the option to decide the maximum mileage you’re willing to go to find someone. If you’re getting ready to move (for work opportunities, personal reasons), this is also a great time to be able to meet people who live in the area. You may end up with a “special someone” before you even arrive at your destination.
If you’re trying to get out of posting your own photos, beware that in order to get to the next step of this process requires you to show a photo or two. You can, however, choose to use your real name or a made-up username if you want to protect your privacy a little more.
The remaining questions will be the usual ones you’d answer on other sites, so there’s nothing overly complicated or tedious to respond to from initial entry.
Before you can send any messages, make sure to read the alert: “At Jdate, we want to protect you in your online dating experience and we need your help to do so. Please read and accept this important message. I promise to never send money, ask others for money or share financial information with anyone I meet on Jdate. In addition, I pledge to report anyone who asks me for money or my financial information.”
So why does this matter? Too often, users may start off acting as though they are interested but ask for a few dollars at a time. Eventually, the amounts get larger. Jdate’s goal is to match up like-minded and interested people, not to “raise” another person. If someone appears to be too comfortable asking for money or favors, you should report the conversation immediately.
Pricing & Membership Options
Send and receive messages from other paid users, hide your online status, browse other matches, see read receipts, and browse other matches anonymously. For a six-month membership, this costs $29.99 per month. For three months, the cost is $44.99 per month. And for one month, it is $59.99 per month.
Safety & Security
While some sites will not let you get even slightly far without paying, Jdate is somewhere in the middle. All users (whether paid or unpaid) can see the main profile shot to at least be able to tell if they’re interested in the person on the other side. (This should be a reminder that you must use your best photo as the main one, especially if you want other users to do the same thing.) However, you cannot see additional photos without payment, but you can see a profile description and what other users are seeking
Pros & Cons
The U.S. based care team is available to help seven days a week. However, from first glance at the “JLife” resource page, it does not appear to be updated regularly. One example of that is one of the first few posts is for “Jewish Holiday Calendar: The Important Dates for 2019!” If, for nothing else, this site is Shabbat, Tu B’Shvat, Ta’anit Esther, Purim, Shushan Purim, Passover, Yom HaShoa, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Lag B’Omer, Shavuot, The 17th of Tammuz, Tish’a B’Av, Tu Be’Av, Rosh Hashanah, Fast of Gedaliah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah and Hanukkah. Oddly, the 2020 dates are underneath, so you may have to bookmark last year’s link to get 2021’s important dates.
Additionally, usually when online daters see the question about “want kids,” they must choose a simple “yes” or “no.” But this site gives them a bit more wiggle room, by choosing “not thinking of kids right now.” That can help them get eliminated for those who also have parenthood on the backburner but not dismissed totally off the page.
Although the site is easy to navigate, you may notice that there are a lot of pop-ups warning you that “We are experiencing network problems. Please try again.” The tech problems don’t necessarily stop you from searching around the site and/or sending messages, but just be aware that you may see an occasional glitch here and there.
If you join this site and find that you don’t have immediate matches, you could take Jdate up on their suggestion to change your preferences. But if you’re sincerely sure that your current dating specifications are exactly what you want, stick to them. While online dating will open up your options to find people that you may not run into at the grocery store, the library or a nightclub, that doesn’t mean you should just snatch up the first person who is interested. Wait it out. If you’ve paid, you have several months to see what’s going on. And that means other users have plenty of time to join and find you, too.
So does the site feel like it’s flooded with Jewish (wo)men? Not so much. You may forget you are on a site for Jewish singles at some point because the site is set up in such a way that it’s about dating more than religious preferences. But as with any other online dating site, if there is something that is truly important to you that is not covered during the sign-in questions, make sure to mention that. Represent your own profile as not only who you want to date but also who you are. By doing this on Jdate (or any site really), users can see what stands out to you.
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