Monday, September 13, 2004

Get in while the going is good


I ran into an old college acquaintance of mine, who now lives in Israel and is a matchmaker for

For those who need background, SawYouAtSinai is an internet dating service which sort of combines qualities of both internet dating and traditional matchmaking. You post a profile of yourself with a photo, stats, and essays, but they are not viewable by the public. The only ones who see them are the matchmakers who work for the site. If they think another member is appropriate for you, they send you an email and then you can see the other person's profile. This way, it's not a public free-for-all like Jdate, Frumster, or Dosidate (so people who are shy or discreet feel more comfortable), but you do get to see what the person wrote about themselves and their photo. Personally I think it's a nice complement to the other sites.

Anyhow, this acquaintance of mine pulled me aside and whispered "I saw your profile on SawYouAtSinai, and I just want to tell you not to feel bad."

I said "Why? Is there a problem with my profile? Did I say something wrong?"

She said "no, your profile is fine. I'm just saying, don't take it personally if you haven't gotten any responses from the matchmakers. If they aren't setting you up, it doesn't reflect on you."

I said "What? What are you talking about?"

She said "You have to understand, in all of Israel, there are over 300 women signed up for the service [she may have said closer to 400, but I don't remember] and only 30 men."

I said "You mean to tell me that in the entire country, there are 30 men signed up, and more than 10 times that number of women?"

She said "Yes. And when you factor in that those 30 men are in different age ranges and different hashkafot, the chances of any one woman having a man on the site who is remotely for her dims considerably."

No wonder they tried to set me up with a divorced man in the US who has 6 children! Though I have to say, given what she told me, I'm pleased to report that they did offer to set me up with a few guys who were, like, normal! Actually within the realm of marriage imagination!*

Now, granted, SawYouAtSinai caters more to an American crowd. It's not well-advertised in Israel. I checked on Dosidate, an Israeli site, to compare, and by making my search terms as broad as possible (but excluding men who do not currently live in Israel), I discovered 6,157 men of all ages, shades of Orthodoxy, etc.

I'd be interested if any of my male readers who are on Dosidate could do an identical search for women, and tell me what numbers came up.

Anyhow, the point is, if you are a single male homo sapien Jew living in Israel, and you want to get dates, and you have a pulse, SawYouAtSinai is, like, the most amazing supply-and-demand situation you could ever dream up! It's a freakin' candy store! Go crazy! Get 'em while they're hot! Buy low, sell high!

* Here's my SawYouAtSinai breakdown:

10 matches offered (4 in Israel, 6 in United States)

  • 3 didn't happen because the male declined the offer
  • 2 didn't happen because I declined the offer (one had 6 kids -- excuse me for not being able to handle that--and the other was, hashkafically and age-wise, soooooooooooo out of my radar)
  • 3 didn't happen because I had already dated the guys (though, 2 I offered to date again, since many years had passed and people change; but they said no)
  • 1 resulted in a date that was very nice, but the guy never called again.
  • 1 resulted in a date with a guy who was completely bizarre, a little scary actually, and I couldn't wait to get out of there.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I just got a call from the matchmaker involved in this story, who said that either she'd mis-spoken or I'd misunderstood (either could be the case, since the original conversation happened under hurried circumstances), but the ratio of men to women is NOT as bad as 1:10. First of all, there are many people whose profiles are "hidden," seen only by the matchmakers they choose as "their" matchmakers, and therefore my friend wouldn't know about them. Plus, she said now, the true ratio of men to women, among the "public" profiles seen by all the matchmakers, is more like 1:2. Still bad, she acknowledged, but not as bad as 1:10. The number "30" had come up -- or was meant to come up-- more in connection with the number of men in Israel on the site who are within my age/hashkafa range (though, keep in mind, I'm competing with many, many other women for those 30 guys.) Basically, she said that the situation is bad, but not 1:10 bad.

Also, my own note: women should not refrain from signing up from Saw You At Sinai just because of the ratio problem. The guy you are supposed to meet just might be on the site. Signing up takes minutes, it's free, and it's discreet; you really have nothing to lose. If you don't like the people they suggest to you, you do not have to accept the matches. And, you might be one of the lucky ones for whom the site really works.

I apologize to Saw You At Sinai, and to my readers, for the error.

If you know of sites that have linked to this post, please ask them to make their readers aware of this update.

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