This One’s for the Men: 5 Creative Ways to Get Girls to Message You Back

Hey baby!
Hey beautiful.
What’s up, sexy?
You must be tired because you’ve been running around my mind all day!

If you’ve ever sent someone an email or text like the ones above from one of the online dating sites or apps, then you know the outcome: crickets. No respectable woman (if that’s what you’re going for) wants to receive a note that not only shows that you didn’t read her profile but also turns her into a piece of meat. Below are real, unedited emails that female clients of mine have received on various online dating sites that were certainly not the right way to get someone to respond favorably:

Your profile caught my eye and I am a little embarrassed to tell you why. You look just like.. You look like the mom next door, but I can’t help but think you’re super naughty. It is really hot. You are innocent and sweet looking, but it is like you are thinking something less than pure in your head. I don’t know why I got that feel, but I did. It just makes me think you are very sexy milf! haha Okk, sorry! That was too forward! hah

Wow ok.. So u probably get alot of bull crap messages so I’m just going to be real. I would like to know u and take u out lol. U wanna know more about me, write me 🙂 hope to hear from soon

Shut up and let me take u out

Too bad for me that I am married!!!!

Hello there, you’re very pretty! I wish you were my girlfriend!

These are bad, and I hope I don’t have to explain why. Now that we’ve gotten what not to do out of the way, let’s look at 5 creative ways to get girls to message you back:

5. Speak like a human.

Ok, this one admittedly isn’t very creative, but it is necessary. Please check for grammar and punctuation. And if you want to say “you,” then write it out rather than using “u” instead. It’ll go further than you think, even on JSwipe and Tinder.

4. Make sure she knows you read her profile.

This is another boring one, I know, but it’s important that you don’t just comment on her “gorgeous smile.” Rather, comment on how she totally killed your time in the marathon or how impressive it is that she drinks peaty Scotch.

3. Use a quirky or creative subject line (if there’s a place for one).

Would you rather answer an email with “Enjoyed your profile” or “Alien invasion – take cover” as the subject line? Unless you’re actually concerned about aliens (or don’t like people with a sense of humor), then I’m guessing you’d choose the latter. So will she.

2. Always ask a fun question, usually at the end.

Not fun: “How are you enjoying the weather these days?” Seriously? The weather?

Fun: “So your friends say you’re loyal, funny, and adventurous… awesome. But what I want to know is this: How would your enemies describe you? ;-)”

Another fun one: “That’s awesome that peanut butter was listed as the first thing on your ‘can’t live without’ list. Are we talking crunchy or creamy? Very important.”

And #1…

1. Tease her in a way that makes her want to tease you back.

“You’re a Red Sox Fan. I’m a Yankees fan. Are we doomed? Good thing you also mentioned that you like an IPA, so I think we stand a chance.”

“No sushi for you? I may have to work with you on that one since it’s my favorite. We won’t start out with eel or anything raw. Deal?”

Obviously, no one can ever guarantee that your email or text will receive a response, but if you follow these tips rather than your usual “Sup, yo?” greeting, then you’re at least off to a good start.

Feel free to list in the comments some emails or intros on the apps that worked… or didn’t.

Jewish Girl of the Week and Trivia Queen Robin

Robin 1Meet Gather’s Jewish Girl of the Week, Robin. Read on if you want a recommendation on great vegetarian spots in the city and a leg up on this week’s trivia at Sixth & I!

Jackie: What brought you to DC and how long have you been here?
Robin: I moved to DC two and a half years ago, without a job, for a change of scenery. I grew up in MA, went to school at Brandeis, and then lived in Boston for a few years after graduation. So it was time to explore a new city!

Jackie: What do you love to do in the city for fun?
Robin: I love exploring new restaurants. I’m a vegetarian, so sometimes it’s hard to find a substantial meal in the more meat-heavy places. Recently, I went to Ghibellina and was blown away by the food. Their gnocchi with butternut squash, maitake mushrooms, and sage was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Robin 2Jackie: So you work for Sixth & I. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Robin: Trivia Night is by far my favorite part my job. We do it every other month and we try to center each one around a creative theme. Tonight, January 21st, for example, we’re having British Invasion Trivia. The questions will touch on all different areas of British culture and we’ll be serving fresh-made fish n’ chips! We’re really trying to revive our Trivia Nights by adding in some new fun elements to stand out from your typical pub trivia. Plus, $15 for dinner and 2 drinks? Can’t find that kind of deal anywhere else in the District.

Jackie: For people coming to Trivia Night tonight, any hints to help their game?
Robin: I would definitely study up on your British History (i.e., monarchs), and you may want to watch this YouTube clip.

Jackie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Robin: Well, when I’m not spending Shabbat at Sixth & I, I love having Shabbat dinner with friends or family. There’s nothing like a relaxing evening of good food and good company.

Robin 3

Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Robin: I love love love kugel. The more dairy the better (contrary to what many Jews might prefer). Also, Cheryl Ann’s challah from Brookline, MA is my weakness.

Jackie: Who is the coolest Jew?
Robin: Lizzy Caplan is pretty badass.

Jackie: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Robin: the complaining ensues.


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GTJ and Moishe House Happy Hour Fundraiser

Join Gather the Jews and all the DC-area Moishe Houses for a Happy Hour Fundraiser benefiting the National Campus Leadership Council and efforts to combat sexual assault on college campuses.

When: Thursday, January 22, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Where: Southern Hospitality, 1815 Adams Mill Road, NW

Housemates and special guests will be bartending Thursday night on the corner of 18th and Columbia. $3 Bud Lights and HALF PRICE ALL Bottles of Wine!

Online Dating was SO Last Sunday

“If you needed proof that New Year’s resolutions are real, you probably could have found it on OkCupid/Tinder/JSwipe/Hinge Sunday night,” says Ellie Krupnick in her recent article on

According to data from and Mashable, the first Sunday in January (as in, this past Sunday) was, and will be, the year’s busiest night for online dating. The first week of January alone is predicted to see two million users logging onto, the site said, with traffic reaching its highest numbers January 4th.

Why might this be? If people have been home for the holidays with family around asking (prying?) about their single status, then the Sunday following New Year might be the first chance that they actually have for themselves. So why not online date?

If you missed the window the other night and think all the good potential mates are taken, don’t worry. All hope is not lost! The period between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day is the most active season, so you still have plenty of time to sign in and schedule those dates.

The fallacy, though, is that many people think that by simply signing up or logging in to an online dating site or app, they are well on their way to coupling bliss, if that’s what they are looking for, of course. Everyone says, “Relationships take work,” but finding love (or even just a quality date for next Tuesday night) also takes work, which some people don’t realize. I wish we were all so lucky to have Prince Charming (or Princess Charming) fall into our arms, but I don’t know anyone who has that kind of luck. Just like in our jobs, we have to make our own happiness. (I know first-hand since I quit my job in finance back in 2011 to follow this passion of starting my own business.) We have to do that in the love arena, too. Maybe it won’t make for the best meet cute, but you won’t care when you’re in the arms of someone you love and who loves you.

Online dating isn’t easy, which many people don’t realize. They think they can just throw a profile up there and wait. No way, Jose. That’s like walking into a bar and just plopping yourself on a stool without even trying to make conversation with anyone. Or assuming you’ll lose weight simply by paying your gym membership every month even if you never set foot inside. It’s just not going to work.

Let’s refresh ourselves on a few pointers to make sure online dating can work for you:

  1. Choose three to five photos, including a clear shot of your face and a full-body shot.  It also helps to have a shot of you doing something interesting to provide some “email bait.” Tinder allows six photos. allows 26! Less is more.
  2. Make sure your profile is well-written (check it for errors) and not too long. After a long day of work, people have a hard time focusing on profiles that ramble on and on, especially on the apps. Bullet points work well here.
  3. Stand out from the crowd. Do you like to laugh and have fun? Me, too. Someone would rather see that you like the color turquoise, have a pet turtle, and build five-tiered snowmen than that you’re “just as comfortable in a little black dress or tux as you are in a pair of jeans and flip flips.”
  4. Be proactive.  Reach out to people who interest you.  It’s 2015.  The ball is in your court.

Happy dating!

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge and author of Love at First Site, available on Amazon.  Her work has been seen on NPR, Talk Philly, The Washington Post, and more.  To join her mailing list for tips and events, please join here.

Open Doors Fellowship FAQ

1. Who are we looking for?

Social connectors – If you love meeting new people, helping others find and create community, and are interested in creating diverse opportunities for Jewish life, this is for you!  Must be open to learning new skills, growing personally, and being part of a team.

2. How much of a time commitment is this?

Time will differ depending on the week, but on average we expect 5-6 hours per week plus a Fellows meeting every 2 weeks.

3. What if I can’t attend the scheduled Fellows meetings?

Once the group of Fellows is hired we will plan meetings around individual’s schedules.  You may miss no more than one meeting over the course of the Fellowship.  The immersive training and capstone trip are both required, as they are key aspects of the Fellowship experience.

4. Where will the Fellows meetings be held?

We will base locations on convenience for the group once we know where people live and work.

5. What is Immersive training and what will it entail?

Immersive training will take place from a Friday – Sunday in the winter at an off-site location outside of the city.  It will include team building, professional skills, and a deeper review of the Fellowship.

6. What will success look like?

The goals of this Fellowship are to foster a pro-sumer model meaningful Jewish life, where individuals are a part of creating catered experiences for themselves and their community.  This may happen through existing events and opportunities, or new initiatives that emerge from within your community.  Success will be achieved through a relationship-based approach to Jewish life.  There are many models of success depending on each Fellow and their community.

7. Do I need specific Jewish background to participate?

No! There will be no assumption of previous Jewish knowledge as a part of this fellowship

E-mail with additional questions.


The Top Five Online Dating Findings from 2014

Do you like to travel?  Me, too.  Apparently so does everyone else on  How do I know this? just came out with its 2014 Year in Review report, and below are the top five highlights:

  1. The most common word people used in profiles in 2014 was “travel.”  It showed up in more than one million profiles—1,005,346, to be exact.  That’s a lot of planes, trains, and automobiles.
  2. Words that made big jumps in popularity this year were Zumba, electrician, welcoming, warmhearted, crochet, quickest, cosmetology, ladies, and sewing… with Zumba being #1.  Now, what percentage of the people who list going to Zumba actually go to Zumba?  The world may never know.
  3. The most common phrase people used was “down to earth.”  Almost a quarter of a million people describe themselves that way.  Yep, 232,348 people consider themselves to be down to earth.  This is why we shouldn’t use “empty adjectives.”  They can’t be proven until you get to know someone.  And even then, it’s pretty subjective.
  4. “Frozen” was listed as 5,501 people’s favorite movie this year, which is well above any other movie.  How many times can a person actually listen to “Let it Go” on repeat?  Actually, I don’t think I want to know!
  5. One person used a whopping… wait for it… 44 hashtags in his profile! #toomuchtimeonyourhands

In writing a fictitious profile that encompasses all five highlights, let’s see what we have here:

I’m a down to earth gal (because my dad was an electrician) who loves to go to Zumba class, travel, and crochet.  I like to sew, too, but I’m not old enough to do that too often!  #notagrandmayet  I’m also pretty warmhearted, especially since I LOVE watching Frozen.  That Elsa is such a strong woman, just like me.

What’s the moral here?  Dare to be different!  The profile above kind of looks like one of the most annoying person who ever existed.  People don’t want to date one of the masses.  They want to date you, even (especially?) if you don’t watch Frozen or go to Zumba.



Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge and author of Love at First Site, available on Amazon.  Her work has been seen on NPR, Talk Philly, The Washington Post, and more.  To join her mailing list for tips and events, please join here.







The Miracle of Journeys

IMG_0533No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey: to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality—not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules—lots of them—or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth.” – Matisyahu, December 2011

On the seventh night of Chanukah I saw Matisyahu[1] perform at the 9:30 Club.  I had seen Matisyahu two other times, each six or seven years ago.  I remember a Chassidic Jew who literally bounced around the stage while wearing payes, a long black jacket, and a black hat.  The way he wove Hebrew and prayer into his music was incredible moving.  I had never seen Judaism and pop culture come together in this way.

Last night Matisyahu, formerly Matthew Paul Miller, looked like any other musician.  The lyrics were the same and the music was still great.  But it was clear to me that he was at a very different point in his life from when I saw him last.  During the concert, I began to wonder, What does it mean to say the same words, sing the same songs, and elicit the same emotions from your audience, while being in a very different place on your own personal journey?

The idea of journeys, or Jewish journeys, is discussed a lot these days.  Lately, I had been wondering if this concept of journey had lost its meaning.  But last night, seeing someone on a very unique, very public Jewish journey, gave the idea new resonance for me.  As I prepare to light the candles for the final night of Channukah, I find myself asking, Where am I on my journey?  What about me has changed, and why does it matter?

I, and many Jews I know, continually seek different ways to express an authentic connection to Judaism and Jewish life.  Unlike Matisyahu, however, we engage in these experiments in relative privacy.  Ideally, our family and friends give us space to try different personas and forms of expression as we explore our Jewish journeys.

Because Matisyahu’s Jewish journey has been so public, some have questioned his authenticity.  They have said that his more observant persona was an act to sell records.  But I have to say, watching him schlep out a huge channukiah and light candles on stage gave me a deep sense of pride and gratitude that he has the courage and strength to let us bear witness to this part of his journey.  I hope it will inspire me and others to embrace the messiness of Jewish exploration, and to never feel stuck or pigeonholed into our current form of expression.

So, here’s to Jewish experiments, to Jewish journeys, to Jewish life.  L’chaim.

Happy Chanukah!

[1]Matisyahu is the Hebrew name of Mattathias, who led the Maccabbes’ revolt against King Antiochus in the 2nd century BC.

Open Doors DC Fellowship

Impact the landscape of DC’s Jewish life.
Connect and build relationships with young Jews across the DC area.
Build inclusive and welcoming community that is meaningful to you Ÿ
Create innovative Jewish experiences Ÿ
Explore Jewish DC + further your own Jewish connections Ÿ
Receive financial support for your initiatives, personal and professional development, mentorship, skill-building, and more.  Apply Now.

Join a volunteer cohort of 10 – 12 Fellows to serve in a 5 month Fellowship from February – June 2015.  This inaugural fellowship is an innovative experiment to help deepen social connections and provide concierge services for Jewish life in DC to those in their 20s & 30s. You will pilot a relationship-based and concierge-model approach to building Jewish community.

Fellows will build 1:1 relationships, create community, and help connect those individuals to the Jewish opportunities and meaning they are looking for, creating your own innovative project where none exist.  These projects can include social justice, learning, outdoors, politics, or any other topic all depending on the needs and interests of those you’re meeting.

We are looking for social connectors from diverse backgrounds and experiences who care about Jewish life in DC and want to help others connect to Jewish experiences that matter to them.

Fellows will receive:

  • Immersive professional training in a retreat setting outside of the city – skill training, team building, resource mapping, and more
  • Access to human and financial resources to support your relationship and community building
  • Jewish learning opportunities and resources (all backgrounds encouraged to apply!)
  • A capstone experience or trip at the conclusion of the Fellowship
  • Follow-through after the Fellowship has concluded

Expectations of Fellowship:

  • One weekend of immersive training
  • Approximately 5 – 6 hours per week including:
    –  Fellows meetings 2x per month
    – Relationship building with diverse range of young Jewish adults in DC and Relationship Management
    – Serve as a Greeters for new arrivals to DC
    – Create personally relevant Jewish initiatives around a topic or issue that matters to your community
    – Help design and launch DC’s only online DIY (Do It Yourself) Jewish Experience Portal