Looking for your beshert Get advice before logging on

If you search for the words “Jewish” and “dating” on the Internet, be prepared to be sucked down a giant vortex of matchmakers, shadchanim and know-it-alls who are ready to pair you with your beshert.

Of course, matchmakers are part of a time-honored Jewish tradition and they can fulfill and important role. The only problem is that with so many people trying to sell you something online, quality, free advice is hard to find. Today, I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

The aish.com Web site — www.aish.com/dating — has a huge amount of advice for those seeking love and romance — not surprising when you consider that Aish HaTorah is behind SpeedDating. The articles are written by rabbis, rebbitzens, psychotherapists, lawyers and social workers in an informative and sometimes blunt tone. The Dating Advice section has articles on “Why doesn’t he call,” “Lying on a dating profile” and the always popular “Getting the guy to budge.”

The GenerationJ Relationships Archive, www.GenerationJ.com/archive/relationships/

articles.html, holds many other thought-provoking articles. In “My Male Yenta,” Anne Miller shares the following: “I have my very own personal yenta, and he is a stocky middle-aged married man named Ron.” How successful is Ron? You’ll have to sign on to find out.

The February 2001 issue of GenerationJ has more relationship articles, including “A Match Made in Henna” and a lovely ode to long-time romance, Ted Roberts’ “A Fifty Year Waltz, and Counting.” They’re at www.GenerationJ.com/archive/02_2001/feb.html.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out GenerationJ’s sister publications, Jvibe, www.jvibe.com; the teen-written JewZ.com; along with MzVibe for Ophira’s advice column, MzGuided, www.mzvibe.com/mzplaced/mzplaced17.shtml.

Enough with the advice! If you want to take a break from all the tips and guidance, and want to practice what you’ve learned, check out whether there are any singles events going on in your town or across the world at www.jewishnetwork.com. Or tag along with Sandra Hurtes as she finds out about Jewish spiritual retreats for singles and checks out what it’s like to register for an online dating service at www.jwmag.org/articles/07Summer03/p24.asp.

Mark Mietkiewicz is a Toronto-based Internet producer who writes, lectures and teaches about the Jewish Internet. Reach him at [email protected]