Do you talk about dating with your parents? Are any of the adults in your life a valuable source of romantic wisdom — or do you wish they’d just stay out of it?
It’s no secret that online dating can be a stultifying, painful and sometimes traumatizing experience.
But add to the general discomfort of small talk with a stranger or the fear of being stood up, the possibility of catching a virus mid-pandemic, and the pressures of finding “bashert” — a Hebrew term for one’s predestined partner, or soul mate — can seem existentially terrifying.
Even now, with the vaccine rollout continuing across the country, the emotional exhaustion of being alone with our apps for over a year of lockdown still remains for many.
Jessie Sweeney, 23, a student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, was single when she moved to Baltimore, Md., at the height of the pandemic. At first, she used a few different dating apps, like Hinge, to get to know people in the area, and made sure to keep her mother in the loop. “My mother, as Jewish mothers go, is very involved in my life,” Ms. Sweeney said.
Then, in July, Ms. Sweeney’s mother suggested she check out JustKibbitz, a new dating site intended to help the overswiped, overworked Jewish single find love in a post-pandemic world.
Unlike standard dating websites where members communicate directly with their prospective matches, JustKibbitz turns the process over to the parents, who make accounts showcasing their adult children, then arrange and, through digital gift cards for businesses like Starbucks, AMC and Chili’s, even pay for their dates.
Ms. Sweeney’s mother offered a proposal: she could create her daughter’s profile with photos from her camera roll and help her find “a nice Jewish boy you should go on a date with,” while Ms. Sweeney focused her energy on work and the law.
Ms. Sweeney was shocked by the idea, but amused. She said she trusted her mother’s judgment enough to agree: “I just laughed it off and let her do her thing.”
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