The Bintel Brief

Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Says Why Not Go for Coffee?

By Lisa Loeb

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Dear Lisa,

I recently signed up for J-Date. But I have trouble with this whole casual meet-lots-of-people thing. Here is why I’m bad at J-Date: I hate being ignored, and I can’t ignore people.

For instance, this one guy instant-messaged me. I didn’t answer. Then he e-mailed me. Then he e-mailed me again. Finally, I just felt so bad for not responding that I wrote back. And now he’s asked me out. He seems like a nice guy, but I’m pretty sure from his profile and our correspondence that we wouldn’t be a romantic match.

So now, instead of feeling bad for ignoring him, I feel bad that I’ve misled him. Should I agree to meet him, while being honest that I don’t think we would work out other than in a friend capacity? Do people meet with the intention of friendship? Is there some sort of J-Date protocol book?


Lisa Loeb replies:

I think you should go on a date with him. What’s a cup of coffee? It seems like you’re not really sure what you want. Although I’d suggest that you practice following your heart, if someone is interested in you, and you have the time to meet the guy, and you’re still single, go on the date, and pay attention to how you feel.

Maybe he’s more interesting than you can tell from his online bio. Perhaps he’s more of a well-rounded person than he was able to explain over the Internet. Maybe he feels uncomfortable describing himself on the Internet, and he’s a great guy. Maybe not. You won’t know until you speak to him in person.

Also, it might be a good idea to take a look at your behavior. You acted as if you were interested. If you’re really not, then don’t act as if you are. Don’t be nice just because you’re scared to be honest. It’ll come back to haunt you in the form of friends and obligations and possibly even boyfriends you don’t want, but all part of a life you were partially responsible for creating because you couldn’t follow your heart and say “no.”

Remember that you’re on J-Date to meet a man. Go on dates.

Lisa Loeb is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter whose hit single “Stay (I Missed You)” topped the charts. In 2006, she came out with a compilation album, “The Very Best of Lisa Loeb,” and launched her own E! reality series, “#1 Single,” which followed her as she looked for love. This month, she is revisiting her roots with a double-disc reissue of her 1992 debut, “The Purple Tape,” featuring original acoustic versions of some of her classics. She will be doing an in-store performance and signing in New York at the Columbus Circle Borders Books at 7 p.m. on January 22.

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Ruth Thu. Jan 24, 2008

I am a big proponent of JDate, having met my sweet and smart boyfriend on it. (I am also a big fan of Lisa Loeb!) However, I am hesitant to agree with Lisa's advice on this one. Though a big part of online dating is being open to possibilities and taking chances, another crucial part of the experience is being selective, and knowing when not to follow through when someone who doesn't seem right to you off the bat. There is no official JDate protocol, but it's not the end of the world to ignore someone's message altogether (hopefully that will send them a hint loud and clear), AND there's certainly nothing wrong with sending a polite but firm response saying thank you, but you're not interested. If you feel that someone is inordinately bothering you or harassing you, JDate itself will be able to help you out with that. Good luck, and remember: it's okay to be selective!

Alan from Toronto Thu. Jan 24, 2008

Lisa is a brilliant woman, very talented and filled with common sense. JDate however, is a place where you have to trust your instincts. If you are hesitant to meet someone, for whatever reason trust your instincts. The "No Pressure" rule should always apply....

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