JDate has a pretty awesome tool at your disposal … if you know how to use it, that is. It’s the “Match Percentage” that shows up on every prospect letting you know how well your preferences align. The percentage is calculated by the match preferences you set, starting with the most basic details: your gender, seeking which gender, age range, location and whether they have photos. From there, you can go into more details about marital status, religion, ethnicity, education and more.

You can choose for JDate to show you matches in order of how well prospects fit your criteria, starting at 100% and working it’s way down. But how low should you go before a match is no longer truly a match?

Discovering Your Deal Breakers

If whether someone smokes or drinks is very important to you, then you MUST answer those questions honestly and not worry about who you may be eliminating. If those (or other) factors are your deal breakers when it comes to dating, be honest about them so you don’t waste time with someone who wouldn’t be a good match for you.

But if height, age or body type isn’t as important, then either don’t answer those questions or use as broad of an answer as possible. Luckily, if someone is just slightly outside your age range or your preferred height, then JDate will still list them, but they will lose percentage points. After all, if your soulmate is just one year older than you thought you were willing to accept in a match, wouldn’t you want to know?

The point of this exercise is to find out how well someone fits your exact preferences and then working your way down to decide what you are willing to negotiate and compromise on. When you’re in your 20s, education may be a lot more important as you’re starting out in your career, whereas if you’re in your 50s and 60s and already established in your career or starting to consider retirement, then level of education is likely less important. If you have young kids, religion may be more important to you right now, but before you have kids and after your kids have grown up are times when you may be more flexible with religion.

Check Off Your List

Besides listing your preferences, pay attention to the new green check mark that shows you which profile items you have in common. JDate has taken a lot of the guesswork out of the equation by posting exactly how many things you have in common at the top of a prospect’s profile and then continuing the check marks throughout. Starting with the basics of wanting or having kids, to level of religion, to level of education, the check marks stand out as you peruse a profile, even including if you have eye and hair color in common.

In some ways, the more checks the better because having commonalities means you will have more to bond over. However, too many check marks can lead to being too similar, which isn’t necessarily bad but can get boring in a relationship. There’s a happy medium, and that depends upon where the check marks are found.

Does it matter that you both have brown hair and brown eyes? Doesn’t that account for the majority of Jews? On the other hand, seeing some check marks under the “Things I Like To Do” category is good, and noticing which items they have selected that you didn’t is also important. If they checked off a lot of outdoorsy stuff and that is just not your idea of good time, then you need to take that into consideration. But if that’s the only area that is questionable to you, then perhaps you’ve found that happy medium; let them do the outdoorsy stuff on their own or as quality time with their friends while you enjoy spending time on your own hobbies. Not everything needs to be done together. Having separate interests and hobbies are important to maintain your sense of identity and independence.

What Makes A Good Match

Scroll to the bottom of the profile and you’ll find that JDate has a section called “How Compatible Are We?” listing many of the things you have in common, including what you like to eat, watch and read. Just make sure you spend time reading their essays and getting an idea of who they are as a whole and not just from the multiple choice answers.

It might sound good to have someone who “checks all the boxes,” but you don’t really want someone who fits into a box. Boxes are boring: they are beige and not flexible, and cardboard doesn’t taste very good. Instead, you want someone who complements you, so a 100% match might not necessarily be better than an 80% match in the long run. Let JDate help you rule out some people who simply aren’t a good fit; then, check out the profiles with a higher percentage to see who’s really the best match.

You may also be interested in Jaded From Online Dating Flops? Here Are 6 Ways To Stay Positive

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