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Good morning from sunny, warm Tel Aviv!

A few weeks ago, I discovered the “Search Engine Terms” function of this blog where basically I can see what phrases people type into google or whatever and then end up finding my blog. Some of them are quite funny, some of them are cries for help, and most of them have something to do with skype sex. Ha. Anyway, I’ve decided that when I get three or four interesting ones that seem in need of an answer, I’ll respond. This, I suppose could also work in the comments section, if any of you regular readers ever have any burning questions or situations you want my take on. So, without further ado, here is the 2nd installment of responses to readers’ search terms.

1. To whomever found me by searching, “girl left me in limbo, should i have casual sex“:
The answer you are looking for is complicated, but I’m sure you are not surprised by this. I am going to assume that “limbo” means that she has one foot in and one foot out of the relationship and you can’t figure out if you’re coming or going with her. Am I right? If so, having casual sex might (MIGHT) be a good solution if (IF) the casual sex is with her. See, here’s the thing. We women are very complicated. When we put men into limbo, it’s generally because we’re looking for a reason or a sign that says fall in love with you or bail. Unfortunately, limbo rarely results in a life-time of happiness, unless this is a romantic comedy movie staring Kate Hudson. Limbo happens because a woman is feeling unsure of their feelings but feels like she should be more into you than she is. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s true. So, how does casual sex fit into this picture? If you say to her that you realize you are in limbo and it’s not fair to you, but that you are still interested in being with her to some degree so you would like to keep it casual for now, that’s good. You’ll get to have the benefits (sex) of being with this crazy girl without the actual crazy (limbo). This, in a sense, helps you take back the control of what is happening in your love life. You don’t like the situation, so you change it! Good for you! BUT, be warned! If you decide to have casual sex with other girls without discussing it with her, you are giving her the reason to bail completely that she is looking for. So, it boils down to whether or not you like her enough to risk losing everything. I’m not saying that you should stay and just exist in limbo. But, if you don’t care what happens with this girl, do you. Go forth and f*ck anything that you are remotely attracted to! On the other hand, if you still hold on to the hope that a relationship with this girl is still possible, remove the pressure from her, talk about being casual with her, and then proceed to make your time together fun again. After all, (to use one last cliche here) girls really do just want to have fun sometimes.

2. To whomever found me by searching, “why are Israeli men so difficult“:Last time I wrote this sort of entry, I responded to “why are Israeli men so strange.” But, I didn’t really give a full explanation. So, here goes. News flash! Israeli men aren’t actually that difficult. If by “difficult” you mean macho, adoring, romantic, and optimistic about every woman, then yes, they are difficult. I don’t know why they are like this, per se, but I have found every Israeli man is just looking for love or sex. Unlike the US, the first thing they look for is love and if love doesn’t seem to be an option with the girl in front of them, they seamlessly switch to looking for sex from her. They cut their losses and say “well, but we can still have a good time!” Israeli men can be pushy and aggressive, but let’s be real, girls…we like that. It’s sexy to us. It turns us on. But, there is a fine line where it can become too much. Israeli men sometimes don’t have a good sense of where that line is, but as soon as you tell them, they respect it. They’re a little dense and don’t pick up on subtle signals very well, unless they are the signals they’ve imagined or fabricated in their heads, but when you spell things out in a language they can understand, they are very responsive. Basically what I’m trying to say is that dating Israeli men is a totally different type of dating than any other man in the world. With Israelis, you have to go with the flow and not be so so so sensitive to every little thing. You have to be willing to jump into to something blindfolded, knowing that at any moment you can rip off the blindfold if you want and walk away unscathed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Israeli men believe in love. Embrace it.

3. To whomever found me by searching “how to deal with boyfriends speaking Hebrew“:
This one is easy. If you are dating a native speaker of another language other than your own, you just have to accept that there are going to be moments when you don’t understand every word that comes out of his mouth. The people who have issues with this are the people who have trust issues. People who are insecure in themselves and possibly their relationship. If your boyfriend is sitting with his friends speaking in their language, just be cool. They’re not talking about you. He’s not confessing some torrid affair knowing that you can’t understand him. Language is very personal to people and many people feel that they cannot fully be themselves in a non-native language (even though they may be very fluent in it). Personally, I like the idea of a couple speaking two different native languages. I think it shows a commitment to wanting to make something work and an acceptance of someone who is different than you, with different habits and customs, coming from a different place. Maybe it’s because this is how my parents were. My mom is an English speaker and my dad is a native Spanish speaker. He has a very very heavy accent and terrible English grammar but together, they make sense. My mom doesn’t speak a single word of Spanish and she has never once been bothered by sitting in a room with my dad and his friends while they argue about international politics or soccer or something else in Spanish. I’m the same way. When I sit in a room full of people speaking Hebrew, I catch maybe 60-75% of what is said but truth be told, I’m not actively listening. I like the sound of Hebrew and I like watching how animated Israelis get when they talk. Their gestures and facial expressions are priceless even if they are just talking about what they feel like having for lunch. I’m never offended if someone doesn’t stop to translate for me, and I don’t feel left out if the conversation goes on for awhile and I have nothing to add. I’m happy in “observing mode” as my friend calls it, and I know that eventually they conversation will turn into something and I will want to participate. So, my advice to you, on how to “deal with a boyfriend speaking Hebrew” is just to let it be. Enjoy the sexy accent and the time to be alone in your head. And use quiet moments between the two of you to ask about specific words. Relax. יהיה בסדר!

4. To whomever found me by searching “why do all women want jerks“:
I am so happy you asked this. The fact of the matter is, no woman actually wants a jerk. But the “jerk” personality is a signifier of something all women want: confidence and strength. Hear me out. All women seem to be attracted to the “jerk” instead of the “nice guy.” When men behave like a “jerk” they are the ones who say what’s on their mind, live dangerously on the edge of possibly offending someone, they do things seemingly selfishly, and they come across as aggressors. Women see all these signs and symptoms and process them: A+B+C=D. In order to be comfortable behaving like this, men must have a modicum of confidence. They must also be strong personalities. Women want strength. Women crave strong men. Women want their men to be men. Here’s why:

In the year 2013, being a woman out in the world is a little more difficult than most men realize. Women have lots of opportunity and chances, but we are constantly feeling like we have to work harder, achieve more, be better, fight harder, and keep up with the men around us that things seem to come so easily for. We need to constantly prove that we can take a joke, like a man, even though inside we’re a little more sensitive. We need to demonstrate our ability to keep up mentally and physically. We need to prove our fearlessness and our independence. On the street, we are always on guard at least slightly for being hit on or taken advantage of. We are always aware of our surroundings and assessing ourselves in accordance to those around us. Being a woman in the world today is a lot of work. It requires a great deal of strength. It’s tiring. Men don’t, I don’t think, experience the same sort of mental exhaustion just from living their lives that women do. This is why, I think, women like strong men. When we come home at the end of a day, we don’t want to be the strong one anymore. We want to rest assured that we can go out with out man and be able to turn off the strength required of us all day long without them. We want to be able to look pretty, carry a tiny bag, and laugh while knowing your man is not judging you for any of it.

Men who comes off as a “jerk” but really aren’t deep down have the perfect situation. Remember, confidence is magic on men. And being too nice is a sign of weakness.

Feel free to comment, add, debate, or correct me if you feel so inspired!

Shabbat Shalom!Joan