I’ve recently stumbled across multiple articles (see: 6 Things You Need To Know Before You Start Dating A Nice Jewish Boy, and A Shiksa’s Guide To Landing Your Jewish Crush) that discuss the phenomena that is Nice, Jewish Boys. I found both pieces to be highly enjoyable, as they were most definitely “too true” and “scarily accurate.”
That said, I figured the perspective of a real-live NJB would be a nice addition to matzo meal mix. So with that, here are 6 ways to steal the heart of your local Seth Cohen:
1. Feel Really Passionate About Mundane Things
Nice Jewish Boys are notorious for having irrationally strong feelings about things that don’t matter; i.e., any first-date coffee meetup will probably include banter about how the sugar packets are carelessly positioned, or how the coffee pouring technique of the waiter is extremely impressive.
If you spend 10 minutes getting really worked up about things like the flimsiness levels of napkins, there will most certainly be a second date.
2. Acknowledge Seinfeldian Social Commentary
In the words of the great George Costanza, “You know, she and I go out for dinner, she doesn’t even reach for the check. All I’m asking for is a reach. Is that so much to ask for?”
I’d argue that in addition to “the reach”, it’s a much better strategy to take this a step further and acknowledge the reach; after the move is executed, say something along the lines of “you gotta do the reach” or “you can’t not do the reach.” Watch as his heart melts.
3. Talk About What’s For Dinner Before Lunch
I’m not here to imply that Jewish culture has monopolized talking about food — this appears to be an obsession that transcends religious boundaries, so much so that simply talking about food has become a billion dollar industry.
But I am saying that when you eat lunch with your Jewish boyfriend, the primary conversation will probably revolve around where you should eat for dinner.
Note: The more family members involved, the more likely these sorts of conversations.
4. Appease His Obsession With Summer Camp/Teen Tour/Etc.
There’s a very good chance (particularly if you met him at a pregame full of people who went to colleges like Wisconsin, Tulane, and Syracuse) that he’ll have an irrational obsession with the summers of his youth; summers that consisted of him bonding with his future lawyer, doctor, and producer friend. Summers where he got his first somewhat sexual experience out by the lake with some girl named Rebecca.
There’s a good chance he’ll do things like travel across the country to attend a reunion, or volunteer at some annual function despite it being at the worst possible time. Just roll with it. There are a lot worse weird things you could deal with.
5. Be Cool With Our Terrible Stomachs
About once every 4 months, he’ll have to excuse himself from dinner for a prolonged period of time. He’s not texting some other girl. But he is taking care of some business.
As the companion of the Nice Jewish Boy, it’s your job to notice our “triggers,” and prevent us from indulging in them in the future. (Usually, these are things like alfredo, fried fish, pesto pastas with pine nuts). This isn’t as easy as it sounds — you’ll generally need to perform inception on us, and make it seem like it was our idea to get the Tuna instead of the Fried Cod Po-Boy.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Vehemently Disagree/Be Your Own Person
Judaism is largely rooted in diligent study; what started out as a commitment to studying scripture has evolved into an overall emphasis on education; this explains why there are such a disproportionate amount of Jews in fields like law and medicine.
Not that all of us are smart (thus far, this generation of NJB’s are doing a great job of being less successful than our parents), but we are people who like to debate and intellectualize a topic or seventeen. Agreeing with opinions, political views, or what’s the best movie written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is kind of boring. It’s all about the intellectual chutzpah.