For as long as there have been meddling relatives there have been Nice Jewish Boys. The phrase used to simply be a pitch made by matchmakers to single girls in the Jewish community. But now the NJB has become an archetype. Every Jewish mother thinks her son is an NJB, but that’s just not true. I hate to break it to you, but it’s 2017 and odds are your sweet little bar mitzvah boy has left a Jswipe match on read, or sent a “U up?” text past midnight. A true NJB does none of those things. He is funny, smart and kind. With dark hair, a big nose and a confusingly not fat but also not in really fit body. The most important characteristic though is that he is truly nice. Not just the basic first two weeks of dating nice. I’m talking, handwritten birthday cards to relatives, surprises you with bagels on Sunday morning, goes to Barnes & Noble so you can look at books for an hour even though he doesn’t enjoy reading – NICE.
How do you weed through all the faux nice-boys and catch one? What equipment must one use? What habitats do NJBs thrive it? How long must you commit to your hunt? I have very few answers to those questions, but I’ll break down to you the steps that I, Amelia Gavurin, took to unintentionally find an NJB.
Step 1: Date non-Jewish boys: Stay with me. The only two relationships I had prior to my NJB were with Catholics boys and it taught me a lot about what I want. They didn’t get my jokes and thought I was a little too loud, all things that just weren’t going to work for me. In addition, their mother-son dynamic is a whole boatload of different mashuggah I couldn’t understand.
Step 2: Go to college where there are a TON of Jewish boys: I went to Johns Hopkins University, home of every northeastern Jewish boy who didn’t get into an Ivy. I didn’t date any of them, rather, I observed them and very quietly (and unfairly) judged them. I listened to a boy in my dorm yell at his mother on the phone because she didn’t get how hard it was to get into the frat he wanted and I learned true NJBs would never yell at their mothers. I went to parties and watched boys shotgun beer after beer and learned that NJBs don’t feel they need to show off to prove themselves to other men. I went to the class and learned NJBs don’t need to interrupt lectures to argue with the professor. Yes, I learned a lot at college.
Step 3: Move far away from all the Jewish boys you know: Or at least separate yourself a bit. If you’ve known them since college or high school and don’t think they are NJB material, they will never be. Branch out. For me, this meant move halfway across the country. For you it may mean just signing up for a kickball league without your ride-or-die college buddies.
Step 4: Sign up for all the dating apps: Who am I kidding, it’s 2017 and who even joins kickball leagues? We all meet people on the internet just like our parents told us never to do. I was on pretty much every free dating app. I ended up liking OkCupid the most because it let me write about myself and explicitly state what I was looking for. Tinder, JSwipe, Bumble, etc. are a little more hook-up based and full of men in camo holding fish. Not the ideal environment for an NJB to thrive.
Step 5: Go on dates with literally any Jew that is vaguely interesting: I mean why not? You’ve moved out to the middle of nowhere (literally or metaphorically); you need to see what you are working with.
Step 6: Identify which of those Jewish boys you just went on dates with is the NJB: This is like a real life multiple choice quiz. Here are some hints: It’s not the one that wears a chain around his neck, it’s not the one that Facetimes you randomly, and it isn’t the one that spent the entire date scrolling through Instagram. It’s the other one.
There you have it, a foolproof way to find an NJB. Of course, if this for some reason doesn’t work, you can always call your Bubbe and ask if her friends have any single sons.