Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dating Interrupted

I think there are few dating scenarios that are as troublesome as the one I have become mired in (once again).

In short: you begin a shidduch shortly before a school vacation. You then go on one, two, maybe even three dates (although I have only encounter the one or two situation) with the person. Afterward, you are really not sure if you want to continue dating this person or not. Erring on the side of caution, and choosing to be dan l'kaf zechus, you decide that whatever it is that is bothering you warrants (at least) one more date to ascertain the truth regarding the troublesome element that you noticed on your last outing.

After figuring out your schedule to make sure you can participate in a theoretical next date, the other person informs you that they can't make it on that day, for whatever reason. Now you're stuck heading into a break of a week or two, which mandates some sort of continued phone contact to be polite - even though you really aren't so keen about talking to the person. It seems disingenuous to feign interest like that.

However, the frustration that is simmering could very well simply come from the fact that my plans have gone awry. Namely, I was expecting to have my concerns confirmed, turn down a fourth date, and use my vacation to hear about all the suggestions that I'm being bombarded with from all directions.

My concerns regarding this shidduch are not negative things about the prospect per se (as in she might be a serial killer, or an illegal arms smuggler or whatever) it's just a sense of general disconnect and being on two different planes of existence (I may write another, more detailed post about this in the near future). I just strongly suspect she falls into the category of being a great person, but not for me.

I even got the impression from her during/at the end of our second date that she wasn't really interesting in pursuing things further, so I was caught a bit off guard when the shadchan told me she was "in" for a third date.

So here I sit, basically stuck. Unable to use my free time to research any of the suggestions given to me, because I very firmly believe in focusing on only one active shidduch at a time. On top of that, I am forced to make phone conversation (which I have never been good at - speaking in person is so much easier and more effective) that will have nothing to really do with our immediate future related to dating. I thought about weaving the issues I have into the upcoming phone call(s), but even if my suspicions are confirmed - there is nothing I can do (without resorting to strange reasons to get out of another date and not look like an absolute jerk).

I feel very conflicted... Am I perhaps overreacting a bit (or a lot)?


  1. I don't believe in the requirement to date only one person at a time. Did you put a ring on her finger? No. Well, there you have it. Not to mention, if you are shomer negiah it is extra not a problem. It's not cheating. You're "seeing each other" not "dating" or "in a relationship."

    Also, she probably isn't into you but the shadchan told her to give it another go. They hope to make their money, so they try to PUSH... PUSH PUSH

  2. I see your point, and have heard reliable people (rabbinic and otherwise) mention the idea of dating more than one person. My personal rabbeim do not recommend it, so I don't do that. At any rate, that point is moot since I am back home and nowhere near any of the potential people that friends want to tell me about.

    Also, as much as I have heard of the typical shadchan that you refer to, that isn't the case here at all. The shadchan is a mutual friend of sorts who isn't in it for the money, but really likes both of us (which I admit, in and of itself can be a biased motivation of sorts).

  3. I think you made your answer quite clear to yourself. Read your post again.

  4. Please, don't date more than one person at a time!

    I know you already said that you don't do that, but as a female, I can't emphasize enough how much that would bother me and pretty much every other girl I know.

    As regards the situation...yes, it's annoying. The first guy I ever shidduch dated clearly wasn't shayich, but I had been told that you 'always' give a second date, so we both agreed to one. But when we spoke on the phone and realized that we wouldn't have a chance to go out again before an upcoming break, we both tactfully backed out. We were so relieved that we continued to speak for another ten minutes afterward, and were far more relaxed than we had been in all our previous interactions.

    Good luck, and don't worry--break will be over soon enough.

  5. L - I appreciate the support in not dating more than one person at a time. I've heard people suggest that more and more often as of late, but I've been sticking to my guns about the issue. I firmly believe that it really isn't fair to either girl, and have read/heard funny/horrendous stories that result from carrying out the double-dating shenanigans too long (most recommend at most 2-3 dates then picking one person).

    It's also impractical at any rate, since, as I mentioned, I'm not anywhere near YU at the moment.

    The issue is more along the lines of - should I even talk to people about these other suggestions they have? My personal policy (based on Rav Goldvicht and others that I've heard) is to give one's entire focus to the one girl you're going out with, and politely decline hearing anything else about any other candidate, since that can be confusing and misleading.

    To add onto what I said in the post: it may not be merely that the issue was that my "plans" for confirming my lack of desire to continue going out with her, since that frames things in a negative light. Rather, it is the uncertainty of not having established anything. To give the opposite example - had I gone on the third date, as I had hoped, and discovered that I really did like her, then I would have had no problem whatsoever maintaining the relationship with phone calls over this break.

    It's the specific scenario of being "stuck" without a firm resolution in EITHER direction, which is frustrating me at the moment.

  6. If you want to date one person at a time, that's fine but, this isn't a halachah issue. It's a personal choice issue.

    L, I am a woman and I recommended it. For the first three dates, you are not in a relationship with the other person. You're just going on dates with them-not DATING THEM, per se. That's how I see it. After THREE MONTHS, you should not still be dating two people. So, maybe the comment about no ring was a little stronger. I think, though, for whatever reason, if the girl didn't even seem interested but then the shadchan told you she was... she may not be THAT interested.


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