Aug 8, 2013
Let's Talk Proper Dating Etiquette
From the COLlive Inbox: A single girl going through shidduchim says certain dating scenarios have left her confused, wondering "what was the thought process involved?"
Scenario 1: You're sitting across from your date, on date number 8. He is sitting sideways, with his back to you, staring out the window. Every few minutes he takes out his phone to check it, text someone, etc. Awkward silence. You try to make conversation, to ease the atmosphere. He responds in one sentence answers, then resumes the silence. The next day he tells the shadchan "yes, I'd like to continue."
Scenario 2: You're sitting across from your date, on date number 1. He hasn't prepared a place to go, asking you, "so where are we going?." Luckily you remember a nice place, and even more luckily you remember how to get there. He's lounging on the hotel couch in the bar, reclining on his side. Awkward silence. You try and make conversation to ease the atmosphere. Silence in response. A few minutes later he starts a different topic. You eagerly join in. The next day he tells the shadchan, "No. I got to know her very well and we just aren't a match."
Hi! I'm a single girl having gone through the dating process, more times than I'd like to recount. I've had my share of good dates, bad dates, best dates, and terrible dates. Some of the guys I've dated were perfect gentlemen. However, the scenarios above have happened to me in the past, more than once. They left me very confused, wondering "what was the thought process involved?" These particular guys were very mentchlich, polite, intelligent, good guys. This wasn't the first time they'd dated either. Where does the casualness come from? The disregard for the person they're dating? The lack of effort put in? And quite frankly, the disrespect?
The strange part is, I have nothing against these guys. I would even go ahead and pass their names along to my friends. Which I have. I still think they're great guys, just not for me. So why do they present themselves in this manner? Is it some type of test or game? Hasn't anyone ever told them about proper dating etiquette?
My reasons for writing this article are twofold. Number one, I'd like to hear from the guys' perspective. Maybe there is something I'm missing. Something I'm not understanding. I would love to hear some honest and sincere responses.
Number two, I'd like to share my perspective with the guys who treat the dating process with apparent casualness. There is a proper way to behave on a date. Whether the date is going well, or not. Whether you are interested in the person you are dating or not. Whether it's the first date, or the eighth. Please show respect for the person you're dating and give it your all. Thus respecting yourself, and giving yourself a chance. Come prepared. Show interest. Be attentive. It's ok to be chilled, to a degree, but a date is a serious thing, not to be taken lightly.
What I would like to suggest, is perhaps Bochurim could take part in a class in which "how to date" is discussed. Talks can be give on topics such as preparation, proper etiquette and basic manners.
After all, it's your life partner your seeking, is it not?
Disclaimer: I am not writing this with bitterness. I am simply writing this, because I feel it needs to be discussed. Please try and refrain from commenting in a negative or accusatory manner. Additionally, I'd like to say that I'm well aware that girls are capable of behaving in the same manner. Since I am a girl, though, this article is written from a female perspective based on some of my personal experiences.