Jan 22, 2014
Reevaluating the "Courtesy Date"
From the COLlive inbox: The rule that a bochur and a girl must go out a least twice, while not interested, is simply ridiculous.
The "courtesy date" seems to have become one of the more accepted rules of dating. Committing to two dates appears to be standard procedure. Although there are some situations in which the concept of "giving it another try" makes sense, at other times it is simply ridiculous. In these instances it is probably best to just move on.
The two most common arguments supporting the "courtesy date" are: (1) it takes time to get to know someone, and (2) you should give him or her another chance.
The first point is a solid argument; people are complex and it's difficult to truly get to know another person from just one meeting, be it an encounter on a bus or a date.
However, one can get a pretty good feeling about someone by speaking with him or her for four hours, especially when the sole intention of the encounter is to figure out if he or she is compatible for marriage. So, while it's unlikely that you will know everything about your date after the first meeting, if you don't feel comfortable enough to go on a second date, you probably shouldn't. Which leads us to the second point.
To "give someone another chance" is only sensible in certain instances. In a situation where both parties are unsure about their feelings toward each other, giving it another try is probably a good idea. You never know – the feelings may develop after a second date. However, when both sides are completely uninterested, pushing them to go on another date is simply ridiculous.
A friend of mine recently told me that he was taking a girl on a date. When I inquired about his obvious lack of enthusiasm, he told me that he wasn't at all interested in going out, but he had "committed to two dates." After the date, he told me how the girl was completely uninterested the entire time and that it was an extremely awkward experience. Neither of them gained much.
The same applies even if only one of them is adamant that it is not going to work. In such a situation forcing him or her to go on a second date ranges from a waste of time and money at best to cruelty at worst. If someone is so confident about a feeling to the extent that he or she is uncomfortable going on a second date, even though this person could potentially be his or her soul mate, it is unlikely that a second date will change anything.
If time and money were all that went into a date, it wouldn't be all that bad. There are, however, other issues that need to be considered.
When two people go on a date, the feelings and emotions they invest into it, or that result from it, are extremely delicate and complex. It gets very complicated for both sides regardless of the feelings they have for each other. Not being sensitive to these emotions can be extremely unfair.
Take, for instance, a situation in which the girl really liked the guy after the first date, but the guy was not at all interested. If the guy is pushed to go on a second date just to give her another chance, he could end up hurting her more than helping her. Her feelings for him are likely to grow during a second date; his feelings for her, however, are unlikely to change. If they don't, she is likely to be hurt more than if they wouldn't have gone out a second time. In such a situation, it would be best for both parties to just let it go.
The "courtesy date" is one of those things that people do without much thought. Making blanket statements is rarely beneficial; there are instances when it is sensible to go on a second date. However, before you push someone – or are pushed – to go on a second date, give it some thought. Each situation is unique and should be treated as such. Committing to two dates before you've met the boy or girl, is nonsensical.
Instead of being a rigid rule that is imposed on people, it should be a concept that may be a good idea in certain situations. The individual dating is the only one who can appraise the situation and make that decision. So, if you don't feel like going out a second time, don't do anyone a favor – stay home.