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Monday, December 01, 2003

Anatomy of a Shidduch Date

I thought I would expound upon why I hate dating so much. So you know what a girl has to go through every time she goes on a date... The first dilemma is what to wear. Have to find the right combination of tznius but flattering, make sure your collar bone is covered, but you want to look attractive and show off your assets at the same time. And make sure whatever you wear is a good compliment for the activity that you will be participating in. Each date has a different level of formality: first date you have to get really dressed up, next date a little more casual, each date after that according to what you are doing, or how comfortable you are with the person. The next dilemma is hair and makeup. You want to look nice, but not overdo it. Many girls get their hair straightened for each date - I say forget that! Way too much effort, and I like my hair curly. I hate excessive make-up, try to go for a nice look that says I have put in a bit of time, but don't want to look like Michael Jackson or anything. Then you have to run around your apartment fifty times, bothering your roommate about whether you look good or not. She will give you suggestions, tell you that you look fine, and roll her eyes over and over. Then you sit and wait for the guy to arrive. I usually spend those moments nauseous, wanting to do anything but go on the date. I try to distract myself reading something or bothering my roommate some more, but it usually does not take my mind off the impending date at all. Then the doorbell rings. You open the door, the guy always looks you up and down (hate that part!). You try to act like you didn't feel like throwing up five minutes ago, and you make small talk as you walk to his car. The rest of the date is usually pretty boring. You try to have fun while determining if this is the person that you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Most of the time it is like pulling teeth just to spend a few hours with the person. You try to engage in witty conversation, half of which you don't remember five minutes later. You try to act like you are having a good time, because you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings. The end of the date is the worst. Because you can't touch, the guy can't kiss you, and you can't tell from that whether he likes you or not (though the guys usually went for the kiss when they didn't like you anyway). You never tell the person whether you want to go out again. It makes things incredibly awkward. And if you are like me, unless it is completely obvious, you stress about what the right decision is: do you go out again or not, is it worth it? Do you go out one more time to make sure he is not for you, or is it even worth going through all the stress you have just gone through? Is there potential, should you let the person have more time to grow on you, or forget it now? Ah, the fun of shidduch dating.


  • If it's any help, here's a frum guy's perspective: Perhaps you could think of such dates as his opportunity to entertain you. Just smile and have fun. On the second date still let him entertain you but also play up his nice aspects (his learning, his hometown, his abilities, his hobbies, etc.) and get him to talk about them so you learn what he's like. Keep your ears open for gaiva, just to be sure. Watch for what he does to be respectful of your possible wants and needs. However, don't expect hoshkofic similarity or that you really need it. At the end of the second date make sure you feel you could find yourself attracted to him at least little bit for his looks. B'hatzlocho! Yoni

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