Saturday, December 29, 2012

We're all in the Same Boat

The other day I was given a name of a 'new' shadchan, with amazing reviews-Kinda like a movie, minus the '2 thumbs up'. But because I've been in the system for a while, I usually just listen whilst rolling my eyes, I mean, aren't they all the same? Isn't every shadchan 'a-m-a-z-i-n-g' and big deal if they made a really great shidduch recently (what makes a shidduch 'great' as opposed to the regular shidduchim they make anyway?). Honestly, I feel that they are all the same=a waste of time. OK, I know that sounded really negative, so I apologize, but just so you get the picture, I've spent numerous weekends, vacations, days, etc. traveling to New York/Toronto/Israel, etc. to meet Shadchanim. The time/effort/money spent, not to mention the emotions, etc. just to get 10 minutes or less of time to sit down with someone, go through all your information, take photos, some times paying the shadchan/shidduch group and then to get NOTHING, not a date, not a phone call, not even a returned phone call. Some have answering machines that even tell you not to leave a voicemail! They take your money but don't answer your emails/texts. They agree (after you BEG them) to meet you but don't even have any boys (your type). Shouldn't they just quickly ask on the phone, or tell you on the phone BEFORE you travel down to meet them about what type of boys they have and what type of shadchan/shidduch group they are?
In any case, so I got the number and made an appointment to go meet the Shadchan. When speaking to the person who arranges the meetings (yes, it sounded like there was a designated 'secretary'), I asked to have the last appointment. I requested this so I wouldn't have to 'wait around' with other singles, or perhaps people I know, or the 'fresh outta sem' girls with their mothers....
At the appointed time, I walked in and the 'secretary' spoke with me for a while, getting to know me, etc. She then showed me into the den/office to meet with the Shadchan. We met, we spoke, I answered all questions and was wished good luck and promised I would be 'worked on'. I walked out as I walked in-with no expectations. Only, as I left the den, I was looking at numerous young girls. By young I mean, 18 or maybe even 18 1/2, some with their fathers, some with mothers and one with both her parents. I knew a few of them and it was sort of humiliating. I can't explain the feeling-but it is embarrassing enough to have to 'sell' yourself to all these shadchans/people, but when you're like in your late twenties/close to thirty and you see these little 'pishers' walk in with their freshly blowdried hair, kakalength skirts, seminary 'hashkafos' and their parents, it's like-no words can describe how much more humiliating it is. It would've been more sensitive, to have in fact, given me the last appointment, as I requested, but at the same time-is it inSANE that parents have to take their kids who are maybe just turned 18 to a Shadchan?
Guess, we're all in the same boat here. How insane!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Ultimate First Date Mistakes

We all have what to learn from this article ('we' meaning the guys)

While first dates can be nerve-wracking, be sure you don't make matters worse with these blunders. (Thinkstock …
Every relationship starts with a first date – those often-awkward encounters where two people try and suss out whether they’re right for each other. But if you’re wondering why so many first-time meetings don’t lead to second-time trysts, it could be because of the following errors:

You turn into the Hulk when something goes awry
Regardless of how diligent you might be about planning the perfect evening together, hiccups are a fact of life. If the restaurant’s cook called in sick and your meal is taking forever, don’t freak out at the server. It will leave the lady believing you’re unable to deal with small annoyances without falling into a rage. There’s nothing wrong with being assertive, but a vein popping out of your forehead is unsexy. A Men’s Health poll suggests that 77 per cent of women find the ability to laugh off such daily stresses an “essential trait” in men.
Your Mr. Nice Guy act is too whatever
On the exact opposite side of the personality spectrum, there’s the easy-going dude who is accommodating to the point of frustration. As CA Prescott explains in Yahoo! Voices, repeating your date’s opinions is not just boring, it obscures who you are. Being able to compromise is an excellent trait, but deflecting with an “It’s up to you” for every aspect of the night shows a lack of enthusiasm and personality. “Ultimately, if you want women to be attracted to you, and if you are sincerely seeking a long term relationship you need to be yourself and be honest about your desires,” Prescott says.
You turn the getting-to-know-you chat into the Spanish Inquisition
Job interviews and dating have a lot in common: you need to dress your best, listen carefully and ask the right questions. And while asking your date questions is a must, there’s no need for a rapid-fire interrogation. Fast and furious questions about where she sees herself in five years, the length of her last relationship, and whether she wants kids will make her feel like she’s auditioning for the role of girlfriend. If the conversation isn’t happening organically, there’s less opportunity for chemistry.
Your follow-up plan is lacking
There’s nothing more transparent than the game-theory move of waiting three days after a date to call. It’s far better to display confidence and interest by following up the next day or two and asking for another date. If you feel fireworks, try not to overcompensate by planning your next month together. As Julie Spira explains on, mapping out your new life together after just one meeting will make you seem needy. “Show your date that you have a full and happy life. Having someone special in it will just make it that much better.”
By  | Infused – Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 5:28 PM EST

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Does Being Nice Mean You're Interested?

I have this thing where I'm polite. Well, atleast on dates I am. I was brought up to always treat people like a Mentch and I'm proud that in all my years dating all sorts of guys from crazy to normal, rude to proper, wild to calm, etc. I have treated all my dates properly. 
Even when the guy walked in through the door and I knew right away that it wasn't shayach, I sweated through the THREE hour date, put on a (fake) smile, looked interested and tried to make conversation. Whether I was dropped off at my door or across the street, whether the guy sped off the minute I got out or was left at the subway, I thanked them each time and wished them a good evening.
Even when the guys I dated had no money on them, I laid it out. When they were coming to my hometown, I politely offered housing, driving directions, eateries and Minyanim at all nearby Shuls.
Yes, I can proudly say I have treated each one the way a person deserves to be treated. After all, it's not their fault that I was set up with someone totally not what I was looking for (at all!) It's not their fault that got them into this mess and you never know how things come around, so it can't hurt to be polite....or can it?
My friend, Rochele is overly friendly. Anyone she bumps into, instantly becomes her bestie. The guy at the coffee shop, at the bus stop, her mailman, etc. She is easy to talk to, down-to-earth and very friendly. The thing is, people think that because she's nice and makes conversation, that it means she's interested in them. This, I consider to be detrimental.
I remember going to a Chanuka party with her years back. It was a mixed event and our third friend, Estie, asked us to 'crash' and keep her company. We walked in together and sat down. I went to find Estie and when I got back it was like we were seated in between 3 single guys. One was your typical 'looser', another 'ultra nerdy' and a third just looked like a 45 yr old without friends, a beer belly and in need of some hygenic education. I smiled, said hi and kept talking to her. But, because Rochele is a friendly person, she spoke with each one (making them each feel like the only guy in the room), asked about them, their jobs, their families, etc. Within 10 minutes you could've seen the drool hanging from each of them. In fact, I, sitting next to them was uncomfortable. Rochele, being the way she is, was totally oblivious. She just thought she was being nice & friendly. In fact, she even asked why I was a bit reserved. That's when we had the talk.

Hence the typical Shadchan response to a terribly-off date 'the guy really had a great time and is definitely interested in going out again.....what?...are you sure because he really liked didn't have anything to talk about? he said he felt the date went very well...'
Now, I learned my lesson. I still remain polite and nice and sweet and 'pretend' I'm interested. When the Shadchan gives me the above excuse and gets to a pushy point (what can you lose to go out again? just try for one more NEVER know...) I remain calm and tell her 'well of course he thought I was interested-I wasn't going to IGNORE him, or ask me to take him home early. I wasn't going to hang out in the bathroom making phone calls and texting, nor was I going to chat up the waiters for the next hour. I was brought up to treat people like a Mentch and that's why he felt I was interested. 
(ok, maybe not in those words, but usually it's condensed into one simple phrase)

So, guys, do you rather the girl be upfront and honest (which can sometimes be brutal-not even giving you a chance within the first hour) and ACT as if they're not interested, or would you rather just have a good date that ends at that?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Can you take a Break from Dating?

This discussion comes up so often that it's almost humorous to me each time someone brings it up. It seems that guys are often 'on break' from dating, or just 'took a break' from dating, etc. But when a girl wants to take a break-how dare she do so?
Does anyone understand how emotionally draining it is, not to mention everything else she has to do. Some girls have to move heaven & earth just to actual GET a date. Others and their parents spend time phoning people each and every night. Some cry as boys keep saying no to their profile/picture. Whilst others are being told by Shadchanim what they should/shouldn't do in order to actual get a guy to agree to take them out on one date. 
One Shadchan once confided in me that it was so hard for guys to agree to take out girls that he sometimes has to offer them cash incentives to take girls out. Yep-I kid you not, and when the Shadchan told me this, I begged me not to ever 'bribe' a guy to take me out (I would happily pay for my own coffee & parking).
So when I read this post it just made me so happy. You see, my motto is, I rather go out with 3 decent guys in an entire year, than date 30 guys who either treat me like trash, are rude, totally not for me (what was she/he even thinking to set me up with someone like THIS), make you feel like they were forced to go out with you, ignore you, make you insane (and not in the loving kind of way), mess up your schedule by rescheduling your date (within 1 hour before), etc.
So yes, it is indeed nice to have a break. I believe most Jewish singles need it for their sanity. Too much dating can get to you. Trust me. We single girls must keep up our appearances, remain polite & mentchlech whilst always being happy (even when deep down it can be sad & depressing and all our friends are busy with their husbands and kids) and content with our lot in life. It can be difficult and it is difficult, so a break from dating should be RECOMMENDED to all. Sometimes you need a breather, you need to step back, enjoy life, forget about your worries and just 'chill'.
Girls are more sensitive and emotional. Dating is much more for them than it is for guys, so please just give them/us a break. Let us take a break once in a while and not get heck for it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Two-Date Out-of-Town Standard

For all of you OOTers, you understand what the two-date standard means. For those of you lucky New York area'ers' it means that when someone travels for an out-of-town date, there is a two-date standard, meaning if date #1 goes well, then date #2 will prob. be the next day/night until the girl/guy has to travel back.
As an out-of-towner, that means booking your flights/train/car/bus for a minimum of two day/night stay to wherever you are traveling to give the Shidduch enough chance for both sides to know whether there is something worth traveling for, should they wish to proceed. From there, the guy/girl who didn't travel for dates #1 & #2 will usually do the traveling for dates #3 & #4 and so forth. Of course, not everything is a standard rule and, with all rules, there are exceptions. But this mini-explanation was to give all of you who are not so familiar with how out-of-town dating works, a small understanding.
Whilst I've been on the market for quite some time now, I'm used to all this. However, I did experience the most unusual request recently. I traveled for a date and went out with the guy twice. I wasn't so excited at all and even decided not to proceed as there was much more negative than positive. I was told the guy was interested but wouldn't travel in. Oh well, his loss. I was ok with not continuing period. 
In the end, he happened to have had a Simcha (yay for friend's surprise lchaim) and decided since he was coming in to surprise his friend at his engagement party and would be here anyway that he wanted to go out. I was hesitant but the Shadchan was pushy and I thought it couldn't hurt and perhaps things would be different on different 'turf'. I literally got a call in the morning notifying me of the last minute drive-in surprise l'chaim crash and was told to find housing. I rushed around and finally found housing. Once we went out I was notified that he planned on staying for the week. Yes, folks, no two-date standard here-more like vacation tourguide. 
I was floored. This had never happened before. Most people had plans. Most people gave advanced notice, and yes, most guy have jobs/lives/responsibilities. This was not December 25th weekend, nor was it New Years, or midwinter break. This was smack in middle of the year. 
Oh, and for those of you giving the benefit of the doubt-this guy was indeed from an out-of-town community as well and well into his years of Shidduch dating. 
I was going crazy trying to find a place for him to stay for that long. People thought I was nuts. My usual 'housing people' were like, WHAT!?!?!? so many days?!?! why?!?! it's not fair to either of you (let alone them-the 'housers').
In any case, he did stay out his entire welcome. Things didn't work out and I acted as tour guide. Another push pin on his map of travels....or another one of his Shidduch conquests?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eight Dates in Eight Days?

I wanted to dare all you readers out there (unless....wait...has this been done already?!?!) to see if you can get eight dates in eight days in honor of the Eight Days/Nights of Chanuka. 
Wouldn't that be cool?
Wouldn't it be even more awesome if atleast ONE of those dates worked out?
Why hasn't any of the so-called 'shidduch groups' thought of this incentive? Even asking people to set up 'Eight (separate) dates' in eight days. I mean, where is the creativity these days?
I see about a dozen 'segula' advertisements in the Jewish papers/magazines, online. Odd that no one came up with a Chanuka themed Shidduch incentive. Especially as it is a cheerful Holiday, around the time of 'vacation' for the working class citizens who work in the real world and get off atleast two days/weekends in December....and the fact that there are Chanuka 'gifts' makes dating a whole lot more fun. That, as well as all the cool activities/places to go around this time year (all the trees, lights, sparkly/shiny/glittery things, skating, ice sculptures, etc).
Anyway, just thought I'd throw it out there. 
Anyone who is up to the challenge, please let us know how it went if either you were setting someone up or you, yourself have been set up.