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 you....you 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 date...you 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?


  1. Do not waste your time or the time of the men you date.

  2. You're not polite on your blog. You use the word "retarded" in a disparaging manner.

  3. Anon-I apologize for the fact that I've used the word 'retarded' in the past. I understand it may have offended people, and obviously don't mean it in such a manner. Yes, I am human, and I'm trying to work on myself, but what can I say, other than I am working on myself and do my best to use other words (insane?) in its place. Like many habits, these things take time and I'm not perfect. I will try and go through my entire blog and replace all the 'retarded' words. I don't think that makes me an impolite person..it's a mistake, an honest mistake. I'm sorry to have offended you

  4. Anon-as a follow up to my comment above-I would like to let you know that I did a search for all posts over the past 3 (soon to be 4) years and guess what? The word only appeared 4 times. I have removed it completely and hope to discontinue use/reference of that word in the future.

  5. I really appreciate your gesture. I know that many people don't realize that using the word can be inconsiderate, and I thank you for what you did.

  6. It must be a Hungarian thing; I do the same. I'm light, bubbly, and adorable, while my insides are screaming "Let me out of here!" That's how I was raised; keeping it together and polite until the evening thankfully ends.

  7. If I can add a male perspective.
    I think this depends a little bit on what the first date involves. This is why I prefer first dates to be simple, a walk in the park, a cup of coffee etc. That way if after a half hour its obviously not going anywhere either party can simply say, thank you, nice to meet you and have a nice day.

    If the date is coming in from out of town, I think its a little bit of a different story.

  8. I'm a guy. I believe there is a medium though. If your mind is made up, then be polite and cordial, but not sweet and flirtatious. There's a difference. Don't have to ignore or be rude but not ultra friendly either.

  9. I do exactly the same thing as you. I always treat my dates with respect. As Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin said, treating everyone like a mentch is the fifth part of Shulchan Aruch.

    It kinda got me into problems with the shadchan of one of my previous shidduchim. She was furious at me for saying no. "What? The girl is super enthusiastic. She says everything went very well." When my mom told the shadchan I was really not into it, she responded that something was wrong with me and I needed counseling. Haha I mean WTH, what was I supposed to do? Be super rude and break it up after 30 minutes?

    I wasn't overly friendly. I was just being myself.