Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ugh to Pre-dating

Us bloggers, we excel at analysing, mocking or simply writing about our dates, the people who set us up, the date itself and the conclusions we draw from it.

Tonight, I must vent about the pre-dating process, the one where you need to stand on a table and yell out to the crowd: "Hey, I'm dating, know anyone for me?", followed by the inevitable question you must answer: " What are you looking for?"

Maybe it's hard for everyone or maybe some girls do not care but first of all, I hate making it a statement -I am dating vs I am not dating. I understand some people set that barrier because they don't feel ready, or they don't really know what kind of life they want, nor do they feel like it's the right time for them. Fine, but to me, I can't even begin to tell you how that little phrase turns me off. If you wish, blame it on my desperate romanticsm, I still do not believe in making a lovely affair such as dating as it should be into a rational concsious decision. It's the sort of thing that should naturally happen.

So I am past the point where I realised it's a step I need to take because of the construct of our societies. I now answer yes to the dreadful "are you dating' question instead of going on a rant about the pointless meaning of the query. But the thing I struggle most with is the second most dreadful question, the "what are you looking for" question.

Of course I understand it must be asked and let me add that I appreciate it when strangers ask me out of a true concern or curiosity. They don't know me, the might know guys and they need to know somehow. I cringe inside but  if I see it might have potential, I answer. (not for the purpose of conversation).

My real problem comes from the people who supposedly know me. If you know me, if we spend enough time together, wouldn't you be able to figure out if the boys you meet are a potential match?? Granted, I do not expect you to know everything about me and hashkafa can always be discussed and should always be discussed  among friends. But aspects such as personalities, hobbies, life style...?

I get physically nauseous trying to describe what kind of personality I am looking for. I am not looking for anything, I don't believe in lists, in plans nor in categories. I believe in getting a feel of personality, an idea of the hashkafic page and a picture of lifestyle, if you know what I mean...

Am I being totally unreasonable?


  1. I totally agree. I once had a really close friend ask me for my resume! I felt like yelling. I told know me..better than any piece of paper can describe me..i understand if a stranger would ask me for a resume..but YOU..YOU?!! That really pushed me off the edge..

    SO ya..i agree with ya...

  2. Yedid - "If you don't know what you want, you end up with a lot you don't" - this statement rings true in many areas of life, marriage included. Perhaps what these people are asking you is - what's most important to you? What do you NEED? I'm sure that if they saw someone they thought was perfect for you, they would suggest him, but at the same time, when there are qualities that you specify, they automatically jump out at people when they see those qualities in others. Using a stupid example - if you need someone who's a great dresser, and people know that, when they see a guy who's dressed impeccably, you automatically come to mind. Or if you demand someone blue/blonde, that may sound crazy, but it will make you stick in people's mind.
    Just a theory.

  3. @aminspiration: thank you for validating my frustration and not making me feel like a complete idiot

    @anon: your theory makes sense and its helpful to put yourself out there, but to continue with your example, what if they came across a guy who could've been great but he's not a good dresser? so i shud never meet when it's really not that important? even if you want to take a more serious example, such as he is not learning every day and oy vey i wanted someone who was learning every day, who says he for sure not for me??

  4. I understand your point, therefore you say things that are of absolute necessity to you - things that you can't live without and which will fulfill you. For some it's a guy who learns every day, for others it's selflessness (and a selfish guy will absolutely turn you off), and there are others who need a guy with a backbone because they will absolutely not respect someone without that quality. You need to know what's right for YOU. There are things you can adjust to, and there are things you just can't.

  5. you aren't being unreasonable, but then again at the same time just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it will work out, and just because the first or second dates go well, doesn't mean he doesn't have some scary stuff in his closet. The wedding I met my kallah at, I asked my friend the night before if there would be any single girls there, he said that his kallah's old roomate would be there. I was like, great what is she like? He said "brilliant" at that point I was sold, because I already knew she would be nice, sweet, kind, and a good person, because he wouldn't consider her for me otherwise, but it was nice to have a person who knows me, know what I wanted to hear, because I need a girl that can keep up with me intellectually and likes reading. Apparently though they sold me to her as the male version of her, and its very true we are so similer its kinda sickening actually. dating can be fun or it can be serious, just take everything everyone says with a grain of salt, and enjoy the process, you can meet some amazing people this way, and as I can say about every girl I dated who it didnt work out with, this is what I would say "she is a great girl, just not the great girl for me." You'll find your great guy, and if not, come crash my wedding, plenty of single bochurim there! :)

  6. @dan: ha ha that sounds very tempting! You see, i could make dating fun except that i don't really have dates to speak about yet...So at this point, all I have to complain abt is the pre dating process :)

  7. Dating has yet to be fun..even in all my dating days..maybe with the right one it will be..for now...not yet

  8. The people who know us, often know us in a particular context. Even those we share significant portions of our lives with often don't see everything.

    I appreciate the question. I'd rather a person didn't make assumptions as to what would be best for me or what I'm looking for. It's them trying to see it from my point of view, instead of what they think might be a good match.

    Most people have some idea of what they are looking for. But often, we stick to some ideal, and I think your point about being flexible (not being stuck on a guy having to learn every night, for example) is really important.

    But then the answer can be simple: talk about values, not details. If you want someone who holds learning dear, to whom it is an important value... then when you are asked the question about how much you want a guy to learn, you can answer with a value statement, showing flexibility and communicating how important learning should be to them at the same time.

  9. As a BT, I have heard it all, I had one family reject me because based on my blog I didn't seem as committed as they wanted, so no can do. I had one girl reject me after one date because I hadn't been frum long enough, despite the fact that I was entering my 3rd year in Yeshiva out of 4 (between Israel and America) so I have heard it all. You know what it is frustrating, I think out of design, but I guess its like child birth, something I am no expert on, it stinks while you are in the process, but once its over and you see the fruit of your labors, all the pain and trouble is forgotten about.

  10. @ish yehudi: i see your point, and i can see you enjoying answering that question and explaining to people what you're looking for. I see no point in values too because so much gets lost in verbalization anyways.

    @aminspiration: I feel you, wait till i start going out and match you on that one

    @dan:ha dan, i love your positiveness although you might be bias because you're engaged soon to be married (right?) I believe with all my heart that its a worth cause, i just can't help dreaming of an idealistic system

  11. I would say the answer is something along the lines of what Anon and Ish Yehudi are saying. Basically, even though someone knows you, they don’t know what you are looking for. While at this point in time you may be open-minded and not know specifically what you’re looking for, you most definitely know what you’re not looking for! I guess as you go about dating you’ll start to get a better idea of exactly what works for you.

    On the flip side, there are many important things that you don’t really know about the people you know really well. For example I know what personality type my best friend needs, but I don’t know what “look” he finds attractive in a girl, thus I need to ask him that question. Also, my wife and I have redt shidduchim to people based on their personality alone only to find out that the people in question had already dated at some point. In that case, the question of asking “what are you looking for” would just be a nice way of asking why it didn’t work out and how can we find someone who might work better. So yes, people can be matched up by just knowing each party, but it helps to know what someone is looking for because just knowing two people without some idea of what they are looking for isn’t always enough.

  12. LOVE this topic! So true.

    I feel like a lot of times people have a list of things they want : smart, tall, religious, tall, good heart, tall... And then end up falling for someone who maybe doesn't have all of those qualities on the "list". I applaud you for forgoing the list.

    A lot of times people make the mistake of wanting someone exactly like them or exactly the opposite of them (if you are into that whole opposites attract thing). But at the end of the day you want someone who brings out the best qualities in you. Completes you in a way and makes you want to be a better person - as cheesy as that may sound.

    Whenever people ask me what I am looking for in a guy, honestly I just say- a good heart. Because at the end of the day that is one of the most important things. Be open minded no matter what because you may be surprised with who you end up falling for.

  13. @SiBaw: the way you put it, it sounds reasonable enough. Unfortunately my experience of being asked or being around friends who are being asked, it's always nauseating because the unnecessary stuff is what usually comes out of it. The attraction thing is probably a different issue because of the laws of chemistry :)

    @umcheckplease: we the girls are pretty much all agreeing and the guys have the answers, dont know why that is... hmm.. :) Of course I want someone who brings out the best in me, with whom i can be a team and all, i still cannot verbalize it nor set my mind to a specific type of guy that can play that role

    If some of you are still wondering what im blabbering about, go back and read

  14. Well soon to be married if February is soon, unfortunately due to circumstances out of our control, we have to have a long engagement, oh well, such is life sometimes! Shana Tova!

  15. Shana tova to you too! And MAzal Tov this is exciting :)

  16. I, too, cannot stand "What are you looking for?"

    Considering if I give too many criteria I would be written off as being "picky," it is a really unfair question.

    If they would inquire as to basics (which tend to be learning vs. working) and take it from there, that would be ok.

    Give me something specific, please, to work with. Chances are you have like, what - two boys you know?

  17. I remember commenting with a friend- the problem when some tells you that they have a girl for you, is that they are all described as sweet, kind, nice, beautiful, etc. Which is all true, but ALL the girls are, so you need something else to differentiate between them. For me it was brains. For my kallah, well I was the first guy she ever went out with.

  18. But whatever brains me to you, doesn't not necessarily mean the same to the other. The point here is that no matter what you say, people can only understand you in terms of how they understand themselves and it might not be what you mean.
    So yea, Princess Lea has a point, chances are anyways, how many people do they actually have in mind....

  19. True, I still think, and even if i I wasn't engaged, this would still be my advice because it is based on my personality, is to just smile through it all, take it all with a grain of salt, and realize that every wrong person brings you closer to the right one. Besides, if you are only predating right now, you are probably too young to already be jaded :) My other advice, look for personality, looks come and go, weight can be gained or lost, but if he treats his mother right, and is always smiling and other people genuinely like him, he is probably worth that second look.

  20. Thats the thing though, I am jaded by pre-dating!! I cant imagine it gets better while you actually date but whats better to not be introduced ot boys at all or to be introduced wihtout it going anywhere? both dont sound like fun but if you're being introduced, at least you have a chance of getting somewhere...

  21. don't be. its just not worth the frustration. Shana Tova!