Dating can bring out the worst in you, but luckily Yom Kippur gives us the opportunity to atone for our sins, decide not to act or think such a way again, and start anew.
What kind of sins are singles guilty of?
- Being judgmental for one — deciding that a guy or gal isn’t for us because of their looks or their job or their friends.
- Talking badly about others –whether it’s people you went on dates with or badmouthing someone to bond with a date.
- Lying — saying you are not what you are to impress someone (more successful, more popular, younger), or making something up to get out of a bad date.
- And of course there’s the drinking and sex that comes with dating.
This year, make a commitment to withhold judgment, to be honest, and to not allow dating to get the best of you.
Everyone has their quirks. EVERYONE. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else. Still, a good match is what happens when ALL of the following occurs:
1. Some of the quirks disappear because they’re not quirky to you
2. The quirks you do see are endearing
3. The rest of the quirks don’t bother you — or you are willing to ignore them — because everything else is great
What are quirks? These are things like popping your gum, picking your nails/teeth/skin, tapping your foot, leaving your socks in the middle of the floor, chewing your hair, chewing loudly, laughing obnoxiously, cracking your knuckles and so forth. None of these things are annoying unless you don’t like the person doing them.
He poked me on Facebook. Twice. Was one poke just not enough? We had only gone on one date, and it was just a cup of coffee in Gramercy on a Saturday afternoon. And immediately after he texted me that he had a good time. That’s it. And then a week later, when I had not texted back, he thinks about all the ways he could get in touch with me – phone, email, text, singing telegram, fax – and decides after much consideration I imagine, nope let’s go with a poke. That’ll get her heart. So when I didn’t answer him back, hoping he’d get the point, this guy throws the Hail Mary of Facebook communication and pokes me again.
Now that we were two pokes in, I knew I had to officially let him down. This might come as a surprise, but up until this moment I’ve only had the experience of telling guys I’m not interested after very ordinary interactions. None of my mother’s lessons in etiquette even remotely prepared me for post-JDate Facebook poking. I never even dreamed Facebook poking would be something I’d have to deal with. So I was completely on my own when I sat down to write him back and convey that I wasn’t interested and while I know he meant well, Facebook poking after a date is just wrong. So, so wrong.
I really was hoping I didn’t have to write this message. I think you’re a great guy, however, I don’t think we clicked when we met for coffee. I don’t know how to say what I am about to tell you without sounding harsh. I’ve thought of a ZILLION ways to say this nicely, and this is the best I can come up with: Poking someone on Facebook, especially after an interaction like ours, doesn’t come off charming. It was really awkward – both times – and I didn’t know how to react. I’m only saying this because I think other girls might have the same reaction as I did. A message is much nicer and more upfront than a poke (I’m sorry if that sounded as mean as I think it does. I just really wanted to let you know for the future).
I thought about this recently when I told a guy I wasn’t interested in him after 3 dates. I was shocked when he asked me where he went wrong. He said I could think of it as a favor, as he wanted to learn from this experience. I gave him a little feedback, and I think he genuinely appreciated my honesty. You know, maybe it wasn’t my place to tell the Facebook poker that poking is creepy, but part of me wanted to save him. What if no girl ever had the chutzpah to break it to him that poking is socially unacceptable? Would he still be Facebook poking girls innocently thinking that he was flirting? I really believe that all of the guys I’ve gone out with – well, at least for the most of them – deserve a fair shot. And besides, if you can’t learn from your dating mistakes after a JDate, when can you?
There’s a train of thought that you shouldn’t take things too seriously when it comes to dating, that if you’re relaxed and not “looking” for your husband or wife and just out to have fun, then you will meet someone. I agree and disagree. I believe you need to make an effort to find your dates — improving your JDate profile, expanding your search preferences, going to Jewish events — and you should take that process seriously, but once on a date, you shouldn’t act like you’re on a mission. No one wants to feel such pressure while they’re on a date. You should have fun on your dates whether you know right away that he or she is not your Beshert or if you don’t figure it out til the end of the night. You made the effort, you’re dressed up, you’re meeting someone new — don’t take yourself too seriously and try to have fun regardless of the circumstances. Life is too short. And if the date is an absolute disaster, take it in stride and then have a few laughs with your friends about the absurdity of it all. If the date is awesome, you know your date likes you for you and not for the fake persona you put on.
The question about not receiving a cell phone number and not hearing from a guy on the weekends made me think about girls who don’t get asked out for Prime Date Nights (PDN).
Meeting for a drink after work, or for lunch in the middle of the workday or for coffee on a Sunday afternoon is first date protocol nowadays. People don’t want to make a huge time commitment before they’re sure the other person is worth it.
Second dates can go either way. Ideally, Friday or Saturday night would be nice, but sometimes sooner rather than later is better and that may mean Thursday night, or Monday lunch or Wednesday Happy Hour. Try to feel out each other’s schedules before taking the time of the date too personal. If he mentioned he was going out of town or she mentioned she had a work conference, then accept the date you’re asked out on for the time being.
By the time the third date rolls around, if he’s still asking you out for the weekday or she’s still insisting on a weekend afternoon, then there’s definitely some commitment-phobia (or other sketchiness) going on. By the third date, PDN — that means a nice dinner out on Friday or Saturday nights — should apply.
PDN is often seen as a night people who are in relationships (i.e. those that are past the dating stage and are in the boyfriend/girlfriend stage) go out. It’s seen as a “serious” date night, automatically upping the ante from casually-getting-to-know-you to on-the-way-to-“commitmentville.” But if a girl is worthy enough of your time to continue going out with and getting to know than why not give her the respect of asking her out for a PDN?
By the third date it simply doesn’t make sense not to and there’s no longer any valid excuse. So, my advice is to casually mention that you have a busy week ahead of you and that you’re free Saturday night. If he doesn’t get the hint, then the blunt truth of the matter is that he probably is dating other people and has already given the PDN slot to someone else. That’s a tough fact to swallow, but it’s the current reality of dating and you should be filling your dance card, too. And if you still wants to date a guy after that, proceed with caution.
I have been talking to a guy I met on JDate and he only gave me his house number and not his cell number. Not only that but when the weekend comes I never hear from him. Do you find this to be weird?
Dear Sketchy with the Cell Phone,
In a word, YES. Nobody uses their house phones anymore; I don’t even have a house phone! So to choose to give out that number versus his cell phone is weird. And I bet when he calls you it comes from a blocked number, right? To top it off, you never hear from him on the weekend… it sounds like this guy is a player. He either has a girlfriend or he’s dating multiple women. Either way, I would recommend you run, not walk, away as fast as you can. There’s nothing positive that is going to come out of this guy.
Last night “Mike,” one of my dearest guy friends, came over to catch up. As Mike shared his dating adventures, the discussion evolved to the lack of dating etiquette that he had recently witnessed. There is no argument that relationships have layers of complexity, but the reality is–the basics are as simple as Robert Fulgrum told us in All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten (When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together). Self awareness, observation, consideration, and respect for others is HUGE. I think everyone has their own ideas of what proper dating etiquette “is.” The “Door Test” from A Bronx Tale, is a classic example. After listening to Mike, my few takeaways are:
*Ladies, your date has put effort into planning a nice evening (perhaps even planned based on a unique observation/conversation between the two of you), thus a simple thank you the next day expressing acknowledgment for a well planned evening goes a long way and is greatly appreciated according to Dr. Mike (especially in the beginning).
On the flip side,
*Gentleman, waiting a week to follow up is never cool and does not ever work to your advantage. The whole playing hard to get is so 1990’s. If you had a good time, why wouldn’t you express that and arrange another date? If that is not a possibility, at a minimum reach out and express your desires and that you will follow up afterwards. More communication is always better. Although I begrudgingly accept the Tech Generation and the ease of texting/emailing, there are tremendous benefits of hearing someone’s voice and making an old fashioned phone call.
To be continued…