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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Hey i have 2 questions that come up a lot in my sporadic dating life and I would like to know if and how others deal with this.

    1. I go out with someone and I can tell after one date that its not for me. When I say no to matchmaker (a friend of a friend or an official one) they get really upset that Im not giving it another chance. It seems that they expect I either have an amazing reason for saying no (cancer struck) or I must go out again to be sure etc..  I don’t think this is best practices in every situation. Why should I waste my time and someone else’s time if I’m certain? I’m sure the other party wouldn’t want me to do that, so in essence I’d be doing it to make the matchmaker happy and not to ruin my reputation, all the while wasting my time and my date’s precious time as well and misleading my date. Is this the right thing to do?

    2. When there’s a good reason I’m saying no after 1,2,or 3 dates but the reason is loshon hara (evil speech) e.g. hygiene, not frum (religious) enough (e.g. disclosed personal things that made me feel that way) the matchmaker wants specifics and I feel like it’s unkind and maybe a sin to share these personal thoughts and feelings I have about my date. Yet, if you don’t share the matchmaker decides I’m too picky, don’t really want to get married, wants something that doesn’t exist, dumps everyone and the list goes on. I hate throwing people under the bus to spare myself yet in this game it seems like its the only way to survive, forget about thrive. Anyone relate to this?

     

     

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Alwaysworried, although I’m not yet in the dating process, I can try to understand your dilemma. Most people do say to give it a second try unless you’re (100%) certain it’s not going to work out.  Have you tried explaining to the shadchan that although it’s only a first date, you get the feeling that it’s not going to work and that your choice is made after careful consideration? Perhaps you can give an explanation while being vague? For example, you can say “I enjoyed out time out, but I feel that our Hashkafos/goals/personalities and etc are not compatible.” Or, maybe you can talk to a Rav or someone you feel comfortable with (explaining your dilemma) and get their opinion? Hope this helps and Hatzlacha!! It’s not easy but you’re doing the right thing 🙂

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    DDD
    Participant

    Alwaysworried,

    I feel with you. I am 24 and single and have been in this parsha long enough to not only empathize but feel like I could have written that myself. In fact, anyone who has been in the parsha for any substantial amount of time can. Your feelings are normal. Period. It’s really difficult. However, I don’t think this is changing any time soon and like any system that isn’t perfect, we gotta deal with it and not fall apart.

    As to your first question, yes I’ve said “no” after first dates. I don’t like to but have done it. I wouldn’t worry so much about what people are thinking of you; if you’re completely sure it’s not for you, you can say “no” so long as you are realistic in what type of boy you are looking for. I was just listening to a speech by Dr. David Lieberman where he states that anxiety/depression lies in the gap between reality and expectations. If your expectations are realistic… Stay calm he will come! Hashem has infinite ways of sending your bashert! You don’t need to dwell on what a shadchan thinks of you… However, please remember a shadchan is person with feelings and is doing YOU the favor! (Yes, I’ve been in the shadchan’s shoes too!) It really hurts to go out of your way to help someone and not even receive a thank you, let alone a complaint… (It can sometimes feel like “no good deed goes unpunished”)

    As for your second question, absolutely do not put down the other person. I have been in the situation, it’s not worth it. Hashem knows what you did, it won’t throw you under the bus! (Even if it feels like it.) As an aside, I was once pushed by a shadchan why I was saying “no”. I tried to be vague, kept getting pushed so I admitted I thought he was immature, she kept going on how could I see he was immature, so I said something along the lines of him driving recklessly… within that week I got into a car accident! I took it as a clear message. Don’t hurt someone else… You wouldn’t want him doing that to you.

    Finally, this parsha is really hard but everyone likes a positive and upbeat person. It’ll make you more attractive on dates. I try my hardest to remember and truly believe it’s all from Hashem and out of shadchanim’s hands. Our job is to do what’s right and set realistic expectations. Hopefully, you’ll meet him before you know it 🙂

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    alwaysworried
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Wow thank you both so much for your replies. @chavy I appreciate your honesty in not being there yet but you still have a good idea about asking a rabbi what is expected of me. TBH i thought if it but keep pushing it off the list or avoiding writing down to call… in terms of the 100% sure it gets tricky since 100% is a far cry from anything i experience in the dating process. @DDD wow you are strong and Your response was so on point – I wish i had some of your strength and clarity in this area.

    in terms of question one, thank you for the permission. I’m usually completely sure but the 100% scares me. I love what you said about anxiety and depression lying in the gap between reality and expectations. I can see how that plays out in other areas of my life but in this area I feel like/hope I’m usually realistic.

    In terms of question 2, I feel so embarrassed that Ive succumb to share negative things about dates as well out of pressure and fear. I also have had negative things happen to me after the parsha was over that I then connected back to loshon hara and i blamed myself only to get caught in the same bind the next time around. Such a breath of fresh air to hear another healthy neurotic soul. From now on i will firmly just state its not for me and not give explicit reasons. Sometimes, i wonder too if giving a reason will help the matchmaker know more what I’m looking for. Would love to know if and how you deal with that. Thank you again so much for sharing, I feel like i have a better handle on this already!

    Great questions and even better answers!

    I was just listening to a speech by Dr. David Lieberman where he states that anxiety/depression lies in the gap between reality and expectations.

    Absolutely love this clarity. Thank you for sharing. It’s so appropriate not only for the dating process but in so many other areas of life as well.

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    DDD
    Participant

    Alwaysworried,

    I’m so happy my thoughts resonated with you! and it is really nice to discuss this with someone so like-minded.

    Full disclosure, I am not always so strong! It’s a working progress… I just wrote my ideal and my ultimate goals! The place I know I wish I’d be at.

    I know what you mean about 100%… but nothing is 100%… I have yet to hear anyone who got engaged with 100% certainty… Trust your gut feeling!

    I also do think that sometimes a second date can be appropriate even if you’re fairly sure it’s not for you. Sometimes just to make the other person feel like a mensch. Or to appease the shadchan. And there’s nothing wrong with that! (If the date wasn’t sooo terrible) And keep an open mind– you never know!

    On a similar vein, everything is bashert in shidduchim. For example timing; if I’m in middle of a really difficult semester, I’d surely be less likely to give that second date. But I accept that as part of the whole picture of it being out of my hands. Another example is miscommunications; we’ve all heard stories where people had to go on a second date due to a miscommunication and the shidduch worked out… it’s all easier with the mindset of it being out of our hands. (You’ll be or not be on that second date if you’re meant to!)

    To quote Dr. Lieberman again– he says that anxiety comes when we think we’re in charge and things aren’t going as we planned. If we accept that it’s out of our hands and it’s all being maneuvered by someOne with a whole lot more understanding than us, aka emuna, we will get a lot more peace of mind.

    In regard to your second question, don’t be too hard on yourself! Shadchanim are pushy (it’s just their job!) it’s really hard to resist especially when you know how easy it would be if you’d just incriminate the other side… It’s rough! You can still give some feedback… ie you can say you want a more outgoing/quiet boy, taller/shorter, younger/older… in each of these cases it’s not putting down the other side but rather just saying what wasn’t a match for you. Also saying what you did like about him can be helpful. All in all, I’ve found most shadchanim have an idea of what they think you need and it’s really hard to change their perspective even with feedback… In fact the feedback may be exactly what’s making them think you/I are too picky, not realistic, looking for the wrong type etc because it’s in conflict with what they picture for you.

    Best of luck to us all navigating this difficult stage!

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    DDD
    Participant

    I’m sorry I need to correct something I wrote before… Dr. Lieberman states that disappointment and anger lie in the gap between reality and expectations. (Not anxiety/depression as I said before.) Although disappointment and anger can also be related to depression I thought I should correct it since I am quoting someone else! My apologies…

    @DDD thanks for sharing that correction. Yes it means the same thing to me as well but i can hear the nuanced difference. Thank you!

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    alwaysworried
    Participant
    Topic Author

    thanks so much for validating me. Interesting thought on how they have a picture of you in their mind and nothing really changes that so i/you don’t need to say anything to try to change that. It is really out of our control after we do our part and I can accept that my part is not to incriminate the other party. And yes its important to be flexible and give things a second try if and when you can but not out of complete pressure and fear. Not for me anyways. I will try to keep an open mind and take all things into consideration when faced with a second date question again. Knowing there’s no right answer though is helpful in letting me be softer on myself and balancing internal and external expectations. Thank you again.

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    DDD
    Participant

    And yes its important to be flexible and give things a second try if and when you can but not out of complete pressure and fear.

    I definitely second that! If you chose to give a second date, it should be of your own volition. Even if it’s just to appease the shadchan… You can know for yourself that this was your choice and you are choosing to appease the shadchan… Not that you’re doing out of pressure and fear.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Yes, exactly, it’s not a contradiction to do things out of your own volition (i like the word) while doing it even though part of you doesn’t want to but when all things considered it is your choice. Flexibility is key I suppose.

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    Red4
    Participant

    <sigh> shidduchim. One thing I have learned is to trust my gut feelings.

    @alwaysworried “Why should I waste my time and someone else’s time if I’m certain?”

    This is exactly how I feel when I say no, especially after a first date. I recently had a conversation with someone who pointed out that my “gut feelings” really have some basis in reality. Thinking back on times that I had said no based on my feeling, I could actually pinpoint something concrete that bothered me that I couldn’t necessarily see at the time.

    However, make sure that you are being realistic. Sometimes saying no is just the easier path, and that’s not necessarily a good enough reason. Often I want to say no because I can’t picture myself married to the guy. You don’t really need to think that far ahead on the first date, which I have recently come to realize. Try to imagine yourself on a second date with the guy. I have had times where this practice alone gave me the heebie-jeebies, in which case I knew there was something my subconscious picked up on even if I had yet to realize it. Other times, I have felt somewhat indifferent, but that isn’t a reason to say no, and I have had decent second dates off of that feeling, or even a third.

    The point is, make sure your reasons for whatever response you give are valid. Think if someone said no to you because of whatever reason you want to, and whether or not it makes sense to you.

    As for sharing information, as has been pointed out, it can always get back to you. I understand why a shadchan may push, and having been on that side as well, I know how difficult it can be to try setting people up. Imagine how it feels to put in all that effort, only to have it all aborted in infancy. That being said, I’ve dealt with pushy people too. If you can’t get out of giving a specific answer, then there may be a different way to phrase what you want to say. For example, instead of immature, how about “I feel we are at different stages of our lives,” which can also work for not frum enough. It happens. Maybe you can also tell the shadchan exactly what you are feeling. “there were some things that bothered me personally, but I don’t feel comfortable saying what they are.” If you have spoken to someone else for advice about these issues, you can tell the shadchan this as well, and hopefully she/he will understand that you’ve made an informed decision and will leave it at that.

    Remember to give every guy- and yourself!- a fair chance. If you take the opportunity, you can learn a lot about yourself through this process, and your expectations may change.

    I wish you hatzlacha and of course, clarity, in all your decisions.

     

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    alwaysworried
    Participant
    Topic Author

    @red4 thank you so much for this response. Makes good sense. You’re right. I sometimes do jump to the marriage piece and have to remember to pull myself back. I do need to practice giving things a second chance even when I’m almost certain it won’t go further. But i like that you can understand where I’m coming from and can validate that theres no right answer in most instances. I’m also totally into the gut feelings idea.

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    Raquel
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi,</p>
    Just as a side note if your reasons for saying no are universal (like you said hygeine not that’s your just not attracted) I would for sure ask a Rav for an appropriate way to say this. Constructive criticism can be extremely helpful in the dating process and perhaps can help the other person find their bashert  sooner.

    I always do encourage a second date. I think the percentage should prob be 90:10 that you say no after a first date but  sometime you just know!

    Hatzlacha!

     

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    To thine own self be true!

    This topic makes me very sad about ‘the system’. I think some anger and fear as well.

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