Solely In Black and White: Sympathetic Second Dates Vs. the “One and Done.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sympathetic Second Dates Vs. the “One and Done.”

I have this enigma that has been bothering me for a while: Where did the sympathetic second date come from? After rereading some of the “First Date Project” responses it seemed apparent that giving a second date has become more of common practice or an accepted chessed than I originally thought. I also realized that this problem has another facet that is equally jarring. Shadchunim, based on this misnomer, pressure people to go on a second date even when there is no way it’s going to work. 


Okay, I understand if you’re the type of person who is irresolute and would prefer an extra date to figure things out, or even if you’re decisive, but you would like a second date to elucidate all doubts, fine. My quandary is with those people who are decisive, unwavering, and experienced daters (hopefully, I’ll write a post to define this someday) who are able to ascertain their interest in the other party by half-time of the first date, yet give a second date regardless. Why is this? 


To me this seems illogical. If after going out on a first date you feel a second date is warranted, then say yes to a second date, if not, do not. It goes without saying I mean this within reason; the objective is not to find some insignificant fault to either overanalyze or nitpick about and say no, that would be counterproductive. There is nothing wrong with going on a second date to clarify your doubts. But if you’re relatively certain that in the end it just won’t work out between the two of you, or even if you’re just not that interested in the other person, what are you waiting for? Do you really believe that delaying the inevitable by one date is doing the other person a favor? 


I hope you have enjoyed my arguments and I encourage you to disagree and form your own opinions. I should inform you that after some preliminary real-life campaigning I have convinced a few people to join the ranks and now they are extolling the virtues of the “one and done.” Nonetheless, like everything else in shidduchim, use common sense and utilize whatever method works best for you, except where the rules dictate otherwise ;). If you’d like you can join the crusade to abolish the sympathetic second date and raise the flag of “one and done” or not. However, if you intend on practicing as a shadchun guided with the notion of second dates for everyone, you better be prepared to put up a good fight. (As an aside, some shadchunim have and I have lost a few battles, unfortunately the fight continues.)

50 comments:

  1. Assuming that general research/info was done before the first date, what (for a man) can possibly be a dealbreaker after the first date? (anything other than the date being physically hideous?)

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  2. Sefardi Gal: If she has bad manners (e.g. playing with her cell phone while we're talking), that's a dealbreaker for me.
    Also sometimes you can tell that you're too different from your date, religiously.

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  3. Research and info can be misleading and sometimes totally inaccurate. In some case the info can give you a heads-up on what to lookout for. I think the three biggest reasons for “one and dones” are looks, incompatible personalities, and considerable hashkafic differences. Bored Jewish Guy makes an excellent point; being rude or displaying bad manners can also be a major dealbreaker.

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  4. Sefardi gal, why would it be different for a guy than a girl?

    SiBW, while I agree with the looks and considerable hashkafic differences (stress on considerable) reasons, do you really think you get someone's personality after one date?

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  5. Sometimes. Personality is made up of a slew of contributing factors. I’ve had at least one date where I walked saying something along the lines of “that specific aspect of her personality is significantly off putting.” SIS, have you never had a “one and done” that could be attributed to a personality issue?

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  6. Right, sometimes, but how often can that be? I don't know, this concept of "one and done" is new to me; I always thought of it for situations where it was a total DOA, or for older burnt out guys. Of course there are times when I just don't like him after one date (thus attribution to a personality issue), but unless I REALLY don't like him, there's a second one. Then again, I'm pretty selective about who I date, so most guys I meet are relatively normal.

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  7. The argument I’ve heard against the “one and done” is that maybe after a second date the person might grow on you, I’m guessing that this is similar to the growth of mold, it just spreads. But is that really the case? When you go out with a normal guy who you realize after a first date that you don’t like him all that much, do you somehow magically start liking him more after the second? Personally, I don’t think so.

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  8. No, of course not. I doubt that has ever happened to me. For me (and I think for most people), you know within a few minutes if you can like him or not. Probably two thirds of people pass that test. And I don't buy that, that they'll grow on you. It doesn't work that way. At least it shouldn't...

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  9. So in such a situation, what is the point of a second date? Why do people believe that there is an inherit obligation to go out on a second time just because their dates are normal? So in theory, one third of your dates should have been “one and dones.” Does that correlation hold true?

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  10. When I say normal, I mean that they're worth a second date. Not that the others aren't normal, just not normal for me. Actually, thinking about it, the correlation is pretty close! Maybe not when I was younger, but now, it's probably somewhere around the one third mark.

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  11. Sounds like you’ve seen the light and have recently become a member of the “one and done” club. I think experience does play a role, the longer you go out the more likely you are to utilize the “one and done.”

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  12. Right. You're more sure of yourself, for better or for worse. You know more what works for you and what doesn't. Maybe it's different for other people, but I also can't be pushed anymore. If there's something to work with, I'll take longer to pass judgment and give it more of a shot, but if there's nothing, then I'll recognize that faster and be done with it...regardless of the pressure.

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  13. Totally agree and I have reached the same conclusions. This is why I don’t understand why people who have been dating for over a year can make a comment like “I always say yes to a second date unless there was something obviously objectionable.” Why? That is completely irrational. Speaking of the First Date project, SIS do you intend on writing one?

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  14. I've been dating for many, many years and I would still say the same thing. It's only that I'm thinking about it now that I realize it's not true. Two answers come to mind: 1. age 2. location. At least in the yeshivish world, the younger someone is, the more their parents choose their spouse, the more they're still indoctrinated that you're not going to see fireworks, it's his middos and sheifos that matter. Younger girls, after a guy passes the parental and brother inspection, will often push themselves to continue because they think they'd be crazy to pass this guy up, after all he's a masmid and comes from a great family and is a top guy. I'm not explaining this well; hopefully you're getting it. And as far as location goes, those from out of the NY area will have different rules because they have to travel, thus they'll put more into it.

    Also, you say irrational, but oftentimes those in category #1 will end up getting married to that person, so they'll say it was good they pushed themselves. Hey, they're happy, and ignorance is bliss! They don't know it could be better.

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  15. As far as the First Date Project goes, no, I didn't plan on doing it (I think the ground has been covered with everyone else's posts). But I will tell you that I've found the guys' version very interesting and enlightening.

    I didn't know that 1. guys care so much, 2. they're nervous, 3. they think into these things, 4. they want you to like them. I know this is all obvious, but what do I know about guys?

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  16. I understand what you’re saying; I have heard the same speech many times. I always wondered if ignorance is really bliss in that case. I imagine one day they’re going to wake-up and realize something is missing. This topic might make for a new post: “what comes first: love or marriage?”, or something along those lines, hopefully one day. Yeah, I think that is quite irrational. A person should not be talked into marring someone who they don’t want to marry, and they should marry someone who they really want to marry.

    You should. I’m curious to read what you have to say about it and your take on the whole first date, besides I have found the girls versions to be very interesting too. Don’t forget as Bad4 said “better late than never.” No pressure though. :-)

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  17. Oops. I commented before but not sure if I actually confirmed the comment or not. Blah.

    SIS-
    I think it's different for men because they seemingly analyze personality less than a woman would after the first date. I think they go more for the: "is she attractive and has a more or less similar hashkafah to mine?"

    SiBW-
    "“I always say yes to a second date unless there was something obviously objectionable.” Why? That is completely irrational."
    I don't think that's irrational at all. That's what I do, and it HAS worked before.
    I think it's silly to think that chemistry will always instantly be there in shidduch dating. You're going out with a nearly complete stranger, and all of the sudden you have to open up and fully expect them to show you their true colors??
    Someone once blogged about how you don't really get to be yourself until the 3rd date. It's true.
    For example, I can go out with an attractive or okay looking guy who's more on the reserved side, and therefore, assume that he's boring and bland. But if I give it a shot -- perhaps I'll get to know him and see that he's a huge baal middot tovot who went through a lot of struggle and always helps other people, and he's not bland -- on the contrary, he's full of good traits.

    OR...he can really just be bland. :)

    In any case, I like the guidance of "keep going with it unless there's something wrong" when it comes to dating.
    After a few dates, though, if something still feels off -- I'd say THEN it's time to think outside of the box and more within the confines of your heart.

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  18. Sefardi Gal, I’m not talk about situations where you don’t know enough about your date. I am referring specifically to the times when you come home from a date and say “I don’t exactly like that person.” As SIS pointed out it seems that the accepted practice amongst the more “yeshivish” crowd is to talk someone into going out on a second date regardless of whether they like the person or not. In my opinion that is irrational.

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  19. I'm not so sure they wake up one day and realize that. They aren't missing anything. Of course everything can always be MORE, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're missing something. What would make them wake up and say that? They assume that's what everyone's marriages are like, and they assume that's what love is...and maybe it is :-)

    As far as marrying someone they don't really want to marry, I think that oftentimes they're very excited about what that person represents, and not necessarily about the person themselves. So to them, one hopes, it's good enough. I don't know...it's a confusing thing. It reminds me of "the white man's burden." Why impose other standards of happiness on people who are happy, even if you think your way is far superior? I'm not sure about this, just trying to see both sides.

    I'm sure you are curious :-) but I don't really have much to say. I don't think into a first date much. It is what it is. Maybe I'll do a very abridged version for you. Or not. I'll see. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Sefardi Gal, maybe because I'm "older," but I don't analyze much of anything after a first date (and certainly not hashkafic compatibility...do you really think you know that after one date?). Like I said, it is what it is.

    Another thing SiBW (pardon this very long comment): While I get what you're saying, I would be a little wary of spreading this as your gospel, because it's easy to be misinterpreted. You don't believe in the "one and done" if there's any chance it could go somewhere, right? So people can delude themselves very easily that there's no chance when there is. Also, not everyone is discerning as you (and I). This policy is definitely not for everyone.

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  20. SiBW, I still don't see the issue. Some people just give off a bad first impression and need one more shot.
    If it's 5 more shots, then obviously that's an issue. :)

    SIS-
    I grill my dates with questions, so I generally have a good "feel" of their overall hashkafah.
    How do you make your decision without analyzing? Based on the vibes you got?

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  21. You grill 'em on a first date, SG? Wow, you're scary.

    What decision? I don't need to be making a decision after a first date. If I'm not getting yuck vibes (which doesn't usually happen), then it's a go for a second time around.

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  22. SIS-
    got it. Maybe I should try your method.

    Yup. One called me intimidating, but for the most part, I'm not too scary. :D
    That reminds me: a friend of mine came back from a date last week and told me it's not going to work because she's "too much of a woman for him." Maybe I should use that one from now & on. Heh.

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  23. @SIS: I hear what you’re saying, I would argue but most of my argument is based on hearsay, subjective information, and arbitrarily facts. Maybe we can save the love and marriage discussion for another post, or until I can find some empirical data to support my hunch.

    I’m glad to hear that re: “I don't think into a first date much. It is what it is.” Just for me? I am touched, but I think it would be an educational tool for all mankind. :-) How about this, if you write a really abridged version I’ll ask questions. ;-) Again, no pressure.

    I usually don’t run into the problem of spreading the “gospel” in real life since I know my audience (mostly friends) is capable of understanding the ramifications. But like you said, we have a select few high-class readers, so I assume they can figure it out.

    Correct, if there is even a remote possibility that something might develop then the “one and done” is no longer an option. Like I said in the post: “It goes without saying I mean this within reason; the objective is not to find some insignificant fault to either overanalyze or nitpick about and say no, that would be counterproductive.” “Nonetheless, like everything else in shidduchim, use common sense and utilize whatever method works best for you, except where the rules dictate otherwise.” I hope that those lines are clear enough. Should I write a large caution disclaimer before the post as well?

    @Sefardi Gal: To each their own I guess. Whatever works. Are you saying that you have never had a one and done?

    How exactly do you grill them? Or more specifically, what questions do you ask?

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  24. SiBW - of course I've had a one and done! I've done the "one and done" and even the "zero and done" more than once.
    I specifically stated that if the guy's hashkafah and looks seem fine, I don't think he should be given a second shot.
    I've done the "one and done" mainly because of a lack of attraction, differences in hashkafah, and deal-breakers like smoking or being an illegal citizen in the country. :)

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  25. Woops. Typo.
    *I specifically stated that if the guy's hashkfafah and looks seem fine, I think he should be given a second shot.

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  26. Maybe I'll write a really abridged version, but not make it part of the permanent record of my blog. I'm afraid of giving out too much personal info with that post, but I'll see what I can do. I'm not sure how it would help mankind though :-)

    As far as the disclaimer, it's not necessary, you were very clear. I guess if people don't read the whole shebang, you can't be faulted.

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  27. @Sefardi Gal- So all those issues aside, hypothetically let’s say you went out with a wonderful normal boy, but the he was either soooo boring or annoying! Being with him felt like torture and making conversation was akin to pulling teeth. Would you still go out a second time just because his looks, haskofs, meidos are all fine?

    @SIS- Okay thanks in advanced and looking forward. Kudos for the feedback on the disclaimer. Who would have though bloggers could yield so much power with simple words? :-p On that note, I wonder if any of the lurkers are now newfangled members of the “one and done” club? I guess we’ll never know…

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  28. SIS-
    I would also enjoy reading it!


    SiBw -
    Probably. I actually had such a situation recently, and I said yes to a 2nd just to be sure. Some people are just nervous the first time around and don't show their true colors easily...

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  29. Bloggers yield a scary amount of power. Anything written and published can affect worlds. I don't mean to pump myself up into more than I am, which is a small-time occasional blogger, but still, I know that I've definitely been changed by little small things I've read. So who knows?

    As far as the first date project, if it happens, it'll be after Pesach, so don't hold your (collective) breaths.

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  30. “Bloggers yield a scary amount of power. Anything written and published can affect worlds.”
    Yeah, commenters too! ;-)

    Ah, I have a nice rant on this topic, but I think it would be best not to publish it, I just know that it would be hypocritical.

    Okay, no problem, if you write it, we would be glad to read it. By the way, you can create a “page” in blogger so it will not be visible directly on your blogger, if that is what you wish.

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  31. :-) Very true.

    Which topic?

    Yeah? And then where does the link live? I think I might write it and just keep it up for a week. I don't know why, it weirds me out to have that information up on the internet.

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  32. A rant on how bloggers think they can spread their “gospel” to the masses… you know like this post… it’s just so wrong, because then I would be a hypocrite. :-p

    Oh well, it would have made for a good post, maybe I’ll change my mind.

    Pages live on your blog, but they have the option to be only accessible by manually linking to them. Here is an example:
    http://solelyinblackandwhite.blogspot.com/p/sample-page.html

    Theoretically, you could publish your part in the first date project as a page and email the page link to Bad4, thus keeping the link and info off your main blog (and now the feed as well), while still allowing you to control and track the info.

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  33. :-) I hear you. Do I ever do that? *thinking*

    Ah okay. And then I can delete it when I want?

    p.s. Who really is crazy? The person mentioned in the other post you deleted? :-)

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  34. Dunno, I am going to have to check through all you posts now. ;-)

    Yup. It can be deleted at will and because it isn’t fed it shouldn’t leave any reminisce behind either.

    Not sure what you’re talking about. The only posts that were deleted thus far were “tests.” The crazy post is still up. ???

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  35. It's okay, I was asking myself the question :-)

    Sounds good. Maybe I'll do that. After Pesach!

    No, not up on your blog, but on the feed. I just got a kick out of that, but you don't have to explain. :-)

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  36. I am so lost! The post and feed are both still up at: http://solelyinblackandwhite.blogspot.com/2010/03/seriously-i-think-she-is-just-crazy.html

    Is that what you're referring to?

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  37. Yes. You deleted it and it's still there? Oh wait, I misread your comment. I thought you were questioning if the post is still there; I thought the period was a mistake. Okay, sorry about this, I'm the confused one. :-) I just figured it out. In the feed, it says "Seriously, I think she is just crazy." I thought that was a test post. And the post underneath says "Bad for Shidduchim." You get why I thought that was funny? Of course, not nice, I still thought it was funny. Sorry for confusing you here, it's me and Pesach cleaning; it's making me lose my mind.

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  38. That is hilarious! No, that is a total fluke. I was playing with feedity for my feed and it seems to have done some really weird stuff. (I am back on feedburner but Google reader doesn’t delete anything) That post is a real post, although to the best of my knowledge it has nothing to do with Bad4, unless you insinuating otherwise. :-)

    No problem, I think you just made my day. That is very funny, although I don’t know if Bad4 would agree.

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  39. :-) Glad to have given you a laugh. I think bad4 would totally agree that she's crazy, I think she prides herself on stuff like that. But anyway, I'll stop with the public loshon hara about a fellow blogger...

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  40. I'm curious what she would say if she saw this... Who knows, maybe she will stop by and leave a comment.

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  41. Has she ever been seen in these parts? You can send her a link if you want ;-)

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  42. She has yet to comment on the blog. Whether she reads the posts or not I don’t know for sure but I have a feeling she does. If you insist. :-)

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  43. I really don't care :-) I think she'd be tickled pink that we're talking about her!

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  44. Hopefully she will make a comment and we shall see. Tickled pink? Maybe. I was guessing it would be more along the lines of creative, witty, and fun.

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  45. Which page link? "What am I looking for?" "A guy lichened to a mushroom" and "Bored Jewish Guy." Is that what you're referring to? Feedity has issues btw :-) But I still think it's great for my purposes. You're back on the full-blown feed again.

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  46. Yup! Quite funny, no? It seems to group things based on its perception. It also believes that one and dones are connected to my general dating recommendations. Strange stuff. Yeah, I am back on the full feed for now. I have a new idea I want to try. I inserted a “no index” and “no caching” code. I want to test if it will work. Besides, I couldn’t get feedity to display my feed nicely, as I guess you can see. :-0

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  47. I don't think I'm crazy - it's everyone else who is. Though I accept that some people might have a skewed (if not inverted) view on this matter.

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  48. Well, it's right. "One and dones" are part of your general dating recommendations. It knows you better than you know yourself. :-P And you deleted a comment, didn't you?

    bad4, okay then :-)

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  49. That’s why I went back to Feedburner, Feedity has a mind of its own! Who knows what crazy stuff it might do next?!?

    I deleted the comment "SIS- check the "page" link above. It's hilarious!” Fine, I’ll add it back. If anyone would like to see the Feedity joke we are discussing, a partial screenshot can found here, at least for the interim.

    So was that tickled pink?

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  50. Right, I know which one you deleted. It's quite alright, you don't need to add it back, I read it already :-) And nope, that wasn't "tickled pink." But she couldn't show us she was even if she was, so maybe she was. In any case, it really doesn't matter :-)

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