Solely In Black and White: Top Ten General Dating Recommendations

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Top Ten General Dating Recommendations

Sefardi Gal, made a wonderful list titled Top 12 Suggestion of What TO DO On a Date. But after her post she said “Kay, this list needs more stuff. I'm being lazy. Feel free to add! :) . I was going to include my additions in the comments section but somehow my additions developed into a full-fledged list of its own. So here it is, SiBW’s list of top 10 general recommendations of what to do on a date from least important to most important.

10. Ask Reasonable Questions ( i.e. don’t grill) to show interest:
Generally, when you are asking questions, don’t be too overbearing. Dates are meant to be conversations not interviews. (At least thats what I thought?) If you’re asking how many bowls of cereal your date eats on Friday mornings you might be heading in the wrong directions, or not, I guess it depends on the person.

9. Personalize the experience:
Share something about yourself with your date. I am not recommending you start sharing your deepest and darkest secrets with a complete stranger, but mention something that is a tad personal.

8. Be honest and forthcoming:
This shouldn’t need an explanation but this recommendation even includes those little white-lies. Remember “the truth shall set you free.” (please don’t quote me on that)

7. Learn something unique about your date:
Every person is unique either in their personality, talents, or skills (for both good and bad). Try to figure out what makes your date special and realize that you’re not going out with another "name" on a list, but an exceptional individual.

6. Laugh at your dates jokes:
This seems to be common courtesy. No matter how cheesy the joke is, at least crack a smile, but preferably a curt chortle would be nice. I think the kids nowadays term this a nebach laugh. The exception to this suggestion is “Knock-Knock” and “Why did the chicken cross the road” jokes, those are excused. Laughing for those might be lefnim mesharas hadin.

5. Initiate a Conversation:
It’s not fun talking to a wall, not that I tried, but the people I’ve seen doing it didn’t seem to be content. Regardless, making conversation takes two people. The best analogy I’ve heard goes like this: a conversation is like playing catch- you throw the ball to another person; they catch it, hold onto it for a bit, and then throw it back. Thus a back-and-forth ensues. For fastballs, curveballs, sliders see recommendation 10 and for screwballs see this post.

4. Maintain a positive attitude:
In case you haven’t figured this out yet, this is a good recommendation for life and one which will serve you well in shidduchim. Agreed, this tip of advice is easier said than done.

3. Regardless of what happens, try to have a good time:
Ibid. When comparing dating to all the places you could be stuck for 3 hours, bad dates really aren’t that terrible. Traffic and air travel come to mind but I’m sure we can be expanded that list quite easily. Has anyone ever gotten stuck on a 16 hour date yet? I don’t think so! ;)

2. Don’t be nervous:
Confidence sells, apprehension doesn’t. There is no reason to be nervous. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Your date probably won’t bite! Don’t forget that for every possible situation where you believe you can make a mistake, someone already has. Just relax, in the words of SIS “it is what it is.” People are more understanding than you think.

1. Be yourself:
I hope I don’t need to clarify this one since only you can truly elucidate all the fine points. But seriously, don’t change who you are to impress someone else.

10 comments:

  1. Nice list, SiBW!

    10. "Ask Reasonable Questions ( i.e. don’t grill) to show interest:"
    As a griller, I resent that! :P

    5. "The best analogy I’ve heard goes like this: a conversation is like playing catch- you throw the ball to another person; they catch it, hold onto it for a bit, and then throw it back. Thus a back-and-forth ensues"
    I like that one, except I think sometimes it's okay for one side to be more talkative. Not drastically more, though.
    Honestly, I don't keep track.

    8. "Be honest and forthcoming"
    Yup. I don't appreciate "heterim" for lying.

    7. "Try to figure out what makes your date special and realize that you’re not going out with another "name" on a list"
    Yup. That's probably one of the most important "hashkafahs" one should have when it comes to dating. I think it's crucial to realize that this is your fellow Jew and a member of Klal Yisrael...not some robot paying for your dinner.

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  2. Nice list.

    Sefardi Gal, maybe you're kidding, but I wouldn't be so proud of being a griller. No one likes to be grilled. I'd suggest dropping that from your dating routine.

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  3. SIS-
    I think we'd have to define "grilled" - but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It definitely CAN be, though.
    Personally, I like asking questions and being asked about myself. I rather ask him Qs that matter to be, rather than to be polite and wait until "later on" and then use those deal-breakers.

    For example, regardless of what the shadchan tells me, I find out on the 1st date whether or not the guy is a smoker. That is an absolute deal-breaker for me. Why should I wait until the 4th date to find that out?

    (just a side note: I find it interesting how many guys are willing to lie to the shadchan but not to the girl.)

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  4. @Sefardi Gal: There is nothing wrong with one person being more talkative than the other that happens to be a common occurrence in life. The problem is when one person either talks too much or too little. As long as it feels like a conversation there is no need to keep track.

    Why don’t you ask your potential date’s friends if he smokes before you go out?

    “just a side note: I find it interesting how many guys are willing to lie to the shadchan but not to the girl.” Wow. I have never heard that one before. I’ll have to look into this. Does this hold true for girls too?

    @SIS: Depends on the type of questions she is asking and who she is asking them to. Some shy people need to be interrogated. Unless she tells us specifically who and how she is grilling on her dates, we aren’t going to know if she really is a griller.

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  5. SiBW: I also was shocked at the lying statement, but I think (and she'll correct me if I'm wrong :-) ) she was talking about smoking specifically. So no, it doesn't hold true for girls :-) (one hopes).

    As far as the grilling, I took her words at face value. She said she's a griller. Doesn't really matter to me either way, though...

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  6. SiBW and SIS -
    I probably am a griller, but I don't think it's a bad thing. What can I say...I'm an intense personality. :D

    I apologize for being amibugous. Sis is right...I was specifically referring to smoking. But I think the same can apply to minyan; I remember the shadchan making it seem like the guy was extremely shtark, learning daily, attending minyan thrice daily, etc. He admitted me to that he STRIVES to do so...one day...

    SiBW-

    "Why don’t you ask your potential date’s friends if he smokes before you go out?"
    The references usually aren't friends...they're rabbanim. It's the type of question I can only find out the answer to through facebook stalking or asking the guy personally.

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  7. You should always ask for friends. Rabbanim...nisht. You'll rarely get the true picture from them.

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  8. No jokes, you really are a griller. Do you like barbequing? :-)
    Just out of curiosity, has a boy ever reciprocated? (Maybe a flame a war?)

    Agreed, you really should ask the friends. If there are no friends on the resume then ask the shadchan for some.

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  9. SIS -
    you honestly think his friends will say anything bad about him?

    SiBW -
    hate BBQing, but I like eating BBQ. :)
    Sometimes the guys reciprocate. I haven't dated many "challenging" guys...I'm patiently awating that deep, philosophical, intense guy to come my way.

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  10. Actually you'd be surprised. If you ask the questions right, you can find out a lot. Even if they don't say something bad, at least you'll get a better picture. Most guys are decent, the question is if they're right for you.

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