Isn’t it interesting how much of the shidduch scene is very hush-hush. For me there have been several couples in the last few months that have become engaged, all of which I believe were very hushhushed. Not the engaged part, but the dating counterpart.
I know that’s the point of shidduch dating, to be discreet. But wouldn’t you want to be able to enjoy some of the liberties of openly dating as a couple. Especially once you know it’s a sure-fire thing (you both know he/she is the one).
The benefits being; you can socially go out with other couples or events. Can opt for more open dates such as popular restaurants, volunteer together and do… well pretty much anything as you have no worries about anyone finding out.
Heck you can finally be seen in public and not have to constantly look over your shoulder with that worried feeling that you might see someone you know.
Sure you could argue that you may as well get engaged since you can do all of those things (and more) during that time period. However the way I see it, dating is one of the most fun and enjoyable times of a relationship. You have the least amount of responsibilities, dates are often new and exciting, everything is very fresh and fun. I’m not saying date excessively long, but for the bare minimum to date openly and let everyone know, or at least not hide it. This way no one is taken by surprise when a couple gets engaged, and everyone can enjoy in the simcha!
All too often I hear of friends who have been living under a rock or working long hours and losing touch. Only to reemerge a few weeks/months later finding out they’ve been completely left out of the loop (Say hello to Facebook, your social life-preserver). While friends are overjoyed, I think everyone in this type of boat feels a small knot of sadness that they didn’t find out sooner.
One last point that I have for openly dating and I can sum up in one word, “FACEBOOK”.