Our Smorgasbord Etiquette

In a world that has gone global it’s no wonder that an increasing amount of jewish singles are willing to travel to date. In New York city alone it’s been reported of having 30,000 singles living or visiting at any given time. Whether this number is higher or lower the fact is well-known that New York is a shidduch potential hotspot. With many dating websites and organizations springing up in the last few years (JDate, SawYouAtSinai, Frumster, etc.) the single scene has only become larger, and people have become more accessible meeting others they would otherwise never have met. With such a smorgasbord of singles, no matter how Jewish your background, your etiquette’s are bound to have dissimilarities. Whether you are new to the dating game or a seasoned veteran, there are always “do’s” and “don’ts” of dating. To some this will be common sense but to others these are habits and manners which need to be taught and put into practice.

Here is a compiled list of some “do’s” and “don’ts” which summarize the feedback that I’ve collected over the years.

Several themes have emerged among men and women, the behavior they appreciate most when out on a date – and the social graces they can definitely do without. I hope you find these tips helpful as you navigate your way through the dating experience.

Do’s

  • Be positive and upbeat.
  • Look your best.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Demonstrate that you have a sense of humour.
  • Be easy-going, especially if things don’t go as planned.
  • Be polite and courteous.
  • Be accommodating about where to go on your date.
  • Return phone calls on a timely basis.
  • Relax and enjoy yourself.

Don’ts

  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. Ask questions and listen at least as much as you talk.
  • Don’t be late.
  • Don’t talk about former relationships.
  • Don’t brag about your achievements or financial success.
  • Don’t be negative.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone.
  • Don’t read received texts.
  • Don’t talk endlessly about your kids (if you have any).
  • Don’t be rude to the waiter.
  • Don’t look at your watch.
  • Don’t invite friends to join you on your date.

As you’ve probably figured out by now it’s mostly common sense.

Should you have any tips or advice of your own feel free to express them in the comments section.

One and Done.

From time to time my friends share tid bits of their shidduch experiences.

Recently a friend of mine mentioned the following story;

“The other night I was preparing for a date and I decided to text her saying “I’m looking forward to tonight” to which she texted back, “Danielle, the date just texted me, I can’t believe I’m actually going to waste my time on this guy.”

You’re probably wondering what happened afterwards. Well I can tell you he still took her out as she called him soon afterwards to apologize profusely. I have to give him a Kudos for manning up and still taking her out regardless even while knowing what she really thinks of him. Naturally it didn’t go anywhere as it was a one-and-done ordeal, unsurprisingly mutually they both didn’t want to continue.

While we had a good laugh at my friends experience (he’s a good-natured guy), I think it’s important to note that what my friend had done took a lot of guts. He manned up and did the chivalrous thing. I know that for myself and for many others they would have simply text or called the girl back and just shut the date down on the spot. Girls like the one in the story are a dime a dozen, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken out girls who seem sweet and good-natured on the date. However after a little time spent with them, and a bit of snooping around – I discover that the girl in question has a bit of a reputation for not being the sweet thing they pose to be. My friend was just lucky enough that he caught a glimpse of her darker side from the get go and quickly distanced himself.

The Pointless Long Distance Argument

What is the point of dating long distance?  The bottom line is you’re stuck for a few weeks not seeing each other. Sure these days we have Skype and it’s kind of nice that you’re able to see the other person. But let’s be honest with ourselves, you’re still not there in person and it’s limited in the amount of interaction you can do with one another. It’s a temporary fix for a permanent problem.

Of course there’s the other side of the argument that you can’t date local because there’s just nobody to date and thus dating out-of-town seems infinitely more feasible.

I believe the latter mentality is probably derived from the old saying “it’s always greener on the other side”.

I guess when push comes to shove if the person is cute enough, or seems worth it enough, or someone is desperate enough, that is when the effort to court someone long distance will be made.