Do you give a reason when you turn down another date? It seems an odd fact that people rarely do, and if forced to, won’t give the real reason why. People will say “It just wasn’t right” instead of “conversation dragged something awful” or “Not for me” in place of “My God what planet is (s)he from?!”
Question is, why?
Well, one reason might be because often people get a “feel,” and giving all the reasons that cumulated in the feel would be too complicated. Or sound stupid upon examination. Or they might be afraid of having their reasons shot down by the shadchan or getting into an argument – hey, it’s been known to happen. I know someone who forced a couple out on three dates practically at gunpoint. They finally got married, maybe because it was easier than trying to stop dating, but got divorced within a few years. (Crazy, no?)
Another possibility is that the person doesn’t want to seem critical – of either their shadchan or their date. Or maybe they’re afraid of being criticized themselves, and being labeled in the shadchan’s folder as “the sort who cares about xyz” (though if you do, then what’s the harm?). Maybe it just sounds like a shallow reason when verbalized, and they don’t want to come across that way.
Whatever the reason, you can almost certainly rest assured that when someone breaks off a dating streak, they aren’t going to give the real reason. And some daters know they can rely on this.
I’m referring to a post made on a message board elsewhere, which someone forwarded to me. The subject was a nice yeshiva guy who went out with a nice bais yaakov maidel. She sat there texting on her phone for the entire car ride, and also while he bought the drinks. He was appalled by how rude she was, as was the relative who posted the story. (I think “chutzpah” was the word used.) Naturally, he didn’t agree to go out again. But did he tell the shadchan “I don’t want to go out with someone so rude she texts friends during a date”? Nope. He said, “No thanks, not for me.”
For a grand total of two days I was puzzled about why a girl would go on a date and mess it up that badly. Then I read Aidel Knaidel’s post about shidduch coercion, and immediately put them together. Maybe the girl was on a date she didn’t want to be on – then or ever again. Saying “no” to a second date herself wouldn’t work, so she had to make it come from the guy.
Naturally she took a bit of a risk. She couldn’t know for sure that her date wouldn’t give the real reason for breaking it off, and if he would, she’d be in trouble. But overall it was a pretty safe bet. I mean, what guy wouldn’t feel weird saying, “She was texting the whole date”?
I would like to take the opportunity to say that, if the situation is anything like I’m interpreting it, I would think it extremely… (snobby? narrowminded? immature? petulant?) of her to not even give him a chance. She could always be rude on a later date, or tell him she gets an irresistable urge to dance whenever she sees a red car, or just act grown up and say, “Hi, I don’t think this is going to work out, but I’m a drop helpless here, so can you please call it off?” At the very least it will lead to a discussion of why she doesn’t think it will work out, and he’ll either agree or she’ll change her mind.
However it ends, you can bet he’ll just tell the shadchan, “Sorry, just not for me.”