He’s More Jaded than She Is (Nah Nah)

Yesterday, at the Shobbos Kallah of SMF (soon to be married friend) #8, I had the audacity to say that I thought dating was fun.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like dating. I hate the research and the buildup and the prepping and the wasted time and the anticipation that inevitably precedes disappointment. I don’t like most of it. But I do think it can be, like many time wasters, fun.

“Nooo,” protested the friend and purpose of the get-together. “Maybe for the first date or two, but afterwards, no way.” She has the luxury of holding this opinion because she’s getting married tonight.

I disagree. I think the first date or two are the most miserable. They’re the ones where you’re not sure what to wear, what to do, what to say, how to act, how to react, how to feel, when to say no, and what is good grounds for saying ‘no.’ People get pretty messed up on their first ever dates.

Case in point, a sorta quiet guy was set up with a more-than-sorta-quiet girl. Which is to say, she said maybe a half dozen words the entire date, and they weren’t consecutive. The shadchan convinced him to take her out again and again, and he chose locations he thought she ought to enjoy, based on what he heard about her. Didn’t work. By the seventh – yep, that was seventh – date, he knew about as much about her as he had before they started going out. Afraid of facing his bully of a shadchan again, the guy walked her to her front door and said, “I don’t think we’re meant for each other.” He later heard that she was expecting a proposal.

Yeah, that’s what we call a learning experience type of first date, and also a miserable experience type of first date. That’s not even the type of story that makes a good bad-date story. Most first-ever dates don’t. It’s only later, once you’ve learned to relax, be yourself, and not care that you can begin really enjoying yourself.

And there’s plenty to enjoy. You’re getting a pretty personal snapshot of a human being, a bit of entertainment, maybe something to eat or drink, and in the worst-case scenario, a good bad-date story. You can look at the goings on with an ironic detachment because you don’t care as much.

Like the time I was sipping my carrot juice when a woman who looked ten months pregnant walks into the restaurant. She needed about 2 extra feet of clearance in front. Not only was she walking, but she was very nicely turned out in a baby-blue outfit with ruffly stuff on the collar, cuffs, and hem.

“Did you see that pregnant lady?” my date giggled after she passed. “She looked funny.”

Naturally, I was taken aback for a moment. Then the humor kicked in. “If Gary Larson drew a dating comic strip…” I thought. And mildly amused, I turned the conversation elsewhere.

Despite the view of SMF #8, I think most girls take their dating relatively lightly – relative to guys, I mean. Girls expect some bad experiences before they find The One, and will more casually go on a date just to see/just in case. Guys don’t, and it’s not just because of the travel and money. I mean, my brother is dating in Yerushalayim. He dresses, she dresses. He travels, she travels. He pays for a drink. He talks she talks. He goes home, she goes home. At the end of the date, he’s invested a grand total of 10 shekel more than she has. And he still finds dating more frustrating and jading than I do.

“Girls figure they’ll date a little and eventually find their bashert. Guys decide to start dating when they want to get married,” claimed the mother who interviewed me on behalf of her jaded dater son, who, it seemed, was sick of dating without making progress (whatever that would mean) and therefore required this sort of thorough research before any date could happen.

There’s certainly evidence supporting her statement. I don’t know many girls who really thought they’d marry the first guy they’d date. I was rather hoping I wouldn’t. But both my brothers hoped they would, and one even did. Girls tend to think there’s a certain amount of dating you have to do before you get married, so they want to start early. Guys push it off until they’re ready, be it with a degree, an income, or whatever. And when they’re ready, they want to do it. When you enter with that kind of expectation, you get frustrated pretty fast. And that takes all the pleasure out of it. Instead of thinking, “At least I got a good salad and a great bad-date story,” you just think, “Another evening wasted on a lemon.”

Which could be why, despite having dated the same amount of guys as jaded-dating-guy has dated girls, I’m not jaded, and he is.

My mother should be grateful.

PS: If this theory is at all accurate, I ask the readership: does jadedness eventually peak, drop, and plateau? I mean, a person can’t be exceedingly jaded forever. At some point you get used to it, and apathy kicks in, right? I ask only because I feel another chart coming on… It would look something like this, I think:

Shidduch Dating Jadedness

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24 thoughts on “He’s More Jaded than She Is (Nah Nah)

  1. Good points! I don’t think it’s a guy vs. girl thing, though. I know some jaded women who also had the “I’m ready to marry now, I’ll go out with at most, 1-3 guys, before finding Mr. Right.” When it didn’t happen, they became jaded. I will observe that many of the girls with that attitude were those that put off dating while they got advanced degrees, travelled the world, got situated in careers before entering the shidduch scene. I love the graph!

  2. I grew up in the 60’a and I am probably older than your parents. If you don’t mind me saying so the Ultra Orthodox mores & folkways have deprived your generation, have robbed your generation of the anticipation and excitiment of the this most precious time of a young life. You or should I say your parents have permitted a fundlmentalism to permiate your lifestyle which has transformed the most exciting time of a young persons life into one of terror, dread and tears. I wish you the best of luck.

  3. Girls figure they’ll date a little and eventually find their bashert. Guys decide to start dating when they want to get married,

    I actually disagree completely with that statement. I feel that guys start dating for fun, and girls take it way more seriously and expect to get married right away.

  4. i love your story about the quiet couple. i know many guys have tons of similar stories.

    My favorite: A friend went on a date with a girl, and there wasnt much conversation. So he would ask her a question, e.g. What did you do last summer? – and he would listen to her response. And then he would pause for a couple seconds, obviously waiting for her to ask: and what did you do for the summer? Unfortunately, this setting her up for a return ques. did not work and he would then answer the implied ques. himself – Well, I worked at so and so this summer. This went on for a while with him asking questions of her, waiting for her to response with a question to him which never came, and which he proceeded to ask himself. Needless to say it was not a very successful shidduch.

  5. i love your story about the quiet couple. i know many guys have tons of similar stories.

    My favorite: A friend went on a date with a girl, and there wasnt much conversation. So he would ask her a question, e.g. What did you do last summer? – and he would listen to her response. And then he would pause for a couple seconds, obviously waiting for her to ask: and what did you do for the summer? Unfortunately, this setting her up for a return ques. did not work and he would then answer the implied ques. himself – Well, I worked at so and so this summer. This went on for a while with him asking questions of her, waiting for her to response with a question to him which never came, and which he proceeded to ask himself. Needless to say it was not a very successful shidduch.

  6. i think i may have reached the point of jadedness.
    i don’t know if it’s necessarily a number of dates; it could be based on quality, or lack thereof, of dates as well.

  7. Define Jaded.

    Bas~Melech: The numbers on the jaded scale are based, obviously, on the SRJS-14 (Self-Reported Jadedness Scale version 14) in which respondents select descriptions of their feelings toward dating on a sliding scale between 1 and 7. Points are totaled for a SRJR (Self-Reported Jadedness Rating) which is plotted on the map. The SRJS-14 is administered after 1, 4, 7, 12, 18, and 25 dates. It has sometimes been administered post-engagement, but usually the results are skewed because the respondents report an overall lower level of jadedness for their entire dating experience.

    Oooh! I won. :-/ Um, what? Is there at least a prize?

    …Yeah, I think Ezzie is still ahead with hits. I know him (nah nah).

  8. Is there at least a prize?

    I guess that depends on how you define “prize”. That was why I left a “?” after the congratulations.

    As for what you have won, again I can’t really say…other than the fact that you seem pretty confident in the fact that you have.

    Truth be told I am starting to wonder why you even keep up this blog. There does not seem to be any aspect of shidduchim that you do not have an answer for or feel you have progressed beyond or simply do not understand the reason for.

    So I say again congratulations, you have beaten the system. You have refused to play by the rules and thereby not allowed yourself to be sucked into the maelstrom that is modern day shidduchim. At the same time this has allowed you to take a disdainful approach to all that does go on and wax poetic on how unfortunate it all is and those involved are.

    You embrace being a square beg in a round hole world, and this is to be commended. Yet, I can’t help but think that this total embarace does not in some way allow you to keep that “above the fray”ness fresh and vibrant.

    It’s almost a parasitic relationship. Like I’ve said here before:
    The System sucks…long live The System.

    –then again, it is all very entertaining and there is what to be said for entertainment for entertainment’s sake.

  9. That was harsh!
    Shidduchim is an emotionally draining and very disheartening experience. Everyone deals with it in their own way. If you can’t laugh about it, you’d just have to cry. If bad4’s way of dealing is to “take a disdainful approach to all that does go on and wax poetic on how unfortunate it all is and those involved are” then good for her! And good for the rest of us too, because it’s quite obvious that we all enjoy reading her poetic waxing.

  10. Whoa, G. Don’t you think it’s a little too early in the morning for all that?

    Only if you’ve been to bed 😉

  11. …Yeah, I think Ezzie is still ahead with hits. I know him (nah nah).

    G’s known me longer. (nah nah) 🙂

    –then again, it is all very entertaining and there is what to be said for entertainment for entertainment’s sake.

    Um, yeah. I think you should have left the rest of that one out.

    Whoa, G. Don’t you think it’s a little too early in the morning for all that?

    It’s noon and I still think so!

  12. [delete]
    [delete]
    [delete]

    …I’m going to assume you were just cranky, G. Have a great life.

  13. Interesting post!
    I’ve noticed that many frum people actually seem offended by frum singles who are not jaded or view dating as “fun.” It feels as though the implication is only people who are dating for fun – and are not interested in settling down anytime soon – enjoy dating, and that dating for fun is somewhat immodest because you are just fraternizing with the opposite sex for no darn good reason. As though enjoying the company of a nice person who does not end up being your spouse is somewhat not tznius…?

  14. Snarkadox:

    Hmmmm… Well, if you don’t believe in unneccessary boy/girl interaction then I guess so….

  15. Mindy – I hear your point. But there are people who enjoy dating even though they are seriously pursuing their soulmate.

  16. Mindy – I hear your point. But there are people who enjoy dating even though they are seriously pursuing their soulmate.

  17. Pingback: Friday Repost: This News In – Men More Jaded Than Women in Dating | Bad for Shidduchim

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