“But that’s in just two days!” exclaimed my mother in shock, when the shadchan told her that my date wanted to take me out again, shortly after our first meeting.
I shook my head vigorously. There was absolutely no chance that I was going out again so soon. I had a life, you know. And who wanted to go through the whole dressing up thing again in the same week?
So that was when my mother laid down the law. One date a week was quite sufficient, thank you. I quite agreed.
“Yes, I understand,” the shadchan laughed. “I’m always telling the guys to slow down. They’d go on another date every night otherwise.”
“Why?” I asked one fellow who was pushing my limit in that arena.
“I just want things to progress,” he explained.
Well… yes, of course. But we’re still young, and a few extra days isn’t going to make or break anything. What is it—the heady rush of the hunt? The desire for closure? Goal-orientedness taken to an extreme?
They also seem in a hurry to propose. I’ve heard too many stories of girls suddenly facing a ring and saying, “But… I hardly feel like I know you.” Or of guys turned down because the girl wasn’t ready yet, or had just decided against him.
My brother managed a serious rush. If I can judge from the way my parents took it, he got engaged in about 2 weeks. In reality, I think it was a drop longer – maybe three. Since he was in Israel, I mostly remember my father hunching over the phone howling “But you just took her out last night!” over the bad connection. Obviously, she didn’t seem to mind. In fact, she eventually opted for a lifetime with him. But that’s not typical.
I know it’s not typical because mathematicians have come up with a mathematical model for love, using game theory. In their model, the woman strings the guy along as long as possible, the better to judge his caretaker potential. Guys, on the other hand, rush things, wanting to get down to the family thing A-sap.
But here’s the part I like. The game theorists showed that the longer a woman held out, the greater the chance that she’d land a keeper. Poor quality guys get discouraged, or just don’t have what it takes to sustain a courtship. So, there’s something to be said for playing hard-to-get. Gals, there’s no need to make a snap decision (where “snap” is defined as requiring less than a month). Let the guy hunt you a little. You’ll find out if he’s a keeper.
Hat tip to O, Keeper of the Quotes and forwarder of interesting things.