Decisions in the Downpour

As usual, a downpour of suggestions descended on my head around finals time. But one problem with going out with the same guy for a while: the stream of names piles up like a river behind a dam.

Of course, this leaves one with the pleasant sensation of being in high demand. If only briefly, and due to artificial manipulation of market conditions, I can wave a hand airily and say “Shidduch crisis? I’ve got guys lined up around the block.” It’ll be a sensation worth remembering during months of drought.

“Okay,” I rubbed my hands together, after the dam broke up and dispersed downriver. “Let’s deal with the queue.”

Now, I’m not really familiar with lists. I don’t usually have a list. So I haven’t got a clue how to deal with them. How do guys do it? Do you go out in chronological order of suggestion, or do you jump to the ones who sound more interesting?

Neither worked for me, in this case. I had two potentials who had been suggested within hours of each other, and whose background checks were completed simultaneously. Moreover, there were pros and cons unearthed for both.

“So,” I asked the parental units, “Which one should I go out with?”

They weren’t sure either. I mean, as the female half of the shidduch system, we’re used to having these kinds of decisions made by the other party. Getting wait-listed or rejected is the state of being. And while it’s never fun to be rejected, there’s some comfort in not having to make important decisions.

“I dunno,” my father sighed. “I have no feelings one way or another. Might as well flip a coin.”

“Hey, why not?”

“Flip a coin?”


Uneasy exchange of glances. Is this ethical? Shrugs all around. Nobody can think of a compelling reason not to, aside from a general uneasiness at the idea of being, as my father put it, so flippant.

So we flipped.

“Right, so heads is Guy 1 and tails is Guy 2.”

“Heads is Guy 1 and tails is Guy 2.”

“I haven’t done this in years…” my father pulled out a quarter and positioned it on his thumb. Despite being rusty, he managed a snappy little flip, and there was George Washington, staring studiously ahead.

“Guy 1?”

“Guy 1.”

Sheepish glances all around. Everyone is thinking, ‘This is weird, right?’ But seriously, is there a better way to do it?

Thank goodness they hadn’t checked out a third potential – we would have been reduced to eenie meenie miney mo.

24 thoughts on “Decisions in the Downpour

  1. Thats the way i do it too! (sometimes) but seriously do more research and find something about one that sounds more appealing. not to knock the other off the list, but just order of priority. usually when there are multiple names to choose from and no reason why not one over the other i’ll pick something completely arbitrary to decide. in your case you flipped a coin, in my case ask a friend to pick A or B designating in my mind a name for either letter.

  2. That happened to me- nothing and then boom. The heavens opened up and the clouds poured down. 4 names at once. But luckily, one cleared first, and that’s the one I went out with, and married.

  3. Doesn’t that start you off with this guy in a sort of ho-hum fashion? Aren’t you just going to be on that date, thinking, “well there’s another guy right after this one who’s just as good?” Yeah, guys do that all the time, but the reason they choose one over the other is because there’s something that one girl has over the other one. It’s not a coin toss. I agree with Harryer than them all (at least the first point). Find something about one that sounds more appealing.

  4. … and even if neither totally disqualifies himself, once you’ve met them a couple of times, you can base your decision on which one you’re more attracted to.

  5. That is a great idea. Next time I have 2 to pick between I will use the coin method 🙂 Normally they sound exactly the same so this is just as good a method as any. I wish there were some variations in peoples descriptions of people.

  6. Make them duel with swords and sell tickets to the duel or if you’re willing to do it (and don’t think this idea is evil and sexist) make them bid for you. Either way you make money.

    //business school off

  7. Bad 4,
    It seems like whenever that happens to me the guy that sounds LEAST appealing is probably your Best Bet!

    I have a theory which supports this notion.

  8. Lawschool drunk,

    Why is a coin fip so terrible? It’s L’Havdil similar to the GORAL of the Vilna Gaon Z.

  9. If you have three choices (im yirtza hashem, ken yehi ratzon) then toss a coin twice. If the coin comes up with two tails choose the first candidate. Tails followed by a head, the second candidate. A head followed by a tails, the third candidate. And two heads – tell them all that they’re out of luck, and that you’ll toss the cons again tomorrow.

  10. Flipping a coin is better than the Harry-er/Jug suggestion, though I think “whichever came first” is best.

    The idea of weighing people against one another is not a good way to approach dating.

  11. There’s nothing wrong with saying yes to both. What are the chances that you will face 2 second dates?
    Do the math: following date #1, there’s only a one in four chance you go to date #2:
    you are interested/he is interested
    you are interested/he is not interested
    you are not interested/he is interested
    you are not interested/he is not interested
    Now, what are the chances that 1/4 and 1/4 will happen with two guys who don’t sound so suited for you?
    Don’t waste your time. If it actually happens that you like both guys and both like you, then you can pick the one you like better and tell the other that you are interested in him but someone you dated in the past (true enough) wants to date you now, so you want to see him, but if that doesn’t work you would like to continue int he future.

  12. As if shidduch dating in and of itself is not confusing enough! Rachel, I don’t agree with your suggestion. As a person who has been involved in shidduchim, either as a parent of a single or as someone who was involved in helping make a few, I feel that concentrating on one prospect at a time is the only way to give that prospect the consideration he or she deserves. Perhaps the only justification for dating two people at a time is that one of them will be in the country for just a brief time and someone feels it would be worthwhile for you to meet them. Even then, it can backfire. Imagine if both boys were “in the ballpark” but you liked one a little bit better. Then, you find out he didn’t care for you as much but the other one did. You may be influenced by the fact that you liked the other one better, whereas had you just met one of them and dealt with it, you wouldn’t have any conflicting feelings. If as you said it is unlikely to progress to a second date with either of them but how long could you juggle two guys without it getting majorly confusing. I just don’t think it’s a healthy thing to do.

  13. Two things:

    RedTred- that is SO totally different. Rav Aaron Kotler picked coming to America over Eretz Yisroel during (after?) WWII through a goral. [If you own a ta’lilay oros, it’s the d’var torah in sh’mos on the pasuk where Aaron went out to greet moshe. Not sure where the sefer quoted from because that sefer is no longer accessible to me.] Rav Aaron did not flip a coin… There’s also an amazing story about Rabbi Levin using the gruh’s goral to figure out the names of 12 dead soldiers who were all unidentifiable after fighting in israel in 1948. he did not flip a coin either. There really is something different between the two and a “L’havdil” won’t save you 😉

    To any woman who thinks there’s no problem to go out with two guys twice, imagine how you would feel if you saw the guy you were currently dating eating in a restaurant with another woman. Enough said.

  14. There’s nothing wrong with looking around until you have gone out with someone more than 3-4 times, indicating you might actually have begun relationship. Any of you who think you have an actual important relationship with someone you dated 1-2 times is really in lala land. My friend went out with a guy on a Wed nite. They both agreed to see each other again, and they were both “older” singles (over 30). That weekend, they bumped into each other at the same singles’ event. Now, would you say they should have not gone to a singles’ thing to network just because they had one nice date? Should they have canceled on their hardworking hosts because they went on one nice date? They both understood that the other person was looking to get married, and interested in meeting a bunch of people (maybe for the far-off, not immediate future). So it was a little awkward – should they waste their time on each other, when they were going to meet later in the week? Or just watch each other talk to other people? Anyway it is the same thing if you actually date another person while you have already gone on a date. If you are not stressed out by it, it is okay, you are not “cheating” on anyone else. It isn’t a sin!

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