Marriage? This is About Marriage?

Does anyone else read the dating page in the Jewish Press? Every now and then I come across a bemusing line or two. Something to the tune of, “Linda had been dating Josh for two months without thinking seriously about marriage. When her friend hinted that an engagement must be coming up, Linda freaked out. She began analyzing everything Josh said or did and wondered, ‘Do I want to marry this person?’”

Etcetera, etcetera.

So, this brings up two obvious questions:

1 – why does it seem like every MO guy is named Josh? Did an MO rebbe, R’ Josh, die about two decades ago, or something?

2 – what universe do the daters in this column inhabit anyway? Two months without thinking about marriage? Hello? My dates think about it from Date One. I usually start at Date Two. Let’s give an extension of about one date for every ‘increment’ to the left that you go… still, two months? That’s got to be too far left to even be reading the Jewish Press. Heck, I’m surprised he’s even called Josh.

At least, that’s my gut reaction. But I could be (and often am) wrong. So, anyone out there: could you date someone for 2 months without ever thinking about whether you’d want to marry them?


32 thoughts on “Marriage? This is About Marriage?

  1. Bad4:
    Its worth bearing in mind that whereas the shidduch system offers very little ‘slow time’ in dating, the rest of the Jewish world still sees benefit in getting to know the person before progressing to the big questions.
    Whilst this may take a little longer, it does have a habit of mitigating against an instant (and possibly wrong) decision.
    Chag kasher v’sameach

  2. We’re MO and dated for forever but I started thinking about it pretty early on. And I guess so did he cause we were unofficially engaged after a month.

  3. LOL I loved this line “why does it seem like every MO guy is named Josh? Did an MO rebbe, R’ Josh, die about two decades ago, or something?”

  4. I try not to think about marriage-bility of the person until about date 3 or 4. till then the focus is on being able to enjoy time with the other person and whether i want to have another cup of coffee with them. Oh about Josh, awesome he’ara

  5. I am well to the left of you, but I’ve always had at least the notion that the person is a potential marriage partner in my head before I get involved with someone. It’s always on my mind, but it isn’t always a perpetual focus at first. But could I date someone without thinking at all about whether I wanted to marry them, for any length of time? No.

  6. I start thinking about marriage before my people call her people for references. Otherwise, what’s the point? If I am introduced to a prospect of dating a girl who is told she is looking for something I can’t provide or vice versa, what’s the point of dating her? (Am I missing something?)

    That’s not the same as rejecting someone right away because “I can’t see myself with this person” due to some superficial characteristics. Perception of those may change over time or be inaccurate (e.g., she may be not dim, but just a little shy on the first date).

  7. There are SO many Joshes here at YU it’s insane. Granted, I have a hometown friend and a cousin named Josh, but now I have a dozen or more friends named Josh – it’s weird to see them talking to each other and referencng the other by name! I’m also entirely guilty of naming my most recent short-story protagonist Josh. I like your R’ Josh idea, though.

    There is no way I’d ever get to the 2-month mark not thinking about marriage. It’s definitely in the back of my mind from date one (and anyone who is serious about dating has to admit this). But the notion doesn’t come to the front of my conscious thoughts until perhaps the 3rd date when things start shifting from “is she fun/interesting/nice and worth another date?” to “I think I like her, this could have possibilities that I want to explore further.”

    Clearly someone who has dated that long and is caught entirely off guard by the idea of marriage is lacking in his/her seriousness in approach to dating FOR marriage and not the more secular notion of dating just for fun.

  8. Hmmm Yitzhak–I’m surprised you characterized that Josh as M.O. To me he was always much more “to the right”… I love that book btw. Thanks for the reference, I’m gonna reread!

  9. Technically, the whole purpose of the shidduch system it to get people married- not to match them up so they can have a good time dating for a few month/years. So yes, it makes sense to think of how marriageable someone is from the first date.

  10. I always have marriage on the table when I go out. Is he the type who’ll take out the garbage, unasked? Will my grandmother think he’s good-looking enough? Will he accept, with no complaints/opinions, my clothing purchases on his behalf?

    Of course I’m thinking about marriage! From the first phone call!

  11. >>Will my grandmother think he’s good-looking enough? <<

    ROFL! For me it's "Will my grandmother think he's tall enough?"

  12. I’m MO and not named Josh! (I also go by my Hebrew name, anyway.)

    Also, how could you not think about marriage from the get-go? Not to explicitly bring it up, obviously, but that’s the whole reason you’re even talking to the other person, isn’t it?

  13. “I was taught to stop aging after 21” So you’re 21 w/ 2 years experience?

    Seriously though thinking about marriage on the 1st date is a bit much, it’s basically a pre-date. By the time you hit the third date though you should be thinking about marriage (at an appropriate level based on how the relationship is procedding).

  14. Date One? Seriously, that’s even more surprising than two months.

    I had someone start thinking about marriage after a few email exchanges.

  15. Can someone help me out here with the rashei teivos? What’s ROFL?

    My grandmother is 93, b”h. While once she concerned herself over height AND looks, now she’s decided to focus on the faces. And my shoes. She wants my shoes.

  16. Yitzhak: got it, thanks. Though this just confirms why I hate labels cuz you never know what people are talking about 😉 !

  17. Princess Lea,
    ROFL = Rolling on [the] floor laughing, not to be confused with
    ROFLOL = Rolling on [the] floor laughing out loud.
    There there is
    ROFLMAO = Rolling on [the] floor laughing my donkey off (I’m so shtark)
    ROFLMFAO = Rolling on [the] floor laughing my funky donkey off (ok, not quite, but you get the idea).

  18. I also Used to read the Dating column in the Jewish Press. Not too much anymore.
    If someone is not thinking about marriage after 2 mnths.- they must be borderline Irreligious.

  19. So true about the Josh; I think that the RW world can’t think of a name that’s identifiably Orthodox but not yeshivish besides Josh, hence the usage.

    The Josh in With All My Heart With All My Soul is definitely from a RW background.

    Anyway, surprised nobody said this until now: I’d think there are two different types of “thinking about marriage” – the more subtle version which exists basically from the outset, and the more obvious period (usually after a couple of months, or a month in more yeshivish circles) where it’s progressed to the point where they have to seriously start deciding where they’re headed. Based on the context in the line quoted, it sounds like they’re referring to the latter – the girl hadn’t really started thinking it was “up to that”, but now that her friend said something, she started to feel that pressure to “figure it out”.

    Of course, it’s all silly anyway.

  20. In 1984, Josh was the top baby name. I imagine that 25 is a typical age for those dating columns….

    Re: Dating for 2 months. Maybe they just enjoy spending time with each other… In our community that is almost unheard of to “go out” without any other plans besides going out but it is a fairly common thing outside the community. I can imagine a few people who fall onto the “non-yeshiva going MO” spectrum (which is a big crowd of the jewish press) who would go out for 2 months w/o a thought of marriage.

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