Dating with a List

As previously mentioned, I go through these periods wherein an overwhelming number of gentlemen want the privilege of buying me bottled water.

For the sake of accuracy and those who always think that the grass is greener: I am easily overwhelmed when it comes to gentlemen callers. Three pretty much pushes me to the limit. Four is enough to make me hide under my bed. I have never had reason to find out what happens above four, but that’s probably a good thing. My guess is I’d be writing about it in my therapy journal instead of online.

Averaged out over the course of the year I don’t think I go out with even one guy a month. So why can’t they come in measured increments like, say, one every month and a half?

It’s very disconcerting to know that if this one doesn’t work out, well, there’s another one after that who sounds pretty good, and another behind him who doesn’t sound half bad either.

No, I miswrote. It’s not disconcerting to know that. It’s quite comforting to know that. It’s disconcerting to find yourself thinking that. As in, “so if I’m not completely enamored with this guy, I just move on to the next.”

To which your other inner voice replies, “That is so the wrong attitude to have, darling.”

To which the first voice says, “I know, but it’s true.”

Second voice: “That doesn’t matter. You have to occupy a hypothetical space in which this is the only man available to marry. Could you perceive a future with him?”

First voice: “A very absurd thing to model in one’s head to contain dating decisions.”

Second voice: “Not much more absurd than projecting two voices arguing in your head to contain indecision or moral quandary. In fact, if you don’t submit to my superior argument then I’m going to intercede with the landlord of this head to evict you.”

First voice: [muttering sullenly] “Danged if I do or don’t.” [subsides into silence. Pipes up.] “But you do know I’m right and you can’t avoid thinking about it, so there.”

Second voice: [hands over ears] “Nahnahnahnahnah! I can’t heeeeeaaaaaar you!”

Of course, First Voice is right. It’s almost impossible not to think about. Isn’t there anything we can do about people bunching up to date around certain times of the year?



8 thoughts on “Dating with a List

  1. If you let people know about the arguing voices in your head, I am pretty sure you will not have to worry about the gentleman callers bunching up anymore.

  2. your conundrum is pretty much the situation every normal male faces all the time in the shidduch world. i’ve come to the decision that if after 4 or 5 dates you still daydream about the random person who is next on your list as opposed to the girl you just spent three hours with then the relationship you are in is not a good one and it’s probably time to move on…

  3. I know someone who would not get information about other girls if he was in the middle of going out with someone. He therefore never had a list and was not really distracted by other girls. He knew other people wanted to set him up, but he would not ask for any information until he was available again.

  4. Lots to say on this topic…where do I start?

    Firstly, as comforting as it is to know that there is someone else if this one doesn’t work out, it adds a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion. How can you possibly put effort into the one you’re currently dating, if you’re dreaming about the next one?

    There is nothing more exciting than the unknown. So if the one you’re dating has even one flaw, you picture the next one as being perfect simply because you don’t know them. The next one will have a flaw, too, just a different one which you’ll have to figure out if you can let it slide. Judging each person on an individual basis is the only way to make a conscious decision. I often wonder how guys with lists settle on one. I think for some people, dating is a compulsion…as in, I dated this girl, now I have to date the next one, because how can I possibly marry Miss A without seeing Miss B?

    I don’t think there’s a more distressful situation in dating than dating with a list. Those who don’t have a list may disagree, but if we remember the goal – that is, getting married to ONE person…it doesn’t matter if you dated 100 people or just that one. And you are better off without a list so that you can really look at this ONE person, and see if you can marry them.

  5. In my opinion, having a list is irrelevant. It saddens me to know that a person can be on a date with someone while thinking about the next one on the list. If this is the way people are thinking, I’m not surprised there’s a shidduch crisis. Have people forgotten the purpose of dating? The goal isn’t to find Mr./Miss Perfect. If that’s what they’re looking for, then the only place they’ll find that person is at the end of a rainbow, right next a leprechaun with a pot of gold.

    Dating can be complicated, but the goal is simple – finding one’s zivug. The focus should be on “is this person right for me,” not “is the next one on the list better for me.” If the person you’re going out with is not right for you, then move on to someone who might be better suited. If you’re not focused of the person you’re going out with now, you’re not only doing a disservice to that person, but to yourself as well, by making the entire dating process very confusing.

    Chan, I agree with you completely. The goal is to marry ONE person, and the focus should be on figuring out if this person is the ONE.

    “A normal guy”, from what I hear, a lot of guy have lists, but I still don’t think it’s normal for a guy to be dating one girl, while daydreaming about another girl. I think there is something very wrong with that.

    Erachet, it’s very commendable not to want to hear information about other girls while dating someone. For this reason, a lot of people have someone else get the information on their behalf. This way the guy doesn’t get confused while there is no turning away information that could be useful in the future.

  6. I once was with a boy I had been dating for 6 weeks and was searching through his email (he told me I could, I’m not a stalker), and happened upon an email from a shadchan telling him about a great girl she had for him, and asking if he would be interested. Instead of saying that he was dating someone else but thanks anyway, instead he asked for MORE information and didn’t mention that he was dating me. Needless to say, about a week later, I dumped him.

  7. Two Points:
    1)Sometimes we get so caught up in the shidduch crisis that we forget about the “crisis” that actually causes even more damage: the divorce crises…
    2) There seem to be contradictory arguments being presented in the comments (often by the same person) on this topic. On the one hand we are looking for the “one” and on the other hand we should only focus on this person without any thoughts that there are other people in the world who may actually fit what you need in life better…. In reality, there is no reason that out of the 1,000 possibilities (ok maybe it is a bit less but somewhere on this order of magnitude [numbers are wildly approximated – 15 million jews, ~1,000,000 orthodox, ~500,000 opposite gender, ~50,000 in your sect etc) for you to date that this should be the person that is the “one” and that you should ignore every other possibility. That is the ostrich approach. On the other hand, life becomes more confusing when you start thinking about what this person has in comparison to someone else.

    The search doesn’t seem to be for the one but of the 10 people that I have gone out with can I live reasonably well with one of the ones that I was set up with… I say this because if someone has gone out with 15-20 people in their shidduch career people often consider them to have dated a lot. The search isn’t for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect or even the “one” but the reasonable one.

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