I Give Up: This One’s for the Peanut Gallery

A while back someone challenged me to write the Ten Commandments of Dating. I came up with four. After a couple of months of staring at them, I’m giving up and opening this one to you folks. What are the Ten Commandments of Dating? I’ll post my four next week so as not to unduly influence any of you.


35 thoughts on “I Give Up: This One’s for the Peanut Gallery

  1. Important
    Be Yourself.
    Have Fun.

    Always go into a date with the assumption that there is one after it; it will change how you date.
    If something bothers you, go out again. Often in a date setting, we’re more judgmental and nitpicky about the little things a person does. Seeing something a few times helps us realize if something is truly a bother or merely us being over-aware.
    When you think you’re sure, wait. When you’re sure again, wait some more. When you’re really, really sure, wait just a little more. Then go for it.

  2. We are the shadchanim who will bring you out of the Land of Singlehood and into wedded bliss (for a fee).
    1) Thou shalt not date using any other method
    2) Thou shalt not admit to watching anything with moving images (except on family night because then it’s allowed)
    3) Thou shalt not use the name of your date in vain before engagement
    4) Remember the 7th date and keep it holy, 6 dates you shall work to impress the one you are dating but the 7th date is the date for us, the shadchanim, to discuss when the engagement will take place. Not thy mother nor thine father, nor your manservant or maidservant may have a say in this discussion, for 6 dates is totally enough time to decide with who the rest of thine life will be spent.
    5) Honor thine date’s father and mother and a long date avoid so they don’t have to wait up.
    6) Do not intentionally kill the date so that thou may avoid being the rejector.
    7) Do not Double Dip (dating 2 at once).
    8) Do not one and done a date who spent a large quantity of cash money to fly in/out to date thyself and thyself alone
    9) Do not tell stories on dates about what “your friend” did as it is completely see through.
    10) Thou shalt not covet thine friend’s date, although once he/she is done with her it’s totally cool to try to get set up with her/him.

    Keep these rules and you will be blessed. Also, don’t go to lounges – it’s lame – I didnt put it in the rules cuz it didnt fit my theme…please excuse any incorrect thou’s, thy’s, or thine’s – I don’t sprekkin enklish

  3. I should note that I agree wholeheartedly with being a mensch; I merely am taking it as a given, since that’s not particular to dating. Granted being one’s self or having fun aren’t either, but sometimes people forget to do both of those while dating since they are trying to impress; I don’t know how anyone would try to impress by not being a mensch.

  4. Basic ones (I feel) that were left out above…
    –>Do not lie, tell falsehoods, “white lies” or anything not true to your date (and the shadchan)
    –>Use your brain
    –> Pay attention to your date (is she yawning? is he fidgeting?)

    Thou shall bring a gps just in case you and your date are both spatially and navigationally impaired.
    Feign ignorance and ask about all the regular topics already known from his/her bio.
    Thou shall bring a back up game (banangrams, uno) just in case of conversation emergencies.
    Thou shall walk her to the door or halfway to the door (depending on your minhag), have the awkward pause in which you two do not communicate whether you had a good time, say goodbye, and then call the matchmaker to report dutifully back.

  6. but for real – here’s a real one:
    Thou shall get back to the other person/matchmaker in a timely fashion.

  7. Princess Lea: You’d be surprised by how many girls aren’t attracted to guys who act like a mench cause nice guys are so “boring” and do like the guys who act like jerks. They’re just going with what works. Don’t like it? Get more girls on the bandwagon.

    That said, I always act like a mench :-p

  8. At the risk of being necessarily unsnarky, um, daven? It at least should get 1 out of 10, especially since it’s got a better track record than most things…

  9. Princess Lea –
    Synapse is right, it’s a known fact. It never works well to play the really friendly guy. It’s just the nature of women. Sort of like the fact you guys don’t talk!

    Don’t agree at all with your last comment. Don’t tell the guy where to go. I always love when a shaddhcan tells me, she’s a really fun girl, you should take her to D&B, not some boring lounge. Really? And who’s paying for this, because you’re not! And then I got a shaddchan telling me, well you make a lot of money, you can afford to go to expensive places. Right, so I should spend all my money on someone I’ll probably never see again when I don’t spend that much money on my friends who I actually care about.

    As a general rule, which most guys agree on, the first two dates I will not take a girl somewhere expensive. If we go to three dates that means I actually see it perhaps going somewhere so I’m willing to spend more money. You can call me cheap, but as a numbers guy I’ve actually kept track of how much money I’ve spent on all my date. Drum roll here for the guy who’s been called cheap by more than one shaddchan…. $4,105.49.

  10. iyhby,
    I’m saddened to see that you have been having such a rough time, and it seems that you’re developing a rather negative attitude about the whole situation, which although it is quite understandable and natural, it’s unhealthy.
    It’s just too bad because I remember reading a few posts on your blog and being impressed by your positive attitude and good nature, in addition to your thought-provoking ideas.

  11. To the guy who spent $4000 plus on dating, well, if you had married the first person you’d dated you’d have spent a lot more than that by now on the wife/kids (not counting one-time things like engagement ring). Life is expensive, dates are cheaper than a wife, so nobody feels bad for you. You don’t have to take someone to a fancy/expensive place, but you don’t have to count up your pennies either. Ugh.

  12. Here are my rules:
    1 Be nice. Even if you don’t like the person, you never know if they have a sibling, relative, or friend who is for you. This person may end up being your kid’s teacher or doctor, your neighbor, or may marry someone you know. so even for selfish reasons, be nice! It is a segula to get married if you are nice to your dates.
    2 Don’t ask personal questions (like, why did your parents get divorced?) until the relationship is SERIOUS. It is none of your business on date 1 or 2 or more until there’s a real relationship and you want to get details.
    3. Don’t be cheap.
    4. Don’t rat on your date. Just thank the person who set you up.
    5. Don’t be overly formal or overly casual with someone you don’t know.
    6. Your job is to make the other person like you and have a nice time. Whether you like them or not (see #1).
    7. Don’t ask yourself if you could marry the person on date #1. Ask yourself, did I have a nice time? Would I like to see them again? Would I mind seeing them again even if little things bothered me?
    8. Don’t stare at parts of the other person’s body.
    9. Don’t give fake compliments. Ever.
    10. Don’t discuss serious issues on a first or second date.
    11. Don’t take every joke or random statement seriously. Life is silly and fun!
    12. Don’t let the person know you’ve talked to your friends about them.
    13. Do not discuss the system or previous dates or relationships, or funny dating stories, unless the relationship is serious and there’s a point (I was engaged and broke it because…)
    14. Pray for the right one.
    15. Set up other people.
    16. Don’t act too busy to date. If you’d gotten married way back when and had a baby, you’d find time to take care of it, so find time to date.
    17. Don’t bore your date with your special interests they could care less about.
    18. Use good table manners.
    19. Call when you are supposed to and get back to the matchmaker asap.
    20. Don’t use go-betweens to communicate. If you can’t talk to the person directly, you can’t marry them.

  13. IHBY – I’m sorry that your’e cheap. My initial reaction was to say, well if you spent more on the early dates than maybe you wouldn’t still be dating, but that can come out sounding condescending, so I won’t say it.
    That doesn’t mean that you need to go to Abigails for every first date – just that lounges suck. Go to Starbucks and then walk around outside if it’s nice. Do something imaginative that shows of your personality (where applicable). It doesn’t need to be expensive.
    Also, remember that this is an investment – if you view every date that doesn’t go well as a waste of money then you’re dating with the wrong outlook. I never went to the same place with more than one date, because I wanted my future wife to know that I planned each date we went on specifically for her.
    My first date with my wife? Starbucks. Total number of lounges I went to while I was dating (which was less than a year ago) – 0. Just sayin…

  14. Susie – I should have read your comment before I replied to IHBY – you put it way better than I did, and brought up a point that I didn’t even think of. I’ve spent way more than that since I got married, and I haven’t been married that long so it’s safe to say that IHBY has been dating longer than that.

  15. Wow, so many angry responses people give on the internet! πŸ™‚

    OK, to start commenting back –

    saddened – You don’t need to be saddened at all for me! For some reason it appears people here think I have a negative attitude about dating which could not be further from the truth. I would say compared to all my single friends, I am probably the least negative person about dating. The only thing I am negative about is shadchanim. The reason this is is because many of them do not know what they are doing and set people up for the wrong reasons. They also stick their nose where it does not belong. Now many shaddchanim are not like that. Yet still for various reasons shaddchanim do not work well with me which is why ever since I have dropped using shadchanim I have been going out with girls who were much more shayich.

    Also, I am not sure if I have a name similar to someone else, but if I do, I apologize, as I did not mean to give that false impression. I don’t have a blog, so not sure who’s you were reading!

    Susie – Wow, you also did not understand what I was saying. What I said was the first couple dates I do not spend money because I do not know this person! Statistically when I pick up a girl for the first time I am not going to marry her. That does not mean I do not go on every date thinking there is not a chance. I do. I try to give everyone a chance, yet I do not yet care for this person. That is why I said two dates. Anyone who makes it past two dates with me, I DO spend money on them. How do you think I spent over 4 grand?? True 90% of that money was on 10% of the girls. But that is because only 10% of the girls did I see it perhaps going on anywhere.

    Of course I know being married is more expensive that being single! Was that your chidush? What I was saying was that for someone I do not know I will not spend a lot of money on them. For the girls who I went far with, those girls I spent money on. For whatever reason each one did not work, but I do not regret all the money I spent on those girls (or most anyone for that matter). And you know what? Every girl I went far with, I also took them to lounges and starbucks! And shockingly, they did not care!

    As for the fact that you did not go to lounges with your wife? I would have to say the girl who was most crazy about me, the first date we went to a lounge. Second date I got lost and we ended up going to a mall. By the fourth date I had spent under $50 on her and she was ready to marry me. And yet I took her to a lounge! Just saying…

    If there is one thing I have learned form dating, it does not make any difference in the world how much money you spend on someone. If they like you, they like you. I HAVE taken girls for whatever reason to restaurants on first dates only to have them say no to a second. And I’ve spent a few bucks at lounges only to have the mother chase after me because I broke it off after 6.

    Yes, I will spend money on a girl. But a first date? I don’t know you. I am not going to try to be creative every first date and go somewhere fun. I work full-time and do not have the
    time for this. And you know what? Most of the girls I date do not care! And the ones who do? Well I do not wanna marry that type of girl. Girls who I have dated for a while and learned to care for I have spent a lot of time figuring out what we can do and things she would enjoy, but that is because she was worth it to me. And on first dates with those girls I also went to lounges!

    The fact that marriage is expensive, I understand. I am willing to spend all my money on my wife and kids. But only on my wife and kids. I am single now and spend thousands of dollars every year on my nieces and nephews because I love them. If my future wife complains to me she went out with 50 guys and all she went to were lounges. I’ll say, who cares? Those guys are just fading memories. You and I are building memories together and we will spend time together doing things we both enjoy. No one cares about the guys that did not work. Isn’t it better that I saved my money from them and now can spend it on you?

    If anyone here is going to try to convince me that I should skip lounges, it is not going to work. I have spoken to my friends and siblings (girl siblings) and they all agree with me. Anyone here who tries to convince me that I am cheap or not investing properly is not going to change my mind. I know what I am doing is the correct path and it has always worked for me.

    Oh, and just to let you know, the shaddchan who told me I should go somewhere fun the first date? Yeah, I ignored her and took her to a lounge. You know what the shaddchan told me after the date? She told me, the girls said she had never dated such a nice normal guy. Just saying…

  16. Susies – oh and as for the fact that I am “counting my pennies”. I do not keep track of how much money I spend on dating because I feel every penny was wasted and want people to feel bad for me. I keep track because I am a numbers guy as I mentioned. I keep track of all my savings and expenses because I enjoy doing those type of things. I don’t sit there complaining to people that I have spent $690 on my ezpass in the past 12 months either, but that doesn’t mean I do not know!

    Double Trip – I guess I did cause a bit of a stir-up here!

  17. It’s not counting pennies. It’s a matter of having a system in place whereby you can query your expenses and find out how much you’ve been spending on what. I have one too. I can tell you down to a penny how much I’ve spent on food, clothing, entertainment, travel, car ownership (or just maintenance), rent, heat, gas for my commute vs gas for other forms of travel… πŸ˜€ Some people are just organized that way.

  18. Pingback: Ten Commandments | Bad for Shidduchim

  19. Counting pennies for dates, ezpass, etc. sounds a bit compulsive to me, to others I am sure it is great. Be sure to warn a future spouse you are into that! I’d cry if my spouse did that, and while it is good to budget and save etc., I think you can kind of count up how much you spend in dollars, no coins please, and still have a good enough basic idea without needing to account for every penny.

  20. iyhby, but you might be the type that will closely monitor every penny that your wife spends! Many wives don’t like that much scrutiny.

    anon 9:48, good idea!!!!! Does wordpress.com get the shidduch fee?

  21. Because we both keep detailed budgets? I’m going to add that to my list of awesome reasons to be set up with someone. πŸ˜€

    I know several people at my workplace give their spending the same attention. I mean, what if one day you wanted to know which is more cost effective: using mass transit and renting for long trips or keeping a low-maintenance car? I can bang out the exact cost of car ownership for you broken down into subcategories like insurance, maintenance, repairs, gas, tolls…

    And when a preschool assistant friend of mine was talking about moving out on her own, I was able to quote her an exact monthly cost of living in our neighborhood. She now knows what kind of salary she needs in a new job.

    Most people don’t think they spend a lot on, say entertainment, but if they would actually keep track of how much they spend on going out for ice cream or pizza or movies (if applicable), they’d probably be surprised.

    There are a lot of budgeting tools out there that are easy to use. (I happen to have made my own.)

    Knowledge is power. Why wouldn’t you want to know?

  22. Thank you Bad4! It is true! While most of my friends (who I have told) were initially taken aback by the amount of detail I keep track in my life, I am slowly bringing people to see my side. I actually have had two friends recently ask me to send them a template of my spreadsheets so they could do it as well. I am not sure if they actually will, but at least they see now it’s not crazy. One of my married friends between him and his wife make over 100 grand a year and he tells me they don’t really save any money. He asked for my help so he can see where his expenses are going and that way help him set a budget so he can start saving.

    Susie – a compulsion is only bad if it takes over you. A compulsion that if you stop doing it you go crazy, that is where it is dangerous. A few years ago I stopped keeping track to see if I could. And I did! I did not loose my mind, but I enjoy doing it so I went back. I’ve been doing it for the past 7 years and it’s never done any harm.

    As for time, it is actually much less time consuming now. As when I started in high school most of my transactions were cash, whereas now 98% is credit so I can just check my bills.

    Mark & Susie – I am not going to drive my wife crazy. What I do when I am married I do not yet know. But I’m not gonna force my wife to follow any of my hobbies. As mentioned, this doesn’t take over me. It’s just something I enjoy and find useful as Bad4 mentioned.

    anonymous – Oh! Sorry, I’ve never seen that blog. That is not me! Sorry if I stole someone’s name! I don’t follow any other blogs and only starting following this one recently so I did not see that August post.

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