To Know or Not to Care?

I have received a correction on the matter of the non-identifying caller  from another reference of mine. Apparently, he wasn’t trying to hide his name from me so I wouldn’t know who had done the asking. He intended to hide the fact that he had called at all, so I wouldn’t be disappointed when nothing came of it. There must have been a miscommunication or misunderstanding, and it got passed along to me as “someone called, can’t tell you who.”

In other words, he wasn’t being creepy and evasive, he was being nice.

So I guess I owe him an apology for suspecting him wrong. While I do usually operate on the assumption that most people aren’t trying to be jerks, I have had enough experience with no-name callers to be predisposed to suspicion.

If we were back in summer camp, we’d say I owed him a brocha. So my wish for him is that he should waste less time looking into people who aren’t right for him.

But really, did he have to do that?

To be honest, I don’t care if I never find out that someone has looked into me. I assume it happens every now and then. But the idea of someone deliberately hiding the fact from me in order to preserve my tender feeling strikes me as, well, a tad condescending. I mean, I’m not a little kid any more. If I can’t handle rejection by the ripe old age of 27, I’m in trouble.

But that could just be me. I have objected to being treated like a child ever since I was a child. In fact, my very first memory, from when I was two and shouldn’t have any memories, was of getting upset at my parents for not taking me seriously. I then spent the proceeding six years resenting relatives who called me cute and pinched my cheek because that’s not the sort of thing you say and do to someone you respect. Clearly, I have taken myself a little too seriously for about as long as I have had a sense of self.

So I decided to find out via proper research methods: is this subterfuge necessary? Or does it just complicate people’s lives unnecessarily?

Study on the Dating Sensitivities of Orthodox Jewish Women between the Ages of 22 and 31 with Regard to Men They Have Never Met But Who Have Already Rejected Them

Methodology: Text messages were sent to all the singles in my Contacts list. In order to avert pool bias toward a Bad4-Friend-Type, I also contacted Good4’s friends. Singles were also asked to pass the questions along to their friends and return the results.

Singles were asked two questions, sequentially. The second question was only asked after the first had been answered.

The question were: “If a guy looked into you and said no, would you want to know, or would you rather not know?”

This was followed up by the question: “Would you be hurt to find out about it?”

Sample Size: 11 singles, 5 under the age of 24, and 6 over the age of 24.

Results: I’ve divided the respondents into “Below 24” and “Above 24” to see if there are age-related differences.

Results for the question “Would you want to know or would you rather not know?”

Below 24:

“Prefer not to know at all. Except for the occasional times that he said no cuz you’re too frum or something because then it’s flattering instead of insulting.”

“I don’t care. It probably depends on the person because some people want to know that people are suggesting things even if nothing comes from it. And some would be hurt to hear people said no. There’s no better way, in my opinion.”

“Rock and hard place. Probably to know he said no.”

“Yes I’d like to know if you aren’t asking this hypothetically. If I had no idea I wouldn’t care.”

“Don’t really care either way. If he said no, it’s not gonna go anywhere.”

Above 24:

“[I would want to] Know.”

“I’d like to know that someone tried to do something on my behalf. But given the above options [know or don’t know], I’d rather not know.”

“To me it makes no difference. Unless I personally know the family/boy, I don’t care if he said no; he’s a stranger.”

“Nothing about it at all. Obv. You know about my low self esteem.”

“Probably know nothing.”

“Honestly I would not care.. I would assume looks, height or something superficial. Honestly if people are saying bad things and the idiot is listening, then forget that dude anyhow…”

Since everything looks prettier in a graph:

Slide1

Results for the question: Would you be hurt to find out?

Below 24:

“Nope. Family policy is “one closer.”

“Depends if I knew him or was desperate to go out with him. But I will get over it.”

“That would depend on how I felt about the guy.”

“Depends if I would have wanted to go out with him. Not so hurt, but a lot of rejection over time is hurtful, yes.”

Above 24:

“More annoyed than hurt. But I’d also rather know the guy said no as closure. How often does someone suggest a possibility and then leave it hanging – did he say no? Did the shadchan just drop the ball?”

““Can’t be uber-offended if he says no without meeting me. I am not that fragile. And then I know not to pursue him in the future. And I know my friends were thinking of me.”

“It would bruise my ego a little but if I don’t know the guy that’s not the worst rejection in the world. Def not the same as being interested and then they say no.”

“Yes, I’d wonder what was wrong with me.”

“No, I am currently going out with someone. Even if I wasn’t, I have the philosophy that if someone doesn’t think I am right for them, it is nothing against me (it just means we wouldn’t be right for each other). One more down. 😉

“No.”

“No, I don’t recall that [ever] happening.”

“No, why should I care if someone I don’t know said no?”

In beautified form:

Slide4

Discussion:

It appears that most women are not quite as delicate as supposed. Only one woman said she’d be upset to be “rejected.” The ones who said “It depends” specified that they’d have had to have previously agreed and truly wanted to date the gentlemen. Notably, these were almost all under the age of 24. A towering majority of the singles over 24 simply said “No.”

Conclusion: 

It appears that when dating a woman who has no prior knowledge that you are investigating her, you need not worry that she will be saddened by your “rejection” of her. If she has previously agreed to go out with you, and is of young and tender age, you may want to tread delicately. If she is old and hard boiled, forget it. She doesn’t care about you.

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5 thoughts on “To Know or Not to Care?

  1. Since my opinion was not sought for your study, allow me to add mine:

    (1) I would rather not know.

    (2) If I did know, it would depend on the guy if it would sting at all.

    My thought process: As a hard-boiled single of 25+, I get annoyed when a guy actually bothers to do “research.” We’re both not 21 anymore, and for him to take seriously what a complete stranger with her own biases says about me means he’s pushing it.

    So, if he’s asking about me at all, I automatically find him questionable. However, if he is someone who sounds pretty close to being on the same page as me, was redd more than three times, and lives in a close enough zip code, and says no, then I don’t get hurt, I get mad.

    Additionally, I wonder what my references said about me. Did they get me right? Were they in a bad mood so they didn’t express themselves better? Etc. The joys of the ruminator.

    I would rather not know. Saves my blood pressure.

  2. Can’t agree with Frumgeek first. If you can save 1 person for feeling worthless and dejected how is that not worth it?
    To me it indicates the person MAY be more on the emotive side of things – you know, that I ACTUALLY care about how you feel (and not just say it).

    Some of these people can be the most kind people in the world…you would be wise not to overlook them…you each have character traits the other admirers (emotional connection vs reason/seeing things objectively), helping each to learn from the other and balance each others characters – you know, what marriage is actually supposed to be about!

    (disclaimer: this post is coming from a guy married to such a woman)

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