Speedy Shadchaning

Has anyone else felt a little pressured by their shadchan to make contact with the other party immediately regardless of the expedience for seeing the person any time soon?

I have recently had three shadchanim insist on putting me in immediate contact with the Gentleman, even though I pointed out that I could see him in person in two or three weeks when I was visiting New York.

“So? You’ll talk on the phone.”

Twice? Three times? Before we even meet? It seems a bit unfair to make two people with 2D impressions of each other carry on a conversation-only courtship for two weeks, when, simply by introducing them a week or two later, you could obviate the need.

And then he’s going to suggest a Skype call. I know he will. Guys love webcamming, for some reason. I don’t know why, since they’re generally pretty awful at it.  I’ll put a nice sweater over my pajamas, sweep on some makeup, and spend 15 minutes putzing about with the camera position and lighting. will look okay. (Nobody actually looks good on a webcam.)  But I know the guy will do none of the above.

I once Google Hung Out with a guy who appeared to use his iPad for the calls. He’d position it on the table below him, providing a foreshortened view of his chest and underchin. The overall impression was that I was communicating with a large sofa cushion topped with a small head. It wasn’t thrilling. But the  turnoff was the way his eyes kept straying off the tablet screen,  above to his desktop screen. I’d never have known he was keeping tabs on his Facebook feed while chatting if we’d just done a phone call.

But webcam tips are for another post. My point is that we didn’t know about each other for the past 27 years of our lives. Will it really hurt so much if we don’t know each other for another two weeks?

While I appreciate a shadchan’s enthusiasm for throwing a promising couple together, I do wish they could rein it in for just long enough to let our calendars swing into sync. So we could avoid multiple cold calls and those horrifying webcam dates. Trust me: this is good for the relationship.

Just So You Know

To the guy I guess I’m not dating anymore:

After our last date, I started wondering how to break up with you. Text? Email? Telephone? In person? I decided we’d gone out enough times and you seemed a decent enough guy that you deserved the telephone.

I guess I was wrong.

Your complete failure to contact me since we last met suggests a level of cowardice I hadn’t guessed at. One of the things I liked about you was your confidence. I guess it was just swagger. Guys I would describe as timid have been able to make the phone call. Why couldn’t you?

So I just wanted you to know: I dumped you first. And thank you for removing any possibly regrets I might have had on that consideration.

Hanging Up on a Date

What is the point of a phone call exactly? Is it just to set up the time and place for a date? Or is it also to gauge whether you want to go on a date?

“Just set up the date,” my father insists.

“Because after our first phone call I didn’t want to go out with him,” my mother explains.

My second cousins concur. “I thought we were just going to set  up when I’d pick her up,” the He said. “An hour and a half later I was like, ‘What just happened?!’ and thought the date was going to be miserable.”

His wife just laughed.

I’ve had my share of conversations where I hung up and thought, “I’ve had more intelligent conversations with an iPhone.” Still, I let them call again, or we go out, albeit with misgivings. And, in spite of it all, awkward telephone callers do get more interesting with acquaintanceship. Soon enough you find out that they’re smarter than a smartphone. Although, thus far, I still haven’t met an awkward telephoner I wanted to use to round out the list of marriages above.

IMHO, if a guy works up the nerve to give you a call, you can give him a date for it. But I have a pretty lax criteria for dates. If he’s orthodox, male, and doesn’t work in the same field as me, I’m game for at least a first.

Many others are pickier about how they spend their evenings, preferring to stay home and play Angry Birds rather than spend an evening in a lounge with a male they are convinced they will never marry.  To these folks, the telephone conversation is an opportunity to gauge whether this potential date is worth the cathexis of an evening. And if he’s not… well:

“…I asked [Female] if she’d like to meet for coffee in a few days and she said yes. An hour later, the shadchan emails me to say that based on the phone conversation, the [Female] feels we’re not a match and doesn’t want to waste my time with a date.” – A Dude

Wrong? Right? Shallow? Rude? Who knows. But if she already made up her mind, to the point where she’s ready to cancel the date, she’s unlikely to change it just by meeting him. In which case, she really is saving Dude a trip.

Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s her.

Bad4 Hits the Phones

I recently had the privilege and fun of making some research calls on behalf of a friend. I volunteered for the job; I thought it would be fun. Instead, I discovered that I did not miss my calling in undercover spy work. Subtly extracting information from a suspecting subject is not my strong suite.

Below, “She” is the Single on behalf of whom I made the calls. Her line is the information that Single requested I get about the subject, Mr. Adam Adamson.  “Me,” my name, I call myself. My line is what I say to the reference on the phone. “Re” is the reference I was calling.  Her/his line is the gist of what I extracted. Me to She: what I relayed back to Single.


She: “How does he spend his free time?”

Me: “So…tell me about Adam Adamson.”

Re: “Well, he’s a great guy, a wonderful learner, just back from Israel. Always up for anything and always busy with something. You know, he always keeps busy on the side earning a little. Working in a store, delivering groceries, giving rides…”

Me to She: “He doesn’t waste a second. A masmid of life.”


She: “Find out what he plans to do with his life.”

Me: “…so, he seems like a pretty motivated guy. Where’s he heading?”

Re: “Well, right now he’s still learning and plans to do that for a while. After that, I haven’t heard.”

Me back to She: “Got none.”


She: “Find out if his family is normal.”

Me: “So, you know the Adamson family very well?”

Re: “Oh yes. A warm, wonderful, loving family.”

Me back to She: “Sounds a heckuvalot nicer than your family.”


She: “Find out if people like him.”

Me: “So how do you know Adam?”

Re: “He’s good friends with my son and he comes over often. Such a nice boy. He runs errands for us all the time. I’d set him up with my daughter, but he’s so close with my son that it would be weird.”

Me back to She: “His reference likes him. That’s good enough, right?”


She:  “Find out if he’s chilled or uptight.”

Me: “Er….” “Um….” “So.” “How is working with him?”

Re: “He’s great! He’s up for anything. But if he thinks something is over the top he can stop it without sounding disrespectful.”

Me to She: “I dunno what kind of camp he worked in, but it sounds like da bomb.”


She: “Find out if he’s a mensch.”

Me: “So, is he a mentsch?”

Re: “The definition of the world.”

Me to She: “This is harder than I thought.”


Me to She: “So? He sounds amazing. If he was five years older I’d date him myself. When are you going out?”

She to Me: “Not interested.”