“Do you have a method for deciding who to go out with, when you’ve received 3 suggestions at the same time, each of which is roughly in your ballpark but nothing that makes you jump in excitement…all in equal balance so as to cancel out any clear advantage one has over another?”
Excellent question! Yes, I do. Or maybe I don’t, but the decision is usually made for me. The algorithm goes like this:
Were any of them suggested by an aunt? He could be a one-legged leper with a closet full of dead wives, but if an aunt suggested him, we’re going out. Because my shoulder socket can only take so much torque.
(To be fair, no aunt has ever suggested a one-legged leper.)
Does one of them have a more aggressive shadchan? In the past, I have said “Yes” to one guy, and then gone out with two more before him because their shadchanim were so pushy. It was easier to go out with them than deal with the twice-a-week phone calls and emails.
“So this other boy, are you still going out with him?”
“Um, well, we actually haven’t set up a date yet.”
“Well let me know when you’re done with him.”
“That’s what you said two days ago.”
“And you never got back to me!”
Luckily, they were both 1nDs, so there was no overlap.
If neither of these decision-makers take the difficult task off my hands, it will depend on whether I actually want to date. Like, in general.
If I’m just coming off a dating streak, I probably don’t. I want a break to spend my Sundays doing things I want to spend my Sundays doing. It’s depressing to realize that it’s been a month since you’ve been out on your bike, and you have nothing to show for it except four more guys you won’t be seeing again.
If it’s been a while, I probably do. At this point I may be doing Tai Chi in the park Sunday morning, and instead of being Zen I’m wondering why my well of men has dried up. Is this it? Have I dated them all?
With that in mind, I consider the following:
Is one of them only temporarily available? Sometimes, you’ve okay’d someone ages ago, but he’s always busy when you’re free, and you’re busy when he’s free. If a guy has limited availability and I want to date, then I will give him precedence. If not, then not.
Is one of them local? If a guy is far away, I know he’s going to arrive for our first date searching for a reason to break up. If I don’t want to date, I will pick him first. Otherwise, I’ll go with someone closer.
If no decision has been made at this point, then who cares? Hang both profiles on the wall and throw darts. If your aim is anything like mine, you’ll wind up hitting the Chofetz Chaim portrait. And you can’t turn down a date with the Butcher of Radin, can you?