I’m going to cut right to the chase and get to the point. No pussyfooting around. I’m not the only person speaking and writing about how we must help singles get married. It’s not a new topic! I’ve been hearing about it since before I was even dating. So, let me ask all of you: Why is it that some singles say or do the stupidest or unmentchlich things (yes, I said stupidest) and then have the chutzpah to wonder “Why am I still single?”
As per usual, I will provide examples.
I was with a single friend of mine and, as per usual, she was telling me about a dating experience. Long story short, the fellow, whom I will refer to as Avi, was from out of town, so they were calling and texting each other for a few weeks before he was able to come to New York. My friend, whom I will refer to as Estee, said that when Avi was finally able to travel to New York, they made arrangements for the date. The date ended up lasting about an hour and a half at a Starbucks. Fine. Estee said that it was okay with her. They both agreed to go out a second time, but Avi was unable to find another “hour to spare” (his words, according to Estee), so he ended up going back home without a second date. Avi told her that he would be back “soon” and, in the meantime, asked if he can still call and text Estee. Estee agreed.
Apparently, Avi texted or called Estee every other day or so just to say “hi” or to see how her day was. Estee thought it was so they can continue getting to know each other while waiting for Avi’s return. A few weeks later, Avi told Estee that he arranged to come back to New York the following week, and he told her he will call her when he gets to town. That was the last time she heard from him until Avi texted her three days after he was scheduled to arrive in New York. Estee said that she was surprised, because Avi had been talking and texting about every other day or so, and after he said he was coming to town, all communication stops and he had been in New York for a few days before he contacted her.
In case you are wondering, Estee texted Avi the day after he was scheduled to arrive in New York. She didn’t think he had to call her the first day he arrived, but to wait three days for a reply text saying, “When do you want to meet up?”(She showed me the text.)? None of this resembled the types of conversations or texts that they had been having previously, according to Estee. They were getting to know each other and being friendly. Estee felt this was an odd text, like he was scheduling an appointment. She called Avi, because she had already scheduled a few things for the next day, because she thought Avi would have called her sooner and they would have gone out by now. They were trying to arrange something when Avi told her that his plans had changed and he will be going back home in two days, so unless she was able to move things around in her schedule, they wouldn’t go on a date before he heads home. Estee felt put out by this. Avi didn’t call for three days and then rushes her into a date because he changed his plans? She felt as though Avi expected her to drop everything to accommodate him. Yes, she wanted to go out with him again, but these last interactions were not what she expected from the fellow who would call her and they would talk for half an hour about how their day was.
When Estee suggested that she move around a few things the next day so she can meet him, Avi said that he would be able to spare an hour or two to meet with her. “Spare an hour or two?” That didn’t sound inviting or nice. But Estee went with an open mind, because she had been having nice conversations with Avi until that point. Estee told me that she met Avi for a quick brunch in a café the next day. He asked if he can still call her when he returns home. Estee agreed and said that she thought Avi would be texting and calling as he had done the first time. The first text she received from Avi was a couple of days after he left: “Had a good time. Can I call you next time I’m in NY? Not sure when that will be, maybe a couple of months.” Again, she showed me the text, so I verified it was real.
The question she and I had was: Does Avi want to date her? Does he want to get married? A short first date, that’s fine. Avi was the one initiating contact after he left the first time, then goes radio silent for a while after telling her he was coming back to New York, then didn’t contact her for a few days when he was in town and then basically telling her that unless she rearranges her schedule, he is going to leave town without seeing her. Estee said that she was confused by all of this. Avi came on strong, but then seems like he is only halfheartedly interested in her. She told me that it was nice getting to know him, but everything changed when he said he can “spare” time for her, and after the last text about calling the next time he comes to town and not communicating before that. Not talking or texting for two months? Did he expect her to wait? Probably not. But if you are trying to get to know someone in our technological time, there are many ways to do it if you want. Did Avi want to continue to get to know Estee? By these actions, we didn’t know. Did he expect her to hop on a plane or drive a very long distance for her to go to his hometown? Although he never mentioned it, Estee said that she may have considered going traveling had Avi asked if the second date went well and he didn’t just text this to her.
Estee showed me her reply: “We just went out and you don’t want to communicate at all until you come into town in two months? It’s a change from last time. Don’t worry about it. I’m good. No, thanks.” His response was: “Understood.” One word. That was it. That was the end. If he liked her, wouldn’t he have wanted to have some type of communication with her? And when she questioned what he requested and said, “No, thanks,” there was no apology or clarification or even a “Good luck,” just “Understood.”
I can’t blame Estee for what she replied. She wants to meet, date, and marry someone now. If it was going to be a long-distance relationship, she wanted to have some type of contact with the fellow, not feel like she is waiting for him to fly in and reunite with her. It’s not a time of war; she wasn’t going to wait for him, pining away every night in her Laura Ashley nightgown, staring at his picture on her nightstand. We both think that possibly Avi had started to date someone else because of his total change in personality and actions. It is natural for someone from out of town to date a few people when they come to New York, and there are “plenty of fish in the sea.” Estee understands that. She said she didn’t mind if that is what happened, but just wanted him to be honest. She doesn’t have time to play games.
My cousin, whom I will refer to as Moshe, was redt to a young woman, whom I will refer to as Chanah. They agreed to go out. He said that the first date was in the middle of a Sunday and she kept looking at her watch. When Moshe asked if she had an appointment to get to, Chanah said no, but didn’t explain her constant checking of the watch. They agreed to a second date. Moshe called and they agreed to meet in the city a few days later. The next day, Moshe received a text from Chanah asking to push the date back two hours. Moshe texted that it was fine with him. He said that he showed up at the venue and waited 45 minutes for Chanah to arrive. He texted her when she was 20 minutes late, asking if there was traffic or if she knew when she would arrive. Basically, asking her where she was without asking, “Where are you and why aren’t you texting me that you’ll be late?” Moshe said that she never responded. He was just about to call Chanah when she finally showed up, and sat down without an apology. My cousin said that he asked her in a non-prying sort of way what the holdup was and if she saw his text. I was told that her response was, “I’m so glad you waited. Thank you.”
Moshe said that she never answered his question, but he now asked me if Chanah should have been the one to text or call to explain that she would be a little late. Of course, I said yes, but I added that some people run on their own time in their own world. Moshe thought the date went well and offered to drive Chanah home. But Chanah insisted that she wanted to take an Uber. Moshe joked that she can pay him for the ride if she wants, but wouldn’t she rather be driven home with someone she knows rather than a stranger. Chanah said that was sweet of him, but she wasn’t going home and had plans somewhere else “soon.”
Moshe was a little shocked by her bluntness, as was I, and he said he offered to drive her to where she needed to go, but Chanah refused. Moshe said she refused his offer not even in a kind way. She said, “I told you I’ll take an Uber. I don’t need you.” Moshe said he was put off by that statement. It was the words she chose and the tone in which they were delivered. When Moshe left Chanah he wasn’t sure where things stood. He had a good time with her but couldn’t explain the lateness or what he felt was a snarky remark. When he spoke with the shadchan about it, he was told that Chanah is a “busy person” so he shouldn’t “read so much into it.” I never know what that means. You want to get married, make time to date. Want to go to the doctor to have him examine a knee that’s bothering you, you schedule an appointment and keep it. So this being a “busy person” I really think is code for, “I can hardly get in touch with them, just be happy you went out.” It turns out Chanah is so busy that she never contacted the shadchan or Moshe again. Moshe called the shadchan a couple of days later to find out what happened. The shadchan said that he she texted Chanah and left a voicemail for her and she never responded. The shadchan apologized to Moshe. Moshe knew that Chanah’s actions had nothing to do with the shadchan, but the shadchan felt bad that the woman whom she set him up with seemed very evasive and wouldn’t even call or text her to say yes or no.
Let me ask you all a question? Do the actions of Avi and Chanah sound like those of someone interested in getting married and that marriage is a priority to them? I fully understand that people are busy in today’s world with their jobs, personal responsibilities, social media posts, etc., but if you agree to date someone, shouldn’t you try to make time for that person for dating? Or maybe marriage is a priority for Avi and Chanah, but Estee and Moshe were not the ones they wanted to marry, and because of that, they acted in the way they did. Treating someone whom you date, or even if you don’t date, as Avi and Chanah treated their dates, is wrong and sends the message that they are “too busy” to date them (or maybe they are dating others at the same time and saw that Estee and Moshe were not “better” than whom they were already dating, so they ended things – but they could have done so much more nicely). I can also add my friend from the article published a few weeks ago, who didn’t answer the phone or call Moshe back (a different fake-name Moshe), whom I had arranged for her to go out with because of a “situation” she was having with a co-worker at work, wasn’t right either. She could have told me to call or text Moshe on her behalf and, instead, she just ignores his calls.
I am not apologizing when I say that people who act and do things such as above, or as my friend did (not answering or calling back), can’t complain about not being married. I ask them, “What are you doing and why are you acting like this? Would you continue dating or want to marry someone who acts like you do?” I have heard worse. I have heard of women and men agreeing to meet a date at a local park or at a café or Starbucks and not showing up for the date. In actuality, the person showed up, saw the one who was waiting for them (I guess they had the shidduch picture memorized), and decided they didn’t want to date that person. From looking at a person for a minute or less, they decided: “not worthy of me or my time.” Some have called the one waiting for them to cancel the date because something came up, but some never call, and the other person waits for someone who ditched them. I know of four stories like this. It is horrible to do that to someone. A marriage can only survive with two mature adults who can communicate their wants and needs and can talk about their feelings when they argue.
You think the childish act of “He/She’s not good looking enough for me, so I’m gonna leave without saying hello” is correct? And then you wonder why you aren’t married. Let me give you a clue: It’s because you think too much of yourself, you will always put yourself first, and you don’t care how your actions affect others. People who “look and ditch” or never respond to a shadchan’s calls or treats others with disrespect and rudeness need to mature before they involve someone else in their lives. In a relationship, you can’t put yourself first and be selfish. If you can’t have common decency, then don’t involve another in your life until you are ready to do so.
My words may sound harsh, but I don’t care. I am tired and angry about hearing from people who don’t treat others well, saying, “Why can’t I just date someone normal. Why can’t Hashem just send me my bashert?” Maybe He did and you didn’t like his loafers or her glasses or decided you didn’t have time to date him or her because you were busy at work or with friends. I just ask that these types of people stop complaining, because there are some out there doing everything in their power to walk down the aisle to their chupah and it’s a chutzpah for them to be in the same category of “single” with you who doesn’t seem to care or have the time for others.
Hatzlachah to you all.