I am so frustrated! I don’t know if I’m dating the wrong type of men or if this is how men are acting now, but I can’t stand it. The last few guys I went out with never seemed like they were in a rush for anything having to do with dating. For work, I’m sure they were on time, and I’m sure they were never late for dinner, as my mom says; but when it came to dating, they were very S…L...O…W, relaxed if you will, not in any rush. And it was more than just being cautious and careful about choosing the right person to date and marry; it was like they almost couldn’t be bothered with dating.
A few months ago, I had a very nice first date. It took a while for the first date to happen. Between the time the shidduch was redt and I was told he would call me, to the time he actually called me, was almost a week. Then it was another week until we were able to go out. He explained that he had a lot going on. I understood; we all have a life apart from dating. But it took him days to get back to the shadchan and days for another call and weeks for another date. This happened a few times with him. But what he told me about “having a lot going on” didn’t seem like it should be in the Top Five of his priority book. He spoke about going out with friends, sometimes wanting to just sleep if he had a rough couple of days at work… And here I’m thinking, I thought he had obligations and was very busy at work.
I understand that dating may not be so important to some people; but if you are going out with someone, shouldn’t you at least seem interested and make time to go out? No one forces anyone to go on a date. In the course of four or five weeks, we only dated three times. I asked him on our last date if getting married was a priority to him. He said that he’d like to get married, but if it didn’t happen for a couple of years, he was “okay with that.” I, too, say that if I marry in a couple of years, I’m okay with it – because I want it to be in the right time, with the right guy. He said it like he’ll take it or leave it depending on his mood, and right now he wasn’t in the mood.
Another guy I dated just didn’t seem to put any effort in. He always showed up at least 20 minutes late (for our three dates). He dressed like he was going to the pizza store: a polo and jeans. He didn’t even think about plans for our date. By the second date, I knew that I’d have to think of ideas, so I told him when we spoke, let’s see what ideas we can come up with. We went out on a Sunday. The day was sunny – so many options. When we got into his car, he asked what I wanted to do. I told him two ideas that I had looked into. He said both sounded great and I should pick one. I asked if he wanted to tell me what he thought of, and he said, I knew you’d think of something so I didn’t. Again, he didn’t seem like he cared. Where was the effort put out into dating, putting your best foot forward, acting your best to impress in the beginning until you can let your guard down and be yourself. I asked this to the shadchan because this guy was described as fun, outgoing personality, a go-getter. I told the shadchan that may be what’s written on his resume for work, but that should not be written on his dating resume.
I have a few more stories I can share, but I think you know where I am heading. Why does it seem like the guys are in no rush and putting no effort forth? It makes me wonder why I try so hard, and I do. I want to put my best foot forward, but when you show up in jeans and sneakers or don’t think of ideas or are constantly late or don’t care if you get married this year or in five years, it’s more than disheartening.
Thank you for your email, Mindy.
I’m sorry for what you are experiencing. I can say “been there, and had that done to me,” but that doesn’t matter. It’s happening to you (and many others out there). It seems like men are taking their time nowadays. Can this be blamed on COVID and not going out on an actual in-person date for eight to ten months, and it’s hard to get back into the swing of things? I don’t know. Are these men being coerced into dating when they really don’t want to, by well-intentioned shadchanim or their own mothers? Possibly. “You’ll see. You may be happy now, but when you find a wife and you have someone to spend all your time with… That’s true happiness.” I know many who would run from someone who would say that.” If I’m happy now, you want me to date, possibly have bad dates, just to find someone who you say will make me happy, even when I just said I am happy? You’re crazy.”
Personally, I know a few older men who have been married for many years who still joke that they would love to still be single and not have to answer to anyone or be told what to do – but they follow up with, “but then I wouldn’t have my life.” It’s as if they have seen the light. Maybe seminars should be given to men in the younger generation.
Mindy, this is an ongoing situation where I’m finding the more “modern” girls writing about. When I say modern, it’s not those sitting in yeshivah. These are individuals living on their own, possibly living on the West Side (I’ve received several emails from young women on the West Side about this type of issue) or working professionals seeing their non-Jewish counterparts go out, have fun every night, not settling down, and they want that for themselves. But what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. Just because this works for your Italian workmate, Tony, doesn’t mean it will work for the frum person. Yes, go ahead and have your fun; no one is saying graduate high school or college and walk down to the chupah, but our ways and priorities are different from other cultures and religions.
Women also feel the push to get married more so than men, because they feel their biological clock is ticking. They want to have children and many feel it’s easier if they are in their 20s or lower 30s than it is in their upper 30s and 40s; but with medical science being what it is today, the worry isn’t as it was in the 1960s and 1970s. The men don’t have the biological clock ticking in their ears so loudly.
But all that aside, you seem to have issues with the attitudes these men appear to have or how they act regarding dating – almost like it’s a chore that has to be done. They do it, but they don’t do it well. They go through the motions without putting their heart into it. You, on the other hand, care very much (and I’m finding that females do care and put more effort into dating then males, but that isn’t always the truth).
I’m glad that you haven’t wasted your time trying to date someone several times when they didn’t put all they have into dating, thereby wasting your time and possible chances with another fellow who may care. Going out three times and calling it off is fine when, after three times nothing has changed; you now see habits and that it wasn’t an accident or an “off day.”
Mindy, I don’t have any wise words for you except to keep on keeping on. These fellows really don’t know what they are missing out on by not taking dating too seriously or acting as they do to almost on purpose drive away women (or maybe this is their natural charm, who knows?). Yes, marriage is a lot of work and not always easy, but the rewards far outweigh the effort put in. The happiness a couple can experience together, and knowing you have someone to rely on for the bad times, can’t be measured. Keep on dating. Seems like you know what you’re looking for and you shouldn’t stop until you find it.
Hatzlachah to you all.