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Shidduch dating poses problems when it comes to attraction

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One of my biggest problems with shidduch dating is the issue of attraction. Guys who go on shidduch dates tend to reject girls after one or two dates because they aren’t attracted to the girl, IE they didn’t find them hot enough to think about marrying. I have heard many guys say that the only thing that gets the girl a second date is if she is hot or not, and this is where my serious issues come in.

You see, I am a firm believer that attraction isn’t an instant thing and that looks can be deceiving. I am a firm believer in letting things take time, but in the world of shidduch dating, time it seems, doesn’t exist. Everything seems rushed, and since everything is focused on the end results, people tend to be thinking about the things about the person they could never live with.

In normal a non shidduch dating atmosphere, things seem to stew a bit longer. People aren’t being asked after the third date if they think this could be the one. People can focus on actually getting to know the person, rather than thinking about what’s next and with regards to attraction – I know that if I were to hang out with a girl I didn’t necessarily find attractive, I can definitely become attracted to her.

The problem with shidduch dating is that you rarely become attracted to someone, because the dating is all for marriage, which gives you no time to hang out without pressure. I have no idea if this pertains to all of you, but since I find myself becoming attracted to girls I don’t necessarily find appealing in the first place, it is an issues for me.

  • just a girl

    I am not sure if I agree with u. Attraction really is key. And it’s disingenuous to say that u don’t know in an instant if it’s there- and certainly after 3 dates. You say u can “become attracted to her.” No girl wants that. A physical attraction should not have to be forced. And ya I agree that, attraction grows with personality chemistry and fun experiences but there has to be at least something there. And if it’s not, no need to waste anyone’s time.

    • http://alarbean.wordpress.com/ DrumIntellect

      Why do you think “becoming attracted” means it was “forced”? It’s a natural phenomenon. When people spend time together they often find things attractive that they didn’t initially consider attractive.
      In fact, I believe the longer term attraction described in this post is a “healthier” and longer lasting attraction then the “lust at first sight” variety.

      • Yakov

        once again i agree with drumintellect on this one!
        longer term attraction is for sure healthier and prob also longer lasting(i haven’t been in long enough relationships to test this part of the theory) I definitely don’t think that if its not there at first sight then you’re wasting time! this i can attest to, that sometimes when at first you find no attraction, eventually you are attracted to each other!

        Also Hesh, I recently started shidduch dating, so i don’t know if i can have a say in this… but the way i do it, is I just pretend that we are out to have a good time by which I mean NOT ask all the pertinent marriage questions that are so common in the shidduch world, rather jsut enjoy each other company etc… and if eventually (several dates in, its hard to put a on number on it) you seem to like/ possibly stand each other… only then start worrying/thinking about if you could possibly spend the rest of your lives together!

        • http://www.michaltastik.com Michaltastik

          I can’t stand the questions. I mean I talk to a guy on the phone and all he can do is ask me who I eat by and where do I daven. There’s no concept of getting to know me. I know when I asked some people for advice, they all had the same questions I was supposed to work with, like: “find out if he has an anger problem…”

          • http://alarbean.wordpress.com/ DrumIntellect

            Different people have different styles. Some prefer to keep the conversations short and casual on the phone. They focus more on “you” when you meet in person.
            Regardless though, if some time has passed and he’s not progressing at getting to know you and you aren’t getting to know him, what’s the point of continuing? (I mean if you are dating for marriage.)

            • http://www.michaltastik.com Michaltastik

              You don’t get to know someone bombarding them with questions. They are not getting to know me, they are just asking canned questions like where I daven. They aren’t asking me what I think of anything.

              • http://alarbean.wordpress.com/ DrumIntellect

                Then they don’t know what they are supposed to do.
                If you feel inclined, educate them through example. ;)

              • Mugsy

                Its tough Michaltastik. I’m a former yeshiva guy who can tell you first hand that the average yeshiva boy has no clue about the opposite sex. His rabbaim have him brainwashed to think that the only inportant thing is where you eat & daven on shabbos. The frumaks never get it. Attraction is important & thinking your going to fall in love after the wedding is usually a pile of crap. By the way, Jews should fall in love before they get hitched. Don’t be in a hurry to get married. Its not that great….trust me. Go have some fun.

                • http://alarbean.wordpress.com/ DrumIntellect

                  I concur with Mugsy.
                  A “real” Yeshiva guy only knows about females from his sisters or from gemara.
                  Flirting and any other social interactions with non-relative females are forbidden and grounds for dismal from many yeshivas.

  • http://2nd-son.blogspot.com/ G*3

    It seems to never occur to the people who put so much emphasis on looks that looks don’t last. I know more than one person whose wife looked like a model before they got married, and one baby later was three times the woman she used to be.

    Attraction is important, but like you said, attraction can grow as you get to know someone. What the person actually looks like becomes less important than how you see him/her. Deciding if the person is marriage material based on how closely she resembles one’s ideal of beauty is shallow at best.

    • http://sdalez1@gmail.com Bob

      could you imagine if she was 3 times the woman to begin with?

      • spidey

        It’s possible she was…Many people feel that they should diet before dating and marriage without realizing that a healthy, active lifestyle is the only way to have and keep an attractive body (without anorexia or a skinny-fat body). Then, after their diet goes to pot, their midsection does. Finally, we get idiots claiming that looks don’t last because some bitches get fat after having kids. Looks can last a long time if you take care of yourself.

        • Just a girl

          my guess is you are a male that fits in my first category.

          • spidey

            guess again

            • spidey

              oh, and my guess? you’re one of the females that fits into my category-fat bitches

              • just a girl

                No need to get defensive, dear.

                • spidey
                  • just a girl

                    Is this site for real?? Kinda hilarious.

                • http://none AriEliyah

                  Yo, Spidey– Chill, man! Lose the hostility. Yer never gonna get a cool chick with that kind of nastiness…

                  • spidey

                    point taken

        • http://2nd-son.blogspot.com/ G*3

          > Finally, we get idiots claiming that looks don’t last because some bitches get fat after having kids.

          What a charming personality.

          • just a girl

            I know, right? ;)

            • Yakov

              id like to point out that i have a few couzins that all were “a little on the heavy side” before marriage, like wedding dieting from the age of 14 etc…. and every single one of them after having 2 kids….slump!!! i can barely even recognize them they are so skinny! im just saying!

              • http://2nd-son.blogspot.com/ G*3

                Which just goes to show, looks aren’t stable – either way.

          • spidey

            >What a charming personality.

            Feel free to denigrate my personality, I don’t take it personally. However, you make the laughable assumption that looks cannot last because of your experience where women have gained weight after having children. If you prefer not being called an idiot then perhaps you should back up your claims with some evidence. Even logic will do, in a pinch.

            • http://2nd-son.blogspot.com/ G*3

              > Feel free to denigrate my personality

              I make no claims to know what you’re like beyond what you’ve displayed here.

              > However, you make the laughable assumption that looks cannot last because of your experience where women have gained weight after having children.

              Not at all. That was merely an extreme example to illustrate the point. Do you really think you(‘ll) look at 45 the way you do/did at 20? Oh, and stretch marks…

              > perhaps you should back up your claims with some evidence

              Let’s see. I claimed “looks don’t last.” You want evidence? Go find some pictures of your grandmother from when she was a teenager. Does she still look like she did then?

              > Even logic will do, in a pinch.
              Very well.
              Premise A: Someone who marries another based on how closely she resembles his ideal of beauty will be disappointed/unhappy if she loses her looks.
              Premise B: All people look less and less like our culture’s ideal of beauty as they age. A few change very quickly as a result of childbirth (and possibly other things).
              Premise C: (from A and B) The person who decides who to marry based on how she looks will inevitably become unhappy with his choice as his wife ages, and possibly much sooner.
              Conclusion: Deciding if the person is marriage material based on how closely she resembles one’s ideal of beauty is shallow at best (and rather short-sighted).

      • yankie

        I’m laughing my ass off ; ( that was 3 times the size before i read your comment)

  • http://twitter.com/MarkSoFla Mark

    Shidduch dating has a lot of problems, but this is one of the big ones. By the time you have a 4’th date, everyone is talking (marriage, etc). Meanwhile, you hardly even know the person, and for some people you don’t even know how attracted you might be to the person!

    • MadMaxInJerusalem

      Well, you can actually get a pretty good idea of a person after 5 or 6 dates if you’re both honest ( with yourselves and each other ) about who you are and what you want. I don’t remember the number of dates, but I proposed to my wife after about 6 weeks. That was 6 years, 2 kids, 2 intercontinental moves, 4 apartments, and 1 house ago and B”H things are still just fine.

  • just a girl

    I didn’t mean to imply that the attraction that may or not be present has to be based on great modelesque looks. Looks aren’t that imp in that respect. “Beauty fades; Dumb is forever.” :)

    There are diff levels of attraction. One is repulsion and you know that will never change, even if the personality was perfectly compatible. (No amt of funny will make u want to jump them). In that case, it should be nixed fairly early on. Another is uber attraction, the chemistry is palpable. This is tricky even bec it can create the illusion of compatibility. It’s the middle ground which is what everyone seems to disagree with me on. But I will concede that yes, if you aren’t totally repulsed but you aren’t particularly attracted either, then you should continue and see what happens.

    • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

      Jumping someone and dating someone carry completely different attraction levels. Joke to illustrate point.

      What do mopeds and fat chicks have in common?

      They are fun to ride until your friends see you on them.

      • Yakov

        hesh i have no problem letting my friends see me drive a moped! in israel i usually waved at them while i weaved through traffic, and they had to sit in their cabs!

        • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

          Fine – then for you we can switch it to something that you wouldn’t want your friends seeing you on.

          • Yakov

            look im just saying….

  • http://www.frumfemale.blogspot.com frum single female

    its refreshing to hear a guy express these truths. attraction often grows when at first you just might feel parve about someone. the flip side as well. one might think someone is hot stuff but after getting to know them better one finds them less than luke warm.

  • http://www.michaltastik.com Michaltastik

    I’ve been thinking about the forced nature of Jewish dating lately. Yes, it’s quite forced. Another thing I don’t like is that if you use someone for a reference so then they ask what happened and expect you to marry that person. “Nu, BUT I gave you a great reference, what do you mean you’re not dating him?”

  • horny24/7

    Hey guys. if you’re worried about good looks changing, just make sure she has big boobs before you marry her . They’re only bound to get bigger. Just
    watch out for whiplash.

    • Yakov

      honestly lets keep it a little mature!!

    • http://www.michaltastik.com Michaltastik

      Then the skinny girls are out

      • Just a girl

        Michal, i disagree. some of us skinny girls have been “blessed” with big boobs. But I think mr. horny over here is forgetting the one drawback, aside from whiplash — gravity will not be my friend when i’m 70. :P

        • MadMaxInJerusalem

          That’s what bra’s are for. Just saying…

          • horny24/7

            I once saw a bumper sticker on a tractor trailor that read, ” if women wouldn’t wear bra’s it would pull their wrinkles out of there face”

      • lawschooldrunk

        And really athletic girls…

        Give me a non- muscle building, athletic girl any day…

  • A. Nuran

    Of course the standards are ridiculous. The whole “shidduch dating” scene is unnatural, insane and dreamed up by people who were fired by Kim Jong Il for being too controlling.

    On one hand you have investigations that go further than Q-level security clearances. Q only goes to secondary and a few tertiary contacts and doesn’t consider tablecloth material or the color of your great grandfather’s second cousin’s shirt. On the other you are expected to make lifetime decisions based on no more than eight meetings when half the participants are too young to buy liquor or rent a car.

    The whole thing is more like a high-stakes job interview than anything else. The only things you know about the other person are the degree of iron conformity to increasingly arbitrary standards of social control – any deviation from these means no legitimate nookie, marriage or children ever – and the financial details of the family.

    You’re technically never allowed to be alone together. Carnal compatibility is completely a matter of guesswork or high-stakes gambling with your siblings’ and cousins’ marriage prospects. You don’t share any friends, any common activities or even the experience of the same school or workplace. The topics of conversation when you’re supposed to get to know each other are severely limited. And it’s not like the kids have even the sort of normal dating experience and social skills the non-frummie pick up.

    About the only things they have to go on are the most superficial.

  • lol

    uh….your perception of secular dating is really skewed if you think shidduch dating is based too much on looks.

    • A. Nuran

      Tried both, gave up on shidduch dating in disgust. When it came to finding someone to be happy with I made better choices doing it for love than the pro who did it for money.

  • http://www.rishonan.net/site Rishona

    Shidduch dating is a good concept; but it is executed poorly. I can tell you, on the other side of the coin, it is frustrating because too many people are dating “for fun” and have no interest in commitment. They just can’t take being alone [without a physical relationship]. I am glad that the frum world is different; that people date to find their mate. But the time frame is insane! I will admit, with some couples, a couple of dates before engagement is ok; especially if they come from very similar backgrounds and they know the families well. But most of the time….no, that is not nearly enough time. Looks can be very deceiving. There are a lot of attractive psychopaths out there.

    I actually think that it is easy to get attracted to someone; but harder to keep that attraction going as you learn more and more about them. This is why the dating period should be extended; with the norm being 6 months instead of one. That would help alleviate a lot of the problems in shiddichum.

    • http://www.michaltastik.com Michaltastik

      I was at a MO class once and the rabbi said that 3 months in the minimum. Six to nin months should be the norm at a year, you really should make a decision or move on. I agree with this.

    • MadMaxInJerusalem

      You’re right, it not the idea that’s the problem, it’s the execution. Allot of busy + wealthy people pay executive match makers to help them meet someone they will be compatible with and it seems to work fairly well. I believe that’s how Bill Gates met his wife.

  • http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com Batya

    Maybe the instructions should be:
    7 date minimum sans “the question” unless something very bad transpires

  • SF2K1

    Quote from my friend today:

    I’ve had friends who were going to give everyone a fair chance. But you can’t give everyone a fair chance. After about 5 different people, they go right back to their picky attitudes. Why? At the end of the day, giving everyone a chance is for people who already meet your basic qualifications, and spending that emotional energy and effort on people who you don’t feel you connect with is just exhausting.

  • M.

    There is a phenomenon in psychology known as the Mere Exposure Effect. Just by being exposed to someone repeatedly increases your chances of being attracted to them. If these shidduch goers don’t allow themselves time for mutual exposure, they are intrinsically less likely to be attracted. I think that if these people are serious, they ought to sign a contract before beginning to see each-other that binds them to at least 3 dates.

  • Anonymous

    I am married for 20 years and am still not attracted. Is there still hope?

    • http://spoonicus19.blogspot.com Miri

      yes. go to a marriage counselor. seriously.

  • FrumGer

    you can tell everything you need to tell about someone in three dates as you can in one year… because anyone you are not married to you is fake with you at the first date to 10 years… the fakeness may change, but it still is there. plus by one year or two years of dating, you get tired of the person just like you get tired of anyone, even your wife or your husband. we naturally get tired of a mate after a year or two no matter what, marriage is not a natural thing. but we are to use our super ego to concoure our id, or in yiddisher terms our yetzer hora is to conquer our yetzerhatov…

    • http://alarbean.wordpress.com/ DrumIntellect

      FrumGer,

      I feel like you are saying something very important, but I can’t really follow it because it seems like you are saying at least three different things.

      Can you clarify your thoughts?

  • FrumGer

    my first point is that people are fake. they interact in fake relationships all the time. you and your coworkers have a relationship based only the most upright proper form of yourself, not who you actually are. we wear our masks for those people. and the mask might change, it still remains a mask. much like dating, this person sees you at your best, top of your game, its not you- its the glossed over version of you, and vice versa. not until marriage do you see a person for who they are, then it becomes hard, because that person that was great and wonderful- is actually a chore to be around. so much so that its almost crazy to ever have thought about sharing life with that person.

    that is way people commit adultery too. because then comes along anthor person, and you are duped that they are great and your wife or husband is bad, though they are actually just as bad as your wife or husband, but again, you are duped. you buy their lie. then you throw it all out the window because we don’t want real, we want fantasy. we want the fake.
    marriage is reality. when people get divorced their chances of getting divorced again triples because they get out of marriage think it will be better with another person, but it is not. duped again. but all that is selfish and terrible because the one person that knows you for who you are and is willing to stick it out with you, and your beasty self, is kicked to the curb or betrayed for a fake dream. by giving into your animalisic lusty side for fantasy, you have destroyed a home and a future.

    and well its no secret that marriage if left up to or carnal nature or our klipot is doomed, while two people may or may not divorce, the result is doom. only by supressing our animalistic side and our yetzer hora, or as sigmund frued put it our Id, can we survive such a thing. but to realize the lie you have to first, be shed of your own seflish nature, or at least minimalize it in some way. then can you see the truth, that marriage is not glamourous, but it is real. marriage is hard, but that person is more your friend than the kid down the street that doesn’t really know you.

    and I say get married, after a few encounters because you will not know anyone until you wed anyway, years of dating is not going to get you any closer to the truth, because the truth is its hard to live with anyone, no matter who they are. marry the right person? naturally the right person is only the right person right now, for about 1-2 years, then they become the worng one. the decision is to say inside yourself that the right person is the one i marry no matter what. love is a decision not attraction, because after 2-3 years of marriage attraction is not important, that is puppy love, the important stuff is much less superficial. much more deep.

    • Yakov

      well said!

    • OrthoEbonyJewess

      Spot om!!

    • Yitzchak

      wow. do you have a blog? i want to read your other writings. though i don’t agree with all of the points you make, i like the way you think things through.

    • Allen Roth

      I have never read anything so strange. What planet are you on? “Everyone is fake?” While most of us put on our best appearance in the initial meetings, after a while you allow your genuine persona to show, as you both slowly begin to reveal yourselves to each other, and become more comfortable with each other. “You will not know anyone until you wed anyway?” And my favorite statement of yours is, “Naturally, the right person is only the right person for about 1-2 years, then they become the wrong one.” What kind of people have you been meeting on the highways and byways of your life, that brought you to these grotesque conclusions?

  • Anonymous

    wow! u just put all the problems of shiddch dating into one honest statement. props!

  • Anonymous

    excellent post, & the answer is patience. people should know that attraction may not be instant.

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