≡ Menu

The Heights and depths of dating

I love Washington Heights. It’s where the urban grid of Manhattan hits reality, where streets are smacked into cliffs and valleys, with stepped streets, sharp curves, and a mix of Russians, Dominicans, and an endless supply of young MO singles. Some are transplants from Midwestern states, who arrived in New York for college and stayed. Others found their first apartments in The Heights after moving out from their parents’ home. The Heights symbolizes all the optimism of starting anew. It represents my type of Orthodoxy. But there is one thing I cannot stand about The Heights.

Over the past year, I’ve had 6 matches from The Heights. Beautiful, educated, well-read women, who play basketball, volunteer in New Orleans, dance professional ballet, while earning their law degrees, studying for their CPA, MBA, MD, or the more usual OT and PT exams. A mix of modern-minded BTs, FFBs, divorcees, and converts, all sharing the same apartments. It is a pleasure to speak wit them over the phone. Our conversations last up to an hour, as we discuss religion, history, sports, and so much more. Like them, I also have a Masters degree, a good job, volunteer, read books, and watch obscure indie documentaries.

We finally meet and our dates are like fireworks. Again, beautiful women, open-minded, endless conversations, good background, numerous friends in common, seemingly identical hashkafas, good restaurant, gallery, or museum, and a good ending to our dates as I drop them back to their Bennett Avenue. I actually imagine myself living with her, The Heights girl, as we entertain our friends with discussions on current events and controversies. I look eager to Mt. Sinai, the YU book sale, the Sunday kollel, the Purim costume parties, and other Heights amenities.

But within two days, either the girl or the shadhan gives me the same lame cliche. “I don’t see it going anywhere. We are too different.” How is it possible that after lengthy phone conversations and a spectacular date, my past 6 matches do not “see it going anywhere?” How can it be going anywhere if it barely left the starting line?

There must be a true reason. Perhaps I am not earning enough. Perhaps I am not handsome enough for them to feel the attraction. Perhaps they fear becoming a divorcee down the line. But why not give it a second date? At this point, I feel burned out. I love The Heights. I love its women, but they just don’t seem to “see myself married to you.” Another cliche. And even after endless hours of conversation, where the match feels like a long-lost sister, I get the “our hashkafas are too different.” Again, a cliche.

This week, I have yet another match living in The Heights. I want it to work, but my confidence is eroding. She is beautiful, but what can I do? “You’re not the right one for me,” she will probably say.

The Heights is full of beautiful, educated women. Can’t they at least be more creative with their breakup lines? I’ll take “I find you unattractive” over “I don’t see this going anywhere.” While I can’t do anything about the second line, at least the first line will mechazek me to buy better clothes and shave.

{ 86 comments… add one }
  • Avrumy May 19, 2011, 12:20 PM

    Firday nights at Mt. Sinai are truly beautiful. So many handsome and beautiful mispalilim together in one room. Sorry you have not been lucky in finding Mr. Height. (Or Ms. Height, in your case.)

  • Avrumy May 19, 2011, 12:20 PM

    Friday nights at Mt. Sinai are truly beautiful. So many handsome and beautiful mispalilim together in one room. Sorry you have not been lucky in finding Mr. Height. (Or Ms. Height, in your case.)

  • Rivky May 19, 2011, 12:37 PM

    do you fly into new york for these dates?

    • michaltastik May 19, 2011, 1:33 PM

      He lives in another part of NY. This was written by S. not Heshy.

  • Sickofit May 19, 2011, 12:45 PM

    How frum is the Heights? MO Liberal, or Machmir?

  • Eli May 19, 2011, 1:04 PM

    Maybe talk to a shrink to find out what’s turning people off from you.

  • Dan May 19, 2011, 1:20 PM

    I concur.
    The only time I got a response like that after what I thought were two great dates was a girl from the heights.

  • michaltastik May 19, 2011, 1:38 PM

    It’s because everyone wants out of their league. The girls want out of their league and the guys want out of their league.

    • jimmy May 19, 2011, 2:26 PM


    • Ansy May 20, 2011, 8:43 AM

      Thats just stupid – there is no such thing as “league.” That implies that there is some objective thing that makes one person “better” than another. Not only is that foolish as a concept, its also incorrect on a practical level as everyone has flaws and each person finds different things attractive with people, people look for different things. For example, if some guy has a super job but nothing else so great marries an awesome girl in every area, how can you say that she is out of his league? He has a quality that a lot of people look for. Or if a guy has no job and is adequate looking but he has a great sense of humor. The examples go on and on and work for both genders. The whole “league” thing is a load of crap. People should always go for the highest quality in the characteristics they find important in other people. The only caveat is that priorities should be kept (in other words: acceptable sacrifices) for those characteristics as no one is perfect and “has it all.”

      • AK May 20, 2011, 12:20 PM

        Ansy is correct.

        Michal you need to stop perpetuating limiting beliefs.

        • Michaltastik May 21, 2011, 8:32 PM

          Every guy wants a woman who is beautiful, intelligent and successful. That’s all I ever hear from guys. If a woman is beautiful and intelligent, but not successful, she is no good. No one wants her. Woman all want a guy with a good job making 70k+ a year, good looking and treats them well.

          The guy who makes less won’t compromise.

          The girl who has all three won’t consider less. The girl who doesn’t have all three isn’t considered by a guy who doesn’t have all three. Everyone is busy thinking about making their neighbors jealous when they tell them how wonderful their chassan/kallah is that no one stops to care that what’s important is the rest of your life in the same bedroom with that person.

          I could go on…. but eventually I do have to get back to this thesis paper so, I would like to finish looking through the comments.

      • DR May 21, 2011, 11:51 PM

        grow up, of course there are leagues. Someone who’s mentally stable, attractive, intelligent, and socially normal is not going to marry someone who isn’t pretty much all of those. Attractive doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone, so you might see a couple as being a “mismatch” but it doesn’t mean they’re not attractive. And beauty without success for a woman could be a match for success without attractiveness for a mean. What I’m basically trying to say is that the leagues aren’t rigid, it’s not like you can lose a few pounds and suddenly you’ve switched leagues altogether, but there are definite leagues. And if these girls aren’t digging this guy despite the good dates, there’s definitely something about him– either his appearnce, his personality, or his behavior that is telling them he’s not someone they want to marry. I agree they’re not doing him any favors by not being honest, but this writer is dead on that their lame lines are a cop out. My suggestions, author, call each one and ask for the real reason, no matter how much it hurts. If you honestly don’t know what it is, you need to find out so you can work on it.

        • Michaltastik May 22, 2011, 10:17 AM

          I turned a guy down once through a match maker on a Friday morning and he called me about 9pm Monday night. You know what I did? “Um, sorry can’t talk right now.” CLICK.

          You don’t call people who turned you down-FOR ANYTHING.

          • ?!? May 23, 2011, 11:37 PM

            Michal, seriously? have you ever heard of menchlachkeit? I assume your orthodox (potentially MO machmir as you use a match maker) but seriously, I am shocked and appalled by your behaviour. What is the problem if you answered the phone, spoke to him for a few minuted and politely asked him not to call or tell you that you are simply not interested. It is women like you who cause men not to ask out women. Women like you cause heart-ache among men. A few minutes of your time would make all the difference.

            Orthodoxy is not only how you dress or what you learn, its about how you act towards others.

            • kissmeimshomer May 26, 2011, 2:34 PM

              Agreed. Michal, would it be so terrible to speak for a moment, and politely say you aren’t interested/it won’t work out etc? He shouldn’t be so hung up over you either, he should be able to move on, but forcing guys to accept rejection without explanation makes guys become the emotionless assholes some of us are.

        • Ansy May 23, 2011, 11:38 AM

          im sorry but what planet are you on? how can there be objective “leagues”? it doesnt make sense as its a completely subjective judgment – unless of course someone is that egotistical to believe they are in a certain class and that some people just arent as good as them (ie arent in their league), and you have to be unbelievably egotistical for that to be the case). People have so many different factors as to what they like. Moreover, even people with the same criteria many times rate people differently. there is no such thing as a league – only “for you” or “not for you”.

          when you say “Someone whos mentally stable, attractive, intelligent, and socially normal is not going to marry someone who isnt pretty much all of those” – who defines “stable”, “attractive”, “intelligent” and “socially normal”?? They are defined in the eye of the beholder and therefore subjective to their tastes and opinions. A league implies something objective, wherein someone is simply not as good as someone else in a certain area, objectively and to all. Since that is ridiculous and just not the reality, you cant say there is a “league” for people. It only matters what a given person thinks of another.

          Case-in-point: Ive seen situations (and im sure many other people reading this have as well) where girls with a huge trust fund or absolutely gorgeous, but without much else, are spoken about in a way that “they wont go out with so-and-so, he isnt in her league”. Then she ends up getting married to some loser who had his hat on the right tilt and is an einekel of some rebba from the 1840s in europe, but not really attractive and with no prospects. Clearly each party found what they were looking for (whatever that may be), and there is no problem with that. But there are many girls who wouldnt want that guy and many boys who wouldnt want her (outside of the trust fund/gorgeousness of course), because their values are different. From someone elses POV, neither the said guy or girl would be in their league, though from the guy and girl’s POV, someone wouldnt be in theirs (ie, 2 different people, based on the “leagues” theory, could both be out of each other’s leagues from each of their respective POVs).

          Conceptually, its meaningless. Its all about coveted values and each person’s subjective judgment. Everything, not just beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Yochanan May 19, 2011, 1:44 PM

    I plan on moving to the Heights. Not cuz of the singles scene. I want to be close to my job and have a reasonable rent.

  • Anonymous May 19, 2011, 2:09 PM

    Try working on your game a bit. It’s a learn-able skill and makes a real difference in dating.

    • 34chaimozer May 19, 2011, 5:48 PM

      Any tips?

      • Anonymous May 23, 2011, 10:40 AM

        Yes, start by not asking for dating tips on random blogs lol. (Sorry, I had to…)

        Read The Game .

  • jimmy May 19, 2011, 2:27 PM

    also true

  • Anonymous May 19, 2011, 3:10 PM

    better try Crown Heights then…I’m sure you’ll find a nice maidel!

  • Devora May 19, 2011, 3:16 PM

    I’ve always had the same problem. There’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve torn myself to shreds over it, figuring I wasn’t smart or pretty enough… until I saw the girls they did marry. Some people just don’t connect. Sorry. Enjoy life.

    • S. Tefilinov May 19, 2011, 7:16 PM

      I wish you were right, but it’s hard to believe when they say “I didn’t feel the connection.” We have good conversations, a thousand things in common, fun dates- and still “no connection.” What’s their idea of a connection? tell us.

      • AK May 19, 2011, 7:30 PM

        See my reply.

        No connection means no chemisty, no sexual attraction, no man-woman connection.

        Instead you are making a brain – brain connection. Ego-Ego.

        You gotta go deeper, own yourself, be a man. Stare into their souls.

        the other Half of your soul is the other half of your regardless of what degrees they have, what moves theyve seen.

        Be s@xual, tease. Etc.

        See my other comment.

      • Dream Girl May 20, 2011, 6:40 AM

        if everything is going well on these dates and no one wants to pursue anything with you, it is most likely one of the following:
        You are unattractive to them ie weight, dress or general features.
        You have bad breath and/or dirty looking crooked teeth.
        You are not aggressive enough OR too aggressive. You need to find the perfect balance of manly suave vs manly egotistical ape.
        Your job/income prospects are not realistic for a girl wanting to raise a family in NYC.

        These are the most common reasons frum MO girls say no to 2nd or 3rd dates.

        • DC May 20, 2011, 7:18 AM

          Or you have an awkward social disposition that you are oblivious to. That describes a fair number of guys in the heights.

          • alex May 20, 2011, 10:24 AM

            Yes this is absolutely true

          • DR May 21, 2011, 11:55 PM


      • anon May 22, 2011, 9:32 AM

        Connection is a spiritual and sexual attraction. A woman can enjoy a conversation with a man in the same way she would with a woman if it is interesting and scintillating. That does not mean that she wants to be with that man, as her husband.

        What they are probably telling you is that they are not attracted to you. Sorry. It may not be the best idea to call up these women, as you may end up with a reputation. “oh, he’s the one …”. You’re better off asking a female such as a sister, wife of a friend, etc to be brutally honest with you.

        Good luck.

      • ipitythefoo May 22, 2011, 5:26 PM

        In my experience, I have frequently went on a date with a perfectly decent guy and absolutely hated him. But, I am a decent individual, so I may not let on. Basically, you might be feeling it while she IS NOT.

  • ahron May 19, 2011, 7:02 PM

    Washington Heights is slowly becoming the over weight UWS girl’s alternative to xanax.

  • Outskirt May 19, 2011, 8:48 PM

    Alright, readers of Frumsatire:

    What does “connection” mean and/or feel to you?

    • AK May 19, 2011, 9:01 PM

      Wow what has become of us??

      It’s not that hard. Connection is a codeword for attraction, excitement, arousal (not nessesarily that kind) It means having a crush. You can have all the same interests in the world, but if their is no attraction, it doesn’t matter. People don’t get attracted by having simliar interests for the most part.

      Guys don’t be afraid to be you who really are MEN and women don’t be afraid to be feminine. No apologetics or fitting into this stupid postmordern feminist eugender mold.

      • S. Tefilinov May 19, 2011, 9:36 PM

        A crush is something that teenagers have. Adults should be more mature. Suppose everything about the girl lines up- her look, how she talks, her career, her interests, her background, her cooking.

        But in spite of the above, if it doesn’t rise in my pants, should I call an end to the date? Sometimes attraction takes time to build up (literally and figuratively)

        But some guys and girls end it on first date if they don’t feel their mojo rising. Such snap judgment is how most of my Heights dates have been.

        • AK May 19, 2011, 10:01 PM

          More Mature? What does that even mean? How long does it really take to be attracted to somone? Cut this social conditioning cr#p. A couple should be attracted at some point. Your heart has to be in any edeavour eventually or it is likely bound for failur.

          Stop looking at these dates like you are trying to make a friend. Build a real connection, feel her, look into here eyes and peer into her soul. Have fun, tease , laugh flirt. You can Hit the heavy stuff also, but it seems like you have no trouble doing that.. I’m just saying balance it out.

          But regardless of whether you think it is right or mature,That is what they are saying when these girls think you guys are too “different”. BS

          Anyway, yes sometimes attraction takes time to build, of course. But YOU aren’t the one ending the dates, they are. So no, if you want to keep dating them, by all means do it! but they might not (they don’t seem to be ) on the same page as you.

          Look dude, MAN UP. Go lift weights, accept yourself, eat a steak, kil some dinosaurs, stop thinking so much and just act. Get in touch with your masculine side. Take action and lean into your fears, otherwise your not living your dying.

          Random stuff: Make fun of girls when they do something stupid, but do it in a funny facetious manner. Don’t be afraid to set boundries and LEAD like a man, but don’t force it.

          • AK May 19, 2011, 10:04 PM

            Oh and you are too judgmental. That is NOT mature. Stop judging these girls. If the want to be attracted to their dates FINE that is their choice. Your not getting anywhere by looking down on them for that. That is getting into weak, manipulative, alone nice guy territory. Sorry for the tough love but you need it.

            Lets yourself be attracted bro, just let it happen. Relax.

          • alex May 20, 2011, 10:27 AM

            hahaha kill dinosaurs. Another incredibly true post. All this is spot on.

            • sk May 20, 2011, 11:06 AM

              I’d rather kill some Arab terrorists

        • Heshy Fried May 22, 2011, 1:30 PM

          Oh but you are so wrong, I want to have a crush on my wife

  • some girl May 19, 2011, 8:58 PM

    I say try lowering your standards?

    On the whole long winded conversations that last forever….
    Some girls enjoy dating because they enjoy the excitement of being liked. A girl can find it thrilling that a guy such as yourself does find them interesting, artsy, funny, etc… You get the idea, there’s a lot of ego going on.

    I would try and restructure my dating tactics and seek out someone who seems to have less of that ego thing going.

  • AK May 19, 2011, 9:03 PM

    Bro, your getting friend zoned. Stop trying to be their friends, be a man. Be alittle edgy.

    You talk about interesting conversation? Friends have interesting conversations, that is not an indicator of success. Girls fall in love with their heart, not with their brain. So do mean.

    Tease them, be confident, be funny, be aloof but interested, have fun, take a real interest in them at the same time. Be sexual, your a man, never be ashamed of your s$xuality. You don’t have to touch them to be s#xual though, just put the vibe out there, but not at first.

    Look at them in the eye, don’t flinch. Build tension, get turned on and so will they.

    Also don’t worry about what these dumb girls think of you. They don’t matter, noone matters. The only beings that need to approve are you are g-d and yourself. THATS IT. All other standards are artificial.

    We all have something unique and awesome about us, and usually our minds make things worse than they are, but even still just being you is enough.

    you are enough. Stop thinking so much. Stop being so cerebral. Just get lost in the moment. Just relax and let your soul.. (all of it from the top all the way to the animalistic parts) and g-d guide your interaction.

  • AK May 19, 2011, 9:08 PM

    Bro, your getting friend zoned. Stop trying to be their friends, be a man. Be alittle edgy.

    You talk about interesting conversation? Friends have interesting conversations, that is not an indicator of success. Girls fall in love with their heart, not with their brain. So do men.

    Tease them, be confident, be funny, be aloof but interested, have fun, take a real interest in them at the same time. Be s@xual, your a man, never be ashamed of your s$xuality. You don’t have to touch them to be s#xual though, just put the vibe out there, but not at first.

    Look at them in the eye, don’t flinch. Build tension, get turned on and so will they.

    Also don’t worry about what these dumb girls think of you. They don’t matter, noone matters. The only beings that need to approve are you are (lehavdil) g-d and yourself. THATS IT. All other standards are artificial. Keep your head up, (lehavdil) grab your ahem stuff and go for what you want.

    We all have something unique and awesome about us, and usually our minds make things worse than they are, but even still just being you is enough.

    you are enough. Stop thinking so much. Stop being so cerebral. Just get lost in the moment. Just relax and let your (lehavdil) soul.. (all of it from the top all the way to the animalistic parts) and (lehavdil) g-d guide your interaction.

  • kissmeimshomer May 19, 2011, 11:34 PM

    “Our conversations last up to an hour, as we discuss religion, history, sports, and so much more. “….”seemingly identical hashkafas”.

    All that before you even get to a second date. Keep it light. Have fun. Don’t try to interview her; it’s not a job and she’s not your boss. There’s a reason why people find gfs/bfs in college quite often. Because it’s relaxed, informal, casual. You get to know one another on your own pace, you let things develop naturally. Older singles (I don’t know how old you are) tend to take a girl to a nice event, gallery, restaurant, bar on a 1st date and try to make conversation. Skip that. Go to trivia night at a local dive bar, go play frisbee in the park. Just do something together, don’t meet eachother for a lets-get-to-know-you type of meeting.

  • OfftheDwannaB May 20, 2011, 1:15 AM

    I agree with that psychologist suggestion. How can we give you any advice? We don’t know how your dates are like, except your own testimony of them being awesome and fabulous.

    If you discuss the dates in detail with someone else he/she can get a sense of what’s not catching. Are the girls you’re being set up with wrong for you? Are you putting off a desparate vibe? Are they out of your league? All these suggestions that people are giving you above could be right. But you need to investigate. It could be a simple recalibration needed, or you’ll learn you’re totally f’d up. But you sound pretty normal so I’m not so worried.

  • daniel May 20, 2011, 2:13 AM

    women say they want a sensitive, intelligent, moderately good looking guy, but when you show up they realize they want fonzie. they are liars.

    • Michaltastik May 21, 2011, 8:57 PM

      That’s what I want. Most of the time I turn down a guy it’s because he’s overbearing, grills me, doesn’t seem to have the same values… by that one I mean I’ve gone out with guys who want to throw their money away. One unemployed guy prattled on about paying for an expensive gym (monthly cost close to yearly cost at another) because he didn’t want to wait/sign up for a treadmill at a cheaper one. He had already pissed me off by asking extremely personal stuff within a minute of meeting. (no real phone conversation prior to date).

      Guys, wait until you sit down and make small talk BEFORE you ask them their life story!!!!

      Another was in his 40’s but lived with mommy and blew his earnings. He expressed a need for a “lifestyle” and pressed me to be excited for how much money he seemed to think I was going to get with my Bachelor’s I’m about to get. (Um, yeah, employers don’t wanna pay).

  • Synapse May 20, 2011, 4:23 AM

    I think it’s a generic New Yorker problem. They often seem to be afraid of commitment, feel they could always do better, and they know there’s many more fish in the sea. At least that’s my experience. I’ve dated a few New Yorkers where it didn’t go to far, but the dates seemed to go really well. What was their reason? I didn’t get the “We are too different” (Except where I knew that was true). The shadchan usually told me their reasons and they were even less than that. I’m pretty certain at this point that New Yorkers are just finicky.

    • Heshy Fried May 22, 2011, 1:34 PM

      That’s why living in a singles community perpetuates the shidduch crisis – why date you when I can get so much better, but really no one dates anyone because they are all “friends” and friends see stuff that daters don’t want to see.

  • Realistically Speaking May 20, 2011, 8:56 AM

    Not everyone is going to vocalize their actual reasons as to why they really don’t feel its worth their while to continue dating you. While I sympathize with your frustrations, there are several theories as to why a date may be abruptly terminated:

    1) Maybe things didn’t go as well as it seemed.
    2) Body language tells everything one needs to know who you really are.People are very receptive to non verbal cues.
    3) Eye contact is very important when holding a conversation. People interpret that to be rude if you are not looking at the person you are confabulating with and vise versa.
    4) Instead of talking about yourself, take (or at least pretend to) take an interest on the other person’s life without being intrusive.
    5) Negative attitudes such as complaining or calling yourself stupid doesn’t bode well on a date.
    6) Maybe the girl told her parents about you.They decided to do their research and somehow for some reason convinced her that you are not compatible for her.
    7) Insulting other people or bad mouthing an ex girl/boyfriend on a date will give people a bad impression of you.
    8) Discussing long term goals on a first date can intimidate the other party.
    9) Poor table manners and bad hygiene can put off people.This would include looking unkempt as well.
    10) If the person you are dating knows that your parents are mostly involved in your decision makings, he/she may think you are incapable of making your own decisions and may be turned off by that.

    The list goes on. I am not implying that you are sabotaging yourself since I don’t know you that well to determine that. You may want to look into it and figure out why your dates don’t work out. Just know that people pay close attention attention to the way you verbally and physical project yourself – even if you don’t always realize that.
    Good luck!

  • Devora May 20, 2011, 10:40 AM

    I think you’re getting really bad advice here. Honestly, I’ve known girls (and guys )who marry someone they’re not so attracted to. And they turn down people they are attracted to. In the girls’ cases, it’s obviously not that there are lots of fish in the sea-there aren’t and the girls know that. What I think it really is is this expectation of bashert. People are told there is that one special perfect soul-mate for them-even if you get along pretty well, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel that level of connection, especially after 1-2 dates. Add to that the fact that people want to get engaged after a few months and that it’s harder for a girl to marry at all as she gets older, of course, if it’s not perfect, you’ll get shot down early. On the bright side, you’re a guy, and eventually girls get desperate, so you probably will get married when you’re older. Please don’t stress-it’s not worth it-just enjoy your life.

    • Michaltastik May 21, 2011, 9:01 PM

      The problem is that he needs advice from people who know him. The right advice is here… I think almost every possibility has been covered here. The problem is what of the advice is relevant and what is not?

    • anon May 22, 2011, 9:37 AM

      Devora, you consistently give horrible advice. AK is the best advice he needs. And I’m a woman.

  • Stanley Katz May 20, 2011, 10:46 AM

    There’s an Israeli movie which I just watched on Netflix…Campfire. Good lesson to be learned for everyone about relationships and love

    • ipitythefoo May 22, 2011, 5:35 PM

      Agreed, great flick.

  • HeightsGuy May 20, 2011, 11:49 AM

    You wrote: “Our conversations last up to an hour, as we discuss religion, history, sports, and so much more.”

    You didn’t include “feelings” in your list. Women connect to the world through their emotions. If you don’t capture and lead a woman’s imagination, and connect with her via her (and your) emotions, all you’ll get is cliches about chemistry, hashkafa, etc. In general, how connected into your own emotions are you?

  • Susanne May 20, 2011, 12:05 PM

    This reminds me of the skit I helped write for the Mount Sinai Purim Shpiel a few years back, a game show, called “Lower Your Expectations”. Don’t daydream about your future together until you know she feels the same way. You’re setting yourself up for a lot of heartbreak. Maybe she’s just not into you and there’s little you can do to change that.

    That said, as a shadchan I’m a big believer of second dates. If you had anything at all to talk about, go out again and see what happens. But, have you considered that while you’re having a fabulous time, she might be gritting her teeth and wanting to get home? If I had set you up and one of these girls said that it was a great date but they didn’t see it going anywhere, I’d say give it another shot. But perhaps they really didn’t have a good time and they’re trying to let you down in a polite way. Trust me, if your feelings are hurt by them saying “its not shyach” I don’t think you can handle them taking away the sugarcoating.

    • DR May 22, 2011, 12:08 AM

      good point. I set up a couple once, and the guy was insistent that they had the best date ever. The girl said she knew immediately the guy wasn’t for her but figured she’d make the best of it for the duration of the date–she happened to be a fun, cool girl and acted like herself. The guy could not believe that after such a “great date” she didn’t want to go out again.

    • Synapse May 22, 2011, 4:24 AM

      See my comment below, ment to get placed here but glitched somehow.

    • anon May 22, 2011, 9:39 AM

      Ditto. Once you’re on the date, what are you supposed to do, be obnoxious? You’re polite, he talks and has a fantastic time. And then is stunned when you won’t go out again. Again what else can you do?

  • Guy May 20, 2011, 1:02 PM

    Ive been dating for many years and the bottom line with men and women and continuing beyond the first couple of dates is attraction and emotional/physical chemistry. Thats what makes people want to spend all night with someone. Not good conversation.

    • AK May 20, 2011, 2:27 PM


    • Izzy May 22, 2011, 8:00 PM

      That’s about it…..Chemistry…that’s why my Chihuahua likes our cat better than any other dog!

  • Synapse May 21, 2011, 3:28 PM

    As a guy, we hate sugar coating. Our egos can take the truth, but we feel deceived or confused or hurt when girls cover things up and won’t tell us real reasons (we know you’re lying, please just come out with it already). I would honestly rather hear exactly what was wrong with the date (especially if it’s something to keep in mind next time). I especially feel much better if I know it was something that had nothing to do with me and was coming from her side of things.

    • S. Tefilinov May 21, 2011, 10:03 PM

      Amen! Truth is better than cliches.

    • Susanne May 22, 2011, 10:55 PM

      Yes, but on a first date the girl doesn’t know how the guy will react to such straightforwardness. If this feedback is given face to face, that can become a dangerous situation for a girl. Also, turn it around. If guys were this straightforward with girls, it could crush them. Plenty of guys will reply to my match suggestions with such insensitive feedback as “I only want skinny/pretty/rich/small nosed/etc girls” but is that okay to repeat to the girls? No. If its not constructive criticism, things your date can improve about themselves, then yeah, I tend to think you should somehow sugarcoat the response. Plus, you can come off sounding like a jerk for putting it that way and turn off the matchmaker as well. It goes the same way with the girls. Perhaps gives the specific information to the shadchan so that they can find you more appropriate matches, but if its not a very nice reason, I don’t think it needs to reach your date in the same way.

      • Synapse May 24, 2011, 3:34 AM


        You have misread my post. For one, I never said she should tell him face to face, but she should honestly express her problems to the shadchan and the shadchan should relate the actual issues to the bochur.

        And your reverse analogy is completely inaccurate because girls do require sugar coating due to the girl’s personalities, I’m talking from the guy’s side. It’s the shadchan’s job to work through both sides, drag the truth out of the girl for the guy, and sugarcoat the “straightforward” issues from the guy for the girl. I hope you realize that guys and girls have totally different approaches to dating and require different ways of handling the response you’re getting as shadchan.

  • Devora May 21, 2011, 9:08 PM

    Well Michal I see your point, but since we’re not observing him, some of these reasons might not apply and he might end up working hard to correct what he doesn’t have to. As far as attraction/emotions, of course those things are important to most, but that might not be the issue here. If people meet someone they’re attracted to physically but for some reason don’t see you as a husband, some will stop there. As far as sugarcoating, I’m a girl and I feel the same way. It’s frustrating.

  • Izzy May 22, 2011, 12:05 AM

    Here’s my Suggestions:

    (1) Although they will always suggest otherwise, most women won’t hold it against you if you are wealthy (or act wealthy). This is easy to figure this one out, pay for dinners with cash (have a few hundos in a money clip…wallets are passe) – Anyone can pay with a credit card. It goes without saying that going Dutch is for Putzes. Unless you look like Brad Pitt.
    (2) When you look deep into her eyes, she averts your gaze. OK, looks could come into play. Although personality often matters most.
    (3) Don’t ever talk politics on the first date…ever
    (4) Do you take her to a cheap restaurant? Cook for her…women love men who cook…if you can’t cook, start taking courses. This will reap benefits down the road.
    (5) Do you have bad breath? Ask your best guy friend.
    (6) Do you first go on a single date? Bad move, go on a double or triple date with other friends you may have. It’s important for both parties to see how the other interacts with their friends. Too much pressure having a “mano a mano” date the first time. Do the double date and triple date a few times…then when you see flirtation and interest, you should then go out on a single date.
    (7) Do you know how to dress? Are you overweight? Wear sandals? T-shirts? Look like a slob? Go to Nordstroms or Macys and talk to a fashion consultant.
    (8) Do they feel safe with you? Are you tough or wimpy?
    (9) Do you text excessively? Leave voice mails? Here’s a suggestion, let them contact you for a follow-up after a date.
    (10) Don’t ever friend them on Facebook….a real person should only have about 10 real friends in life. Even that’s probably too many. I’m not talking about acquaintances…I have hundreds of them…about 7 real friends though. Take my advice on this item with a grain of salt…I don’t even have a Facebook page. I think Facebook is the biggest waste of time and is a simply a form of narcissm. Better to have a blog like Heshy.
    (11) Open the doors for her, let her get into an elevator
    first, let her order at a restaurant first, etc.
    (12) If none of the above works, get a dog…most women love men with dogs. No poodles or other unmanly canines.
    (13) Try J-Date. That’s it.

    • Synapse May 22, 2011, 4:36 AM

      Some of your suggestions are good, but half of them don’t make much sense (what are they even suggesting?)

      1 – You’re making the assumption the person is wealthy, otherwise you’re just giving a false impression of yourself, which isn’t a really good idea.

      2 – What’s your actual suggestion here?

      6 – Has limited to no value for shidduch dating. In fact it assumes you’re not going out at all, but just happen to be around each other sounds too much like high school. I’d say man up and ask someone out directly already, otherwise you’re gonna get friended. Even for normal dating, it’s more important to learn how to relax and not pressure people “mono a mono”

      7 – Someone that thinks sandals/tshirts are appropriate early dating dress needs a course in how to present themselves before they do any more dating, which I imagine you were going for, but someone who’s overweight can’t necessarily choose to loose it (although they can still learn to dress appropriately).

      8 – Again, this is more a personality type a person will either have to get over or hope someone will accept them for who they are.

      9 – Sounds more like a warning about being a clingy bf/gf than advice for early dating.

      12 – Dogs drool, Cats rule!

      13 – Dear G-d, no no no!

      • Izzy May 22, 2011, 7:27 PM

        Thanks for your comments to my suggestions…

        In number two, my suggestion was subtle but I failed to make one. If she averts your gaze, I’d think my suggestion is “Don’t waste your time.”

        I didn’t realize that Shidduch dating was the given here. I recommended J-Date because it allows singles to find people with some common interests right from the get-go. If the guy likes Rap music and the woman does not, I guess J-Date helps avoids those kinds of issues that some people take to heart…of course, I’m simplifying.

  • RealityCheck May 22, 2011, 7:18 AM

    I feel you, Shidduch dating sucks. I think that one of the biggest setbacks is the fact that despite similarities “on paper” no one can predict chemistry and compatibility.

    I can meet my male twin but if there’s no chemistry that’s it. And no your first date does not have to become an instant erection, but I think we process sexual attraction more than one would think.

    When I meet a guy I definitely consider sexual attraction right away. Sometimes attraction does grow stronger over time, I agree, but if you are legitimately not attracted when you first meet I highly doubt that you will ever be wanting to jump the person’s bones after having a nice long conversation. Conversation doesn’t build chemistry. I mean, I can talk to my 60 year old boss for hours. He is a great conversationalist and we both chose the same profession. We’re also both Jewish! Does that mean I will ever want to jump his bones and have babies together? No thanks!! And men are more sexual and visual than women, so Kal Va Chomer on the man’s end.
    No sexual attraction does not even mean the other person thinks you are ugly. I have met handsome guys who did not turn me on in the slightest, and guys have also told me that they’ve met very pretty girls but just weren’t feeling the connection.
    As much as religious individuals try to take away the idea of sexuality, it is still there, a force that controls all of us. That’s nature, and it underlies Shidduch dates no matter what other people say. I am sure that people marry without sexual attraction because they “had great conversations” and were “good on paper”. Perhaps they did find certain qualities in the other person that they liked, but unfortunately liking somebody’s sense of humor without that attraction makes for a good friendship, not a good marriage.

    As said above, people who meet in a relaxed setting like college or grad school are very lucky. Too bad that seems to be the less common way to meet nowadays.

  • I know S. personally May 22, 2011, 10:28 AM

    He’s good-looking, dresses fine and is good-looking. Those things are not his problem.

    • Lia May 22, 2011, 11:41 PM

      Wait, he’s good-looking AND good-looking? Where do I sign up?

  • Yochanan May 22, 2011, 3:00 PM

    I’ve spent some time in the Heights recently. Seems that every 20 something year old guy talks in a whiny, nasally voice.

    • OTD chick May 23, 2011, 10:53 AM

      that’s all Jewish guys… everywhere

  • spidey May 22, 2011, 3:45 PM

    typical foreveralone. feelsbadman, huh.

  • JZ May 22, 2011, 8:08 PM

    Maybe you are more nervous because she’s beautiful. I think this website has good advice.
    In summary: Don’t be nervous around beautiful women. I just had a relationship end with a super good-looking guy who was also religious, but I think it was bad for our relationship that I felt so lucky to be with him. At first he made an enormous effort to win me over. Enormous! So eventually I was won over, and then he started taking me for granted, although I continued to feel very lucky to be with him. And I think that somehow I just seemed more into him than vice-versa, which made him devalue me. Maybe the same thing is happening with you in the course of just a single date.

    In the past, I found that when I’ve been too excited about a first date, they didn’t work out, so I’ve learned to not get excited about initial dates (since I’ve had so many of them). And now the same thing happens as before where they’re into me when I don’t like them initially, and then once I start liking them, they decide they don’t like me a few months later, rather than on the first date. Not sure if I’m better off this way. I almost always have 2nd and 3rd dates when I want them, but I have all these pointless 3 month relationships.

  • HeightsGuy2 May 22, 2011, 9:22 PM

    The so-called “shidduch crisis” is merely a symptom of a much greater underlying problem. We are the children and grandchildren of 2 generations that incurred a very high divorce rate (and a very high unhappiness rate among couples that have stayed together). How many of us had ring-side seats to the painful process of a failed marriage? On the flip side, how many couples do we know that have been together for 30-40 years and are still affectionate and happy together? We’re understandably (and probably unconsciously, in most cases) reluctant to enter into one volutarily with someone we barely know when the odds seem stacked against a good long-term outcome. For good reason, we wonder why we’re being pressured into dating and marriage by people who aren’t succeeding at it themselves. That doesn’t mean we’re not willing to get married. Just that we need to see more examples of good marriages before we take the plunge. Pressure just leads us to go out on dates and afterwards say things like “There wasn’t any chemistry” or “we have different hashkafas” instead of saying what we’re REALLY thinking i.e. “My parents’ marriage sucks. Their siblings’ marriages suck. Some of my friends’ marriages suck. No way in hell am I going to voluntarily put myself in the same position. But I’ll get flak for saying that, so instead I’ll chalk it up to ‘lack of chemistry’ etc.” Want to REALLY solve the shidduch crisis? Follow several couples on camera for about 25 years (like in the Truman Show), identify the successful role-model-worthy ones from among them and send us the DVD’s.

  • Lia May 22, 2011, 11:55 PM

    It seems like a lot of the people posting here seem to know all the answers to your dating woes.

    S., let me give you my little pearls of wisdom.

    Here it comes, ready?

    None of us have this figured out. Shocking, I know.

    Dating is hard. There is no formula, no method, no fool-proof advice that will make it any easier. I recently just went on a date with a guy, thought we had nice chemistry, he asked me out again, then didnt hear from him for a week. I sucked it up, sent him a message, he contacted me and gave me some lame reason (which he probably thought was a super original and solid excuse) about why we werent going to go out again. Confused? Yes. Losing sleep over it? Totally not.

    I think the intensified and pressurized nature of the Orthodox dating world is primarily to blame. That, and the sexual tension and frustration. But it’s the reality of it.

    So, though easier said than done, my approach has just been to try to chill out my dating life a little bit. De-stress. De-pressurize. Try to infuse a little more fun.

    Good Luck 🙂

    • S. Tefilinov May 23, 2011, 7:47 PM

      Good news, everyone. Went out with a Heights chick soon after my post. Kept my cards close, revealing little about my life. Kept conversation minimal, focusing on the art in the museum. Did she agree to a second date? You bet. Leave them wanting more. Don’t reveal your whole life on a first date. Now I know.

      • OfftheDwannaB May 23, 2011, 8:53 PM

        The whole worlds a stage. If you want to bag someone, show them what they want to see. If you want to keep the relationship going…well, I don’t have a clue how to do that.

Leave a Comment