Saturday, October 27, 2007

Changing Shidduch Making--the Telephone is our Friend

I know that a number of rebbaim have given their bochrim guidelines about dating. Included in those guidelines is how many times a week or in two weeks a bochur should see a girl. But also included by many rebbaim is an ossur for talking on the phone in the interim. This holds true even after an engagement is announced. Huh? Far from seeing the phone as our enemy, we need to start considering it as a frum person's best friend.

If the complaint is made that frum couples do not date each other long enough--and it is--then dating more often is the answer. If that is not an answer that is acceptable to some parts of Klal, then the phone is a perfect "non-date" date. I am reasonably sure that both a boy and a girl holding phones that are connected through electricity does not constitute negiah, despite the phone company advertisements that say "Reach out and touch someone."

Let's make a "new rule." Couples who are set up with each other for "face-to-face" dates should also be required to have at least one "phone date" in between each of their meetings. Two would be better. In this way a couple would have "met" at least 12 times before having to make any big decisions.

Think of it, no having to get all dressed up, no having to travel for hours, no hassles of finding parking, no running into friends/neighbors/family who are oh so interested in what you are doing, no expenditures (if you are using cell phone minutes this is still cheaper then most dates). And best of all, no real distractions. When the only point of the date is to talk then more talking gets done.

In general, females "enjoy" talking more than males do. It also seems to come easier to them. Many males consider the phone as an "evil instrument" and spend as little time as possible on it. For these males, the practical advantages of phone dating need to be stressed.

So, what do you talk about if you aren't in a place that gives you something to talk about, like a museum? Everything and anything. Anything unusual happen to you? Share. Anything of vital interest in the news? Discuss. Anything happening in Klal Yisroel of a new nature? Talk about it. Have a hobby you like? Wax enthusiastic. Learn anything interesting? Repeat it. In short, get to know each other and each other's views and opinions.

If you are having one phone date a week, make it at least one hour in duration. For two phone dates, half an hour might do.

I already know one objection that is going to be raised to phone dating. It will take away learning time from the males. I respectfully state that there is learning and then there is "learning." We cannot seriously be saying that learning about a prospective future husband/wife for a person in the shidduch process is less important than opening a sefer. If we are, that just might be one of the major reasons for shalom bais problems in young married couples.

So there it is--we need to increase "phone time" for dating couples. The benefits are just too obvious to ignore any longer.

A note: couples a bit less "right" in their orientation both date longer and use the telephone to greater benefit. If those more to the "right" are NOT using the telephone as much because it is something that those more to the "left" use, then they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.


Anonymous said...

The telephone is evil, you got that right. And you want me to have to use it even more? Sorry but I don't see the practical part that's in it for me yet. I can manage the talking on a date part ok because you have no idea how much you say about the stuff at the Bkln botanic gardens.

ProfK said...


The practical part as follows: 1)dates are shorter; 2)No suit and constricting tie necessary, no clothes altogether if you wish. Spots on your shirt front or frayed cuffs will not be held against you;3)if you have a calling plan on your land line or your cell the cost is already included. Even if you speak for half an hour at 25 cents a minute, that is $7.50--you know any other date that costs this little? More bang for your buck;4)Having a "cheat sheet" of funny jokes or stories or topics to discuss is possible, something absolutely frowned upon on a "real" date;5)if you run into trouble thinking of something to say you can always use your other phone to call a friend and have him/her feed you some good topics or lines;6)there is absolutely no chance that the girl's father is going to get on the phone and give you a "farher" on what you learned this week; 7)you don't have to sit and make small talk with the girl's parents while you are waiting for her to make an entrance; 7)not recommended but still a possibility--you can be monitoring the items you have up for sale on ebay while still on a date, thereby not losing out on a good sale;8) There is no gas to have to put into the car for the long trip, nor are there tolls to pay or parking to pay; 9)you don't have to clean your car to make it date ready--no clearing off the snow in bad weather either; 10)you can eat dinner in the comfort of your own home--a dinner your parents paid for, not you.

If you need to see the practicality, I suppose these will do as well as any others. PLEASE NOTE: if you tell a girl that any of these are the reasons why you are in favor of phone dating you may just find yourself "dateless."

anonymously said...

I like it. Now who is going to sell this to the rest of our community, and where do we start?

NYmeidle said...

Just please don't tell me that we have to report back to the shadchan after these phone dates. If phone dating would save me having to make that call then I'm all for it. Maybe phone dating would be the only private dates in the whole shidduch scene.

justaguy said...

I get nervous on the first few dates and I know I don't always make the impression that is really me. I could deal with phone dates espeially in the beginning. Sounds like a good idea.

chaya said...

My husband and I come from different parts of the country and we couldn't see each other every week when we were going out. The phone was a great help. We started out with only a call or two during the week but we both knew something was getting really serious when we had to talk to each other almost every night. My husband says that it was a phone call that made him realize that this was it. He had given me some advice on the phone and I did what he suggested and it came out really great for me, so I picked up a phone to call and tell him thank you for the good advice. I know frum girls aren't supposed to be making the phone calls, but he really deserved the thank you. My husband figured that if I felt comfortable enough to call him that I was committing. he was right. It wouldn't have happened without the phone.

Anonymous said...

how about this--let's use teleconferencing for dating between out of town people. After just spending over $300 on an airplane ticket plus renting a car plus having commited to at least 2 dates with the girl plus the cost of the dates and all the other costs I sure would like something less expensive. I could see the girl and she could see me and we could talk and then if there was a reason to have to come I would have to put in the money.