Sunday, January 27, 2008

Conversations that go Nowhere

I set up a couple which I thought was a shayich shidduch. They went out a few times and then both said "nice person, just not for me. We didn't "click.""

I then had this conversation with the girl.

Me: If he's really a nice guy and it's just a not clicking thing, do you have a friend that he might be good for?

Her: A friend?

Me: Yes, you know, another girl he might suit better.

Her: I don't know about that.

Me: Why not?

Her: Because she's going to ask me how I know the boy and then I would have to say I went out with him, and then she's going to ask me what's wrong with him if I won't take him.

Me: But you told me that nothing is wrong with him. It just didn't click.

She: Look, she's my friend and we share a lot in common. It's possible that she won't click with him either.

Me: But it is also possible that she might. Are you clones of each other?

She: I don't think she would be comfortable dating someone that I dated and then said no to. If it becomes a shidduch it's always going to be very awkward to be around them.

Me: So you will only date someone who didn't date one of your friends?

She: Basically, yes.

What's wrong with this picture? Everything. For one thing, it cuts down the number of available boys/girls. For another, it says what's not good for me is not good for anyone else I know either. What's talking here is a bit of snootiness--sort of a "how dare he/she like my friend better than me." You don't want him/her therefore no one you know should want them either.

Back in the bad old days we passed dates around. It was considered a plus if someone you knew had dated the person before. At least you could guarantee that an axe murderer was not coming through the door. Making a shidduch was not a question of national security, with its attendant secrecy.

Just what has all the secrecy gotten anyone? More dates? Not likely. This is a case where going backward in time would actually be going forward in shidduchim.


SuperRaizy said...

You are making an excellent point. The shidduch situation is so difficult already. It doesn't make any sense for people to put up even more obstacles to dating.

David5Ts said...

I've wondered the same about the whole secrecy thing. I think people are concerned about ayin hara when it comes to discussing shidduchim. Not quite sure why, though.

Anonymous said...

Weird but this has happened to me. I dated a girl who was more for my brother and he had no problem in going out with her. With a different girl I thought she would be perfect for my friend but he wouldn't go out with her because I already had. I couldn't get him to see that we are really very different in some ways and the girl was more for him then for me. Seems like a stupid thing to care about.

Bas~Melech said...

Oh good grief! One of the best shidduch networking systems is trading friends! At least half of the young men suggested to me were people my friends went out with, who said "Not for me, maybe for you?" and some of them were very appropriate suggestions.

Besides, friend B doesn't have to know that friend A went out with him first. Friend A can just tell the shadchan that friend B might be a good match, and shadchan can start from scratch with B and leave A out of it.

G said...

That's interesting; it never struck me that a friend has never suggested a date that did not work out for him as a “good idea” for me…huh.

Scraps said...

Some of my best dates have come from friends' recommendations. Passing around is great, though I will admit it can be awkward when a good friend marries a guy you dated for awhile. But you get over it and dance at the wedding anyway cuz you're happy for her. :)

Anonymous said...

It was the big joke in my house that I test drove every boy who my sister dated, and yes she married one of them. No awkwardness with my brother in law who knows that I did him a real tovah. When I try it with my friends I get far less who are willing to try.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Next time you hear something so silly, ask them what they think people did years ago in the shtetl where there might have only been 5 or 10 single people around at any given time. I wonder if perhaps we think we are "holier" than they were?

Bas~Melech said...

In general, I have so little to do with any of my friends' husbands that I don't think it would matter in the least if I felt awkward around them. Frankly, I don't see why it should be any other way. The sanctity of the Jewish home precludes a comfortable relationship between you and someone else's husband.

G said...

"Frankly, I don't see why it should be any other way. The sanctity of the Jewish home precludes a comfortable relationship between you and someone else's husband."
It precludes you being able to have friendly relationship with another adult?

Bas~Melech said...

Yes. I don't think that men and women should have "friendly relationships." Sure, you can interact and be nice to each other, but there have to be boundaries. An underlying awkwardness can serve as quite an effective boundary when necessary.

ProfK said...

Bas Melech,

I don't agree that men and women who are not married to each other cannot have a friendship. My husband's best friend, who is like another brother to him, is also like another brother to me. The same goes with my best friend's husband. In looking at our closest chevra, I can say the same for all of us. We look at it as having a marvelous support network of people we an count on in good times and bad.

The friendships have enlarged the family without my mother's having to have had more children. When my mother was unexpectedly hospitalized at the same time that one of my kids was having surgery that network of close friends of both sexes jumped into action as both actual and mental and emotional support. I thank God all the time for having gifted me with this group of friends, and the sex of the friend doesn't matter one whit.