Dating Today

I’m Being Used

I have always said that shadchanim should do all in their power to help and to assist singles....

Read more: I’m Being Used

If you are a longtime reader of this column, you know of all the dating experiences I have had while dating. There were many times that I wished I had stayed home and had watched Friends (yes, there were scripted sitcoms before reality TV) than to have gone out on a date with someone whom I never should have been redt to, let alone gone out with. When I got home, I complained to my parents: “How could ______ think that this guy would be what I’m looking for! Does this mean that they think so little of me?” But my parents would say that I can always learn from an experience, and it brings me closer to my bashert. I would reluctantly agree with them because I knew it was true. Had I not gone out with all the fellows I went out with, I wouldn’t be able to relate to people with dating issues or be qualified to write a book or this column. So, it all works out in the end.

My friends were surprised that I chose the field of Social Work and not another field. They said that I am the type of person who liked to cut to the chase and get to the point right away. I can’t stand when people make excuses or don’t own up to what they have done. I told them that I was the new type of social worker. Truth be told, in the beginning of my career I was assigned cases of clients who needed a kick in the pants. I was assigned clients who wanted to change their situation but didn’t know how to go about doing so. I wasn’t the social worker to cry with and who would hold your hand, nodding at everything and saying, “That must have been so hard for you.” I was empathetic and sympathetic to clients, but right after the boo-hooing, we got down to business.

I am not the type of person to not follow my own advice. A few weeks ago, I wrote how adults should handle their own dating life and not have their mommies or anyone else managing their dating life because they don’t want to be “bothered.” About a week after that article was published, the following events occurred.

It’s true that sometimes there is a gap between generations. My nieces and nephews can’t understand how their mother and I would endure long car trips without iPod, DVD players, or phones to occupy our time. I often hear, “Your childhood was sad.” It wasn’t sad by any account – but with all the gadgets and gizmos that are now common for children of all ages to have, they can’t imagine life without them. So, too, there is a gap in understanding the way we go about dating in today’s world. In old movies and TV shows, dating would be depicted as sitting in a parlor with or without a chaperone to ensure that everything is above board and there isn’t any hanky-panky afloat. In today’s world, it’s very common to go out and have a fun-filled time on a date, depending on the venue you are at. We don’t have to sit all stiff in a living room or on a park bench making civilized conversation. We can go ice skating, to the movies, a baseball game, shoot pool, play miniature golf, painting… But alas some of the older generation can’t understand how two people can get to know each other if they aren’t always sitting face to face and talking.

I have always said that shadchanim should do all in their power to help and to assist singles. They shouldn’t insult or ignore… anyone. After all, they chose to be a shadchan. They chose to help singles. They may think they know what is best for the single, hence they give unsolicited advice - but they should not be a shadchan if they have the goal of furthering their own agenda. Below is a letter written by a young man who feels used by a shadchan. Instead of doing all she can to set up this fellow, she asked for a “favor” – and then never returned his calls after the outcome of the favor didn’t go according to the plan.

I once wrote that I used to listen to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” before attending a singles event. It would rev me up and put me in the mood to go out there and mix and mingle with men that I probably would not want to date (I was just being honest with myself, but still I was trying to get myself in the right mindset). Many athletes listen to music to get them psyched up before a game, a match, or a race. I remember watching the Summer Olympics and there was Michael Phelps sitting with his headphones on, getting “in the zone” just moments before he had to swim in a race. People listen to music in order to put themselves in the right mindset for whatever they have to do, and to focus. It’s no secret that music can set the mood or change someone’s mood.

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