Sunday, February 17, 2008

How to Go on a Date

I went out with a guy that I met on Frumster tonight. It was a little bit of a different situation than my usual Frumster dates in that I contacted him first. I checked him out with someone that we mutually knew. His messaging skills were bad but on the phone he was lively and animated and perky. And in person he was too. He was actually much more attractive and thinner in person than he was in his picture. We had a pleasant conversation and it was a decent date. And yet I am tearing my hair out. Why?

Since I had checked him out before and he seemed to not be an ex-con or ax-murderer, he picked me up and dropped me off at my house (as opposed to meeting him somewhere). So he rings the bell, I let him in, I get my coat and we walk out to his car. When we got to his car, he did not open the car door for me. He clicked it open.

Boys, it only takes a minute and it makes such a good impression. Open the damn car door for the girl.

1. OPEN THE DAMN CAR DOOR!

He took me to a pizza place. I was wearing a longish narrow black swirly skirt, suede high heel boots, a lavender cotton sweater set and pearls. He was wearing a very nice sports jacket, an oxford and black pants. So, we were dressed. And he took me to a damn pizza place. I suggested a little inexpensive coffee bar that was only a few blocks down, but he mumbled something about it probably being noisy. He opened the door to the pizza place, walked in and basically it closed in my face. I opened the door myself and followed him in.


2. ON A FIRST DATE, GO TO SOMEWHERE A BIT NICER THAN A DAMN PIZZA PLACE!

3. HOLD OPEN THE DAMN DOOR FOR YOUR DATE!

After the date was done, he drove me home. I thanked him, etc. and we had the usual awkward date-ending convo in his car. I reached for the car door handle and he said "So do you want me to walk you to the door?" I just gave him a look. I mean what the hell kind of question is that?

4. WALK YOUR DATE TO HER DAMN DOOR WHEN THE DATE IS OVER.

This guy is over 45, by the way. Yeah.

I'm so tired of dating, I really, really am. And this was a good date. Damn. I'm never getting married.

9 comments:

Lubab No More said...

:(

Guys are clueless. Myself included... of course.

abandoning eden said...

no offense, but based on what you say here, i think your expectations are too high for a first internet-based date. And frumster works a bit differently than places like SYAS. (I'm assuming it still works more like jdate, where you initiate contacts yourself- i had a frumster profile once, many years ago...)

First internet dates will/should not be at expensive places, since 9 out of 10 will result in no second date. guys know this. First internet dates should be in places that you can talk (ie pizza place, although that coffee place you suggested sounds good. But maybe he doesn't drink coffee or it makes him sick or something...that's why i don't drink coffee.l the combo of the caffeine and the milk makes me sick the rest of the day. Maybe he was embarrassed to say that to you on a first date?).

Also, I know few if any men who open car doors for women anymore (although it is not polite to slam doors in someone face either). That's just not really standard practice anymore. And walking women to the door, what is this the 1950s? :) Not only that, but that may be construed as him trying to get in your pants or something. Not that I know how it works in religious circles, but in my irreligious circles if a dude walks you to your door, it's because he wants to be invited in 'for coffee' (code word for sex). and he asked you if you wanted to be walked to the door too! That's like 40x more polite than any internet guy i've ever dated (most didn't even pick me up, we just met somewhere and I made my way home on my own)

So yeah, i think you need to chill a bit here. It's alright to have high standards, but your disappointment here seems based on some stereotypical idea of what a date should be like, and if you keep judging your dates based on how much they conform to that model you will keep being disappointed. The model has changed, especially recently, and especially with internet-based dates. It seems to me as if you are judging this internet-based date by the standards of a 'traditional' date where you were set up by a shadchin or something, and they are just not the same kind of animal.

Why not focus on the good part- the pleasant conversation/ attractiveness part. That's a rare combo in a man. :)

Nice Jewish Guy said...

Funny, we were having this conversation at Shabbos lunch this week, amongst all us singles. Some girls really don't care about doors and stuff-- they won't care so much if a guy doesn't do it, though they like it if he does.

I always open the car door (and close it for her), and open building doors. I'll also walk her to her door. I admit I feel a little bit like a throwback when I do this, like maybe I'm overdoing it a little unnecessarily. But my dating philosophy is, you can't be too nicely dressed or too gentlemanly.

I do draw the line at pulling out her chair from the table, though.

WebGirl said...

AE,

According to your blogger profile, you're 25. When I was your age (don't you love sentences that start that way?), I used to go on first dates in jeans with a knapsack on my shoulder. Times have changed in that I'm ten plus years older than that and yes, it is way different in the frum world. In the frum world, treating a woman like a lady is important.

Trust me, I hate when a guy spends a lot of money on the first date. The coffee place I suggested was a $6-$8 date, as opposed to the $2 date and my hair-smelling-like-mozarella date that we actually had. There are plenty of cheap decent places. Also, when I was 25, I dated grad students, guys who were just starting out, etc. My date was an attorney. Even a $10 first date would have been nothing to him. As far as the coffee thing, that's what he ordered in the pizza place.

If guys have stopped opening car doors, they need to start again. When I go somewhere with even my girlfriends I open the car door for them, unless we are rushing. It's common courtesy. It's especially courteous on a date. When you are on a date, especially a first date, whether it's Frumster or a set up on whatever, put your best foot forward.

As far as walking me to the door, here's where the frum world is vastly different from the secular world. The chances of him getting any sugar that night were, well, zero. He knew that and I knew that. That wasn't even on the table. Again, it is just polite and mentschlach to make sure your date gets in okay. I think this is also where the age difference thing kicks in too. I expect my dates to act like gentlemen. I can't remember the last time a date didn't walk me to the door, until this guy.

I think we are just in different age groups and different religious communities. All the things I mentioned here are Dating 101 for my peers. Seriously, I checked with my friends and they have the same expectations.

Aside from that, I guess my point is, it doesn't take much to make a good impression and have a girl think well of you. These are all such easy things to do. Why not do them?

abandoning eden said...

Yes, I'm "only" 25 (almost 26 though! ha) but I was in the jewish dating pool for all those years you were married....and for around a year after I broke up with my ex fiance and before I moved away to grad school (and away from the frum community) I was dating frum guys in NYC. Well, MO guys, but I would consider them 'Frum". And the guys I was dating weren't guys just starting out or whatever...I was dating guys in their late 20s/early 30s who had been out there for a few years. (My very first date after I broke up with my ex fiance was with this divorced guy who had a kid who was 29... and owned his own business). I know those aren't quite as old as the guys you are dating, but I may know just a little bit about how dating works nowadays. :) Don't dismiss what I'm saying just becuase I'm younger than you. :) I spent 4 years as a single person (between ex fiance and B) soul searching and thinking about the dating scene (and I'm a family sociologist too, so I've studied it from an academic standpoint as well). And I don't see why being older, and this dude having money, means you need a big fancy expensive date...he probably just wanted to keep things casual for a first date.

I guess what it comes down to, is that I'm saying a) don't make assumptions about why this dude is acting the way he did, he may have reasons that you don't know about (benefit of the doubt! maybe he was nervous and forgot to open the door for you, and is kicking himself about it right now!) and b) your expectations are very gender specific, and traditional, and there are some guys out there who have more modern views about gender roles. Even frum guys! And it may be better off for you in the long run if you go for those types of guys- they (for instance) will probably be more inclined to letting you control finances and stuff so that you don't end up with no savings like with your ex :) also c) sounds like apart from these expectations, your date went well. Why not give him another chance, and maybe years from now you can kid each other about how he was so nervous on the first date he accidentally shut a door in your face. :)

oh and I guess also D) this may be harsh, but you say you want to get married soon, and yet it seems like you are rejecting this guy for some superficial reasons. So what if he doens't walk you to the door? Does walking you to the door mean he will be a good husband? Does not walking you to the door mean he will be a bad husband? What exactly is it that you are determining about these guys from these things that you are judging them on? Is what you are looking for in a husband is that he will open doors for you and take you fancy places, or that he will be able to have a conversation with you and you can get along with him and he's not crazy/irresponsible, and all the other things we look for in guys? It's ok if you are looking for someone who will treat you like a princess or whatever, but just make sure that's what you are actually looking for, and that you're not passing over something potentially good for reasons that don't actually matter in the long run.

On the other hand, if these reasons are your excuse for not goiing out with someone you didn't really feel that good about/attracted to, then by all means, use your excuse :)

WebGirl said...

AE,

The other place I suggested wasn't fancy or expensive, just more decent than a crappy pizza store. It was like a Starbucks kinda place, but kosher. And I would TOTALLY go out with this guy again. No question. The things that bother me about him are all minor and fixable with a little etiquette lesson, once we are a little more comfortable with each other. I've gone out with guys who hold their forks like a shovel and stick their hands inside their shirts to scratch, and they've gotten repeat dates too.

The frustration that I'm expressing in this post (and other ones like this) are why, at this stage of the game, the frum guys whom I date who are in their forties still don't have their acts together.

And on the rest, well, we'll have to just agree to disagree. :)

abandoning eden said...

ahh. well in that regard, these are guys that are single in their 40s...maybe the ones who knew to open the door for their dates got married earlier? (that's what sociologists would call a "selection effect"; due to selection into marriage, people who did not select into marriage yet are going to be worse at things that get them married/second dates)

hesh said...

Hey the last date I was on, I waited in my car because I could not find a place to park. Then when she came I hopped in before her, and one of the doors we walked in was one of those awkward hold your hand above her as she walks in- so I just walked in.

I guess I plead dirty hippie, does that count?

I may start doing the car door thing, though I feel like a moron doing it.

RE said...

"4. WALK YOUR DATE TO HER DAMN DOOR WHEN THE DATE IS OVER."

I LOVE it - great post. I can't, in good conscience, agree to a second date when the guy drove off without even pretending to care whether I even made it inside the building. What if I forgot my key? What if I got attacked by a bear?

Some women want to marry a doctor, some want one that will walk them to the freakin' door. Is that too much to ask for?