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Sep 5, 2011

Shall I Make Thee Swoon...

I made an interesting observation over the summer (see the end of this post), namely that a lot of women will decide on a guy based on how she feels for him, despite/irrespective of his character. At the same time, how she feels about him is also related to his character. It reminds me of the impression I've gotten from Shidduch dating and some of the limitations I've experienced.

My summer recap got me thinking about my personality and character coming across as "nice" and inhibited in comparison to how I know myself and how others know me. Perhaps it's time to reflect again on my dating strategy, and how I feel I come across in shidduch dating.

I find myself creative, the kind of person who sees many things through the eyes of a child. I'd love to go to the park on a date and be able to hang around on the jungle-gym, to climb higher on a pair of swings, to play in a sand box making sand castles. I think that biking down the river is a blast, that arts and crafts can open a world of imagination, and that impromptu puppet shows with hand-made sock puppets can be hilarious. But none of these things are options -in my mind -when I'm set up with a woman through the Shidduch system.

At least, not until later. But those parts of me are the ones that bring excitement and connect in unique ways -in ways that show I'm the kind of guy who will, after being married for ten years, still chase her around the house, grab her foot and draw a smiley face down there, just for fun. (Of course, it's also about finding someone who will be receptive to my playful nature.)

It's easy to flirt -to be playful, uninhibited, humorous and teasing -when making sock puppets, or running around a playground, or the like. But at coffee shops and book stores I just don't feel it...

Maybe it's time to just go "Spanish Buzz" on a date:


  1. I think your creative and playful side is something that you can (and should) bring out as the relationship progresses--you don't have to wait to be married or nearly engaged to pull out some "tricks" from your "hat".

    Even if you don't meet someone through the shidduch system, there is a still a sense of progression in the relationship. The bookstores and coffee shops are only the first dates, and even in those, you can be creative. I think there is no generic guide or way because every relationship and couple is unique. As you meet each woman, you will open up differently and she will be privileged to see certain parts and dimensions of you, which you might have not shown others.

    p.s. I love that clip of Spanish Buzz! Its hysterical, also because if you speak/know Spanish, the Spanish accent (from Spain not South America) sounds really funny. Watch his eyes and facial expressions when they are dancing--they are the best part!

  2. Well, maybe you should reserve Spanish Buzz for the fifth date so she doesn't freak out that she may have an over-amorous stalker.

    I really have to see Toy Story 3.

  3. @ ZP: While it's true every relationship progresses, not every relationship has the chance to progress.

    That's the idea here -without an emotional hook-point, my experience has shown me that the relationship doesn't necessarily even get the opportunity to progress.

    While an emotional hook-point can be many things, being too serious, formal, or pressured (as opposed to having a light-hearted side) can definitely put a damper on things, to the point of squelching a potential spark before it has the chance to grow.

  4. So when I first read your comment I don't think I understood what you meant. But then I thought about you said and I think I get it...

    I wonder how many guys I haven't even given a chance to show me a different side of them. I guess you are right. You have to get past a certain point in order to open up more/show a different side. I mean, I like to think of myself as good with people and I can usually tell/bring out the personality of the person I'm with, but I'm sure I've even done that.

    I guess in the beginning stages of any relationship, you are basing it on different criteria and if it does get past that, you might just be privileged to see a different aspect of the person...perhaps...

    I've mentioned it on different posts/comments, but its about finding a balance between opening up in order to give yourself the chance to find that person but at the same time opening up has its "risks" so you don't want to invest emotionally into something, without knowing where its leading. I think that is why people are hesitant to "open up" or give too much of yourself, without there being an "emotional hook point" or what I prefer to call a "connection".

  5. I have this problem:

    At a certain point, the "real you" starts to feel fake.

    When I've told the same Most-Awesome-Summer-Job-Ever story on 5 different dates to 5 different people, it stops feeling like I'm sharing an important part of myself, and starts feeling like I'm just putting on a show. I begin to hoard my personal stories, so as not to cheapen them, so that when the right person comes along I'll still have them fresh and ready to share. But my date sees a girl who isn't in the mood to talk about anything more than the weather.

    Is there a solution? I'm not sure, I'm still working that one out. But sock-puppets might just do the trick.

  6. I know a lot of people who don't tell many stories when they date, they hold onto them. And you're right, those people seem more reserved, at the very least. Sometimes even cold.

    But I look at it this way: every time I tell a story, it's a bit of me I share, and how the other person reacts says volumes about them. The stories are mine, but the fun and the connection comes through their responses, reactions and the interactions that come from them.

    In my experience, as long as I don't have an expectation for how I want the other person to react, I don't lose my sense of self. If I do expect them to react a certain way, then it begins to feel like "canned material."

    It's all about being open and receptive -perhaps even a bit playful. Having expectations or holding onto assumptions (or telling the story for a reaction) can put pressure or lead to disappointment and frustration (or just a "meh" experience), which doesn't really add anything to the date.

    And sock-puppets always do the trick. They're awesome like that. :P