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Feb 20, 2012

Frum Dating from the Previously Un-Frum Male

I've had a couple of fascinating conversations with guys over the past couple months. These guys are worldly yet sweet, confident yet sensitive and definitely willing to make a move, but have found themselves frustrated with dating in the frum world. I acknowledge that they are a small drop in the pool of dating and not every woman fits into their experiences. Still, their experiences speak to a general impression and a composite experience, so I present here what I've gleaned from our talks...

-Can be more direct
-Not as quickly/negatively judged by women
-Dating was easier
-More relaxed, less pressure
-Less immediate obsession with marriage
-Less pressure on/between dates
-Actually took time to explore each other, build chemistry/attraction and bond over mutually interesting activities
-People were not "boxed in" or categorized, but more accepted as individuals
-Dating is a process of getting to know each other, sharing common interests, values, goals
-Dating was fun

-Lots of rules, guidelines and protocols
-Have to "be nice" and "take her out" very formally which, ironically, isn't enough to qualify for additional dates, but feels restrictive in terms of a guy being himself
-Feeling judged, often very early on (and often for "being nice" and "following protocol")
-Conflicting expectations, often not communicated or unclear (eg. thinking "I like to talk in between dates," or "I like to know immediately if he wants to go out again" without saying anything)
-Full of snap-decisions based on little information and/or incomplete impressions
-Difficult to have more than a few dates with one woman
-Underlying, unspoken pressure and obsession relating everything he says/does to marriage
-Nixed early on, without actually getting to know the woman or become comfortable enough to show who they are
-They are often "boxed in" or categorized (or the attempt is made, rather judgmentally), without paying attention to their individual characters
-Dating is about obsessing over marriageable traits, actions and words
-Dating is an exhausting, draining and generally underwhelming experience

I'd very much like to hear any thoughts or experiences y'all have to share...

1 comment:

  1. Seems to me like regular dating (unfrum dating is a misnomer imo, even in the frum community) was much more laid back if only because you were trying to spend time with the person. That's what it boils down to. I asked her out because I found her interesting.

    Whereas the shidduch world is so messed up right now specifically because you don't go out with someone interesting to you, you go out with someone who meets various qualifications you've previously determined. Something emotional becomes such a mental calculation, many people drop the emotional aspect all together. Would myself and a given girl find each other very interesting? Sure, but we'll never go out because she won't give a guy a chance if he is (fill in minor reason here).

    That's essentially the problem: Minor reasons that no one cares about when they actually date are made to be front and center. How well you interact is only measured after you pass the paper test, not before as in regular dating.