Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's Not "Just" Coffee

I'm trying to convey my (polite) disinterest to the so-called "shadchan," when the response comes: "Why don't you just go out for coffee?" 

Um . . . 

Firstly: Most of my dates have been coffee dates anyway. It's the go-to, not the exception.

Secondly: It makes no difference if my date will involve coffee, Coke, or dinner; my pre-date prep remains the same. It's not like "Oh, coffee? Well, I won't bother with contacts and stick with a denim skirt." 

Thirdly: For my kind, it's the unwilling introduction that is the greatest effort, not the date venue. There are plenty of people (extroverts) who enjoy meeting someone new, even if they know in advance that the other isn't for them, and have no qualms in parting ways. 

I envy them. With a flaming passion.

Me? I'm already lurching into the future. 

The best result would be "not compatible" on both sides. Yet that also has torturous downsides. 

If he's menschlach, then I would suffer through that unsureness where I know I'm not interested but feel duty-bound to go out again because hey, he's nice, and those types are as rare as hen's teeth (at least in my experience). Then I spend a sleepless night until I breathe a sigh of relief from the shadchan's apologetic call-back or email.

If he's a Star Wars villain, then I would have rather spent my evening in smelly pajamas watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I'm no masochist.

The worst possibility would be if he's interested in me, and I don't reciprocate on any level whatsoever. So he'll keep on wooing while I feel like pond scum in that I have no intention of going out again. Oh no, maybe he'll be like that guy who called the shadchan on a loop, refusing to take "no thank you" for an answer. I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to reject anyone. Why me why me why me I could have said no more firmly in the first place and avoided all this stupid stupid stupid. . .

For some of us, it's not "just" coffee.


Daniel Saunders said...

I've never been in a situation of someone I'm not interested in being interested in me, so I don't know what it's like. I imagine it would be hard. But are there really so few mentsches in the frum community? I always assumed there would be plenty.

Altie said...

"Well, I won't bother with contacts and stick with a denim skirt."
Lol so true.

I'm not envious of them, I, like you would much rather not date at all then have the possibility of getting attached to someone and then having them break it off. And why be envious of people who can't make attachments or see a future from the get go? Less painful, maybe. Maybe also less fulfilling. You might fall hard but that's not a bad thing, and for the right person you'll fall just right.

Rebecca said...

If I'm getting dressed up for a man who is dating for marriage, I expect dinner. But I'm also dating for marriage, not dinner, so if I know that this individual is not for me, why put him (much less myself) through the hassle and expense?

Coffee is for friends and 20-year-olds. Call me old-fashioned.

Princess Lea said...

DS: Perhaps to make it easier on me (by making it obvious) God ensures that a goodly number of my dates are dudes who need a schooling from their Mamas.

Altie: I'm envious in that they can keep a first meeting casual and no worries. I get anxious about the effort and expense they put in when I know it'll be pointless. Ma tells me in exasperation that these men are working, they have to eat supper anyway, and plenty don't mind a change of pace or environment—don't feel guilty! It seems my default emotion is guilt; if I don't feel it, then I get nervous. :P

I've already made my peace with taking risks. I'm willing to put my expectations on the line, and I have, and have also been knocked down. But I don't want to put someone else through the same thing, if it can be helped (that's what's being an "F" is all about, sigh).

Rebecca: I feel the same way. I heard it even from a stingy bachelor, that if a guy isn't paying for dinner, he isn't emotionally investing in this outing either. Paying for dinner makes a guy sit up straighter. Coffee doesn't demand that level of focus.

But I feel bad if I know this ain't happening, and he insists on dessert and whatnot. So I wish at those times that I was firmer with the shadchan: "He's not for me. Coffee won't change that. It's not a love potion."

Presumably, at this age, we are both gainfully employed. I invest in wardrobe, cosmetics, and face creams; he needs a decent shirt and slacks, a clean car, and nice-enough restaurant. It seems like a fair deal.

Old-fashioned rocks!