Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why Should Men Pay For Women On A Date?

Over on Frum Satire, in the comments of they are discussing why a man should pay for a woman.

How about you're paying for all that time we have to take to get ready for the date. We all know that men expect women to doll up and put that crap on our face just for them otherwise they say that we didn't put in enough effort and we must not be interested. I have been told explicitly that I HAVE to wear that crap on my face on a date.

Well the same is true of men paying for a woman. If a man doesn't pay for me, I figure he's not that interested in me. In fact, if a man wants to just take me to a bar and get me drunk on the first date-as they did before I was Jewish, I conclude he only wants sex and not a relationship or marriage.

Now this is why there's a whole problem with the shidduch system. If you are going out with someone you haven't already met, a woman like myself who doesn't wear make up and doll up except for rare occasions, maybe special occasions but, sometimes just because I haven't in a while and I feel like it. Generally, though, I don't want to put that crap on my face for some guy I don't know and I probably won't end up liking. Hell, I really don't even want to exert the effort to get out of my pajamas and leave the house.

The same holds true for men. Men don't want to want pay for someone they don't know and they might not like. One guy told me he would rather pay $100 to a prostitute for sex than pay $10 towards a date. Why? Well, it's a sure thing. Now, not all men are like this.

Now that right there is the problem with the shidduch system. I think asking men to pay for a date that they didn't really choose to ask out is asking a lot of them. Yet the system that's in place doesn't want men going out and finding their spouse. The problem with that, though, is that outside the shidduch system, is that the number of men looking for sex instead of a spouse increases.

On the other hand, there is an economic study that shows when someone has too much choice, they don't choose. Whereas, when a person has just the right number of choices, they make a decision and they purchase. Therefore, perhaps the solution is for all shadchans to specialize in a certain type and age bracket. They they would throw events for the parties that are already compatible. They would pick out 10 men and ten women who are all about the same hashkafah and the same age bracket. After such, they would follow up. I would actually rather put that crap on my face for an event where I would meet 10 suitable men over a date with one guy that I've never met and is he really even interested in me? After all, if the guy just thinks it's cool to go out with a convert and grill me about how do I feel about bishul akum and other stuff and he's not going to give me a chance, why should *I* bother putting that crap on my face?


  1. You definitely make some interest points here, and I empathize more with the woman-side of the equation that you present. I don't necessarily see why the guy within the system has such a reason to gripe about paying.

    First, he's usually approached before her, and therefore gives the go ahead that he's interested before she ever hears about it. If he's smart about his dating practice, he'll find out enough about her by doing some research and talking to people to know if it's even ball-park enough to accept the idea.

    Point two is that it seems guys are the ones who choose the dating venue, if he's complaining about paying for an expensive restaurant - so don't go to an expensive restaurant in the first place. There are plenty of cheap/free first date ideas, and I think it's generally a wise thing not to spend a lot of money on a first date. The uncertainty factor going into that initial meeting should lead to a more thought-out plan and not a pain in the wallet.

    A third point, which is more of a hashkafic perspective is that chazal say in Kiddushin that it's the guy's job to look for a wife. He's the seeker and therefore the burden is on him to make the effort, which includes the monetary component. I agree that dates aren't always a sure thing (having gone out on two recent dates of that nature), but one has to realize the nature of the system and not gripe about it because he decides to make it that much more difficult for himself.

    And they do have those sort of speed-dating events where you meet a bunch of people and then talk to the organizers about who you found interesting - after which a date may result. YUConnects/Saw You At Sinai had one recently, and where are others as well. I haven't tried one out myself, but I hear they're fun and can be productive.

  2. The problem is that everything is geared towards the 18 to 25 crowd. I haven't seen any speed dating, or any events even, for the 30 to 45 age bracket. Actually, I see them occasionally but, they are either on/right after Shabbos in Brooklyn and I still live in Queens or they are $200 Shabbatons in a hotel. I'm 34 looking for a guy between 40 and 45. So, why should I go to the up to 35 events. There was one the other day for 35+ but, I had an exam the next day.

  3. Another problem is when a man accepts a date with a convert he doesn't want to date. He's just curious and wants to grill her (ok, me) because he has some sort of ax to grind and thinks that converts couldn't possibly deserve to be Jewish. This happened to me and it pissed me off. Later, I even discovered it was a cousin of an acquaintance of mine. She told me he said I was not on his level. Whatever that means when by his own admission he doesn't make a habit of asking FFB dates how they feel about bishul akum. Besides which, a person may know a principle but not the name for it. To me, it was bishul ah-koom. I didn't know it was bishul Ack-um. I'd have rather just called it, "the gentile can't light the flame thingy," as I often did.

  4. To my knowledge, the pronunciation is "Bishul ah-koom" emphasis on the last syllable, as most general words in Hebrew - although Ah-koom is actually a "roshei teivos" or acronym of sorts that stands for "Avodas Kochavim U'mazalos" - "the worship of the stars and constellations").

    The one event that I was referring to was in fact geared toward the older single crowd - I in fact would barely have fit in at 23 as the minimum age allowed.

    However, check these out: there are several events for the 30s and 40's age range, I can't tell you much about the locations (not being a local), and a lot of them (with the exception of the aforementioned hotel shindigs) are under $40. There's a shabbaton in Baltimore for that age range 34-54 Friday, December 25, 2009 to Sunday, December 27, 2009 that features home hospitality and a bus ride to Baltimore can be $20 or lower if you book early on a mega-bus or whatever. If you haven't used SYAS, I say check that out as well.

    Having several converts for friends (including an entire family in my hometown), I can say that is an awful attitude expressed by those people you've met. Maybe you need to find a nice out-of-towner who is more open minded and accepting...

  5. Well, when I was converting, I learned the principle and called it, "the gentile light don't light the flame thingy." I only later saw "bishul akum" in print. Because I saw it in print, I was pronouncing it in my head in such a manner. When I discussed this with a rabbi, he said that learning full time doesn't mean the guy knows a lot of practical halachah. However, this doesn't necessarily stop the men from thinking they know everything. The fact of the matter is that this guy was indeed acting like, "I know more than you," and "I'm better than you," the whole date." If what the man wanted was some bais yaakov seminary type, he shouldn't have accepted a date with me in the first place. No matter what I said, he was going to find something wrong with it. I find that Orthodox Jewish dating is just as bad as secular dating which is why I'm not doing it. Maybe in two or three years, I'll try dating again.

  6. why wait so long? Try the events I linked to, it may be of help being in a bigger social scene instead of one-on-one dating - exactly what you mentioned you wanted. It's an entirely different system, it couldn't hurt to check it out.

  7. Because those are for younger than my age bracket and quite honestly, I don't think I can deal with dating. I find it to be off-the-charts stressful. I don't make enough money or have a fancy sounding title. Nowadays, people don't look for someone with whom they will be happy. They look for someone they can brag about AND make them happy-so much pressure.