October 11, 2016
If you’re Jewish, like I am, then you know that the most sacred time of the year, the High Holidays, is upon us. (It’s a bit later than usual this year because of the extra month added to the calendar this year. It’s somewhat like our Leap Year but much more intense!) And if you’re not Jewish, the advice I’m about to give applies to you, too, of course… and you don’t even have to fast on Yom Kippur tomorrow!
The high holidays are all about welcoming in a sweet new year and then repenting for our sins, eating apples and honey and then fasting for a day. It’s about starting on a new foot and then casting our bad deeds in the water at Tashlich, one small piece of stale rye crust at a time. What does this have to do with dating? I’d venture to say that those of us who are on the market have committed a sin or two in the field of dating. True—the Ten Commandments don’t discuss the ethics of ending a bad date (I do, of course), but in this day and age, we’re more likely to commit a dating sin than bear false witness against our neighbor… whatever that even means. Am I right?
So, let’s really think about it this year. What dating sins have we committed, and can we rectify them? Some common sins (this seems too strong of a word—let’s call them “dins” for dating + sins) are:
Din #1: The last-minute cancel and never reschedule
You have a date planned that you’re just feeling “meh” about. You’re tired. The last thing you want is to change out of your too-loose-to-show-other-people red sweatpants. So, you cancel. Do you propose another date? No. Next time, cancel with the truth, or schedule another date at the time you’re canceling.
Din #2: Last-minute canceling via text
This is an addendum to Din #1. Text is never an appropriate way to cancel a date within, say, four hours of the date itself. If you have someone’s number, please have the courtesy to call and make sure the person you’re canceling on gets the message (a voicemail counts). If your date doesn’t respond, then you can follow up with a text. Your time is not more valuable than someone else’s.
Din #3: Shutting down in the first five minutes
Sometimes you walk into a date and just know that this person’s not for you. That’s okay. But, completely shutting down, making the other person feel like he or she is talking to a piece of broccoli is not the answer. Instead, change your mindset. Can I learn something from this person? Might this person be a business contact? Maybe a friend is a good fit for this person instead? If you’re going to be sitting there anyway, you might as well get something out of it.
Din #4: Deciding you’re not interested and never telling the other person (aka ghosting)
It’s okay if you’re not interested in someone anymore after a few dates. It happens. That’s what dating is all about. But if you’ve gone on more than one date with a person and decided that he or she isn’t for you (of if you’ve gone on just one date but the other person expressed interest in meeting again), dropping off the face of the earth is one big din. It doesn’t require much, just a simple email or text saying something like, “Thanks again for a fun date/couple dates. Unfortunately, I’m just not feeling the chemistry/connection I’m looking for, but I wish you all the best!” It’s not a crime to lose interest in someone. But, the mature thing to do is to end it on a positive note. Plus, if you run into this person later, she won’t have to whisper behind your back that you’re the guy or gal who snubbed her.
No one’s perfect, and I’m sure we’ve all committed one or more of these dins, but let’s take a moment to think about how we can improve the dating world this year, one “din” at a time.
Feel free to use the comments section to add any other dating sins you’ve encountered.
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