Sex & Love

The Non-Date Date

In a society with any intermingling of the sexes, there is bound to be some confusion amongst those of perceived sexual compatibility.  Be it our natural instincts to attempt to mate, our environment (“Jewish 20’s and 30’s” is vaguely concealed … Read More

By / January 27, 2009

In a society with any intermingling of the sexes, there is bound to be some confusion amongst those of perceived sexual compatibility.  Be it our natural instincts to attempt to mate, our environment (“Jewish 20’s and 30’s” is vaguely concealed code for “singles”) or maybe it is that Jewish mother nagging you in the back of your mind to “go out and meet that nice Jewish Girl” – but lets face it, we sometimes misinterpret our interactions with others. Say you meet someone interesting at a party and find out you two have interesting stuff in common – but one of you is running out the door.   You exchange contact info so later you suggest going to a new dive bar with good food or some other sort of entertainment.  You are pretty sure you are going to have a great time, but you haven’t really done your homework because early in the evening s/he mentions, “the person I am dating.”  Well, at least s/he was honest. To perhaps avoid such dating missteps, I’ve picked up on a pattern of conversation I’ve observed at those Jewish 20’s and 30’s events.  In my experience, I’ll get approached by some guy who asks some introductory information – typically touching on what I do and possibly where I live.  After establishing some sort of vague compatibility, there might be a few more probing questions in effort to establish if there is a boyfriend or not.  If I don’t mention anything to the contrary, I would typically find myself being asked out for coffee or dinner – with the presumption that since I’m not dating anyone else, I should go on a date with them.  It used to happen so formulaically I used to wonder if they taught it in Day Schools. But sometimes the intent of the interaction is far less mutually understood.  Like when you are getting to know someone with whom you share a lot of common friends.  You’ve run into this person on several occasions, had a meal or a drink with the group, and eventually you start to correspond through email.  It only seems natural that you would start hanging out with this person in far more intimate settings – like hanging out while he shows his apartment to potential roommates.  Hey, both of you are single and attractive and in the absence of any clear definition of your relationship.  So doesn’t it make sense that while the two of you are sitting on his sofa and you watch him stroke his Russian Blue you can’t help but wonder if that is the only kitty he’d like to be petting? Obviously the moral of this story is that communication is the key to any relationship.  But even the best communicators can get caught in a cycle of non-dates or moments of wishful thinking that the hot rabbinical student you get together with on occasion wanted more than just to talk about tzitzis.