Friday, July 11, 2008

Complimenting dates

A few weeks ago Wolf discussed the issue of guys complimenting their dates. I read the two letters he referred to (in the Jewish Press and the Yated) and I thought the girls were nuts. I cannot fathom why a girl would reject a guy for complimenting her, especially on the 4th/5th date. However, I must be unique (they'd say I was desperate or had low self-esteem) because I like being complimented. Obviously if a guy whistles and says "wow, you're hot" at any point before its obviously at a comfortable stage, I'd be pissed, but generally, I cannot imagine getting annoyed or rejecting a guy for complimenting me.

Anyway, someone wrote a response to the guy who was rejected becuase he complimented his date. The response absolutely irritated me. This guy wrote an entire letter on how his therapist wanted him to respond to all the crazy issues going on in the Yated. After reading his response, I decided I needed to seek therapy. Maybe someone would remind me why I choose to remain frum. Anyway, here is the portion about the complimenting dates:

Last, but surely not least, was the letter by Z.F. who is upset about being dropped by a girl like a hot potato. He claims that although he did say something for which he definitely should have been dropped like said potato, it was not his fault, because the shadchan gave him bad advice. He is also upset that the girl did not say straight out why she dropped him.

Now, aout the girl not giving a reason, I cannot comment. We do not konw all the particulars of the case, so we would have to leave it for the Chinuch Roundtable, whose esteemed members are called upon each week to answer questions using unbelievableperceptiveness, as so little particulars are given. It might have been better for the girl to say exactly why she was saying no, but perhaps she had her reasons.

I do, however, wish to congratulate the girl with all my heart! It is about time that a Jewish girl had the pride and self-worth to say no to being treated badly. It is about time for our daughters to be brought home from dates at normal hours and to be treated like the bnos Yisroel they are. It is sad that girls are so desperate for shidduchim that they swallow being treated badly because they are afraid to be left without a shidduch.

He told her she looked nice. Seriously. WTH is wrong with these people? Is a girl desperate because she likes being complimented by the guy she's dating? Or is she desparate only if she gets engaged solely because his mommy told him to propose.

Rav Yosef Rosenblum specifically said that it is Hashem who takes care of our problems, and if He would see us display more basic Jewish values in the way we date, He would help us with our shidduch issue. As such, the title of last week's letter, "Causing the Shidduch Crisis" was somewhat ironic. The cause, as per stated Daas torah, is acting the way this boy said he acted, not the girl for calling him out.

Dating is no exemption from acting with the propriety and values we are all taught and (hopefully) brought up with. If a boy does not konw how to act comfortably with the opposite gender without ating loose, he is not any kind of Ben Torah, that's for sure. The same goes for girls, who can be guilty of this as well.

Seriously, this is about the time I realized I need to see a therapist. If telling a girl she looks nice makes a guy 'loose' I need serious mental reevaluation. My entire mindset is twisted into thinking that if he is a gentleman he probably WOULD compliment his date, especially by the fourth date in a world where getting enaged on date 6/7 is the norm.

We are, very sadly, experiencing a breakdown of some hallowed values in today's dating scene, and it is therefore all the more heartening to read of a girl who had the self-esteem and confidence to stand up for herself. Yes, there are many "well-meaning eitza gebbers" who tell boys and girls all sorts of notions taht they are "supposed" to do or say at any given time of the dating or engagement period. There is no excuse to listen to such people. IF one does, then he or she displays extreme lack of judgment, and that alone can be reason enough to say no.

Oy vey. I cannot fathom what kind of wacko this guy is. I would think a girl has low self-esteem if she thinks the guy is a perv for thinking she's pretty. A guy is allowed to think his date is pretty. He should think his date is pretty. Its a good sign there would be a second date.

*******

This letter really made me nuts. I cannot imagine getting engaged to a guy not comfortable enough to compliment me and vice versa. I just cannot understand the logic behind this. I cannot imagine why girls have low self-esteem because they actually LIKE being complimented.

41 comments:

David said...

Never-- but NEVER-- compliment a girl on a date! If she thinks you're attracted to her, she'll start to take you for granted, and that will establish the dynamic for the rest of your (miserable) relationship. If a bochur really wants to impress a girl on a date, he should look at her once, roll his eyes piously to heaven, and cry out "Oy! Why do I always get stuck with the ugly ones?!" In between discussing how much she'll have to earn to support him while he's learning, he should throw in comments like "was your nose always like that, or were you in a car accident?" or "You know, a good plastic surgeon might be able to fix some of that." Another great line is, "I can't help but notice that your breasts are uneven; will you still be able to nurse?" No woman could possibly resist this.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

haha, I agree with david here! You're sort of letting down your guard if she knows that you think she's hot (and visa-versa).

My personal take: It's also not such a good idea to 'talk about appearances' because 1. It shows that's all you're thinking about! And 2. My personal belief is that if if it does, appearance shouldn't be 'said' to play such a major role in interpersonal-interaction. ..i.e.- and what if she's not pretty? Tell her that she's not, say goodbye and drive her home? It's sort of a touchy issue in a way for everyone and saying something about it doesn't help anything. ..anyway, if they both agreed to so many dates that proves something in itself, not to mention you can kind of see in someone's face if they're interested in you 'in that way'...

frustrated frummie said...

i agree with what u have to say david, although i do agree with fs as well. of course girls love to be complimented, however some girls (ahem...to fs) obviously feel repulsed by the thought of a guy looking at any part of them other than their face. i have a friend who once told me she broke up with a guy because on their 3rd date he said to her that he like her sweater, this made her think that he was looking at her breasts instead of just noticing her wearing something pretty...of course by the girl thinking this way she is falling into thinking that all men are stereotypical and only think of one thing, when in all actuality all he was trying to do in my opinion was just compliment her regardless of what or where it was...

mlevin said...

frustrated frummie - No All guys do think about the same thing (unless they gay) and then they think about the other thing.

None-the-less rejecting a guy just because he complimented you is rediculous. Does one want to end up with gay husband? Or does one wants to marry someone who is totally unaware of them? I mean men become unaware of their wives after years of marriage, but do you want him to not be aware in the beginning?

David said...

"i have a friend who ...broke up with a guy because on their 3rd date he said to her that he like her sweater, this made her think that he was looking at her breasts...of course by the girl thinking this way she is falling into thinking that all men are stereotypical and only think of one thing..."

FF-- there's a word for men who don't like breasts: "homosexual." Frankly, if she thought that he made it to the 3d date WITHOUT noticing her breasts, that would have been a better excuse to dump him.

Jersey said...

I don't get why she dumped him. If he noticed she was pretty, he was probably wearing those magic sunglasses that block out all the other girls...

frustrated frummie said...

the friend that i was talking about is extremely frum and the thought of a guy looking at her body is such a repulsive thought to her...i went out with a guy that on the 2nd day told me he liked the skirt i was wearing and i really enjoyed the fact that he noticed and mentioned it to me as well...needless to say we dated for a couple of months and he ended up being stupid and did something not normal but that is for another post.

Moshe said...

FF, does your friend know where babies come from? I think it's about time someone told her.

"Okay, okay, wait, here's another one. Why do women have boobs? So you got something to look at while you're talking to them."
- Peter Griffin (Family Guy)

And that's especially true if a guy is on a date with some psycho BY girl.

frumpunk said...

I hold its not tzniyus to know you're on a date until after you're married. Some rabbanim hold that if you're of a very high level you may even lift your eyes upward to get a glimpse of your date, but its rare to find someone who will pasken that for you.

frustrated frummie said...

i'm almost completely positive that she knows where babies come from and how they are made and all of that but she has still led a very sheltered life, and to her its completely not tznius...and i cant count the times that i have been on a date and was talking to the guy and saw him looking at my breasts, but unlike her i def. would not break up with a guy for doing that at least i havent done so yet....

frumskeptic said...

FF: If he were constantly staring at ur breasts, I'm pretty sure you would break up with him. You (like me) probably just see the guys look at you while they think you aren't looking, or for just a few seconds. U can't break up with him for that. You may as well go lesbo. :). however, if he oggles you like those construction workers who tend to make every female i know truly sick to their stomachs, he totally deserves to be broken up with.

David said...

Perhaps the real problem is that there seems to be no middle ground. I suppose we could all agree that a fellow who spends an entire evening addressing all of his remarks to his date's chest is a creep. That said, I do not think that merely taking discreet note of a woman's chest is so awful. Like anything else-- presumably, the comment "I think your mom is very nice" would be a reasonable comment on a date, whereas spending an entire evening praising one's date's mother might possibly be considered a little bit wierd.

Moshe said...

Likewise, saying "Your mom is hot. Does she work out?" is a bit weird. ;-)

frustrated frummie said...

fs: i completely agree with u!!! no he wasn't oogling although i'm not sure how long he was looking but it was long enough for me to see no worries i didnt mention a thing to him, i just kept going on with the date, so that he would not be embaressed

as for david, and moshe: would it be weird to have a conversation with ur date because he said that your mom is a "cool mom"? (mind u she said this first but he continued it on the date)

Moshe said...

If she is, why not.
I told FS her parents are awesome, she thought I was kidding.

DYS said...

Maybe someone would remind me why I choose to remain frum.

Because all the things you complain about have nothing to do with keeping Torah uMitzvot. They are silly social constructs concocted by the contemporary yeshivish world. Real shmirat hamitzvot is easily done without all the nonsense dreamed up in Brooklyn.

I've said it before & I'll say it again - FS, you need to eventually get out of NY and move somewhere where frumkeit isn't bogged down in silly fake rules.

DYS said...

If a guy has sense and says to her "you look lovely tonight", I don't see the problem.

If he raves for ten minutes about how beautiful she is when they're still early in dating, I can understand why a girl might find that uncomfortable.

DYS said...

i have a friend who once told me she broke up with a guy because on their 3rd date he said to her that he like her sweater, this made her think that he was looking at her breasts instead of just noticing her wearing something pretty

Someone pointed out to me that many of the teenage Bais Yaakov girls in places like Brooklyn walk slighly hunched over these days, as if to hide their figures. If this is true, it's bad for 2 reasons. One, they are being taught to be ashamed of their bodies (a girl can have tzniyut without shame) and two, it's really bad for their posture and for skeletal health.

Is this something that's being taught in the schools?

ProfK said...

Sorry if my age is showing, but I really believe that the "olden days" were a lot better. Boys complimented girls and girls complimented boys. Boys learned how to ogle their dates' anatomy with some finesse and yes girls, I won't believe you if you tell me that you don't do some ogling yourself.
Had my husband not given me some compliments when we were dating I would have dropped him as not taking the type of personal interest in me that signalled things were going somewhere. The guy who has had no practice in complimenting someone is not going to get married and suddenly discover a desire/need to do so.

frumskeptic said...

DYS: leaving brooklyn is not as easy as it sounds. It is super convenient to live in this city.

ProfK: As a girl, I definitely will not deny that I do some ogling myself. :).

The Babysitter said...

Recently Yael Respler spoke at a shidduch meeting, I wasn't there, so I don't know the whole thing, but I heard she said complimenting dates is good. She even does practice sessions with people who have a hard time dating and she makes believe she's the date and teaches them how to act, I find it hard to imagine but supposedly it works and a girl got engaged after that.

The Babysitter said...

another thing: compliment doesn't only have to be about looks. Actually compliments other than ones about looks are so much better, it shows you are paying attention to what the person is saying, you know stuff about them to compliment them on. While looks is just staring you in the face, there's no hard work that goes into figuring that out. I think compliments regarding looks shouldn't be mentioned until its later on, so its used to show there is something there. But in the beginning I feel its inappropriate and distracts you from being better able to get to know the person and may make some people uncomfortable.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: Girls fall in love with what they hear, guys with what they see.

IF a guy doesnt think she looks good, he can go oout on 15 dates, he still wont get anywhere, even if she's the smartest, most interesting, and amzing person.

Similarly, if a girl doesn't get any feedback on looks, she's not gonna be very happy. I understand that frum girls here are rejecting guys specifically for this reason, but how many of these frum girls are actually getting married to guys htey actually have things in common with? MOst of these marraiges amongst the non-complimenters are practically arranged. And this just proves that these people have ridiculous marraiges.

If a guy doesn't pay attention to looks, he's only going to lead her on.

The Babysitter said...

Interesting, I never thought of it that way.

But does it come given at one point that the guy likes her looks if he's been going out with her for a long time and is considering marrying her. Its only when their married and she gets pregnant and she thinks she's getting fat and ugly that she needs to hear she's beautiful because she has a baby growing inside her.

I would hope these people aren't having arranged marriages, I mean the whole point of the shidduch "resumes" is to help find someone with similar interests and stuff, that's why they ask you what you are looking for, and about yourself so they can do a match based on that.

What do you mean "he's going to lead her on"?

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: You ever babysit little girls? Do you every see how they put on a new bow, or a pretty dress, or new shoes and run around and play around you? Do you see how much they blush, and how happy they get when you say "OMG shany, is that a new bow? And that dress? and those shoes! OMG, you look sooo beautiful today"

"big" girls aren't any different, we're just more subtle. Little girls aren't usually fat and they beg for compliments, from their own parents/siblings/beloved babysitters, even though they KNOW they must be cute/pretty. I mean, which parent doesnt call their darling 5 yr old precious and pretty all the time even when she doesnt ask for it?!

"But does it come given at one point that the guy likes her looks if he's been going out with her for a long time and is considering marrying her"

How many dates, or weeks is considered a "long time" for you? Because from the many frum people I know, "long time" was MAYBE three months. I don't know about you, but i could totally see myself pretending to like people for three months with enough pressure (like at work, or for class projects and stuff).


The shidduch resume is the biggest joke I've ever come across. Don't even get me started on that, I may offend to many people.

Moshe said...

I think you mean that the shidduch resume is to help the parents find parents with similar interests.

The Babysitter said...

Frum Skeptic: Of course compliments like those are great and important. But with little girls you never compliment them on the way they "look" as in their anatomy, which is what a bunch of commenter were talking about. When you tell a kid you like her skirt, its because you actually like her skirt, and your not talking about what's underneath it. While here, it seemed like people were saying that guys should be complimenting them on the way they "look" as in what's under the clothes. While I think that's inappropriate, there's still an issue of tznius by talking about it.

Well long time can be relative, but whatever time which is long enough to know.

ok then, I don't like the idea too much either.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: If a guy commented anything on my anatomy, at any point before its obvious I'm super comfortable with him, I'd smack him, real hard.

We're not discussing commenting on anatomy, we're discussing "You look nice today"

When every person I know compliments a little girl, they say "wow, you look so nice in that dress" The "the dress looks nice" is usually between friends. You ALWAYS (in every case I've experienced) tell the little girl SHE looks nice.

frumskeptic said...

"Well long time can be relative, but whatever time which is long enough to know."

What does that mean? Especially since this couple has never ever spoken to anyone of the opposite gender on a non-superficial level before.

Plus, there are rules on what you can/cannot wear on a first date, what you can/cannot talk about, etc. There's only so much time in this "long enough" before your parents begin to go "nu?"

And then you're engaged after a few weeks, and all you know is that he wants kids (duh!) and a Honda Odyssey.
Oh, and which yeshiva he's learning at, and you already knew that because thats on the "resume"

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: where do I find out about those rules of what you can wear and what you can talk about?

frumskeptic said...

not like the rules are official, but I once went out on a date, and afterwards I told my friend what I wore, and she yelled at me, telling me I'm supposed to have worn a black skirt, and a black shirt, and accessorize it with colored necklaces and belts (obviously nothing to loud).

Then I was telling my friend something i was telling a guy about on a first date. Basically that I wanted to be a fascist dictator. And she was like "ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU CAN"T SAY THAT ON A FIRST DATE" and then she had like 5 of her friends agree with her, and tell me its against some sort of protocal. but w/e. The guy didn't seem to mind.


OH!! Guy on date once asked me "so you're getting hte diet coke?" I was like "no, regular sprite" he was totally surprised, like HOW could a girl NOT order a diet something or a water?
friend yelled at me about that one 2. she said "You're supposed to order a diet so it looks like you take care of yourself"

Moshe said...

What did you wear?

How does drinking diet coke show that you take care of yourself?! It's disgusting and bad for you. Carcinogens and the several recent studies linking diet drinks to obesity.

frumskeptic said...

I wore a purple outfit I have. And awesome black boots :-).

frumskeptic said...

and about the diet coke. I told her the exact same thing, and she replied that it doesnt matter, its what you're supposed to do!

Moshe said...

Purple's bad?

Wow, she's retarded. But at least you have a way to weed out stupid people.
Dee dee dee.

frumskeptic said...

Its not that purple is bad, black is just protocal. They can't do anything different, or else the guy may actualy get to know you as more than just girl # ___.

When my super frummy friend was going out on her first date, the shadchan took her shopping and forced her to buy heels. and this girl NEVER wore heels. She fought it, and then she decided "If he's expecting heels, he should get to see heels"

Moshe said...

Is he though? Probably doesn't care. I think they're stupid, unless the girl knows at least 3 ways to kill a person with them, then it's cool.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: well those sound like ridiculous rules, I would say wear and say what you want, your friends can do it their way and you do it your way.

Do what makes sense to you, the whole point is to try to express yourself, what you like, if you dress the way you want then it shows what you are like.

About the soda, I wouldn't order diet, I think the word diet is just there for a psychological effect to make the people feel better, but I doubt its helping anybody diet.

Its funny, the kids I babysit, when they have diet soda in their house they say they can't drink it cause their mother doesn't let them have diet cause it has not good stuff in it and could stunt your growth. So anyways that was a good way to stop them from drinking soda, just telling them that the soda they had was diet, so they knew they can't drink it.

I personally like heels, cause it makes me taller, but I never wore any of the heels that are separated from the shoe.

Moshe: that was funny, that's what I would imagine a guy would say.

Moshe said...

Judging by me and most of my friends, heels, no heels, black, purple, green, whatever.
Guys don't notice clothes. Unless they're gay or metrosexuals.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: I do what I wanna do. :-). lol. I just find it humurous how these girls feel they're marrying someone they "know well enough" when they don't really know anyone, cuz it was all an act.

Moshe: LOL. I also told my friends guys don't notice anything. But they don't care. To them its all about rules, and what the shadchanim say. They're completely wack. But they keep my life interesting. lol

Chutznikit said...

wow, a woman after my own heart!
I was just bitching about that myself..

http://frumflipped.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-i-miss-in-shidduch-dates-aside.html