Jewish Journal

Is this dating?

by Ilana Angel

August 9, 2009 | 2:41 pm

I’d like to talk about dating for a minute.  By talk about it, I mean complain about it and by complain about it I mean struggle to understand how it works.

I have a new friend called “Ari”.  He is smart and funny, charming and talented.  If I had any interest in being a cougar or thought it was cool to date someone who was young enough to be someone I used to babysit in high school, I would totally want to date him.  While he is in fact quite attractive, his spirit and sense of humor are gorgeous.  What’s so interesting about Ari is his outlook on dating.  He can take it or leave it.  He’s in his mid 30’s, Jewish, successful and is in absolutely no rush to find love.  He is happy to sit back and wait.  If it comes along that’s great.  If not, no worries because it will one day.  He has a full life and will share it when the time is right.

Is this mentality specific to Ari or to men in general?  I don’t think I have one girlfriend who is single and willing to be totally honest, who can tell you that she is not searching for love.  There are different levels of love of course. Some want to get married, some want to have a baby, some want to simply have a boyfriend and some just want a go to guy to be their date for parties or romantic partner when the mood hits them.  Women are always searching and hoping.  We don’t have the gene that allows us to sit and wait for love to come to us. 

I’ll speak for myself and for myself I mean all women when I tell you for us, every first date is filled with potential.  The hope that it will go well and there will be a second date, the hope that maybe it will lead to something, the hope that we’ll have a date for New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day, the hope that we won’t be the one single girl at a dinner party full of couples.  Now I know that there are men who also have these hopes.  The thing is that while we crave it and want it now, men are able to wait.  What they fail to remember is that the girl who they are “hanging out” with while they wait, is in fact hoping that she is the one.

I just got in touch with a guy on match.com.  We’ll call him “Richard”.  I was trudging through the piles of crap on there when I came upon his profile.  It lacked that certain stench that comes with lying and is prevalent with online dating.  It was the last day of my subscription so I sent a note to tell him that what he wrote was lovely.  The simple fact that he did not mention that he likes long strolls on the beach and is comfortable in both jeans and a tux made him instantly attractive.  So….. I write, he writes back, I give my number and he calls.  Now begins the part of dating that is so confusing and stressful to me.

We are not dating.  We have not met.  That said I like him.  He is funny and charming and not pretentious.  He is smart and has similar views to mine on life and parenting and I love how he talks about his children.  It’s only been a couple of days but we talk and text and check in with each other and laugh and flirt.  I look forward to hearing from him.  This does not make me crazy or a stalker or unrealistic or needy.  What this makes me is a girl.  We are in that rare moment in time when anything is possible.  It’s dangerous because when we meet there could be no connection.  What we have on the phone could just not translate.  I could think he was weird or creepy and he could think I am strange or a troll.  There are so many things that could go wrong.  It’s as equally stressful as it is exciting.

In the end meeting someone online is unnatural.  While it is a necessary evil and can work, it’s not organic or romantic in any way.  It’s an interviewing process and you go in with an open mind hoping that your resume is interpreted well and you get a second interview.  All you can do is laugh, roll with the punches, cross your fingers and keep the faith.

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