Sunday, June 01, 2008

Don't Compliment Dates

I actually have mixed feelings on this post by Wolf, but I lean his way.
So, now we've come to the point where if you dare to compliment your date on how nice she looks, if you even think to acknowledge and appreciate the effort that she puts into looking nice, if you have even a single thought as to her physical appearence, you must be a "sick, one-track-minded pervert."

At this point, I'm beginning to wonder what the point of shidduch dating is anymore. After all, everyone is expected to follow a script. Don't do this before the second date. Don't say that before the third date. Wear this. Don't wear that. The only acceptable places to go are a lounge, airport or other similarly boring place. Anything that uniquely shows you to be an individual is to be discouraged. In short, if you don't follow the script, you're toast.

So, what does that leave? Why even date?
The issue at hand is a couple of dates who were broken up with immediately after complimenting their dates (on date number four) on their appearance. Now, we've had friends who have noted discomfort with dates commenting on appearance earlier on in the process, but that was when a guy talked a bit too much about her clothes/appearance on a second date, for example. A simple "you look very nice" generally should be okay, certainly after a few dates. Dating is not a cold business transaction (or at least, it shouldn't be), and showing feelings, caring, and appreciation for one another should be encouraged, not shunned. Of course, every date needs to try and be aware of where the other person is in the relationship, and understand that perhaps the person they're dating might not yet be quite as comfortable as they are. And they might not appreciate an overly specific compliment too early on, particularly about how they look. However, a reasonably given, not overly specific comment that someone looks nice should be taken as it is meant - as a nice compliment and gesture of appreciation for how the person is dressed, not as the musings of a pervert.