Monday, November 10, 2008

To Set Up Or Not

In the Orthodox Jewish world, most people date at least occasionally if not exclusively through a shidduch, which basically means being set up on a date through someone else. Without getting into the whole process and its many advantages and disadvantages, success rate and stupidities, here is the dilemma for casually interested people such as ourselves.

Is it better to set up only matches which you think have a particularly high chance of being successful, or is it better to set up any idea that's reasonable or could work?

In general, our approach has been to take the first route, with less than a handful of exceptions (and those were pretty much failures). Serach has a slightly lower threshold than myself, setting up people if she thinks it's a good idea; I tend to only suggest ideas that I think are very good.

We've found that of the singles we know well, they tend to alternately either prefer this approach or get frustrated by it; guys seem to prefer it more often, while girls seem to be more frustrated. This is probably because guys are getting more calls and having someone else weed out only the best ideas helps them, while girls are more often trying to get dates. One close friend mentioned at lunch last week that he preferred it, and that it also made him much more likely to date someone we suggest, knowing that we wouldn't do so if we didn't think it was worthwhile; another friend wasn't sure, suggesting that he'd prefer to hear any idea and then judge for himself, while simultaneously acknowledging that it was frustrating to constantly be suggested girls that were not even close to matches for him.