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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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The Case For Manners In Shidduchim


A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. “Doesn’t he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?” she cried.

The young man was apparently unaware that he was not displaying the best manners in casually walking his date to a subway station late at night, instead of seeing her safely to her door. Yet this lack of etiquette is unfortunately all too common in today’s dating world.

Another example occurred recently when I set up a young man on a shidduch date. I personally knew him to be bright, good-hearted and open-minded. I was therefore surprised when he called me after his phone call with the prospective date and bluntly told me, “She’s not my type.” He wanted to cancel their plans to meet.

His major concern was that she did not have an appreciation for his favorite genre of music. He said, “I can just tell that she’s not for me. I’m so burnt out lately from dating. I can’t put myself through this.” I empathized with his situation, but I asked him to consider what this would feel like to his date. Perhaps she too has gone through many disappointing experiences lately, and his cancellation would just add to her disillusionment. Despite this, he couldn’t bring himself to go through with the date. Thus I was given the unfortunate task of relaying the news to this girl, who had been looking forward to meeting him.

What Went Wrong?

From the many stories that I have heard, it seems that some men and women are engaging in apparently inconsistent behaviors when it comes to their dating lives. While most are considerate and fine people, when it comes to dating some singles have become so desensitized and self-protective that they are, simply put, not minding their manners.

Some of the most common offenses I have come across lately are:

About the Author: Tzivy Ross Reiter, LCSW-R, is a Director at Ohel Bais Ezra and an advisor to Building Blocks Magazine. She has written extensively about issues related to developmental disabilities and mental health. She is also the author of “Briefcases & Baby Bottles: The Working Mother’s Guide to Nurturing a Jewish Home; Feldheim, 2012.”


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There has been much made in the media about the stress on marriage and the high rates of divorce affecting couples who have a child with a developmental disability. Yet at the same time, counter studies have been published that refute many of these claims – reporting that this data has been exaggerated and that these families do not have a significantly higher divorce rate.

A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. “Doesn’t he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?” she cried.

“I feel mad because my brother is always breaking my things.”

“I wish things weren’t always so hard for him.”

“I feel both happy and sad that she is my sister.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-case-for-manners-in-shidduchim/2009/04/29/

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