I firmly believe that there is an abundance of eligible single people out there, it is just a matter of finding them. What I also appreciate, is that the pool becomes significantly smaller when dating outside the Jewish religion is an absolute deal breaker for you.
Once you eliminate the married guys, the gay guys, your cousins, exes, school mates, friend’s siblings, sibling’s friends, people you’ve led on camp, people you “know” and people your friends have previously dated, how many eligible Jews are left in the sea?
Oh, and let’s not forget the added complexities when it comes to Ashkenazi and Sephardi isms. Then there are those that are practising Reform, Masorti and Orthodoxy and those that aren’t practising Jews at all, but still want to marry someone Jewish.
It is chaotic, and while this list is not exhaustive, I am exhausted just thinking about how messy and limiting dating can become in our community. Because saying no is far easier than saying yes when you turn the limited (potentially even out-of-date) information you know about someone into their entire personality.
In the shidduch world, it is very normal to go on a date and if the guy isn’t right for you, suggesting to the shadchan a friend who may be better suited to them. Everyone’s a matchmaker, right? I’ve seen this work successfully.
A religious friend of mine was suggested a guy via a friend who dated him but thought my friend and him could be well matched. Two years later she is happily married with two children. Mega! But in the modern, secular dating world you rarely see this happen. I would say we’re a beat or two behind here.
Dating guys your friends have previously dated shouldn’t be on the out-of-bounds list (with some parameters, of course). They say one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure so why aren’t we in the business yet for recommending friends if he’s “not for you”?
Set-ups are the best way to meet someone and so let me introduce you to the era of recycling daters (in a positive way).
If you’re Jewish and dating Jewish people exclusively then you need to embrace the quirks of our community. We are all connected somehow and so by ruling out everyone you “know” or everyone your friends have dated previously, you are eliminating yourself from the game.
Stop finding every reason to not go on the date and turn your not into why not?
And if you go on the date and discover he isn’t for you, be fast acting and propose setting him up with a mate. Your good deed will come back around to you one day, I’ve no doubt about it.