Monday, December 8, 2008

Shidduch Dating Comparisons

As B4S would say- I shouldn't be comparing my dates. (Happily married, thank you very much.) But how about dating systems?

In the US- this might be a typical dating scenario.

Guy went to yeshiva, learnt in Mir in Israel for a while, came back to the US, went to Lakewood, spent some time in the freezer, and then started dating. Girl went to Bais Yaakov, learnt in seminary in Israel or NY, came back to the US, went to Maalot/Touro/Sara Schneirer, and then started dating. Girl usually makes up resume, and Guy gets Girl's name from Shadchan.

Guy checks out Girl first- background, friends, schools, seminaries, personality, family, middos.
Guy says yes. Girl then checks out Guy- background, friends, yeshivos, chavrusas, family, personality, middos. (These character traits are NOT in any specific order- don't read into it so much.) Girl says yes. Shadchun arranges first date- usually in a hotel lobby. If first date goes well- both sides report to Shadchun. Second date is arranged- might be in a hotel lobby again.

This continues- maybe 3 dates in a hotel lobby, 4th and 5th on some kind of activity, 6th, going out to eat and some kind of activity....and so on, giving both parties enough time and dates till they feel ready- until both sets of parents have met Guy and Girl- and then Guy and Girl get engaged. Mazel Tov.

I recently learnt more about a totally different dating system- the dating system in Israel. I knew a bit, from Israeli friends and families- but now I think I've got the system down.

The beginning part is mostly the same, except Guy may be learning in Chevron Yeshiva, or Ponevezh, or something else. Girl went to 13th grade for seminary, in one of the Israeli high schools, and then took classes in school to prepare for a profession, or went to one of Maalot's programs for Israelis. Same checking procedure- sometimes more rigorous, and same Shadchun.

But- major difference.
The dating is much shorter. It seems that for Israelis, the first date is Motzei Shabbos at the Girl's home, where it lasts only about 2 hours. Second date is also at Girl's home. Third date, both parties arrange to meet together at a hotel lobby at a prearranged time (no cars, here, remember?) 4th date also usually ends up at hotel. (I have heard of all 4 being at a hotel, prearranged, if the Girl has nosy siblings or neighbors, or it's more convenient.) By 4th date- Girl and Guy usually know where this is heading. 5th date could happen- possibly an activity- but definitely NO eating out. 6th date- usually by the next Motzei Shabbos- and poof, Guy and Girl are engaged.

More than 2 weeks- too long. Usually, it takes about a week of dating. And no eating out, no activities that are in Israel considered 'pritzus' but that in America, a Guy and Girl might do. Longer than a few hours on the hotel dates- you'll have mothers calling up the Shadchun asking if there was an accident.

It seems totally foreign to me- dating so quickly, limiting times of dates, not eating out, and the fact that you're supposed to know so quickly. But if I end up staying in Israel- this is how my future children may end up dating. And, they'll be raised that way- so it won't be weird to them.

I know some Girls who were totally ambivalent about the Guy they were engaged to. I know some of the Girls who didn't like the Guy till they married them. And that seems so foreign to me...but maybe they needed to be pushed into a commitment, and the Israeli system does that.

So, which one is better? I don't know. Different countries, different rules. But it's interesting making the comparisons.

Disclaimer: I am not Israeli. If I got things wrong- I am truly sorry. And this is only a typical dating scenario- it will definitely not be the same for everyone, or in every area. All mistakes are definitely mine.


AidelKnaidel said...

I guess I can't really judge, being American and just used to the longer system that we have. But personally, lots of girls I know (Myself included) Were engaged in like, 5 weeks. Maybe 6. That seems short enough to me!!

Not caring about the guy before the wedding just seems to me like a warning bell, not a way to enter a marriage. But then again, I have my "American sunglasses" on. So maybe I just can't see another way.

nmf #7 said...

5 or 6 weeks- although that may be short- is about a month and a half.
These Girls and Guys get engaged in a Week.

Oh, and the warning bell? Both couples that I was describing are truly and happily married. They needed the push that the Israeli system forces them to make.

nmf #7 said...

Oh, and not to pry but 5-6 weeks could be around 12-14 dates. That would definitely not happen here in Israel.

The Babysitter said...

I didn't know Israeli's did it that way. I thought only Chassidish people had the parents meet at a Basho thing.