Saturday, January 07, 2006

To Call or Not to Call

As the Shidduch system progresses, (or deteriorates, really) some have adopted to the rule of avoiding the pre-date phone call, which has been a fixture in the system for a while.

These people feel that the phone call adds unnecessary stress to the people involved, and that it makes people have expectations for the date. I've discussed this with my friends that prefer not to have the phone call. They said they feel less nervous for the date without the phone call, becuase there are no expectations-good or bad. They feel that if they were to form a good impression, then an "okay" date would be a disappointment. Similarly, if they have a bad phone call, then they won't go into the date with a positive attitude. By avoiding the phone call, they don't know the guy's personality, never heard his voice, know only what the shadchan and well-meaning friends said about him, thus the guy has a clean that's a blind date.

On the other hand, the phone call advocates, like myself, prefer to speak before the date, so that we have a chance see what he's all about. We slightly get to know his personality and sense of humor (if he has any) before the date, so we kind of know what to expect on the date, and aren't left in a total shock when the guy shows up.

Hopefully, you have the brains to realize that people are very different on the phone than they are in person, so you can't judge anything by the length of the call, or the general mood of the call. You can't expect to marry the dude because you had a great phone call, and you can't dread the date, thinking you're gonna dump him before you even meet him. I think that's a maturity that should be necessary before dating, but I'm living in a dream world. People get married that are such immature babies, it's frightening.

Also, when the guy and the girl talk, it gives them a point of reference for the date. They've spoken before, and hopefully established a connection to refer back to on the date, "Oh, like we said two nights ago about how you went to your cousin's wedding and..."

Finally, the phone call allows them to decide where they're going, and what they're doing, so the girl is not terribly overdressed for the occasion. But that's a whole other post :-)


At 1/08/2006 5:44 PM, Anonymous Nathan Jacobs said...

My vote would go to yes phone call because without one, both parties have to call the matchmaker fifty times.

"Ask her is Sunday night is good."

"She said Monday is better."

"Find out if Sunday is really no good because I have college on Monday."

"She said she'd rather go Tuesday."

"Okay, ask her if 8 o'clock is fine."

"She said 8 is too late."

"Okay, how about 7:30? Because I don't get out of work on Tuesdays till 7."

You get the idea.

At 1/09/2006 4:22 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

I am in that dilemma right now and not sure what to do..

At 1/09/2006 7:36 AM, Blogger Shlomo Schwartz said...

For some reason I get way more nervous making that phone call then I do dating someone I know practiacally nothing about.

At 1/09/2006 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally don't do phone calls and am very happy about it. What exactly is the purpose? We all know that you cannot form an impression from a phone call (although you inevitably do, and this just skews things the wrong way), so, why do it? Some people have great phone calls and the date's a flop, while sometimes the phone call stinks and you end up marrying the guy/girl. What's the point? As far as nathan's point goes, this is somewhat exaggerated. In my experience, yes, sometimes it goes back and forth, but that's it. Most times, the timing works out fine after one call from both sides to the shadchan.

Also, michelle recently advocated speed dating so that we don't have to waste 3 hours on every guy/girl. If this is the attitude, why waste extra time on this unnecessary practice of pre date calling? It's not as if you would cancel the date if the call doesn't go well, so why bother? It's just another waste of time.

At 1/10/2006 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Dater said...

Come on people, you gotta do the phone call. Here's a story that'll tell you why:

I once went out with one of those "non-phone call" girls, and on my way home from school, I hit a ton of traffic. There was no way I was going to be on time for the date. Whenever I run late, I always call the girl beforehand - it's the right thing to do. But without this girl's number, it was impossible. And even if I had the number, but it would've been really odd if my first contact with her would've been "I'm going to be late". Quite the first impression, huh?

And I totally agree with Michelle that there is a lack of maturity among the "non-phone call" crowd. This talk of "awkwardness" and "stress" seems very silly to me. Especially coming from people who claim to be ready for marriage. If you can't have a phone conversation with a member of the opposite sex, why the heck are you even bothering going out? Maybe you're just not ready to get married.

Part of being a mature adult is the ability to confront difficult and stressful situations in life, and not just to try and weasel out of them. But I guess in our society, where every 20-year girl who's single (no matter what her maturity level may be) is part of the "shidduch crisis," (and must get married immediately!!!!!) this is what we've come to.

-- I've also found the phone call useful in somewhat determining the personality of the girl and where she would want to go out. If I see the girl's a quiet one, I know not to go to a lounge, where she's gotta try to shmooze with a total stranger for 3 hours. And if she's chatty, it's a different story.

-- and if making a phone call really freaks you out, half a xanax or a few shots of chivas will take care of you. don't worry.

At 1/12/2006 11:22 AM, Blogger FrumSingleGuy said...

I gotta tell you that when shadchanim tell me that "such and such a girl" would rather I not call them before the date I get upset. I mean this girl may be my next wife and she is going to be nervous about speaking on the phone?! The phone is great way to break the ice, especially if you are not used to speaking to members of the oppositte sex. It is intimate because her/his voice is right there in your ear but not because you could be sitting in a shorts an tee-shirt and may not be wearing any make-up (that by the way most girls don't need, but that's a different topic...) The phone is a great way to break the ice- go for it!

At 1/13/2006 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's not a matter of being nervous. It's just pointless and all it accomplishes is giving people the wrong first impression.

At 1/15/2006 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny because so far I have only gone out with guys who called me. However, both my really close married friends did not speak to the guy on the phone until they were planning the third date. So maybe there is something to it. Like it or not people are human and bound to be nervous on the phone. I know I am much more nervous when talking to the guy on the phone then when talking to him in person. I think it might be a wise idea that people should not speak before they go out

At 2/22/2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

I am 1 of those people who aren't comfortable with the phone call thing. I know that I tend to judge people by their voices & I get very false impressions. If I get a good impression from the voice, I might be disappointed on the date. But the really bad part is that if I get a bad impression, I'd be extra nervous & go into the date with a bad feeling. What do you need it for? Anon. dater, you're wrong. I'm able to talk to guys I've never seen or spoken to before for 4 hours straight on a date. But I'm still not comfortable with the phone call. I don't think it has anything to do with my maturity or lack thereof. There is a difference between mature & worldly. I may be somewhat sheltered, but I wouldn't call myself immature. And btw, if you had had the shadchan's #, you could've called him/her & gotten the girl's #. I see nothing wrong with that being the 1st time you talk to her, it's just commen courtesy.

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