Dating Atonements – A High Holiday Proposition – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (week 12)

The high holidays are all about welcoming in a sweet new year and then repenting for our sins, eating apples and honey and then fasting for a day.  It’s about starting on a new foot and then casting our bad deeds in the water, one small piece of stale rye crust at a time.  What does this have to do with dating, one might ask?  I’d venture to say that those of us who are on the market have committed a sin or two in the field of dating.  True – the Ten Commandments don’t discuss the ethics of ending a bad date (I do, of course), but in this day and age, we’re more likely to commit a dating sin than bear false witness against our neighbor.  Am I right?

So, let’s really think about it this year.  What dating sins have we committed, and can we rectify them?  Some common sins (this seems too strong of a word – let’s call them “dins” for dating + sins) are:

Din #1: The last-minute cancel and never reschedule

You have a date planned that you’re just feeling “meh” about.  You’re tired.  The last thing you want is to change out of your too-loose-to-show-other-people sweatpants.  So, you cancel.  Do you propose another date?  No.  Next time, cancel with the truth, or schedule another date at the same time you’re canceling.

Din #2: The no interest make-out

Have you ever been on a date and made out with someone at the end “just to see if there was chemistry” and there was, in fact, none?  And then, you never contacted him/her again?  The make-out receiver thinks you’re interested.  In the year 5772, if this happens, at least give some variation of (over phone or e-mail), “I’m sorry.  I just didn’t feel the spark that I would have wanted.  But I think you’re great, and I definitely hope we run into each other soon.”  At least no one is left out there wondering.

Din #3: Canceling via text

I was discussing this with someone the other night.  Text is never an appropriate way to cancel a date.  E-mail is almost as bad.  Please have the courtesy to call.  The point is – make sure the person you’re canceling on gets the message.

Din #4: Deciding you’re not interested and never telling the other person

It’s okay if you’re not interested in someone anymore after a few dates.  It happens.  That’s what dating is all about.  But if you’ve gone on more than one date with a person and decided that he or she isn’t for you, dropping off the face of the earth is one big din.  It doesn’t require much, just a simple e-mail saying something similar to the response in #2.  It’s not a crime to lose interest in someone.  But the mature thing to do is to end it on a positive note.  Plus, if you run into this person later, she won’t have to whisper behind your back that you’re the guy who snubbed her.

No one’s perfect, and I’m sure we’ve all committed one or more of these dins.  It’s okay – I have, too.  But in the year ahead, while we are first celebrating and then repenting, let’s think about how we can improve the dating world in 5772, one din at a time.  L’shana tovah!

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, helping people find success in online dating and getting them excited about its possibilities. “Like” A Little Nudge on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.

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