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Risky Business

Written by Cigal Gabay
Jewish Dating, Jewish Singles Girl
There's a knock at the door and she opens it. Who does she see standing in front of her? What does she notice about him at first glance? Is it the ratty old sweater? The worn out track pants?The disheveled hair? The black sneakers with the white socks? Or is it the sweet looking face? The kind, warm and inviting eyes? The big smile? The witty remark?

When she walks out that door with him, will she be carrying her suitcase filled with preconceptions, hang-ups, judgments and exaggerated expectations? Or will she make the concerted effort to leave the suitcase at home and only bring herself on the date? That suitcase can continue to fill up if she lets it. It can become heavier and heavier, filled with disappointments, frustrations, bitterness and cynicism. That would be simple...It would be very easy to succumb to the feelings of "Whoa, this guy doesn't care what he looks like on a first date? This is the time he's supposed to impress the girl...What will he be like in 10 years from now in a marriage?".

A valid question, but appearances can be deceiving. Yes. A man, and a woman for that matter, should make every effort to look their best on their first date and on every date. However...

What if he had a bad day? What if he rushed home from work to make it in time for the date, preferring to show up in that state over calling the girl half an hour before to cancel? What if YOU are the girl that can inspire him to improve his dress and grooming skills? What if, standing right before you, is your diamond in the rough? What if, when you get past the surface that needs a little polishing, you find a kind, loving, giving, trusting and committed man who would make the ideal husband?

Change of scenarios. You're a guy. Your friend suggests a girl to you that is EVERYTHING you thought you DIDN'T want. She's your age or a year younger, maybe even a couple of years older...She's not 10 or 15 years younger like you were hoping. She's divorced. Maybe she has a child or two. You wanted a single girl...Less baggage that way. She's only 5"1 and you wanted her to be at least 5"4. She doesn't fit into a size 2...In fact, she's a size 10 or 12.

Your friend tells you to give it a shot. "This is a great girl", he assures you. You're thinking" Great girl, great personality equals homely looking girl"...You begrudgingly agree to go on the date. After all, your friend is right. Taking her out for a coffee won't kill you or break your bank account...You meet the girl and she's nice. You like her. There are no red alerts going off in your head on the date. No fireworks either, mind you...So what do you do? Do you tell your friend "Thank you, but no thank you?"

What if this girl, whom you thought was everything you didn't want in a mate turns out to be an amazing person? Someone that makes you laugh? Someone that brings out the best in you and makes you want to be a better man? What happens if you brought your loaded suitcase on that first date and let her go?

Do yourselves a favor, ladies and gentlemen. Leave your suitcases at home. Bring yourselves on the date. Bring your open minds and your open hearts. Know your bottom lines and know what you absolutely won't settle for, but be realistic. Be fair to yourselves and to the people that you date. Give yourselves the opportunity to get to know each other. Don't risk throwing away your diamond in the rough.

Cigal Gabay(nee Shene), M.Ed

Cigal is trained as a child, couples and family therapist, as well as a school counselor. She currently lives with her husband in Israel. They have recently joined the JRetroMatch Team.

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