HomeNovember 2012A Dating Narrative

A Dating Narrative

By Rachel Schiff

Most people don’t expose their personal lives in a magazine.  I am fortunate enough that I have that capability, and I am willing to air my dirty laundry for all to see.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.  I am willing to share my dating life for the sake of others.  Yes, this is my mitzvah for the month, vocalizing my experiences that will either help you or entertain you.  There is a possibility this article might do both.  The reality is, my mother keeps getting faklempt as we pass by the baby section of Target.  I know she wants grandchildren, but I don’t think her biological clock is in tune with my reality.  Let me start with a few anecdotes…

I had been talking to a computer science guy for two weeks on JDate.  We decided it was time to meet for sushi.  Excited, I dolled up for the event.  Coincidently, so did he.  No, I meant what I said; the guy was wearing heels and more makeup than I was wearing.  Mortified, I finished the date in hopes not to offend him.  Let us note that I believe in alternative lifestyles, but I am not too keen on dating a man who probably looked cuter than I do in a skirt.  The whole time he ate his spicy tuna roll I kept thinking, “I wonder, what brand of eyeliner is he using?”

As I continued to trek through men online, a man messaged me from Redondo Beach.  I exchanged emails for a few days with the man until it dawned on him that I lived in Orange County.  He didn’t read my profile?  He told me I was too far away and did not contact me again… until six months passed and he emailed me again with the same original email.  Something seemed fishy, so I responded by informing him he had sent me this email six months prior.  He finally admitted he had a computer set to specific algorithms, and when a woman meets those requirements, it does his dirty work for him.  I had become a science experiment for Jewish singles, and that 30-minute drive was too far to keep his interest.  Deep down, I always wished his computer caught a virus and shut down.

Even though I didn’t pass the algorithm test, it has to be better than dating the guy who I’ll refer to as “Mr. Euphemism.”  On our first date we went for a walk.  A woman passed by, and he mentioned to me, “Did you see the demons on her face?”  I shook off the comment and thought he meant she looked worn out. After our second lovely outing at El Torito Grill, another woman came by, and he said the same line.  I asked him what he exactly meant by this obscure commentary; oh my, he was not being figurative at all!  Mr. Euphemism became Mr. Literal, and that was the last time I saw him.

I did have a few great dates.  Some even led to multiple dates.  Then, of course, the guy moved across country.  I tried not to take it personally, but after that happened three times I decided it was not the recession moving these men away from me.  My slant on the situation is that I became the catalyst for positive change with these men.

It came to my attention some time ago that when I am online between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., I must exude some sort of sexiness that I am not able to convey during normal business hours.  At this time I am able to attract men from Haifa to Hawaii without any problems.  I wonder what would happen if I had a night job and slept during the day.

As much as this sounds like complaining, being single has its perks.  It gives me the opportunity to pick with whom I want to split my two-for-one coupons.  I don’t have horror stories about sharing a blanket or getting a poor night’s sleep because of someone else.  Dinner can consist of a pickle and peanut butter sandwich, a microwave burrito, Thai take-out or George Foreman grilled chicken (no sauces or spices) wrapped in a paper towel with no complaints.  I can watch Freaks and Geeks reruns, Star Wars and Law & Order as much as I desire, and when I get invited to weddings, it gives me a chance to panic over the “plus one” on the RSVP card.  Clearly, this is a fulfilling lifestyle.

All joking aside, the heartache and time it takes to search for our companions can be draining.  There are moments of disappointment and even reported tissue box abuse, but we must trudge through the masses.  My goal to find a life long tooth brushing partner still is in the works, yet there will be a man that doesn’t run fast enough that I can torment (I mean love) for the rest of my life.  As my brilliant and enthusiastic mother always says, “Everyone will find the cover to their pot.”  If that line does not leave you with warm fuzzies, let me share the words of enlightenment from my cousin, “Your knight in shining armor is on his way, but his horse died, and he’s coming by foot.  He needs extra time.”


  1. Rachel, you have a lot going, but lets face it; dating is an artificial construct. What about meeting people through work (people on the outside that you work with), or via your volunteer efforts, or through your marketing (product or job search) efforts?

    Another useful construct is camping; you can learn a lot about people by going on a hike, even if its the same day out and return (Baldy, Gorgonio, Grand Canyon). If you go as a group you can watch their interactions with each other and play off them.

    Still, maybe you are so satisfied with your own life that considering letting someone in long enough to wear out their welcome (with the resulting divorce) is too real. If you want to stay married for 30+ years you have to have a do-or-die commitment.

    You won’t commit unless its important to you. A date is so trivial, how can it ever be important?

    Find someone through an organization, cause or mitzvah that you are so passionate about that you would give up your worldly possessions. Then and only then will you meet Mr. Right-For-You……

    • Neils-

      I teach 11th grade. The men I meet are 17 years old with a curfew and an allowance. The men I work with are not Jewish and married (all 20 out of 150 co-workers).

      Camping is useful for campers, people who enjoy camping. 🙂 I have allergies and enjoy museums. I go to museums every weekend that I am not doing research for my Masters.

      I am more than satisfied with my own life. Thus, I am not willing to settle for someone who is not a good match. There are MANY good men out there. The hard part is finding the right one for me. Why are we focused on divorce in this conversation? I don’t think divorce is an option unless I am in an extreme situation- such as he harms me or others. You’re right, I won’t commit unless HE is important to me. I have the most amazing family and friends, why should I accept someone who is not of that caliber? I am looking for something serious as well as long term.

      I am also on YLD board, worked with JFFS for a summer, past Hillel president in college, VP of the Israel club in college, National representative for the USA for World Union of Jewish Students, volunteer in the community, write for a Jewish magazine, am in a Masters program, work full time, and have involved myself in numerous organizations throughout LA and OC. I think I am a joiner. It’s not my lack of interaction with the community, but I appreciate your input.


  2. Dear Rachael:
    It is difficult to comment on this and I could be wrong in SOME aspects, but please bear with me.
    In my opinion many people who are using Internet dating are looking for dating or ultimate encounter but rarely for making a family. Most of the users I saw on JDate (as well as on other sites) create profiles just to do a “meat market” survey, sort of posting buffed resumes on-line to see if the potential employer will contact the abovementioned poster. If I will ask a question “can you cook a dinner?” or mention that I am living with my elderly parents, or say that I do not like to travel, I will be turned down despite my Masters degree, engineering position, automotive repair skills and even expertise in reading thyroid ultrasound reports: (Thanks to the 4 months temp job in imaging lab back in 2004 and consulting a nice lady from Chernobyl fallout zone, who turned out to be married at the end:D)
    Humor aside, I was turned down for several reasons but the root cause is that my lifestyle and mentality will not please the women I saw on Jdate. Often they are looking for travel companion or simply for a night with a kosher man, but rarely for another half.
    Let me add that, I do not know how to dance and do not play musical instruments (although I enjoying listening to a good music). I am also not a big fan of practicing religious rituals.
    I do not think I answered all the questions but art least I tried to voice my opinion on the subject

    • Dear OC resident-

      It sounds like you are not meeting women who have similar interests as you do. I would argue I am not looking for a travel partner, but much of my family lives in Israel and if a man is not willing to explore the world or meet my family, we clearly have different desires. That does not make you less attractive, just less personally compatible for me or maybe other women with similar views. I am a little unclear what you’re trying to highlight in your response to my article, but I appreciate your readership and response and wish you the best of luck. It’s not easy looking for a mate, but I encourage you to do it with good humor and a smile.

      Rachel Schiff


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