In a recent New York Times article, "The End of Courtship," the author discusses how men have traded dating for casual encounters and “hookups.” Men will text an hour before to hang out instead of calling a few days before to arrange an actual date.
Women are no longer sure if they’re going out on a date or a platonic meet up. One woman recently told me how a man she had known years before in college, with whom she was currently taking a course, flirted with her for a couple of weeks before finally asking her to have dinner with him one evening after class. She was excited about the date. The conversation was going great, until he mentioned that he had a serious girlfriend in his hometown. He just wanted to hang out and catch up. Check please!
Men just don’t seem to be willing to put any effort into dating anymore. Some men wait a week or more before calling a woman they’ve been set up with, or sometimes they never bother to call. Some men refuse to travel outside of their immediate neighborhood to date. One woman, who lives in Baltimore, told me how a man who lives in Manhattan refused to come meet her in Teaneck, NJ – 10 minutes away! – insisting that he would only date her if she came into the city.
The take-away from the article, and the current reality, is that women looking for serious relationships have two choices: play along and hope for the best, or stay at home and grow old watching old romance movies.
I’d like to suggest another option.
The Midrash, a Talmudic commentary on the Torah, explains that it was as a result of the proactive efforts of righteous women that the Jewish people survived the Egyptian bondage to be redeemed. After more than 200 physically and spiritually demoralizing years of slavery, the men no longer had the strength or desire to bring new Jewish lives into the world. They had lost all hope. But the women still held strongly to the promise of redemption and, with much effort, convinced their men to continue building the nation.
Jewish women today seem to be faced with the same dilemma. Many Jewish men, especially in their 20s and early 30s, aren’t serious about getting married and starting families – preferring instead to hang out, meet up, or hook up without a care in the world. Relationship without commitment – life is good!
I could spend the next month trying to convince these men to change their ways and get on the path to relationship success, but they’ve already heard it all and it hasn’t helped change much (at least not yet). The only real way that will convince men to get serious is if women “force” them to, just like their ancestors did over 3,000 years ago in Egypt.
Men seek casual “hook ups” because women make that option all too available.
Men get away with texting an hour before to meet up with a woman because women respond. Men seek casual “hook ups” because women make that option all too available. The only reason men continue to play “hard to get” is because the women continue to chase them.
I know it’s tough out there. I know it’s hard to look around and feel like there are no serious men out there to date. I know you think you have no choice but to continue pursuing those who don’t seem to care, and hope they suddenly see the light. But there are some serious men out there ready to commit.
Ladies, if a man is serious about meeting his soul mate he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. He will call you, email you, pursue you, travel to meet you, and do whatever it takes to win you over. If he’s not doing these things, then move on and find a man who will.
If every woman would take a stand and follow this rule, the men would change their ways and get serious, fast. Without the option of casual, commitment-free companionship, they would be forced to get serious about relationships, marriage and family building.
Ladies, you have all the power here, but you need to work together to make change happen. The destiny of the Jewish people is in your hands.