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info@shidduchcenter.org | 443.955.9887
Website sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Malkiel Goldberger in honor of their precious children
info@shidduchcenter.org | 443.955.9887

Yated Shidduch Forum 8/12/16: The Wrong Time to Say Hello?

Question:

I went out with a boy recently, and on our second date we went to a hotel lounge. While there, the boy spotted his friend, who was also on a date. As we were leaving the hotel, the friend and his date were also leaving. As we got the hotel exit at about the same time, the boy and his friend greeted each other and, to my chagrin, begin shmoozing and laughing for several minutes. I stood there smiling, trying to be nice, making small talk with this other girl I never met before, but I never felt so dumb in my life.

I understand that when friends meet, it is natural to say hello and shmooze. But is doing so in such a scenario the right thing? Am I being overly sensitive or should this boy have given a quick wave and moved on? Is there a possibility that he should not have said hello to his friend altogether? After all, we weren’t out on a social excursion. We were out on a date.

Your feelings would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:

You are not being overly sensitive. This young man’s behavior in this instance was insensitive and unfair. Had it been a few dates further down the road, at a point where the two of you had already established a more comfortable rapport, and had he turned to you and said, “Excuse me, do you mind if I catch up with my friend for a moment,” perhaps that would have been appropriate. But on a second date, his focus should have been entirely on you, and a quick wave and hello, at most, would seem to me to be the most attention that would be appropriate to give to a friend.

As far as your question regarding whether or not it was appropriate for him to have said hello to his friend at all, in a vacuum, there is generally nothing wrong with acknowledging a friend with a quick gesture. However, it would really depend on the specifics of the exact social situation, the people involved and how well the date went, to say if that would have been appropriate or not. Also, in addition to considering how it would affect you, the person he is out on a date with, he also needs to consider whether or not the other couple, also out on a date, would be comfortable in being approached and contacted.

This is not to say that this young man is an insensitive or socially unaware person, or that you should immediately stop dating him, but it would be prudent to be aware of this concern on future dates, if you do continue dating him. It could be that his error in this case was simply a momentary lapse of good judgement in handling a real-time situation, or it could be that he lacks certain social graces or sensitivities to others. That is something you need to ascertain from your overall experience with him, as this one particular slip was not egregious enough to be an indicator on its own, in my opinion.

It is unfortunate that you were left out in the cold, feeling out of place and uncomfortable, and I hope that your future dates will be far more pleasant.   

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