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Jewish Singles Dating Advice Your aunt invites you over for dinner. You find yourself disagreeing with one of her other guests over everything from politics to which wine would work best with your lamb dinner. To your surprise, the following week you receive a call from your aunt with the news that this same guest would like to set you up with her “very eligible” son. Your knee jerk reaction is to say no. “Honestly” you think, “how could a woman who is so totally opposite from me in so many ways possibly have a son that I could relate to”. Based on this thought you refuse to meet the young man in question…………………

One might say that you are guilty of PREJUDGMENT simply because you automatically interpreted details about this woman’s son based on your experience and perception of his mother, never having met him or having heard anything about him at all.

To some extent we all go through life prejudging others, and some times our preconceptions may even turn out to be right. In general, though, the limited information that we rely on can and usually does lead us to narrow our choices and restrict our opportunities.



We tend to make assumptions based on our own preconceived experiences and knowledge base. For example, your date tells you that she hasn’t dated much since her divorce. In her mind, not dating much might mean that you are the fourth man she has gone out with. You, on the other hand, understand that to mean that you are the first man she has gone out with since her divorce. Since you have been advised to stay clear of women on the rebound, you decide not to ask her out for a second date, despite the fact that she has many wonderful qualities. You may fear that if you are the first new man in her life, the relationship is doomed from the start. Take the time to clarify what you are hearing, so that your assumptions do not turn into misinformation.


“Did you say that he/she went to _______ school? All girls/boys from that school are _________ (too black hat, too modern, snooty, etc.). I couldn’t possibly go out with him/her.” When dating, some of the criteria that we are inclined to stereotype by are schools, shuls, community, friends, job, and looks. For many, stereotypes are so set in stone that even when meeting people who defy these stereotypes, they don’t allow themselves to be “confused by the facts”.


If you believe your date will treat you in a kind and generous way, you may communicate this belief to them in subtle ways and ultimately find yourself being treated as expected. Conversely, if you expect to be treated poorly on a date, your subtle cues, i.e. avoiding eye contact, lack of smiling, rigid body language, will communicate negativity, which will be responded to in kind.


You are on a first date and you sense something familiar about your date that may put you at ease and make you very comfortable. It may be something about their looks, accent, mannerism or smile. By the same token, something about them may make you uncomfortable, uneasy. In both cases there is something, positive or negative, that most likely reminds you of someone in your own life, past or present. When you have such a strong sense of like or dislike on a first date, proceed with caution. Be aware that, in all probability, your assumption about your date is not about him/her but about your association to someone else. Continuing with your notion of who this person is, when it is not about them at all, can lead to disappointment and heartbreak.


Consider this scenario: After dating for five months, you have recently gotten engaged. Your fiancée suggests going to a museum. Although you have gone to museums with him in the past, you don’t really like them, so you tell your fiancée that you would rather not go. He is surprised and disappointed, wondering what has changed. He may then start worrying about what other surprises are in store for him and whether he really knows this woman he is engaged to. If you have creating a false image in an attempt to please and impress you fiancée, then in all likelihood, he does not.

It is natural to be on your best behavior on a first date. You want to make a good impression and you want to be liked. Yet, misleading first impressions can lead to disillusionment and disappointment later on. So how do you get past the illusion and get to know the real person? If you know that you would like to see this person again, it is helpful to check out your impressions. Let the other person know that you would like to get to know them better, that you are interested in who they really are, their likes and dislikes. Share your perception of your date with him/her and allow them to clarify if they do not agree. The fiancée in the above scenario may never have asked her if she liked going to museums; he just assumed so. Meanwhile, she may have felt that he would think less of her if she admitted to not enjoying museums.


As it happens, the mother in the opening example had a history of disagreeing with her son in much the same way that she found herself disagreeing with this young woman, which is why she thought they would make a good match. Unfortunately, by ASSUMING that the son was like his mother and therefore not a good match, she missed out on a possible opportunity.

Expectations, assumptions, stereotyping, self-fulfilling prophesies, distortions and perpetuating false impressions are some of the ways of PREJUDGING that may get in the way of meeting and being open to getting to know your potential mate.

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