Fashionably Late


Joe Single



Each time I make a date with a young woman, I make sure to be there, either on time, or earlier. I always anticipate any traffic problems, and allow that additional time as a buffer zone. Dating is important to me: this girl might be great, so my timing will express how much I value our meeting. Arriving late might negatively affect the girl, dissuading her from a second date. Why shoot myself in the foot? Being on time is not only proper: it is smart. Plus, I gave her my word. So I am never late. Never.

Surprisingly, or rather, now more unsurprisingly but disappointingly: during these past few years of shidduch and online dates…most girls are 10-30 minutes late. My Rabbi said he has no doubt, “if these girls were going on important job interviews, they would be on time”. Why then do girls “make sure” to be late, and make their date wait unnecessarily? It is clear: they wish to send a message to their date that they have “more important” things to do. Really? So why bother agreeing to the date at all? This attitude is transposed to their Internet dating profiles as well, where half the girls I read about write, “I can’t believe I am doing this!” Again, these girls feel they have to show in their profiles how they are so far above all this dating “nonsense”. They don’t really “need” to solicit dates online (because they’re doing fine without them…yeah, real fine, and SINGLE) but they do so ostensibly due to social pressures.

You really gotta hand it to these brave girls, who go against their grain, spending their precious time dating so as to make their friends and family happy. What a thoughtful bunch. I wonder, are they a new breed of females who have no psychological, emotional or sexual needs? Clones from some 1970s genetic experiment gone bad? “My friends forced me to do this”…yeah, yeah, yeah…I have heard it all. These girls will be 80 before they act like adults. 

One thing is for sure: these girls lie, presenting themselves as independent, possessing no needs, and they must reiterate this independence in their profiles, and when they show up “fashionably late” for dates. This says the girl is not mature, and not ready for a relationship, which, by definition, requires apologies, compromise, and thoughtfulness. If a girl is that inconsiderate that her expression of her importance outweighs her word to meet me 30 minutes ago as planned, hey…don’t waste my time. Just phone me ahead and tell me, “Hey, Joe, I am already dressed and ready, and just around the corner from the restaurant…but I don’t want to show up on time. That might convey my ‘need’ to date, and I don’t want anyone to think I need anything.” I’d rather hear that, than one more date where the girl shows up so late…two more Starbuck’s opened up on the corner while I waited for her.

The bottom line is that if you are a girl who consistently shows up late, stop dating. You’re fooling yourself that you can be in a relationship. You first need to understand your behavior, admit it is rude and selfish – two traits that healthy relationships cannot tolerate. Once you correct your feelings and behaviors, and can respect a guy as an equal to yourself, and not less worthy, then you might be ready. This same personality flaw is expressed when girls say, “Call me”, and never return your call…or wait a few days before doing so. Last week a shadchan gave me a girl’s number, and I called that day. Now, a week later, she has not returned my call. This girl is 33, and doesn’t realize her time is running out, or that she is inconsiderate. I am surely not calling her again. Another girl I emailed last Sunday responded that she enjoyed my profile, and feels we should talk and get acquainted. I wrote back Sunday enthused, “Great, here’s my number, or email yours.” A week later…Nothing, no pulse, nadda, zilch, zippo. She’s clearly 35 and single with good reason. And thus one is a psychiatrist! What advice is SHE dishing out?

If a girl cannot make 5 minutes to respond within a day or two, then she is playing games, and I lose all interest. She can even look like a model, but she has no model personality and I probably will not agree to date her, without some great excuse. Girls like these are ruining good opportunities, and create poor reputation for themselves. They need to learn about themselves, either with a therapist, Rabbi, or good friend, who can show them what they’re doing, and possibly why. And I’m sure plenty of guys do the same.

Conversely, an honest and healthy girl will admit that we all have needs and desires, and one of the most basic ones is to have companionship. Expressing this need in creating a dating profile, and showing up on time for a date is admirable. Girls should learn that this is what men feel: we admire an honest girl, who is not ashamed of what she should not be ashamed of, meaning her vulnerabilities which we all possess. Personally, I’d give everything to meet someone with that level of honesty, who is humble, intelligent and considerate. Such traits forge the most successful relationships.

Now, with the Internet boom, dating has a great advantage, or so I thought. One might think that this 24/7, global venue would yield more prospects, and create more opportunities. But what I have experienced first hand is that I can email literally 100 girls, with 0-2 responding. Ouch! At least when I am not interested, I always write back thanking the girl for her note, while honestly expressing my lack of interest, either because she is too old, not in my city, or what it may be…ending my response with “Best of success to us both!” This sustains this girl’s dignity. For even though I am not interested, which might be a letdown, my response that I wish her success equal to my success, removes the “personal” rejection. But 0-2 responses from women out of 100 emails? Not good stats! This Internet boom seems to be producing an online smorgasbord of men for these women to complain about, as if we’re a bunch of knishes that are too well done, not hot enough, too dry, square and not round, or missing their favorite sauces! “Maybe the next tray will have something better on it?” Seems to me that the men are more flexible with their criteria, whereas women have checklists with more items than Walmart. My male friends tell me the same. How do these girls assume they will get married with such uncompromising and unrealistic standards? Unless, the really don’t want to be married.

Last week my close friend dispelled my misconception: “Storks don’t really deliver babies,” he said…and he awoke me to what really happens…“WOW!” I said. But then I wondered, if it gets risky to have kids after 35, why are girls, who have that “ticking” going on, waiting so long? I guess “fashionably late” applies here too. With my higher rate of emails to girls, than girls who write to me…friends are starting to think “I’m” the one carrying eggs. Truth is, girls would greatly benefit if they were all born with expiration dates: “Don’t use after January 2006” written right across their foreheads. Maybe then they’d realize time is running out, and compromise is due.

“So nu…what’s wrong with you?” I get asked repeatedly by shadchans, in a typical shadchan drone. Yep. Shadchans and gossipers don’t help the issue, with all their know-it-all catch phrases; they destroy more than they do good. They condemn single girls and guys because these “holier than thou” matchmakers feel they got it all worked out. Upon meeting someone for the first time, they kick into shadchan mode: “You’re single…at your age? You must have problems. You’re too picky. You’re not ready to get married.” They talk before they listen. That’s like answering before knowing the question. Not wise. These shadchans would do more good by keeping their mouths closed, and not sharing their “well-researched”, insensitive personality profiles with the already frustrated singles. Yeah, they know everything, they must. I am sure from these callous modes of talk that many shadchans are self-serving, and do so merely to feel good about themselves, or for needed social interaction with their peers. They sure as hell do not seek to help singles. I receive many emails from shadchans setting me up with girls 5-8 years older than my requested limit, or girls who don’t meet other profile requests, like girls who are overweight. I am entitled to my preferences of attraction and age, but shadchans do not respect them. They figure, “He’s a boy, she’s a girl, it’s a perfect match!”

Friends would call me relatively “good material”: post collegiate degrees, slim and in shape, good sense of humor, considerate, patient (gotta be at this point) and I am fully observant. I attend shiurim, learn, daven with a minyan, and work daily. And although orthodox, I’m open to all categories of Jews, provided basics are observed like Shabbos, kashrut and niddah (marital purity laws). Of course I prefer Halacha to be kept accurately, but I was told by my Rabbi not to make an issue about a girl who is not yet ready to cover her hair, or dress exclusively in skirts.

So, based on the low response I receive from my emails, there’s something really wrong with the amount of girls lacking a serious attitude about marriage. Why are so many girls in their 30s reluctant to just talking by phone? Forget about scheduling a date right away, let’s just take 5-10 minutes and talk on the phone. But with their silence they say “Nope”. I even heard last month that some girl I met a year ago, who is still single, still wouldn’t date me because I don’t own a black hat. I feel like telling her, “Black hats can’t give you kids, make you smile, take you on vacations, provide for you, and help raise your family.” So I’ll buy a black hat if she wants! But I’m sure she’ll say, “No, you don’t already wear one, so I cannot date you.” Have you ever heard such stupidity? What type of corrupt seminaries and yeshivas are training these girls to act with such foolishness? Something has got to be done, or else the next generation of singles…well…won’t exist.

I’ll admit that I don’t find every girl attractive…who does, and what girl finds every guy her type? But after years of shidduchim and online dating, I, my Rabbi, and others, have seen a pattern: girls are not serious about a relationship. If they were, they’d surely give more guys a chance. And we are no longer suggesting spending 2 hours over dinner: a 30 minute coffee is great to determine if a dinner is appropriate.

So girls, take real-life actions to meet someone. Loosen your criteria. Realize that what you know about someone from the get go, is 1% of who he is…give him time. You don’t need to now you’ll marry him on date #1. And don’t feel pressured; you can always end things if they don’t work out 2-3 weeks down the road. My suggestion in general is to get advice from intelligent individuals as to what you are doing wrong, and what unrealistic elements you are seeking. Then, be as flexible as possible. You may just get married. But you will definitely remain single if you keep discounting guys based on unreasonable excuses.

By the way, if any of you reading this are in your 30s, observant, or at least willing to observe the basics (Shabbos, kosher and niddah, if not more) email me at “” with the subject line “Fashionably Late” and attach or include your profile photos and bio, or your screen name on the Jewish dating sites. I’ll keep it confidential. Even if I feel we’re not a match, I’ll write ya back…promise! And guys, you can email too, let’s see if we can network serious minded observant singles and get us all married…fashionably on time!  -Joe