If you would like to be notified when your comment is published, please fill in your email address in the form below.After three exasperatingly cautious dates and a month of coy e-mail exchanges, I got tired of beating around the bush and wrote Orie, my American prospect. “I just did,” I replied, “but the book I know is in Hebrew.” Of all the social mazes an immigrant must navigate when assimilating to a new, unfamiliar culture, dating is one of the most labyrinthine.
“I can’t believe you just came out and said that,” he wrote back, his tone half wondering, half perplexed. It’s like dancing blindfolded — and barefoot — in a room full of mousetraps.This is especially true regarding Israeli and American Jews, for whom a common heritage masks vast differences in national culture and character.By the time Roy Schwartz and Kim Miller met each other, for example, they were both pretty jaded.“I had to learn the hard way that here, unlike in Israel, dating is a game to played,” said Schwartz.A 32-year-old literature professor at CUNY, Schwartz came here from Israel seven years ago and was enchanted by the gentility and ladylike manners of American women; but when it came to dating them, he kept smashing into invisible walls. “Every little thing you do or don’t do is judged — from the particular vocabulary you use, to the money you spend, to the frequency of your calls.You are constantly put to the test.” Compared to Israeli dating, where things are generally taken at face value, this was very difficult, he said.
“In Israel, there isn’t so much drama about every little thing ...
maybe because, you know, we have bigger fish to fry.” Miller, 30, a native New York author, was attracted to Israeli men for their no B-S approach, as she put it, their general readiness to settle down, and their relative maturity (“After the army, Israelis are men; Americans stay frat boys for a while”).
They'll give you their number and tell you to call, then turn out to have a regular boyfriend.
They'll invite you for dinner with the family on the second date.
For newcomers, dating locals can be something of an enigma.
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