Tuesday, October 05, 2004


In the comments section on a previous post, Bronco Buddha asked: If we are all focused on how to "deal with" Singles and the "Singles issue" are we exacerbating the problem? To me, it's a little like large companies who have seminars for executives on "Women in the Workplace" and "Diversity". If you are singling out a specific group, and clarifying that you should treat them with respect and the same way you treat other people that are not part of that group, then by definition, aren't you treating them differently? Is identifying a Singles Crisis and telling people how to act (or not act) on dates making things less natural and more stilted? Well, readers? What are your thoughts?


Bronco Buddha said...

Thanks for the Shout out. I appreciate the pub. But in addition to wanting to hear what your readers have to say, I am also curious what are your thoughts.

Esther Kustanowitz said...

Oh, it's a complicated issue. That's why I was copping out by opening the question up to readers as opposed to answering it myself. Apparently, the copout is not being allowed...

I think people need to be more sensitive to the needs of singles. For instance, in communities where there are many couples and only a few singles, I hope that couples do reach out to singles and invite them to meals, and when appropriate, try to introduce them to other singles. Even on the Upper West Side, a nexus of singles energy, most of my friends are married now, and many of them have stopped inviting me over. I'm just not on the radar anymore, and while I understand that they're couples-focused now, I don't think they should be completely cutting out anyone who's still flying solo.

But I think that the Orthodox movement has gone a little overboard in proclaiming a singles crisis (when it is clear from most of those articles that they mean mostly people in their late twenties), and that this alarmist language would make me feel as if I were a problem to be solved.

As far as telling people how to act on dates, people have to realize that it's not a one-set-of-rules-fits-all kind of scenario. There are basic rules of etiquette that people could stand to assimilate into their dating routines. But I think that each date exists in its own universe, and that it should be treated as such.

Glad you asked? Now let's see if anyone else responds.