Dating Games: Kosher craziness

If you feel you need to lie in order to be liked and accepted by your date, then you pretty much already know whether or not he or she is right for you.

"I love Kosher food!" 521 (photo credit: pepe fainberg)
"I love Kosher food!" 521
(photo credit: pepe fainberg)
My friend Julie recently regaled me with a new dating story that astonished me.
After having shared so many ridiculous dating stories, I thought we’d seen everything, but this one left me stunned.
She had met a new guy on JDate, whom I will refer to as “Zev.” After a few emails, Julie and Zev tried to make plans to get together, ticking through their datebooks until they found an evening when they were both available.
Even though Julie knew she had a busy week at work, she agreed to meet Zev for happy hour at a bar near her office in the middle of the week.
Unfortunately, Julie’s day in court ran late and she barely had time to freshen up, let alone eat, before their date. So she arrived a bit late and a bit flustered and a bit hungry but excited to meet Zev.
Zev was understanding about her long day, didn’t make a big deal about having to wait and offered to order food together. While looking at the menu, the two engaged in conversation that eventually turned to “how Jewish” each of them is. Both had checked a box on their JDate profiles, but that didn’t mean much. Julie considers herself Conservative and Zev seemed to nod in agreement with everything she said about sitting in shul all day during Yom Kippur and not eating any bread on Passover. Zev’s comments seemed to imply that he too considered himself to be a Conservative Jew. Not that it matters so much to Julie, but it’s always refreshing to meet a man who is not only supportive of your beliefs but also shares them.
Then Julie mentioned that she keeps kosher. Since that means different things to different people, she explained that she does not eat shellfish or pork, nor does she mix meat and dairy. Zev said he didn’t either. Julie was impressed. The date was looking better and better. A man who understands why Julie will be registering for two sets of casual dinnerware and two sets of china in addition to two sets of cookware and silverware? Score! When the waitress came over, Zev motioned to Julie to order first (score another point for Zev!) and then it was his turn. That’s when he ordered coconut shrimp. That’s right, following a conversation about keeping kosher, Zev ordered and ate an entire portion of coconut shrimp without any explanation. All of Julie’s excitement vanished the second he ordered the bottom-dwellers. Who was this guy and what twisted game was he playing? I was dumbfounded. If he doesn’t keep kosher that’s fine, but why lie about it and then order shellfish? Couldn’t he have waited to eat shrimp until his next meal? It seems as though he was trying to impress Julie during the conversation and then flushed all his hard work down the toilet by ordering shrimp.
It’s just totally baffling. He could have even waited until after she left and then gone back and ordered the shrimp, but I still don’t understand why he lied about it in the first place. She wouldn’t have looked at him any differently if he didn’t keep kosher; it’s how she was raised and a decision she has continued to uphold. I’ve always been honest about not keeping kosher and Julie doesn’t judge me if I order coconut shrimp in front of her.
Julie didn’t have the audacity to question Zev’s lie; not because she didn’t want a confrontation but because she was already over it. In her mind, Zev had struck out, having blocked out of her mind any iota of a chance for a relationship with him. But he d i d n ’ t even notice. He kept talking agreeably. Was Zev worried that Julie was going to judge him if he wasn’t “as Jewish” as she was? Maybe. Did Zev think his lie would impress her? Sure. But then he went and got himself caught.
It makes no sense.
Why do people lie when they go on dates? It is one thing to exaggerate the truth a bit or embellish a story somewhat, but to straight-out lie is unfathomable and completely opposed to everything I have ever recommended. Lying about keeping kosher when you plan to eat out on dates is like posting a picture of a supermodel on your JDate account and then making plans to meet people. You are going to be discovered, and when you are, there will be nothing you can do to dig yourself out of that hole.
If you feel you need to lie in order to be liked and accepted by your date, then you pretty much already know whether or not he or she is right for you. And if you find yourself consciously choosing to lie anyway, then you need more help then I am capable of giving. Instead of lying, why not try telling the truth and see where that takes you? Relationships are much more interesting when the two partners don’t agree on everything and have mutual respect for one another instead.