To Judge or not to Judge
Jan 06, 2019

Dating Judge Image

Unfortunately, we judge, we are human. We do a complete once-over of every person you meet for the first time. If you are observant, you listen to the way they talk, how they are saying their language and what they are actually saying. Perhaps, we interpret the wrong things on our impressions of many first meetings, making for continual nastily- little -dragged -out dating patterns, that can deter you from the person you really want, and just flat out waste your time.

This sounds harsh, and I was reluctant to write this dating article. I don't want to come across, ha, ha (irony here) or give the wrong impression of being judgmental of people, however, I am always listening and learning how people see their worlds in many facets of reaction.

One of the key ways we interpret as human beings what another individual is like is gauging their reactions in various settings; especially when dating. We all can gauge people's reactions, but can we interpret a date's body language as well? This isn't really just about dating either, I interpret people's reactions and dialogue in general on a daily basis as a writer, it helps me mold how a friend or what my mother is thinking. I even have tried to analyze my cat, Brew. And I've given up on the dog. Sometimes an observation by a friend or a date is so shocking, insightful, depressing, or atypical, that I marvel on how we think we can observe so much, but we can never really know what's in another human being's brain.

I started thinking about the different ways that people reveal themselves—these revelations are not revelations, but re-teachings of my creative writing and journalism classes. I had great writing teachers who would ask the students, when we were studying how to write character, how do you know what the character (insert date's name here) is like:

     1.     What they say.

     2.     What they are thinking (this is real life, so the internal monologue doesn't count for this one unless your date is giving you a soliloquy), which I am in the position to say, when I drink too much, I give surprise monologues to my dates. I have no idea what I am saying (you see, I am at fault here too as an ambivalent dater and human being) Okay, read on.

     3.     What one says about other people.

     4.     What other people say about this person.

             Mhmm....and I am going to ad one big character clue here to look at when you delve into your first dating rituals and go out onto the scene.

     5.     How does your date, friend, lover to be, critique a piece of art?

The Night I Became so Mad I went Silent, and I was not even Dating this Woman

 This might sound weird but hear me out...I will tell you all a dating story. I went to a play, like I have been to many plays before. I went with a date and another couple. We saw this play called “The Exonerated” about these individuals incarcerated for many, many years, only to be exonerated and their lives never to be the same again. The play was set in a small studio in San Francisco, making for more tearing possible. I wept and my date, my love, cried, and the other couple I was not paying attention to until after the show.

The other couple had not kissed but had started to hang out, being exasperatingly slow with admitting their desires, expectations, wishes, desires for anything more than friends. Their relationship had me and my date confused, who was getting blue balls by just looking at them. But this was just one problem. There was a pretty universal reaction that the play was incredibly affecting. However, “Jane” and let's say “Rico” were at odds. Rico seemed a tad bit more affected than Jane. I was silent, observing more than usual in my solemn mood after seeing such a powerfully affected play.

After but five minutes, Jane was rambling on about her college days of being a parking lot attendant. I felt sorry for her stupidity, and then I thought about her date. Does he care? Does anyone care that we just saw an amazing play and now we were reliving her menial days as a parking attendant? It was like eating a jalapeno after wasabi. Insult to injury. I felt bad for the actors that performed that night who couldn't hear our conversation outside the theatre. Yeah, that's how serious I am when it affects me passionately. Was Rico observing Jane's every move, comment, hair rustle? I wanted to know these things. But Rico seemed fine with her nostalgia about her college days. Or he was being a good little, sex-deprived date.

I wanted to say: “this is when you start to judge your date.”

When you look at fine details in dating, this would make sense. I know I want someone to feel passionate about the things I feel passionate about, so maybe it's not a play that you'd react to, maybe it's a football game. Okay, so you take your date to a football game, and they sit there not cheering. And let's say they said they were into football...but they weren't by your uncanny observations.

This is how I felt about Jane, saying she was into theatre. I was mad and I wasn't even screwing her, well, neither was Rico.

It's just a thought. To judge or not judge, but keep your eyes open, and maybe yourself as the dater too, keep your mouth shut and listen and digest. So much is revealed about a person in what is said, and how one is dying to tell their irrelevant story. How many times have I talked over someone? Oh, my. Many, many times. This isn't just an article about us dating new people, it's about dating people we already know and love! It's about reacting and conversing in a new way, that respects the people around you. How we talk and respond, shows our respect for life.

I hate to think that on all the dating conversations that I was fumbling over myself, monologuing about my childhood, talking over my date about the ordinary, ignoring him and the scenario at hand. I've done it, oh, how I've done it. They are like my Napoleon Dynamite moments, I don't know what happens.

I think we've all lost site of how to critique a piece of art....or what to exactly say when we are affected by something powerful. This is it---what do you say as a human being when you are affected and don't know what to say? Or the other person you are dating is affected and you weren't? Sometimes you can end up saying unobservant, conclusive statements like: “I eat glue.”

Or for in the case of enthusiastic daters wanting to just date, don't ever lie and say you're into something when your not. And if you are into it, be smart, have fun, but feel the scene out on those first dating moments, your person should be watching you, taking you in....and perhaps enjoying some well-deserved silences.

©2019 Canon Publishing, LLC

Alysha Oravetz Image


Alysha Oravetz is a writer who lives in the San Francisco East Bay. She enjoys the theatre, people watching, and road trips with planned out play lists. She also has a black cat named Brew. Her favorite books is "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." Alysha is a contributing dating author for the