The Tel Aviv Dat­ing Di­aries

One olah hadasha nav­i­gates the Tel Aviv dat­ing scene

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - OBSERVATIO­NS - • ILANA MEHLMAN

Well, I’ve been in Is­rael for al­most two years now, and my heart has be­gun to harden. I came in all doe-eyed and ex­cited, think­ing “Now’s the time – I’m go­ing to meet my Nice Jewish Boy!”

Boy, I was wrong.

So now, I’ve de­cided that it’s time to share my hor­ror sto­ries with the world.

It all be­gan in Septem­ber 2017. I had just moved to Bat Yam to teach English on oneyear pro­gram in Is­rael. I fig­ured I’d check out the Is­raeli dat­ing app scene and hon­estly, that was prob­a­bly my first mis­take.

I down­loaded Tin­der and be­gan swip­ing.

Right, left, right, right… it be­came al­most like a game. And then an hour later, I got a no­ti­fi­ca­tion: “You have a new match!”

I check it out, and he was prob­a­bly one of the best-look­ing guys I’ve ever seen.

“Hey, how are you?” I ask and look­ing back, his re­sponse should’ve been my first warn­ing.

“Oh, hey cu­tie. I’m great! How are you?” The con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ues for about a day be­fore he asks if we “can meet on the beach with a bot­tle of wine” later that night.

I re­spond and sug­gested grab­bing ice cream or meet­ing at a bar. He then in­formed me that he’s not in­ter­ested in meet­ing at a pub­lic restau­rant.

“Babe, lis­ten. We will go for a 15-minute walk on the beach and then have sex.” I was com­pletely floored. The first thought was “Wait, what? Does that ac­tu­ally work?”

So be­ing the blunt Amer­i­can that I am, I asked ex­actly that.

He said, “Well af­ter 15 min­utes you know if you want to bang, so why wait?”

I said, “En­tic­ing of­fer, but I think I’ll pass.”

Af­ter this lovely in­ter­ac­tion, I as­sumed that this guy was an anom­aly and most men didn’t act this way.

Well I’m here, two years later, to tell you this in­ter­ac­tion was NOT an anom­aly and this is typ­i­cal be­hav­ior of many dif­fer­ent Is­raeli – and more specif­i­cally – Tel Avi­vian men.

As the year con­tin­ued, I be­came more cyn­i­cal and asked my friends about their ex­pe­ri­ences. It al­ways went the same way:

Girl meets boy on Bum­ble/Tin­der/ JSwipe. Over text, the boy seems nice enough, and then BAM! He asks: “Want to have sex?” It’s al­most like clock­work. They rope you in and then do a com­plete 180.

And I’m sure there are a lot of very re­spect­ful and nice guys out there. But this wouldn’t be an en­ter­tain­ing story if I told you my dat­ing life was all sun­shine and rain­bows.

Now, I have to point out that there’s a rea­son men think this is an ac­cept­able way to treat women. And un­for­tu­nately, it’s be­cause there are a lot of women who say, “Yes!” im­me­di­ately when con­fronted with sex.

I am def­i­nitely not here to slut-shame any­one be­cause let’s be real, who doesn’t like sex? But, these women seem to be ru­in­ing ev­ery­one else’s chances at find­ing their “one true love.”

Or are they? I hon­estly don’t know the an­swer to this ques­tion. My ques­tion for you to pon­der un­til next time is, “Are the girls who are just look­ing for a one-time fling re­ally the rea­son no guy in Tel Aviv wants to set­tle down OR would it be the same even if every girl said no?”

I’m here, two years later, to tell you this in­ter­ac­tion was NOT an anom­aly



‘SEXY THINGS, I guess’: An of­fend­ing text ex­change.

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