5 ways to turn women away from Aish.com

Aish.com, the website for the Orthodox outreach organization Aish HaTorah, has more than just Torah commentaries and explanations of Jewish ritual, it also offers dating advice.

A new piece on Aish.com, “5 ways to turn off a guy,” gives women some helpful tips (garnered from three recently married men, who are, by virtue of being married, now experts on male-female interactions everywhere) on how to keep the attention of the men they desire. From way No. 1 to turn off a guy, “Debate with him” — because disagreement is like a blast of cold water to a Jewish Lothario’s nethers — to No. 5, “Pursue him,” passivity seems to be Aish.com’s prescription for a successful dating life for women.


Other ways to turn off a guy? Failing to dress up and get made up for a date; listing too many academic and professional accomplishments on your online dating profile (“I’m looking for a wife, not a business associate,” one of Aish’s male informants explained); and opening up too much about your personal life (especially instances like the time “you and your sister didn’t speak for two years after a man you both liked chose to date her”). If professional and personal topics are taboo, one wonders what’s left for women to converse about on dates: The weather? Meals she would enjoy cooking for her current suitor? Or better yet, no conversation at all, lest it wind up in a date-destroying debate?

Aish later went back and added a coda to the post, claiming the piece was misinterpreted and offering re-worded, “blunter” versions of their sage advice. But the authors still admonish women not to “throw yourself at him,” “look as if you don’t care about your appearance,” or “spill your guts to him right away.”  As a proud self-thrower, sweatpants-lover and acknowledged guts-spiller (who is engaged to be married), my best dating advice is be yourself and be wary of unsolicited dating advice.

Talia Lavin Talia Lavin is an intern at JTA. A recent Harvard graduate and aspiring novelist, she recently returned from a Fulbright grant in Ukraine, where she studied early 20th-century Hebrew literature.