The Dating Game: Stern Edition

By: Shira Kramer  |  March 27, 2024

Shira Kramer, Senior Opinions Editor and Social Media Manager

As a Stern tour guide, I take prospective high school juniors and seniors around Stern while telling them stories and facts about Yeshiva University. Often, around the end of my tours, one brave, giggly teenager will ask if the rumors are true. “Is there really a shidduch shuttle?” the wide eyed girls ask. Usually, I laugh and explain that while there is a convenient bus going between the Wilf campus and the Beren campus, I’ve never actually heard a current student call it “the shidduch shuttle.”

Although I do believe that the stereotype that Stern students prioritize getting married over most things is false, you cannot pass two groups of girls deep in conversation without at least both of them talking about dating. 

“I would appreciate it if most of the casual conversations I had at Stern were of more substance than guys and marriage, but I understand as a traditional woman who wants to get married sooner rather than later that it’s a topic on everyone’s minds,” Gabriella Gomperts (SCW ‘26) told me. “It could be a sign of collective anxiety and girls feel the need to talk about it.”

This not-so-subtle dating culture in Stern has both pros and cons. Single girls at Stern are in constant search for their next date. The hardest part about being single is finding the next guy. However, on the other side, people hardly think about the struggles of already dating someone. 

Once a girl has a boyfriend, they are expected to know what the next step is immediately. When are you getting engaged? How will you support yourselves? Will you live in the Heights? 

“[My boyfriend and I] have been together for a year,” shared Marcela Homsany. “I walked downstairs and my friends started singing Kol Sason V’Kol Simcha. It’s kind of like a joke now.”

Every tantalizing question adds a rock into the couple’s proverbial bucket. For those who struggle with these questions daily, I have a solution for the Stern community:

Let’s wait for our peers to tell us their goals. They might not be looking to date and, if they are dating, they might not be looking to immediately get married. Everyone has their own path and their own journey. Additionally, we cannot assume that everyone has a shared experience. 

Not all religious girls date the same way. Anxiety in the Stern community stems from a dating ‘rule book’ that girls feel desperate to follow. Truthfully, these guidelines are not right for everyone. Girls should not expect that even their closest friends are following the same path to dating as they are. 

Overall, Stern should be a safe space for girls to express themselves in whatever way they feel comfortable. 

“The dating culture depends on your religious level,” Homsany said. “I’ve seen that there is so much pickiness when it comes to religious levels that it becomes difficult for people to find their other half.”

As someone in a serious long-term relationship myself, I find the pressure unnecessary and invasive. Girls should be able to gush or complain about their dating life without receiving backlash from either direction. If Stern girls fix these warped societal norms, our ditsy, marriage-focused stereotypes would turn into academically enthusiastic concentrated standards.