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Dear Dating Coach,

I am a 35- year-old accomplished woman. I have an advanced degree and work in a very respected field. I keep dating losers. There is no other way to say it. They have pathetic jobs or no jobs, are not polished, and I could never envision a life with them. I have started telling people who want to set me up that I only want a professional, someone with a highly-regarded degree, who preferably has a title other than Mr. before his name (not Rabbi!). I know that this complicates things, but I want to marry someone I can be proud of and to whom I will feel equal too. This is my new line in the sand! Please back me up!


Diploma Determined


Dear Diploma,

Cardboard boxes are the best present. I totally recommend them if you are looking to purchase a gift for the kids in your life. If the cardboard box arrives with another item ensconced inside, simply throw it away. Trust me, the kids prefer the box. Mine recently decided to create a second home out of a large box Amazon sent them. They cut out windows and a door and painted the roof. They laid out a floor-plan and assigned bedrooms. Everything was going according to plan when a renovation was suggested. A wall came out because it was a “bit staid,” a bedroom was “too provincial” and had to be removed, and the bathroom was deemed “too modern” and demolished as well. Another wall was too tall, another too short, and the roof was just too “overbearing.” Suddenly, my precious builders found themselves with a tiny square of cardboard that only Barbie would find spacious. They were fine though, because as everyone knows, “there is no place like no home.”



I know you are frustrated. You worked hard to pursue a professional goal and feel a great sense of accomplishment from your work. You pushed yourself and your determination is something that you are proud of. (As you should be.) You tried to “just date” but now feel like you must be more selective and specific. If you do not offer those well-meaning people who hope to set you up with clearly defined parameters, you will continue to date “losers.” You allude to a doctor, someone who is certainly educated and someone to be proud of, as in “my husband, the doctor.”



You neglected, however, to highlight a specialty. Will a neurosurgeon be the only acceptable choice, or would you settle for a podiatrist? (Please forgive me; both specialties, as you are both necessary and impressive.) I know you believe that you are protecting yourself in your new demands, but instead, you are creating a dating process for yourself that will be DOA. Furthermore, the arrogance of it all will certainly put off many eligible men. What if he owns a chain of supermarkets? A successful e-commerce business? What if he is a teacher, beloved by hordes of students? What if he is simply a hard worker, who is driven, smart, and passionate about what he does?



Sure, there are wonderful frum doctors, so many of whom went to medical school with hard-working young wives by their side who worked 9-5 jobs and took care of young children alone so their husbands could pursue medicine. While there are definitely older singles who are doctors, they are not standing en masse waiting for accomplished women outside the Emergency Room. Rather, they are still married to the women who stood by their sides during the decade and a half it took to become a doctor.



Take a minute and revaluate. Perhaps in your desire to meet someone smart and hardworking, you pigeon-holed yourself accidentally. Instead, may I suggest you tell those well-meaning friends and shadchanim, that you would like to date men who are ambitious, motivated, and determined to be successful. This will expand the blueprint for the “box” of eligible men while honoring your professional accomplishments and need to meet “your equal.”

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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at [email protected] to schedule a phone session.