Dear Dating Coach,
I have been dating a great guy for a while, but I am pretty sure that he is not for me. He would like to continue dating however, as he sees a future for us. My family thinks I am foolish to break things off with someone who likes me so much, but I just don’t feel the same way about him. Am I making a mistake by moving on? Should I trust that what he feels is enough for the both of us?
Leftovers are fine. Toddler leftovers are not fine. Yet, I have seen many a mother inhale the discarded cold, congealed, contaminated, coughed-on, mac and cheese kindly discarded by a toddler. Leftover pizza crusts, stale grilled cheese ends, and half chewed chicken fingers have all been consumed by a mom somewhere – who doesn’t remember when she last ate and has lost her sensitivity to salmonella. Mothers are the hardest working people on the planet, often without time to properly nourish themselves. But this is taking it too far. Put down the crushed Bamba bag, the forgotten juice box, and the half-eaten hot dog. It’s ok to finally throw out that clementine after seeing it returned for a week in your child’s lunch bag. You may have to forego a five-star dinner in your rush to superhero mom status, but masticated chicken is no longer an option. Eat from your own plate. You deserve it.
It can be confusing when you feel one way and the person you have been dating feels differently. You were planning to end things so that you could move on after determining that he was not right for you. Now you are questioning your judgment because he feels so positively and your family is worried that you are not giving him enough credence. Second guessing your decision when it comes to shidduchim is so difficult where clarity is the greatest gift you can ask for.
First, of course, weed out the multitude of opinions and unsolicited advice. Not to belabor the food point – but like that famous line goes, “too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin a shidduch.” It may be prudent however, to discuss the situation with your parents, a trusted rebbetzin, or a dating coach. With them, you can present how you feel and perhaps you will attain clarity by talking things through calmly and carefully. If you are not completely sure about moving forward without him, then it may be right to continue dating. Sometimes, one dater becomes sure of their feelings earlier and the other just needs to catch up. It may very well be an issue of time and allowing your feelings to develop organically. (Please of course, bear in mind that you cannot continue endlessly and carelessly as you are dating someone with strong feelings involved and you would not want to cause additional pain should things not work out.)
That being said, if you are positive that this person is not for you and that you can never envision marrying them, then it is time to move on. You cannot marry someone simply because they want to marry you. Every single person warrants a future with someone who believes that they have been given a tremendous gift. Every person deserves to be cherished and adored by the person that they choose to make a life with. It is not a ‘kindness’ to be with someone because they like you. Nobody wants your second-best feelings. You are not doing him a favor by trying to work with a less than pleasing meal, when he will certainly be caviar to his right match.