Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am dating a great girl and I really like her. We have been out a few times and everything is going pretty smoothly. She is always dressed nicely and she has a classy vibe. I’m just worried that she is high maintenance. The neighborhood she is from, the school she went to, and her overall look, make me wonder if I will be getting in over my head. I plan to learn for a few years and don’t expect that we will have the means for a fancy lifestyle. I just don’t want to feel pressured if I can’t meet her expectations. How do I figure this out before we go further?


Louis Vuitton-not


Dear Louis,

I have a daughter who is a fashionista. She loves clothes and shoes and accessories and uses phrases like “fabric choice” and “color story.” She loves to “style” her sisters and gives compliments like, “You are a perfect spring.” When she was younger, she decided that only certain fabrics would work for her. Wool was “too itchy,” linen “too crinkly,” and velvet “too sweaty.” We purged closets and shopped till we dropped. We created new outfits and added bows and headbands and shoes. Just when I thought we were done, our delightful designer came to breakfast in her bed hair, don’t care nightgown with an announcement to make. “I now only like this one fabric of my nightgown. It’s soft and silky and shiny. It’s just perfect! I looked at the label and I want all my dresses to be this fabulous material!” While we rubbed bleary eyes and prayed for more coffee… she declared, “it’s called POLYESTER!” OMG. Yup, she is a fancy one. Watch your wallets. Not.


I Don’t Expect…

I am so glad to hear that you met someone that you have already connected with. You seem to be compatible and your dates are progressing nicely. Yet, her background and current “look” worry you. You want to start your marriage as a “learner” and are concerned that she might have expectations that are higher than your current tax bracket. You want this to work, but a high maintenance girl is not something you were looking for.


Everything to Just Be Handed to Me…

You are totally right. A low maintenance girl would be a much better bet. A girl who loves scrubbing toilets, someone who hates gifts, and never wants to go on vacation. Look for someone who adores second-hand furniture, gemach shopping, and is so excited to wash her own sheitel. Oh, and when you find her, please let us all know. We would love to meet a unicorn.

All jokes aside, every woman would appreciate the above. Cleaning help, special gifts, and a trip somewhere nice. Every wife would appreciate a beautiful home, pretty clothes of her choosing, and the chance to have her sheitel styled by a pro. Every. Single. Woman. There are sacrifices however, that many wives make with peace and understanding. He is going to learn. He is going to school. They are both going to school. They want to be in chinuch, kiruv, or the like. Maybe they both grew up simply or maybe they both grew up wealthy, but they want to stand on their own two feet. There are a million reasons why a wife must forego “extras” because they are not able to cover the cost. But this is not low maintenance or high maintenance. This is life as we hope to work toward more comforts in the future.


Just Set it Down Wherever.

Now if you are worried that she will expect a two-month anniversary gift, bi-weekly dinners out, or a ‘Tu B’Av designer purse present,’ you need to communicate your concerns. It is possible that she hopes that one day you will be able to offer her those luxuries, but she is happy to work alongside you until you both get there. Discuss both of your expectations, talk about money and how you both currently spend it, and what you both consider necessities vs. extravagances. Communicate respectfully and you will be able to make sure your future marriage is tax-free.

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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.