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Dear Dr. Yael,

I am a modern Orthodox female and I feel that I have wasted a lot of time dating. My family is more charedi and all my siblings are married. I “rebelled” and now I find that I have wasted a lot of time dating. I am a bit older now and the dating scene is horrible. I thought dating was fun at first, but as I get older I realize this is not how I want to live. I sometimes will date men that I like, but most of these men are not looking to commit to marriage, and sometimes when things start to get serious, they ghost me. I never knew what ghosting was until I entered this world. I can be dating someone, things seem to be going in the right direction, and then out of the blue, the man will completely remove me from his life and it is extremely painful. I feel so hurt and have no idea what I did wrong or why they disappeared.


I look at my siblings, who trusted my parents’ way of finding their bashert, and they are all happily married, Baruch Hashem. Each one of my siblings went out with people who were checked by my parents. Their in-laws were also researched. The people they dated were serious about marriage and although they did not marry the first person that they dated, they got married within one to two years from when they started dating (I know this is not always the case, but they definitely did not have the drama that I am experiencing.). I thought the whole process was archaic and crazy, but now I realize that this was a much better way of doing things. I am still close to my parents, but I am too ashamed to tell them I was wrong and they were right. I receive so much rejection and uncertainty. I wish I could return to that way of life. However, I think it is too late for me.

Please share with people that ghosting is very painful. I feel terrible when men just drop me suddenly. The hurt and betrayal is devastating. If you are not interested in continuing to date someone, be a mentch and tell them over the phone, or in person, if your relationship is more serious. People deserve the decency of a conversation. This new phenomenon of ghosting is a horrible thing, and I hope you will print this letter so others can see how devastating it is and not do this anymore.

A Disheartened Single


Dear Disheartened Single,

Thank you for writing this important letter. In general, dating is difficult. While people are feeling that there are many options through apps, social media, and websites, this can lead to them jumping around and sometimes ghosting others. Ghosting means abruptly ending any communication with someone without communication. It can be in a romantic relationship, employees who stop coming to work without quitting, friendship, or family relationships.

People ghost for a myriad of reasons. It is called ghosting because it involves someone basically “vanishing” into thin air. They moved on in their life, and they don’t have enough empathy for the other person to tell them. Sometimes the person who is ghosting can actually be struggling with issues in their own life. It is possible that they can be struggling with depression, and are therefore isolating themselves. We have to realize that if we are being ghosted, it is usually a reflection of the person who is ghosting us. Generally ghosting says more about the person doing the ghosting than about you. It is much healthier for someone to say, “I think we are not a good match, but you are a really nice person,” or to just nicely break off a relationship than to just disappear or block all communication.

People who ghost may be afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings, but ghosting hurts far more than being straightforward about your feelings in a relationship. People who ghost can feel uncomfortable with hard conversations. However, just disappearing is far more painful.

Some people ghost others because it makes them feel powerful. Unfortunately, it is always at someone else’s expense. The truth is, some feel that people have become disposable. It’s easy for someone to totally disappear even though you are correct that it is a very mean thing to do to someone.

You are fortunate that you are still close to your parents. It is never too late to change how you act or how you do things. There are problems in the shidduch world as well but, if you feel a pull to return to a more charedi way of life, you may be opening up more options for yourself. If you truly want to get married and you look for important qualities, like middos, you can then overlook superficial issues or other differences, which ultimately may not affect your marriage. The benefits of dating how your siblings dated is that your parents can do more research into a prospective match, and there is a very little chance of ghosting as there is usually a shadchan involved, who will help ensure more appropriate behavior.

The only time ghosting is a valid option is if someone is afraid that they are in a physically or emotionally dangerous situation. Then ghosting is a safe way to exit. If a person is afraid that the other person will respond poorly to rejection by lashing out or even hurting them, then leaving quietly is the safer thing to do.

I wish you success in finding your zivug. I don’t know how old you are, but if you are open to marrying someone with children, you may increase your possibilities. Dating is never easy, but try to look at what is really crucial in having a good marriage and overlook other things that are not as important. Only you can know what is important for you. Hatzlacha!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at