Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I have been dating someone during this Covid-19 pandemic and things have been going well. We don’t live in the same state, but he was in my city for an extended period of time and we were able to go on multiple (backyard) dates. But he has been back home for a while now and our families are pressuring us to get engaged without seeing each other in person again in order to limit air travel. I understand that we want to protect ourselves and our families, but I feel like we need to spend more time (in person) together first. Should I ignore this and just seal the deal? I’m basically sure…

Zoom to Engagement

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Dear Zoom,

We’ve all had this moment. You can nod your head in denial and pretend this never happened to you, but we all know the truth. You know: you made that road-stop pit stop at some unknown gas station in some unknown location. You consider yourself to be a civilized person with a respectable adherence to a standard of cleanliness and would typically keep driving. But your trip encountered unexpected roadblocks like traffic, roadwork, and a very large taco, and not stopping is no longer an option. You pull over, grab the key using only your left pinky and inhale your last bit of fresh air before heading in. Relieved, you reach for the roll only to be faced with absolute horror. Only a measly square left attached to a bare cardboard tube mocking you as you hang your head in despair. You frantically search your empty cruel pockets, your ridiculously oversized unaccommodating purse, but to no avail. Your task remains incomplete, and a painful lesson is learned. You must always be sure of Prince Charmin.

 

Be Sure When You Step…

I’m so glad to hear that you have been cleverly dating during this pandemic. It has been very difficult for singles to manage dating while being respectful of the safety and health of family and friends. It is heartwarming to hear that you both found a way to date that was safe with backyard benches in the place of hotel lobbies and local restaurants. Yet, while things were going well, you had to be separated and continued “dating” through Zoom and phone calls. While all communication counts in dating, it can be difficult to forego the typical “in person” dates we have grown accustomed to.

 

Step with Care and Great Tact…

Your family believes you’ve spent enough time together. Coupled with the fact that they want to prevent you both from flying, they are encouraging you to get engaged. They don’t understand why you first need to see him in person again. You’ve had “typical” dates they remind you, and now you continue to communicate. Shouldn’t that be enough? Additionally, you feel the pressure of Covid-19, of protecting your families- and you worry that you should just agree even though you heart says you need more. You appreciate the logic behind their reasoning, but emotionally you still need more time to develop a deeper connection before you can envision an “I do.”

 

And Remember That Life’s A Great Balancing Act…

You are a girl who felt ready enough to date, you felt ready enough to think of marriage, and you were prepared to make a long-term commitment. That means that you must now be woman enough to clearly communicate with your family. This decision is huge. It must be made with a peaceful heart, not simply because your family is afraid of long-distance travel. If you feel like you need more time in person, then you need to say that to your parents carefully, respectfully, and firmly. Being forced to get engaged before you are ready can sour an otherwise beautiful connection that simply needed a few more dates. Be strong, be clear, and be kind when you say that you are prepared to wait a while in order to make this happen. In the scheme of many happy years together, a few more weeks will simply be a small blip that you and your families can certainly overcome. Not being sure of Prince Charming however – that can have devastating results. Believe us: we’ve all been there.

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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 hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.
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