Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

After dating a great guy for several months, we got engaged! I feel happy, secure and excited to see what the future will bring. When we were dating, we had a specific goal – to get to know each other and to decide if we were compatible. With every date, we became more committed to reach that goal, and only got engaged when we both felt sure that we had a strong and real connection that brought us both joy. But now that we are engaged, I feel like, “now what?” Just date some more until our wedding day? Is there something we should be working on now that I am missing? I just want to make sure we are set up for success and I would appreciate your advice.


Goal Oriented


Dear Goal,

There are some parings that most of us can agree on. Peanut butter and jelly, salsa and chips, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and wine and everything. You may be unaware however, that I have been harboring creative and daring mini chefs waiting to unleash their culinary creations to the world. There has been some Michelin buzz, and some crafty poaching from famous names in the business, but these chefs have until now held their masterful food pairings under wraps. Be prepared to be astounded as I announce these unusual food pairings. Do not be dismayed if you never thought to pair the foods I mention, as only the most gifted of chefs could ever achieve this level of culinary harmony. In order of importance, they are; potato chips and ketchup, eggs and ketchup, and the piece de resistance – gefilte fish and ketchup. (*Please make sure you pronounce ketchup with a French accent.) If you vomited in your mouth a little, don’t feel dejected. You are simply not ready for this degree of greatness (or gastrointestinal upset). One day you will “ketch-up.” (Sorry, literally can’t help myself.)


We Go Together Like…

Mazel tov on your engagement. As a goal-oriented girl, you were determined to date with purpose. You have been blessed to meet your right match and you are now preparing to spend your lives together. Yet, now that the excitement of your dating and engagement has waned somewhat, you are feeling unsure of how to proceed. Is the new goal simply to continue dating – to enjoy each other’s company until the big day? Should you be building the connection you made as you work toward becoming husband and wife? You are hoping for clearer direction in this interim time of engagement.


Copy and Paste.

Kudos to you for your commitment to this new relationship. You want to do this right and you are happy to put in the work. While this time before a wedding can be blissful and full of promise, a couple can also face tensions as two families work together to create a wedding for the new couple. There may be logistical decision about housing, job hunting, and minutia for the wedding. There can be difficult conversations about financial ability, commitments, and contributions. There are details to sort out like insurance, student debt, and marriage certificates. These details can all be stressors for the new couple who have never had to weather disagreement or even the slightest of conflict. So, there is definitely a need for growth during an engagement; where a couple strengthens their understanding, communication, and care for one another. Moreover, a couple should use this time to solidify themselves as a team of two. Sure, it will be important to have the support of your family and friends in your lives – but cementing yourselves a team, as a solid pair, you will chart your course forever. Your willingness to be a real pair and a strong and connected team of two, will ensure that you will be able to celebrate and weather the wonders and trials that life may offer.


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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.