Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I have been dating a girl for a while now and it has been going well. We have easy conversation, the same hashkafa, and she is really beautiful. In the beginning, I felt us getting a little closer after each date, but we have sort of stagnated now. We have a great time when we go out, but we can’t seem to forge that deeper connection that would make me feel comfortable enough to propose. I believe she is the one and logically I am sure- how do we get there emotionally?


Finish Line


Dear Line,

We have an iguana family living in our backyard. Mrs. Iguana, Mr. Iguana, and Iguana Junior, (yes, those are actually their names) first appeared one day at the very edge of the yard. They took a look around, and then quickly scampered away. This same process took place daily for a few weeks. A quick peak in, and then they would dart off into the trees. This week, the Iguanas came into the yard, but instead of running off after a few minutes, they seemed to settle in. They stretched out in the sun, looked at us with disdain, and suntanned the day away. We walked over and politely asked them to vacate the premises, but they simply stuck out their tongues and insisted that they worked hard to progress to this point. So, if you pass our house and see the “iguanas for sale” sign, please stop by; buy one get two free.


One Iguana…

Thank you for your letter. You met someone and it is going well. Yet, you are struggling to forge a deeper connection. You have chemistry and feel comfortable with one another, but you are still skimming the surface. You want to move forward, but feel unable to entertain your future as a couple without that stronger bond. Your mind is telling you that she is the right one for you, but your heart is not yet fully engaged.


Two Iguana…

Dating is real. We are not filming a scene in a movie; as the musical arrangement ebbs and flows and then grows into a moving crescendo of passion and hope. There is no thunderous realization while standing in the pouring rain, no chasing a plane as it is about to take off, or any other love cliché you can think of.


Three Iguana…

We date with a purpose and a goal. This method often encourages daters to focus first on logic and practicality; do we have the same goals, are we compatible, is she kind, smart, etc. Sometimes, when we get past the intellectual connection, we wonder how to move forward. How do we engage our emotions?



The only way to move forward is to move forward. Be vulnerable and share your deeper feelings. Ask more meaningful questions, and deeply discuss the answers that you hear. Offer real compliments, and your honest admiration. Do sweet things for her. Don’t be afraid to connect in a real way, and you will notice that your feelings will grow and develop. So, take a step forward and then another, until you end up exactly where you hoped to be.


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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 to schedule a phone session.