Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

What I am about to share is embarrassing but I feel compelled to reach out for advice. I was recently set up with a guy and we agreed to meet for coffee. I went to the coffee shop he suggested and waited for him until he arrived. He came in and we chatted for a bit as we ordered coffees. After about fifteen minutes, he got a text and said he needed to step outside to make a call. I was not thrilled with his making a phone call on a date but figured it was time sensitive. But the joke was on me, because he went outside to make his “call” and never came back! I sat there for thirty minutes alone until I decided to check on him and realized he left! I texted and called him but he never picked up or responded! Everyone keeps telling me “It’s him, not me” but that doesn’t make sense! Of course, it was me! He must have thought I was boring! Ugly! Undate-able! Now I feel like my self-esteem is in tatters and really need some advice. Am I that bad of a date?!


Left Behind


Dear Left,

Ok. Secrets are about to be revealed. When I was in seminary, I used to visit an elderly woman once a week. She was wise and kind. She was full of funny stories and sage advice. I cherished my time with her and learned important life lessons. Every week she made the same dinner in her well-loved crock pot, lovingly ladled some out for me to try. After the first bite, I knew it was not a meal for me. After the first week, I knew I never wanted to eat it again. But week after week, she ladled and I ate(ish) the meal she served. To hurt her feelings was an impossibility. I would never tell her I was full, or milchig, or dieting. I would not have dreamed of refusing. She ladled, I tasted – and it never got better. But being rude, I knew, would absolutely leave a bitter taste forever.

Thank you for your letter. I am so sorry that this happened to you. It hurt you and has left you questioning your ability to date successfully. You feel like this has affected your self-esteem and are frustrated by those who try to assure you that it was “him, not you.” It was not hard for you to conclude that he must have been having an unpleasant time or did not appreciate your appearance and decided to make an excuse to leave. Clearly, this was all you.

Not quite.

I can’t imagine that you expect that everyone who goes on a date is immediately attracted and excited about the person they meet. I would boldly suggest that many people who go on first dates are less than thrilled about their dates’ first impression. Or at the very least, we can all agree that many people date, realize that the person is not the right fit for them for a slew of reasons and stop dating one another. This can be because they don’t like the other person’s personality, their appearance, or disagree with their opinions and hashkafa. Regardless, it is an acceptable fact in dating that many dates will not work out.

Yet, “shockingly” we rarely hear about daters walking out mid-date. We do not see hordes of first-time daters making a beeline for exit signs the world over. Why is that? Because, it’s rude, in poor taste, and the height of arrogance! So perhaps you are correct and he didn’t enjoy your company or your coffeehouse style – but leaving is wholly and completely unacceptable. A short date is fine. Walking out is not. Be glad to not have spent an extra moment in HIS company and use this time to strengthen your self-esteem and your resolve to meet the right person for you. Someone who will love you a latte.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleFlying to Visit Rebbe’s Tomb, EMT Saves Passenger from Seizure
Next articleACLU Calls on DOE to Reject IHRA’s Definition of Antisemitism
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.