Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am not going to a Pesach program, I am not joining a community seder, and I’m not going home for Pesach. I just feel so SINGLE during Pesach – so this year I am doing something new. I am traveling to an exciting location with a couple of friends and we are going to make Pesach there together. It will be low key and relaxed without the pressure from our family, friends and neighbors that always seems to be attached to Pesach. I just can’t deal with their advice, their pitying looks, or their ridiculous suggestions. Everyone thinks I’m nuts. How do I get them to understand?

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Opting Out

 

Dear Out,

If you have ever been to Florida, you know what a palmetto is. If you just shuddered when I mentioned the word “palmetto,” then you definitely know what one is. Think cockroach, but uglier, bigger, and definitely more evil. And they fly. Enough said. (Except, there is a point around here somewhere. So, I will continue.) There was once a palmetto in our closet. I immediately decided that closets were overrated, and ordered some crates on Amazon. My husband however, bravely ventured into the closet and declared, “There are two of us going in, but only one will come out!” (We are a very low drama family.) There were crashing noises and screams (the screams may have been from me from my hiding spot across the house). Time passed. Days passed. (Probably five minutes.) Then my husband emerged the victor, having vanquished the palmetto (or if you are from PETA, it was relocated to a lovely farm nearby). I emerged from my safe space three days later (three minutes, whatever) waving my sad white flag.

 

You Will Miss…

Thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry that this is a hard time for you. Many singles struggle over Pesach since it is so family oriented. Even amongst family, they can feel judged and out of place. This year you decided on a different track. A Pesach getaway of sorts to escape the traditional environments where you have felt uneasy in the past. Your family and others worry about you and continue to question your choice but you are steadfast in your decision.

 

The Best Things…

We are all individuals and of course responsible and capable of making our own decisions. You have chosen to take a different path, essentially isolating yourself with a couple of friends to avoid a group seder, family time, and other Pesach social events. This is of course your right and there is certainly the argument that sometimes we all need to recharge, to take a break, and to step back when we feel beaten down or overwhelmed.

 

If You Keep Your Eyes Shut.

That being said, Pesach is a social-heavy holiday with the chance to meet new people. There are invited guests, public seders geared to singles, and Chol HaMoed excursions. By removing yourself from these more typical environments, you are also removing the opportunity to connect with someone or THE someone who will help you to build your future. Is there a guarantee it will happen this Pesach? No. But every event that includes a large number of people conceivably brings you closer to meeting someone new. It’s hard to put yourself out there again and again. Yom Tov especially can feel incredibly difficult when you add family dynamics and the pressure attached. You can run for cover, or you can take the opportunity to try.

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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.