Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I read your column and you talk about being open-minded and flexible. But I have tried that! I have dated girls from out-of-town in the past, and it is too complicated! Our lives are all so busy, so adding flights and long-distances to dating just makes it even harder. I always tell anyone trying to set me up that I won’t date girls from ‘out-of-town’ because dating locally is difficult enough! Just settling on a day that works can be exhausting – but adding a travel component is just not my thing. Even if she is willing to travel to me, I am not interested, because it is unreasonable to expect one party to do all the traveling. Plus, when they are not around, it’s really “out of sight, out of mind.” So, I only date “in town” and I don’t see why that’s a big deal! Isn’t it better to be honest?


Travel Ban


Dear Ban,

Plumbing problems are the worst. We once had a leak that brought out a whole plumbing crew. You know what I mean; when your bathroom looks like Niagara Falls in a rainstorm. Yet, when the plumbers arrived, they sadly realized that the issue could only be fixed under the house. One of them, would have to make like the little mermaid and swim through the teeny tiny pitch-black crawl space to repair the offending pipe. They finally assigned the smallest (unluckiest) guy to the task and he bravely said his last goodbyes and climbed in. (Never to be seen again. Ok. That’s not true.) When he finally emerged inch by painful inch, he was covered in dirt, dust, and possibly rat tails. (I said, possibly.) He looked shell-shocked and worn and insisted he had gotten stuck, lost in the labyrinth of pipes and snakes. He was sure he would never find his way out and never located the broken pipe. Just then, the head plumber realized that the repair could be made outside the house through the wall – and quickly stopped the flowing river that was once our bathroom. You know what they say, “sometimes you need to think outside the crawl space.”

That’s the Spirit

Thank you for reading my column! You believe in honesty and I appreciate that. You have tried dating girls from “out of town” in the past and it was complicated to coordinate and form a sincere connection. You insist that singles today are so busy that they can barely find days that work for both parties when they are local. Surely, we can all see how difficult it would be to add flying, hotels, rental cars and the like to the mix. Why make a complex process even more complicated than it has to be?

A New Frontier

Dating is hard. Arguably it only gets harder as you get older. You have a comfortable routine, after work activities, and you are proud of your ability to rely only on yourself for all of your needs. You don’t need to ask permission when you go out or stay out late. You don’t need to check with anyone else’s schedule, and you certainly don’t need to disrupt the careful days and nights that you have grown used to. So, it can be hard to adjust and pivot in order to arrange a date, especially with someone who lives out of state.

Becoming United

Still, to me – this inability to be open to girls that are not local, does not seem to stem from a complicated schedule or an inability to commit to flying. Instead, a “line in the sand” refusal to date from out of state smacks of arrogance and ego. There is no room for conceit in dating. Everyone must approach this process with humility, regardless of their credentials, family name, or financial background. Nobody is king for long in dating. Nobody. Overconfidence and condescension push mazel and opportunity away. To casually dismiss a wonderful girl because she doesn’t live nearby only speaks to your self-importance and inability to open your eyes to your potential zivug. Look deep within yourself and reevaluate your commitment to shidduchim and marriage. Take a long look in the mirror and see the truth: a guy looking for his right match. Stubborn and unbending are not words that make matches. Lead with humility and crawl out of the small space you have made for yourself so that you can create a future filled with love and light.


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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.
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