Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am dating someone and I felt like we were on our way to getting engaged. But then over Pesach he mentioned that next year we would have to decide whose family we would spend yom tov with and I started to panic. I felt rushed and pushed and I have started to second guess everything. We are clearly not on the same page. Maybe it is time for me to move on?


I Don’t


Dear Don’t,

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I started counting down the days, excitedly waiting for the moment I would deliver my baby. Then finally, one early summer day, it was time to head to the hospital. I happily got into the car, thrilled that this day had finally come. We got to the hospital and my spirit was high as I greeted the nurses and doctor. We were led to a room and my smile grew in anticipation. I was strong. I was pumped. I was ready. “Let’s do this!”

And then a bloodcurdling scream came from the room next door. “Aaaahhh,” a woman shouted through the thin walls. Her yelling grew louder and louder- her screams echoing down the halls. “Aaahhh.”

From inside our room, I turned to my husband and said, “Let’s come back tomorrow.”


Breathe In.

Thank you for reaching out. I hear you. You felt safe in your dating process and then were suddenly pushed farther than you were ready to go. You understood logically that the natural progression of your dating could lead to an engagement, but his willingness to discuss a yom tov in your future as a couple felt like too much. You panicked. Now you are not sure how to proceed- even considering a break-up.


Breathe Out.

It is very common to feel flustered and overwhelmed at the idea of long-term commitment. Even when we are comfortable working toward a future with someone, we can feel blindsided by our date’s easy understanding of what a lifetime together would look like. This does not mean that you are not meant to be together. It just means that you are worried about commitment; a normal feeling that many daters experience. Focus on the person you are dating. Reflect on the connection that you are building and then decide if you would like to continue dating. By separating your fear of the unknown future from the very real way that you feel now, you will allow yourself to continue to form a bond that can take you into the future.



Sure, this process can offer us some obstacles and some moments of fear (or yelling). Yet, when we take the time to refocus on how beautiful the future can look when we let go of fear, we may find the most incredible gift waiting for us on the other side.

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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.