Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

Something is wrong with the guys that I’m dating. I keep getting “no’s” after one or two dates and I’m not sure why. I am smart and attractive and have a great job. I do my best to be charming and well-spoken and I am always nicely put together. The people who have set me up seem to offer a variation of the same feedback; an amalgamation of “no connection.” Ironically, I feel like I am consistently lowering my expectations before a date to say “yes” when they don’t fit the criteria I hoped for on paper. Jokes on me, I guess, that they are saying “no” to me! Here I am trying to be open-minded and even then, things don’t work out. What is wrong with them and where do I go from here?


Surprised Single


Dear Surprised,

We don’t have a dog. So why one was in my living room was truly a mystery. Ok, maybe not a true “mystery” as we saw it waltz through the front door. This still warranted an Agatha moment, as I am absolutely sure that the dog was not ours. Mistaken identity? Dognesia? (You don’t know. That could be a thing.) We opened the door on a random Tuesday, and in strolled Ms. Dog like she owned the place. She took four leisurely turns around the dining room table and then settled onto the living room sofa to survey her lair. (Do dogs have lairs? Oh my. So much to learn about our non-new pet.) We tried to encourage the dog to leave, but she merely turned her head, immune. We cajoled, begged, used our “sternest voices,” gesturing to the door without success. We mimed leaving, gently prodded, and rudely pushed Lassie to go. The message however must have been lost in canine translation and the dog refused to leave. Finally, after an endless standoff (5 minutes…ok, maybe 4) the dog casually left as it came, perhaps hoping for better hound housing elsewhere.


Toto, I’ve A Feeling…

Thank you for reaching out. It is frustrating to put your best foot forward without success. You know your strengths and work hard to present well in all areas. Why then, you wonder are you not making progress with your dates. They offer “no connection” as a reason for ending things and you don’t understand what they mean. You are trying and giving others a chance, even when you don’t fully believe that they deserve one. Yet, they seemingly ignore this gift and reject the notion of future dates with you. This is both upsetting and vexing as you cannot seem to pinpoint the source.


We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…

Dating is hard. Having an open mind is wonderful and I applaud your willingness to broaden your horizons. Leading however, with the notion that you are dating below your standards, or beneath your “criteria” is certainly something that your dates would feel. You fully acknowledge your strengths and gifts and place all the blame squarely on anyone who isn’t you. YOU believe that you are a catch, therefore THEY must be the problem.


We Must Be Over the Rainbow.

Self-confidence is vital, but arrogance is a brutal stumbling block cloaked in pretty packaging. In shidduchim, humility and grace apply to every dater regardless of their background, beauty, social standing, or financial status. Carefully examine your dating practices and focus on listening and showing your date that they have been heard. Remain fully present and engaged and your dates will notice. Be open without any pretense by asking questions and carefully appreciating the answers that you are given. Every precious Pomeranian must leave their superiority behind, because a bayis ne’eman requires an open heart and an invitation to stay.



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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.