Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

In the past few months, I have only gone out one time each with the last 5 girls I was set up with. I believe that if I’m sure that we are not a good match, then I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time. Why bother agreeing to a second date, if I can tell on the first date that we are not meant to be? My family and the shadchanim all disagree with me and constantly pressure me to go out a second time – especially if travel is involved. They have started calling me “Mr. One and Done.” Since when is being decisive a bad thing? Who is right?


Drive-By Dater


Dear Drive-By,

I love meal planning and organizing our dinners for the week. Really, I love all forms of organization, and never turn down the chance to write a list (Yes, I know this makes me sound super exciting). Together as a family, we agree on meals that we like and assign them each a day. This encourages everyone to be accountable for the dinners we choose, reducing my chances of a ‘supper stand-off.’ (We’ve all been there. The “I will not eat this!” duel that warns you to never bring broccoli to a gun fight, er, dinner.)

The only thing that meal planning does not account for is “the toddler.” The toddler you see, always holds that one card that can’t be contested; where they simply eye the perfectly proportioned, non-touching, ketchup-friendly dinner and state, “I do NOT like this.” A rational response such as “But you haven’t even tasted it,” is wasted on the superior intellect that the toddler obviously possesses as you are sent back to the drawing board to meal plan once more.

The Best Thing…

I am so glad that you have been set up so quickly and efficiently in the past few months. In a time when so many have struggled to be matched, you have been blessed with a support group that is working hard to help you find your bashert. Still, you believe that if you are sure on the first date that you are not suited for one another, then it is prudent to refuse a second date (if she is so inclined of course). You don’t want to “waste time” and don’t understand why others would try to compel you to date girls that are wrong for you. Finally, you think it’s silly to go out a second time just because you’ve traveled somewhere; surely it’s smarter to simply move-on.

You Can Give Someone…

Of course, there are circumstances where a second date is not warranted. Perhaps there was a definite red flag, or some sort of glaring incident that clearly showcased a blight on a dater’s character. Maybe the dater was offensive, unpleasant, or did something you found to be truly repellant. If there was a distinct act that you found to be absolutely distasteful then a second date is redundant. You however, seem to be expecting every first date to offer you some sort of looking glass into a future that only you get to define.


Is A Chance.

Really, a first date is merely two semi-strangers making conversation for a period of time to determine if the conversation and connection can be further explored at a later date. The information that you have gathered at the end of that first date is superficial and based more on what you see versus what you may get. To believe that you can tell in that period of time that you will ‘never ever absolutely’ be able to forge an everlasting connection is premature and perhaps arrogant. You believe that you are being decisive, but instead it feels derisive. I would encourage you to stop making snap judgments without giving yourself the gift of just a bit more time. This time is precious to you, and not a waste at all. So, pick up your fork and knife and allow yourself to explore – because a meal that didn’t initially appeal may become your favorite.


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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.