Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I have been out with four different guys this month. I feel like I have been on a dating marathon and I want to stop running! My parents are thrilled that I have been on so many dates but I feel like I need a break. Is it foolish to press pause on dating or am I allowed to take a breather?


Shidduch Sprinter


Dear Sprinter,

We’ve all had one of those days. You wake up and try to hit the snooze button, only to knock your cell phone to the floor. The screen predictably shatters into a million pieces, uncaring that the phone is brand new. You get out of bed, and nothing looks right as you get dressed, so you discard fourteen outfits, until your room looks like a department store threw up in it. You are too late to make a decent breakfast as you run out the door, but still miss the train, and then end up sandwiched between two people who obviously don’t believe in bathing. You make a mistake at work, leaving your boss upset with you, and are forced to miss lunch to fix it. You inhale your emergency chocolate bar, but it’s been there so long it melts all over your outfit, making you look like a chocolate Rorschach test.

You finally stagger home, but it starts to rain, drenching you completely, and all you can hope for at this point is a decent meal and an early night. But you promised your friends that you would meet them for dinner, and so you put on a brave face and go out again. You order the same thing you’ve ordered a hundred times before: niçoise salad, no onions. When the waiter brings it to your table, you take one look at your plate and burst into tears. Everyone looks at you in shock, never having witnessed such a strong reaction to a salad before. But all you can manage to say is “onions, onions, onions,” over and over again.


100 Meter Dash

I’m sure that you are a wonderful person and that is why so many people have wanted to go out with you. Certainly, one may ascertain that the more one dates the better their chances of finding their bashert. However, serial dating can often lead to fatigue and faulty decisions as your dates bleed into one another. Before you know it, you are chanting “onions,” when you are simply in need of a dating break. That saying about the straw and the camel holds weight (no pun intended) because we are able to carry only so much, before a tiny unrelated “onion” brings us to our knees.



If you are dating a lot and not connecting with anyone and the thought of one more date makes your hands start to shake, you need a break. Constantly plowing ahead at full speed can make us lose our focus as we only fixate on the end result without regard to the journey. Remember of course, that a break is not indefinite as you consciously utilize the time to restore your equilibrium. It is a designated amount of time that you will determine you need. Sometimes a restful weekend is enough to recharge us, as we look toward the week ahead. However, it is perfectly fine to take a few weeks to refocus on what you truly want and need.



A dating “breather” will allow you to redirect your attention to your well-being so that your mind and heart can be clear and ready to accept mazel into your life. A muddled, tired, and emotionally drained you is not in any position to make good dating decisions. So, take the time to concentrate on your emotional and physical well-being – and summer is the perfect time. Go on long walks, eat healthy, and sit on the porch to enjoy the warm breeze. Have dinner with friends, catch up on all of your reading, and take the time to go to that new museum that just opened. Take a vacation if you can, travel if you are able, or simply take a weekend to spend with family.

You are best at dating when you feel good and healthy. A much-needed break will allow you to readjust and rest so that you can give your dates the attention that they deserve. Don’t let yourself miss out on someone special, because you haven’t given yourself the time to breathe and recharge. A break may be what finally allows you to recognize that right person on your next date.


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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.