Dear Dating Coach,
I am 25 and have been dating someone for 6 months. He keeps saying he is not ready to propose, and because of that we have stopped and re-started dating a few times. He is usually kind and sweet, and when he is, I am sure I can keep waiting for him to feel ‘ready.’ Sometimes though, he is distant and dismissive, making me feel unsure and alone. Do I continue waiting or is it time to move on?
Some people are great at road trips. They hop into the car and let the road take them on a journey filled with whatever surprise may be around the next bend. Others, (ok, you got it. I mean me) eschew road trips for well planned (think military precision) ‘deliberate destination driving’. Point A to point B must be clearly marked, with all stops predetermined based on their geographical location and bathroom cleanliness (obviously). Sure, we may not be able to account for unexpected traffic, or a sudden roadblock, but if we stick to the map, we will most likely get to our destination in a timely manner. Yet, even with all that planning; with snacks packed, driving music selected, and the temperature set just right, the car will barely have left the driveway before someone asks, “Are we there yet?”
Two roads diverged…
I am sorry that you feel so conflicted. You have devoted so much time and emotion into the guy you are dating and now feel lost and confused. You have given him 6 months, and to stop dating him now will highlight the time lost and invested for naught. You can see and appreciate all of his good qualities and can even picture a life together, but he doesn’t seem to feel the same way. He certainly likes you. He may even appreciate you, but he can’t seem to commit to you. Perhaps if you wait just a little bit longer, he will finally see how right you are for each other. Perhaps if you stop dating him one more time, he will finally realize how alone he is without you and come begging for your hand in marriage. Perhaps if you put your foot down…perhaps if you give him more space…perhaps if you beg him…Unfortunately, “perhaps” is a sure way to get lost on a trip to nowhere.
And sorry I could not travel both…
In shidduchim we are dealing with human beings and real emotions. Everybody feels things differently and often at different times and it is not unusual for one party to feel “ready” before the other. The gift of time is often a necessity so that both the boy and girl feel fully prepared and thrilled to marry one another. Six months however, is simply too long. We have not been raised to date just to date; to meander along a winding path without end. We are taught that dating is the road to finding our bashert and marriage, a clearly defined path with a marked destination. You have tried to “recalculate” numerous times, to reset the GPS without success. You are too valuable, and too special to let this continue further.
Be one traveler, long I stood…
I’m sure it is painful to think of starting over at this point. But a fresh start is more of a sure thing at this moment for you than what you have now. In shidduchim, we cannot waste time. We can have fun on the way, we can enjoy the process, and allow for time needed – as long as both parties are moving in the same direction. If one stalls and needs a boost, we offer them any help we can. But if one refuses to budge, with reverse always in gear, it is a sign that they are looking for another path. One, sadly, that you are not on. Tell him that you understand that he is not ready to commit to marriage, and for that reason you need to move on. This is not an ultimatum. This is your decision to do what is best for you and your future. This is the only way for you to preserve your self-worth, your integrity, and your commitment to marriage. With a renewed understanding and purpose, you will find someone who will feel blessed to travel through life with you on a road that is paved with love, support, and happiness.