Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

A shadchan suggested a great guy whom I am very interested in, but then told me that the guy is “busy” (dating someone else) and that I am next on “The List” if that shidduch doesn’t work out. Part of me wants to tell this guy to go fly a kite for the presumption that I would simply wait for him to become available. On the other hand, he sounds like a really good guy. Do I wait or do I move on?


Last Place


Dear Place,

Last week in Florida we waited for Hurricane Dorian. We prepared for him, we worried about him, we braced for him – and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. (Was that one “waited” too many? You get the idea.) School was canceled, our shelves were stocked with water and flashlights, and still we remained in some stagnant limbo as we waited some more. By day three, every minute seemed endless, as if we were suspended in time, and everyone began to get restless. By day four, mutiny threatened, and impatience lurked as everyone needed something – anything – to happen.


Third Place

            It can’t feel great to be told to wait for a guy to see if he likes someone else first. We would all like to be considered “first choice” in any dating match, and it can be irritating to feel like anyone’s “backup.” But these are all terms that our egos fabricate and fixate on, sabotaging potential matches.

Obviously, if you would marry this guy, you would be his “first choice,” regardless of how many girls he had gone out with before you. If it would work out between the two of you, you would be sure that he had to go out with that other girl so that he could clearly see that you were the right match for him. You would be positive that you were never a girl on a list – you were simply the wife that he wasn’t lucky enough to meet before.


Second Place

            At the same time, shidduchim are often helped along by opportunity and timing. So should another wonderful match come up while you are “waiting,” then by all means go out on a date. If you happen to be traveling to another city and someone wants to set you up while you are there, go out on a date. If your co-worker’s brother is visiting for a few days and she thinks he would be perfect for you, go out on a date. You get the point: Should an interesting prospect arise during this time, then of course you should say yes. Your zivug may come from a direction that you did not initially anticipate, so your willingness to be open to the choices that come your way is imperative.


First Place

            Saying no, however, to the first guy – the one who has put you on his “list” – would be a mistake. Why throw away the chance to meet your potential husband simply because you don’t like your place in line? A “line” that is, of course, arbitrary (and imaginary) and would be immediately forgotten under the chuppah.

Perhaps the girl he is dating now is his bashert and you might never hear of him again. But if not, and he is available when you are, of course you should go out with him. Confidence is important, but egos can destroy shidduchim even before a first date. Humility will offer you choices you might not have considered before, and will remind you to say yes – knowing you will always be your zivug’s first choice.

So tell the shadchan, “I would love to go out with him if I am available when he is,” and if the stars align and you both are free to meet, then the “line” would merely be a place for the two of you to meet in the middle.


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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.