Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I’m dating someone and it’s going well. We are getting to know each other and she has a lot of nice qualities. I see our connection grow on every date but I am definitely not ready to propose. We have discussed our progress and are on the same page – committed to the process, but taking things slow. My family keeps pushing me and pushing me though. They keep track of the dates we have been on and now talk about us like we are about to get engaged. Their “date counting” is really frustrating and infuriating. They are making me feel like I am not moving fast enough or maybe I should stop dating altogether! How do I tell them to stop making assumptions and leave me alone?


Slow Lane


Dear Lane,

I love 7-Eleven. There is something special (tacky) about every 7-Eleven I have ever been to. The sticky floors by the slurpees, the smell of burnt coffee, and the elegant (strange smelling) clientele who frequent this fine establishment. Sometimes, when I have a coke slurpee emergency (i.e. I just really want one), I will stop at any 7-Eleven available. A few weeks ago, I went to a new 7-Eleven for some medicinal coke slurpee, and the machine’s red light was blinking. The attendant suggested I try cherry, and two other customers demanded I try the raspberry. I did not want the cherry. I did not want the raspberry. “Go for it” they pushed, “Go for it!” Instead, I waited. And waited. And waited. Soon the light stopped blinking, and I filled my cup with frozen joy.


A Timeline Is Not…

It can be very exciting to date someone new. It can also be nerve-wracking as we date purposefully in order to get married. This can often remove some of the organic flow to our dating and put pressure on both daters to get to know each other fairly quickly. There is no actual timetable on how long this can take. Still, we do not advocate for an excessively long dating process, but it can certainly take months for some to feel ready to commit to an engagement. You are frustrated that your family seems to have some sort of ‘dating calendar’ that they believe ascertains when a couple should and will get engaged. You have openly communicated with the girl you are dating however, and she agrees with your need to move slowly.


A Deadline.

Let’s discuss the possible solutions to the pressure you are feeling. Your family believes that a certain number of dates should determine an engagement. If you believe them – propose! Read this article and then quickly grab some rose petals and ask for her hand in marriage. Or if you feel that the pressure has made you want to turn and run – break up with her! Finish this paragraph, and then tell her it’s over.



Clearly, both of those suggestions are ridiculous. You do not want to propose and you do not want to break up with her. Instead, choose the coke you want, and continue to date her as you were, with positivity and intention. You might still “hear” the pressure, but you will “feel” it less. When you are sure that you are taking the right course of action for you and for the person who you are dating, you can rest assured. Certainly, this means that you are working toward a positive goal that will give you both peace of mind and the clear connection you need before making a lifetime commitment.

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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.