Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I was out on a date last week and a subject came up that we disagreed on. Suddenly, the nice guy I thought I was dating, became combative, rude, and completely disregarded my point of view. He offered examples that were completely untrue and laughed at my response. We moved past the subject and the rest of the date was fine and he went back to being gracious and warm. But I was a bit shaken. Now I am confused and not sure if I should continue dating him. Do you think it was a one-time thing or is it time to walk away?


Agree to Disagree


Dear Agree,

There has been a gas shortage in Florida. It is super fun to stress out about your dwindling gas supply and then wait on long lines for gas only for them to close the pump before it’s your turn. (Yes, the opposite of that is totally true.) A friend turned on her car this week and her gas gauge was dangerously resting on empty. Rationally (nope, not true either) she decided that her car might “look” like it did not have gas but it would be fine to get to a gas station. (Nope. Still not true. Yes, the gas gauge on your car is accurate. It “looks” empty because it is empty. Circle back for more pro car tips.) Four gas stations later, she still could not find a pump that was open and her car was running on fumes. She pulled up to a fifth gas station and her car died six feet from the pump. Kind and generous people, also filling up on gas, helped her fill a gallon of gas into a container so that she could drive her car closer to the pump to fill up. “I guess my car really didn’t have gas after all,” she decided later. Finally, a truth we can all agree on.


If It Talks Like A Duck…

Thank you for your letter. It must have been unnerving to have your date react so strongly to a disagreement. While you were both able to move on during the date, you were unsettled by your conversation and you are not sure what to do now. Even though he didn’t display any more “red flags” on the rest of your date, you are concerned that this behavior is not something you should ignore. Was this just a bad moment? A sign of his humanity – where we all make mistakes? Or was your interaction a forecasting of a turbulent future; a discussion that must not be ignored.


If It Walks Like A Duck…

Without being on your date, it is hard to offer an answer that is black or white. But I would be remiss if I did not express a strong warning. Your conversation showcased three behaviors that are often signs of an unhealthy relationship. The THREE D’s are always a reason to reevaluate a relationship.

Disrespectful: When your date is disrespectful in his language or when stating an opinion, it is a red flag.

Dishonest: When your date says things that are patently untrue or twists your words to make your word seem suspect, it is a red flag.

Dismissive: When your date disregards or minimizes your thoughts, opinions, or accomplishments, it is a red flag.


Your Gas Tank Is Probably Empty.

Your date was disrespectful, dishonest, and dismissive. This is definitely something you need to discuss with a parent, a trusted friend, rebbetzin, or dating coach because when your dating gauge says the date is “empty,” it’s a truth you cannot ignore.


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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.