Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I feel like dating should be organic, I don’t want to be set up randomly by shadchanim or by anyone who doesn’t really know me. So, I will only consider potential girls from good friends, family, or long-time coworkers for dates. I recently turned down three people because they were suggested by those who I felt didn’t really know me. How do I tell these well-meaning wanna-be matchmakers to stop calling me with their “great ideas?”


Inner Circle


Dear Circle,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like chocolate. (Gasp!) I don’t like the taste, the smell, or that melting thing it does. I know, I am an anomaly. I don’t appreciate chocolate ice cream, that famous chocolate cake, or double chocolate cookies. I don’t want chocolate as a gift in that pretty box, I don’t want a taste of that chocolate icing you make, and I don’t want chocolate chips to touch my muffin. But sit down for this one. There is a chocolate cream pie that my mother makes that I looove. I know, I am an enigma in a puzzle. I love that pie and I have no idea why. Secret’s out. No judgment please.


Life is Like a Box of Chocolate…

Thank you for reaching out. You want your potential future spouse to be suggested by someone who knows you. Of course, it makes sense that someone familiar to you would have a better idea of who would suit you best. It is logical to assume that someone who knows and loves you would have a better chance of setting you up with someone that you would connect with. Sadly, those in our inner circle don’t always have the know-how, or the vast and varied-enough social circle to know a large group of singles.


You Never Know…

It would make you feel more secure before a date to go out with someone who has been vetted and approved of by your friends and family because they know her – and not because they called her high school principal from her resume. At the same time, if we only relied on close family and friends to set us up, we may find that our dates are few and far between.


What You’re Going to Get.

Instead of waiting patiently for that perfectly placed introduction, our emunah allows us to realize that Hashem has lots of ways to help us find our bashert, and not all of them may initially make sense to us. It is certainly worth your while to give credence to every single potential girl that is suggested to you and to do your due diligence by calling her references and reaching out to those who know her well. You may find that the absolutes that you have set for yourself are actually holding you back from that one perfect slice, the girl who you never saw coming.


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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.