Tammuz 5770 – Ahead of the Game

Tammuz 5770
Ahead of the Game

Dear Chana,

The question I have for you has come up several times – with myself and my friends, and we were wondering what to do and how to proceed if it should happen again.

The issue is that sometimes when we are dating, even though everything seems to be going well enough – and there are no major issues or anything – we feel that we are many pages ahead of the boy in the relationship! It’s embarrassing to admit that – which we usually wouldn’t to the shadchan – but that is how it is sometimes. We get neutral feedback about the dates from the shadchan [if any at all!!] – and it feels disappointing [though in reality it is actually only neutral and not negative] because – if we really like the guy – we would want him to be more into it!

Please give us some advice on this matter – if it should come up again that we are ‘ahead of the game’ in a dating situation!

Thank you,
Name withheld by request
Darchei Binah 05-06

Dear JemSem Reader,

I appreciate your honesty. You don’t have to admit these things to the shadchan if you choose not to, of course, but it certainly is disappointing and frustrating! When you finally find a guy that you are somewhat interested in, and you just want it to be reciprocal on all levels – and you don’t get exactly that kind of feedback – it seems to you that it is just ‘pareve’ and not positive – and it can be upsetting for sure.
It is unusual in a dating situation that both parties are exactly on the same page at any given time. Usually one is more ahead than the other for various reasons. One has more clarity at certain times than the other, what are issues for one aren’t issues for the other, different personality types react to things in different ways, some open up and trust quickly – some much more slowly, some need it to progress at a slower pace and find a bit of comfort in this, and of course, men are very different from women in how they look at and build a relationship! They may start with a lot of logic etc – while girls may work at things from the emotional side. These are some of the reasons why it isn’t usually even.
Also sometimes, something is bothering a person maybe just a little, not enough to verbalize to anyone – but it is there – and that may slow it up a bit.
So, what can you do if you are feeling ‘ahead of the game’? The answer is to be patient. You can’t force the relationship. You can’t squeeze more info out of the shadchan or more positive vibes from them or the boy – if there isn’t anything more at the time. Many times it just takes longer for the other person to start feeling things and start to build that emotional side of the relationship.
They just need to plug along date to date – and see what is going on, at a slower pace. You have to accept that and give them their space.
So many times, when this happens [when one is ahead of the other] the one ahead ‘just wants to know where this is going’ etc. Who really knows? It’s usually too early to tell or to even ask those questions. You just have to calm down and wait and see what evolves.
Continue to think as logically as possible and make sure that you have someone who is a sounding board for you, who can help you sort out your thoughts.
At the same time, do your part. Invest yourself, share of yourself, let those walls down, and yes, that does mean making yourself vulnerable – which is scary – but dating is a double edged sword. If you don’t do these things you won’t end up building a relationship – it is a risk. One worth taking, of course, as it may work out and you will find yourself engaged!
I see that you seem perturbed with shadchanim, as you mentioned that sometimes they don’t give you much feedback in general. I’m with you on that. There are so many fabulous people out there who really do want to set people up and do end up setting them up. But there is soooooo much more to it than that! It is so important to be that helpful third party, giving feedback and trying to focus and direct the dating. At some point I would love to give some lectures for people who are trying to be shadchanim – even ‘unofficial’ ones – who set up their friends etc – it would be helpful for them to know what to do!
So patience and putting your best foot forward are the name of the game – even when you are feeling ‘ahead of the game’!
You should find your zivug b’zman karov!

With Warmest Wishes,
Chana