June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I am very comfortable with, and even prefer, the ‘chance meeting’ because it’s exciting! I enjoy human interaction but it’s sorely missing from today’s tech driven world. I like reading body language and using my own. I talk with my hands, express with my eyes and love to feel the energy of the person I am speaking to, that is chemistry and chemistry is what makes up attraction.

Immediately after I received my get, I met a man by chance in the parking lot during a simcha. There was excitement, there was chemistry. We made a date and the admiration grew, the conversation was fun and we found we were very much aligned but discovered one caveat: a big age difference. Whether it works or not there is something so cool about meeting someone unexpectedly and connecting with them, kind of like a divine appointment. But sometimes what looks right and feels right is just not right.

Photos can only go so far. The soul animates the body, which creates attraction. Ever meet someone and acknowledge that they weren’t exactly pretty or even handsome but there is ‘something’ about them? It’s the something that compels you forward and that’s nice. But don’t get caught up with attraction–it’s only one level and not the most important level.

In a dating for marriage situation, one should primarily focus on the attributes. It may be counter-intuitive, especially if you have a modern or secular exposure (like I do), but it truly is the most important aspect. Attributes and character are what sustain the relationship, if chas v’shalom the money goes, or the looks go, what’s left? Hopefully, kindness, generosity, understanding, patience and such. Attributes are what true love is built on. Even with minimal attraction, deep love can and does develop–and believe it or not, deep love can and does form when you respect, admire and simply care about the other person.

When the attributes are in order, check on mutual goals and, if they too are aligned, you have the ingredients for a healthy marriage and then we can all say mazal tov!

I received an email about a chance encounter. P.M. 27 year old male wrote:

Is dating a mind game?

It’s been more than just a few dates, more like a few months but I feel this girl (24) is quite secretive and non-expressive. We met working at two summer camps over a few years and were friends. She never struck me as cold, but now I’ve noticed there’s no reciprocation, no expression, yet she invites me over motzei Shabbos to spend time with her at her family’s home (she lives with her parents). That’s personal, beyond dating in public, it suggests a close connection, yet she runs hot and cold.

I feel like I have to constantly be reading her mind like it’s some sort of game. She’s secretive, distant, holding things back and playing hard to get. She claims there are issues within her family because she is more observant, but so am I, yet she shuts me out. She says she sees no need to check-in, talk/text all the time and all the time is once a day. Is dating supposed to be a game, and if so what are the rules?

Shalom P.M.,

One must seek a mate like a search for a lost article, carefully, painstakingly seeking that which belongs to ‘me.’ This simple chassidus teaching, tells us a great deal. Let’s call her 24. When you think of 24 do you think of her as that which has been long lost to you and just found? Doesn’t seem so.

I do not think 24 is playing ‘hard to get’ I think she is a conflicted person unsure of where she fits in the world. She is vacillating between certainty and uncertainty. You read that as hot and cold. Remember this is her inner struggle. Her aloofness is a personal choice. Her ‘secretiveness’ seems more like an independence, an ‘I don’t need you, I can do this all by myself’ statement. This is a very secular idea. An essential quality of a good marriage is ‘cleaving to one’s wife and becoming one flesh.’ If there is an aspect opposite to ‘cleaving’ by either of you before or even after the marriage then something essential is lacking in the relationship itself.

Finally, to your core question is dating a mind game? Yes and no. You shouldn’t have to read her mind but often it is necessary for a man to read between the lines. Fundamental to the male/female relationship is the understanding that women want to be appreciated by any means necessary. So get in the habit of finding what to appreciate without any clues or prompts from her.

Men on the other hand (that means you) need constant reassurance that they are the most phenomenal creatures that have ever lived (you are). But 24 doesn’t reassure you that you’re amazing because she can’t. She doesn’t encourage you or bolster your ego because this is missing from her own life. Perhaps you should consider moving on from this relationship, but whatever you do, show compassion for 24 because she can’t even see how amazing she is. Men and women are wired very differently. So while dating is most certainly not a game it is most definitely a strategy.

Email relationship questions with strict anonymity to: [email protected] Follow @eliseheva

By Elisheva

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