I have been dating for three years now. I am a popular boy in Yeshiva, but i have never been out past a second date. I just cannot seem to become comfortable with any girl that I have gone out with. Is there anything that you can do to help me?
Reuven F. (Last initial has been changed to protect the privacy of Reuven S)
Dear Reuven F,
Let me start by telling you that your problem is not at all unique. My husband and I have been married 34 years and we are still only truly comfortable during and after a good game of Yahtzee. That’s just a little joke. Jokes are meant to ease tension and break down barriers. The finest public speakers will tell you to always begin with something lighthearted. The gemara even tells us to always begin teaching a shiur with a “milsa dibdichusa,” a joke. In your case however, a simple “knock-knock,” “lightbulb,”or “Rabbi, priest, and Islam guy,” will not do it. I do have a suggestion for you. Go to Toys R’ Us just before your next date and go straight to the Fisher Price aisle. They manufacture a little miniature steering wheel that children like to play with. My Aunt Arlene’s children are crazy about them. What a great toy! Place the toy steering wheel in the back seat (just behind the drivers seat.) After letting the girl in the car, go around as though you were getting into the drivers seat, but instead get into the back seat and take your place at the Fisher Price (or Tonka) wheel that you have purchased. Begin driving as normal. You will not be moving, but do not let that on. Begin shouting raucously at one point claiming that you have been cut off. Ask her if she’s ever been in this neighborhood before and why there are so many creepy people around. (You are still in front of her house.) She may be a bit stupefied after 5-10 minutes, and this is your cue to move on. Just get in the front seat and say “Pardon me I seem to have lost my mind for just a moment there,” and proceed as normal. If she does not laugh so hard that she ruins her makeup, she is a truly kind person – but she is laughing inside. Trust me – I write a shidduch column. And if for some reason it doesn’t work, hang on to this page – you can blame it on me and I’m certain that you will be given a second chance.
I am dating a boy who is quite a talmid chacham from what I have heard. But when I asked him what mesechta he was learning he told me, “The Sears and Roebuck Catalog.” I am not certain how to read this. I really want to marry him, but I am truly concerned because when I asked him to tell me over something he has learnt recently, he actually began reciting the merits of Sansabelt Slacks. Help me! Is he being funny, or is he really not learning and simply gaining knowledge of sale prices soon to be outdated?!
In Need of Adbice
(in the email we received, it was spelled “adbice.” Though it is likely a typo, as b and v are neighbors on the keyboard, we chose not to change the spelling because we suspect that the email may have come from Mexico where advice is pronounced “adbice.”)
Dear In Need of Adbice,
I chose this email out of the many that we received due to its relevance to most daters! If you do not know whether or not he is joking, you should not yet “really want to marry him!” Wait and see, I’m sure that you will get a better feel for his sense of humor and serious side. When you know him better there will be no such questions. In a shidduch advice column in a competing publication, a very similar question was asked. The writer suggested that they get married ASAP, being that there is a shidduch crisis. I could not disagree more. In fact if you are not married because the only candidates knew more about the Sears catalog than their Yiddishkeit: that is no crisis! Keep on going, and don’t give up. Remember there’s no “I” in the word team. Just give %110 percent and Hashem will surely help you you’ll find your Prince Bashert in the right time.
Published in The Jerusalem Life Shvat 2008