Ghosting, inappropriate behavior and coronavirus dating

We welcome you to submit your questions about dating, online profiles, dating etiquette, relationships and more.

IF YOUR date isn’t calling, you might want to reach out to the person who made the introduction. (photo credit: JSELIGER2/FLICKR)
IF YOUR date isn’t calling, you might want to reach out to the person who made the introduction.
(photo credit: JSELIGER2/FLICKR)
Navigating the dating world can be exciting, but it can also be frustrating and confusing. Who can I turn to with my questions? How do I handle different situations? How can I put my best foot forward? There are so many questions. We hope to be able to help you with the answers and provide guidance on how to navigate situations that confuse YOU.
We welcome you to submit your questions about dating, online profiles, dating etiquette, relationships and more. Real matchmakers will answer your questions, providing their perspectives (which may sometimes differ greatly) on the dating process.
Please send us your questions and may we merit to help you: matchmakerquestions@gmail.com
Dear Matchmaker,
Someone offered to introduce me to a guy and we both agreed to go out. I know he was given my number at least three weeks ago but I haven’t heard from him. How should I handle this?
Gila, Jerusalem
Dear Gila,
In general, it is not a promising sign if someone who has agreed to go out does not call. What does this say about his reliability? His seriousness? His menschlichkeit (Yiddish for high civility)? However, since occasionally there are extenuating circumstances, I would suggest that you get in touch with the person who made the introduction and ask him or her to find out what happened. That way, if there really were extenuating circumstances the match may be saved, and if there weren’t, the person will know that it is risky to try to fix this guy up.
– Dr. Yocheved Engelberg Cohen has been successfully making matches for over 15 years on SawYouAtSinai.com.
Hi Gila,
Oy, ghosting before the first date. I am so sorry this happened to you. Sadly, it’s actually pretty common and in these sorts of situations I usually start with who set you up. I would go back to that person and ask them to follow up. I specifically advise them to say something along the lines of, “Were you and Gila able to connect?” And then assuming they respond and respond with a truthful answer, to specifically give them an out: “It’s OK if it’s not going to work out, I just would like to let her know because she was expecting to hear from you.” In fact, when I am the one needing to make the call, depending on my relationship with the guy, I will usually add something like, “I’m sure you’ve heard from your sister how hurtful and frustrating this can be to a girl. This gives the guy an opportunity to right the situation and if not, at least to get an answer one way or another so you can move on. Also, don’t forget that you are your own best advocate. It never hurts to let the person who set you up know you’re still waiting to hear from a guy if he hasn’t reached out within a reasonable time frame. As soon as two days after he was given your number, if he hasn’t called, follow up with the person who set you up. I always appreciate it when someone does their own hishtadlut (Hebrew for a combination of personal effort and faith) and helps me help them, you can never text or call me too much to help me stay on top of shidduchim (Hebrew: set-up dates). And sometimes, it is an innocent error that is easily fixed without letting the entire situation fizzle out.
Lori Salkin is a dating coach who focuses on the needs of traditional to Orthodox clients. She volunteers as a matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai.com and maintains a dating advice blog, The Matchmaker Diaries.
Dear Matchmaker,
I went out on a date with someone I met through a dating website. I felt very uncomfortable with how he looked at me and with some of the comments he made (there were a lot of innuendos). I don’t plan to go out with him again. Do I report him to the site? I don’t want to ruin his chances of meeting someone, but I felt his behavior was inappropriate.
Judy, Tel Aviv
Dear Judy,
I appreciate your sensitivity in approaching what appears to be a very delicate situation. On the one hand, you felt uncomfortable during your date and yet, on the other hand, you recognize this as your experience and feel loathe to spoil his chances of meeting someone else.
You sound like a very level-headed person and from the way you present your experience, I would lay bets that most other women would have felt the same level of discomfort. The only way that this man can be redeemed for giving you lewd looks and disquieting innuendos is if he was nervous on his first date and this was out of character for him. If this was the case, he should still be reported as someone who needs mentoring on how to behave appropriately during a date.
Secondly, if this man was not nervous and was merely taking advantage of picking up women on a dating site, then you should still report him. If you are worried that it will prevent him from meeting future women on this site who will be happy with disrespectful eye contact and lots of innuendos during their first date, then perhaps you are not on the right dating site. There are plenty of other sites that screen their members before they are profiled and who ask for references that you can call before your first date. You may also wish to choose a site that provides matchmakers who can advise you through the course of your dating experience to mediate and explore areas of concern.
Suzi Zettel has a masters in social work and has worked with women escaping domestic violence. She has been a matchmaker on JRetroMatch.com and SeeYouInIsrael.com for over 15 years.
Dear Judy,
First, my sympathies. Sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. In terms of whether to report the guy, I think it depends how inappropriate his behavior was. For example, if he told off-color jokes or used bad language, that probably does not need to be reported. I think I’d say the same about innuendos. However, if someone tried to touch you after you made it clear that you were not interested, or made you feel unsafe, that is an entirely different story and should be reported.
Dr. Yocheved Engelberg Cohen
Dear Judy,
The only thing hurting his chances of meeting someone is his behavior. And people won’t change unless they get some sort of feedback. Sometimes being “nice” is not being nice at all. Assuming the dating website is more serious than Tinder… stand up for yourself and your fellow females and say something. That will also help him move forward with his life and grow up.
– Rabbi Yisroel Bernath, known as “The Love Rabbi,” has extensive experience with counseling couples. He starred in the CBC documentary Kosher Love and is founder of JMontreal.com.
THE MILLENNIAL Generation is expert at expressing emotion through emojis and gifs (Credit: tobiaschames/Flickr)THE MILLENNIAL Generation is expert at expressing emotion through emojis and gifs (Credit: tobiaschames/Flickr)
Dear Matchmaker,
With all the coronavirus restrictions, I feel so isolated and alone. I thought I knew what I was looking for, but now, I wonder if I should be more open about who to meet because I really could use someone to talk to. What should I do?
A Socially Distanced Millennial, Jerusalem
Dear Socially Distanced Millennial,
If anyone can win #coronadating, it’s you: The Millennial Generation. No matter how much I encourage you to pick up the phone, you always text to set up your dates, between the dates, and even when you’ve been dating for months. You’re an expert at expressing emotion through emojis and gifs.
You communicate with those closest to you via Instagram and Facebook video stories and Tik-Toks. After texting, Facetime or other video calls are the preferred in-real-time communication. You also text me – and your friends – non-stop about who you heard is dating whom, who you’ve seen in a restaurant on what appears to be a dinner date. Many of you assume real-life Gossip Girl (and guy) personae. You are professionals at having the perfect social media images.
So, while our parents find our reliance on digital communications frustrating and hard to understand, you have all the skills necessary to meet, date and fall in love during this crisis.
But will coronavirus change who you date?
During this crisis, you can have a dinner video date with someone and no longer need to think about whether you look perfect, about spying eyes, or about being spotted and talked about. No one can see you or judge you.
After hearing the deep loneliness and fear that you are expressing to me, I encourage you to be more open-minded. This is a time that you may want to give a try to someone different than your usual “type!” During a time of crisis, people alter their priorities and realize the importance of the basic human need of love and companionship. So, why not text someone new out of sheer curiosity? Or, just because there will be no need to think about the price of drinks? We do not know how long this pandemic is going to last and time is precious.
Just try it. Think of virtual dating during coronavirus as like the way you meet people organically. Without the pressures of a standard date, you can just text or talk for the sake of talking. It is pure camaraderie. In a subsequent conversation, you may find yourself laughing or smiling and realizing you share interests. As you continue to get to know each other, you realize you have found a comfort level and can just pick up each conversation right where you left off. And suddenly, that person seems very cute! You have a chance to get to know someone who may be perfect for you, someone you would never have considered otherwise. Not necessarily perfect, but perfect for you.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly said his heart goes out to all fellow single people who are sitting on the couch isolated, alone, listening to him. So Millennials, allow #coronadating to let you look at the quest for companionship anew so that you, too, may finally fall asleep, exhausted and scared, smartphone still in hand, yet finally clinging to the one you love.
– Lori Salkin
The writer is a professional matchmaker, and coaches matchmakers from a variety of matchmaking organizations.