Dating Games: On call

I realized we had become the ‘go-to’ couple for friends who needed advice about taking a risk on love.

Dating Games 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dating Games 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
My friend Jordan is a doctor and he’s moved around a lot. Between college, medical school, his internship, his residency and now his fellowship, he’s lived in five different places in the past 10 years. Since he was on the fast track, following his dreams of becoming an MD, he never took relationships seriously.
He knew he probably wasn’t going to be in one place for long and he also knew how much of a time commitment it is to be a doctor. But over the past few years he’s become interested in a long-term, committed relationship that is headed toward marriage.
Jordan had gotten serious with a girl during his residency and since he was applying to fellowships across the country they talked about taking the next step. She was willing to move, so that was the plan. He went ahead and moved, started pulling overnight shifts in order to accumulate hours off and was looking forward to welcoming her to town.
Until she called and said she couldn’t do it. I don’t know if it was the prospect of moving without a ring, or moving to a new place where she didn’t know anybody or if she simply didn’t see a future with him, but needless to say Jordan is bummed.
I’m surprised he’s not more upset, but I think part of him is relieved to have less pressure on him in a new place with a new job.
When Jordan called us to discuss his woes I realized we had become the “go-to” couple for friends who need advice about taking a risk on love.
We had, after all, dived headfirst into what is now our marriage. I had extended my trip after one (24-hour-long) date, accepted his offer to move to Israel after just one week and accepted his marriage proposal 10 months later. So we are the ones our friends turn to when they want help making a decision that may seen impulsive to anyone else.
Even though it worked for us, I’m realistic. I know that moving – especially quickly – doesn’t always work out. It puts a huge amount of pressure on a relationship, whether its early on or farther along, and not all couples can survive it. My hubby dropped everything to welcome me to Israel with open arms. He wanted to make sure I settled in comfortably – redecorating his bachelor pad, making new “couple” friends, helping me navigate the streets of Tel Aviv and public transportation and just spending time with me. He worked hard before I arrived so he could take time off once I got here.
He had thought ahead to make sure he could meet my every need. Many people wouldn’t think to do those things.
Those things are a lot to take on when you’re already a new doctor at a new hospital in a new city. I told Jordan it’s probably for the best that his girlfriend didn’t move right now and that if they are meant to be together, it will happen when the time is right. It sucks, I know. But you can’t force love. Just because it worked for us doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone else. We can give people hope, but I’m the first one to admit that our fairy tale isn’t totally realistic.
In my eyes, Jordan has a huge opportunity once he recovers from this break-up. He should log back on to JDate and anywhere else he’s posted online dating profiles, update them with new photos and his new title and city and start browsing his options. I guarantee he’s going to be incredibly popular on the Jewish dating websites. The women will already live in the same city so he won’t have to worry about anyone having to follow him around the world for his career. And though he could decide to move again once his fellowship is over, he’s older now and if he were to meet the right girl I think he would take her into consideration too.
Moving for another person, especially without being engaged, is really scary. Not only are you dropping the life you’ve built for the chance of love, but if it doesn’t work out you’ll have to somehow return to your old life and pick up the pieces.
But what do you really have to lose besides your ego? An apartment? Rent a new one. A job? Apply for a new one. Everything besides your ego can be replaced – and even that will heal with time. Most people should take the risk. There is more to gain than there is to lose. I know people who took the chance and it failed – they came home and were a little embarrassed and people were cautious about mentioning it. But once they got over the relationships, they held their heads up high and moved on.
They weren’t ashamed because all they had done was take a risk for love.
Most people, like Jordan’s ex-girlfriend, wouldn’t take that risk. Those who do so ought to be commended for it. They have no regrets. Can you say the same?