Expert Advice

Jewish singles, Jewish dating

Dear Simcha,

A close friend of mine has been in a on and off relationship. She went out with this guy for a few months then they broke up.He said he would to continue to see her but nonexclusively. She said that she would only continue if it was exclusive and said let's just be friends.He then called her back a month and half later that he missed her and wanted to reopen the relationship. They reopened it and were spending time together but nonexclusively.This went on for a little bit. Just keep in mind that there were times when he wanted to get serious but she wasn't there and when she wanted to get serious he wasn't there. Their timings were always off. At the point when they were dating nonexclusively the guy told her that " he thinks it can grow but he's not feeling it to be exclusive right now". When the girl asked him what nonexclusive means to him he said" I don't even know if I would want to meet someone on the side, but if I did it wouldn't be breaking a tru st." The guy said that he feels sometimes that there's this wall between them that he can't get close to her and he wants to get close to her. How do you think the girl should respond to that statement? What's your opinion in how to deal with that? Also, should the girl continue to see him in a nonexclusive way (she isn't ready to accept marriage proposal but would like to date him exclusively and just focus on each other)? Perhaps maybe after a little time he'd want to be exclusive? She could also have her freedom if it was nonexclusive, the same way he has it. Do you think putting pressure on him to be exclusive is the way to go. To say to him we are either exclusive or nothing. Do you think doing that will accomplish anything?

Bear in mind they dated for about 6months and then reopened the relationship for a few weeks.

If you could offer some advice I'd greatly appreciate it.


Dear Rachel,

I am not a big believer in this "non-exclusive" idea. It sounds like avoidance. I am all for friendship and socializing, but that has nothing to do with marriage. If a person wants to get married, serious dating needs to be conducted.

Regarding the person's complaint about "a wall", in relationships, all complaints and concerns no matter how illogical they seem, must be treated with respect. That means, one should continue to ask many questions and try hard to understand the nature of the complaint. "Understand" does not mean agree. It means that you reach a point where you can fully see how the other person subjectively experiences the problem.

Good Luck!

Dear Simcha,

I went out with someone and had a great time. We talked for hours and seemed to have a lot in common. But at the end of the date he didn't say anything about getting together again. Any ideas?

Dear Deborah,

Was this through a matchmaker? If so, sometimes people follow strict protocol and only discuss with the matchmaker. If not, what do you really have to lose by being honest and calling him and telling him you had a great time, and asking if he is interested in getting together again? If he hems and haws, or he rejects you outright it will hurt but you won't have the agony of doubt.

Good Luck!

Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, CSW co-authors a weekly column in the Jewish Press on religion, relationships and parenting, along with his wife Chaya Feuerman, CSW. The Feuermans also have authored a book, titled "How to Have Fun Without Getting into Trouble: Essays on Relationships, Parenting and the Self" available through Rowman and Littlefield, inc. In addition, Simcha serves as Director of Community Services at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. He received training in family therapy from the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Queens, New York, where he provides individual therapy, family therapy and couples counseling.

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