We’re strolling side by side, the boy I’m dating and I, when he asks The Question. Not that I didn’t expect it—both of us knew that a l’chaim was in the process of being set up in my house—but with his asking of The Question, my sense of panic goes from a dull throb to an all-out red alert.
Yanky, my chasan wannabe, or chasan-thinks-he-is, turns to me, waiting for me to say the word he expects to hear, but my heart has frozen mid-beat and I struggle to get a word out. How can I say yes? How can I not say yes? To Yanky, it’s a rhetorical question—we’re all but engaged already—but at this moment, the reason for my unease suddenly becomes clear as glass: I don’t think I like him.
Last night, feeling very torn, I went to speak to my shadchan, also my dating coach.
“Is there anything concrete about him that concerns you? Any red flags?” she’d asked, and I’d confirmed that there weren’t. “Tell me about him,” she’d urged, leaning back in her armchair.
“You probably know him almost as well as I do by now,” I’d protested
“But I want to hear it from you.”
“Okay. Well, he’s very smart and very frum.”
“And very considerate and kind.”
“I don’t know… The thought of marrying him doesn’t excite me.”
“How about the thought of getting married, period? Does that excite you?”
“Excite me? I’ve been dying to get married since I started dating two years ago.”
“Let me tell you something, Faigy,” she had said very seriously, leaning forward in her chair. “Over the years, I’ve spoken to many girls and boys who were about to get engaged. And one thing I can tell you is that it’s not necessarily the ones who were head over heels about their chasan or kallah who have the happiest marriages. You have no idea how often I’ve seen a girl marry the most charismatic boy, only to discover after the chuppah that he had the biggest chesronos.