Opening Up

By | July 16, 2014

Question:

I’d like your advice on a shidduch I’m involved in right now. Right now, we are in between the 3rd and 4th date. He told the shadchan that he likes me and that he “sees possibilities”. I definitely like him and admire the person that he is. How do I signal to him that I’m ready to take things further?
Also, I know that he trusts me because he revealed a lot of personal information about himself and I saw him constantly observing me for my reaction, which I guess he was ok with because he wanted to go out again. I don’t think that I have been that forthcoming with my struggles as he has been with me. How can I build my trust in him and show him that I trust him?
I don’t mean to rush you, Debbie, but I would appreciate a prompt response, just like your previous advice, which was very helpful. We will probably go out again very soon and I’d like to be prepared. My parents have been very supportive but I’m looking for a more experienced and objective perspective.
Thank you so much!

Answer:

Dear,
Again, it’s hard to respond when I don’t know you personally. Dating is a very unnatural situation, because on one hand we are expected to slowly reveal our neshama to the person we’re dating,  yet, we are very aware that he is evaluating us, just as we are evaluating him, and that the relationship might end at any time. When we open ourselves up, we are making ourselves vulnerable, and more open to pain. Obviously, that makes it more difficult to “be real” on a date.
That’s why it’s often easier for people to open up to a total stranger. When people  open up to  a date, or even to a spouse or close friends, they are assuming a certain level of trust, and if that trust is broken or used as ammunition in an argument (of course you did this, after all….) the pain is even greater.  If you’ve been in a situation where someone broke your trust, or took advantage of your vulnerability (all that back stabbing in school!) then it will be even harder to allow yourself to be vulnerable.
My suggestion — be honest. Tell your date that you really appreciate how he’s opened up to you, and that you feel close to him, but that it’s difficult for you to open up to him because you cannot know where the relationship is going. That you are afraid of being hurt.
then take it from there.
Much hatzlacha, and please let me know how it goes.
Debbie
Category: Ask the Shadchan

About Debbie

Debbie Shapiro is a wife, mother, grandmother (in that order), and a resident of Jerusalem for over 40 years. In addition to her work as a writer and PR director, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren, being there for her children, and writing for columns like this one! She's made quite a few shidduchim and is known for her common sense. She welcomes questions, comments, feedback and interaction. Check out Debbie’s latest book here

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