I am going to publish an email from someone who feels hurt, but from my opinion she has every right to feel hurt. I do not know of many cases that this specific situation has happened, but I know of cases that come close, which I will mention in my response. I feel that this is an email that can be applied to first- or second-time daters, the mature and younger population, as well as both genders.
My situation goes back to Yom Kippur/Sukkos time, but I am still hurt and it is affecting how I approach dating others. I had been dating a guy I will call Avi, for a while, not exactly sure how long, maybe about four weeks. I was getting used to my feelings for him; everything seemed to be lining up. I liked Avi.
As soon as I type the next sentence, you will be able to guess the rest. Avi told me he had planned to be in California with family from Yom Kippur through Sukkos. He said he would miss me, but we could Zoom/FaceTime, text, and call. I’m a mature adult, not some teenager swooning over some boy. I understood Avi had plans. I would miss seeing him in person, but I’d still see him through technology.
Avi left for California a couple of days before Yom Kippur. We FaceTimed and texted… for the first week or so. But around Erev Sukkos, the calls and FaceTimes began to happen less and less. I would call, but Avi either text me that he would call me “soon” or it would go straight to voicemail. My texts were receiving short answers. I didn’t have a very relaxing first days of Sukkos. I waited up late and called Avi after the first days ended. We spoke and I asked him the typical question: “Is everything okay?” I didn’t want to sound like I was checking up on him or upset – but I was. Avi reassured me that all was okay. We ended up having a great conversation via FaceTime. The next day, Avi texted me and we spoke…I will speed things up. Avi was supposed to come back the day after Sukkos but texted me that he would be staying on for another week to deal with some family business. I was let down, but what could I have done?
That was the last time I heard from Avi. He didn’t call or text me again. My texts and calls were going unanswered. I was worried. I spoke with my parents’ friends; they were also worried, but other than saying, “Try again,” they had no useful advice. I called the shadchan who set us up, with whom I hadn’t spoken in a while, and explained the situation. He said he would get in touch with Avi and then call me back.
The next day, the shadchan called and it was bad news. Avi told him that he began dating someone in California. A family member set him up, and even though he was dating me, he went on the date, ended up liking the girl, and they are now seriously dating. Avi told the shadchan that he wanted to see if the relationship would work out, and he wouldn’t be coming home until he knew. He asked the shadchan to call me because he didn’t want to hurt me.
I was stunned. I had no words. The shadchan was very sorry, but the message was delivered. I sat there for a few minutes feeling nothing. I just sat. I expected something, but not that. Soon the shock of it wore off and the hurt and anger came. Avi didn’t want to hurt me, so he just stopped communicating with me? Did he think I had short-term memory loss and would forget about him? I was hurt and angry by Avi and his “family member.” Avi went out with someone knowing we had been dating seriously – or what I considered seriously. Why did he even go out with the girl? Did he even tell the family member he was dating me and the family member persuaded him to go anyway? Why couldn’t Avi be the man I thought he was and at least call me. He could have even texted me and taken the cowardly way out, but at least I would have known and not left wondering. I still feel as if I was made to be a fool, that Avi, his family, and new girlfriend were laughing or pitying me. Did the new girlfriend even know about me? There were so many “why” questions left unanswered.
I got over the hurt and betrayal. I have since dated. But I feel myself not trusting people like I used to. I know it’s natural to be cautious; but now if I date someone more than three or four times, I find myself wondering what if another name is suggested to him, because I know how the dating world works. What if he’s dating someone else because I know that happens; you yourself said that you used to double date. I’m scared of getting hurt again. What’s your advice?
Thank you for your email, Shayna.
I am so sorry that this happened to you. I have often said that if people are mature enough to date and marry, then they need to be mature and able to do everything that comes along with dating, including breaking up with someone. I prefer that it be done face to face or over the phone, because I think texting is the coward’s way out – not having to see the other’s face or hear the other person’s reaction, which may be surprise or hurt... But you didn’t get any of the three.
Everyone’s emotions are different. From the sound of it, it seems that you were getting very comfortable with Avi, developing feelings for him, and that’s when he left for California. I could be wrong, but that’s what I took away from your first paragraph. I hate saying that men view relationships differently, but some do. In my opinion, if you are dating someone, then you are dating one person and not double- or triple-dating. How can someone be open and honest with another if he is hiding something that big from the other person?
To address your statement about me double-dating when I was single, I will tell you what I told the three gentlemen. I was in a dating drought for six months – six months and not one date. Then I received three calls in a matter of two days. I said yes to all three, because I thought by saying no to one of them, I would lose my chance, because in the dating world, if you don’t give an answer right away or if you say, “I’m busy, I’ll call when and if I am available,” that is usually the last time you hear about that person. So, yes, I agreed to date three fellows whom I didn’t know at the same time (for a very short period of time). One of them was a one-and-done type of date, the second lasted two dates, and the third fellow lasted about five dates, I think. Make no mistake; I never accepted a name/date if I went out with someone once and there was going to be a second date. On the other hand, I do know people (males and females) that, even if they are dating someone, still accept calls from shadchanim and look into other singles. I know for a fact that some have double-dated the same people for a few weeks, and like a child in a candy store after sampling the flavors, chose to continue with one and break up with the other. And I think that is horrible. Please do not place me in the same category as a “double-dater.”
You may also remember an experience of mine that wrote of, which can be placed in the same category as your story. I had been dating someone for a few weeks before he had to go home to London – also for Yamim Tovim. We said that we would be in touch when he came back to America. Low and behold, a few days after Yom Tov, I saw a picture of him and his kallah on social media. In the time span of three weeks, he dated someone and became a chasan. My feelings weren’t as deep as yours, but I was taken by surprise. I called the shadchan and updated her. She, too, was surprised. This fellow hadn’t bothered to contact me or the shadchan and that was that. Unfortunately, that is how the game is played, and I specifically use the word game because that is how some treat it. They gather names, double-date, sometimes have a morning and evening date on the same day with different people – and I am not referring to those who travel to date and visit a city for 48-to-72 hours and go out with three or four people from that area. I think that is accepted that it happens, but I hope that once they meet someone with whom they have feelings, that the speed dating stops.
I don’t know why, but everyone seems to be in a rush in the dating parshah – a rush to get to the chupah. Maybe with all this z’rizus, they forget they are dealing with another person and his/her emotions. Dating isn’t a game. People get hurt and you don’t know how they react to that hurt. Maybe Avi’s feelings for you weren’t as deep as your feelings for him, but just the fact that you were dating for a month should tell him that you were interested in him. I have no idea why he accepted a date in California; maybe he felt pressured or thought it was a one-and-done type – whatever it was, it was wrong, and he made a bad situation worse by cutting off contact with you.
It is understandable that you are hurt and have trust issues. I can tell you that I don’t think you will find another Avi – someone who would do such a thing to another. There are good men out there, men you can trust who will be honest with you and treat you as you deserve to be treated. But you need to work through this so you can get back to a place where you can trust and not be suspicious of all you date. I hope you have someone you can speak with – whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a professional. I’m glad to hear that you have been able to move on and to date others. My heart does go out to you.
For all out there thinking of double-dating or cutting off communication with someone because it’s easier than breaking up face to face, all I will say is it is wrong. Where is your compassion for others? Do you know the kind of hurt that you are making the other person endure, when it all comes to light? I can go on and on, but the topic just disgusts me.
Hatzlachah to you all.