Dear Goldy:

This isn’t really a dating question, but maybe you can help, since you are a social worker. My daughter is about to become a kallah. Both families have met twice already, and everything is moving forward. It’s just a matter of setting up the engagement moment. For some reason, my six-year-old grandson seems to hate his “new uncle.” They’ve met three times and, each time, my grandson refused to get close to the Eli (fake name) to shake his hand “mazal tov” or to introduce himself. My grandson is not shy, and he didn’t give off that shy type of behavior. He seemed angry and has been saying that he doesn’t want my daughter to marry Eli. He doesn’t want to speak with my soon-to-be son-in-law and tells everyone that he doesn’t want my daughter to marry him.

When a couple is dating, both parties are looking at the actions and language the other person uses and demonstrates to decide if that person is right for them. That’s why many people dress and act their best while on a date – they know they are being judged. If someone doesn’t behave well on a date, you can just imagine how she or he will act when they get to know you better in a relaxed atmosphere. Remember years ago, when I wrote about someone I had dated once, and it was mainly because he insulted his siblings and played nasty joked on his grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This wasn’t his best behavior. Nothing he said shined a bright light on him. And if this is what he did to his own sister and grandmother, how would he treat mine? How would he treat me if I did something that bothered him? This was a one-and-done date.

Picture this: Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl seem to like each other and date for a period of time. Boy is enjoying the time spent with Girl, but he’s just cruising along – not thinking too much about the future or if the relationship will move forward. He’s just enjoying the here and now. Then, one day out of the blue, BAM! BOOM! Girl surprises Boy by moving the relationship forward in a very unexpected way. What is Boy to do? Remember, he hadn’t put much thought into the future. He was just enjoying the here and now. But now he is forced to decide. Was it right for Girl to do this or was girl so tired of waiting for Boy to take action, that she decided to take matters into her own hands? It’s a hard call.

Columnist Note: I may have used the title of this article before, but I couldn’t think of another that would fit as well. Well, I did, but I used them all! It’s hard work naming a column! You want it to be catchy, to intrigue people... So here is the title, like it or not :).

I have touched upon this subject before, but considering the number of emails I have been receiving on the topic, I realized it had to be revisited. As I’ve always said, I am not a feminist, nor will I ever be. I will never participate in a conversation that bashes men and claims that women are the superior sex. That’s not me. So don’t be misled after you read the title of this article and think that I am about to write something to empower only women in the shidduch parshah. Wrong! I want everyone to be empowered and to be able to advocate for himself.

There were two topics that were never discussed in my house while growing up: age and money. My sister and I never asked how old our parents were. We never questioned our grandparents if they were 200 or 50. I don’t know if we were told once not to ask people their age because it was rude or what the reason was; we just didn’t. My parents never discussed salaries, raises, or expenses in front of us either. Soon culture and society taught us that it was tacky to discuss finances of and to others. Never did I question friends or relatives when they would drive up in their new car and ask them how much it cost. I never asked how much anything cost even as I matured. It wasn’t my business.