Last night after work I went to my son’s preschool to learn how to bake challah with the other moms.  People who know me (or who’ve already read my new book, When Mars Women Date) know I’m not a cook, but it seemed important to my son and I liked meeting everyone. On my way home it occurred to me that the art of making challah is a lot like dating! So, here are seven things to remember about baking challah that may just help you to become a better dater:

1. It Takes Patience

We met at 7:30pm, but by 10:30pm we were just putting the braided dough into the oven!

In dating, you have to go out a lot before you finally meet “The One.

2. It’s a Process and It’s Work

With the challah we had to measure everything, let it sit, knead it, clean it up and bake it.

In dating, you may have to look for prospects, go to events and regularly get out there.

3. You Have to Be Willing to Get Your Hands Dirty

You should have seen my clothes — flour everywhere. I looked like Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy! Plus, my wedding rings were all sticky from making the dough!

Dating can be messy.  You may meet people you don’t like, or who don’t like you. You may even get your heart broken, but it’s all part of the process.

4. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

I worked a long day and then commuted 90 minutes. I was used to getting home at 8:15pm and relaxing, but I pushed myself to go. I’m glad I did because I met new people and experienced a new part of myself, which was fun.

Dating is like this too. My clients often tell me they don’t feel like going out after work (or even on the weekend). Yet, they need to push themselves out of their comfort zone to meet new people and to create something different in their lives.

5. It’s How It Tastes, Not How It Looks

Towards the end we were trying to braid the challah from six strands and mine looked like an octopus. The group said, “It doesn’t matter how it looks. It’s how it tastes!”

The same is often true in dating. While looks can be important, it’s who the person is on the inside that will be the most crucial over time. You can often love someone who comes in a different package (than you previously thought he/she would) and who is very sweet!

6. It Reminds You to Be Unselfish & Share

Our baking teacher told us to break off a piece of challah and to burn it as an offering to G-d. This was a reminder that making it is not about greed, but about making it for ourselves and others, and honoring G-d in all that we do.

Similarly, in dating and relationships, it’s important to share, think about the other person’s point-of-view and to maintain your high values and faith.

7. It’s All About the Company

In the end, I had a great time laughing with these women and going through the adventure of something completely new. After it baked, the challah tasted so much sweeter because the look of amazement that my son and daughter gave me the next morning! They were saying no one could touch their piece!

Dating is all about the company.  You may enjoy the presence of someone for an evening or longer, but it will impact you. You have shared a joint experience; and having the appreciation and amazement of someone new in your life is usually nice.

And here’s another tip — the stretching that you do in dating may teach you new tricks, but it won’t change your essential nature.

At 11pm I carried my raw braided challah dough home to bake it (rather than waiting for one of the two ovens there). While it was baking, I went to write this article (instead of becoming more domestic). Dating may teach you some new things and help you uncover different parts of yourself, but in the end you love what you love.

And, my two sorry looking raw loaves of challah somehow melded together in the oven into one larger one… but, in the end, isn’t that what we’re all hoping for in dating?

Happy dating & baking everyone!

My Best in Love,


Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist, dating coach and the author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Find her online at!
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