Believe it or not, the High Holidays are upon us.  (How do they always seem to creep up like that??)  As we enter 5776, we first welcome a sweet new year and then repent for our sins, eating apples and honey one week and then fasting for a day the following week.  It’s about starting on a new foot and then casting our bad deeds into the water, one small piece of stale rye crust at a time.

What does this have to do with dating?  Those of us who are on the market have likely committed a sin or two in the field of dating.  I know the Ten Commandments don’t exactly discuss the ethics of ending a bad date, but in this day and age, we’re more likely to commit a dating sin than bear false witness against our neighbor.  Am I right?

So, let’s really think about it this year.  What dating sins have we committed, and can we rectify them?  Some common sins are:

Dating Sin #1: The last-minute cancel and never reschedule

You have a date planned that you’re just feeling “meh” about.  You’re tired.  The last thing you want is to change out of your saggy, nine-year-old sweatpants.  So, you cancel.  Do you propose another date?  No.  Next time, cancel with the truth, or schedule another date at the same time you’re canceling.

Dating Sin #2: The last-minute text cancellation

Speaking of canceling a date at the last minute, if you must do it, then a text is not the appropriate method of communication.  Email is almost as bad.  If you have someone’s number, and it’s getting close to the time of the date, please have the courtesy to call.

Dating Sin #3: The Disappearing Act (aka Ghosting)

This one’s the biggie.  It’s okay if you’re not interested in someone after a few dates… it happens.  If you’ve gone on more than one date with a person and decided that he or she isn’t for you (but the other person has expressed interest), dropping off the face of the earth (or “ghosting,” as the kids are calling it), is not appropriate.

With modern technology having taken over—text, GChat, dating apps, Google Voice—it’s almost too easy to think of people as disposable.  But remember that people are not things.  People have feelings.  For that reason alone, you need to buck up and have an actual conversation, whether you’ve been on three dates or 30. It doesn’t require much, just a simple and tactful text, email, call, or in-person meeting (depending on how long you’ve been seeing each other) saying that you didn’t feel a connection.  It’s not a crime to lose interest in someone, but the mature thing to do is to end it on a positive note.

I’m sure most of us have committed one or more of these dating sins.  We’re human, after all!  In the year ahead, though, while we are first celebrating and then repenting, let’s think about how we can improve the dating world in 5776.  L’shana tovah!

Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge and author of acclaimed Love at First Site. Her work has been seen on NPR, Talk Philly, The Washington Post, and more. To join her mailing list for tips and events, please join here.



  1. I admit, I am guilty of some of these dating sins. Thank you Erika for making me aware of what I need to be aware of in the future. L’shana Tova and happy dating year to everyone!

  2. I am feeling so lost and lonely. My ex husband received an annulment from me, and now wants me to leave with a small SSI check.

    I have a reduced check for being married penalized for it by Social Security. In addition, my ex husband had an accident causing me great pain in neck and back as well as bladder incontinence and I have been scheduled for bladder surgery. My ex wants to bring an eviction against me to get rid of me. He does not care if I have a place to go or not.

  3. I meet some and then they either want more than I can provide or they cannot understand that sometimes I have no funds available and sometimes I do. sometimes I am happy and sometimes I am not.

  4. Where does Marilyn live? I would be glad to help if possible. I am in Alabama.

  5. Dear Marilyn, please contact Jewish Family and Children’s Services where you live if there is one. Do you have a synagogue you belong to? Perhaps the Rabbi can direct you to some additional resources on your community. Where are you located? If you send your contact info to me I will try to find some help for you. Charlotte…:email me on date my handle is contemplative.

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