Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:
I recently began dating a woman I’ll call Sue whom I met on JDate. It appeared we have a lot in common. I’m a psychotherapist, and so is she. We are both vegetarians. We both love to hike, etc. We had two dates; the second one extended into hours of talking and sharing stories. It ended with a very passionate kiss and a hug. We tentatively scheduled a third date, but she said she would need to confirm something with her schedule.
Days passed, and I didn’t hear from her. Then the day before the tentative date, I got an email from a friend of Sue’s saying she had been in a bad car accident and was in the hospital. Then Sue’s mother contacted me and told me I could visit.
At my visit, Sue seemed happy to see me, but when I visited again a few days later, she said she didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t want anyone else to visit her besides her family and “close friends.” She said she would contact me after she got out of the hospital. I understood, but admit I felt rejected. After two weeks of no word, I contacted her mother to find out if Sue had been discharged as planned, but her mom never responded.
Two months later, I wrote Sue a friendly e-mail asking how she was feeling. She wrote a very confusing, rambling e-mail that accused me of “smothering her” and directing me to “leave her alone,” in conjunction with contradictory statements about “feeling lonely,” which left me confused about what she really wanted. At the end of her note she essentially said “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
I know two dates is not enough to really know someone, but I feel torn about what I should do. Part of me wants to respect her wishes, but another part wonders if she actually wants me to contact her, because of the confused language in her letter and how strong our connection was. It would help to have some objective advice, because I feel I can’t be objective.
— Wrecked in Philadelphia
Confused is right! It sounds like not only are you confused (and understandably so), so is she — either due to a preexisting psychological issue you didn’t know about, or as a result of her injury.
Either way, what you should do is the same: n-o-t-h-i-n-g. She asked you to leave her alone, so you need to leave her alone! Clearly, there is nothing you have done that constitutes “smothering her,” as she has accused you of doing, but if you go against her explicit request for no further communication, you risk doing precisely that. Or, even more frightening is the possibility that she could start leveling far more damaging accusations against you; what little evidence we have suggests she isn’t thinking all that clearly or rationally right now.
By writing Sue after her release from the hospital, you showed your concern for her well being and subtly made it clear that you were still interested in pursuing a relationship — it was a reasonable and caring thing to do. Now, for whatever the reason, she is not reciprocating. It’s time to log back onto Jdate and try again!
— The Matchmaker Rabbi
Joysa Winter, aka The Matchmaker Rabbi, knows all about how hard it is to find lasting love. It took her 17 years to find Mr. Not Wrong! In that time, she tried just about every singles site, dating club and Matzah Ball known to humanity. Now in her fourth year of rabbinical school and the mother of 1.5 kids, nothing brings her greater joy than officiating a wedding. She is finishing a book on her dating adventures called Chasing Cupid, Tales of Dating Disaster in Jewish Suburbia. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wanderinghebrew.