I didn’t have to be a genius to know that I would receive emails in reaction to the letter where Briendy suspects her best friend of being emotionally abused by her chasan. I want to remind everyone who wrote in (and those who didn’t), I clearly wrote it in the article: I am not an expert in the field of abuse. I did my hishtadlus and researched some telltale signs that may indicate if someone is in an emotionally abusive relationship. I provided examples. Most importantly, I advised Briendy to contact Shalom Task Force. Those at the Task Force are far more knowledgeable than I am, and perhaps she will be able to figure out how to help her friend, if her friend was involved in an abusive relationship. The word to focus on was “if.” At the end of the article, I provided an update; Briendy had contacted me that she is working with Shalom Task Force to help her friend.

This is one of those times when I must get serious and send out a PSA to readers. Yes, most parts of dating can be characterized as “fun,” but dating is a serious topic. Besides looking for “the one” to spend the rest of your life with, you are looking for someone who is a mentch, who will love you and treat you well under all circumstances. This is a letter from a concerned friend about what she is observing with her best friend.

In last week’s column, I published a letter written by a 51-year-old gentleman who didn’t appreciate being lumped into the category of “older single men looking for a young wife.” He provided a brief dating history, saying he has gone out with all types of women for decades. Now that he is in his 50s, he would date a woman in her mid-30s, but not younger. He feels that a 10-15-year age difference isn’t that bad between spouses. But the feeling he is getting from reading articles and hearing people talk is that he is part of “the creepy old men who insist on dating younger women.”

Yes, breaking up with someone you have started to love and see a future with is very hard. But after a certain amount of time, which is different for everyone, it’s time to return to the land of the living and to go out again, date, or enjoy an evening with your friends. It is not healthy to obsess over the relationship or break-up. This email writer is unable to move on, and she is well on the way to making herself – and those around her – sick over this.

I do my best to be fair to everyone, to give everyone a chance. In this context, I am referring to those that want to speak about dating. A few weeks ago, I published a letter from a woman who had made the conscious decision not to date at this point in her life. She was tired of people not respecting her wishes, trying to wonder why she made such a choice, what they had the nerve to say to her face, etc. This week, I publish a letter from a gentleman who feels that he is being treated and thought of unfairly, as are other men in his situation. His letter is longer than the woman’s, so I will publish my response next week. Feel free to send me your thoughts on either or both letters.

I have heard both men and women discuss the topic of this week’s column many times. It’s about taking time off, taking a sabbatical, or taking a vacation… from dating. Some do it because they are burned out and need to refresh their batteries. Others do it because now their life doesn’t allow for the attention and time it takes to date and get to know someone. And others just think they have been in the parshah too long, have dated everyone, been through it all, and can’t keep doing this to themselves over and over.