How can I get a guy to come and see me for dates after I’ve been travelling back and forth to see him? This is not the first time such a thing has happened to me. Living in Canada is making it hard for me when I have a relationship with a boy from New York.

When I dated boys from other areas, they flew in to see me. But New York guys, who don’t even have to spend the money for flying, because they could easily drive here, all tell me that I should be the one to make the effort. Is it my fault that I don’t live in New York? Is it my fault that my parents want to live in Canada?

If it weren’t for the fact that I get along best with guys from New York, I would not even bother with them. And now I am involved with a guy from the New York area. We share many similarities and have many things in common. But he refuses to come and see me for dates.

One time, my parents flew with me to meet this boy when I told them that we were getting serious. Would you believe that he didn’t even want to make the effort to drive where we were staying? He made my parents drive to his neighborhood, using the excuse that there are better restaurants where he is.

My parents told me to drop him and that he is selfish. But I find that all New York guys have such attitudes. What can I do to change him?


By Baila Sebrow

Being a native New Yorker myself, I am not unwilling to admit that you are right. You describe a rampant problem that has prevailed in the mainstream shidduch world of dating for many years, which affects mainly those who do not live in New York.

Guys will often tell a shadchan that a girl from out of town–usually meaning outside the New York area–is “geographically undesirable.” Even shidduch websites are placed in the position of providing the option where singles can reject shidduchim based on zip codes. This is not to blame the administrators of the sites; they are offering the consumers what they want. The shocking reality is that if an astute shadchan feels strongly about a particular girl who lives out of town, and will deliberately ignore the geographic desires of the single boy or girl by suggesting the shidduch anyway, the reaction will usually be hostile.

To be fair, there are also some New York girls who insist that the guys live in New York, but that is usually due to practical reasons, rather than the arrogance displayed by many boys who refuse a girl because she happens to live in another state or, as in your case, a neighboring country.

What you are complaining about goes even further than shidduchim. There are friends and even family members of ba’alei simcha who refuse to take the trip outside of New York for a wedding, bar or bas mitzvah, or any other important gathering. The general excuse used is that it is too difficult for them to make the trip. Meanwhile, the out-of-town people usually have no qualms about the New York event’s distance, trip and hotel expenses, or time away from work. Sadly, it is a one-way street, and it appears to be an egotistical demonstration of double standards on this topic.

On the other hand, dating can be costly. Adding long-distance travel to the equation, even if by car, may make it too exorbitant for some people. The rejections you speak of may be based on the fact that some guys simply cannot afford to date girls who live too far away. I have even been told by guys who live in nearby New Jersey that–even before the coffee shop or lounge–a date can cost them more than $50 in gas and tolls just to get to the girl’s home.

With all the histrionics and drama surrounding this issue, there are still, baruch Hashem, quite a few marriages happening all around us where the boy is from New York, while the girl lives even further away than Canada, such as on another continent.

While I believe that you feel compatible with this boy, I wonder why you state that it is only New York guys with whom you feel that you share common interests. Forgive me, but it almost sounds like you are stereotyping. Are you actually rejecting boys from states other than New York based on a generalized notion that you get along best with guys from New York?

Nonetheless, you are currently involved with a boy whom you seem to care about, and although your parents want you to end this relationship, you do not. I believe your parents were turned off by his refusal to meet them where they were staying and not just by your one-way relationship, where you do all the traveling.

I understand that it is hard to be objective when you care about someone, but you need to look at that incident from their perspective. This boy not only showed a complete lack of respect for potential in-laws, but a lack of decency to people in general.

Most parents would insist that the boy at least travel to meet them. In this case, the boy expects you to travel to New York for all dates, and felt no responsibility in initiating a meeting with the parents of the girl he has gotten serious with. Worse, when your parents came in to New York, he shamelessly felt no obligation to meet them where they were staying. This boy has chutzpah!

The answer to what you can do to get a boy to come out and see you after you have been doing all the traveling is the same as what you can do to change him–nothing.

This boy sounds like a self-centered person. He has proven that he cares nothing about the mutual satisfaction of the give-and-take in a relationship. Based on his record, in which he never made any offer to travel out to see you even once, and based on the way he has treated your parents, his needs will always be first and foremost in his life. And that will never change.

I agree that you have fewer dating options because of your location, but do not blame your parents for living in Canada as the reason dating is difficult for you. They are correct in advising you to drop this guy. Since you are already seriously involved with him, no excuses of travel difficulties should be accepted.

Oftentimes, Hashem places us in circumstances so we can get an inkling of the future. In this case, had you been living in New York, you would not have had the opportunity to see this boy’s true colors. Consider this experience as a blessing to you.

Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis. She can be reached at v

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