“On that note,” David would say when he wanted to close a conversation, “I should get going. I have to (fill in the blank).” There was always something that demanded his attention, giving him an excuse to end our meandering telephone conversations. We talked about politics, philosophy, and what was happening in our own lives. The conversations were always pleasant, not too threatening, and enjoyable—until he was ready to hang up, which, “on that note,” we did.

I met David at a singles Shabbat program in the late 1980s. “Meet like-minded religious twenty/thirty-somethings from all over Israel in a pastoral setting,” the poster advertised. Sounded great to me. I went with a sense of anticipation, mixed with a little anxiety.

At dinner I found myself sitting across from David. The conversations were always pleasant, until he was ready to hang upHe was smart, not bad looking, and had a real British sense of humo(u)r. After the meal ended, we continued talking for over an hour. Despite our different backgrounds—I’m from Los Angeles, he’s from London—we had a lot in common. I lived in Jerusalem and he in Ramat Gan, about an hour apart.

We ate lunch together too, and seudah shlishit, the third meal. Saturday night, when everyone was saying their goodbyes, David approached me. After some small talk, he said, “Uh, why don’t we exchange phone numbers?” I gave him my business card, and he wrote his number on a small slip of paper.

Two full weeks later, David called. He had ordered a book about dreams from a bookstore in downtown Jerusalem, and he just got notified that it had arrived. Would I like to meet him the next day at the bookstore?

I had read enough of those “how to catch a man” books to know that I was not supposed to be overly available. And certainly not for the very next day! But, I considered, this didn’t seem like it was a date. It wasn’t like he was calling Friday for a date on Saturday night. Plus, I did want to see him. So I said I’d be happy to meet at the bookstore. We agreed to meet there at 5:30.

Golly, I thought, 5:30 seems a little early for dinner. Then again, it wasn’t a dinner date. It wasn’t a date at all, really. What did he want anyway? Just some company at the bookstore? No, he must be interested in seeing me, or he wouldn’t have called, right? He did call. That does mean something. I think.

Hmm. Should I eat ahead of time, so I won’t be hungry, or should I not eat, in case he does invite me out to eat? Do I dress up? Do I dress down? What’s a girl to do? The dress code in Israel is casual, even for work. So I decided to dress a tad nicer than usual, but not dolled up with pearls. I needn’t have worried. He came looking like a typical engineer, in a polo shirt and wrinkled khakis.

He strolled in at 5:30 on the dot. “Great to see you!” he said with a friendly smile. I relaxed. He was happy to see me. And I was happy to see him. David picked up his book, and we perused the English titles, chatting about our favorite authors. We had read many of the same novels.

David looked at his watch. “I have to be on the bus in a little over an hour, but that’s enough time to have a bite. Would you like to join me?” We went to a nearby outdoor café, and had the most delicious pasta I’d tasted. We talked about the book David had picked up, and his interest in dreams. I relaxed. He was happy to see meI shared a few dream stories of my own. When it was time to leave, I offered to split the bill, but David said, “Wouldn’t hear of it. I invited you, didn’t I?”

We parted at the bus stop, and he said, “Let’s be in touch!”

A couple of days later, he called and said he read something about a dream I told him about—that I found an extra room in my apartment that I hadn’t known existed. I’m always so surprised and delighted to discover I have more room. The book offered a couple of explanations. David went on to tell me about a recurring dream he’d had since he was a child—that someone was chasing him and caught him just as David woke up.

He’s sharing with me something from his childhood! I thought. That’s a great sign! I had read in an article for men that if you want a woman to like you, tell her about your childhood. Women love that type of stuff! It means you want to be close to them, which you do want, right?

The conversation went very well, until abruptly David said, “Well, on that note, I have to get going.” Huh? Why? It was such an interesting conversation. Well, maybe that’s why he had to go.

David continued to call sporadically, and if I had a good excuse, I called him. One time, he called to tell me about a concert he’d heard about, which was scheduled for the following week in Sultan’s Pool, a popular outdoor concert venue in Jerusalem. Some philharmonic orchestra from Europe was playing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” with a high-tech light extravaganza. Might I be interested in going?

Might I be? Of course I’d be! This was pretty close to asking for a date. It meant going to an evening activity in what you could call a romantic setting. It sounded great to me.

The concert was wonderful. David and I “ooh-ed and ah-ed” at the phenomenal light show. We gasped together at the sight of a long line of toga-clad men carrying torches from the entrance all the way up to the stage. It was a real feel-good experience.

When it was over, David had to rush to catch his bus back to Ramat Gan. The next day I called him to thank him for the concert and to say how much I enjoyed it. We agreed that we should do something like that again.

We never did. I never confronted David by asking, “Where do I stand?” or “Where is this relationship going?” because we didn’t really have a dating relationship. I didn’t find the opening to ask, and I was afraid that if I pushed things, David would I never confronted David by asking, "Where do I stand?disappear. But, the truth is, David never gave me a real reason for hope that our relationship would mature and change from anything other than what it was: a casual friendship. Even though it seemed like we got along so well, and had so much to talk about, I finally realized that whatever dreams I had about David and me were just dreams. I had to admit that having a relationship which would lead to marriage (oh no, that “m” word!) was about as real as the extra room I longed for. It seemed so crazy to me that a man in his thirties would not want to move a relationship from friendship to dating, if he was interested—which I thought he was.

The phone calls continued, until I decided to take a leave of absence from my job and go back to school in the U.S. for a semester. There I met my husband, Yakov, and I came back to Israel engaged.

I met Yakov at a Shabbat meal at a friend’s house in New York, and even though I was on my way to California, and he was on his way to Israel, well . . . you know the end of the story. He was really interested in a relationship, and he let me know it. We have been married for 24 years.

And, David? Can you guess? Yes, he is still single, in his fifties. On that note, I have to go. I have to get ready for a date with my husband.