Do you feel as if you’ve been dating since forever? Has every other date been a game of who’s going to reject whom first? Have you had agonizing ‘dry’ periods where there wasn’t even any appropriate candidate to consider?
And the bottom line is you feel desperate to be married. You’re longing to be emancipated from the fruitless search, eager to feel settled, yearning to actualize the dormant parts within you, impatient to be redeemed from feeling like a social outcast, dreaming of being able to invite your friends to your son’s bris, and not only attending theirs…for the fourth time.
Consider the following statement;
“If s/he’s willing to marry me even though ____________, maybe I should go for it…”
How might you fill in the blank? Are any of these possibilities familiar?
Ø ‘…I grew up in a single parent home…’
Ø ‘…I had a broken engagement…’
Ø ‘…I’m a convert…’
Ø ‘…I stutter…’
Ø ‘…I’m diabetic…’
Ø ‘…I’m unemployed…’
Ø ‘…I’m in my late thirties…’
– the list goes on and on.
As artificial as dating is, it is still a launching pad for the lofty endeavor of building a Mikdash Me’at (mini-Temple). When you meet a new marriage candidate, you aren’t trying to conduct a business interview, you are trying to experience your date; how does it feel to be in his/her company? Do you feel that you can be yourself? Do you have a voice, or is it constantly superseded by your date’s? Are you feeling admiration and respect for your date? Is this the person with whom you can build an enduring relationship?
And of course, the converse is true; on some level, your date is experiencing you.
And if your date is gung-ho to marry you, how are you deciding if yes or no?
Are you deciding based on the joint merits you both possess that will surely be a strength in your future home?
Or are you deciding based on what you view as your inadequacies, shortcomings and deficits; thinking that since you are such an unworthy candidate you ought to take the offer while you can?
And if you’re so concerned about what you lack, then how is your date experiencing you? Might s/he be sensing the energy of self-doubt and shortcomings? And if your date is indeed picking up on what you lack and feels that s/he wants to forge an eternal bond with you, what does that say about her/ him?
Gentlemen, ladies and daters of all ages – walking the dating tight-rope is about keeping your balance.
How do you suppose that can be done? How can you value yourself while knowing your imperfections? How do you feel confidence when you’re still reeling from the last rejection? How do you assert your social value, when society makes you feel like you’re second class? What’s the key to accepting your single-hood, while trying to change it?
Here’s how: the harness that keeps you securely balanced on the shidduch high-wire is not below –it is poised above.
True – you are (desperately?) seeking to forge an enduring relationship with the spouse of your dreams. But all along you’ve been connected to the eternal relationship with your Creator! He loves you now, as you are; big nose, crooked teeth, stuttering, converted to Judaism, ba’al teshuva, post-trauma, recovered addict, thirty –seven years old and counting, medical issues, second marriage… whatever your personal profile includes.
And if He loves you, it is your job to join him in loving yourself!
You’re allowed to be ‘imperfect’, it’s really not a criminal offense. In fact, if you were so perfect just as you are, what do you need to get married for? Wouldn’t marriage only confound you're already ‘perfect’ status?
And that means that your date is allowed to be imperfect, just like you.
So, tight rope dater, tighten your harness – it’s connected on-high- and practice your balance;
Ø You’re confident but not arrogant.
Ø You believe that you will marry while you enjoy the moments you’re single.
Ø You are respectful and open while you protect yourself from danger.
Ø You are honing your own decision making skills and still take advice from wise mentors.
Ø You are determined and not desperate.
You likely don’t know the length of your personal tight rope – but do know that whether you’re still walking the wire or nearly approaching the other side, so long as you keep on course – you’re in a state of (self) elevation.