Saturday, March 26, 2011


I was doing some self-reflection lately (as usual -- sometimes I wish I could just press the OFF button for a few minutes), and I realized that my outlook towards dating has changed a lot throughout the past year or so.

So what's the result of this metamorphosis?

Well, overall, I'm a much happier, less depressed dater. Here's why:

1) Emunah in HaKadosh Baruch Hu
I realized that when I just commenced on my dating journey, I thought I had emunah in HaShem, but I really didn't. Sure, I was davening, but I felt a certain amount of disdain and discomfort before and after a date. I had feelings of skeptism and bitterness.

I read an incredible book called Growth Through Tehillim by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. It shaped my perspective towards emunah, and therefore, having emunah throughout the dating process.

Even though I'm still on the journey, and I'm not sure when I'll meet my zivug, I feel a lot more confident that HaShem is with me. I'm not worried anymore. I know that everyone and everything has a "sha'ah tova" (right timing).

2) Learning Opportunities
I view each date as an opportunity to get to know another fellow Jew and learn something from him. I remember writing about that in the early days of my blog (over a year ago), but I don't think I really internalized that concept.
I now have a mental list of at least one new thought/fact/inspiration/halacha that each person I've dated has taught me.
For example, one guy told me that it's halacha to wash your hands before davening. I kinda knew that before, but I barely followed it. But after he mentioned it, I decided to take it upon myself. (Okay, I admit that I didn't do much research after he told me that -- but either way, he taught me something & had a positive influence on me.)

3) No More Settling
I often felt like I was settling (on hashkafah, religious level, physical appearance, age, etc.) and I realized that settling isn't exactly helping anyone. It was hurting both my dates and myself.
So why was I settling??
Because I allowed shadchanim to push me. I had a problem with saying "no", which led me to 1st and 2nd dates that I was dreading, and negative feelings towards both shadchanim and dating, in general.
I'm still working on it, but I've learned to say NO to matter how much they push. Regardless if they're rude or tell me I'm being too picky. I've learned to stop giving pity 1st, 2nd, or 3rd dates. I've learned not to give pity dates solely because I feel guilty rejecting the person and think that mayyyybe there's a 1% chance that it will work out between us.

I now have my set list of what I'm looking for. The list doesn't consists of dealbreakers; the list consists of what I AM looking for. Positive connotation.
There are qualities I will absolutely not settle for. Shadchanim have gotten upset, and so have the guys. And I'm sorry. Be'emet. I don't want to hurt or frustrate anybody.
But honestly, this is MY life. At the end of the day, I'm the one who will have to deal with the person; it's going to be my marriage -- not the shadchan's. Nobody has the right to tell me what to do (except HaShem, and in certain cases - my Rabbi and Parents.)

I realize that might sound somewhat arrogant, but I'm a stubborn (read: determined :D) person, and I don't appreciate other people running my life.

4) Refer To A Friend
Whenever a match is suggested to me, or after a date that I clearly know is not for me, or after I hear of/meet a new shadchan, I carefully try to think if any of my single friends would be interested. If so, I refer them to the Shadchan/the guy. B"H I have set up quite a few friends, and one of them recently got engaged. :)

B"H being a happier dater has definitely contributed to me being a much happier person.

May we all have the clarity to make the right decisions regarding dating and marriage!


  1. I love Growth Through Tehillim along with all the rest of Rabbi Pliskin's books. The "no more settling" rule sounds like a good one- no one wants to go on a pity date!
    That is so awesome that you set up your friend who got engaged!
    "May we all have the clarity to make the right decisions regarding dating and marriage!" Amen!

  2. SternGrad - yes, he is a great author! I'm currently in the middle of "Growth Though Torah", & b"H I want to want to read all of his books. Which one do you recommend I read next?

    I set my friend up with the shadchan (I forced her to call the shadchan)...not the guy, but hey, in my mind - that's still a set up! ;)

  3. My favorite Rav Pliskin book is Gateway to Happiness. It is one of the few books that actually changed my life, and it includes the topics of so many of his other books.

    Sending a friend to the right shadchan certainly counts!

  4. Lemonade.

    I love that title.

    Something that used to be sour, bitter, with enough effort and some special ingredients has been transformed into something sweet,something pleasing.

    I am grateful that you shared this with us. That which you learned from someone whose already endured the test, you don't have to struggle as much to succeed in. So, thank you. I really liked this post. Very practical.

  5. SternGrad - I'll keep that in mind, thank you!

    Mizrachigal - you got the title ;)
    I'm happy you liked the post.

  6. Exactly!

    I used to be crabby, blaming the world at large. Then I changed gears, realizing emunah isn't for when everything is perfect, but that emunah is knowing that all situations have a purpose.

    It's so nice a shidduch came from your efforts.

  7. Very nice. As SternGrad said, no one wants to go on pity dates. You feel dread over it and for the guy, from a religious point of view, it might be an issur of genavas daas.
    Also, in our society since the guy usually pays for dates, the shadchanim should be liable (read: required to pay back the one(s) who paid for the date) for pressuring (anyone, but especially) women to date someone that they are absolutely sure won't work out.

    You don't sound arrogant or stubborn. You sound normal.

  8. This is a great post. It's important to look back and see how much you have changed for the better in the past few years. Good for you!

  9. English Major - I wish the "switching gears" part is as easy as it sounds!
    I still have my relapses, but overall, when I'm reminded that HaShem is the source of my life and its' details, I get less crabby ;)

    Alarbean - genevaat daat? Hmm...never thought of that.
    The pressure that some shadchanim place on gals (and I'm assuming on the guys, as well) really has to change. If I'M having a hard time saying no, and I'm one of the "tougher" personalities, then how about all the quiet and shy people who have a difficult time speaking up for themselves?

    Devorah - thank you! Self-reflection can be rewarding, but other times, it just drives me bananas :)