As I have always written, I will get straight to the point. I will not be writing this column any longer – or at least for the foreseeable future. Between work, family, responsibilities, obligations, and just plain trying to have a life, I do not have the time needed to devote to answering email questions or writing what’s on my mind. Some have noticed and commented to me (or my father) that my column hasn’t been appearing in every issue. I had to cut back to writing bi-weekly instead of weekly. And now I see that I must stop altogether for now.
I will always have strong opinions about the shidduch world, as well as many other topics. Just because you won’t be reading my thoughts on a matter, does not mean that I will not be thinking of those still in the parshah. For those of you who have sent me emails in the past, you may continue to do so. Some of you have written more than a few emails to me. I will answer all that I am able to, but they will not be published for anyone to read or to learn from.
Writing for the Queens Jewish Link has changed my life. There were many times when I read emails and teared up or spoke with someone whose story makes me change the way I think of something or how I approach a situation. I took the responsibility as the Dating Today column writer seriously. I researched when necessary, never did I shy away from writing about something, even if my opinion wasn’t the popular or accepted one. I hope I gave those without a voice or the courage to stand up, a voice and the courage to now stand up on their own now.
I leave you with some advice; take it or leave it. As always, it’s your choice.
Dating and marriage are both hard work. Just like with anything else worthwhile in life, it takes time, nurturing care, and lots of communication. Very rarely will there be love at first sight. Many times, there will be disagreements; it’s just a part of life. It is how a couple goes about resolving those disagreements and communicating and reacting to each other that will set the tone for their future (and if there will be a future).
Always be true to who you are. Do not try to please someone by changing who you are. If they like the person you pretend to be, then they don’t like you. Why would you want to be with someone who likes a false façade that you eventually won’t be able to keep up, and when your true colors show, may not like. Just be you.
At the end of the day, you have to love and like yourself before anyone else will. I truly believe that we all have a beautiful neshamah and Hashem loves all of us. You will find someone who loves you and appreciates all you are and even embraces your little quirks – as you will his/hers.
Stop playing games. If you want to get married, then get serious about it. Don’t make it difficult to get in touch with you and schedule a date with you. Don’t think of dating as a game (“I’ll do this, so he/she will say that…”). Forget about what you see on TV and in the movies. There is no script in real life. He/she won’t run after you into a rainstorm to apologize after you scream and run out of the restaurant after a disagreement. You will be left waiting on the corner, getting drenched, and the other person may move on and not want the “drama.” This is real life. Don’t expect anything other than the unexpected and be prepared to react.
Talk about your feelings. Always talk. Don’t let there be misunderstandings or “I thought you knew that I…” Talk to each other!
If you are busy with work or family, then take a break from dating. Always give dating your full attention and make it a priority, because I am sure it is a priority to the one you were set up with. They deserve all of your time and attention for this serious decision you are making (to spend life with them or not).
Shadchanim/people who want to help: Help singles in the way they need to be helped, not in the way you think they need to be helped. You are dealing with a real-life person with emotions and feelings. Remember that, in what you say and how you say it.
Yes, you may be in La La Land when you first meet the one whom you think you have been waiting for all your life. But keep your head on your shoulders.
Never ever let anyone dim your light. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you are less than what you feel you are. If you feel like someone is trying to take your spark away from you, or whatever makes you uniquely you, then that person is not for you.
There are no such things as happy endings/happily ever after. I’m the biggest Disney Princess fan out there, but I’m just telling you the truth. Don’t expect roses and restaurants all the time. There will be arguments, children crying, getting sick, forgetting to pay the rent or mortgage one month, an argument with in-laws, no clean underwear because everyone was too tired to do the laundry, etc. This is life. Remember that I once suggested renting out a warehouse and setting up apartment-like scenarios for real dates because married life is very different from dating life. We all experience something or other. But as I wrote earlier, it’s our reaction and how we communicate through all of it. Make sure that you choose someone with whom you want to go through bad and difficult times, because there are bound to be a few of those on the journey through life.
I am always here for someone in need of support. You can always email me.
“G-d blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.” – Rascal Flatts
“Some of G-d’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” – Garth Brooks.
Again, it has been a pleasure and a privilege.
Hatzlachah to you all.