Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am a woman in my late 30s and I have never been married. I have dated countless men (sometimes only once and sometimes for long periods of time) and for a million reasons we were not meant to be. Sometimes this was my decision, sometimes it was my date’s, and sometimes it was mutual. Regardless, at my age, I have started to feel “ok” about being single. I have a job I like, a small circle of real friends, and family I adore. I try to keep my life as full as possible and spend Yom Tov with family and nieces and nephews who love me, so I am not alone. Sure, there are times that I am lonely, but then I am always a car, train, or plane away from friends and family. Is it bad that I feel this way? Not exactly ‘resigned’ to being single, but at least ‘at peace?’


Peaceful Single


Dear Peaceful,

I once got stuck on a Ferris wheel. Just to be clear I am not a fan of the Ferris wheel to begin with. I don’t love the little seat that rocks in the breeze. I don’t appreciate that vista, and after a while, every rotation begins to feel endless. Yet, I found myself on the top of a Ferris wheel, swaying ever so slightly, pretending to admire the sights from 30,000 feet (ok, maybe less. It’s how it feels!) when there was a terrible grinding noise and the ride came to complete stop. The first ten minutes went by pretty quickly, filled with nervous laughter and easy banter. The next ten minutes had my life flashing before my eyes, questioning all my decision (including the Big Gulp I had enjoyed. Say no to the Big Gulp!). The next ten minutes left me frustrated, antsy, and impatient. Finally, the last thirty minutes brought calm to our little seat floating in the clouds. I saw how blue the sky was. I appreciated the breeze. I admired the view. This is where I was, and suddenly it felt fine. Then, “sit back!” we heard and in no time at all, we found ourselves back on land, in the same place we started, but perhaps not the same at all.

Thank you for your letter. You have been dating for a long time. You have not yet found your bashert, but you have noticed a shift in your feelings. You find yourself being “ok” with your single status and you wonder if there is something wrong with that. Our whole lives we are taught that the ultimate gift is creating a bayis ne’eman, a home where we can grow a family and find self-growth along the way. While this is not something you shun, or something you no longer want; you are fine with your life at this moment, and with the gifts you have right now.

If you are asking me if being happy is a bad thing, I couldn’t possibly disagree. If you are wondering if I believe in being mindful and present, then the answer is of course, ‘yes.’ You find yourself feeling more at peace, and I can’t imagine how feeling ‘right’ could be ‘wrong.’ Sure, I would caution you to never become complacent or resigned to a life without a partner, and to the chance to create a family of your own. Your ability however, to find joy and contentment at this moment of your life is a blessing that we admire. This is your life right now. Certainly, it is healthier to be joyful and to seek fulfillment with the gifts that you currently have.

So, appreciate the present, it’s a gift, and you may notice that your personal happiness will allow you to welcome others in, to be more open to possibilities and to the other brachos, that will find you.

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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at [email protected] to schedule a phone session.