Dear Dating Coach,
I met a girl I really like and we have been dating for a while. She is kind, smart, and funny, and we get along seamlessly. My family keeps encouraging me to propose, but I have this tiny voice in my head that there might be someone better out there. What if I’m losing out on an even better match for me by getting engaged? Should I keep looking?
It’s summertime and that obviously means we need to eat ice cream. It’s basically a requirement of the summer experience, and the calories don’t count because it’s hot outside. (Don’t question the validity of this statement – it’s based on scientific fact. Possibly.) When you first walk into an ice cream shop, you are immediately greeted by happiness and a plethora of wonderful flavors to choose from. There are the crowd pleasers (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) and the cult favorites (peanut butter, pistachio, and dulce de leche). Some ice cream places even have more adventurous combinations like cilantro-lime, brown butter, and goat cheese.
Whatever ice cream shop you find yourself in, you always need the same strategy: Ask for a sample taste of a flavor that seems appealing until you find one that you love. When you find that flavor, whether it’s cookies and cream or butter pecan, you need to order the cone.
Congratulations on meeting a girl that you connect with so well. As you progress in dating and get closer to an engagement, it is perfectly normal to have some anxiety about the decision you are making. This can include, of course, a feeling that perhaps you should keep looking for someone “even better.” While the girl you are dating is wonderful and everything you ever hoped for, you wonder if maybe there is a girl who is even more wonderful and “even more than you hoped for” (and also a unicorn). You have been blessed with a gift – a girl with whom you can envision a happy future – yet you still give credence to that little voice that won’t be satisfied until you acknowledge that you have already won.
Breathe. Sit down with someone objective whom you know and trust. Explain to him or her how you feel and describe the girl in your own words. Listen to yourself and the emotions that you feel when you talk about her, and do your best to imagine your future together. Can you picture her as a strong and loving partner? Can you see her as the future mother of your children? Do you think she will both support and encourage you, and do you want to do the same for her? Is she beautiful to you? Both inside and out? Answer the questions thoughtfully and embrace every positive response as the bracha that it is.
Getting engaged doesn’t mean that you have to be a million percent positive that in 30 years from now your relationship will be perfect. It just means that everything you know now about your partner leads you to believe that it will be. The motivation and the desire to make a happy life with a specific someone is what tells you that this person is the right one for you. While there are no guarantees, knowing that you connect so well now should be enough to give you peace of mind for your future together.
So, if you have found a “flavor” that appeals to you on every level, then you have found your flavor. If you love the strawberry, then that is enough. You don’t need to sample the lemon or blueberry. Whether they are delicious or not is not of any concern to you. You know for a fact that you love the strawberry. This is an absolute. Appreciate the gift that you have been given and order the cone.