Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I recently became engaged to a wonderful guy. He is everything I ever hoped for, and we compliment each other in so many ways. But everyone who meets me comments on my even disposition now that I am engaged, and wonders why I don’t seem to be more excited than I look. Should I be projecting a certain enthusiasm? When my sister got engaged two years ago, everyone talked about how she was “in the clouds.” Now I wonder if I am missing something and question my feelings entirely. I am very happy to marry my chosson, but maybe I am not feeling the way I am supposed to? Help please!

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Even-Keeled

 

Dear Even,

I once went hiking with cousins in New Hampshire. “Once” being the operative word here. Don’t get me wrong, I love the great outdoors, but I love air conditioning and indoor plumbing more. That being said, we geared up and decided to climb to the tallest bluff of the tallest peak of the tallest mountain; (i.e. the beginners hike suggested at the base of the modest hill/towering alp.) Together with my two strongest Sherpa (Canadian) cousins, we climbed for hours (probably 30 minutes) and vowed not to rest until we scaled the difficult (simple) terrain. With labored breath, (might have been allergies) we finally reached the peak and it was truly beautiful. The sun had just begun to set and the colors filled the sky while the dusky night’s air settled around us. While I sat down to enjoy the peaceful view, the cousin to my left burst into tears, exhausted from her Everest-like climb and the cousin to my right fell into happy laughter, thrilled with her accomplishment.

 

Clap Along…

Mazel tov on your engagement! It is so special to meet someone that encompasses the very qualities that you always hoped for. You are sure of your decision and feel happy, but the constant challenging of your disposition now makes you question if you are in fact feeling as you should. Your sister and her clear thrill at being engaged satisfied your friends and family while your calm demeanor worries them and now you; begging the question, “Do I feel enough?”

 

If You Know…

Feelings are arbitrary and simply cannot be expected to appear identically in every unique individual. Frankly it is ludicrous to assign a certain expression of happiness that may or may not be acceptable to a newly engaged couple. Sure, both parties should be confident in the decision they have made and feel comfortable and excited to start a new chapter together. To present a certain way publicly however, is completely dependent on the individual’s personality, temperament, and character. Some people are more outgoing and effervescent and some are introverted and reserved. Demanding a specific reaction from every single engaged girl can only inspire anxiety and inauthenticity. Moreover, I would even go as far as to say that a girl that seems outwardly thrilled could also harbor concerns over her impending marriage. I would suggest instead that we celebrate the happiness that we see around us, instead of questioning its veracity. Let us offer congratulations rather than pointing out erroneous issues that stab at joy as we demand proof of bliss.

 

What Happiness Means to You.

If you and your chosson are sure of your decision to chose one another and you feel confident of your future walk toward the chuppah, then your connection is yours to feel in whatever way you feel it. When your well-meaning family and friends insist on questioning the very fabric of your commitment to one another, smile internally because you are sure of your happiness – regardless of the emoji you choose to express it with. Your reaction is your own – so own it and bask in your full heart as you take in the view of your beautiful future together.

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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 hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.