Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Question Continued from Last Week…

 

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Dear Dating Coach,

My parents refuse to see reason! I am just starting to date and my parents envision a different kind of girl than I do. All they care about is the length of her skirts! I am an adult and my own person and they think they can force me to date and marry a specific type just because they don’t agree with my choices! It’s a waste of time! This is who I am and I know what I want! I have yelled and shouted and begged-but they don’t listen! I am beyond frustrated and feel like I will never be set up with the right girl as long as they are doing the picking. Are my parents a lost cause or do I stand a chance?

Off-White Sheep

 

Dear Sheep,

If you Jenga like I do, you have mad ninja skills and steady hands. You know that a solid foundation is key, and patience and care are vital to Jenga domination. Laying the groundwork for success will ensure that all the players are satisfied at the end of the game. If you Jenga like I do, you watch every player’s next play with precision, and respond with careful consideration. You breathe slowly and steadily, and remain calm always. Tower flinging, block breaking, and layer leveling need not apply. Jenga ain’t no game. Jenga is life.

 

A Quicksand Castle…

Last week we discussed the value of presentation You now understand how important it is to schedule a meeting with your parents when everyone is calm and available. Before any progress can be made, the setting must be curated to elicit a positive outcome. This cannot happen when the timing is not right for you or your parents. Once the presentation is taken into account, a productive meeting can take place.

 

In Any Location…

At this time in your life your hashkafa does not align with the hashkafa of your parents. Your viewpoints differ and that translates into a search for different types of girls in shidduchim. You envision someone like you at this stage of your life, and your parents likely hoped for someone who shares their original goals for you. Here, the foundation that you build on matters most. RESPECT is the central component here – the base that will allow you to talk calmly and with deference.

 

Will Suffer Without…

Listening and validating that this is an alternate road from the one they wanted you to travel will remind them that while you vary in your viewpoints, you still hold your parents in the highest regard. Do not mock the choices that they continue to make in their hashkafa. Do not belittle their beliefs or ridicule their commitment to yiddishkeit. Measure your tone and your words to reflect the admiration that you have for them. Hearing your respect, even when you disagree, will encourage your parents to respect the choices that you have made as well. A conversation that deviates from a solid and respectful foundation will never be productive. Bear this in mind, even when you feel challenged and pained by your differences in opinion. Your parents are also hurting as they struggle to accept this change. (If the discussion deteriorates even with your best intentions, this may then require a third party such as a trusted Rabbi/Rebbetzin/Relative.)

 

The Proper Foundation.

However, if you ask your parents to meet with you at a time when everyone can be fully present, and then create a discussion that is founded on the respect that you have for them – their love for you will ultimately shine bright as you come to a mutual understanding. Honor your foundation and the parents who adore you – and you will build on the tower that continues to represent your family.

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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.
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