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Dear Dr. Yael,

I am writing to you about the shidduch crisis. I am a single guy who seems to get no from the girls I want and yes from the girls that I don’t want. I come from a solid loving marriage and I can’t seem to find the right one. I also have loving siblings who are mostly married. Please help me figure out what I can do in my situation.

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Anonymous

 

Dear Anonymous,

There is an old Groucho Marx joke ‘Please don’t accept my resignation, I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.’ I often find that singles who struggle with some insecurity are not attracted to people who want them. They are attracted to people that they cannot attain. The people who may be saying no to you may have their own problems. Please examine who you are rejecting. Are you rejecting them since subconsciously you are not attracted to the girls who accept you? Is there some insecurity in you that craves what you can’t have?

Sometimes people feel that if someone accepts them then there is something wrong with that person. If this is true for you then you should work on getting help to bolster your self esteem. Seeing a professional to help build you up can only benefit you. Even if you think this isn’t your issue, it is probably a good idea to seek professional help to try to figure out if you can work on yourself in any way. Dating for a long time without success can be very frustrating and can affect a person’s self esteem as well. Thus, going for therapy can only be beneficial.

Thank you for your question. Possibly not surprising, many people I meet with have the same struggle. As always when questioning everybody in the world, sometimes the right place to turn is to yourself. When delving into the confusing world of dating, it’s important to have a clear direction. What are my priorities? What do I need in a partner for a successful marriage and building a family? I often stress to people to also consult other married mentors such as a rebbe, parent or close friend/sibling. Ask them what are the characteristics of your spouse that help make a marriage successful? Often people’s pre-marital conceptions of what they think will make a successful marriage partner are misguided. Once you have thoroughly contemplated these factors and begin to examine the way in which you date, you should see some change.

While it is very important to have a good time while dating someone and be able to connect on a surface level, once it is understood that you are compatible in that way (which should only take a few dates), you must then spend time heavily investing in the analysis and determination in seeing if the perspective partner is the one for you. To do so, take into account the introspective thoughts of who you are and what you need in a successful marriage as well as your mentors advice.

Having fun on dates is not a measure of a successful marriage. Seeing a person in a light that showcases their capabilities and characteristics as a future spouse of yours is where your head should be at. Also it is important to note, the more you put into a relationship the more you get out of it. This starts in your dating relationships early. Especially as a guy, as difficult as it is, you need to take the initiative to be vulnerable. This will allow the girl to be more comfortable to open up as well. Keep going and don’t give up, when you are feeling down just know that is when Hashem is asking you to give even more.

Lastly, it’s important to note that it is not usually the case that you will feel fireworks on a date with the girl who is “the one.” I have a lot of people who often come to me when they’re in a relationship that is working, but they’re unsure what to do because there are no fireworks. Yes, chemistry is definitely important and you have to be attracted to the person and want to spend time with them, but often fireworks aren’t necessary. In fact, fireworks often can be a sign of danger and they can burn you! When there are fireworks, you may ignore various negative signs as you’re so wrapped up in the person and in the relationship. When there are fireworks you may be ignoring other important characteristics needed for a good marriage. Hatzlacha in this challenging time period and may Hashem help you find your bashert soon!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.