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Dear Dr. Yael,

For the past few years, I’ve been watching my friends get married and move away. Some were more considerate of my feelings than others, but our friendships were obviously never the same. At first, it frustrated me to see how much was changing, but eventually I realized that this change is a good thing and I should be happy.

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I think a major problem that exists for singles is the pressure to get married ASAP. Everything in our lives post-seminary becomes a means to the end goal of getting married. So naturally that’s where our focus is and the single stage is just a passage to the next stage, not anything in its own right. There were a few times that I actually postponed planning vacations with my other single friends … just in case one of us got engaged.  Baruch Hashem, I learned not to live that way – that’s not living at all. I don’t think seminaries and high schools stress this enough. As singles we are in a unique position to do things that those with families can’t and contribute to society in a way that they can’t.

Let’s not waste our time moping and stressing about how our engaged and married friends are treating us. Let’s be happy and see this as an opportunity to do good and learn a lot.

Some parents might be afraid that if we “enjoy” being single too much, we’ll lose our desire to ever get married, but that’s not true. When the right person comes along, we’ll be ready and willing to accept and embrace the change. A Reader

 

 

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your beautiful letter. I agree with you that singles should use their time productively and enjoy life. So many singles waste so much of their time and energy moping over their present state of “singleness.”

You are also right in that there is so much a single person can do for the community at large and in doing so become a better person. Chesed is a natural mood elevator and also takes the focus off oneself.

In addition to chesed, exercise classes can help elevate endorphins and put a person in a better mood. Going to shiurim is another way to be productive and meet new people.

We all have different challenges in our lives. My daughter Dr. Michal Rubin [the perio-dontist, not the psychologist] always says, “It is not the one who marries first who wins the race…the idea is to marry well and marry someone whom you will be happy with for the rest of your life.”

Sometimes the need to get married and get out of the dating “race” keeps one from taking red flags seriously.

Hatzlocha in dating and I hope that you find your zivug bekarov!

 

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Dear Dr. Yael,

I wanted to respond to your recent letter from a woman whose husband kept switching jobs. In today’s economy the best job is a government job. I worked my whole life for the Board of Education and recently retired. While I didn’t always love my work, I have great benefits and a great pension. Government jobs are also more secure.

Perhaps the husband would do better in that type of situation, rather than working for a friend of the family – which is not always a smart idea.

This is just my opinion.

A Reader

 

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your ideas and your suggestions. I agree that it may be a good idea for the writer of that letter’s husband to consider taking a job for the government.

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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.