Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I was set up with a really good guy, we dated, got engaged, and are now planning a wedding. When we first start dating, I could not find fault with my chosson, and propelled by my family’s encouragement, we continued to date. When I wondered if I was feeling the right way or anything at all, everyone reassured me that “we were doing great.” Emboldened by their confidence, I accepted his proposal and happily smiled at my engagement party. But as the wedding approaches, I feel disinterested and foggy. I am apathetic when it comes to the wedding and I am not excited when I think of my wedding day. Is this fine as well? Is it ok to walk down the aisle without feeling much of anything? Waiting for your advice.


UnBlushing Bride


Dear Unblushing,

One summer, in camp, we went kayaking in a river not too far away. I put on the life vest, climbed into my kayak and gave little attention to the oars provided. At first, I remember enjoying the sunshine as my kayak meandered through the river’s path. Then, without warning, I became caught in a strong current that propelled me deeply to the right. I had no idea how to get back on course and my kayak thrashed in the strong waves pushed by wind and a current that I felt powerless to control. Then, I remembered the oars, and grabbed them quickly, forcing them into the black water. Having paid little attention to the instructor before we left, it took me precious time until I figured out how to use the oars to my advantage. With renewed energy and a little prayer, I started to shift back on course. My mind cleared, and I finally understood where I needed to go, and where I wanted to go. I paddled and paddled, sure and certain, until the river became calm and my heart beat peacefully once again.


You Are the Captain…

Wow! You are engaged and planning a wedding. While many brides struggle with nerves and even indecision during this time, you are not feeling much of anything. You feel like you are “foggy” and not fully present in the wedding process. You allowed yourself to be managed while dating and now worry that you don’t feel excited to walk down the aisle. Yet, you still wonder if this is ok and are willing to once again be handled and controlled by those around you.


Don’t Let Others…

Let’s play it out your way. Call your chosson immediately and tell him you need to talk. Then, look him in the eye and say, “I am apathetic about our wedding. I don’t feel excited, or frankly much of anything.” Dear readers, we all know what he will say in return. “This is so special! Let’s elope! I can’t wait another minute to marry you!” Did I hit the nail on the head? Did I get his response exactly right? NO! Clearly, any remotely healthy person would be shocked and dismayed to hear that the person that they plan to marry is feeling indifferent and uninterested. Instead, let’s pull out the oars and regroup.


Take The Wheel

Sit down with your parents, a dating coach, a trusted mentor, or rebbetzin. Tell them how you feel and how you DON’T feel. Be honest and forthcoming without shame. They will be able to guide you further once they are better informed. This does not mean that you cannot get married to this great guy, it just means that you need guidance and direction first. You need to explore your connection, and be sure that this is right for you. That may mean that you need more time, more insight, or perhaps some premarital counseling. It may mean that this is not the right person for you. You need to grab the oars and take control of this life-changing decision. It may be the perfect choice for you or it may not be; regardless you need to control the current before it controls you.

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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 [email protected] to schedule a phone session.