Dear Dating Coach,
I grew up in a home with a lot of conflict and fighting, and I really want to date and hopefully marry a girl who is very kind and caring. I’m just not completely sure how I look for “kindness” when I date someone. It’s not like we will be going to fundraisers or tzedaka events on our date! How can I really know she is a kind person?
We all know I’m no gardener. So, while I may not know my soil from my mulch, I do know that you need seeds before something can grow. Even I am aware that if you put in tomatoes seeds you will likely get tomatoes, and that pumpkin seeds will probably give you pumpkins. Sure, they will need to be watered and weeded (and other gardening terms beyond my abilities), but the seeds are a necessary and powerful first step. Gather the right seeds and your garden will grow.
Thank you for reaching out. Dating can be daunting without the added pressure of seeking “kindness” above all else due to a difficult background. Of course you are looking for someone who is kind after your experience at home, as you hope to create a more peaceful life for your future family. First and foremost, research is a powerful tool in looking for someone with values that are important to you. Reach out to those who know someone suggested to you to gather information that will offer you a clearer understanding of the middos that others associate with your potential date. After that, there are attributes that you can look for on your dates that will offer you better insight into her ‘kind’ nature.
Conduct, Communication, Connection
On your dates, take notice of how she conducts herself. Look to see if she is gracious to the wait staff, to the valet, and to any service people you encounter. Watch her attitude and her reactions to any unexpected hurdles on a date, like getting stuck in traffic, or not being able to find a parking space. Look at the way she holds herself, and if she is composed and calm. Her conduct on dates will be a helpful indicator of how she will behave in a future with you.
Listen to how she speaks to you and to others. Be aware of her tone and her choice of words. Is she sarcastic and quick to put others down, or does she speak respectfully and with care? Notice her language and the way she chooses to talk to others. The way that she speaks can be an effective way to gage how she will communicate with you going forward.
Assess her current relationships with her family, coworkers, and friends. Has she maintained healthy relationships and long-lasting connections? Does she speak fondly of her friends and the time they spend together? Does she value the meaningful people in her life? Her ability to form and nurture connections should offer you a sense of security in her ability to maintain a positive relationship with you.
Then rest assured, the seeds of conduct, communication, and connection will certainly encourage a healthy marriage to grow.