Dear Dating Coach,
I am the youngest of 8 kids, living in New York with my parents. All of my 7 siblings are married and live within an hour’s drive of our house. After dating many local boys, I am now going out with someone from across the country who is already working in a local family business. While we seem to be connecting on every level, I can’t seem to get past the fact that I would need to make a huge move if we get married. I always envisioned myself and my future here, surrounded by family. I really want to stay close to them. How can this ever work?
I recently took a flight that was overbooked. You know which one. Where you walk up to the gate and they are already auctioning off vouchers to Maui in exchange for your seat. The one where they warn you that you will definitely need to check your carry-on, and if you are lucky enough to board, you can forget about claiming the arm rest. When I finally got on the plane, (I was in Group ‘you don’t matter’) my pleasure at seeing I was in row 6, was immediately dashed by the lack of overhead bin space. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted one last bin open 8 rows back so I went and stuffed my bag in. I began to calculate my plight once we would land as I would have to wait until all 39 rows were cleared before I would be able to retrieve my bag. Just as the pilot began to ask everyone to take their seats, I noticed the woman in row 14 pleading with the flight attendant to check for a seat closer to the front as she was forced to put her bag in row 6 and she was extremely nervous about being so far from her belongings. The flight attendant kept repeating that the bins had to stay closed now as we were about to take off and there was absolutely no solution. “Switch seats?” I mouthed, and within 10 seconds we were safely ensconced in each other’s seat right near our very own bags. No solution? Our bags would definitely disagree.
I am so happy to hear that you are dating someone that you like and connect with. It makes sense that like your siblings you assumed that life would also lead you close to home. I certainly appreciate the gift of living near your family and what a tremendous blessing it can be. The ability to see and spend time with one another with ease is a wonderful luxury that you have enjoyed. At the same time, the local boys that you dated didn’t seem to work, and this wonderful new opportunity has come to you from across the country. You know that if you are lucky enough to become engaged you would have to move, thus leaving a place that has been your home, your comfort zone, and has enabled easy access to your family.
My grandmother is full of clever Yiddish sayings and deep insight that she so kindly shares with me. Recently she reminded me, “A mountain and a mountain can’t get together, but a person and a person can.” (I told you she was smart.) You have been given a gift. You met someone that you can envision a future with, albeit, a plane ride away. To turn away such a clear blessing might make you a “mountain,” but one that stands lost and alone. Instead, you must be a ‘person’ who understands the joy that is at your fingertips and bend ever so slightly so that you can achieve your future.
Remember, that we live in a world where phones, planes, and FaceTime make our loved ones feel close even when they are not, and allow us to connect with ease. While it is not the same as living around the corner, this access does offer a true and real connection. You will travel, and your family will travel, and the very fact that you are worried about your closeness will ensure that it remains strong. Moreover, life is fluid. So be grateful now that you are dating someone who already has a source of parnasa and security, but know that this doesn’t mean it has to be forever. Perhaps, life will offer you an opportunity to live closer to your family in the future, or perhaps you will grow to love your new city, and the friends and family you will have there. Most importantly, you will be creating you own family, your own home, and your own future. Be the person who embraces mazel. We have enough mountains.