Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am back from seminary and will be living at home this year, working, and going to college. My parents have started speaking with shadchanim and are eager for me to start dating. They keep asking me to create a resume and to give thought to the type of guy I hope to date, but I’m stuck. I’m nothing special, just a regular girl, from a regular family, who got regular grades, and never really succeeded or shined in any specific area. I have a few friends, but was by no means popular, and I prefer to stay in the background in social situations. A resume is meant to highlight your wonderful qualities and I truly have no idea where to begin. Please help.

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Anti-Special

 

Dear Anti,

I am terrible with plants. I envy a blooming garden, floral arrangements, and a flourishing houseplant like a rejected horticulturist – from a distance. So, when my daughter brought home a plastic cup filled with dirt from camp, positive a tree would blossom from the soil, I knew what I had to do. I “planted” the plastic cup in our front yard and resigned myself to Madame Plant’s fate. Day after day, my daughter checked her Solo cup’s progress, faithfully watering the mess inside, confident that we would soon greet a weeping willow, lemon tree or wonderful weeds. She reminded me that the sun was shining brightly over Madame Plant, and it was nourished with our love and water. With her optimism, I found myself checking that cup before opening my front door, looking for hints of green among the dirt. Then one Friday she ran in, shouting that we had grown a forest! A forest! Sure enough, chia pet-like greenery had sprouted, adorning Madame Plant like the queen she certainly was. If Botanical Gardens is hiring, I’m available.

 

Mary, Mary…

Thank you for reaching out. As you prepare to date for the first time, the process can feel daunting. The creation of a resume, a tool that many use to easily identify themselves to prospective daters, can be hard to create. You wonder how to state your accomplishments and positive qualities when you struggle to identify them. If you do not feel like you have gifts to share, a resume can feel imposing, labeling you a fraud amongst the shiny other daters.

 

Quite Contrary…

Before you write a resume, and before you can organize your thoughts about the type of spouse you hope to meet, you must take the time to self-reflect. How can you ask someone to get to know you, to give you a chance, or to love you, if you do not do the same for yourself?

Building up your self-confidence, your self-love, and your self-acceptance is paramount before you go on your first date. Sit with a friend, your parents and a trusted mentor to understand how others perceive you. Take note of the positives they share with you and bolster yourself with the qualities that others notice that you have glossed over. If you think you are still lacking, do your best to change that. Be kinder to others, volunteer, and think of ways that you can help your family and greater community. Push yourself to enhance the characteristics that need to be polished, and you will begin to notice the goodness in yourself.

 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

This self-work can be hard but is vital to meeting someone great that you can feel equal to and worthy of, in your future marriage. Then break down the resume process in to the facts as they are; with information on your family, schooling, and positive qualities that you hope for in a mate because you are a precious bloom, finally uncovered.

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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 hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.