Dear Dating Coach,
I don’t know what to do. I am wracked by indecision and worry. I am engaged and everyone is thrilled except for me. Please don’t get me wrong, I was happy dating and I was excited when my chosson and I chose to become engaged. Coronavirus may have forced us to date slightly unconventionally, but I felt like we had made enough progress and felt comfortable enough with one another. It’s been a week however, and I can’t sleep, eat, or think of anything else. I feel like I may have made the wrong decision even though my friends and family all tell me that this is normal, pre-wedding jitters. Are they right or am I making a huge mistake?
Here in Florida, there are marine biologists that are often called to assist dolphins, turtles, and the like who have gotten beached. They stand for hours with them in the water, checking their vitals, their overall health, and deciding if they are healthy enough to swim back into the open water. Are they ready to be set free or do they require more care? Crowds gather to shout encouraging words, to offer their unsolicited assistance, or to whisper their uninformed opinions amongst themselves. The biologists ignore the onlookers and focus on their charges. Perhaps they are not ready, and regardless of outside disappointment, they cannot be released. If it is decided that they are fit and prepared, they urge them to swim, to go on, to move forward while everyone stands with bated breath. Even then, trackers will monitor their progress, because all the training and expertise in the world still doesn’t gift us with the ability to predict the future.
I am so sorry that you feel so conflicted. It is ok that you feel this way. No one is entitled to tell you how you should process or what you’re allowed or not allowed to feel. Forging ahead however, without exploring your doubts and misgivings is a risk that you should not take. This is how you feel. Whether “people” tell you it is normal or not is not enough for you to determine if you are ready to walk down to the chuppah. You are planning a wedding, and you and your chosson both deserve to walk down the aisle to your future with a full and peaceful heart.
First, you must focus and narrow down the scope of opinions that feel entitled to make decisions for you. Any uncertainty can be discussed with your chosson, your parents, and a trusted rebbetzin, dating coach, or therapist. Your ‘team’ should only be comprised of a small group of people who love you and people who have the experience to help you. Friends, well-meaning relatives, and the like, are only going to muddy the waters that have already lost their clarity.
If you have specific reasons for your anxiety write them down so that your thoughts can be clearly conveyed to those who will help you through. If it is just a general feeling of worry, write that down as well. You can count on your parents and your chosson to advocate for your happiness and the rebbetzin, coach, or therapist to dissect if your indecision is typical of a big life change or something more that would affect your future.
Sure, your wedding day may ultimately have a layer of nerves because no one can predict the future and swear to your magical journey together. However, you must be sure that you feel steady enough, healthy enough, and happy enough to truly believe that your future will be bright with the spouse you have chosen. You must be sure that with all the information you have gathered and with the emotions that you feel, that you are making the right decision. You deserve to feel solid and balanced on your wedding day, and your chosson deserves to have a kallah who feels excited and blessed to be standing at his side.
While, we may not be able to predict what will happen on the open water, we must only swim forward if we feel strong and secure. Take the time and work with your ‘team’ to be certain that you feel right, because a solid marriage needs to begin in good health and certainty in order to swim to a happy future.