Dear Dating Coach,
I have been feeling really depressed. The summer is so long, all I do is work, and the days have begun to bleed into one another. Every shadchan says the guys are not available until the tail end of summer, and I have been feeling so low. I am not interested in going out with my friends, don’t want to travel, and I have no interest in volunteering. I just want to get married and I know I will feel better when I am at least dating again. Everyone is always telling me to cheer up, but I know that if I had a wedding to plan for, I would feel much happier. Is this normal? Will I just feel down until I walk down the aisle?
There is a special woman in my community who is a great-grandmother many times over. When she was younger, she worked as a nurse in an overnight camp for many, many years. There she was famous for her magic “cure.” She used a specific antidote to heal all her campers for whatever ailment they presented. Her solution was the not-FDA-approved, no insurance needed lozenge (easily purchased at your local drugstore. You’re welcome!) Headache? Lozenge. Sprained Ankle? Lozenge. Stomach pain? Lozenge. Lozenge. Lozenge. Now perhaps, the lozenge didn’t work every time (or any time) but they were very fun to pronounce. (Lozenge! I know you just said it out loud.)
I’m so sorry that you are feeling down. You are not interested in socializing, travel or fun. You believe that you feel this way because you want to be married already, and dating (and then marriage) will “cure” you. You acknowledge how down you feel but don’t feel compelled to make any change. Instead, you simply want to wait until you can start dating again, sure that a wedding is the only medicine you need.
A wedding certainly brings joy. Meeting the right person and a successful marriage will definitely infuse your life with happiness. Dating and marriage, however, are not the “cure-all” for all sadness. If you are sad before your wedding, you will likely be sad after. Depending on a marriage to uplift your daily mood is foolish. Relying on your future spouse to take responsibility for the happiness you hope to feel is reckless and unfair. If you don’t feel joyful now, the time to fix it is now.
Moreover, low energy and despair will not attract others to you. A negative disposition repels daters, offering an unappealing package to guys who may potentially be a good match for you. Someone who is enthusiastic and happy is someone that people want to be around. Your joyful exterior will encourage your dates to continue dating you and shadchanim to keep suggesting great guys for you. Marriage is not the solution. It is not the cure. Seek joy through self-reflection, giving back, and if needed, therapy, so that you can be the greatest version of yourself before you ever meet your perfect match.