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Going Nowhere in Dating

Going Nowhere in Dating

After years of dating I feel I’m still nowhere closer to finding my soul mate.

by

Dear Yaara,

In most areas of my life I’m doing pretty well. I have a good job, good relationships with my family, I work out and eat healthy, I help the community, I try to grow spiritually, and I make time for fun.

But when it comes to dating, even though I try so hard and go on so many dates, I am still at square one in regards to finding my spouse. Why?

When I work hard at my job, I get rewarded and promoted, and make more money. When I work at maintaining my health, I see the weight coming off, pound after pound. When I pray and learn Torah I feel more spiritual.

But when I go on another date and another date, I don’t get any closer to finding my husband. I just go home, bummed out, and have to start all over again! It’s like I’m going full gas in neutral.

How do I keep going when all my efforts and heartache and exhaustion go unrewarded and show no progress?

I’ve been doing this for many years – walking blindly on this road to marriage which has no end in sight. I don’t see any results, any improvement, or any sign that I’m getting closer. Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,

A.

Yaara Responds

Dear A.,

Have you ever heard the story of the Chinese bamboo? The Chinese bamboo needs fertile soil, sunshine, and water every day. In the first year you see no visible signs of growth.

In the second year still no signs.

Third year, again….nothing. Fourth, nothing…

And finally, in the fifth year the Chinese Bamboo grows 80 feet in just six weeks! 80 feet!

What happened? Did the Chinese Bamboo just lay dormant for four years, and all of a sudden sprout up like that?

Not at all.

So what was it doing during first four years?

It grew underground and developed a root system strong enough to support its huge growth in the fifth year and for the rest of its life.

One day, all of a sudden, you will meet the right one. It will happen in a “moment”. Out of nowhere. Just like the bamboo tree.

Does that mean that you really went from square one to the end result in a single moment?

Of course not.

You’ve been walking down the path towards that moment this whole time.

The only problem is you’re blindfolded and you can’t see how far you’ve walked.

If someone were to take off your blindfold at this very moment, you’d see you’re probably at 7 or 8. Maybe even 9.

Square one would be someone who’s just starting to “want” to date. You’re not there! Square one was years ago.

Since then you’ve gone on numerous dates, singles events, thought a lot about this, spoken to many people, reached out for help, read books, prayed, etc. This entire time you’ve been maturing and developing into the person you need to be when you meet the one. You’re becoming more self-aware, and learning what works for you and what doesn’t, what you like and what you prefer not to have in a spouse.

You’re right. For some reason, in this area of life we don’t see results along the way. We just see them when we’ve reached the end. But let’s not be fooled into thinking we’re at square one just because we can’t see the end result yet.

You are making progress. You’re like the bamboo tree. Things are happening inside you that you don’t even know. And at the same time, things are happening to your future spouse. Preparing you both for the moment you’ll “sprout out of the ground” and finally be able to see what’s been hiding underground all this time.

Stay strong. You’re not at the beginning. You’re almost there.

Keep walking forward.

Your soul mate awaits.

September 3, 2016

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 15

(8) Bobby5000, September 16, 2016 6:28 PM

Better get some feedback

I would suggest you call each guy you went on a date with and ask some candid feedback. There may be some small thing you are doing wrong that can be corrected. I gave some presentations but was disappointed with the results. After a few everything was fine, someone told me my pauses were disturbing and I arranged a smoother presentation. And if you are turning down the men, you have to think if you are expecting too much from them.

And then as everyone said, keep going. My cousin was first married at 50 and had an exciting life until then and her husband is as wonderful as anyone could want, funny, successful, etc.

(7) Anonymous, September 12, 2016 3:00 AM

How Do You Know What the Future Will Hold?

Hi Yaara,

I was discussing this post with my wife, and while I think what you wrote is beautiful and inspiring, we both do not understand how you could be certain that the questioner will find what she is looking for. While I imagine there is a match out there that would be appropriate for her, perhaps who she is looking is not suitable, or does not exist.

Perhaps advising her discuss the situation in detail with a wise Rabbi, and/or an experienced professional that is familiar with how to help singles who are having trouble finding the right person would be most helpful.

Also, my advice to the questioner would be that for whatever reason, Hashem wants you to gain something from this difficult experience. As a single person, you have a lot of opportunity for personal growth and to develop yourself. Based on what you said, you are doing the right things in the other areas of your life, and not everyone who is married can say the same.

Yaara, September 12, 2016 6:47 PM

I appreciate your comment and of course understand where you are coming from. However, this is a client that works with me (a trained dating and marriage coach), and is indeed doing a lot of work on being more open in her search, learning what dating and marriage really requires, and working on herself in areas we discussed might need some strengthening. I personally believe that if you do all the "right" hishtadlut (like she is now doing), and BELIEVE that you have a soulmate from forty days before you were created, then you will find him. As a Jew we are commanded to have Emuna. In Mashiach coming, in the Geula of the world, and in our personal lives' redemption as well.
Nobody thinks they might die tomorrow. From their perspective, they do all the hishtadlut to prepare for the next day and the next years of life.
Same here. Her assumption has to be that she WILL get married. Her job is to never give up and continue trying. Not once and not twice have people finally found their spouse in their 30s, 40s, and even much older ages.
Of course I could tell her that she might never find him. But I believe that when you REALLY want something and take all the right steps, in the end you do succeed.
And if you don't, cause it's decreed from above, then that's not in our hands.
But it doesn't change the fact that we still have to continue doing our hishtadlut AND believing בכל יום שיבוא while we're still in this world.
Hope this gives some clarity on my answer.
Yaara

(6) Chaim Biberfeld L.CSW, September 11, 2016 4:16 PM

The effect of family of origin on dating and marriage perspective

What Mrs. Sandock wrote is very beautiful, however, as a therapist who works with dating, and marriage counseling, I would add that very often some adjustment must be made in the attitude and understanding of the individual who is dating. Our nature and nurture are very much involved in our ability to commit and understand what marriage is truly about, and what to expect from it. Often, at times we set our sights too high and must learn to except what God really means for us to live with and deal with. In my experience of 20 years, I have found that progress in the area of true understanding of the effect of family of origin, is the key to success. All the best, Chaim Biberfeld L.CSW Cbiberfeld@gmail

Yaara, September 12, 2016 6:54 PM

Like I said in the comment above, work is being done regarding her "nature AND nurture". That is definitely one of the biggest obstacles in finding your spouse. But when you are guided, and work hard to make changes, it can be overcome.
Thanks for sharing. Very true.

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