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.