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Stop Looking for Your Soul Mate

Stop Looking for Your Soul Mate

Forget perfection. Instead find an attractive woman who'll be a great wife and mother.


Someone sent me an article recently posted on titled “Single, Jewish & Cynical?” written by a single Jewish guy named Chaim who begins by saying, “I’ve been looking for my soul mate for a number of years and the pain of loneliness is something I would not wish on anyone.” He then continues to tell us how sad and terrible, even depressed, he feels as a direct result of being single and then offers singles, and himself, some bits of advice including stay positive, keep dreaming, and remember that God loves you.

For those who might think of questioning his position, Chaim asserts that, “Our Torah teaches us that we cannot judge someone until we walk in their shoes. I think few people in this world can judge the pervasive loneliness and pain that a Jewish single must face on a daily basis.”

Well, having lived and dated in NYC as a single for a decade and a half before marrying, I think I actually have walked in Chaim’s shoes and thus, have earned the right to offer a response.

Related Article: Beshert

Chaim, I totally feel your pain and identify with all of the examples that you cited. I know that you’re going through hell. But Chaim, you have to agree that you are making a choice to remain single. No, I wouldn’t call it being “picky”. That’s too trivial a term, which doesn’t reflect the depth and magnitude of the decision that you’ve made. From your author bio you seem to be a pretty put together, stable, intelligent, nice, observant man, who isn’t afraid to express his deepest feelings and emotions. From my experience as a dating coach and matchmaker, you probably have a long, constantly replenishing, list of eligible women eager, or at least willing, to date you.

Sure, I understand that some of them are just not in your “attraction zone” and yes, you might not be in some of their zones either. That still leaves a good number who are in the zone. Of course, none of them perfectly fit the image of that beautiful Aishet Chayil (woman of valor) that you’ve been cultivating for all of these years. I’m sure some of them are a bit older than your image too. But you have to admit that there are quite a few who do seem to fit most of your criteria; not all, but most. I agree with all the stuff you wrote about staying positive and not giving up hope, but you left out one option.

You can choose to build a loving relationship with a woman who fits almost all of your criteria.

You have a choice to make. A decision. You can choose to remain single and battle loneliness, and continue to look for the woman who you imagine will be your perfect “soul mate”, or you can choose to build a loving relationship with a woman who fits almost all of your criteria (probably all of the ones that matter in a marriage) and fulfill your destiny as a Jewish man to build a family and raise beautiful Jewish children. That’s your choice to make. Only you can make that decision.

Chaim, you seem like a great guy who will one day be an amazing father and build a wonderful Jewish home. But instead of focusing on your real tachlis (purpose) you are seeking to fulfill your own needs and desires, which aren’t necessarily relevant to building that marriage and family, and certainly don’t trump them.

Chaim, if you want to break out of this cycle of sadness and loneliness, you must make a firm decision ASAP that your most important, and only, objective right now is to marry and start building a family and not, as you wrote, to “setup a personal goal for yourself to focus your time and energy on. Whether it be exercise, education, or some other aspect of personal growth.” Your objective is NOT to find someone who fits your vision of your ideal soul mate, but rather, it is to find a wonderful woman who will be a great wife and mother whom you are attracted to. This is doable. I did it, and so many of my friends did too. I know you can do it as well.

Chaim, it’s time to stop feeling like a victim and start taking charge of your life. Go through that list of criteria that you expect to find in your soul mate and cross out the ones that really aren’t important for building a marriage and raising a family. Be realistic. Then find a woman who has the important stuff and do whatever it takes to make her the one. Keep an open mind and cut her some slack. She doesn’t have to be perfect. You aren’t. Step up to the plate, make the big decision, and take your place as a Jewish husband and future father.

Chaim, if you come up to NYC, I will meet with you (for free) and help you get married. Whenever you’re ready.

Published: May 21, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 80

(52) eli, August 28, 2014 6:41 AM


I listened to similar advice. Found a wife accomodated her wishes in everything not critical to my basic requirements. Have now two children and i am going through living hell because i wasnt picky enough....

(51) Mirian, July 25, 2013 1:24 AM

You definitely don't know anything about it!

Mr Author, as you said, we are not supposed to judge before put on the other's shoes. You may think you've gone thru this situation before, but you used YOUR shoes for that, and not the other's. You have no idea what you are talking about and keeps repeating the ridiculous statement of "you are being too picky, of course there are lot of people", or even worse "some one as you is single because you want". No. It is not because i want. It is because i don't have ANY option. Ugly, old, ignorant... not even one of that. NO OPTION. Do you know what is that? No! You definitely don't know what is to have no option. It can get worse. You look to the mirror you see someone extremely beautiful, extremely accomplished, educated loving and caring, and with NO OPTION. Exactly. So, you should bite your tongue before saying that you know how it is, and that the person is single because of choice.

(50) Anonymous, June 3, 2013 10:58 PM

As an older religious woman, I feel my life has been wasted

I'm a single woman in late 30s, never married and has been dating for marriage since I finished school. Post college, I've did the move to South Florida, then NYC thing to be around other single Jews. I'm nice, a bit shy but otherwise a normal girl. I'm attractive but not supermodel gorgeous. I have an okay career, one that I purposely picked to be a good career that is family friendly, but I feel like I have wasted my life and should have been one of those "career women" with flashy jobs. Unfortunately while I I was in school, I found out I couldn't prove my Jewish lineage so I converted Orthodox years ago, hoping when I bashert, there wouldn't be an issues, but it is used against me. I've gone to plenty of shuirim, singles events, davening until I cried so many times.

On the advice of many well meaning matchmakers, I've spent a fortune on travel, singles events, new dating outfits and uncomfortable makeovers. I have no debt, and have otherwise lived a simple life. I would LOVE to meet a nice, kind marriage minded man in the ballpark of my age. However I have found men that enjoy getting to know me (and my other single friends too) but are not willing to commit. Men I dated 5 years ago are still single and still looking because they have so many choices. Divorced men are told by matchmakers to 'take their time' getting to know someone the second time around. Unfortunately that means a woman may invest months in a promising relationship that looks to be marriage minded, only to be quickly dropped when a shadchan pressures a man to consider another match. Years later, I'm open to considering these guys, only to be put through the same scenario, I'm told I'm a great person, would make a great wife and mother, but hey, they are hoping for "better." Whatever better is....meanwhile, everyone just gets older and more lonely.

la, August 6, 2014 12:24 AM

I can only say after being through the same scenarios as you that the response from the men that you are meeting is beneath you. They have eliminated themselves with their comments and behavior and you should be glad such men are not in your life. From my personal experience, I feel that as soon as you let go all power to God, then beautiful things happen in your life, especially in love. You are probably a wonderful woman with a lot to offer but sometimes the energy that we put out as women to find someone repels exactly what we are looking for because it can come off subconsciously to others as frantic. We cannot obtain what we truly want which is peace, love, and happiness, from an external source and others may sense that. It is all internal first. Discovering the person you are meant to be with is allowing openness of mind, body and spirit and possibilities (and this could mean even opening up to non-Jewish people) and not a hunt due to fear of being lonely. Embrace the loneliness and attack the fear within you. Become close to God in that time and let go of all the aching need for a companion. It will be painful. But the time to yourself can be productive in building your character and defining who you are and what you believe in so that you can more readily identify the qualities you seek in a worthy mate. When you establish yourself as an independent entity, and God thinks you are ready (and your mate is ready), then you will be united with your soulmate (assuming you believe in that). I know this is taking a more spiritual approach but I am a strong believer in being with someone that is compatible emotionally, mentally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Many couples out there are not because they are too impatient to go through the suffering it involves. Best of luck!

(49) Anonymous, May 21, 2013 8:34 PM

Indeed, lets be realistic about life.

We spend too much time, myself included, in looking for the perfect spouse. Can we ourselves meet the standard set by the media? I have finally woken up and this time around will not let my chance go by. And wow, what an offer to have someone assist you in getting married. I truly see this as a gift of God as we miss these kinds of actions in our society today.

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