Someone sent me an article recently posted on Aish.com 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.

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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.