Part 3 of a Plea to Singles
OK, we know the current way of dating is terribly problematic. So how do we fix the problem? Let’s start at the beginning! The first rule of dating with emuna is: Hashem is your shadchan, your real matchmaker.
It’s fine to use human shadchanim, but don’t trust in them whatsoever. Think about any recommendations they, or anyone else for that matter, make. Will my Real Shadchan be happy with this suggestion? If it takes you away from emuna, kedusha (holiness), and your highest self – the answer is no. That holds true no matter how much it seems that it will enhance your chances at marriage, or increase your potential for better prospective partners. It’s simply an illusion and a test of emuna, to see whether you will trust Hashem, or choose to fear something else (like whether or not guys will like you) instead.
Furthermore, since Hashem is your shadchan – talk to Him! Unlike human shadchanim, he doesn’t need to be sent gifts every so often to remember that you exist. And He won't get annoyed if you call too often either! In fact, the more you talk to Hashem, the better.
When you're talking to Hashem, don’t forget to thank Hashem that you're not yet married, because everything Hashem does is for the very best – right now. You can also thank Hashem for the future - because you know that at the right time, He will send you your true soulmate! So thank Him for that! Thank Hashem for giving you the opportunity to strengthen your emuna, which is your real task in life. Whatever you do, really focus on looking for the best and not complaining. For a lot more on these ideas, you absolutely must read Rabbi Arush’s fabulous The Garden of Gratitude.
Remember that since Hashem is your shadchan, you want Him to be happy with you. This means constantly striving to improve yourself, and doing teshuva when you fall short. Don’t give up one iota of halachah thinking it will help you get married, because truly it does the opposite. If the guys won't date you because you're “too plain” because you dress modestly and they want some flair – trust me, you don’t want to marry those guys anyway! A really good guy will be impressed with your strength to stick to halachah when it isn’t easy, and respect you for it.
Anecdote – I lived this concept with regards to covering my hair after the divorce. I cannot hope to remember all the people who harassed me, humiliated me, threatened me, and told me I would never get married unless I took off that tichel! I was told that I was absolutely relying on miracles by keeping it on. I decided to put my trust in Hashem, because with emuna, miracles are natural, and my prospects for dating according to the statistics were pretty dreadful! Lo and behold, after the wedding, when I asked my husband about it, he admitted that he absolutely would not have married me if I had uncovered my hair, and even more importantly – he knew I was the right girl because I had the courage to withstand all that and do what I knew was right, no matter what. So it really wasn’t a weakness that I continued covering my hair – it was my greatest strength! And yes, it was incredibly special when I took off the sheitl after the wedding. I didn’t expect to be MORE alluring because he so wanted to see what my hair really looked like!
Even more importantly, Hashem is not just your shadchan – He also created your soul, and therefore, your soulmate as well. When we’re in these physical bodies, it is incredibly easy to miss the soul altogether. If what you're looking for isn’t physical, how can you hope to recognize it when it’s in front of you, and even more frightening, when the wrong person is in front of you? The answer is simple: You can't! You need Hashem to show you. Hence, you have to ask Hashem to show you. Talk to Hashem every step of the way and constantly ask for His help to recognize the one who is right, and the ones that are not right. Recognize that part of your process may not be to meet your true soulmate right now. While you can certainly ask for the free gift that the right time come soon, don’t forget to also ask for the strength and clarity to know if this person isn’t right for you as well.
However, even with Hashem at your side, you can't hope to go at it alone here on earth. You need someone who can be a trustworthy mentor while you're dating. If you don’t know of someone, beg Hashem to send you the right person, and constantly ask Hashem to give that person clarity and to give you only good and proper advice. Make sure that this person is on the same page as you and knows who you are and what you're looking for, and even more, that they have experience helping people who are dating. Someone who doesn’t know how to do research won't be able to decipher what the person on the end of the line is really saying, because no one wants to say bad about anyone, especially if they want that someone to get married.
To be continued