12 Kislev 5781 / Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
 
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Date with Confidence    

Date with Confidence



The right guy will love her for exactly who she is – with her strengths, and even her weaknesses – without her needing to impress him with her looks.

 



As I touched on a little bit previously in the Dating with Emuna series, the root of the current marriage crisis is due to a lack of emuna that Hashem will send the right mate at the right time. This fundamental problem creates multiple other problems in the way that people date. 

 

 

One of the issues that is the most upsetting to me personally is the way that women are expected to behave when dating. In fact, this entire series started out as my response to a widely publicized article on dating written by the mother of a “good boy” which encouraged women to make themselves up in order to get married, even encouraging plastic surgery for the sake of looking more beautiful in order to get a match. The utter lack of holiness, and lack of emuna, of the article made my stomach churn.  

 

 

Although Jews are expected to be the “holy nation” and not follow in the ways of the non-Jews around us, this mentality is very much connected to the way that popular culture deals with women and dating. Women are taught to “dress to impress” – and not just for a date or a job interview. Just walking onto the street is reason to put on make-up and look your best. And if a woman catches the attention of a man on the street, that’s like a three-point score! Wow, you really must be beautiful! In this way, girls are taught that their self-image is determined by men’s assessment of their beauty, and they must go to great lengths to get the highest score possible. If this is what women believe in general, then of course the heat is turned up when going out on a date. 

 

 

The only way to fix the situation is to turn it on its head. Instead of thinking that she must wow every man she sees, a woman must recognize that the only barometer of her worth is how Hashem sees her. Hashem is her loving Father in Heaven, and He created her, so she is definitely beautiful. To every mortal father, his daughter is the most gorgeous girl to ever walk the earth, so you can only imagine how beautiful you are to Hashem. I also promise you, that to Hashem, every girl is not only gorgeous, but has intrinsic self-worth because she is His daughter, and therefore, a bat melech – a daughter of the King. A princess! 

 

 

Now, think for one minute. Have you ever seen a princess who wasn’t properly covered? The Royals wear suits and hats almost all the time! So if every Jewish girl is a daughter of the King of Kings – shouldn’t she also dress with no less modesty and respect than the family of a human king (or Queen as the case may currently be).  

 

 

Moreover, a princess doesn’t care about what any of the people around her think about her. She only cares about what the King thinks about her! She has no desire whatsoever to stoop so low as to show herself off to fulfill the whim of some servant. And we should be no different. Every woman should only care about what God thinks about her, and work to fulfill what Hashem commands of her. 

 

 

Surely, every woman can and should put her best foot forward on a date. But no more does she have to bet her entire self-image on what some flesh and blood man thinks of her. No more must she vacillate between euphoria when a man finds her beautiful, and depression when she is rejected. Never again will she stoop to trying to impress anyone and everyone she can in order to boost her self-esteem. Her self-image isn’t predicated on them whatsoever. 

 

 

It is crucially important that a woman is free to be herself on a date without fear, because she doesn’t need to impress the guy. She is just her real self, with quiet confidence. If the man doesn’t like her – who cares? Next! He is not her soulmate, and she just found out real quick! Wonderful – the less time wasted on the wrong one, the better. Her self-image isn’t wounded, because she has enough emuna in Hashem and in herself to know that he isn’t rejecting her as a person – he just isn’t the guy for her. She comes into dates focused on her goal – finding out whether this guy is her soulmate and life partner, or not – as opposed to focusing on trying to impress him. The right guy will love her for exactly who she is – with her strengths, and even her weaknesses – without her needing to impress him with her looks. 

 

 

And the guys who can't believe that she has the audacity to not try and impress an incredible catch like him? Wow, the guy could fill up the entire room with his arrogance, and he’ll make a terrible husband too! Marriage is all about giving – how can a guy like that give to his wife without expecting something back? And what happens when she can't keep the façade up after a kid or two, or twenty years? We all know plenty of stories about what happens. His rejection certainly doesn’t faze her, because she is running out the door first! She knows she deserves someone better, and the only guy she wants is the one who will respect her for being herself. 

 

 

Maybe this sounds like a fantasy, but with emuna, it is possible. I knew I had really changed when this exact scenario happened, and I didn’t think twice to refuse to go on a second date with the guy. Ironically, he couldn’t believe that I would possibly reject him, and came running after me to try to convince me to change my mind! 

 

 

The power, respect, and freedom I felt when I began dating – and living my life - with real confidence and emuna cannot be put onto paperIt’s a feeling I pray you will experience for yourself.  

 

 

*** 

 

Epilogue: 

The finale to the story: I mention in the first part of this series The Fashion Model that I audaciously clung to the emuna that the right guy would want to marry me for who I was, and that I didn’t need to become someone else to get married. A lot of people tried to pressure me to uncover my hair, citing a heter that is widely misused to let young divorcees without children uncover their hair in order to “increase their chances” of getting married (based on a fundamental flaw in emuna). I knew that my best bet was keeping the Real Shadchan happy, which meant keeping the halacha, and keeping it covered! But still, it felt like a big “X” on my forehead, literally. I just kept strengthening my emuna and saying to myself, although I didn’t understand how on earth it could be possible: “The right guy will want to marry me davka (specifically) because of my head covering! It won’t be a weakness; it will be a strength!” 

 

Rabbi Arush promises that when you cling to emuna, Hashem will show you that your emuna was not for naught. After I got engaged to my husband, I asked him in a moment of openness: “And you don’t feel that you are getting shortchanged by marrying a divorcee?” (He was never previously married). He said, “Of course not! I see your head covering as a badge of honor!” I was amazed and asked him to explain. He said, “I want a girl who is willing to keep halacha no matter how inconvenient, and who truly loves Hashem and loves Judaism. Your tenacity to not uncover your hair even under intense pressure and fear proves that you are that girl that I want to marry! In fact, it even creates an allure - after all, I’ve never seen your hair…”  

 

Thank you Hashem that I refused to be that Kallah Maidel and refused to change myself or dress up for someone else. I specifically married my husband not in spite of it, but because of it. 

 

Hashem loves you too – and He will never let down someone who trusts in Him! 

 

****

Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel. 


Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions and comments to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il.


 

 

 

 

 





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