Building a Relationship with that Perfect Stranger
Across the table, on the first shidduch date, is the perfect stranger. Perfect, cause all the checkboxes are checked, or you wouldn’t be there in the first place. How do you get from here to the love of your life?
Don’t be an AJ – Arrogant Jerk
Confidence is alluring and make you desirable, but no one likes an arrogant jerk
Stop the Torture
Agreeing to meet you on a shidduch date does not give you license to turn it into a brutal, tortuous interrogation.
Have Fun but Don’t Make Fun
The perfect stranger is a Jew and you are prohibited from insulting them, even subtly, and you have an obligation to build them up, greet them בסיבה פנים יפות. Every Jew is unique and special who Hashem loves. Beware of hurting someone Hashem loves – It will not end well. So just relax and have fun.
Get Off Your High Horse
The question is not if that perfect stranger is worthy of you. You are the one who is incomplete without the lost other half of your soul that was created together and then split apart at the time of creation.
There may be more fish in the sea, but if you want to spend your whole life fishing, you will die hungry. That perfect stranger across from you is a catch. Spice it up and enjoy.
Get An Eye Transplant
Don’t Look at Them, But Look In Them
Show empathy. Show that you really get them. That you see that wonderful side of them, that most people cannot see. Sometimes because of false modesty, they may hide the best of themselves.
Get out of your comfort zone, and be yourself. Show your real self so that they can show their real self noninvasively. Even if you never see each other again, it was real.
If it fits, nothing can break it: If it doesn’t, nothing can make it. If you don’t fit each other, it’s no one’s fault. Ok, maybe the shadchan.
Be a Loser
Lose yourself into the connection – Let yourself go and just let it happen. Let loose.
You can stay in your lonely safe space or love and be loved. Nothing is more irresistible than vulnerability.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Show your feelings.
There should be nothing between you and that perfect stranger but Hashem. Keep it that way, and Hashem will ensure that everlasting connection.
The Secret to Happiness Is Low Expectations
Until you are married, you are incomplete, after you are married you are finished. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed. You do not get married for self-aggrandizement but for a higher purpose, to bring yiddishe neshomos to this world, to have children. It’s not about me – but about my future family.
That perfect stranger is not just someone who you will use to make babies, but who holds the key to a lifetime of happiness and longevity.
A man has an obligation to love his wife as he loves himself, but to respect her more than he respects himself. A woman has an obligation to show respect to her husband, no less and perhaps more than she is obligated to show respect to her mother and father. Respect is not automatic but must be earned!
The Torah obligates him to take care of his wife – not the other way around. Until she feels she can rely on him, that he will protect and take care of her, she will be hormonally (oxytocin) foreclosed from ever loving him. Trust must also be earned.
Focus on the Resolution. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Find a resolution so that this disagreement never again raises its ugly head.
Stubborn as a Mule Makes You an Ass
It’s my way or the highway: You will forever be stranded in the middle of nowhere. When you are in love, compromise does not feel like compromise.
You Can Be Right or Be Married
Get used to it. From the first date until the day of your death, it is the relationship that is important, not any pigheaded, stubborn idea or preference. Learn to agree to disagree.
Marriage is a three-ring circus, first the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, then the suffering. Looking back from the end of your life, you will see that it was well worth it.
Be a Sucker
Taking revenge is forbidden by the Torah as is bearing a grudge. Naturally occurring decay in a relationship is cured by your capacity to forgive.
Give to get in.
There is higher purpose and a higher authority. Look up to heaven. Every chesed you give sanctifies Hashem.
Give it Your All
Focus on giving, enjoying everything you do – big or small – that makes the other happy. Can be a joke and can be jewelry.
A Happy Wife is a Happy Life
Not because he is giving her everything, but because she knows he wants to.
1 + 1 = 1
To become one with the other, invest all of you into the other in order to cleave unto them and be one flesh. Once you become one, it is suicide to cut yourself in half.
Giving to the Other is Giving to Yourself
Once you are both one, you are giving to yourself, the minimum and necessary standard.
The root of Ahava is hav – give, REAL love is a state of givingness.
Commit and Take Responsibility
The root of the word for marriage נשואים is carry. He protects and takes care of her, carrying her through life.
Your Better Half
Once you find your lost other half, cherish and consider it your better half.
Beware of Fish Love
An attitude of “What have you done for me today” is damning. True love is giving not receiving. Ask not what they can do for me; ask rather, what can I do for them. Rabbi Twerski put this eloquently.