Jan 13, 2010
Breathing Underwater

Shidduchim SOS: "I can pep-talk myself that everyone goes through it. But sometimes, I feel like running into the streets and screaming till my voice could scream no more."

By R.B. for COLlive.com

The whistle blows once. The cluster of girls at the edge of the pool hurriedly assemble a neat, if asymmetrical, line.

The whistle blows again. As if on cue, ten thirteen- year- olds, already bent over in diving position, streak neatly like well aimed arrows, into the water.

One swimmer, in a blue speckled swimming cap, hesitates, then joins the others. From afar, she can hear her name being cheered on. You can do it, she tells herself, echoing those supporters oh so far away.

The half way hurdle has been passed. She steels her eyes to focus on that brick wall at the end. Without even realizing it, she had taken to treading water and had not moved since the three quarter way mark at all!

Tentatively, hopefully, she glances up ahead- and feels her heart drop. The end has never seemed further.

Sometimes, I feel like the girl in the blue speckled swimming cap. Life has a tendency to throw challenges at us, at times with no prior warning at all. There are therefore some we are prepared for, some we're not- and some we think we are prepared for.

Standing at the threshold of the dating world was my comfortable position for a while. When the time came for me to embrace it, I listened carefully to my siblings, friends and well meaning family. Despite my feelings of anxiousness, looking around me, everyone was doing it. I prepared myself as well I could- I read, spent time alone thinking seriously about my future, turned to those more experienced than me with my questions and consumed their ready answers.

Then the third whistle blew and it was time to take the plunge. There was no use delaying it any further. I took a deep breath, and jumped right in.

At first, it was all as expected. The initial shock of finding myself in this new world wore off after the first few dates. It was like trying out a new roller-coaster at the theme park for the first time. Nervous excitement, but oh, the thrill of it!

My mind would play tricks with me, presenting me with images of someone looking extremely like me, dressed in a white wedding gown, a nameless boy at her side. The imagination is a wondrous thing though and that wonderful image spurred me on during those first few months. I felt like I was doing swimmingly well.

It didn't take too long for the excitement to fade. It became continuously harder to feel the thrill. My peers and their instructions rang through my head and I struggled to implement their helpful ideas in my not- so- new- anymore dating world. Take each day at a time? That would have been fine if there weren't days that were full of worry as, stressful and tense, we would wait a good three days to hear back from the other side.

Don't take it personally? Easy to say if you're not the one being turned down countless times after what appeared to you to have been a pleasant and enjoyable date. Then, my favorite line: It's obviously not your time yet. If you can't be the one to tell me when it is time, please- don't remind me that it's not.

And the social pressure! Very soon after I had begun my dating excursions, I noticed that varied conversation was something of the past. Politics, (which used to bore me to tears but now seemed that much more appetizing)sports, community, food- all these topics seemed to take a back seat to a very dominant headline- dating! Every event, every simcha, every phone conversation and Facebook chat- no one could get enough of it and I felt lost in the depth of it all.

I would pep-talk myself: Everyone goes through it. You'll manage somehow. You're doing the best you can. But sometimes, I felt like running into the streets and screaming and screaming till my voice could scream no more and the echoes of my cries would bounce off the silent walls. The pressure was at its boiling point. I was trying to breathe underwater like a sea creature- without the help of fins and scales.

But my strange world proved itself to be a temporary one, as to my honest surprise and concealed shock, some of my friends emerged onto dry land to claim their medal- a wedding, with all its glamour and ecstasy. This wondrous occurrence began to repeat itself a number of times and my disbelief turned into something else. Vivacious green envy, dripping poison in its intensity.

How had they reached their goal? What was I doing wrong? The reaction was one I knew to be unjust, mean, selfish. But how was it that I was still frantically blowing bubbles and they were floating on them?

It was at this point that I decided to take a breather. I stepped back from the scene for some time, and allowed the normality of day to day life wash over me. But my guilty pleasure was short lived as time did not stand still, even for the likes of me. Somewhat revived, I rejoined the race.

Things are different now. Harder than ever, if that were possible.

Conversation around me has switched to talks of maternity clothes and first teeth. The few who remain in my world are focused on their efforts to get out of it - and the depression that comes with it. When I close my eyes and let my mind wander to that far away image of the girl in a white gown- the girl keeps changing, taking on the impression of every one of my married friends in turn. I feel burnt out, exhausted and hopelessly out of breath.

The words of advice I received have yellowed and all but cracked, hardly recognizable and surely of no use anymore. An unnatural feeling, one I am not used to, steals over my heart. Fear. Will I get there in the end? This chase seems to be going nowhere. All leads are followed, to be proven false. Yet the mystery man prevails.

The end has never seemed further.


Waiting for the bashert? Check out COLlive's Shidduchim SOS

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Opinions and Comments
1
wow
omg...that gave me the chills.
All i can do is give you, and all the many others in this "race"-(although i dont kow why you call it that, cuz i dont think this is a race, i think everyone has their own path in life, not racing or competing with anyone else in this matter), that iYH WE should all find our right match, very soon, and it should be clear as day light, and smooth. Amen Kein Yehi Ratzon!
thank you for sharing your feelings, and i'm sure you have put down on papers the feelings of many others as well.
Hatzlacha!
(1/13/2010 9:13:00 AM)
2
sympathetic
i totally understand, i went through this for many years before i got engaged.... i thought there was no end in sight. but , believe me, it does at some point come to an end. i had all but given up, and then out of no where, he popped up. and i did not get engaged young,(29)

don't beat yourself up about it. just be patient and try not to look and compare yourself to all your other friends.

there comes a time for everyone. yours will be here soon.I"YH

keep smiling!!
(1/13/2010 9:34:59 AM)
3
Here's a thought...
... In every stage of life there will always be 'something'; a stress, another 'destination' to reach.. try to focus on your goal without your life being overcome by it in the process - be grateful for the time you have to mature into the person you want to be for your husband-to-be and kids iy'h. LIVE your life, LOVE your life and do whatever you feel ENRICHES it!!

Yes, there are easier and more difficult moments, no doubt ... without denying yourself the ever so real feelings of frustration, loneliness, and pain - keep your positivity in your back pocket, your prayers are being answered!

Spoken from experience.

- a 29 yr old single
(1/13/2010 9:36:43 AM)
4
Not a race
I dont think that the writer meant ''race'' as in who can get there 'first.' . from what I understood from this, extremely well written and well expressed piece, is that, the swimmer felt that as much as she tried to swim towards the 'end of the pool', with all the determination in the world, shes just 'not getting there', unlike, it would seem, all the others that were in the same pool as her at the same 'race', and managed to get there in the end. . and she and so many countless others were still only, either ' breathing underwater' or simply just 'treading water". . . its an apparently endless 'race' . . . . .
(1/13/2010 9:39:31 AM)
5
will you
write an article when you get to the end?
(1/13/2010 9:43:45 AM)
6
AUTHORS NOTE
Please read the full version to understand the article proplerery. It was too long to publish in full and the first half of the article is sorely lacking the complete effect...
(1/13/2010 9:57:09 AM)
7
With you
Can I please give you a huge hug ~ surround yourself with positive people and positive things. This wont feel so bad.
(1/13/2010 9:57:33 AM)
8
so articulate!
Wow that was pretty powerful! I know exactly how you feel- I too wonder when we will finally 'hit the finish line':) Something that keeps me going, is I constantly remind myself (and this applies to having children and to many other things) that in life, we are not always in the drivers seat.
I feel it very much now that I am going through the shidduch parsha- G-d is driving the car (as HE always is) and we are in the passenger seat. He knows where He is going! So, I guess do everything you can- make a keili and THEN.... sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! You got no control anyways!!! Thank G-d, G-d is good, so we know we will arrive very soon at our 'destination'! May it happen speedily, amen!
(1/13/2010 10:04:22 AM)
9
this hurts!!
I feel your pain!! Im a mother and i wish i can give you a hug and tell you I"h everything will be ok . I agree with #1 everyone has their own unique path that they need to travel . May Hashem help that you will find your Bashert
Beheref Ayin!
(1/13/2010 10:08:02 AM)
10
full version
Its a MUST!! Everyone MUST read the full version!!
What an amazing outstanding piece of work. . . words fail me. . .
Much 'endless' Hatzlocha, may Hashem hear and fulfill your dreams now
(1/13/2010 10:09:55 AM)
11
very well articulated
Two thumbs up for such a well-written piece, which actually speaks honestly for many of us. Not false hope, not blaming, just the honesty of the hurt and confusion that naturally can make you want to SCREAM. THANK YOU for voicing your thoughts- they are shared by many.
(1/13/2010 10:10:26 AM)
12
wow
interesting to hear that girls are having a hard time too - even if they express it differently

a 770 bochur
(1/13/2010 10:22:24 AM)
13
I just read it
I just finished reading the full version, and can I just say that not only is it something only the older singles should read and pay attention to, but EVERY SINGLE one of us out there,should. Its an eye opener, and really gets you thinking. . ALL of us have a chiyuv, to DO SOMETHING. The article represents so many of us, unfortunately. . . if even one positive result comes out from it, the author can feel accomplished and proud of herself
Ad Mosai
(1/13/2010 10:28:41 AM)
14
WOW
unbelievable article. You should take up writing!
(1/13/2010 11:08:28 AM)
15
So do something!!
Did you pick up the phone and call eligible singles try to fix a shiduch?
Yes is in hashem's hand but he wants us to act for each other
(1/13/2010 11:34:19 AM)
16
to the author
this was beautifully written. You are a very articulate and expressive young lady. May you never reach the position that this article is true for you, rather you should be blessed to build your own bayis ne'eman b'yisroel very quickly. The sensitivity to the situation was very eloquently expressed. May all those in need of a yeshua be helped right away!!
(1/13/2010 11:48:31 AM)
17
You couldnt have articulated it better!
After reading many shidduchim articles and comments on col, this is the first that I feel is real.
It is so hard being in the swimming pool, trying to reach the wall and whatever you do, you just cant get there. SOmetimes you even feel like a big wave comes and sends you 10 yards back.
I totally relate to the wanting to talk about and be involved in other stuff. I think a part of it is that our chabad society has made it the norm to get married after seminary and so girls feel like their mission and life is getting married (which is of most importance) but I wish these girls who are depressed could find something else they believe in to koch in to take away from the heavy depression. Let us be excited about other stuff so we talk about that.
And the thought of not finding someone is so real... we can be good people from good families with amazing talents... but somehow it doesnt help- I don't know what does help, what the answer is... but so many ppl are getting so tired of treading water that they are starting to drown.
Yes, every stage has its problems, but this stage is such a lonely one when naturally you need a partner, that makes it even harder!
(1/13/2010 11:50:49 AM)
18
What 4 years of "research" has shown about shidduchim
When the Chicago shidduch began their networking 4 years ago, they tried various approaches and now they see what really brings results. It is not enough to just throw out names, forward profiles, or even date. They have found that both the single person themselves and the parents must make themselves a "keilei" for the brocha by undertaking various ruchniusdiche zachen. Many of them go out of their way to help others find shidduchim or to help a chosson and kallah make a chassunah. There are endless ways to help with chassunahs. They might also undertake more Torah learning or saying Tehillim. They also make farbrangens and read the Rebbe's letters and directives concerning shidduchim. Sometimes that makes a person view his or her choices in a different light. Hope this is helpful.
(1/13/2010 12:14:13 PM)
19
A mother
So well written. As a mother it is very painful to see a child go through this very difficult and humblling time. Although I am trying really hard, we are having a rough time and time is not standing still. People 's good wishes intended to encourage us can be patroniziing and hurtful. Better to say a silent prayer for your friends. It is hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel. For those of us who have a few children to marry off, each day adds stress. What do we do ?T he next daughter is ready too get married. And don't tell me its not the end of the world. O ne look at the older sibling and it pretty much looks like the end of the world. So what can we do? Friends we need you. You know the guys ,you know the girls. Let's put our heads together. I hope the day will come soon when no single will go to sleep with a tear-soaked pillow. Good luck to you all and let us know when the good news happen. May it happen NOW!!
(1/13/2010 12:19:41 PM)
20
WOW
This article is amazing. I have never seen such a well written article on a Frum Website. It really makes me feel part of what you are experiencing.
(1/13/2010 12:39:03 PM)
21
IM AMAZED
THIS ARTICLE WAS SO WELL ARTICULATED, A TRUE MASTERPIECE. while you are single use your talent and expound on it! im so so proud of you and I love you so much! your the bestest friend!!!!! xox
sk
(1/13/2010 12:39:59 PM)
22
AAAAAAAAAH!
im in high school, you're freaking me out!!!!!!!
(1/13/2010 1:00:50 PM)
23
To #22
You are in high school enjoy it, think about a good seminary that will be a fit for you. You are growing up fast ,don't freak out. You will get there IY"H in the right time with betochen in hashem.
Hatzlocho rabba in your studies.
(1/13/2010 2:29:08 PM)
24
to #22
dont freak out!! everyone has their own struggles and sometimes a person goes on one date and finds their bashert! its all up to the One above! :)
(1/13/2010 2:36:20 PM)
25
thank you #17
you voyced what we all feel ANYBODY there?
"but so many ppl are getting so tired of treading water that they are starting to drown.
Yes, every stage has its problems, but this stage is such a lonely one you need a partner, that makes it even harder!
(1/13/2010 2:49:40 PM)
26
WORRIED SICK
I too like so many others feel your pain :-(
This is something i find myself worrying about every day, not an hour goes by that it's not on my mind, the "what if" and "it doesn't happen for everyone". What does one do when 2 younger sister's ask permission to date, you don't want to be mean and selfish and say no because of course their happiness is important to you, but at the same time where does that leave me?
(1/13/2010 3:40:36 PM)
27
to number 26
As the author, I know it came across from my writing that I was that older single girl. I mentioned earlier that I am young and basing it on experiences of those around me. Well let me tell you now that I am on the other side of the fence- I am the younger sister who will soon have to choose whether to start dating or wait for her older sister... let me tell you I hope Hashem helps quickly enough for me to never have to make that choice, because getting married before my sister would be an indescribable feeling, difficult to convey in just a comment. Perhaps I will write a follow up article from the other side of the fence... i wish i had comforting words for you but I don't... I hope you find the right one really really soon...
(1/13/2010 5:29:28 PM)
28
a little faith...
The boys need a lot of time to become men these days, what can you do? It is obvious that something more is expected out of girls in their 20's+ and it's not enough to sit around and wait for Mr. Right. Hashem has it all figured out, we just need to make the most of our time! Have some faith...
(1/13/2010 5:42:36 PM)
29
from the heart of a 30 year old single
Well written. I feel your pain, since I too am in the same boat . It is so hard. The lonely feeling, the yearning to have a partner, looking at some of my friends with a family of even up to 6 kids.... I feel a generation behind. I too want to have a family, build a home, be there for someone and have someone by my side. No question, it's a challenge I would never have dreamed of. Many times I have to tell myself, "just take it day by day", but true, the days seem endless, and I revert back to, "will it ever happen? what if?"
BUT, I have to deal, I HAVE to deal, WE HAVE to deal. We have no choice. The only thing left, is bitachon. And that's hard. Really hard. But that's all I have left. That's all we have left. We have to strengthen our bitachon and believe and trust that it WILL happen. It HAS to happen.
I recently got an answer from the Igros, that I should have bitachon - the Rebbe wrote; "not just as an abstract belief, but in a way that truly permeates one's whole being. For, in addition to this being one of the very fundamentals of our faith and way of life, this is also a channel to receive G-d's blessings....."
- Letters from the Rebbe, volume 2

Hotzlocha,
I'm with you!
- 30 year old single
(1/13/2010 5:59:06 PM)
30
increasing our chances for success
1) tznius b'hiddur
2) find a mashpiah and Rav & follow their advice [don't take advice from everyone]
3) shmiras haloshon, learn the halachos and live by them (a fact of basic Yiddishkiet)
4) hiskashrus - immerse yourself in your shlichus, learn the Sichos & ma'amarim, & write to the Rebbe or go to the Ohel regularly
5) learn inyanei gueula u'moshiach DAILY
6) know that kinah, jealousy, is forbidden by the Torah. it points to a lack of faith in Hashem. {al histakel al acharim klal. [zeh keli v'anviehu - ve'anveihu - ani v'hu : ani vahu hoshiah na SAY IT!]} it's just you and Hashem! do not covet someone else's success! IT'S IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!
7) CONSTANTLY TALK TO HASHEM IN YOUR OWN WORDS, IN A LANGUAGE CONFORTABLE TO YOU!

may Hashem bless you with success if the fulfillment & implementation of the above, and through this may you merit to find your bashert b'karov mammosh. MOSHIACH NOW!

mac
(1/13/2010 7:59:11 PM)
31
Be careful
I think the article is well written and expresses a lot of pain, but I remember when I was in seminary the pricipal came into class the first day to tell us, make sure not to share anything negative c'v with your friends after a date that didnt work for you as he may not be your bashert but he may be your good friends bashert. You don't want to be in the way or cause your friend to not want to go out with her bashert because of something you said that may be damaging.
Also, I believe facebook etc, is working against the happenings of some shidduchim - in my days we didn't have Facebook yet, (not that long ago). Sometimes seeing so much about a person and making judgments about him/her before even meeting the person can be harmful. You may say no to go out with so and so, because you didnt approve of the picture or something of the sort, when if you had met him/her in person that something that bothered you / caused you to say no to a date, may never have existed to begin with. We think we can jugde all before meeting someone which many times is not the case. Maybe think about being more positive as well, as this may overflow to the boy on the next date. Hatzlacha Rabbah from the bottom of my heart.
(1/13/2010 8:50:33 PM)
32
To Chicago Shidduch group
As a mother of that dreaded name ''Older single". can I first start by thanking you for your efforts. . Im sure you try your best;
Having said that, though, I want to take you up on your very own words. . "its NOT ENOUGH just to throw in names (at random, may I add) or profiles, , and then just 'let it go at that. . . which is what is happening to most of us . . most times the profiles give over very little, most times , the boys side have'nt even been approached, to see , if , bichlul, THEY'RE interested . . what are we supposed to do with all those random names and profiles that are being thrown at us, literally, without much thought or consideration as to if its even an appropriate match, Basically its ''Older boy=Older girl. . . put your hand in the basket, and pick out a name??????? Thats what its come to out there. . . and yes, we are drowning, and yes, our girls do go to bed at night with tear soaked pillows, and so do we, the mothers, because the pain is so huge, its unimaginable, unless you're in it yourself c''v . . and this is not a 'drama story' . . its REAL LIFE, on an everyday basis;
All of you, out there, take it on board, and may the Aibishter repay all your efforts on our part, so that articles like this, should never ever have to be published again'
(1/13/2010 9:06:49 PM)
33
Not important
Listen,
I am 24 year old guy.. I havent really put any effort into dating... I understand all the worries and concerns, but frankly the females I have dated were very uncertain what they really wanted..

To quote the chasidic line "the horse must want to drink"

Figure out what you really want in life first.. this isnt all inclusive.. its merely my experience.. the last 5 shiduch offers I got, I turned down before I even got to know the girls name or age..

(1/13/2010 9:59:24 PM)
34
From the Author's older sister
Words couldn't have described it better then you have my darling!

I am touched and blown away by your depth of understanding and sensitivity to my situation.

Love you SO much! xx
(1/14/2010 12:44:30 AM)
35
to #28
A LITTLE FAITH?
if not faith we would give up a long time ago but the fact is not every girl will get what they want somtimes you have to take whats available
(1/14/2010 1:58:52 AM)
36
I feel your pain
To #26
I too am in the same situation with a younger sister wanting to date. If your as good at hiding your feelings as I am then your younger sisters probably have no idea how hard it is for you and how much pain it causes you. It isn't your fault that your still single, so u probably wonder as I do, "why would g-d punish me like this". I can't even begin to imagine the embarrassment and humiliation I would feel if my younger sister got married before me. But as you said, what can you do, you don't want to have to say no.....In the times of Rochel and Leah imainu, their father went to the extreme and switched the brides as to not embarrass his older daughter from getting married after the younger one. If this came from a rasha, how much more should we learn from the power of embarrassment and humiliation. I'm not saying that a sister must wait "forever", but I do feel that there should be an appropriate age to wait till out of respect. This is not coming from a "bitter" older girl, although, yes, I am "older", this is coming from someone who has seen first hand the hurt and depression that many "older" sisters have felt while masking it with tears of happiness and joy for their younger sisters.
(1/14/2010 2:36:55 AM)
37
No words
So much pain. . . just no words. . . I read all your comments with tears running down my face. . .
Hashem, all I can say, to all these heartrenching comments, is , ITS ENOUGH, ad mosai;
Look down and see what your children are going through and let this be the day when we move only forward from now on . . and all those tears should be wiped dry.
(1/14/2010 3:04:00 AM)
38
Number 33
To number 33. .
How sad that in the midst of all this, you should have the audacity, insensitivity, pride and over- confidence to pen such words with such Gaava!!!!!
Its boys like you, who definitely DON'T help the current tragic situation in the shidduch world;
Climb down from your high horse, get a life. . and become a MAN!!!!!!!!!!!
Disgusted!
(1/14/2010 3:08:10 AM)
39
tracht gut vet zein gut
Tracht gut vet zein gut! Think good and it will be good! By having fears and dounts we create a situation where it may not happen but if we trully trust it will happen- no doubts, Hashem will send it, no doubts!! Its a much happier place to be in then going to sleep crying... and yes this is coming from an older single girl!
(1/14/2010 5:28:46 AM)
40
the entire process
I do understand that the ultimate goal is to get married and it is the Jewish way etc etc. However, no one wants to listen to the entire tape.

I think everyone should cherish and enjoy all aspects of their lives which means while single too.

There is work, friends, family, holidays, shiurim and tons of things that bring joy and happiness.

Unfortunately girls were raised that only when they are married is there a sense of joy and fulfillment and i do not accept this.

Yes of course girls Gd willing have a family and all the trimmings.

Do you know how many women also think back and ask themselves why they didn't relish their single life?

There were no parnoso problems, life-children issues and it was a time to travel and take in what one could.

Every period of time has its moments of glory whether single or married, Why not embrace the time for its own intrinsic value instead of being miserable because every day is as a single person?

My goodness-why can't each day be one of of joy and a sunny sky full of hope and promise? Why is the "single" day one of dread and doom? What has happened to women? When the right man comes along, he will and so dating is the process but what about IN THE MEANTIME?

I say embrace it with life, activity and doing Gd's work and ENJOYING each and every day! I just read these comments and think how sad and very sad that girls sit in this state because they are not married yet.

This is truly disturbing.
(1/14/2010 5:48:54 AM)
41
PROUD FRIEND!!
WOW!! AWSOME PIECE OF WORK!! AUTHOR..... I LOVE U AND AM SO PROUD!!!! LOOK HOW MANY PPLE U;VE INSPIRED?? MAY YOU CARRY ON DOING SO!!!!
N.W
(1/14/2010 6:43:58 AM)
42
To # 36
As a younger sister who believes in waiting, i was just wondering what you feel is an appropriate age for a younger sister to start thinking of dating?
(1/14/2010 7:11:26 AM)
43
i just started...
I've been on one date. One measly date. it wasn't that bad and I thought okay...we'll see. Unless a date is a complete disaster, aren't you supposed to go out a second time???!!!! Well I guess not because the spoiled boy (he doesn't deserve to be called a man) I went out with wasn't interested.

Before the date, I was excited. My mother spent a lot of time researching this boy and I had to juggle college, work and the stress of "plunging" into the scary waters of the dating world and now I totally completely empathize with the author. I am twenty years old and I have been on one date and I am petrified. Based on this one experience and the experiences of the people around me I have very little faith in the the system.

I just don't get it. There has to be a better way.
(1/14/2010 7:28:12 AM)
44
Thank you for asking
To #42
To be perfectly honest that's a very tough question. I do believe however that 22 is an appropriate age, it's still considered young to date, but at the same time leaves enough time for you to be comfortable knowing that you at least tried to consider your sister's feelings.
(1/14/2010 7:37:52 AM)
45
to #18 and #30
could you please stop it? I dress 100% tzniusdig, have a gemach of things related to chassunahs, have helped in arranging shidduchim, say tons of kapitelach thilim daily etc. I'm 32 and as single as ever. I have a positive attitude and am loved by a lot of people. and yet....I haven't found him. this afternoon a friend told me that someone had asked her about me, she has a good boy for me, but...the lady thought I'm 24. never mind, just go on living and try to forget about your pain as much as you can.


(1/14/2010 8:19:28 AM)
46
Me too
Kudos to no.45!:(
I, too, have done every single seugulah thar you could possibly think of. . . I took on Shiurim, say dozens of kapitalach tehillim, my family, siblings, have said Shir Hashirim FOUR times in total, Shabbos Mevarchim tehillim has been said, time n time again . . we've given tzedaka everywhere possible, give 18 coins every day. . should I carry on???
So, yes. . please DO stop it;
Been there, done that. . .
(1/14/2010 9:14:41 AM)
47
to #45 and #46 from #18
There are lots of people whose basherte came after they did something ruchniusdik. There are many people who could tell such stories of how it came as a result of a mitzvah that they did. How do you know that it will not help someone if it has already helped many people?
Sometimes people could be looking in the wrong places or the wrong way. Shimson Stock OBM used to tell older single women to look outside of Lubavitch. Some people might do better at a single's gathering or online. Some of the older singles that I know personally have declined numerous offers and suggestions. The Rebbe said that someone should look for a shidduch with a person who is a yiras shamayim. Maybe people should narrow their list of priorities when looking for a shidduch. I have seen people get married for whom it was an absolute miracle that they found someone but they also were willing to look past some difficulties in their mate's lives. Now this might not be the case with everyone and there is not a one size fits all solution, but what if someone tries it and it works?
(1/14/2010 9:54:44 AM)
48
To #40
You sound like you either are very young or got married young. You wouldn't talk like that if you went through the pain many of us go through on a daily basis.
To be honest, I have been blessed B"H with a wonderful life, Hashem has blessed me with many INCREDIBLE experiences, and I thank Him for it every day. I truly believe that one day (hopefully soon) I will look back and say "B"H I used every moment of my 'singlehood' to the best and 'lived it up' in the spiritual sense!"
But it does come to a point where you are ready for the next step... and when you have to wait weeks, months and many years... it gets very frustrating and painful!
Yes, its true, every moment is a blessing, every destination has a journey, but this journey to marriage is filled with many tests- and we all try hard to pass them and come out 'whole' but its just not always that easy!
(1/14/2010 9:59:33 AM)
49
#48
No darling-I am not young at all.(#40)In fact I got married quite late and was also very anxious etc so if anyone has been there and done that,you are looking at her.I am looking back at the time I wasted "worrying" and fretting over this profound life issue.Little did I know that singlehood had many positives to it but I had also bought into the state of despair until the right man and the wedding etc.Yes,it is anxiety provoking and no one is minimizing this!I certainly did not but I also realize how nice it was to be single and lead a productive life and when I see parents crying themselves to sleep and women-omg.How about empowering yourselves and "get a life" that includes a happy time-because being miserable until the prince comes along is a sad life!Do you not see what I'm saying? I'm not saying give up.CV"!I'm saying enjoy what you do have which is a life.Must I spell out that "a man" is not the only thing that one must "live for"??We as women can also make our time valuable and meaningful and what will be. will be with Gd's help.If someone gets married later, so be it.I know many who married so early only to reflect later on "what was the rush"???Ever hear that? Pls do not misinterpret what I said.Just bec a man is not interested,I ask so what?Who are these princes?Take a good look.If someone doesn't recognize who you are, then who needs him?You got along before you met him and u'll get along without him now.Next....!Gd is with you.Bless you all!
(1/14/2010 10:53:03 AM)
50
#18 again
About younger sisters going first; an older sister went out with a boy but realized that although he was not right for her, he was perfect for her younger sister and passed him along to her. Two months after the younger sister married the boy, the older sister married someone that she started dating while the younger sister was engaged.
I realize that this is rare and many older sisters marry off several younger sisters while remaining single themselves, but in this case, she put her sister first and her basherte came right away.
Of course the older sister must be given a chance to marry first, but if a good suggestion comes up for the younger one, the older one does a big chessed by letting the younger sister marry.
The boy marrying the younger sister should try to find someone among his friends for the older sister.
(1/14/2010 11:43:02 AM)
51
To 40
You are right, but only to a certain age, then you feel that your single years were great and it's time to move on.

No one is 19, or 22 and says, boy I gotta get married I"m so lonely and depressed.
(1/14/2010 12:55:42 PM)
52
to #50
As much as she is "doing a chesed", she is still left single, unless you are an "older" sister you can't possibly understand.
(1/14/2010 12:59:09 PM)
53
no friends left
its hard to enjoy life when you have no friends left to enjoy it with... as many times as you may say it, married friends can never understand what their friend is going through, (fortunately for them) and from experience with myself and other singles, a lot of close friendships fizzle out after marriage despite all good intentions. Noone is to blame- friendships are largely based on common ground and similarities between two people and somehow, once married, the married friend has taken on a whole new image and status, entering a totally different stage. It is for this reason that most singles are very lonely and perhaps that is the cause of the distress. If you can't make a life with a husband and you can't make a life with your friends... you're a little stuck.
(1/14/2010 1:05:05 PM)
54
#18 (and 50) to #52
What then is the solution to the older sister problem? Should both the older and younger sisters remain single indefinitely? I have seen situations where the older sister has issues that the younger one does not have. Should the younger one pass up her chance to marry and grow old together with her sister? No one says it is easy and no says it isn't painful. Sometimes the younger sister must watch while all her friends marry and she is held as an agunah to her older sister. Sometimes the older sister is stubbornly refusing the boys who do come her way, won't go to shadchanim, doesn't make herself look nice, has bad midos, etc. Should the younger sister meet a boy on the sly and elope? What are the younger sister's options?
I see that we are all supposed to be supportive and understanding here but what if someone wants to get married and a sister is standing in her way? She is not a woman with a husband who won't give a get. She is a woman with a sister who won't let her get married. She is chained to the sister except that if she does elope, her kids are not momzerim.
We all do understand how painful it is but what should the younger sister do?
(1/14/2010 2:53:17 PM)
55
missing the point
No one is saying people should wait forever, but as someone said before, the sisters should discuss an appropriate age. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part I agree waiting till 22 is completely reasonable. And by the way, I am the younger sister and my sister (who is VERY normal) and I discussed that when I turn 22 I would start looking. I have a lot of respect for my sister and her happiness means everything to me.
(1/14/2010 3:25:22 PM)
56
To #40 from #48
I'm sorry that I misjudged you. I'm so happy for you that B"H you found your bashert!
I do have a question though, when you were single, and all your friends and family members were getting married- did you also have this cheery disposition? as you write "My goodness-why can't each day be one of of joy and a sunny sky full of hope and promise?" If yes, then inspire me, tell me- how did you keep your head above the water especially when the going got tough? How did you quiet that voice inside of you that keeps reminding you that you are only half of a whole. That ' voice' that sometimes hurts so much that you beg Hashem to please just take it away or fill it fast!
(1/14/2010 4:56:37 PM)
57
to the author, 45 & 46 from 30
Firstly to the author: This was an extremely well written piece. The use of vivid imagery and the parallel dynamic you describe are outstanding. You transport the reader to your situation and allow them to share in your feelings. Top notch work.

Please note that my comments were only given out of a genuine desire to help. It's best not to get defensive about these things (45&46), but instead to truly be introspective and see where we need to work on ourselves (all of us need to work on ourselves). And none of us have "been there and done that" but rather we are in it and (hopefully) doing it.

The two most challenging things mentioned were shmiras haloshon and kinah. These two mitzvos are really a life long growth process, and like all aspects of the Torah, have infinate levels of observance.

Shmiras haloshon has many mitzvos (midoraysa and d'rabbanan), with a huge amount of halachos to learn. Many of them actually deal with shidduchim directly. In fact, by hashgacha pratis, when I read this article I'd just learned Shmiras Haloshon Yomi Day 126, which deals w/ matters concerning shidduchim! I am aware that it is not a popular subject w/ in Lubavitch, especially CH, and that is precisely why I have stressed it's importance. In Shomayim the destructive angels created through our misdeeds (r"l) may not open their mouths to accuse us because they DON'T HAVE MOUTHS! When a Yid speaks loshon hara (r"l) that angel gets a mouth and begins to accuse the Yid who made them. Simple, no loshon harah, no dinim. Ask yourself, do I really know the laws of shmiras haloshon? Am I really as carefull as I could be & should be not to speak loshon hara?

The other great challenge is kinah, meaning not to look at someone else's success with jealousy. [oh I want that... why can't I have that joy... what about me, me, me...] This applies even in ones own family circle. {ayin hara, lo alienu, is a direct result of kinah) It's often times very hard to keep this important mitzvah, because it goes against human nature. Nonetheless we are taught not to look at others at all, but instead to focus on our relationship w/ Hashem. "Image and status" (53) mean absolutely nothing. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Hashem gives us what we need when we need it. It is hard. L'foom tzara agrah.

I'll daven for you. My only intention is to ease another Jew's pain. Meditate on these words and understand well. B'soros Tovos B'karov.

EXPECT MIRACLES & DEMAND REDEMPTION!

With love and respect,
mac
(1/14/2010 6:29:22 PM)
58
Author
Thank you everyone for your comments. I must say i was pleasantly surprised at the magnitude and positivity of the response. I am used to reading other peoples articles on this site and seeing them being torn to pieces. So I thank you for the optimism and kind words, both about the writing itself and the encouragement for the topic it represents. And to those who held back their tongues- thank you too. Iyhm I have other writing works in progress which I hope to publish on this site soon.
All the best to everyone struggling in this situation. It's saddening yet comforting though to see how many other people can empathize...
May we all hear good news soon!
(1/14/2010 9:01:40 PM)
59
chof-beis Shvat
wouldn't it be great if this situation was addressed when all the girls come to CH for chof-beis Shvat? I've often heard that many of the bachurim who are dating would like to see more shidduchim made available at this time. something ti think about...there's still time.
(1/16/2010 1:03:40 PM)
60
impressed
nice to see an article that expresses feelings without blaming anybody

older buchur
(1/17/2010 3:41:55 PM)
61
You sound like a real mentch
older bochur, can i have your number?

(1/18/2010 11:36:36 AM)
62
Speechless
I'm sitting here, after reading this beautifully written article (and i intend to read the full version in a few minutes as well), and all the comments that followed. Firstly, I feel as if the article itself, and about half the comments, are speaking straight out of my own throat. The comments about the older/younger sister situation were particularly insightful, since I'm in that situation. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them were written by my own sister! If so, they gave me a bit more of your perspective than I already have. Interesting that the age 22 was mentioned here... True, 22 is not yet considered "old", but it is very much bordering on it.. Especially as you watch your friends having children already - and they didn't all get married young. Anyway, thank you for this article and ensuing conversation.
(1/25/2010 5:49:17 PM)
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