Dear Rabbi and Shira,
I’m really at a loss what to do .
I am 33 and have tried every option to get married. I have done websites, organized singles events, and chiller events. I’ve gone to Amuka, and I daven twice a day. One summer I even went to the Kotel for forty days. At this point I’m extremely depressed, lonely, crying myself to sleep every night, and I don’t know what the point of my life is. Sometimes I wonder why Hashem put me here at all.
Dear All Alone,
We’re sorry you’re having such a tough time. It’s hard to encourage someone through a written column.
We recommend you “fight the battle on multiple fronts.”
First, we recommend speaking to a therapist to help manage your feelings of depression.
In terms of meeting the person that is most compatible, consider who the Shadchanim are that you’re meeting with. Are they all from the same community? Do they all know the same individuals? Have you tried events which include different populations of people? It's important to diversify your portfolio. Have you ever considered moving to another state? Moving can open up new opportunities for you.
In general, how has the dating been going? How many dates do you get a year? How many long-term relationships have you been in? Start to go over your “dating history” and see if there are any patterns that emerge. Is there anyone you dated in the past that you would consider dating again? Explore your expectations and your attitudes as you go to a date/event. What do you think is going to happen? What would make it a “win?” What would make it a let down? Do you notice any negative thought trends, such as “It’s a waste of time anyway, I’m never going to get married. Nobody is right for me. I am undesirable. No one will ever want me.” These thoughts could be spoiling your efforts from the beginning.
It could be you have done everything right and Hashem has decided it is not the right time yet.
In the meantime, invest in yourself, make sure that you have other projects to engage and grow through. As important as marriage is, there are other avenues of self-development which you can achieve, and find value and meaning. Whether it is in your profession, vacations, Torah study, or chesed organizations, there is a world of opportunities that you can investigate, and will hopefully enrich your life.
Also the Gemara tells us that Mashiach comes b’hesech hadas- our salvation emerges when we are not paying attention. The Chasidic masters tell us to put our best foot forward, and then let the Master of the World do the rest.
We’ll conclude with a story. One time, a Jew in debt came to the Ruzhiner Rebbe in search of some assistance. Sitting in the waiting room, he poured out his heart to the Rebbe’s son, who said he would help him get a “priority meeting.” The man was given quick entry and walked out a minute later. The son asked him, “What did my father say?” The man responded, “Hashem will help.” The son said, “go back in and ask him what you should do until Hashem helps.”
Sure enough, 15 seconds later, he leaves the room again. The son said, “What happened now?” He replied, “The Rebbe said, Hashem will help, until Hashem Helps.”
Wishing you all of Hashem’s Help, until He helps, and then continues helping.
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack
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