If you want to find your soulmate, you have to look inside yourself first.
As a dating coach, I’ve heard every complaint in the book about dating, but one of my favorites goes something like this: “There aren’t any Jewish singles for me in [fill in your city], New York, L.A., Chicago, Topeka, so I’m preparing to move to Israel.”
Guess what? Singles in Jerusalem, in neighborhoods like Katamon (known as the swamp for dating) are saying the same thing: “If I move, it will be better.” It’s the classic case of the grass being greener on the other side—and yet, while we know the proverb, we still haven’t internalized its truth.
But if dating problems aren’t truly related to locale, what is it? What will stop your friends’ well-meaning critiques about your fashion choices, the unsolicited matchmaker appointments or your mother signing up on TheJMom.com to find a mate for you?
The answer is simple: you.
Being the One
Despite the overload of relationship advice out there, at the end of the day, the most important voice in the matter is your own. It’s possible to transcend the superficial—or just plain wrong—messages bombarding you, and instead break through for your own revelations about love and marriage.
If you want to find the person G‑d intended for you, you have a responsibility to focus on preparing yourself. Maturity, generosity and self-awareness are three key elements of marriage readiness; without them, you can’t truly complement your partner. Ask yourself the tough questions about whether you are truly ready for marriage, both the joy and the sacrifice included in that commitment.
Be the one G‑d intended you to be—your wonderfully unique self—and you will find the one He intended for you. That brings us to the third element of marriage readiness: self-awareness. Attitude Is Everything (and Actions Should Match)
Kabbalah tells us, and our own experiences reinforce this: tactile, sensory experiences aren’t the only reality in this world. As much as anything else, the intangible influences the tangible. Our attitudes affect our actions, and we’re not always as self-aware as we should be. You might recognize some of these contradictions regarding your attitude about dating:
Do you say you want to get married, but don’t date regularly?
Do you want someone who is loving, forgiving and tender, but you don’t exhibit those same qualities on dates?
Do you pretend everything is fine when in fact, deep down, you feel unsettled and unhappy?
It’s time to get real and be authentic about these inconsistencies, or what I call blind spots: habits and attitudes of which you’re often unaware, but that dramatically shape your dating experience.
Blind spots keep us from achieving happiness and fulfillment in ourselves and in relationships. They also create negative patterns with the kind of person we attract. While frustrating, these patterns can clue you in to changes you need to make; if you’re the only constant in the equation, you’re what needs to change!
It’s only when you can honestly evaluate yourself that real change can happen. Choose your attitude, and make sure your actions align with that perspective.
Being single and longing for your soulmate is no easy place to be; I know because I’ve been there. I went through several unsatisfying, mismatched relationships, and always attracted men who were wrong for me—until I had a breakthrough! And that breakthrough was that it was me attracting those men all along; by unconsciously questioning my own lovability, I attracted men who would question it too.
Despite the challenge of singleness, I also know this: a negative, cynical attitude about dating based on past experiences doesn’t help you attract the positive, loving partner who’s out there for you. The kind of energy you exude will be reflected in the individuals who are attracted to you.
The easy answer to being stuck in unfulfilling relationships and dating experiences is to either give up or stick with the status quo of complaining, just waiting for things to change on their own. But the better answer—the one that can transform your life for the better—involves taking action.
You can choose your attitude about dating. You can choose to not compare yourself to your friends’ experiences. You can choose to find clarity in your unique journey toward love. It starts with you.
By Bari Lyman Bari Lyman is founder and CEO of Meet to Marry. She coaches marriage-minded singles to find their soulmate. Read more about how to “Be the One to Find the One” here. More from Lyman, Bari