By M’nucha Bialik – Dating & Relationship Coach
Host: We are so honored to have with us today, THE expert on dating in our times. This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has written an encyclopedia so thick, that one needs an elephant to lug it around. So, welcome, Rabbi/Dr./Mr. Dating Guru and thank you for being with us on our show today. Can you please tell us about yourself and your encyclopedic book?
Dating Guru (DG): Why certainly. To start with, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a voracious reader and an avid learner. There are books teaching you how to juggle, how to hitchhike across Europe, and how to learn how to play the guitar, but I have not yet found THE book on topic of shidduchim – what is called “dating” in the secular world. I have studied dating all over the world. I have conducted anthropological research by pretending I was someone looking for a spouse and have immersed myself in different worlds. My extensive research leads me to conclude that almost everyone is looking for one thing –– they really want to get married and they want to marry someone who they really like and who likes them. There is a deep longing for a connection which my sources show stems from the fact that men and women were actually one single entity, way back at the beginning of Creation. Due to reasons that we won’t address here, this integrated being was then split into two separate beings, a male and a female. Since that time, there is a magnetic pull that draws them to find their other half. For those who need written proof of this phenomenon, please refer to The Book, authored by G-d, which says that “it is not good for man to be alone”.
Host: Okay, so now that we know that it is normal human nature to look for one’s spouse – for that missing piece – how do we go about doing that?
DG: Well, yes, that is why I wrote this book of 5, 757 pages. It tells you how to dress, depending on your culture, and the sub-culture within your culture. It tells you how to smile, how to talk, what to talk about, where to sit, how to sit… I can’t really go through the whole book right now. You’ll have to read it yourself.
Host: Umm, Dating Guru, is one actually supposed to read this book? 5,757 sounds like a lot.
DG: Well, yes, it certainly is a lot. But it has the latest research on dating, plus the old-fashioned experts on dating, plus it is constantly being updated based on the latest trends. So, yes, you certainly should read it if you want to learn everything there is to know about dating. But, for those who might find it a bit difficult, there is a shortcut.
Host: Yes, yes, what is it?
DG: On the cover, I have a smiley face with the words, “Don’t Panic!”
DG: That’s it! That sums up everything one needs to know! The rest is just commentary.
Host: Can you explain a bit more for some of our listeners who need a tad more explanation?
DG: Yes, of course. You see, according to my research, the biggest thing that throws dater off-course is panic. It’s like someone swimming in the ocean. If they’re swimming or floating, they’re fine. But if they panic, they start struggling, and then it’s very, very dangerous and they start to drown. Panicking when dating causes one to struggle and is a big risk factor for those who drown in the dating ocean.
Host: So what do you recommend?
DG: Besides reading 5,757 pages? Well, I recommend to your audience (and everyone else in the world who has never even heard of your show) to just relax. When people relax and trust the Creator of the World to do His stuff, couples gravitate towards each other at the right time. You see, sometimes, one side or the other isn’t quite yet ready. Then, if the two date, they don’t recognize each other and the two halves don’t connect properly. However, if the two people stay focused on their desire to get married, daven for themselves and for success in finding their missing half while staying relaxed about it, they don’t struggle, they don’t panic, and the two end up finding each other at the perfect time.
Host: Why do they have to stay focused on dating?
DG: Because some people have a tendency to stifle their longings for marriage because it’s uncomfortable to feel sad or hurt. They busy themselves with their jobs, with intellectual and/or emotional pursuits and with having fun. They are actually drowning, and don’t even realize it. Instead of remembering their goal and looking calmly for their missing piece, they are struggling to numb themselves so they will not feel. And, as it says on page 3,652 in the book, “in order to date properly, the dater needs to allow him/herself to honestly ’feel‘ his/her emotions – even the sad ones…. If the dater is numb; if he/she doesn’t really believe that the missing piece is out there – they are struggling in the water and may, chas v’shalom, drown. The opposite extreme is also true: if they are running frantically from one shadchan to another or constantly trying the latest gimmicks to get married – they are also acting out of panic. So, they need to NOT PANIC!
Host: That’s it? That’s really it?
DG: Well, look, if one really and truly knows that their other half is out there and if they don’t panic, they will instinctively know what they have to do. They will work on their middos (not for the purpose of finding their bashert, but because it’s what they have to do) —- and they will work on the middos that truly need improvement, and not on random advice from their friends or the latest middos fad; they will prepare themselves for wifehood and motherhood in whatever way they need to prepare. Chapter 153 has lists of various middos that some have found useful to work on. But really, just take an honest look at yourself, introspect, and be open to the candid feedback from your friends and family. For example, if numerous people tell you that you’re insensitive and a poor listener, then you know what you should be working on.
Host: So, if we’re not panicking, we’ll know what middos we need to work on?
DG: Yes, and you’ll also have more clarity in knowing what you should be doing. You’ll be looking for your missing piece – so you’ll start thinking about what your piece looks like. You’ll have an inner knowledge of what is a true need and what is merely a “want.” You’ll be sociable (which is good for you and helps you swim properly and not drown). You’ll develop and work on creating healthy relationships. You will not waste time with trivialities (or even important things) which have nothing to do with your actual missing piece. You will take responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings and do the things that help you live successfully in this world. You will take pleasure in the sights, relationships and people of this world, and you will grow and develop spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. You will relish your life (even if you are temporarily without your missing half) and you will not panic!!!!! And if you find it difficult to do this on your own, on pages 10, 98, 1016, 1075, 2031, and a few other places, I recommend a shidduch mentor who gives a great dating workshop – but I won’t reveal who she is in this interview. 😉
Host: Thank you, Dating Guru, for your words of wisdom! We appreciate your joining us today and giving us your valuable time and advice. And thank you for summarizing your approach so concisely, so that we can start implementing it immediately. You hear that, folks? In a nutshell – ”Don’t Panic!”
“Don’t fear because I am with you! Don’t panic (actually Rashi’s explanation of the word used – “Al Tishta” is “don’t let your heart melt” – to me, that’s “don’t panic” ) because I am your Hashem.” I will strengthen you. I will help you. And I will support you with one hand while fighting your enemies with the other hand.”
Metzudas David explains “Al Tishta” to mean “don’t leave Me, because you think that I have already left you.”
Yeshaya, Chapter 41, Possuk 10
So, please don’t panic and don’t leave Hashem thinking that He has already left you. He’s there and He’s supporting you. He is the One who said that it’s not good for a person to be alone; He will make sure that you will find your missing half. Turn to Him because He is there and He loves you!