Finding a Fitting Mate

 

The first match I ever made was highly successful. They got married and now have many children and grandchildren. I have to admit that I didn’t introduce them for the purpose of matrimony. I could see them being good friends. And that’s probably why the match was so successful.

A marriage partner has to be someone who has the potential to be a good friend.

When I met my husband I knew after one day that this was it. Being together felt natural, as if I “just knew.” We seemed to have a common language, looked at the world the same way. But these explanations are superficial in comparison to the clearly-felt intuitive sense that this was it. Must everyone know after one date and, if not, they should call it off? Certainly not! No two people are alike and no two relationships are alike. What I am concluding from my experience and the experience of the couple I introduced to each other is that a fitting mate will feel like it fits.

The single most important ingredient in assessing whether this person fits you is to know yourself. A certain well-known rabbi who was involved in a great number of divorce cases once said that he has learned from many years of experience that people usually get divorced not because they didn’t know the other person but because they didn’t know themselves. How can I know who will fit like a puzzle-piece to who I am if I don’t know who I am?

In today’s world it’s not easy for young people to meet in a natural setting, where one can see the other person in normal life circumstances. They are “fixed up” by a matchmaker or by friends and they don’t have a chance to just be friends and see if there is potential for more than that. Some people might not like my saying this. They don’t think it’s right for young adults to meet casually unless it’s for marital purposes.

But what would be wrong if all of the young people at a wedding would be introduced to one another by common friends and take turns walking around the grounds or the wedding hall chatting with different people? If this person is not right for you, you’ve made a friend and maybe you will have someone for each other. And if this person is right for you, this will be a chance for you to be relaxed and be yourself, with no pressure.

People try so hard to get all of the information they possibly can. They set up all kinds of conditions for what they’re looking for. I had a friend whose husband was in the habit of saying, “I won’t marry someone from an American family. Nope. Absolutely not. Don’t you ever fix me up with an American.” So his friend fixed him up with someone from an American family without telling him. She had a good Israeli accent so he didn’t figure it out so fast and by the time he knew, it was too late. He was already in love.

You can never have all the information you need to make a decision. You need to believe you know what you need to know. You need to trust that once you meet the person, you’ll get a sense of what they’re about. There will always be secrets but you have to hope people will be honest. All the information-gathering in the world won’t necessarily pick those things up anyway.

Knowing that you can’t possibly have all the information and needing to make a decision anyway with the information you have is true of any decision in life, large or small. The decision of who to marry is obviously one of the more important decisions we can make.

More important than having information is listening to the information we do have, sent to us in the form of the small voice within that knows. So often we are dismissive of it. We have a deep sense that something is not right in this relationship and we dismiss it. “Oh, never mind that,” we say. I can ignore my intuition or even the glaringly obvious and everything will be just fine.

The last question to contemplate is similar to something I mentioned earlier, which is to know yourself. Aside from knowing yourself, you can try contemplating the following question: Do you like who you are when you are with this person? We are not always the same because we adjust to the person we’re with. If I am not comfortable with someone it is a sign that I don’t like who I am when I am with this person. If I am with a close friend I don’t have to be on edge, worrying about how I’m going to sound or appear to that person. I can “let my hair down.”

So when you want to find a fitting mate, get to know yourself really well first. Know your strengths and weakness, your great gifts and your vulnerabilities. Be in a process of growth, changing and becoming more fully yourself. Learn to listen to and trust your intuition. After that, be open to meeting people. Be relaxed. Be yourself.

About Batya Yaniger

Batya Yaniger is a Diplomate-level certified logotherapist through the Viktor Frankl Institute and a licensed social worker in Israel with a PsyD in psychology. She maintains a private practice in logotherapy (meaning-centered therapy) and is a co-trainer in the English-language logotherapy training program in Israel. Batya has worked successfully with people who have, for a variety of reasons, lost their sense of direction in life. She listens for values and strengths that put the person in touch with who they are and what is most important to them. Logotherapy's assumption that every life has a purpose and every situation can be made meaningful perfectly dovetails with Jewish principles of optimism and responsibility. Batya has worked with people who struggle with issues of depression, anxiety, fears and indecisiveness, helping them to access their intuitive wisdom. Check out Batya's fluid blog at: meaningtherapy.wordpress.com
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