It’s funny how some people when we first meet them, we have this gut feeling that they’re just not our type. Especially when looking for a life partner, when you meet someone, you have a first instinct of, is there potential of my feelings to develop for this person?
I know a couple who, when they first met, they both felt that the other was not their type at all. They are, thank God, happily married. It was a process of working past that and seeing each other for who they really are.
So that problem exists when we meet someone for the first time. We have to remind ourselves constantly that we don’t really know and sometimes our understanding of a person changes.
But then there is another problem. People who never even meet because it supposedly could never work.
We think so much about details today while dating. And so many of these details seem so important! One person wants to move to Israel, the other doesn’t. Sounds like it couldn’t work, right? Well, that is where my parents were at when they met. My dad hoped to move to Israel and my mother couldn’t imagine moving to Israel and leaving all her family in Toronto. I actually have an unprovable theory that my parents would never have gotten married if they were dating today. And yes, that would have been a very bad thing.
Especially in the more religious world, there is a very strong focus on religiosity. Where am I religiously and where it the other person?
It seems like such a legitimate thing to think about. You want to live a certain type of life, religiously. You imagine a certain amount of freedom and a certain amount of structure. You imagine raising your kids in a certain environment. Totally legitimate, no?
Well, maybe not. Maybe there is too much focus on this and we freak ourselves out and drive ourselves crazy trying to imagine this home and figure out which human being will fit into the picture perfectly.
Yeah, like that’s gonna work.
I think that maybe our acceptance of the other person isn’t wide enough. And we aren’t cognizant of the fact that people change. You hear that? People change. People develop, go backwards, go through good times and bad times, feel differently, believe in different things… People change. And maybe more importantly than, does the girl plan to cover every strand of hair or leave some hair out, or how big is the guy’s kippah (I said kippah), is, do I feel good with this person?
Someone once said to me that a good way to think when you’re with a person is not, “How do I feel about this person?” but, “How do I feel about myself when I’m with this person?” For some reason that thinking takes so much pressure off and I really believe it’s wise.
How do I feel when I’m with this person? Does he make me feel good about myself or maybe low? Low is bad, fyi. : ) But seriously, a couple will always have differences and the necessity to compromise but if you have the beginning foundation of respect for each other and just enjoying each other’s company, maybe that is a perfect place from which to start a relationship.
Does that make sense?