“What if it never happens for me?”
“What if I don’t have a soul mate?”
“I’m in my thirties! What if my soul mate married someone else?”
As a matchmaker and dating coach, I constantly hear women voice these concerns. Each time, I want to scream, “Stop thinking like that! Hashem loves you and your soul mate is out there.Don’t lose hope!”
I’m not suggesting you sit around and wait for your soul mate to appear. You have to act: Get out of your own head for a minute and think of others. Help people in need. Perform acts of kindness. Then you will receive good things in return. I see it happen all the time, just like it did for the woman who wrote me the following letter:
Throughout my life, I have often gotten whatever I hoped for. In general, I used to feel very lucky, but when it came to finding my soul mate, my usual luck wasn’t working. By the time I was in my mid-thirties, I had done plenty of dating, had plenty of boyfriends, and had even been engaged once, but nothing had panned out. I was watching my friends get married and have babies, and I was beginning to lose hope. What if it never happened for me?
I started seeing a spiritual advisor, a very special woman who became my mentor. I kept asking her what was wrong with me, what she thought I was doing wrong, and why the mission of finding the right man to marry seemed so impossible. I had always attracted men; I assumed I was an attractive woman. So why wouldn’t anything stick? I was beginning to panic.
My mentor told me about the power of prayer, about how important it was to be open to growth and self-improvement, to strive to be the best version of myself by praying to Hashem and doing His will. She explained to me that loving kindness was extraordinarily powerful, that Hashem wants us to give, and that if we do, Hashem sees to it that we receive.
“I do pray,” I told my mentor. “I ask Hashem to send me the right man.”
“If nothing has happened yet,” my mentor said, “it means your prayer needs more substance. Attach a good deed to it. Find someone in need and perform an act of genuine kindness.”
I found a philanthropy program that allowed me to spend time with a four-year-old orphan named Julie. I visited Julie almost every week, bought presents and clothes for her and her friends, and regularly called her on the phone. Although I wanted to help her, at first I was reaching out to her in hopes that my good deeds would lead me to my soul mate. But after a while, I fell in love with Julie. She was so sweet and cute, and whenever I came to visit, she would run to me with hugs and kisses. I reached a point where I wasn’t spending time with her with a goal in mind, but because I was crazy about her and wanted her to have my emotional support and love. I was taking care of her without consideration of my own needs, which is a much higher level of giving.
Meanwhile, I was still spending time with my mentor. I often went to see her for Shabbat, and I would pray as I kneaded the dough for the Challah and as I lit the Shabbat candles. I was praying constantly, even on the train as I commuted to and from work every day. I was asking Hashem to send me the right man, as well as praying for clarity, so that I would recognize my soul mate when he appeared.
I also continued to date as much as I could. I accepted set-ups, I tried JDate, I tried SawYouAtSinai…everything I could think of! I didn’t care how I found him; I just wanted to find him. I wanted real connection. I wanted a true partner with whom I could grow in love, friendship, compatibility, values, and spirituality.
After all my hard work toward self-improvement, Hashem heard my prayers! The man I met at that time who became my husband is everything I ever prayed for. In fact, he exceeds what I prayed for! We both feel so blessed to have found each other. I’ve truly never been happier.
What fascinates me is that my husband has a daughter from his previous marriage who is the same age as Julie. By helping that little girl and serving Hashem, I got to practice for motherhood. My husband said that he was drawn to me initially in part because no woman he’d ever dated had really connected with his daughter the way I could. I knew I was able to make that connection because of my connection with Julie.
After I got married, I became a real mother to my husband’s daughter, and we decided to adopt Julie, too. Then I gave birth to a son. I feel so blessed!
I still bake challah for Shabbat, and I still pray, and I feel more than ever that faith and prayer and giving are invaluable. Hashem listens to us, and when we are prepared, He sends us what we need.
Articles delivered through a partnership between the OU and SawYouAtSinai.
Ziva Kramer- Ziva has been a matchmaker, dating coach and spiritual advisor for professional singles in New York City for many years. She gives seminars all over the country and she is well known for her inspiring, standing-room-only seminars and her “no-nonsense” approach to the art of romantic fulfillment. http://zivakramer.com/
SawYouAtSinai – With over 30,000 members and over 1,300 engaged members since 2004, SawYouAtSinai is the largest Jewish matchmaking network. Through its sites JRetroMatch, which focuses on secular Jewish singles, and SawYouAtSinai, which focuses on Yeshivish and Orthodox Jewish singles receive the personal touch of a matchmaker to facilitate each member’s unique personality & needs. Matchmakers pre-screen, select and send matches to members, and with profiles only accessible to compatible singles, privacy and discretion is maintained. With 300+ experienced matchmakers, SawYouAtSinai serves Traditional, Conservative, Yeshivish and Orthodox Jewish singles from communities around the world. People can sign up today at SawYouAtSinai.com. Plus, find out about upcoming Jewish Singles Events at JewishToDo.com.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.