EmunaDating: Dating Is Not Just About Finding Your Husband

By Raizel Druxman

When I was in my early 20’s and living in New York, I dated a stream of guys that chose me. I’m not saying this to brag, in fact, I wish I had seen it more clearly back then. The pattern was that I would meet a guy who wanted to go out with me and after the first date, when it was clear to me that this wasn’t going to be the guy for me, I would still go out with him until it was too glaring to ignore or he felt my disinterest and he broke up. 

I think my dating habits were based on a combination of feeling that someone wanted me, not having the confidence to assert my needs and letting someone else steer the relationship. I remember thinking, why can’t I just meet someone who is normal and I really click with? But it seems that I needed to learn a few things along the way. All those people I met, all the guys I went out with, were all messengers trying to teach me the same thing. They were all trying to get me to see where my thinking about myself, and my relationship to other people, was getting in my way. 

When I was 21, I dated someone who was much older than me and it was hands-down the least healthy relationship (if you can call it that) I had. I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t a good idea and his emotional baggage triggered me in a lot of unhealthy ways. I resolved to break up with him, but it turned out to be not so simple. The memory is still so vivid. As I was trying to break up with him, he gave me a look of devastation that was heartbreaking. In that moment my heart sank because I knew that if I didn’t break up with him at that moment, I wouldn’t be able to for a long time after that, yet, I felt powerless to do anything but stay with him. 

Thank God, I learned. After every date experience and after every relationship, I learned more about myself; about the way I thought and about the way I related to men. I saw the pattern that strung every unhealthy dating experience together and was blown away by how I had done the same thing over and over again. With that awareness alone, I was able to grow, heal, assert my needs, and realize my own value. 

Now, at 27, I am more emotionally healthy and confident and I see very quickly and clearly when I revert back to old habits and thinking, so I can catch myself and bounce back almost immediately. Because of that, it seems that dates these days, that are not my husband-to-be, are messengers for other reasons.
A few months ago, out of the blue, my brother-in-law’s friend called me up with a shidduch idea. He thought of a guy for me who he used to work with, Aaron (name changed), who is a total mensch (good guy) and he highly respects. I’m into the whole “mensch” thing, so I said, “Sure, sounds good!” 

We met up in the afternoon for a coffee and chatted for about 2 hours. I didn’t feel chemistry with him and I honestly didn’t think he was my husband, but he was a really interesting and cool guy so I wanted to give it another date. My brother-in-law’s friend called me a few days later and said that Aaron wasn’t interested in going out again. After my brief shock, because no guy had ever said no after the first date, I let go of my ego and moved on. A few weeks later, we ran into each other at a Purim party, hit it off and became friends. 

A few weeks into my friendship with Aaron, my sister told me that my Dad was coming to Israel with my two half-siblings (10 and 13) and I started freaking out. My parents got divorced when I was 9 and my relationship with my Dad has been pretty non-existent or tumultuous since then. At this point, I hadn’t seen him for 5 years and hadn’t spoken to him in 2 years so you can understand why my anxiety started to rise. I knew I needed to address our relationship but I had no idea how. 

One day I opened up to Aaron about my anxiety about seeing my Dad and he wanted to help so I talked it through with him. Over the last year he had been learning about Innate Health or The 3 Principles, which is a way of understanding the way our thoughts and minds operate. We talked for an hour but, unfortunately, I left feeling just as anxious. After letting his words stew, two days later I had an epiphany about my Dad that changed everything. When he and my young siblings came, it was incredible. We had a wonderful visit and the anxiety, sadness and turmoil that I used to feel when I was with my Dad had completely disappeared. 

Any of you who have a difficult relationship with a parent will be able to appreciate the weight that had been lifted from my shoulders; a weight that had been there almost my entire life.

It turns out that the random shidduch idea from my brother-in-law’s friend wasn’t my husband, but he was God’s messenger to give me an incredible gift. 

Hopefully, sometime in the near future, one of these dates will be my husband. But in the meantime, I am grateful for all the messengers God keeps sending my way. 

We’ll see what message the next one brings.

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