Sivan 5767 – Dating After A Broken Engagement

Sivan 5767
Reader Write – Dating after a Broken Engagement

A LETTER IN RESPONSE TO MRS. SILVER’S LETTER CONCERNING DATING AFTER BROKEN ENGAGEMENTS – WRITTEN BY A JEMSEM READER WHO WENT THROUGH A BROKEN ENGAGEMENT

I’m not exactly the best person to ask when it comes to these things; it looks like Mrs. Silver hit on all the major points I can think of…I’ve tried a few of these techniques myself in the past, and they definitely made me feel better… !

Because some of this subject matter is near and dear to my heart :-), when I read the question, I decided to do a little exercise for myself and write a few points. As it turns out, many of the concepts are very similar:

Before you begin dating again, make sure you feel emotionally ready to move on and start again….Take time to heal, reflect and talk things out with someone you trust. It is valid to have fear of rejection after such a traumatic experience, but that fear should not paralyze you. If you feel like this may be the case, it is important to speak to someone to help you overcome this before jumping back into the dating scene. Once you feel that you are ready to start again, it is wise to have a mentor to help you through the process, especially as new fears and frustrations arise…Here are a few points to help you move forward:

1) *Be Proactive* – reflect on the relationship that fell through and learn from it. It is very important to have emuna and bitachon- Hashem has a plan and everything that happens is really for the best. Try to learn something from what occurred, either about yourself or about how you relate to others, there is so much to learn from every situation, take the opportunity to be honest with yourself and grow from it. Begin to work on overcoming your fears of moving on, allowing yourself to trust another person and becoming emotionally available BEFORE you are actually in a new relationship. This may include speaking to someone who can help you identify and overcome these issues, such as a therapist or rabbi.

2) *Avoid Depression* – although it is hard to see the good in something that feels so awful, accept what has happened and know in your heart (and say it out loud) that Hashem loves you and that in fact, you are the recipient of great kindness. See the hashgacha in your situation and be thankful- B’H this ended before an engagement announcement or wedding. Know that just as Hashem saved you from a situation that would not have been good for you, He will help you find the person who really is best for you. It is normal to have a bad day once in a while, but don’t let it consume you. Try to avoid boredom by keeping busy, and remember that you have the power to change your negative thoughts to positive ones. Talking to a friend or “getting it out” by writing your thoughts and feelings down may help you feel better.

3) *Be Open* – after a breakup, it’s very common to have your guard up when “sizing up” new potentials. Try not to carry the baggage of your past into a new relationship. This new person is not the one who broke up with you, so try not to retreat when it’s time to open up. There are times you just can’t help but compare one person to another, but remember that each and every person is unique and different. Just because one person reacted a certain way, doesn’t mean another will react the same way. Communication is essential in any relationship; if you’re not sure how the other person feels or if you feel a certain way, never assume that he can read your mind, or that you can read his, talk it out and don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you are in the mode of second guessing your ability to tell whether or not he is worthy of your heart, it may make you feel better, when appropriate, to have someone you respect meet this new guy. Sometimes a little reassurance from someone you already trust can go a long way. It is also important to have someone to talk to throughout the dating process, and to be receptive to their advice. Talking things out can help you become in touch with your feelings, and an objective party can help to guide you through and clarify any confusion that may arise.

4) *Daven* – Ultimately, Hashem provides us with all our needs, and we must always remember that we are in His hands. As much as we like to be in control of what happens to us, regardless of any hishtadlus we may do, it is really not up to us to decide what happens. Coming to terms with this can actually be very comforting. In life, you have the power to make the right decision, but Hashem controls the outcome. Take a leap of faith: Acknowledge that Hashem is the provider of all our needs, concede all false feelings of control and pour out your heart to our loving Father. The release can be both satisfying and uplifting, and it can be the key to opening up your heart.