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Why You Have to be the One to Find the One

Why You Have to be the One to Find the One


If you want to find your soulmate, you have to look inside yourself first.

As a dating coach, I’ve heard every complaint in the book about dating, but one of my favorites goes something like this: “There aren’t any Jewish singles for me in [fill in your city], New York, L.A., Chicago, Topeka, so I’m preparing to move to Israel.”

Guess what? Singles in Jerusalem, in neighborhoods like Katamon (known as the swamp for dating) are saying the same thing: “If I move, it will be better.” It’s the classic case of the grass being greener on the other side—and yet, while we know the proverb, we still haven’t internalized its truth.

Despite the overload of relationship advice out there, at the end of the day, the most important voice in the matter is your ownBut if dating problems aren’t truly related to locale, what is it? What will stop your friends’ well-meaning critiques about your fashion choices, the unsolicited matchmaker appointments or your mother signing up on to find a mate for you?

The answer is simple: you.

Being the One

Despite the overload of relationship advice out there, at the end of the day, the most important voice in the matter is your own. It’s possible to transcend the superficial—or just plain wrong—messages bombarding you, and instead break through for your own revelations about love and marriage.

If you want to find the person G‑d intended for you, you have a responsibility to focus on preparing yourself. Maturity, generosity and self-awareness are three key elements of marriage readiness; without them, you can’t truly complement your partner. Ask yourself the tough questions about whether you are truly ready for marriage, both the joy and the sacrifice included in that commitment.

Be the one G‑d intended you to be—your wonderfully unique self—and you will find the one He intended for you. That brings us to the third element of marriage readiness: self-awareness.

Attitude Is Everything (and Actions Should Match)

Kabbalah tells us, and our own experiences reinforce this: tactile, sensory experiences aren’t the only reality in this world. As much as anything else, the intangible influences the tangible. Our attitudes affect our actions, and we’re not always as self-aware as we should be.

You might recognize some of these contradictions regarding your attitude about dating:

  • Do you say you want to get married, but don’t date regularly?
  • Do you want someone who is loving, forgiving and tender, but you don’t exhibit those same qualities on dates?
  • Do you pretend everything is fine when in fact, deep down, you feel unsettled and unhappy?

It’s time to get real and be authentic about these inconsistencies, or what I call blind spots: habits and attitudes of which you’re often unaware, but that dramatically shape your dating experience.

Blind spots keep us from achieving happiness and fulfillment in ourselves and in relationships. They also create negative patterns with the kind of person we attract. While frustrating, these patterns can clue you in to changes you need to make; if you’re the only constant in the equation, you’re what needs to change!

It’s only when you can honestly evaluate yourself that real change can happen. Choose your attitude, and make sure your actions align with that perspective.

The Challenge

Being single and longing for your soulmate is no easy place to be; I know because I’ve been there. I went through several unsatisfying, mismatched relationships, and always attracted men who were wrong for me—until I had a breakthrough! And that breakthrough was that it was me attracting those men all along; by unconsciously questioning my own lovability, I attracted men who would question it too.

By unconsciously questioning my own lovability, I attracted men who would question it tooDespite the challenge of singleness, I also know this: a negative, cynical attitude about dating based on past experiences doesn’t help you attract the positive, loving partner who’s out there for you. The kind of energy you exude will be reflected in the individuals who are attracted to you.

The easy answer to being stuck in unfulfilling relationships and dating experiences is to either give up or stick with the status quo of complaining, just waiting for things to change on their own. But the better answer—the one that can transform your life for the better—involves taking action.

You can choose your attitude about dating. You can choose to not compare yourself to your friends’ experiences. You can choose to find clarity in your unique journey toward love. It starts with you.

Bari Lyman is founder and CEO of Meet to Marry. She coaches marriage-minded singles to find their soulmate. Read more about how to “Be the One to Find the One” here.
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Eunice Nigeria February 26, 2015

your write up is quite interesting and also realistic Reply

Mr. Marc ventnor, J USA June 30, 2014

SOULMATES I enjoyed this article on Soul mates and I have not found mine and I am still looking for her. I ^m almost 61yrs. old and I am not depressed or concerned about this issue. I feel complete and while I know that my other half is probably out there looking for me, well , I put my complete faith in HaShem that when I am ready we will find each other. And being a man of faith I know that our love will transcend time and last forever! Reply

Sharim Rosenfeld manila, Philippines April 4, 2012

i can't agree with you more well i believe that honesty is the best policy..and i'd rather be honest with my partner than be sorry in the end..that's from my personal experience. well hope to find that someone special.:) Reply

Anonymous Community, USA January 30, 2012

Location, Location, Location When I moved to a smaller community, in America, I was warned it would be hard to find a husband. I had other reasons for moving there, but the point was well taken.

My husband, upon moving to the community two years before me was asked the same question by his rabbi, how would he meet a girl in such a small community. He had come to accept he'd be a bachelor and that was where work was leading him.

Despite being in a small community, we rarely crossed paths and yet crossed paths more often than we realized. We did not make setting us up easy, but stubborn women and a little determination go a long ways to getting two people out to coffee. To our surprise, we liked each other and continued to see one another. Ten months later, we married and are now expecting our first child.

The point is, in all our efforts, Hashem brought us where we needed to be to meet, but it was up to us to make that date. That and for my husband to show up with a board game I'd never seen. Reply

Anonymous San Francisco, CA January 6, 2012

something to think about From the article:
If you’re the only constant in the equation, you’re what needs to change!

Good advice! Reply

Anonymous Miami, Fl January 6, 2012

writing your profile I couldn't agree more! I was just telling a matchmaker that each time I have the opportunity to write or rewrite my own profile, I get to know myself better and better. Singles! Use these moments wisely! Don't just go down the dating web-site check list clicking off the boxes. Look inside yourself, and become the best you that you can possibly be. That is the person who will powerfully and positively attract his or her intended mate, may it be soon, in an easy and revealed way! Reply

Anonymous Thornhill, Ontario January 3, 2012

I agree, a great basis for a good relationship.

I have been married for 30 years and yet when I was asked at my daughter-in-law's showers for some good advice I couldn't think of anything! Next time I'll direct them here. Reply

cecilia sacharow jerusalem, israel December 12, 2011

find self before find mate. excellent insight and advise.
as a clinical social worker dealing with individuals and couples for over 30 years I can attest to the depth and truth of what Bari taught
b'vracha Reply

Anonymous December 11, 2011

It's not so simple... While I think Ms. Lyman offers a great basic premise I think there is definitely more to what she offers than this. As a 30 something single who has in fact moved from NYC to Jerusalem and back again and as someone who has done therapy, continuous cheshbon hanefesh and countless personal growth courses much like the landmark courses Ms. Lyman references in her book the bottom line is that only Hashem is in control and not until He decides will we meet the right one. I think everyone, all Jews, should be refining their characteristics and doing an accounting of the soul but ultimately only Hashem is in control. Reply

Dina Jerusalem, Israel December 11, 2011

Great advice! Thanks for the great dating advice! Your message is important and true. Reply

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