I am starting to lose faith in ever finding love. After swearing I would never go on another blind date again, I succumbed after a friend said, “You’ve gotta meet this girl.” It was a disaster. I don’t know if I should give up on blind dates, or just give up altogether. Any message of hope for the dated-out?


The saintly Rabbi Yisroel of Ruzhin had an unusual custom when it came to matchmaking. He would give a sizable monetary gift to anyone who suggested a match for one of his children, even if the couple didn’t hit it off and the match didn’t work out. It is customary to pay a matchmaker when a successful match is made. But to pay a matchmaker for a mismatch was unheard of. So why did Rabbi Yisroel do just that? He explained:

In heaven it is announced who your soulmate is before you are born. An angel looks at your soul and then calls out the name of your soulmate. But do you think the angel gets it right the first time? Not always. Often the angel suggests a name, and G‑d nixes it. So the angel proposes another possible soulmate, and again G‑d says no. Sometimes a long list of names is called out until the right one is reached and G‑d gives His approval. Each one of those names has potential to be your soulmate. But only one is destined to be yours.

Then your soul comes down here to this world and starts its search for the one. What you don’t realize is that you need to meet all those other potential soulmates before you can meet your ultimate one. That’s why I pay not only a matchmaker who is successful, but even one who suggests a match that doesn’t work out. Because every failed relationship brings you one step closer to your soulmate.

This gives a whole new perspective on dates that go nowhere and relationships that fizzle out. They should not leave us jaded or discouraged. The lessons we learn and the experiences we gain are necessary rungs on our ladder to happiness.

So, should you go on every blind date anyone ever suggests? Should you indiscriminately meet any random person, just to tally up the necessary bad dates and get to the real thing? Rabbi Yisroel answered that one too.

There was once a sly character in his community who was short on cash. He thought he could make a quick buck by suggesting a random match for one of Rabbi Yisroel’s sons. Knowing he would be paid even if it failed, he mentioned the name of the first single girl that came to mind. Rabbi Yisroel heard his suggestion patiently and said, “Some matches seem good to angels in heaven. Others at least seem reasonable to people on earth. Yours is neither.”

Don’t waste your time on hit-and-miss dating suggestions. But if someone comes up with a reasonable idea for a match, even though we don’t know if it was made in heaven, give it a try down here on earth. If it doesn’t work, it is not a failure, it is a step forward. And if you are open to it, you may even learn something about yourself and what you are looking for from the encounter. Thank the matchmaker, and thank the person you met too, for bringing your soulmate one date closer.