Whenever my friend and I have a ladies’ night out, we always end up in some type of philosophical conversation. Most recently, we got to talking about whether we had become complacent with being single. Should we make more of an effort when it comes to dating, or should we just put our faith in G-d?
Lately, I find myself struggling with this delicate balance of trusting that G-d is in control, while at the same time putting in the effort. Does believing that G-d is in control give me an excuse for complacency? Does being reassured that there is someone out there who is destined for me suggest that I can sit back, relax, and wait? I don’t think singles should be complacent and sit and wait for the heavens to open and drop Mr. Right down from the sky. At the same time, I live “out-of-town” (shorthand for someone who lives outside New York/New Jersey), I have a fulfilling job, wonderful friends and family, and a meaningful life. Is it enough to say, “G-d knows my address and when the time is right He will make sure I meet my better half?”
Meeting someone new reflects that balancing game of not wanting to be single but being unsure whether someone is worth pursuing further. If a first date was pleasant — it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great — should I be complacent and move on, or give this person another shot? A voice inside of me says that relationships take time to develop; it’s impossible to know if you want to marry someone after the first date. If I don’t give it another shot, I will complain that I’m alone and lonely. But how much of an effort am I willing to make when it is so much easier to perpetuate the status quo? The status quo means being single, so if I want to get married, that means making more of an effort. It may even mean traveling an hour out of my way on a Saturday night to meet someone (wink wink, nudge nudge).
I think the best advice I could offer singles when it comes to avoiding complacency in dating is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You may not want to be single, but dating by can be quite uncomfortable by comparison — the awkward first dates, pathetic singles events, putting yourself out there only to get rejected — and you may find yourself leaning toward passivity because it is the path of least discomfort.
Yes, dating is uncomfortable, but if you want to get married, marriage isn’t all about comfort, either. Sometimes marriage demands means going out of your comfort zone for the person you love. To find that special person, you need to step up and take a chance, over and over again. I know I believe the reward will be worth the risk, and worth the wait.
By Shaina Gold
Shaina Gold is an elementary school teacher pursuing her master’s degree in education.