dating games celebrating 58.
(photo credit: Pepe Fainburg)
I’m constantly talking about “The Search for Beshert,” about finding “The One” or holding off for “Mr. (or Mrs.) Right” – but at the same time, I just don’t know if there is only one soulmate for each of us. When I was 20 and in college, I dated and lived with a guy for a year. Back then, I would have told you he was the one for me, and that we were going to get married and have six kids and live happily ever after. We planned our wedding down to the groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearers.
Then he transferred to a university in another state, and when I wouldn’t go with him he broke up with me, leaving me heartbroken and depressed. Six months later, I had an awakening and realized that the heartbreak had caused me to grow up and change for the better. I realized I could never imagine myself with that guy, and couldn’t believe I had spent a year with him!
When he came crawling back, soon after, I was confidently able to tell him that the best thing he did for me was break my heart. He may have been 1999 Tamar’s idea of a soulmate, but we would for sure have been divorced by now, as I wasn’t done maturing as a woman or as a person.
Tamar 2000 was a different woman who knew that I was going to keep evolving through my twenties and beyond, and that even Tamar 2000 wasn’t ready to get married quite yet.
Five years and a few unsuccessful relationships later, I had another awakening. I decided to start taking dating more seriously and only date Jewish men, so I signed up for J*Date and my evolution into the person I am today really began.
Once I really learned what I wanted, who I was and where I saw my life going, I was better able to figure out who would make the short list for my heart. Obviously not every guy – nor every second, third or fourth guy – that I dated could be my beshert, but more than a few did make the cut.
For three years I went on tons of J*Dates, agreed to be set up on blind
dates and attended dozens of Jewish events. None of the dates or even
the minor relationships proved to be fruitful – but they did get me
prepared for when I met “S.”
When I first saw “S,” I did feel a jolt through my body. But if you
recall, I had to get his attention – not exactly ideal in my book. Once
we started talking, though, the conversation never stopped. And that,
mixed with the attraction that grew between us as we continued getting
to know each other, was what sealed the deal.
At the time we met, we were both ready to meet someone… The One. We had
both matured as much as we each could on our own, and were ready for
the next stage. Had I not met “S” that night, I probably would have
moved cities and possibly met someone shortly thereafter; because I was
ready – not to say that “S” isn’t my beshert, but because I understood
then more than ever the reality of dating and the capacity of human
I didn’t – and still don’t – believe that there is only one person out
there for you, that lighting will strike when you meet each other, that
he or she will fall out of the sky, or that you will fall in love at
first sight. In order to meet your soulmate you have to make it happen.
If you meet someone you like, and he or she encompasses the “must-have”
items on your list, and you are willing to accept or compromise on the
other items – and the other person also feels strongly enough about you
to do the same – then that person could be your beshert. Your soulmate
isn’t going to necessarily encompass every item on your list, nor will
you be everything he or she is looking for – that does not a soulmate
The thing is, I do believe “S” is my beshert, but not because some
cosmic force propelled us toward each other. Rather it was because of a
mixture of a number of components, including timing, maturation and the
willingness to compromise. We were at the right place at the right
time, and in the right frame of mind.
Man, am I glad I waited and didn’t settle! Too many people reach their
breaking-point and are just so sick of dating that they pick the best
of the “just okay,” and figure that may be as good as it gets (and
maybe it is for them) instead of getting what they need from the
relationship, and then moving on.
It may sound daunting, and I’m sure many singletons probably feel like
they’re looking down a tunnel and not seeing the light at the end – but
it will happen, it (almost) always does.
Be active, be patient and keep an open mind.
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