I've been a negligent blogger as of late, my apologies. I have no real excuse as to why I didn't post over the Sukkos break, but at least I'm back now...
Man is it ever that much colder here in New York than below the Mason-Dixon! We're talking a difference of 30 degrees Fahrenheit! I will miss the lovely fall weather of the hometown (even if it went back to the 80's the last few days of the break), and now it's time to break out the sweaters/fleeces/sweat shirts/heavy coats etc...
Onto other things...
I must say that I've never had a harder decision to end a dating relationship before tonight. It has always been easy in the past when there was an overt difference that produced a palpable incapability. Parenthetically, more often than not I've noticed that it isn't usually just one thing, but a few issues bundled together that confirms the desire to not continue with another date. But this person was very different. I don't think I've ever gone out with anyone who was simply so perfect in every way possible, hashkafa, family background, personality, sense of humor, you name it. She is an absolutely amazing person, perhaps the finest I've ever had the privilege of taking out.
So what was the issue that created the curtain call you may ask? Chemistry.
I have often heard people belittling the concept of chemistry, or taking the opposite approach and testifying to the fact that if they don't experience fireworks, then clearly there isn't anything worth talking about. I don't really hold of either of those opinions (Grey Area Alert), but I haven't really emphasized those butterfly-in-the-guts feelings before this recently concluded shidduch. Either the feeling was there, and the dating lasted for a few weeks (or a month or two) and other "red flags" signaled long-term incapability, or there was not enough substance to the developing relationship that I never bothered to notice that the little winged insects were sleeping on the job, on coffee break, taking a vacation or whatever.
I could envision her very clearly as a caring companion, close friend, someone who would be incredibly easy to talk to and confide in... but an uneasy feeling deep within me gave rise to a voice that drowned out the many positive attributes I took notice of. I simply couldn't see her as a wife.
And that really bothered me. Really, really bothered me - because everything else was perfectly compatible in so many myriad ways that I have not experienced before. While it is certainly difficult to make up one's mind when there are several issues that balance out on the internal shidduch evaluation scale, it's far more frustrating to have the positive side weighed down almost completely and have a seemingly small, nit picky thing overpower that assembled pile of merits.
It reminds me a little of a remark that Rav Willig made at the most recent YU Connects event that took place before the break. He said that people often take the incorrect approach in thinking that just because someone wasn't for you, it automatically means he/she wouldn't work for someone else you know. He said that people should start to readjust their method of thinking and when a shidduch doesn't work out, try to think of someone they know to set up with their ex-date. It certainly is a noble concept, and it would be nice to find it more practically applied in our dating circles.
While I have not really considered anyone I've gone out with in those terms, this is perhaps the first person I would wholeheartedly recommend without a single reservation, simply because she is such a wonderful person... just not for me - but certainly for the lucky guy who will eventually marry her (at the appropriate time, hopefully sooner than later).
It feels odd to be happy, with a tinge of sadness, at this crossroads. I truly believe I made the right decision (and this was after a few dates of hoping my own feelings might change, given a chance), I detect a sense of positive hope welling up within me. Every person that someone goes out with is a step in the ongoing journey to find that certain special individual who is the one. A friend once quoted Rabbi Reichman ("Sr.") that each person that one goes out with has some sort of spark of your "other half" that you reclaim during that courtship, however brief or long that may be. The right person, in the end, will be the sum of all those little sparks, thereby reuniting you with your full other self. (At least I think that was the sum of the idea presented to me. Either way, it works nicely).
If I had to sum up the swirling emotional mixture floating in my head right now in one word, I'd say I feel "encouraged." If this last person, who was so wonderful, wasn't Ms. Right, then perhaps the next person will be... or at least I could be getting closer and closer...
To conclude this post, a short poem:
The future is bright.
I am unnable to see the end of my adventure
Because of the glare that fills my gaze.
Even so, I welcome the new beginning.