Soft Gloom

There’s a soft sadness that accompanies the end to any dating streak. Even if you knew it wouldn’t work, even if you broke it off yourself, it’s the end of a hope that leaves you in a slump.

Everything always sounds so great on paper. You felt sure that this just might be the one. Your imagination was going at full speed as you checked yourself in the mirror one last time. Everything seemed right; nothing could possibly come up and impede. Then you go out. You discover that it’s the blanks between the lines that speak the loudest. You begin to wonder how anyone can ever pick a true soul-mate out from among the masses, and if you ever will. You glumly surf the ‘net late into the night with glazed eyes, gazing moodily at the ecstatic faces in the “Engagements” section of OnlySimchas and skimming the backlog of BadforShidduchim, trying to find something to cheer you up. Nothing does, so you slowly drag yourself off to bed.

The next day your friend catches you staring into space and jokingly asks if you’re getting engaged. You give a bittersweet smile and tell her not to worry—there’s no danger. But as the day progresses you get wrapped up in the here and now, and slowly you ease out of it. There’s a grand present to live, and so much to do, and one more person you’re glad you don’t have to do it with, and so many more still available to meet. Life’s good—and you’re not going to waste it wallowing in gloom.

 

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18 thoughts on “Soft Gloom

  1. Well said. However, sometimes at the end dating a guy I feel so relieved and FREE! Some of my most inspired times have come after dating. I think the freedom feeling probably comes cuz dating the wrong guy drags you down and doesn’t allow you to fully be yourself.

    Of course there are also the feelings of “just let me go home to my cozy comfy apartment and curl up on my favorite chair and never leave it” or the “I have to get the heck out of here and go to Israel for a bit.”

  2. Every word you wrote is so true. When you date there is always that ‘maybe this will be THE one’..and even if you reject, it’s still difficult. Even if you feel free after that cuz the indecision is over..but the dating and the hopes are over for now. Hope the next one is the right one in the right time.

  3. single chickita,

    Is it a ‘thing’ to get away and go to Israel when you’ve hit a slump, slow period or similar?

    [I thought I was the only one :)]

  4. Yep! I just came back from time off in Israel and i’m certainly uplifted and refreshed ready to embrace the shidduch scene again.

  5. Yeah, been there/done that.
    Onwards and upwards as they say in my family.

    one thing…”You glumly surf the ‘net late into the night with glazed eyes, gazing moodily at the ecstatic faces in the “Engagements” section of OnlySimchas”…this is my biggest issue w/ that website and why i feel it does far more harm than any small amount of “good” that it may provide.

  6. U hit it on the nail! glad to hear i am not the only one. It’s also the hardest when you go out with someone and goes past the first 2-3 dates and once its over it can be such a letdown even if your the one to end it. Because it means back to square one… back to a lounge… back to it being more formal, having to meet someone for the first time again…

  7. That’s the right way to look at it. How else could one possibly deal with a pressure cooker kind of situation like this where the stakes have never been higher?

    Look at it this way: Let’s imagine that we’ve been told that we have a limited amount of time to meet & marry, kind of like the reality TV program that culminates in a marriage proposal over the course of 6-8 weeks. (eligible bachelors and bachelorettes vie for the attention of a potential suitor)

    Ridiculous, right? Well, this program exists both on TV and in real life – with the shidduch system. Sure, you could get married tomorrow if you really wanted, and make a lot of people “happy,” but is that the right thing to do?

    On the other hand, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that someone better will always come along. That is paralyzing. My personal opinion is that a variety of candidates can be your bashert. Each one has plusses and minuses, and it’s a matter of finding the one with the fewest minusses and greatest plusses. Keep working within the bounds of the system, and someone good will come along. It’s not a system I used, but flawed as it is, I know it does work for many.

  8. I cannot empathize yet, but I can sympathize and imagine. I am sorry, and that feeling sounds exactly accurate. I know that it rings true with possible shidduchim as well, when we either turn them down or get turned down. Although most wont admit it, with each name that is suggested, we each imagine the wedding, the life together, and the future.

    Just know that someone who is right for you, and who you will feel that you want to continue and spend your life together with, is out there. And you do not need to settle for someone whom you do not really feel anything for just because it is easier than starting anew.

    🙂 *hugs*

  9. My least favorite part:
    “your friend catches you staring into space and jokingly asks if you’re getting engaged.”

    Joking or not, I think it’s one of the least sensitive things one can say to a person who’s in shidduchim. When I get engaged, you’ll know. Until then, leave me alone.

  10. One thing that strikes me as rather difficult about the shidduch system is the extreme length one goes to keep the process and particulars very, very private. I know this can be chalked up to tznius and lashon hora avoidance, but it seems odd.

    When friends have to ask each other if they are yet engaged — or even dating — it seems like there are very few objective, non-family- members in whom one can confide during the process. That must be frustrating and intimidating, no?

    Wondering what percentage of shidduch daters stay mum, even to close friends, until they get engaged? I can probably think of a few reasons why they might, but is this a chiyuv or chumra? Should it be more relaxed?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. It would seem to me that the law of supply and demand would require a great deal of “advertisement” of the “products.” The more people who know someone is dating the more chance that a date will materialize. I think the NY STate Lottery has it right: “You have to be in it to win it.” The more people who are involved, the more “tickets” you get, the greater your chances of winning. Perhaps the real problem is that, having purchased you a ticket, other people are staying too involved in the process. As was said above if you get engaged you’ll let everyone know. Until then, thanks for the ticket but I can read the numbers without your input.

  12. Yes, it’s important for people to know that someone is dating, as in, “in shidduchim.” But I think there are a lot of benefits to keeping the particulars private. I avoid discussing my comings and goings with all but my closest friends (meaning one to three friends, not a whole chevra) and I find it very uncomfortable when I get caught in a gossipy conversation about these topics.

    If you’re that interested, I can do a post about my reasons for keeping quiet.

  13. Bas Melech – yes, a post on the topic of secrecy would be enlightning. I guess I can understand it from the standpoint of rumor-management, but my impression is that particulars of shidduch dating aren’t even discussed with close friends. And when one is seeing a parade of men in a short period of time, you don’t want to dwell on any one of them unless it gets serious…but still. The result is no outlet for discussion and analysis with objective non-family-members. And you end up with the same kind of surprise as if someone became pregnant. B4S’s description of how someone in the parsha, whose clothes, hair and makeup are analyzed ad nauseum, seems awfully close to how a newlywed’s clothes are analyzed for telltale signs of pregnancy.

  14. Bas Melech – yes, a post on the topic of secrecy would be enlightning. I guess I can understand it from the standpoint of rumor-management, but my impression is that particulars of shidduch dating aren’t even discussed with close friends. And when one is seeing a parade of men in a short period of time, you don’t want to dwell on any one of them unless it gets serious…but still. The result is no outlet for discussion and analysis with objective non-family-members. And you end up with the same kind of surprise as if someone became pregnant. B4S’s description of how someone in the parsha, whose clothes and makeup are analyzed ad nauseum, seems awfully close to how a newlywed’s clothes are analyzed for pregnancy.

  15. G- Are you kidding me? I LOVE onlysimchas!! If someone gets depressed looking at the engagement section, just stay away.

  16. Pingback: Friday Repost: The Post-Date Recession | Bad for Shidduchim

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