Words of Wisdom

A selection from HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH*: The Love Coach’s Guide to Finding Your Mate
(*Mensch: a decent, responsible person even your mother would love)

Taken from Chapter 2: ACT LIKE YOU WANT TO MARRY A MENSCH: Walk the Mensch Walk

REAL MENSCHES DON'T EAT JUST MATZO BALLS: CHUCK THE CHECKLIST and the MATZO MEAL

A person need not be Jewish to be a mensch, as we’ve clarified. Mensches come in all sizes, shapes, sexes and religions, and they don’t necessarily love matzo balls or know how to make them. Each has his own menschisms, meaning manners, personality and behavior. You must not judge a person by how you think they should act based on preconceived notions or stereotypes. Establish what you want in a mate, but be open-minded. You can never get everything, as I stated previously. This doesn't mean compromising standards, just being flexible and realistic and prioritizing.

Think about what makes for a good marriage. Look at couples you know who are happy. Do they really talk to each other? Are they both ambitious? Do they enjoy doing things together? Are they of equal intelligence? Do they both pitch in when it comes to taking care of the kids and/or their home? These are important questions.

A person is not bad just because they don't act as you would hope. You can't judge another's actions if they fall short of your own, unless you feel taken advantage of by them. If that’s the case, the relationship isn’t a healthy one. It is a lot to assume a love interest, or even friend or family member, will meet all your expectations. One way to look at it is that each individual dwells in their own world and has a belief system they create for themselves. Due in large part to our upbringing and past history, our belief system, which is likely false, will easily rule our thoughts and not allow us to respect the differences in people. It can also block you from meeting a mensch because you are so consumed with scrutiny that no one will meet your sky high standards.

We are influenced by what we perceive a marriage should be from witnessing our parent’s marriage….good or bad. We were also each raised to believe that life has certain possibilities or limitations, and this influences our thinking. The right mate can potentially help you get past that, but ideally you are able to work on yourself so that you can make the best choice in a mensch, and not look to someone to make you whole or happy. You might be happier with a mensch by your side, but your MRM shouldn’t be your sole source of joy. Often we choose mates to help us resolve issues from the past or even bring to the surface challenging relationships we’ve had with parents, so we can learn to rise above.

Take a look at a free spirit, if you know one. They live in the moment, don’t overanalyze, go about their lives, etc. Notice how they may socialize with abandon and date up a storm. Perhaps because they live for today, they are able to take each date for what it’s worth without attaching an outcome to it. Imagine how freeing that might be. Pretend you are a free spirit. Are you able? Do you think it would empower you to date more? Would dates become more fun because you’re less nervous about how each one might turn out? Would you open your mind to different types of people? Would your conversation be more upbeat because you’re not focusing on your dating history, disappointments, etc.? Would you be able to stop trying to determine if each guy is Mr. Right Mensch (especially during the date) because you are placing greater reliance on your inner faith and trust that it will happen when it’s meant to?

Give ‘n take is part of any relationship, and we all come to a situation with a different set of values and experiences. These impact our expectations of a mate. If you marry someone similar to yourself in terms of interests and attitude, it is more likely you will have a good marriage. One of the keys to a fulfilling relationship is knowing that you can actually live without one….that you’d be okay and could fend for yourself. It takes a lot of pressure off you if you aren’t looking for someone to take care of you, but rather someone to complement you.

ACT LIKE YOU WANT TO MARRY A MENSCH, DON'T JUST THINK IT

You need to make meeting Mr. Right Mensch a priority in your heart and mind. Many single people say they want to get married, but don't act like they do. I mentioned this earlier, but want to reinforce it here. These people think about it and are convinced it’s a priority, but when push comes to shove, they really aren’t committed to making marriage a reality. If you take just one message from this book, I hope it is this: Saying something and really wanting it enough to do something about it are two different things.

Does that make sense to you? Are you able to proclaim with complete conviction that you really want to get married sooner than later, or do you just think you do? You can save yourself a lot of agony if you admit that you can, in fact, live without becoming a Mrs. Mensch. There is nothing wrong with being single, but it’s up to you to decide what you want for your future. Many people unmarried, unattached, even celibate and happy. You have the choice.

Whose voice are you hearing in your head when it comes to marriage? Is it your own? Your mother’s? Your father’s? Your best friend’s? The dry cleaner’s? Your manicurist’s? The postman’s? The married mensch next door’s? Is it society telling you that marriage is what you should want, rather than you saying it yourself?

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