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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copyright © 2017 Robin Gorman Newman. All rights reserved.