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JDate asks you a question: what have you learned from your past relationships, or, simply “My Past Relationships”? It’s a tricky question but you’ve got to answer it. For the most part, the Jewish community is small, so even though you may not personally know a JDater, you may know who they’re talking about in that paragraph.
Stating that you now know that you don’t want someone who is ‘a spoiled, trust fund brat’ or a ‘pompous, egomaniac, even if he is a doctor’ will actually make you look bad, not better. You’re talking badly about an ex rather than showing what you learned about yourself. Not only does it make you look immature, but it’s gossip and it’s ugly. Use this opportunity to talk about how you have grown and the person you want to be instead.
I spent the better part of my week writing a curriculum for a group of women whom are experiencing relationship troubles. I came across a relationship history chart that I had completely forgotten about. This chart has always been useful in helping people see their relationship patterns. I thought I would share it with the JDaters out there who are looking to possibly break some patterns while creating healthier relationships. The first task is to write down the names of the last few people you were in a relationship with. Next, write the amount of time the relationships lasted next to each name. Be sure to include the characteristics of each relationship. For example, you can use descriptive words such as, healthy, dysfunctional, fun, boring, etc. You can put as many characteristics as you wish next to each name. After the characteristics write how you felt in the relationship and what your role in each relationship was. For instance, I felt protected and my role was the attentive girlfriend. Lastly, include the rewards of each relationship and the consequences of each relationship.
Once you have completed these tasks read each section over carefully. Circle the traits that come up more than once. Decide if you like these specific traits. If you are not thrilled with them here is your launching pad. I know it can be easier said than done, but make the decision not to include those components that you don’t like in your next relationship. Not only does this exercise help you to become a better partner and break unwanted patterns in a relationship it also gives your new partner the best of who you truly are!
Gems from Jen
I have gotten several letters from JDaters inquiring about dating people who are divorced. What about the divorced daters out there? What are the guidelines, rules, and tips?
• Make sure you are over your ex before committing to a new relationship. If you think about your ex and still feel emotion, whether it is anger or sadness, chances are you haven’t moved on completely.
• Remember, the person/people you are dating might have questions/concerns about the divorce. Be honest, but only share when you feel ready.
• The person/people you are dating are not your ex. Comparisons are unfair.
• If you have children, only introduce them to the new person when the two of you have entered into a committed relationship. Anything else can cause your children confusion, anger and hurt. Remember, you are entitled to have a life, but children should come first.
• Lastly, enjoy yourself. Divorce is serious business and can be very draining. Give yourself permission to live life again. Staring over can be an exciting journey. Time does heal the wounds and second chances in love are more common than most people really think!
Hi GemsfromJen ~
I am a single Jewish man in my early 40′s, and I have a question for you.
How will I know when I have finally met the one person meant for me?
I have dated many women, been married once, continue to date, and I have met some very interesting and nice women, but there always seems to be something missing.
When will I know, I mean truly know that I have finally met the girl for me? Will skyrockets go off in my head like in the movies, will there be a joy I feel with her like I have never felt before, will it be in the way we kiss or make love, will it be an overwhelming feeling of devotion, or will it just be a click and I will know she is the one? And what if I feel she’s the one but she feels I am NOT the one?
Maybe for everyone it is a little different, but I was hoping you could maybe give me a little heads-up on what to look for.
Thank you Jen, I really appreciate the service you provide. Keep up the good work for us JDaters!
I have had this question presented to me more times than I can count. I have two very direct and to the point answers for you. You will know she is the one when you close your eyes and can imagine her sitting with you when you are both old and gray. You will know when you can’t envision any aspect of your life without her. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s really that simple.
For the second part of your question, if she feels you are not the one and you believe she is, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that she is not the one. Relationships are two way streets and both of you need to be traveling on the same highway, or the relationship will not be successful.
I hope this helps you in your search!
Gems from Jen