Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:
I found who I though was going to be the love of my life on JDate about two years ago. We met and fell in love and got engaged in a matter of eight months. I was afraid that things were moving too fast, but he reassured me that he was in it if I was. Long story short, HE ended up breaking off the engagement.
I have danced around the thought that there is something wrong with me, and then that there is something wrong with him, and have settled on the idea that we were simply not meant to be with each other. I have been told on multiple occasions by people young and old, and of both genders, I am “A Jewish mother’s dream,” and yet I still can’t find what I am looking for.
I am having trouble trusting people now and am afraid I will push away Mr. Right if don’t get over this. Can you help?
— Confused and Hurt
Dear Confused and Hurt:
My feelings go out to you. I have been there, and I know how painful it is.
One of the lessons I learned from my (similar) breakup is that a big piece of success in any relationship is timing. In addition to having chemistry, and shared life interests and values, both people also have to be “ready” for the kind of long-term challenge marriage ultimately is about.
Who knows what is going on in his head? Maybe he legitimately realized you just weren’t the right “fit.” Maybe he has some unreasonable fantasy idea of who his wife will be. Maybe he just got the proverbial “cold feet,” connected to his own unresolved baggage about his parents’ failed marriage, and then freaked out.
Obviously, I’m just guessing here. But whatever the “reason,” the end result, as you know, is the same. Blaming yourself if not only not helpful to you, it’s unfair because you can’t possibly know “why” it happened.
Unless this guy is extremely tuned in to his own mind, and he then communicated this information to you (which is basically something I have never heard of happening in any breakup anywhere!) you will never know “why.” To blame yourself, in the absence of information, is totally unfair to you.
Please, in all your hurt, remember the importance of self-love and self-care.
I wanted to suggest one book to you, which you might find helpful: The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, by Susan Piver. It has recently provided much comfort to a friend of mine, also going through a painful breakup.
— The Matchmaker Rabbi