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Fool's Gold

Written by Cigal Gabay, M.Ed
Jewish Singles Date
Heather walks into the crowded room of the singles' party and Steven spots her from across the way. His heart skips a beat. He notices how beautiful her hair is, how her smile brightens the room. Their eyes meet for what he calls an "electric minute"...And that's when he knows that he's found "her"...The woman of his dreams. She's exactly how he'd imagined her to be...She's absolutely PERFECT!

He walks over to her and they talk the night away. The chemistry between them is palpable. The attraction is powerful...

The night comes to an end. Steven offers to drive her home. She accepts. After all, he's an amazing guy...They get to her apartment, he tells her how wonderful it was to meet her and asks if he can call her for a date. Heather tries to tone down the sheer excitement she's feeling at the prospect of such an attractive guy asking her out. They agree to go out the next night. The next night, he comes to pick her up, and the smell of his very manly cologne is enough to drive her wild. He takes her to a fancy restaurant and refuses to let her pay. He buys her a rose as they walk out of the restaurant. "Awww, how sweet", she thinks to herself. The night comes to an end. The following days and weeks roll around...They are dating exclusively. He feels like he is falling in love with her and he tells her so... She feels the same way...

What do you predict happens next? They continue to date...For months. Months turn into a year. A year turns into two. Two turns into three...Heather is wondering when he's finally going to "pop the question". Many of her friends are already married, some even have a child or two."We've been dating for three years...I think it's about time", she thinks to herself. She brings it up to him. " I love you so much", he tells her. "Why don't we just continue to enjoy each other's company like we have for the last 3 years? Why do we need that piece of paper? We're a great team without it".

OUCH. DOUBLE OUCH. "Enjoy each other's company?? Is that all he thinks we've been doing all this time??". By now, their families have met(likely many times). He's been to her family functions, she's been to his. His friends are her friends and vice versa. They have been intimate since that first month they met, three years ago. For all intents and purposes, they are married...But not really.

How do you think Heather feels when he tells her "we're a great team without that piece of paper"(ie. marriage certificate)? Why shouldn't he feel that they're "a great team without that piece of paper"?. The plain and ugly truth is that he's got all of the perks and none of the responsibilities of a married man. Easy street.

Sometimes the roles are reversed. Imagine being a guy and wanting to marry the girl you've loved for the last three years and she is just not interested?

Getting intimate early on can cause you a lot of heartache later on, just as it did for Heather, who eventually broke off her relationship with Steven, when she realized she was holding onto a dream that wouldn't come true. During her healing process, she realized that she and Steven really never had all that much in common to begin with except for that "electric chemistry" that they both felt on that first night, three years before. In other words, their relationship was based on lust. What would have happened when they were 60 years old and gravity hit? Wrinkles? Some extra pounds? Without common goals or mutual love and respect, where would they have ended up?

The most important thing is to date and hopefully marry someone you grow to love and respect more and more each day. Imagine that dating is like prospecting for gold and that marriage is finding the mother lode. You have to prospect with patience and diligence for it to pay off. Not all that glitters is gold. Don't be fooled by a worthless imitation, no matter how attractive it first seems. For it to be valuable, it has to be REAL. Real gold has weight . A real prospect knows the weight of responsibility and devotion to something larger than him/herself. A real prospect commits. A real prospect is inherently valuable due to its character and not its surface luster.

Don't be another Heather or another guy with a broken heart. Invest your heart, your soul and your passion in something real. Hold out for pure gold.

Cigal Gabay(nee Shene), M.Ed

Cigal is trained as a child, couples and family therapist, as well as a school counselor. She currently lives with her husband in Israel. They have recently joined the JRetroMatch Team.

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