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But the clock is ticking...

Written by Cigal Gabay, M.Ed,
Edited by Yitzchak Gabay

Dear Diary,

I don't know what to do. I'm 35 years old, single and almost all my friends are married. Most of them have kids already. Why am I not married yet? Am I that unlovable that no man wants to imagine waking up next to me for the rest of his life? It just seems so unfair. I've gone out on so many dates. I think by now I've lost track of how many guys I've dated. Jewish Singles TickingI really want to get married, Diary. And I want children so badly. I've been dating this guy who seems to really like me. He's great. He's fun, he buys me nice things and takes me to fancy restaurants. He's always telling me how beautiful I am. We've been dating exclusively for a while now and he's really serious about me. He told me the other day that he can see himself married to me. Truth is, Diary, I'm really unsure about how I feel about him. He does have somewhat of a temper that I've seen a couple of times, but he was having a few bad days at work. He said he didn't mean to snap at me like that, but the stress of the project got to him. He says he'll be back to his old self as soon as the project is finished next week. I mean, don't get me wrong, most times he 's nice and all, and I like him a lot. But somehow, I can't see myself spending the rest of my life with him. He's so convinced we were made for each other...He says so all the time. Maybe he's seeing something I'm not? I just can't picture being...intimate with him.What's wrong with me? He's so spiritual, yet here I am, letting something so superficial as a lack of base desire risk my chance of finding happiness. Maybe I should just trust his instinct? What if he's my last chance? After all, I'm already 35...The older I get, the less men will want me. I have a basically good guy who's very serious about me...Why am I being so stupid? He keeps telling me how much he loves me and how much he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Why am I hesitating? I have the perfect opportunity for all my dreams to come true...A loving husband, children...I don't have to feel like a loser anymore. And besides, the clock is ticking!!...How many more reproductive years do I have left, realistically speaking? I should just ignore whatever it is that's holding me back...Maybe I've just become so scared of getting hurt that I've built a wall around myself and don't know how to appreciate a good thing when it's right in front of my face?"

The girl who wrote the diary entry has it all wrong. You don't marry someone because "the clock is ticking". You don't marry someone because "it may be your last chance to have all your dreams come true". You certainly don't marry someone based on THEIR instinct that the match was meant to be...

Marriage is a serious lifelong commitment that two people make to each other when three important things are in sync:
1) They have spent enough platonic time together in different situations to see both character strengths and character flaws. They have both acknowledged and accepted that the others' flaws are minor and can be lived with
2) They have a shared vision about the type of home and life they want as a married couple (ie. they both want a Kosher home, they both want their children to go to Jewish day schools, they both believe in positive parenting, just to name a few examples) and
3) Which is not less important than 1 or 2, both parties must have a basic physical attraction to one another. That doesn't mean sparks and fireworks whenever the other person comes into the room. It means being in the presence of that person and being able to imagine being intimate with them for the rest of their lives.

Do yourselves a favor, ladies and gentlemen. Ignore the ticking clock. Pay closest attention to YOUR instincts and YOUR feelings about the person whom you are dating, as well as YOUR reason and logic.( Life is filled with stressors and if someone responds to stress with verbal abuse directed at you, that won't change after the project ends or the marriage begins). If these three non-negotiable criteria ARE present, this could be that special someone you've been searching for. Take the time and make the effort to find out. If these three criteria are NOT present, you would be wise to continue your search. In the long run, it's far better to have waited for the right person than to dive into something that you know is wrong for you because "the clock was ticking".

About 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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