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Is an Elephant Rope Keeping you From Finding True Love?

Written by Deborah Grayson Riegal, Communication Coach for JRetroMatch
Jewish Dating, Jewish Singles Love Advice
You want love. You want romance. You want a relationship. And with all of those wants comes a list of excuses for why it’s not happening for you. I’ll bet that if you check your list of excuses, you'll find an elephant rope keeping you from charging ahead.

When baby elephants are brought into the circus, they get a rope tied around their leg to keep them from running away. And it works pretty well (I mean, how many times have you heard on the news that a baby elephant escaped from the circus? Exactly). Now, when that elephant grows up, it can weigh between 3 and 6 TONS -- one firm yank of the rope, and that elephant is off! Except that the elephant stays put. Why? Because she has learned over time that the rope will keep her from running off. Even though it's no longer true.

Even though she has it within her power to move at will.

What elephant ropes are keeping you tied down? What excuses do you have, and firmly believe to be true, where a simple reality-test -- a firm tug at the rope -- would show that the only thing holding you back is an old belief?

Many coaching clients of mine who are looking for a relationship struggle with these elephant ropes: • “I’m not attractive enough to meet someone.” • “I don’t make enough money to be desirable.” • “I can’t commit.” • “I don’t even know what I want in a partner.” • “I can’t survive another relationship disappointment.”

  • “I’m not attractive enough to meet someone.”
  • “I don’t make enough money to be desirable.”
  • “I can’t commit.”
  • “I don’t even know what I want in a partner.”
  • “I can’t survive another relationship disappointment.”

Recognize any of these? Do you have some of your own?

Who can you test these with? What might be possible for your love life if it turns out that you are truly stronger, more desirable, and better suited for love than you originally believed?

Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW, is the Head Coach of, and helps Jewish organizations and individuals achieve personal and professional "Success without the Tsuris" through coaching, training and speaking.

Deborah’s energetic workshops and speaking programs are in high demand with North American Jewish organizations, Fortune 500 companies, national and local government agencies, and small start-ups, and her one-on-one coaching has propelled Jewish professionals across industries and interests to get farther, faster.

Deborah was the Director of Education and Training for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at United Jewish Communities (UJC), where she developed innovative training programs for Federation professionals and lay-leaders, and co-authored an award-winning interactive solicitation training website. Deborah also worked at the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) as the Director of the only program in North America that trains senior citizens to be lobbyists. In addition, Deborah was a key player in the development of New York’s Makor/Steinhardt Center for young Jewish professionals.

Deborah is on the faculty for both the Wexner Heritage Program and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical school. A popular conference speaker for both the American Society of Training and Development and Training Magazine’s Conference and Expo, Deborah was awarded membership into the National Speakers Association in 2005. She is also a member of the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals, the Jewish Communal Service Association, and the International Coach Federation. Deborah is a graduate of Coach U. and is a Certified DiSC® Practitioner.

Deborah’s expertise in developing training and coaching for professionals and lay leaders in the Jewish communal world was highlighted when she authored “Corporate Universities in the Non-Profit Sector”, a chapter in the book The Next Generation of Corporate Universities (Allen, Ed, Wiley 2007).

Deborah earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, and her M.S.W. at Columbia University, supporting her expensive school habit by performing improvisational and stand-up comedy.

She and her husband Michael are the proud parents of twins, Jacob and Sophie, who inspire her to choose naches over tsuris everyday.

For more information, visit or email Deborah at

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