Friday, May 1, 2015

The Sweatpants of Relationships

I have had enough—not many, but enough—good dates to know the sought-after sensation of potential: being comfortable. 

That whispering editor in my head who usually tags along, tugs my ear, and admonishes: "Don't say that!" has flitted off to Aruba. Somehow, I know, from what he's saying and how he's responding, that he understands me, and I him, to a small, hopeful degree. 

I had thought this feeling to be unique to my own experience, until Ma's friend said it first, as I struggled to express myself: "You want to be comfortable." 

"Yes! Exactly!" 

According to Ellen McCarthy, whose new book, The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life From a Wedding Reporter’s Notebook, that's what people are looking for in a relationship. Check out her interview on CBS This Morning


Daniel Saunders said...

I think feeling comfortable generally is a good thing to aspire to, not just in relationships. Peak experiences of joy and existential meaning are good, but don't last. One wants to be comfortable in the interim.

Mr. Cohen said...

One of the smartest shadchanim I ever spoke to, she told me this:
“The most important thing is that they both enjoy being with each other.”

This one sentence immediately enlightened much darkness and
distinguishes what is important from what is not important, in dating.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of that wise lady.

Mr. Cohen said...

“In Israel, it is common for married people to receive telephone calls asking if they have a shidduch idea for someone the caller knows.

It is also common for young married couples to keep their single friends in mind and try to match them up. As a result, it is rare for a motivated single not to have a date for a year or more.

In the USA, we have often seen the opposite of all these to be true.

Married people who do not have a child in the shidduch parshah are seldom asked if they have an idea for an unrelated person.

Many singles bitterly complain that once their friends marry, they forget about those who have not yet made it to the chuppah.

And we have heard of too many women, and even a number of men, who have not been on a date for more than a year because nobody thinks of setting them up.”

SOURCE: The Jewish Press, 2010 August 13, on page 53, in an article written by Rosie Einhorn LCSW and Sherry Zimmerman Esq.

Princess Lea said...

DS: But what about the slippery slope of comfort leading to complacency? Comfortable in relationships = good, comfortable in striving = bad.

Princess Lea said...

"Enjoy being with each other" - well put. If I don't want to be talking to him right now, how is this supposed to progress further?

My theory for the US-based "crisis" in that when the shidduch-system was adopted by those whose parents met on their own, they began to focus strictly on "professional" shadchanim. The original shidduch-system was about everybody setting up singles. As weird new protocols came into play, it became more onerous to set up somebody than it used to be, and few are happy to take up the challenge of redting a shidduch. It's such a headache.

Daniel Saunders said...

True, but I wasn't thinking about comfort in striving (I'm growth-centred myself), just about comfort being a more realistic long-term goal than constant ecstatic joy. As I said, peak experiences are good, but you can't expect them all the time.

Tovah11 said...

I knew before I ever met my husband that I wanted my home to be a haven. Not that we don't have quarrels because we do. However, for the most part, no judgements, being that best friend goes a long way,

Princess Lea said...

That is perfect, Tovah. Home = haven, husband = BFF.