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

Joysa Winter, aka The Matchmaker Rabbi, knows all about how hard it is to find lasting love. It took her 17 years to find Mr. Not Wrong! In that time, she tried just about every singles site, dating club and Matzah Ball known to humanity. Now a rabbinical student and the mother of 2 young kids, nothing brings her greater joy than officiating a wedding. She is finishing a book on her dating misadventures called Chasing Cupid, Tales of Dating Disaster in Jewish Suburbia. Read more about it at
  1. I am a fifty year old loving, compassionate woman who has dedicated most of the last twenty years caring for my daughter and my (ex)husband. I now find myself after twenty years with one man on a few single websites.

    Being able to open my heart up again, is a slow process. I recently found myself falling for a new man in my life. The relationship was too speedy in the beginning, but after a few months I found myself really picturing this person in my life. He was so many of the things that were missing in my marriage. Honesty, romantic, loving, passinate,caring, giving and really was so interested in this newly found relationship.
    After reeling me in, and beginning closer and closer emotionally with this man, he became 100 percent opposite of what attracted me to him in the first place. He was deceitful, untrustworthy, unreliable and after not showing up for a planned weekend, he has spent the last five weeks ignoring my calls, and has responded to a few texts. Turns out has never spoken to me again. I am baffled, hurt, angry and mad!! Looking back, a few flags that I should of noticed. I am trusting and do not want to bitter, and untrusting, but what went wrong.

  2. A few thoughts…

    Often, what you see, is not what you get! I am so sorry.

    Why did you keep calling him after he showed his true colors? If you are as wonderful as you say, he was probably overwhelmed! Also men donh’t value our good qualities enough as they think they can get them from the next women and the next women.All a man has to do is walk, talk and breathe and he can get someone. Too bad, hope things get bewtter.

  3. Just think how lucky you are.. I broke hearts, they told me to keep the ring another said I want the ring untangle a marriage and expense of attorneys and court and the world can read all your problems in the court records is more heart breaking..I try to remember the FUN and pleasant times and get back to taking good care of yourself

    re; the last lady WHAT WENT WRONG; NOTHING!! that is the male animal. they are great when it lasted enjoy and remember that part and move on I am sure he has moved on longer ago than you realize

  4. I thought jewish men made such good husbands… Why are so many divorced??? 🙂

  5. There may be something wrong with you, or with him, or with both of you. Doesn’t matter.

    What matters is your happiness. You are who you are, and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. It hurts like Hell, and while sympathy can make you feel better about it, that activity is just practicing hanging on.

    So, if you want to move on, you must take measures to do that. Start today — no, start now!

    Anything he gave you, give it to charity. Letters? Toss ’em.

    You’re moving on. If you find yourself speaking of him, bite your tongue. If you find yourself daydreaming about him, eat some of that chorosis left over from last Passover.

    Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Date some younger guys, at least 10 years younger than you. Expect nothing but enjoy the attention. Build your ego back up.

    After a few months, start dating seriously. When I got married, we were engaged for 30 days, then we eloped. When my dad asked my mom to go steady, she said it was marriage or nothing. You do that, too. None of this endless engagement stuff. If the guy can’t commit, break up and find a new date the next day.

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