During Passover we think about how the Jews went from bondage to liberation, all the while keeping the faith that God would bring them Home again.

When asked to write a Passover-themed article for JMag, I thought about the ways that singles bind themselves in dating and love, often without realizing it.  My first book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ explores how your past affects your future love life, giving you the opportunity to understand your dating psychology so that you can grow in love.

What follows are 7 ways that you can free yourself from past bondage so you can move back into the energy of love and come Home to your True Self again:

      1.  Remove Your Limiting Beliefs:

I often hear singles say things to themselves that stop them even before they leave the house.  They tell themselves, ‘No man wants someone over 35,’ or ‘I’m not interesting so no one will want to date me.’  We can never control other people, but you can tell yourself things that lead to possibilities, opportunities and taking action instead.  For example, it may be harder to date after 35, but I’ve known plenty of people who have found their match later in life and it only takes that one person!  I also believe every person is interesting and unique.  If you value yourself, you can find someone like-minded who’ll appreciate you too. So, watch your thoughts and don’t let them limit you.

      2.  Understand Your Familial Blueprint:

Our early childhood events imprint ideas about love upon us, even before we can speak.  We have a model of how a man and woman communicate (if you had both a mother and father), and you may have had interactions with your opposite sex parent, which may have taught you something about how men or women will treat you.  It’s important to think about this and to make these patterns conscious or you will often repeat them.  For example, if a woman had an emotionally unavailable father who was away a lot, sometimes she will chase after men who won’t commit to her or who won’t really give her what she needs.  Until she recognizes and heals that old pattern, she won’t be satisfied in love.

      3.  Recognize the Constraints of Your “Type:”

It’s fine to know yourself and to think you want a woman who has red hair, is 5 foot 2 inches and is a stewardess… but G-d may have another soul mate in store for you, better than you ever dreamed possible!  Of course you should pick people that you are attracted to, but try to remove your ego and be willing to be surprised by love.  Your Beshert may come to you in a different package, and that person might help you grow in love and life.  So, get out of your own way and be willing to expand the net of people that you date.  Try to be open.

      4.  Release Past Relationship Baggage:

Many singles have been dumped, betrayed, lied to and hurt in love. Unfortunately, this happens.  But to move forward, it’s important to release your past relationship baggage so that you can fully see your new date in the present.  Don’t allow old bitterness to prevent you from being open to love and joy right now.  Release toxic emotions and memories as much as possible so you can travel light.

      5.  Know Your Dating Defensive Styles:

In my first book, ‘Dating from the inside Out,’ I have a quiz to help you discover your defensive dating style, or the way you defend against being hurt in love.  Most of us don’t even realize that we do this.  One example of a defensive dating style is The Perfectionist.  For example, on the TV Show Seinfeld, Jerry was a Perfectionist on dates.  He’d refuse a second date with someone based upon her dress, how she ate or laughed.  While we may find this funny on TV, it would not lead to love in real life because everyone will have flaws; it’s just which ones you choose.  Jerry would need to get out of his own way and begin looking for the good things in someone that were worth investing in. Once you know your defensive style, you can counteract it and move through the fear into love.

      6.  Improve Your Self-Talk:

It’s hard to radiate love and confidence when you’re constantly criticizing yourself in your own head, especially while on your date! What’s important is to know your own worth until you find someone who really appreciates what you have to offer.  So, practice saying loving things to yourself and challenge yourself when you fall into criticism.

      7.  Reinvent Yourself!

Both in spring and before Passover, people do a good cleaning.  It’s also a time of renewal, rebirth and reinvention.  Think about where you’d like to grow, to become the person you’d most like to be.  Maybe you want to explore a talent that you’ve neglected, or take a class, or travel.  This will bring you more happiness and will be something you can share on your dates.  Plus, you could meet someone new while following your bliss!  When we open up new doors we let in new life, releasing ourselves from the bondage of old routines. This gives us the ability to see ourselves and our lives in fresh ways.

I wish you the best in moving from fear into love.

Happy Passover!


Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and writer. She wrote the upcoming, “The Book of Sacred Baths,” being published by Llewellyn and is the author of “Dating from the Inside Out” and “When Mars Women Date.” She has a private practice in Manhattan and does date coaching by phone. Learn more at
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