We didn't play foolish, immature games of the heart and mind that quickly obliterate trust.
We didn't communicate via text messages and emails that quickly obfuscate strong communication.
We didn't jump into the sack right away. Nope. Not us.
|Our Wedding Day|
We didn't talk to our friends ad-nauseum about the intricacies of our budding relationship.
We didn't worry about failing.
And his is what we did do:
We talked. Whole dates were spent talking, learning, sharing, listening to each other and figuring it all out. We established a rapport of respect and trust. We may come from different ontological and epistemogical places, but we committed to heading in the same direction.
We laughed and grew into each others' wit and humor.
We held hands first, then held each other. We allowed ourselves to slowly and gently move into a passionate and sincere emotional and physical connection in balance.
We committed early and stayed that way. Again, no head games, antics and tomfoolery. Very early in our courtship, we openly shared our hearts and our dreams with each other: "I am dating for marriage," I said evenly, without pretense or drama, and he found this to be wonderful, brave and inspiring.
We never kept score. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but let's be adults about it and get over ourselves.
Two years to the day of our first date, we wed in the presence of dear friends and family. It was a truly incredible day, infused with the values we share and choice of choosing the other freely.
Looking back, I can safely say that the courtship of our love continues. But unlike so many instances of heartbreak and failure that came before it, ours continues to be a courtship of honesty, sincerity and simplicity.
One thing I learned from a rabbi friend in Jerusalem in 2009 is this:
Choosing toward your relationship with your besheret (soul mate) is a conscious and daily act of choosing toward your relationship with G-d. The two are not mutually exclusive. Love is not a fairy tale granted only to the lucky, but rather a conscious choice. Love is a conscious and deliberate action, a bold choice, and a result of acknowledging (with humility) that we have free will to choose toward the relationship or not.
The choice is yours.