Finding a life partner is an age-old quest, integral to Jewish traditions and the continuity of our heritage. The idea of a perfect match, or a “bashert,” holds a special place in Jewish culture. But in the age of social media and modern dating, it’s important to strike a balance between the romantic ideal and the reality. Unrealistic expectations can significantly hinder the path to true love.

1. The Perfect Match Illusion
Influenced by movies, TV shows, and even fairy tales, many of us grow up dreaming of a perfect love story. While there’s no harm in dreaming, fixating on perfection can prevent us from seeing the real, but valuable qualities in potential partners. Expecting someone to tick every box on our wishlist is a surefire way to set ourselves up for disappointment.

2. Social Media’s Filtered Reality
Instagram, and other social media platforms, often present a filtered view of relationships. Couples showcase their best moments, often glossing over the challenges and struggles that every relationship faces. By comparing ourselves to these idealized versions of love, we may feel as though our own relationships are lacking.

3. The Misconception of “Bashert”
The Jewish concept of “bashert” is beautiful, suggesting that there’s a soulmate for everyone. However, it’s essential to understand that even in a divinely orchestrated match, there will still be differences, challenges, and growth opportunities. A bashert doesn’t mean a trouble-free relationship; it means a relationship worth the effort.

4. Overvaluing External Qualities
While it’s natural to have preferences in physical attraction, placing too much importance on external qualities can overshadow the more meaningful traits essential for a long-term relationship. Values, kindness, and commitment often hold more weight in the long run than external appearances.

5. Seeking Instant Connection
While some people experience “love at first sight,” many meaningful relationships grow gradually. Instant chemistry isn’t always a predictor of lasting love. Giving relationships time to develop can often lead to deeper, more enduring connections.

Finding Balance and Embracing Reality
Unrealistic expectations don’t just set us up for disappointment; they can also prevent us from seeing the potential in a match that doesn’t fit our preconceived notions. Remember:

Every individual is unique, with strengths and flaws.
Relationships require effort, patience, and mutual growth.
It’s okay to have standards, but flexibility and understanding are vital.
In our search for love, let’s combine the wisdom of Jewish traditions with a realistic perspective on modern dating. This approach will not only lead to healthier relationships but also pave the way for genuine, lasting love.