“I’m dating and everything adds up; she seems to be exactly what I am looking for on paper. Just one thing… the love is absent. What do I do!??”

Love can only blossom in an open heart. When our heart is closed we cannot feel affection, even when that affection really is there. And what closes a heart is fear.
You’re scared. You’re scared of your dream coming true. You have finally met a girl who could really end up being your wife. This is what you have prayed for, waited for, and hoped for, for so long. And now that it is in front of you, you’re gripped with fear.

It’s scary to say goodbye to single life. It’s scary to accept that you will marry a real person with flaws and issues, not an imaginary perfect dream person. It’s scary to realize that now you’re growing up, and about to start the next stage in your life, with all the joys and challenges that will bring.
This is why your heart is blocked. Fear and love cannot both be felt at any one time. They are opposites. Fear is the urge to stand back, while love is the yearning to become closer. So ironically, when you meet a serious candidate for marriage, your heart is paralyzed by the fear that this might actually work out. Your blocked feelings might be a good sign. The fear could indicate that this is a relationship worth pursuing.

If you want to give it a chance, you first need to calm your fears. Take a long walk, all alone, and observe what’s going on inside you. Admit that you are scared. Acknowledge that it has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with you. Get comfortable with the idea that you may have found your match. Be grateful to G-d who has sent you such a wonderful woman. Believe in yourself that you are ready to take the plunge and become a married man. Let these ideas slowly sink in, face the reality and make peace with it.
Once you quiet your fears, your heart will be open to love. Then, if she is indeed the one, it won’t take long for the warm feelings to come flooding in. If you want to find love, you have to lose fear.

Rabbi Mendel (Menachem) Bluming is a rabbi in Potomac, Maryland who serves the Jewish community. Mendel Bluming officiates at many life cycle events. Credits also to Rabbi Moss

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