Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Emotional GPS for Finding Your Bashert by Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch

The Emotional GPS for Finding Your Bashert

By Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapist
Recently, there have appeared a number of articles that have discussed the difficulties singles are having getting married. Unfortunately, many young people in their 20’s (and some even in their 30’s) are struggling to find their beshert.

I know that many people call it the “shidduch crisis” and many singles I have talked with are disappointed about “the dating system.” No one feels good about not finding what they like and many are frustrated by not meeting who they dreamed about.

Although there are many challenges on the road to finding one’s zivug, there has been significant research in the field of relationships and attachment that can successfully help singles navigate towards their desired relationship. For example, attachment theory, which scientifically describes how and why people connect-or disconnect- in their relationships has been used to help thousands of couples improve their marriages.

Psychologists have begun to apply attachment theory to the dating world as well. Let me begin by telling you what attachment theory says about how people relate to others. Attachment is an emotional bond to another person that is formed during early childhood and has a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. The attachment theory posits that each of us maintains one of three distinct attachment styles: Secure, Anxious, Avoidant.

• SECURE individuals feel comfortable with closeness and are usually warm and loving.

• ANXIOUS individuals are often preoccupied with being rejected and tend to worry about their spouse’s/shidduch’s ability to love them back.

• AVOIDANT individuals equate closeness with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.

The gist: people fall into one of three attachment styles: secure (generally able to feel close to others), anxious (scared of abandonment and emotionally needy), and avoidant (uncomfortable with getting too close).

The challenge in dating is to evaluate if you are experiencing avoidant or anxious feelings while going on shidduchim. For example, do you sometimes have anxious feelings like “I want to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away” (anxious) or "I am nervous when anyone gets too close" (avoidant)? If so, the goal is to learn how to tap into the secure mind-set and finding secure role models to guide you in your search.

One of the goals of enhancing your ability to find and marry your zivug is to work towards more emotional security. One way to do so is to learn how to state your feelings and needs in a simple, nonthreatening manner beginning early on in the relationship. If the other person shows a sincere wish to understand your needs and put your well-being first, your future has promise.

The other step is to begin to learn about yourself. If you can identify yourself as someone who “keeps relationships at a distance” or views relationships as “anxiety producing” there are key strategies you can use to become more secure.

Take the Test

Here are a few questions that can help you evaluate your attachment style. For a complete list of questions visit my website:

Put a check mark next to the statements that ring true to you. The category with the most marks indicates your attachment style. No one style is better or worse than another; they're just indicative of how you perceive the world and how you operate emotionally.


1. I often worry that my shidduch won’t be interested in me.

2. I fear that once someone gets to know the real me, s/he won't like who I am.

3. When I show my shidduch how I feel, I'm afraid s/he will not feel the same about me.


1. I have little difficulty expressing my needs and wants on a shidduch.

2. It makes me nervous when my shidduch is interested in me.

3. I hate feeling that other people depend on me.

If you are still unsure of your attachment style, ask yourself which one of these three descriptions fits your personality best?

Anxious: You love to be very close, but often fear that your shidduch does not wish to be as close as you would like him/her to be. You experience a lot of negative emotions within the relationship and get easily upset, tending to act out and say things you later regret.

Avoidant: It is very important for you to maintain your independence and often prefer autonomy to close relationships. You tend not to open up to your shidduch and they often complain that you are emotionally distant. You are often on high alert for any signs of control or impingement on your territory by your shidduch.

Secure: Being warm and loving comes naturally; you take things in stride and don't get easily upset over relationship matters. You effectively communicate your needs and are strong at reading your shidduch’s emotional cues and responding to them.

If you think attachment issues are affecting your ability to have a healthy relationship or are causing other problems, you may want to consider seeking professional treatment. This treatment should be provided by a therapist, who deals specifically with issues related to attachment and relationships.

An effective therapist can help you learn to build trust and attachments over time, and learn to develop and model that connection for the rest of your relationships. Many singles that I have helped to get married have successfully learned how to set boundaries, better handle their emotions and realize that they are valuable, loveable and worthwhile.

Especially if you have been going out on many shidduchim and not finding the “one” you want, it may be helpful to work towards an enhanced level of secure attachment that will help make the shidduch search that much easier.

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is a Marriage Therapist specializing in marriage counseling, and shidduch coaching. For a complete attachment-style evaluation or to watch or hear free lectures on dating, marriage and attachment, visit: , email: or call 646-428-4723.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shidduch #55: Shadchan Moshe Raitman

3rd Chabadmatch Shidduch this month!!

Shadchan Moshe Raitman describes: "I was working with a bochur with who's family I am very close with and have been guiding them extensively in a coaching capacity. After reviewing the girl's profile on Chabadmatch, the Shidduch was also suggested by a neighbor who felt it should be pursued. We did our due diligence and by proceeding with a tremendous amount of energy and input, we BH have a lechaim to celebrate!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

5 Minute Clip on how Chabadmatch works

Success #54

Mazal Tov on successful Shidduch #54 by shadchan Yehudis Abramowitz! She writes:
"The boy's family called me privately. I met the girl through her profile on the site. The girl's mother initally rejected the boy's profile, thinking he was too young. I felt that they could match and suggested it again. At first it didn't go because of technical difficulties in getting the couple together. After a few weeks, we tried again and it was successful!"

Celebrating over 100 engagements!

Here is a link to an article written by Yonit Tanenbaum on celebrating 50 engagements on the site:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Over 100 singles engaged to date!

Last month Chabadmatch hit a huge milestone with shidduch #50 and #51. Details can be seen at

 That means over 100 singles have gotten engaged with the help of Chabadmatch! May the site continue to go from strength to strenth!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Engagement #49!!

The Shadchan, Yocheved Hershkowitz, relates:

"There was incredible Hashgacha Pratis in how this shidduch was made. I met the bochur through his profile and was in touch with him for several years. The girl had come to Israel from Europe for a Shidduch proposal that did not work. When it didn't the parents of the girl started looking at other options and I was contacted by them and met her. After meeting her I could tell that she was a great match for the bochur. In less than 2 weeks from going out, they were engaged!"