getmarriedthisyear_320[1]Our anonymous columnists, Andrew Singleman and Ellen Mazelman, are reading Dr. Janet Page’s “Get Married This Year” and following the steps therein on their dating journey. This month, they’re going forward, each in their own way.

What Led Us Here

BY ANDREW SINGLEMAN / AJT //

Rachel and I have been dating now for just over four months now, and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is a much more private person than I am. Considering some good friends of mine know I write this column and read it, its anonymous status has even been questioned.

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I care about and respect Rachel a great deal, so I tread a fine line every time I sit down to write about what’s happened to us since the last time you’ve heard from me. As a matter of fact, I’d say it’s an increasing challenge with each passing month – questions like “Have you used the ‘L’ word yet?” and “Could she be the one?” are inevitable.

All I’ll say right now is that I like Rachel very much and I’ll do everything I can to respect and preserve her privacy.

So what’s next? Where do we go from here? How about going back to basics?

Before you get married, you’ve got to date. And before you date, you’ve got to get out and meet people. In order to meet the people you’re going to want to date, you’ve first got to put your best foot forward – or, really, the best you forward.

Of course, as the saying goes, “Nobody’s perfect.” In her book, Dr. Page emphasizes that if you’re looking for the perfect person, you’re wasting your time. And there’s also the saying though that there’s “always room for improvement,” and whether your goal is to get married, do some dating, or even just get out and make friends, that’s going to mean making some changes and taking some risks.

I think back to a personal low point: A year before I met Rachel, my divorce had just been finalized, and three weeks after that, I was downsized and lost my job. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly “dating material.”

It took a little time, but I thankfully put my divorce behind me and found work as an independent consultant. I was ready to meet people and live life again, so at that point, I got involved with the local Jewish singles group Atlanta Jewish Singles.

Meanwhile, Rachel also got involved with the group. She felt joining the group gave her a chance to make some friends but also put her in a position where she would be pushed to confront her shyness. Going to an event where she didn’t know anyone was a big step – and I happen to be very grateful she made that effort.

But what’s my point?

My point is that if you want things to change in your life, you are the one who is going to have to make it happen and work at it.

Are you hung up on an old relationship? Are you too shy to introduce yourself to someone? No one is going to come banging on your door and say, “Hey, let’s get out and be friends and do something.”

Take a look at what you’re doing. Is it working? If not, make a change.

Dr. Page discusses a variety of things that could be holding you back and how to correct them. It isn’t an overnight fix, but it is a journey well worth taking. Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll end up in a situation similar to mine.

I’m no longer looking for a relationship or wondering how and where to find one. I’m now focused on nourishing and growing one. It’s a series of steps – both Rachel and I took that first one, and now we’re on to the next.

Your Attention, Please

BY ELLEN MAZELMAN / AJT //

Wow; what a difference a month – or even a weekend in NYC – makes! But let me back up for a moment…

I met with Dr. Page this week and saw my parents last weekend, and they both had a very similar message: Make your announcement. Tell everyone you know that you are available and ready to date.

They said the same thing but in very different ways, but in the end, the same way. Make sense?

Maybe not to you, but to me, it did.

Of course, all I could think of was a “Sex in the City“ episode where Charlotte got out her address book and called all of her married friends, set appointments with them and asked them to set her up on blind dates. It was her “announcement,” so to speak, in order to get married within that year. And although she didn’t end up getting married directly from one of these appointments, she did meet her spouse indirectly through this process.

Interestingly, Dr. Page suggested a similar approach to Charlotte’s. She told me to start with Andrew, my counterpart, in this endeavor – ask him if he knows anyone worthwhile…and get your darn profile on JDate and Match.com updated and ready-to-go!

She gave me a homework assignment and some suggestions on what to write. After all, she and her colleagues did meet their soul mates via this route.

My parents, meanwhile, had an odd suggestion. You are writing for the paper, they said; work it and use it. Basically, resurrect the old personal ads from New York Magazine.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, hundreds of people would place a personal ad – no picture, just describing themselves and what they were looking for – each week in the same section. I thought, “In this day and age, how ridiculous and preposterous – it could never work; not in today’s world!”

But as I thought about it after meeting with Dr Page…why not? Make my big announcement! And where better to do it than in the Atlanta Jewish Times? Be the “old-school” Charlotte.

So take a leap of faith with me. No picture, and I can’t really tell you what I am looking for yet (although there is always the obvious). I’ll fill you in more after I complete another homework assignment from Dr. Page, her “Spouse Shopping List” which I apparently need to create this week.

In the meantime, if you read something that might interest you, write to our editor, jmccurdy@atljewishtimes.com (he is going to kill me for this one) and tell us why I would like to go out on a date with you.

So here we go, my personal:

Single, Jewish, original New Yorker (which should tell you a lot, but don’t let it scare you away), and loves living in the South. Mom of 2 incredible kids, mostly empty-nester, 53 years old.

My parents and family would tell you I am fabulous, gorgeous and perfect. My friends would probably tell you I am fun, funny and tons of fun to be around. I would tell you, I look great for my age, have lots of friends (which tells you a lot about me), I sometimes say more than I should, I love to travel, I love to be social and socialize, I stay busy and be with friends, successful, fun and knows how to have fun.

And did I mention I have two incredible kids?

This month, I sign off as the 50-year-old Charlotte. Hope to hear from all of you nice Jewish men out there looking for, well, me!

Until next month! And remember, if you have figured out it is me, it is between you and me!

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